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3 Draft Leaving Certificate specifications consultations

3 Draft Leaving Certificate specifications consultations

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Assessment for Certification

Assessment in senior cycle takes different forms and is used for a variety of purposes. It is used to determine the appropriate route for learners through a differentiated curriculum, to identify specific areas of difficulty or strength for a given learner and to test and certify language achievement. Assessment supports and improves learning by helping learners and teachers to identify next steps in the language teaching and learning process.

As well as varied teaching strategies, varied assessment strategies will support language learning and provide information that can be used as feedback so that teaching and learning activities can be modified in ways that best suit individual learners. By setting appropriate and engaging language tasks, asking higher order questions and giving feedback that promotes learner autonomy, assessment will support language learning and summarise achievement.

Assessment for certification in Leaving Certificate Mandarin Chinese is based on the aims, objectives and learning outcomes of this specification. In any year, the learning outcomes to be assessed will constitute a sample of the outcomes from both strands. 

The key skills of senior cycle are embedded in the learning outcomes and will be assessed in the context of the learning outcomes.

Assessment will focus on students’ ability to use language effectively with accuracy and fluency appropriate to the age and stage of learning on understanding Mandarin Chinese as a linguistic system, on manipulating it for a range of communicative purposes, on the ability to develop their awareness as language users and their understanding of the interdependence of language and culture. 

Assessment components 
Leaving Certificate Mandarin Chinese will be assessed through three assessment components: 

  • an oral examination 
  • an aural examination
  • a written examination.

Each component will be administered and assessed by the State Examinations Commission (SEC). All components of assessment will reflect the integrated approach outlined in this specification. 

There are two levels of examination: Ordinary level and Higher level, to which a differentiated allocation of marks will apply, as outlined below. 

The different mark allocation applied to Ordinary and Higher levels is based on the understanding that for most language learners, the development of receptive skills outpaces the development of productive skills during the process of language learning. Therefore, a greater proportion of the marks are allocated to receptive tasks at Ordinary level and to productive and interactive tasks at Higher level.

Assessment component Ordinary level Higher level
Oral examination 30% 35%
Aural examination 30% 25%
Written examination 25% Reading / 15% Writing 20% Reading / 20% Writing
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