Essay on Arabic: Sentence and Multiple Choice Question

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Examiners’ Report/
Principal Examiner Feedback
June 2011

GCSE Arabic (5AR01) Paper 1

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June 2011
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Listening Comprehension Paper
The 9 questions were designed to target all levels of ability. Candidates across the ability range found questions 3 and 7 to be the most accessible, as they were designed to be. The topic in question 3 was favourite food, in question 7, hobbies.
However, the Listening Comprehension paper is not a mere test in vocabulary set in relatively simple sentences. Equally accessible questions in question 1 (In town) and question 6 (Complaints) scored less well, probably because of the perception that if the stimulus is in a longer sentence or in continuous prose; it is bound to be difficult. Candidates need to listen for the key words that answer the questions in front of them and not give up or resort to guess work simply because they could not understand every word spoken.
Overall Performance in the Questions
Question 1 (In Town)
The most accessible part of the question was 1(iv). The great majority recognised the word for mosque, ‫اﻟﻤﺴﺠﺪ‬
Most challenging was 1(ii). Nearly a quarter of the candidates either did not know the word for restaurant, ‫, ﻣﻄﻌﻢ‬or were thrown by its context “Lebanese
Restaurant”, which led them to opt for Lebanese Embassy in the multiple choice question.
Question 2 (Hotel Accommodation)
This question tests knowledge of numbers, dates and prices. It should be accessible if candidates have learnt their numbers in Arabic. Nearly a third of candidates got the number of rooms in this small hotel wrong. They did not recognise the number 22:
‫اﺛﻨﻴﻦ وﻋﺸﺮﻳﻦ ﻏﺮﻓﺔ‬
Performance was also limited in recognising dates and prices. Clearly, as has been reported in previous years, more work and testing needs to be done in class to ensure that candidates understand cardinal numbers readily. This is a basic requirement in any specification.
Question 3 (Favourite Food)
Filling in the grid posed no problems here. Most candidates scored full marks for this question.
Question 4 (Holiday Invitation)
In this multiple choice question, the stimulus is a short monologue of 80 words, the five questions are straightforward. The first is about Suad’s father. Only 70% of candidates recognised the word for male nurse: ‫ﻣﻤ ّض‬
The three subsequent questions were also found difficult by a quarter of the candidates. The last question about Suad being allowed to go to Syria with her mother scored best.

Question 5 (Television and the Internet)
5(iv) and 5(v) proved the most testing here with an average of 65% of candidates getting them right.