The Full Specification For The AQA GCSE And The Edexcel .

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University College LondonInstitute of Education Confucius Institute for SchoolsAQA GCSE Chinese and Edexcel GCSE Specification ReviewThe full specification for the AQA GCSE and the Edexcel GCSE can both be found online.Description:AQA GCSEGCSE Chinese (Mandarin) helps students developtheir Mandarin language skills in a variety of contextsand a broad understanding of the culture of countriesand communities where Mandarin is spoken. Itencourages enjoyment of language learning and therecognition that language skills enable students totake their place in a multi-lingual global society.GCSE Chinese (Spoken Mandarin) has a FoundationTier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9).Students must take all four question papers (listening,speaking, reading and writing) at the same tier. Allquestion papers must be taken in the same series.Students study all of the following topics/themes onwhich the assessments are based.Theme 1: Identity and cultureTopic 1: Me, my family and friends Relationships with family and friends Marriage/partnershipTopic 2: Technology in everyday lifeEdexcel GCSEEdexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE in Chinese enablesthe students to manipulate and use the targetlanguage effectively, independently and creatively, sothat they have a solid basis from which to progress toA Level or employment.It allows students to develop their ability tocommunicate with Chinese native speakers in bothspeech and writing. Students will study across avariety of contexts relevant to their age and interestsand will also develop a greater awareness of theculture of Chinese-speaking communities andcountries.Questions across all four language skills are set incommon contexts, addressing a range of relevantcontemporary and cultural themes. They areorganised into five themes, each broken down intotopics and sub-topics. The five themes are:Theme 1: Identity and culture Who am I?1

University College LondonInstitute of Education Confucius Institute for Schools Social media Mobile technologyTopic 3: Free-time activities Music Cinema and TV Food and eating out SportTopic 4: Customs and festivals in Chinese-speakingcountries/communitiesTheme 2: Local, national, international and globalareas of interestTopic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and regionTopic 2: Social issues Charity/ voluntary work Healthy/ unhealthy livingTopic 3: Global issues The environment Poverty/homelessnessTopic 4: Travel and tourismTheme 3: Current and future study andemploymentTopic 1: My studiesTopic 2: Life at school/collegeTopic 3: Education post-16Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambition Daily lifeCultural lifeTheme 2: Local area, holiday, travel Holidays Travel and tourist transactions Town, region and countryTheme 3: School What school is like School activitiesTheme 4: Future aspirations, study and work Using languages beyond the classroom Ambition WorkTheme 5: International and global dimension. Bringing the world together Environmental issuesAll themes and topics must be studied in the contextof both the students’ home country and that of thecountries and communities where Chinese is spoken.2

University College LondonInstitute of Education Confucius Institute for SchoolsVocabularylist:General vocabularyHigh-frequency languageThis vocabulary is not restricted to specific settingsand can occur in any of the themes listed in thespecification.Common verbs: 79Common adjectives: 44Common adverbs: 22Colours: 8Numbers: 0-10 thousands, measure wordsQuantities and measures: 16Time expressions: 27, Days of the week, Months andseasons of the yearQuestion words: 9Other high-frequency words: 12Countries, continents, nationalities, languages: 27Social conventions: 10Other useful expressions: 3Prepositions: 11Language used in dialogues and messages: 5Measure words: 11Verbs: 39Adjectives: 22Comparison: 10Conjunctions and connectives: 19Negatives: 3Money: 7Asking questions: 20Greetings and exclamations: 16Opinions: 19Expressions of time: 53Location and distance: 19Weight and measure: 18Access: 7Theme based vocabularyTopic-specific vocabularyFoundation tier:Identity and culture: 176Local, national, international and global areas ofinterest: 164Foundation tier:Identity and culture- Daily life, food and drink, including eating out: 53- What my friends and family are like: 493

University College LondonInstitute of Education Confucius Institute for SchoolsCurrent and future study and employment: 74- Cultural life: 34- Using social media: 8Local area, holiday and travel: 94- Phrases associated with weather:17- Asking for directions:19- Dealing with problems: 8School: 33- Future aspirations, study and work: 35International and global dimension- Bringing the world together, environmental issues:26Higher tier:Identity and culture: 41Local, national, international and global areas ofinterest: 47Current and future study and employment: 22Higher Tier:Identity and culture- Daily life, food and drink, including eating out: 21- What my friends and family are like:16- Cultural life:15- Using social media:Local area, holiday and travel:19- Phrases associated with weather: 4- Dealing with problems:4School:17- Future aspirations, study and work: 12International and global dimension4

University College LondonInstitute of Education Confucius Institute for Schools- Bringing the world together, environmental issues: 9Questionpapers:Paper 1: ListeningPaper 1: Listening and understandingWhat's assessedUnderstanding and responding to different types ofspoken languageHow it's assessedFoundation tier: 35 minutes, 40 marksHigher Tier: 45 minutes, 50 marks25% of GCSE(Each exam includes 5 minutes’ reading time of thequestion paper before the listening stimulus isplayed.)Paper 2: SpeakingHow it's assessedFoundation tier: 35 minutes, including 5 minutes’reading time; 50 marksHigher tier: 45 minutes, including 5 minutes’ readingtime; 50 marks25% of GCSEPaper 2: SpeakingWhat's assessedCommunicating and interacting effectively in speechfor a variety of purposesHow it's assessedFoundation tier: 7–9 minutes preparation timeHigher tier: 10–12 minutes preparation timeHow it's assessedFoundation tier: 7–9 minutes plus 12 minutes’preparation timeHigher tier: 10–12 minutes plus 12 minutes’preparation time5

University College LondonInstitute of Education Confucius Institute for Schools60 marks (for each of Foundation tier and Higher tier)25% of GCSE70 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher tier)25% of GCSEPaper 3: ReadingPaper 3: Reading and understandingWhat's assessedUnderstanding and responding to different types ofwritten languageHow it's assessedFoundation tier: 45 minutesHigher tier: 1 hourHow it's assessedFoundation tier: 50 minutesHigher tier: 1 hour 5 minutes60 marks (for each of Foundation tier and Higher tier)25% of GCSE50 marks (for each of Foundation tier and Higher tier)25% of GCSEPaper 4: WritingPaper 4: WritingWhat's assessedCommunicating effectively in writing for a variety ofpurposesHow it's assessedFoundation tier: 1 hourHigher tier: 1 hour 15 minutesHow it's assessedFoundation tier: 1 hour 15 minutesHigher tier: 1 hour 25 minutes50 marks at Foundation tier and 60 marks at Highertier60 marks (for each of Foundation tier and Higher tier)25% of GCSE6

University College LondonInstitute of Education Confucius Institute for SchoolsQuestiontypes:25% of GCSEPaper 1: Listening QuestionsPaper 1: Listening and understandingFoundation Tier and Higher TierSection A – questions in English, to be answered inEnglishSection B – questions in English, to be answered inEnglishStudents will respond to multiple-response and shortanswer open-response questions based on arecording featuring male and female Chinesespeakers. There is no requirement for students toproduce written responses in Chinese.Foundation tierAll questions are set in English. The instructions tostudents are in English.Higher tierAll questions are set in English. The instructions tostudents are in English.Paper 2: Speaking QuestionsFoundation Tier and Higher TierThe format is the same at Foundation Tier and HigherTier, but with different stimulus questions for thePhoto card and different stimulus materials for theRole-play. All speaking preparation cards will be inEnglish.The timings are different too: Role-play – 15 marks (2 minutes at FoundationTier; 2 minutes at Higher Tier) Photo card – 15 marks (2 minutes at FoundationPaper 2: SpeakingThere are three tasks which must be conducted in thefollowing order: Task 1 – a role play based on one topic that isallocated by Pearson Task 2 – questions based on a picture stimulusof one topic that is allocated by Pearson Task 3 – conversation based on two themes.The first theme is based on the topic chosenby the student in advance of the assessment.The second theme is allocated by Pearson.7

University College LondonInstitute of Education Confucius Institute for Schools Tier; 3 minutes at Higher Tier)General conversation – 30 marks (3–5 minutesat Foundation Tier; 5–7 minutes at Higher Tier)Paper 3: Reading QuestionsFoundation Tier and Higher TierSection A – questions in English, to be answered inEnglish or non-verballySection B – translation from Chinese (Mandarin) intoEnglish (a minimum of 35 characters for FoundationTier and 50 characters for Higher Tier)Paper 4: Writing QuestionsFoundation Tier Question 1 – message (student produces fouritems in response to a photo) – 8 marks Question 2 – short passage (student writes apiece of continuous text in response to fourbrief bullet points, approximately 20 charactersin total) – 16 marks Question 3 – translation from English intoChinese (Mandarin) (minimum 20 words) – 10marks Question 4 – structured writing task (studentresponds to four compulsory detailed bulletThe assessment will be available in Mandarin andCantonese.Paper 3: Reading and understandingStudents are assessed on their understanding ofwritten Chinese across a range of different types oftexts, including advertisements, emails, letters,articles and literary texts.Section A is set in English. The instructions tostudents are in English.Section B includes a translation passage fromChinese into English with instructions in English.Paper 4: WritingStudents are required to produce responses ofvarying lengths and types to express ideas andopinions in Chinese. The instructions to students arein English. Character counts are specified for eachquestion. Students must answer all questions.Foundation tierThere are three open-response questions and onetranslation into Chinese.8

University College LondonInstitute of Education Confucius Institute for Schoolspoints, producing approximately 60 charactersin total) – there is a choice from two questions– 16 marksHigher Tier Question 1 – structured writing task (studentresponds to four compulsory detailed bulletpoints, producing approximately 60 charactersin total) – there is a choice from two questions– 16 marks Question 2 – open-ended writing task (studentresponds to two compulsory detailed bulletpoints, producing approximately 100characters in total) – there is a choice from twoquestions – 32 marks Question 3 – translation from English intoChinese (Mandarin) (minimum 35 words) – 12marksLevel ofdifficulty The majority of GCSE Chinese questions justrequire the choice of ABCD or Englishanswers.Questions are direct and require therecognition of characters.Most answers are explicitly recognizable anddo not need to read between the lines.Higher tierThere are two open-response questions and onetranslation into Chinese. Edexcel GCSE has more diverse questiontypes (multiple choice, short answers, True orFalse, matching etc.)Questions are direct and require therecognition of characters.Most answers are explicitly recognizable anddo not need to read between the lines.Theme oriented9

University College LondonInstitute of Education Confucius Institute for SchoolsTestingapproachQuestion type: Focus on a more global Chinese context(Mainland China, Hong Kong and Singaporefor example). A small number of classical texts are used (e.gsee appendix) Functional writings (the writing of notes, lettersfor example) are tested.Question type: Focused on themes Only modern Chinese is tested Translation is tested (Modern) functional writing is tested: writing ashort post, email, letter etc.Requirement for participants: AQA GCSE Chinese requires the choice ofABCD, and the writing of English and Chinesecharacters.Requirement for participants: Edexcel GCSE requires the participants toanswer questions in different formats and inEnglish and Chinese characters.10

University College LondonInstitute of Education Confucius Institute for SchoolsAppendixExample of classical Chinese in AQA Chinese paper (Foundation tier, paper 3 Reading - Specimen 2019)7. PoemBelow is an extract from a famous Chinese poem by Li Bai 春日醉起言志.Answer the questions below in English.Line 1: 觉来盼庭前,Line 2: 一鸟花间鸣。Line 3: 借问此何时,Line 4: 春风语流莺。1. Which animal is mentioned in line two?2. Which season is mentioned in line four?3. Which type of weather is mentioned in line four?11

The full specification for the AQA GCSE and the Edexcel GCSE can both be found online. AQA GCSE Edexcel GCSE Description: GCSE Chinese . Foundation tier: 7–9 minutes preparation time Higher tier: 10–12 minutes preparation time Paper 1: Listening and understanding . Paper 3: Readi

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