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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

FIJI SCHOOL LEAVING CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION

2009

ENGLISH

COPYRIGHT: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, REPUBLIC OF THE FIJI ISLANDS

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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION FIJI SCHOOL LEAVING CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION ­ 2009

EXAMINER'S REPORT

ENGLISH

INTRODUCTION The 2009 FSLCE English paper tested students skills in their application of grammar rules and their knowledge of the variety of genres that they had studied. Classroom teachers of English must be commended for their effort in preparing candidates. 11 195 candidates sat for the 2009 FSLC English paper and 52% passed in the subject. Teachers of English at FSLCE level must be congratulated for their effort in raising the standard of the Language in their schools and in many cases with the very basic teaching facilities available. This report highlights the weaknesses and strengths in the students answers that teachers of English can take note of and improve on in the future.

Strengths: Improvements in the quality of ideas that candidates presented in their writing. Candidates displayed a lot of maturity in their discussions which indicated the effort by teachers of English in exposing students to a variety of topics. It is very encouraging to find that candidates are using a variety of sentence structures. Many candidates showed good command of the Language especially in the application of grammar rules. Duly noted is the improvements in the contents of students letters and this is indicative of a lot of exposure to a variety of literary works.

Weakness: Literature answers were discouraging this year. Many chose the wrong genre or text for specific questions and there were many plot summaries. Handwriting ­ small, capitalised through out, untidy, of very low quality Grammar Errors ­ still an area of concern. A number of candidates wrote summaries referring to parts of the passage that were not in the question, i.e. lines 22-35.

3. SECTION A QUESTION 1 Expository Essay (a) (b) (c) (d) Common choice. There were some very well-written pieces. Attempted by 35% of total candidates. Some well-written essays brought out human values such as caring, respect for elders, responsibility and love. Rare choice. Some very well-written pieces; candidates referred to ,,energy as power use and also energy from food/nutrition. Common choice. Students wrote brilliantly on this topic with ides ranging from counselling services for victims of tsunami, domestic violence and even for mental health.

Speech (e) Rare choice. Letter (f) The most common choice. There were some very good ones, with original and matured insights and equally well developed and neatly presented in block and semi-block styles. In the content, some wrote generally on gardening but there is a marked improvement in the ideas presented by candidates. Teachers need to help students in writing correct sentence structures such as, On behalf of, As the form captain, etc. Report (g) Another rare choice for candidates in 2009. Teachers can be encouraged to help students learn skills in report writing and data interpretation considering that this is the only question on writing that provides data and information for candidates to use. Teachers of Social Sciences in schools can be requested to teach students how to interpret data and other resources. QUESTION 2: (Please refer to the marking scheme for the specific requirements for each option.) Options (a), (b) & (c) were the common choices. (a) Common choice. Some very well written pieces but candidates still need to be informed readers on a wide range of issues. Good entries had realistic personal experiences. Students should be encouraged to share either in speech or written forms their many experiences in any school excursions, sports day or other events such as camps, carnivals etc. Excellent pieces were written by candidates who simply described what they saw, heard, smelt, tasted and felt as a youth in Fiji. Common choice; students tend to spend too much time in their greetings leaving very little for the main focus of the question. Dialogues tend to have a lot of meaningless fillers and this took up both space and time. Candidates, I believe were more concerned about the many lines they could write.

(b)

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Teachers must take note of (b) above and assist students to improve on the contents of their conversations. Teachers need to keep a close watch on students use of ,,text and ,,street language in their written conversations. (c) (d) (e) Common choice: Emphasis should be on children. Many deviated from the topic. Quite a common choice. Scope was limited to the influence of fashion on youths. This was not a common choice. Some merely commented on the pictures and those who wrote expository essay lost marks on style. Some brilliant pieces that were a joy to read and mark were diary entries referring to picture (i). Teachers are reminded once again to encourage their students to choose from a variety of genre that they can use to answer this question. Teachers must continue to remind students to refer to the given theme. SECTION B QUESTIONS 3 & 4 The comprehension questions were answered very well, on average and many gained more than the half way mark. Teachers note: Students are merely quoting complete sentences from the passage. The answers lack cohesion and linkage and this affects marks gained. Students will learn NOT to lift answers in the open- ended questions if teachers continue to penalize them in school when they break these very basic rules in answering comprehension questions. The summary question was answered satisfactorily by the majority candidates. Again, there is a need to place emphasis on achieving coherence in summary writing. One notable area was the many candidates who wrote off topic. They lose 3 marks on points due to this. SECTION C QUESTIONS 5 & 6 Q.5 was generally well done by candidates this year. Many candidates found the slightly different type of questions used in the 2009 grammar question rather challenging. Many lost marks in completion where they had written syntactically correct sentences but which were semantically inappropriate or totally wrong in meaning. For e.g, Fortunately, Peceli was lost at sea or died, or broke his legs etc. Teachers may need to do a lot more remedial on grammar usage. However, more grammar exercises is required on vocabulary work, proof reading, editing, spelling and rewriting sentences in English classes to test students abilities and knowledge on use of correct grammar rules, punctuation marks, word forms, etc. Q.6 was poorly done. Students were not prepared for the type of questions used in 2009 on varieties of English. Answers showed a lack of understanding on the basic skills in analysis of linguistic situations.

5. Teachers may need to seriously look at the way registers are taught in the classrooms. Students should not be merely looking for typical features but there should be more in depth teaching of sentence structures (sentence type, noun and verb phrases, minor & major sentences, clause structures, SPCA structure, vocabulary used. Teachers are encouraged to network with other teachers of English on the best ways of teaching varieties. A friendly reminder is to revisit notes on Varieties of English either on internet or from your tertiary studies.

SECTION D QUESTIONS 7, 8, 9 & 10. Q.7- Common Choice. Many candidates, however, chose poetry works that were rather difficult to refer to discuss westernisation in (A). Many candidates answered (B) referring to Possibilities. Part (C) was quite uncommon. Students still lost marks in (D) for failing to refer to one poet only. (E) was common but a lot scored less that 5 marks. Teachers are encouraged to teach students how to analyse extracts of poetry works by helping them identify subject matter, forms, imagery, diction/vocabulary and to answer questions such as why and when were the poems written. Q.8 - (E) was the common choice; a lot struggled in (A).Generally, there were some outstanding answers. Candidates misinterpreted certain words and parts of the questions and so lost marks. A concern has been raised about the lessons/themes that students get from Examination Day as a short story. Teachers are encouraged to read commentaries on this short story on internet. Q.9 (A), (B) (D) & (E) were common choices and there were some good pieces. Candidates need to be assisted to closely refer to texts studied. There too many generalisations in the answers. Teachers must continue to give a lot of practice for students to answer questions on Literature and ensure that students answers meet all the requirements of the questions. Q.10 (A & C) were common choices. There were some very good answers to these questions.

GENERAL COMMENTS Text (mobile) language was used by some candidates and I hope that teachers will ensure that this does not affect the way students use English in its written form in future. Others used languages other than English. If this is addressed very early in the year and by all subject teachers, then it will no longer be a problem in future. Candidates were caught off guard with some slightly different aspects of grammar in the 2009 paper. It is indeed a wake up call for teachers of English.

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Teachers of English can still have an impact on our students and their mastery of grammar rules. More exposure to a variety of linguistic situations both formal and informal will certainly help. The more we expose our students to writing, listening, speaking and hearing English, the better they become in their understanding of the Language. Lets teach students to enjoy English as a Language and not merely as a subject to pass. Teachers of English must be commended for their superb performance in 2009. Best of wishes for a rewarding year of teaching in 2010.

THE END

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N0TES FOR QUESTION 2. THEME: LIFE (a) Letter to a friend Feature: An informal style. Layout/Format: Personal letter format; must use given name and address. Content: Some specific programs/events involving youths in Fiji; can be a recount of a personal experience of a youth in Fiji. (b) A conversation Feature: A semi-informal style; tone may be personal and emotive. Layout/Format: dialogue format Content: Some specific programs/events involving students in Fiji (primary, sec, tertiary etc. (c) Newspaper article Feature: Formal/semi-formal language should be used. Layout/Format: Journalistic ­ short paragraphs. Content: Descriptive. Specific village. Life of children. (d) Narrative Feature: A personal style. Layout/Format: Essay format. Content: Some specific examples; can be a recount of a personal experience of a youth in Fiji. (e) Any Style This could be in any of the above styles or even a poem, letter to the Editor, imaginative etc. The writing must be based on the theme.

SECTION B : COMPREHENSION AND SUMMARY WRITING QUESTION 3 A. Multiple Choices 1. 2. 3. 4. D. diets which lack in protein and nutritional foods B. continues a cycle of more problems B. they can control their population A. compounded (4 marks) COMPREHENSION

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B.

Sentence Completion 5. The author suggests that there may be famine and disaster because increasing population and inadequate food production. (2 marks) As mentioned in the passage, the two countries which have surpluses are North America and England (1 mark) A country .... must earn its keep (line 19) means that countries which produce goods also need to sell their surplus to other countries that need these. (1 mark) Foods rich in proteins that are not part of the world surpluses are milk, meat, fish (any two) (1 mark) The mention of Denmark (line 30) in the passage shows that this Country has a good agricultural system/ It's not faced with the problem of food shortage due to good farming practices . (1 mark)

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7.

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C. 10.

Open-ended Two Reasons: 1. poor countries that badly need these food surpluses cannot afford it 2. surplus in cereals/grains are not rich in proteins as compared to fish and milk. These surpluses are not the kind of food needed. 3. food habits are not easy to change, hungry countries are not used to grains (surplus) (2 marks) (1 mark) (1 mark) (1 mark)

11. 12.

Huge surpluses and the millions who are hungry. It shows the seriousness/gravity of the problem. It should be a priority area for funding agencies etc. Positive, constructive, hopeful, optimistic, etc

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QUESTION 4 Final Summary (80-90 words)

SUMMARY WRITING

THE MAIN POINTS 1. There are world food surpluses yet people are going hungry. 2. Food surplus in cereals which are not needed. 3. No Surplus in protein rich foods such as fish and milk which are required. 4. Cereals/grains are foreign foods to those who are hungry.

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5. The problem of food supply and population can be managed/solved. 6. It can be a difficult task. 7. Improvement in agriculture and farming practices can be the solution. 8. Greater efforts required. Marking Criteria P: Points ­ any 6; ½ mark each A: Language/style L: Linkage, coherence, flow Deduction: ½ - 1 mark for lifting ****Accept between 70 ­ 100 words ­ no penalty (3 marks) (1 mark) (1 mark)

SECTION C : QUESTION 5 A. 1. 3. 5. 7. Fill in the gaps go your/the pain discovered/introduced

LANGUAGE GRAMMAR AND VOCABULARY Spend.

2. 4. 6. 8.

cubes/blocks this/that reduced at

12. Note: No mark for spelling errors Deduction: ½ mark for capitals for each word (4 marks) B. Completion Mark for complete thoughts, logical sentences and correct grammar. ***Answers can written out in complete sentences or with completion only ­ accept both. (4 marks) C. Pairs 1. 2. 3. 4. magnet economical conclusive cause

Deduction: ½ mark for errors in spelling/capitals/forms etc (4 marks) D. Idioms 1. The policeman told the angry crowd not to take the law into their own hands. With the devaluation of the Fiji dollar, it is not easy to keep ones head above the water. 3. "In order to become a prefect, you must be in the Form Teachers good books ," said Amant. Most countries turn eye on a blind eye on environmental problems. (4 marks) Deduction: ½ mark for errors in spelling/capitals/forms etc E. Parts of Speech 1. 2. 3. He is concerned about the high rate of inflation. The teacher spoke sternly/harshly/angrily to the students who did not attend his class. You need to read the relevant pages of the notes. (4 marks)

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QUESTION 6 SAMPLE ONE 1.

VARIETIES OF ENGLISH

Listeners who are soccer/sports fans, enthusiasts, supporters of the Nadi/Ba Soccer teams. (½ mark)

2.

Corner, semi final, defender, header, semi final, goal, tournament _ (½ mark)

______________________ ___________________________ 3.

The commentator pauses to find the right word/name. A pause could also indicate a break in the action in the field. It also proves that this register like a conversation is spontaneous at times. (1 mark)

4.

These adverbials of time, place or manner are typical of this register because the commentator is trying to describe the actions (verbs) happening in the field. They answer the listeners' questions such as what is happening and where or how? (1 mark)

5.

Opinions, "absolutely", repetition/false start as in "it it", mixture of sentence structures i.e short when the pace is fast and long when the pace is slow., (2 marks)

SAMPLE TWO 6. 7. Literary Review/Criticism (a) (b) 8. 9. 10. should not be confirmed with To achieve a formal tone (1 mark) (½ mark) (½ mark)

Reference to other genres and "poets" and dates of past work. (1 mark) The actual quotes from the speakers or writers. (1 mark) Complex and compound. Passive construction. (1 mark)

14. LITERATURE READING A POEM

(i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v)

Forest No farm house; Lake is frozen; Darkest night of the year. Death ( Not Ready eg I have promises to keep) Forest, winter, heavy snow, night time, lake is frozen Any two and effectiveness.

THE END

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