Presentation on theme: "Stephen Parker Panel Chair. ALCAB = A Level Content Advisory Board Established by DfE and Russell Group in 2013 to advise on A Level reform in facilitating."— Presentation transcript:
Stephen Parker Panel Chair
ALCAB = A Level Content Advisory Board Established by DfE and Russell Group in 2013 to advise on A Level reform in facilitating subjects for university entrance Advise DfE and Ofqual on content of qualifications for delivery by awarding organisations (= exam boards) N.B. Not in remit: Assessment and quality assurance of qualifications
Identify core content requirements from perspective of leading UK universities Highlight areas where requirements already provide adequate preparation for study Identify areas that do not provide adequate preparation for study and advise on rectification of deficiencies Incorporate views of key stakeholders: learned societies, awarding organisations and schools Take into account deliverability
As required, drawn principally from Russell Group universities Three specialists in each of French, German, Spanish, and Ancient Greek/Latin (NB further work required on ‘other’ languages) Views of learned societies as well as teachers’ and HE subject associations e.g. British Academy, UCML Separate meetings of Classics sub-panel
Consultation phase: January-April 2014 Publication of report: July Consultation: July-September Revisions: October-November Publication of revised advice: December N.B. Revised advice congruent with publication of DfE content criteria.
Qualification fit for purpose with present balance of language and literature Content advice restricted to fine-tuning, ensuring co-teachability of AS and A level
Unseen translation to remain core component Prose composition retained as option, with alternative of unseen translation and/or comprehension Language-oriented questions drafted to ensure set texts read closely in original language, with few marks for translation Defined vocabulary and grammatical construction lists specified, but at A2 level these form core – not total – expected content Set texts of appropriate difficulty and supported by appropriate editions
Significant changes to content to counter five weaknesses: No requirement for students to engage with material relating to the society of the countries where the language of study is spoken Cultural topics only an A2 option, while general topics can be studied and restudied at GCSE, AS and A level Language of study conceived in terms of immediate practical use with limited encouragement to develop understanding of linguistic systems
Intention to promote accuracy in language use not always carried through in practice existing requirements do not promote transferable skills valued by employers e.g. intercultural competence In summary: core content cumulatively reduced to brink of non-viability as academic subject
Concentration upon distinctiveness of Modern Languages in relation to other humanities and STEM subjects Identification of ‘comparative moment of understanding’ in mediation between languages and cultures Critical thinking on basis of intercultural competence as fifth core skill alongside reading, writing, listening and speaking
Building upon reform of GCSE and proceeding from necessity to ensure co-teachability of AS and A level Two interdependent strands in AS and A level: Culture and society: knowledge, understanding and critical analysis Language: knowledge, understanding and communication.
Themes: (i) social issues and trends (ii) political/intellectual/artistic culture: past and present (4 themes for A level, 2 for AS): oral (AS) and written exam Works: film, fiction, life writing, drama, poetry (1 for AS; 2 for A level, including at least one written work): written exam (in language of study) Individual research project (A level only): oral exam
Emphasis upon deeper learning through concentration on linguistic systems informing usage (pronunciation, morphology, syntax, vocabulary and idiom) Grammar: identification of concepts; application of rules concerning e.g. agreement, word order, subordinate clauses Translation into and out of language of study
De-coupling of AS and A-level ministerial decision Concurrent, rather than sequential, introduction in 2016 of reformed GCSE and AS/A level Uneven learning experience for first groups Burden on teachers and awarding organisations ALCAB review of new qualification no longer certain