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Martin Walker Designing Tasks – Language Issues So you think you can write questions, eh? And mark schemes?
Make you very crossword
Think about setting task for aquatic insect (4, 6) Pond skater Araucaria araucana The monkey puzzle tree
Differentiate Carrier and Technical and/or subject-specific Language • Carrier Language can be defined as the language used by the teacher to set a task or test, rather than that involved in teaching new concepts • It is important to make Carrier Language as accessible as possible, whilst acknowledging the need for awareness of appropriate technical terms or linguistic structures
Show the same word can be both Carrier Language and Technical Language in different contexts • “Locate” can in most instances be changed to “find” but in Geography it is a subject-specific term that cannot be modified • “Hard” and “soft” are everyday words, but in Science, “hard water” and “soft water” are subject-specific terms • In History, a candidate should be aware of the term “primary evidence” but might be confused if this were changed to “first hand information”
Understand the purpose of source materials. Be careful when modifying original sources Source B The creation of India in August 1947 was followed by the granting of independence to Burma in January 1948. In May 1948 Britain left Palestine. In all these areas Britain was no longer able to maintain order and the advantages gained from empire were far outweighed by the costs. Strategic arguments for holding these parts of the Empire seemed irrelevant. As Hugh Dalton, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, commented on Palestine, ‘you cannot have a secure base on top of a wasps’ nest’. Adapted from D REYNOLDS, Britannia Overruled, 2000
Reading Age (in years) Financial Times TES ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ (Dickens) ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ (Lee) ‘Lord of the Flies’ (Golding) ‘Kes: A Kestrel for a Knave’ (Hines)
Reading Age (in years) Financial Times TES ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ (Dickens) ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ (Lee) ‘Lord of the Flies’ (Golding) ‘Kes: A Kestrel for a Knave’ (Hines) 17½ 17 13 11½ 11 10½
SIR Paul Mc. Cartney wept openly as he serenaded his bride after their wedding yesterday. The Beatle, 69, plugged in his guitar at the reception to sing a ballad he had written to seal his love for US heiress Nancy Shevell, 51. After the wedding at a London register office, he said: "I feel absolutely wonderful. " Ecstatic Sir Paul, – married for the third time — then told as he clutched new bride Nancy Shevell's hand how she made him feel "terrific". Macca paid tribute to his American heiress "soulmate" after the newlyweds emerged from their register office ceremony and were showered with confetti. Crowds of fans cheered as the Beatles legend raised his bride's hand in triumph before the couple headed to a star-studded reception at his nearby mansion. Hundreds of wellwishers had gathered there at the gates. Asked how he felt, Macca declared: "Terrific, thank you — I feel married. "
Revealed: how lobbyists were paid to facilitate meeting with Liam Fox Political lobbyists were paid thousands of pounds to help a Dubai-based businessman arrange a secretive meeting with, which the defence secretary claims came about only after a chance meeting in a restaurant. Invoices seen by the Guardian show that Harvey Boulter, the private equity boss at the heart of the growing controversy engulfing Fox, was paying £ 10, 000 a month to lobbyists for help that included brokering the meeting with Fox through Adam Werritty, who claimed to be an "adviser to the Rt Hon Dr Fox MP". This latest revelation comes as Fox finally admitted on Sunday that it had been "wrong" for him to meet Boulter, a commercial partner of the Ministry of Defence, in Dubai's five-star Shangri-la hotel without any officials present. "I accept that it was a mistake to allow distinctions to be blurred between my professional responsibilities and my personal loyalties to a friend, " he said. "I am sorry for this. " Fox's apology to the prime minister came two months after the Guardian first asked him to explain his relationship with Werritty, who appears to have been operating in Fox's shadow for a decade.
Which is which? Any surprises?
Flesch Ease measure Score Notes 90. 0– 100. 0 easily understandable by an average 11 -year-old student 60. 0– 70. 0 easily understandable by 13 - to 15 -year-old students 0. 0– 30. 0 best understood by university graduates Rudolf Flesch & Peter Kincaid US Navy 1975
Complex Language This plainer version removes empty phrases such as “given that” and is more elegant and easier to grasp.
Passive Voice The passive voice of a verb tells us that: Something is being done rather than Someone is doing something
Example of Passive Voice Active Voice Used subject - verb - object The house was sold by an estate agent An estate agent sold the house The show was watched by a large audience A large audience watched the show The invisible man can’t be seen You can’t see the invisible man Dinner is taken at 7 o’clock We eat dinner at 7 o’clock The passive voice can be a difficult structure for some readers to grasp. The passive voice is one of the last syntactic structures to develop and is therefore often not acquired in children with language difficulties. The solution is to change the passive to the active form wherever possible. This can mean that the person carrying out the action becomes more of a focus than the examiner might have wanted, nevertheless it will help weak readers.
Identify two faults that have been made in the design of the experiment shown, describing in each case how the fault can be corrected. This is much easier for learners to understand if the Active Voice is used Identify two faults in the design of this experiment. Describe how to correct each fault.
Subordinate clauses Sentence Type The Sentence Contains Example Simple One subject and one verb She walked to school Compound Two or more simple sentences joined together with connectives such as “and”, “but”, “because” She walked to school but went home on the bus Complex A main clause and one or more subordinate clauses Mr. Walker, the man from Durham who had arrived by taxi and was out of breath, sat down. (The subordinate clause is: ‘the man from Durham who had arrived by taxi and was out of breath’. ) This could be written as: ‘Mr. Walker sat down’. You try writing then “unwriting” one
Complex language vs complex sentences - rhetoric What General Weygand has called the Battle of France is over: the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be freed and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say: This was their finest hour '. What is difficult here?
Complex language vs complex sentences - rhetoric
I am Sam Sam I am That Sam-I-am! I do not like that Sam-I-am Do you like green eggs and ham I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham. Would you like them Here or there? I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am Would you like them in a house? Would you like them with a mouse? I do not like them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
Ellipsis (leaving words out) This is much easier for candidates to understand if it is written in the following way:
The negative can be a very difficult concept for some learners. It can almost always be avoided. Avoid negative (‘not’) or partly negative (‘only’) expressions wherever possible. If a negative is essential to the question, try to phrase the question so that it ends in the word “except”. Try this Which option would you not take if you did not want to confuse the student by failing to not use the negative?
Modify and simplify the language whilst retaining the level of conceptual difficulty of the question Q 1 If a student were provided with three painted metal rods, one of which was known to be made from brass, one from magnetised steel and one from non-magnetised steel, describe how, without scratching the paint, the student could identify each of the rods. Q 1 A student has three metal rods • One is made from brass • One is made from magnetised steel • One is made from non-magnetised steel The student is not allowed to scratch the paint on the rods. Explain how the student could find out what each rod is made of.
Modify Instructional Language Bloom’s Taxonomy • There is a hierarchy of instructions from ‘write down’ to ‘evaluate’ • Examiners know that choosing certain words makes increasing demands on the candidate • Examiners are careful in choosing the appropriate instruction word to fit their requirement and the mark scheme • An American Educational Psychologist called Benjamin Bloom researched the hierarchy of educational objectives and published what is now known as ‘Blooms Taxonomy’ in 1956
Modify Instructional Language Bloom’s Taxonomy
Bloom’s Taxonomy Knowledge observation and recall of information knowledge of dates, events, places knowledge of major ideas mastery of subject matter Question Cues: list, define, tell, describe, identify, show, label, collect, examine, tabulate, quote, name, who, when, where, etc.
Bloom’s Taxonomy Comprehension understanding information grasp meaning translate knowledge into new context interpret facts, compare, contrast order, group, infer causes predict consequences Question Cues: summarise, describe, interpret, contrast, predict, associate, distinguish, estimate, differentiate, discuss, extend
Bloom’s Taxonomy Application use information use methods, concepts, theories in new situations solve problems using required skills or knowledge Questions Cues: apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete, illustrate, show, solve, examine, modify, relate, change, classify, experiment, discover
Bloom’s Taxonomy Analysis seeing patterns organisation of parts recognition of hidden meanings identification of components Question Cues: analyse, separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, divide, compare, select, explain, infer
Bloom’s Taxonomy Synthesis use old ideas to create new ones generalise from given facts relate knowledge from several areas predict, draw conclusions Question Cues: combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, what if? , compose, formulate, prepare, generalise, rewrite
Bloom’s Taxonomy Evaluation is concerned with the ability to judge the value of material (statement, novel, poem, research report) for a given purpose. The judgments are to be based on definite criteria. . Learning outcomes in this area are highest in the cognitive hierarchy because they contain elements of all the other categories, plus conscious value judgments based on clearly defined criteria. Question Cues: appraises, compares, concludes, contrasts, criticizes, critiques, defends, describes, discriminates, evaluates, explains, interprets, justifies, relates, summarizes, supports.
Show an appreciation of the hierarchy of instructional verbs Identify the reasons that Britain went to war in 1939. is very different from… Evaluate the causes of the Second World War.
Writing Task - Inform/Explain Write to explain your choice of ideal holiday destination.
Write to explain your choice of ideal holiday destination.
Using the Mirror of Nature, touching the silence of who we are and responding to life from that place. This experience inspires the Wild. Quest vision of Retreats and Adventures