1 A-level POLISH Unit 1 Reading and Writing Report on the Examination 2685 June 2013 Version: 1.0: 0613
2 Further copies of this Report are available from aqa.org.uk Copyright 2013 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. AQA retains the copyright on all its publications. However, registered schools/colleges for AQA are permitted to copy material from this booklet for their own internal use, with the following important exception: AQA cannot give permission to schools/colleges to photocopy any material that is acknowledged to a third party even for internal use within the centre.
3 REPORT ON THE EXAMINATION AS-LEVEL POLISH PLSH1 JUNE 2013 General comments Entries for PLSH1 have risen slightly with 1353 students entering last year and 1452 this year. As for last year, there was a wide range in the ability of the students. There were a number of wellprepared students with excellent Polish, who knew what was expected of them and who produced good quality papers. Most of them had either attended Polish Saturday schools, or had had some form of tuition, or had studied the text thoroughly. Some of them had an excellent command of Polish and some did not, but both groups knew the requirements of the examination and were well prepared. There were many more students than last year who arrived in England some years ago and, having missed their schooling in Poland, had also neglected their Polish since being in England. Some of them thought that what knowledge they had brought with them would be sufficient to get them through the examination. That was not so. Many of them did not study for the examination or even familiarise themselves with the specification. They produced very weak papers, especially in the essay section. There were many untidy, badly written scripts which made scrutiny difficult. It is of paramount importance that schools/colleges make sure that the students they have entered read the specification and know what the examination requirements are. The students should be reminded about reading the instructions carefully and studying past papers for practice. In this way, they will know what is expected of them and will fully understand the questions demands. Section 1 Comprehension Generally, students did very well in their answers to Section 1 of the paper. Marks were lost by those unfamiliar with the technique required to answer comprehension questions, or by those who were too casual in their approach. Carelessness cost students many marks for wrong answers because there were as many as four questions on the comprehension section which were each worth four marks. As ever, students are reminded to take more care in giving their answers and to remember to supply as many pieces of information as the marks allocated to the questions demand. Question 1(a)(i) Dlaczego demografowie i psycholodzy się martwią? It appears that students did not understand the phrase przyrost naturalny ujemny. More specifically, they did not understand the meaning of the two words either side of naturalny, and neither did they really know what dzietność meant in the next line of the text. There is further evidence of this in the true and false questions. Here, too many very able students found the first question challenging, in which the words ujemny przyrost naturalny once again appear. Question 1(a)(xii) Co sądzisz o tym artykule i poglądach w nim zawartych? This was the only part of the comprehension where students were asked to give their own opinion of the article that they had read. Very often, the answers provided were shallow and were not developed. For example, one student claimed that the article was interesting, but did not say why it was interesting. In another example, the student stated that the article was useful, but again, did not tell us why. For example: Uważam, że jest to interesujący artykuł. Co do poglądów, zgadzam się z nimi. 3 of 7
4 The examining committee would like to see an improvement in students answers to the final comprehension question. Here is an example of one of the better responses given in answer to Question 1(a)(xii): Sądzę, że artykuł zawiera bardzo interesującą treść, pokazującą, że dziecko wychowane bez rodzeństwa nie powinno z góry być uważane za gorsze i mniej rozwinięte intelektualnie. Pokazuje nam, że nie można nikogo dyskryminować, bo jednak jest tak samo zdolnym i towarzyskim dzieckiem jak każde inne. Myślę, że owy artykuł zmienił poglądy wielu ludzi i z pewnością podniósł samoocenę i wiarę w swoje możliwości wielu jedynakom. It is not necessary for the student to agree with the opinions presented in the text. On the contrary, students are encouraged to express alternative points of view, as long as they have their basis in sound judgment and reasoned argument. The following may serve as an example of just such a response worthy of full marks: Myślę, że to bardzo ważne, by przełamać stereotypy o jedynakach, jednak nie należy też przesadzać w drugą stronę: propagowanie rodzin z jednym dzieckiem nie sprzyja gospodarce państw, czego efekty widać już w państwach zachodnich niedobór ludzi dotowych do pracy skutkuje imigracją. Myślę, że w tym artykule jedynacy zostali trochę zbyt wychwaleni. A further example: Uważam, że ten artykuł jest interesujący, aczkolwiek nie zgadzam się z niektórymi poglądami, gdyż moim zdaniem wielodzietne rodziny są lepszym miejscem dla dzieci, ponieważ dziecko z większej rodziny posiada więcej doświadczenia odnoszącego się do jak pracować w grupie. Dzielenie się rzeczami przychodzi łatwiej, bo robią to codziennie ze swoim rodzeństwem. Section 2 Translation The standard of the translation appears to be improving year on year. There were fewer poorer translations in 2013 than in previous years, and very few students now leave a blank page. There is evidence that students taking the Polish AS level exam have a sufficient grasp of English to be able to fulfill the demands of the translation task. It is however, of concern, that there is evidence that some students are not particularly strong in either language when the AS paper is considered as a whole. There were still fundamental errors, especially regarding correct usage of English tenses. If students took the time to read through the text before beginning their translation they would avoid many mistakes. In reviewing performance, specifically on the 2013 translation, many students did not translate the heading Dawniej to były czasy! They simply began with the first paragraph. Students are reminded that it is worth reading through the whole text before attempting the translation. This is always time well invested. The text appears in three paragraphs. Of these, the first is the longest and students found this paragraph the most challenging. Indeed, many students who started weakly, later performed much better in paragraphs two and three. The bullet points below give the most common errors found in this year s translations: fenomenalni ludzie, spelled fenomenal rather than phenomenal. wielkimi epokami, often translated as great centuries. w latach pięćdziesiątych, sześćdziesiątych, lata trzydzieste, all incorrectly spelled in their English equivalent, e.g. fifties, sixties, thirties. 4 of 7
5 okres stalinowski, translated as period stalinowski. czas upadku, zbrodni, inaccurately or erroneously translated. starsza pani, occasionally misread and translated as terrible or horrible woman. Wiedniu, translated as Lithuania, Vilno, Wembley, Sweden, Vietnam, Venice, Vatican or strangely Belgium or Madrid. inappropriate use of colloquialisms, for example, a teraz jest beznadziejnie, translated into rather than offensive English slang. szachy, szachistów. Incorrect spellings of this, or inaccurately translated, e.g. cheese, checkers, board gamers, chest or chesters. zadaje pytanie, frequently translated as I ask a question when in fact it was the chess instructor asking the question. Należało do przeszłosci belonged to the future. Wykształcony przed wojną clever or intelligent before the war, or physically fit before the war. Below is a successful translation from a member of this year s cohort, to illustrate a piece achieving full marks. It should be noted that translations do not have to be word perfect to be deemed worthy of ten marks. Good old times! For many years I couldn t get rid of the sense that I was born too late. Interesting times, great events, amazing people I felt that all of that belonged to the past. During my childhood, in the 50s, the recent war and the 30s were great ages for me. Later on, in the early 60s, the era of Stalin became another great age. I realized, of course that just like the war it was a horrifying period, a time of downfall, crime and heroism, and because of that I knew that it was a unique and amazing period. I had the feeling of being born too late in many different situations. Here I am, beginning my piano lessons. My teacher is an older, elegant lady who studied at universities in Paris, London and Vienna. And from the very first lesson I begin to hear how wonderful it used to be and how awful it is now. I m told all about the amazing talents and champions of the old days and how quickly people learned back then. I m interested in chess, so I sign up to a club to develop my skills. The instructor, a person who studied before the war, is practising with us. And after making a move he asks a question. Do you know who came up with this move? Naturally no one knows; the instructor was just waiting for that. Capablanca in 1925, during a tournament in London! That man was a genius. There are no players like that nowadays! Section 3 Essay This year s question was on the pace of life and its effects on the quality of our life. The topic seemed not to interest all students. There were a number of quite short essays and more than usual for Polish. There were also, however, many excellent essays and some that were even outstanding. Some students used the stimulus material in the language they used in their answer. The stimulus should not simply be copied or expanded. Some students explained how the washing machine works and that it still has to be loaded, and that the washing powder has to be bought and that is time consuming. 5 of 7
6 One student displayed quite a scientific approach to the essay question: Nasze subjektywne pojęcie czasu się zmienia. Jest to nieskomplikowana matematyka. Używając zwykłe ułamki jako modele czasu, gdy X podzielone przez Y symbolizuje X czasu w życiu podzielone przez cały czas spędzony w życiu, X się nie zmienia lecy liczba Y staje się coraz większa i coraz większa. W ten ścisły sposób można udowodnić, że nasze pojęcie czasu się cały czas skraca... There was a bias in the essay question towards negative responses, in the sense that hurrying is seldom seen as anything other than a bad thing. Some of the sobering reflections contained in many of these essays still came as something of a surprise. Tik, tak, tik, tak dźwięk zegara wystukującego każdą sekundę, widok wskazówki pędzącej wokół zegara jak samochód wyścigowy; wszystko to sprawia, że człowiek nagle zdaje sobie sprawę jak krótkie jest jego życie i jak blisko jest on leżenia w trumnie zakopanej pod ziemią. This student was not alone in his use of funereal imagery. The theme of humanity hurtling headlong towards oblivion was common and ran through many of the essays, some putting the blame squarely on factors outside the control of the individual: Tempo naszego życia to morderca, którego policja jeszcze nie złapala. However, others stressed that the life that we live is the result of our individual choices. One student, in particular, painted a very bleak picture of what can happen if we get those choices wrong: Mężczyzna stanął lichym krokiem na stołku, na szyje założył sobie ciężki sznur, który już śmierdział śmiercią. Wziął on ostatni oddech i poczuł smród komercjalizacji, pośpiechu oraz chciwości, która go zapędziła w kajdany pośpiechu, które wisiały mu teraz na szyji. Stołek obalił się. Odruchowe oraz silne i krótkie westchnienie już nie pomogą. Zawisł na kajdanach czasu, a wszystko zamarło. Czas jego stał się zimny i zamarł...tym mężczyzną jesteśmy my wszyscy... Other students were not quite so morose in their treatment of the subject, but even so the theme of regret was one that surfaced time and again in a variety of different ways. In some of the best essays, students could be pessimistic but also still found room for optimism, advising that living in the moment is the solution to our malaise in the need to hurry. They explained that we only have one life and we should not waste it on the wrong priorities. Ludzie dają się wciągnąć w wyścig szczurów, w którym nie ma wygranych. Wydaje im się, że jeśli nie dołączą do nurtu zabieganych, nic nie osiągną. To przekonanie jest błędne. Tak naprawdę to ci, którzy znajdą chwilę, aby kontemplować piękno nocnego nieba lub rozkoszować się słoną bryzą nadmorskiego wybrzeża odnajdą prawdziwą wartość życia. There were many suggestions in relation to slowing down, reassessing our situation and taking practical steps to live a more fulfilling life: Wspólczesne czasy i aspekty codziennego życia sprawiaja, że żyjemy w rozgardiaszu spowodowanym terminami i obowiązkami. Moim zdaniem, warto zorganizować swoje obowiązki tak, aby mieć więcej czasu na rzeczy wartościowe, takie jak spędzanie czasu z dziećmi lub 6 of 7
7 rodzicami, głęboka rozmowa lub po prostu słodkie nic-nie-robienie. Pamiętajmy, że życie jest w naszych rękach i to od nas zależy jak wypełnimy ten krótki czas. There were two issues within the essay question: firstly, why we are in a hurry, and secondly, what effect this has on the quality of our life. Students who wrote on just one of these and not the other did not score as well as those who dealt with both. Certainly, the best essays were invariably those that were written by students who wrote about both the causes of hurrying and its effects. At times their treatment of the latter aspect was very thorough and detailed, resulting in some very good responses. Długie godziny pracy i napięte harmonogramy często uniemożliwiają normalne funkcjonowanie. Powodują dużo stresu i frustracji, zabierają dużo energii życiowej, która mogłaby być wykorzstana w inny o wiele lepszy i bardziej produktywny sposób. Duża ilość stresu odbija się negatywnie nie tylko na życiu rodzinnym i stanie emocjonalnym, ale także na zdrowiu i samopoczuciu człowieka. Wysoki poziom stresu obniża poziom białych krwinek we krwi, co redukuje naszą odporność i stajemy się o wiele bardziej podatni na infekcje. Oznacza to, że niewinne bakterie i wirusy mogą zmienić się w długotrwałą chorobę, z którą nasz system odpornościowy nie umie sobie poradzić. Converting Marks into UMS marks Convert raw or scaled marks into marks on the Uniform Mark Scale (UMS) by using the link below. UMS conversion calculator Mark Ranges and Award of Grades Grade boundaries and cumulative percentage grades are available on the Results statistics page of the AQA Website. 7 of 7