Item 4: Arrangements for collecting non-academic data
1. Primary 3 Chinese Language
The assessment design for the Chinese Language Assessment of the Tryout Study was based on the Committee’s recommendations.
1.1 Modified Assessment Design of Primary3 Chinese Language a) Primary 3 Chinese Reading
The number of texts in the reading assessment had been adjusted from three to two.
The total number of words per sub-paper had been limited to 1,200 and the number of items had been limited to 20.
Practical writing was only included in one of the sub-papers of reading to avoid giving undue weight to practical writing.
b) Primary 3 Chinese Writing
In the writing assessment, certain information required for practical writing was provided, such as salutation, complimentary close, greetings and date of a letter, etc.
The marking criteria on the format of practical writing had been adjusted.
Student exemplars demonstrating the attainment of Basic Competency were provided as needed.
c) Primary 3 Chinese Language – Overall
A review of ‘five-options-choose-two’ items had been conducted.
1.2 Views on Primary 3 Chinese Language Assessment Design a) Primary 3 Chinese Reading Assessment
Teachers were satisfied with the overall design of the reading assessment.
The number of texts in the reading assessment was properly adjusted from three to two. This adjustment was appropriate and students were able to complete the assessment within the given time. Students had ample time to read the passages in detail and thus the ‘reading load’ stress on students was reduced.
A variety of text types, e.g. leaflets (單張), posters (海報) in practical writing (實用文) was found. Most teachers welcomed this approach and agreed that students needed more exposure to a variety of text types so as to widen their cognitive domain. However, a few teachers stated concerns that it would take time to teach various text types and some
‘weak’ students might find it difficult to cope with a wider variety of text types.
Reading components with stories ‘in series’ (with two parts of the same theme) were welcome by most teachers. However, a few teachers mentioned that some ‘weak’ students might have difficulty in reading parts of the same theme. Some teachers felt that students found it easier to comprehend and answer questions when reading two independent stories rather than reading a story ‘in series’.
Individual teachers pointed out that the vocabulary used in Sub-paper 1 was easier than that in Sub-paper 2. The passage length of Sub-paper 2 was also longer.
b) Primary 3 Chinese Writing Assessment
Part of the format for the invitation card was given. However, some students thought that the box given was used for signature or writing their own name rather than the date as was actually the case. The format provided to students for practical writing needed improvement.
Individual teachers observed that the time given for writing seemed not sufficient. A few teachers pointed out that some ‘weak’ students had difficulty completing a piece of practical writing and a short text within the 40 minutes allotted. It was suggested an extra 5 minutes be allotted to the Chinese writing assessment.
The graphic illustrations given in the task for ‘Picture writing’ were abundant. It was felt that this would arouse students’ interest in writing and enable them to write a piece of writing with adequate content.
However, a few teachers were concerned that if students had no
experience in the context of the picture, they might find it difficult to express themselves.
A few teachers suggested supplying vocabulary items needed for writing short texts. This could enable weaker students to write properly.
The marking criteria amended from 4 levels to 3 levels in practical writing was welcome by teachers. The reduction in marking criteria for the
‘content’ and ‘structure’ in short text writing from 5 levels to 4 levels was welcome.
c) Primary 3 Chinese Listening Assessment
The topics used in the listening assessment were interesting and suitable for students at Primary 3 levels.
The reading aloud of questions after the main text had been played was useful. This helped ‘weak’ students to a certain extent.
1.3 Views on Primary 3 Chinese Language Item Suitability a) Primary 3 Chinese Reading Items
The reading items were of appropriate level for assessing the Basic Competencies of Primary 3 students. The word prompts provided were also clear. Items on the whole were straightforward and easy for students.
The number of items requiring reverse thinking had been reduced and
‘five-option-choose-two’ items were removed. This arrangement reduced the stress felt by students.
Some items were better designed than others. Students had to comprehend the passage first in order to answer the questions (avoiding direct lifting questions). Specific paragraphs were ‘hinted’ to students as sources for answers, e.g. answers for items designed to assess the use of vocabulary.
b) Primary 3 Chinese Writing Items
The topics and level of difficulty of practical writing and short text writing were suitable for students at Primary 3 level.
It was observed that the two writing tasks were related. Students could make use of the information from an invitation (to a carnival) to facilitate their writing for a short text (a description about children’s carnival).
c) Primary 3 Chinese Listening Items
The listening items were suitable for students in general.
Most teachers found that items on understanding the meaning of intonation were suitable for Primary 3 students. However, a few teachers stated that such items were difficult for non-Chinese speaking (NCS) students.
A few teachers commented that the answer options were quite wordy.
‘Weak’ students might have difficulty discriminating between correct and incorrect answer options.
A few teachers suggested that before doing the listening tasks, extra time should be allotted for reading the listening questions.
d) Primary 3 Chinese Speaking Items
The topics used in the individual story-telling and group interactions were suitable for students at Primary 3 level. However, the speaking assessment was difficult to NCS students in general.
The quantity of pictorial cues given for story-telling varied among assessment tasks. Some topics in individual story-telling were perceived easier for students to come up with more ideas than the other topics.
A few teachers stated that ‘group interaction’ items would be difficult for lower primary students. The content of the conversation was mostly superficial. It was suggested that assessing only individual story-telling was already sufficient to reflect students’ speaking ability.
e) Primary 3 Chinese Audio-visual Items
The topics used were suitable for students at Primary 3 level.
The level of difficulty for audio-visual items was suitable for students at Primary 3 level. The voice of the video clip was clear.