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ESOL-RESEARCH  July 2011

ESOL-RESEARCH July 2011

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Subject:

Re: Re City and Guilds ESOL- and Cambridge

From:

Denise Mullen <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Denise Mullen <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 14 Jul 2011 11:15:31 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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Hi,
This question of exam boards rears its ugly head every summer.
I have worked with both Cambridge and C&G.  

advantages of Cambridge

very good quality exams
excellent website to support teachers with plenty of downloadable apst apers , audio & practice activities
training pack available with DVD for teachers
teacher as interlocutor with own studnets
no assessment or IV by teachers

disadvantages

contrived activities occasionally
resits can't be scheduled on an ad hoc basis
price


advantages of C&G:

students choose their own topic
flexibility with dates (depending on your institution's staff resources)

disadvantages of C&G:

countless errors in exam papers and assessment packs at entry level
poorly written instructions for interlocutors
poorly phrased questions for candidates in all modes
vague, confusing and sometimes inappropriate assessment criteria at level 1 & 2
conflicting regulations in various editions of the tutor handbook
only 2 official practice papers for entry level & none for level 1-2
no assessor training available from the exam board - not even online
no exam officer trainig
External Verifier not always an ESOL specialist
Time lapse between completing exam and arrival of certificate can be many months- not ideal for Citizenship applications

in addition:
institutions incur all the additional salary and stationary /venue / transport costs of:
admin-printing exam papers & assessment packs
admin-checking these are correct & delivering them
managers-staff training-creation and implementation of & not just for teachers, but also admin
teachers-marking
teachers-internal verification
candidates & teachers-endless signing off of paperwork & filling in feedback forms


Hope this is helpful

Denise





Denise Mullen
ESOL Tutor
Adult Learning Service (Harrogate Rural )
 (office) 01765 645920
 (mob) 07815 563191
>>> NORMA BREWER <[log in to unmask]> 14/07/11 10:40 AM >>>
Why don't you look at Cambridge. ESOL? You can see a lot of information on the website. You can be sure the exams are well researched and sound.As an Oral examiner I have considerable experience of the validity and reliability of the exams.The College/school provides the interlocutor and the Assessor is from Cambridge- so the teachers are not involved in actually assessing the students while still participating in the assessment process and having their own opportunity to make their own (personal) judgement on how their learners have done- although they do not have access to the marking scheme.
Best wishes

Norma [log in to unmask]

--- On Wed, 13/7/11, Dominic Clarke <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Dominic Clarke <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Re City and Guilds ESOL
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Wednesday, 13 July, 2011, 22:26






Hello 
The only exams I have ever conducted as an ESOL tutor are the C&G ones so I haveno basis of comparison. That said , I am not impressed by the language errors in the papers, the previously mentioned discrepancies between the candidate papersand the general awkwardness of the instructions on some activities. I believe I havethe most up to date papers , if that really is the case then they are out of date egthey don't give authentic contexts in some cases. I can only hope there are betterexamining boards out there
Regards
Dominic
> Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 21:32:09 +0100
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re City and Guilds ESOL
> To: [log in to unmask]
> 
> Hi, we are considering a move in the opposite direction -  from City and Guilds to Trinity, so I would be really interested in finding out the reasons why you are changing. What experiences did you have with Trinity?
> 
> The main reason we are considering moving away from City and Guilds is that the assessments are very time consuming. All modes are assessed by the tutor and IV'ed internally. This places huge demands on us as tutors. In addition, the new rules for speaking and listening assessments require an assessor and a tutor to be present for all entry level assessments, even though they are all reecorded. This is proving very difficult for us this year, as it is over and above our regular teaching commitments. 
> 
> Another issue with City and Guilds is that there can be discrepancies between the tasks set and the mark scheme. Some of the tasks are also  (over-)complicated, which confuses some learners, who then perform less well than they are able to. 
> 
> On the positive side, the City and Guilds assessments are flexible - they can be taken at any time and there are a number of topics to choose from. Learners can take the full assessment or single modes as and when required. This is helpful for us, because learners can start throughout the year. 
> 
> Hope this helps. 
> 
> 
> Helen Guezelkuecuek 
> 
> ***********************************
> ESOL-Research is a forum for researchers and practitioners with an interest in research into teaching and learning ESOL. ESOL-Research is managed by James Simpson at the Centre for Language Education Research, School of Education, University of Leeds.
> To join or leave ESOL-Research, visit
> http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/ESOL-RESEARCH.html
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***********************************
ESOL-Research is a forum for researchers and practitioners with an interest in research into teaching and learning ESOL. ESOL-Research is managed by James Simpson at the Centre for Language Education Research, School of Education, University of Leeds.
To join or leave ESOL-Research, visit
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A quick guide to using Jiscmail lists can be found at:
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***********************************
ESOL-Research is a forum for researchers and practitioners with an interest in research into teaching and learning ESOL. ESOL-Research is managed by James Simpson at the Centre for Language Education Research, School of Education, University of Leeds.
To join or leave ESOL-Research, visit
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ESOL-Research is a forum for researchers and practitioners with an interest in research into teaching and learning ESOL. ESOL-Research is managed by James Simpson at the Centre for Language Education Research, School of Education, University of Leeds.
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