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2015 Notes from the Marking Centre – German Beginners

Introduction

This document has been produced for the teachers and candidates of the Stage 6 German Beginners course. It contains comments on candidate responses to the 2015 Higher School Certificate examination, indicating the quality of the responses and highlighting their relative strengths and weaknesses.
This document should be read along with:

Oral examination

Characteristics of better responses:

  • relevant in-depth information with opinions and comment was provided
  • good pronunciation and intonation were used
  • the conversation was engaging
  • a wide range of vocabulary and a variety of sentence structures were used
  • good control of grammatical points, knowledge of cases, a variety of tenses, and the correct use of subordinate clauses, adjective endings, subject–verb inversion and modals were evident.

Characteristics of weaker responses:

  • third-person verb endings were incorrectly used
  • past tense was not used or was incorrectly formed
  • information and vocabulary such as interessant and nett were repeatedly used
  • prepared responses were relied on
  • English words and syntax were used
  • long pauses were evident and incomplete sentences were used
  • wie, wer, gewesen, Zukunft, hast du vor were unknown to students
  • bekommen, magst/machst were misunderstood
  • kochen was mispronounced.

Written examination

Section I – Listening

Characteristics of better responses:

  • relevant and more specific details were provided
  • responses were logical
  • the correct tense was used
  • a wide range of vocabulary was demonstrated.

Characteristics of weaker responses:

  • the intent of the message was misunderstood (Q4)
  • students merely translated and did not demonstrate a global understanding of the text
  • vocabulary, including Möglichkeiten, alles ist so nah and mieten, was misunderstood.

Section II – Reading

Characteristics of better responses:

  • relevant details from the texts were included to support responses when necessary
  • a global understanding of the entire text was demonstrated
  • responses were well structured and sequenced
  • tense was correctly used.

Characteristics of weaker responses:

  • students misinterpreted who the text was about or to whom the action was occurring
  • tenses were not understood
  • the dictionary was not used or was incorrectly used
  • German quotes were included in the answers without English translations
  • vocabulary, including Erdkunde, Halsschmerzen, Gefühle and Abenteuer, was misunderstood.

Section III – Writing in German

Characteristics of better responses:

  • planning of responses was evident
  • ideas were relevant and the writing was coherent
  • grammar and punctuation were used correctly
  • a wide range of relevant vocabulary and sentence structures were used
  • the dictionary was used correctly.

Characteristics of weaker responses:

  • the word limit was not met
  • English syntax was constantly used
  • irrelevant information was included
  • verb conjugation and placement were not correct
  • the dictionary was incorrectly used
  • text was incoherent
  • phrases were copied from the reading texts
  • tenses were misused making the text difficult to understand.
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