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  0547 Foreign Language Mandarin Chinese June 20031 FOREIGN LANGUAGE MANDARIN CHINESE.................................................................2 Paper 0547/02 Reading and Directed Writing...............................................................................................2Paper 0547/03 Speaking...............................................................................................................................3Paper 0547/04 Continuous Writing...............................................................................................................5   w  w  w  . X   t  r  e  m  e  P  a   p  e  r  s  . c  o  m    0547 Foreign Language Mandarin Chinese June 20032 Paper 0547/02Reading and Directed WritingGeneral comments Generally, candidates performed well. As usual there were a number of exceptional candidates, but it wasalso pleasing this year to see that only a very small number of candidates experienced any real difficulties.For the first time, there were a small number of candidates who performed well in the ‘reading’ sections of the Paper, but had significant problems with the ‘writing’ sections due to a very limited ability to write (asopposed to read) Chinese characters. Centres are reminded that no marks are given for Hanyu Pinyin  or other romanisations, or for words in languages other than Chinese.A small number of candidates based their answers to questions on their own views/interpretations (seecomments on Section 3   Question 32 ). Centres may wish to remind candidates that if they are required togive their own views or interpretation this will be signalled in the question e.g. ‘What do you think is…?’. Inall other cases, the answers provided in the passage itself are required. Comments on specific questions Section 1 Exercise 1 Questions 1 - 5 Most candidates performed very well here. Where errors were made, they were predominantly on Question 5 , indicating that a small number of candidates may have difficulty with vocabulary relating to workroles. Exercise 2 Questions 6 - 8 Most candidates answered correctly. Errors were made in a small number of cases, generally by candidateswhose overall performance was not very strong. Exercise 3 Questions 9 - 11 Very strong performance in these questions by almost all candidates. Where errors were made they weregenerally on Question 10 , indicating that some candidates may have difficulty with vocabulary relating tomodes of transport. Exercise 4 Question 12 A good performance here with most candidates achieving full marks for this question. Almost all candidatesappear to have clearly understood the type and length of answer required. There were very few examples of overly long answers this year and those were normally from the more exceptional candidates.Among the reasons for candidates not achieving full marks, Centres may find it helpful to note the following:(i) listing one item for 12 (b)  rather than the two that the question requested (ii) difficulties writing Chinesecharacters. Question 12 (b)  asked ‘What two things did you buy?’. Candidates were expected to indicate two differentthings to achieve the full two marks for content. A very small number of candidates answered that theybought ‘two things’ ( Liangjian Dongxi  ). This was not accepted as an appropriate answer and no marks wereawarded. A tiny number of candidates answered that they bought two of one thing e.g. two hats. This wasawarded one mark, unless the candidate distinguished the items in some way e.g. one blue hat and one redhat, in which case it was awarded the full two content marks.  0547 Foreign Language Mandarin Chinese June 20033 Section 2  Exercise 1 Questions 13 - 20 Candidates performed very well in these questions. The majority of candidates responded in full sentences.A smaller number used one or two word answers, which was also acceptable at this stage in the Paper. Exercise 2 Question 21 A good performance by almost all candidates this year. The exception was a small number of candidateswho experienced serious problems, which, as noted in the general comments, was normally due todifficulties in writing Chinese characters.Centres will note from the mark scheme that the majority of marks (10 out of the 15 available for thequestion) continue to be awarded for communication. Candidates were expected to communicate 10 itemsof content on the subjects indicated by the rubric for full marks. A small number of candidates wroteextremely brief answers and did not include sufficient points of content to gain the full 10 communicationmarks.A very small number of candidates omitted to address one of the questions posed by the rubric ( (a) , (b) , (c) and (d) ), thereby losing one communication mark. Section 3  Exercise 1 Questions 22 - 26 Most candidates performed well in this exercise. There was no particular pattern of errors. Exercise 2 Questions 27 - 32 Generally, candidates performed well, though this exercise did produce the most variation in responses.Comments on each question are given below: Question 27 Candidates generally had no difficulties with this question. Question 28 Most candidates had no difficulties. Question 29 The question asked for details of ‘ sleeping habits ’ . A small number of candidates provided amore detailed description of a range of habits associated with lions and water buffalo. Itwould be helpful if Centres could remind candidates that it is important to answer thequestion asked, rather than copy sections from the passage at this stage in the examination. Question 30 Candidates generally had no difficulties with this question. Question 31 Most candidates had no difficulties here. However, a small number copied directly from thepassage. Candidates should be reminded that they must answer the question asked, rather than simply copy sections from the passage and leave it up to the Examiner to choose whatis relevant. Question 32 Although most candidates performed very well, a small number provided answers that gavetheir own views/interpretation and did not supply the answers contained in the passage. Paper 0547/03SpeakingGeneral comments In most Centres the Speaking Test was conducted very well, with the Teacher/Examiner using skilful andsensitive questioning techniques to allow the candidates to show their skills. Most candidates demonstrateda high standard of spoken Mandarin Chinese. Both candidates and their Teachers are to be congratulatedon the standards achieved.There were some technical problems this year, with more Centres than usual failing to check the levels of therecording, making moderation difficult as the tapes were virtually inaudible. It is vital that checks are made at the time of the Speaking Test to ensure that tests are properly recorded.  0547 Foreign Language Mandarin Chinese June 20034In a few Centres the required questioning was not carried out in the Topic Conversation and GeneralConversation, and this seriously disadvantaged candidates.Marking was generally consistent and fair, and, in all but a few Centres, moderation resulted in only minor adjustments. Comments on specific questions Role plays Most Teacher/Examiners kept to the tasks provided for the Role plays, but a few departed from the situationsas outlined in the Teachers ’  Notes Booklet and/or asked supplementary questions. This is not necessaryand may disadvantage candidates, especially weaker ones who can easily become confused. It is importantto remember that marks can only be awarded for carrying out the tasks stipulated on the Role play cards. Role play A (cards 1, 2 and 3) Most candidates had no problems with this role play. Role play A (cards 4, 5 and 6) The second question specifically asked how long the illness had been going on, rather than when it hadstarted. Weaker candidates seemed unfamiliar with the expression duochang shijian?  Role play A (cards 7, 8 and 9) Weaker candidates did not know how to give the direction of their school. Role play B (cards 1, 4 and 7) The final question about the difficulty of studying Chinese was a very standard one which all but the weakestcandidates managed to answer. Role play B (cards 2, 5 and 8) Weaker candidates found the questions about a Chinese-language newspaper and the final question abouttheir intended activities in Wuhan challenging. Role play B (cards 3, 6 and 9) All but the weakest candidates managed this role play situation well, with the term mingsheng guji beingunfamiliar only to a few. Topic/discussion Although it was interesting for Moderators to hear some more ambitious prepared topics tackled this year (e.g. conscription, the contrast between different countries, racism) –  as well as more familiar ones (e.g.school, my friend, holidays) –  it is important to remember that topics dealing with politics or social andeconomic issues go beyond what is required at IGCSE and can disadvantage candidates if they do notpossess the necessary linguistic skills and maturity of ideas.Some Centres are still allowing candidates to talk for far too long before interrupting them to ask questions(one or two minutes of the topic presentation is enough); a few went to the other extreme of not allowing anydevelopment of the topic by the candidate before interrogating them. Neither extreme allows the candidateto show his or her full mastery of the language. General conversation In most Centres the Teacher/Examiner used skilful questioning to allow a relaxed but searching conversationto take place. However, some Centres are still failing to make the transition from the Topic/Discussion to theGeneral Conversation clear. Doing so is helpful both to the candidate and to the Moderator: saying x ianzai ziyou jiaotan or   xianzai disan bufen are both acceptable ways of indicating the transition.
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