OCR's Asset Language exams?
Thread poster: madak

madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Swedish to English
+ ...
Nov 2, 2012

Since no UK exam boards offer a GCSE in Swedish, I'm looking for other ways my bilingual 18-year old son can get some kind of recognition of his knowledge of Swedish. I've found that OCR offers something called Asset Languages.

I've spoken to OCR and they informed me that my son's school could offer the exam if they buy a "pack" for about GBP80 and, if they have no resources for the oral exam, i.e. Swedish speaking staff, I can offer to examine my own son on their behalf. No problem - he's obviously an A*

Reading through the specifications, I think my son would pass with flying colours without any studying/revising. However, since I've found no past papers, I want to make sure before registering him.

Does anyone have any knowledge/experience of this exam/certificate?


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:23
Member (2007)
English
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Sounds rather amateur to me Nov 2, 2012

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:
I've spoken to OCR and they informed me that my son's school could offer the exam if they buy a "pack" for about GBP80 and, if they have no resources for the oral exam, i.e. Swedish speaking staff, I can offer to examine my own son on their behalf. No problem - he's obviously an A*

I don't know anything about them, but that figure of £80 for a school pack seems crazily low, and the idea of you examining your own son sounds incredibly suspect. Why, in these days of Skype etc., can they not find a better way of doing that?

It sounds so cheap as to be worth doing, but I wouldn't encourage your son to think he's put much value on his CV with the bit of paper he'll get. You get what you pay for! That's my personal opinion, anyway.


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madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Swedish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Not sure about amateur Nov 2, 2012

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I don't know anything about them, but that figure of £80 for a school pack seems crazily low, and the idea of you examining your own son sounds incredibly suspect. Why, in these days of Skype etc., can they not find a better way of doing that?

It sounds so cheap as to be worth doing, but I wouldn't encourage your son to think he's put much value on his CV with the bit of paper he'll get. You get what you pay for! That's my personal opinion, anyway.


OCR is one of 3 exam boards in England offering GCSE and A-level exams (the other ones are AQA and Edexcel). So they do have some track record. But I did react when the person I spoke to at OCR told me that I might be able to administer the oral exam.

This certificate/exam appears to be aimed at a much lower level of language learner which is why I think my son would fly through it.

I agree that this piece of paper might not add much to my son's CV in the long-term, but it might just be that little bit of extra he needs for his UKAS statement. We've had to postpone him sitting the TISUS offered by Stockholm University until autumn 2013 as he's busy with his A-levels.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Hebrew to English
You might want to hurry up...... Nov 2, 2012

OCR are planning to axe most of the "community languages"....

"The Asset languages courses will be scaled back to just French, German, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin, according to OCR, with courses in “community languages” scrapped."
http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6289107
(Very recent - from 13th September 2012).

Also...

"Cuts to the OCR exam board mean that they are axing the qualification in many community languages, known as the Asset programme. This programme was set up to provide a recognised qualification below GCSE and build skills. It created an incentive for schools to teach more lanugages and for community and Saturday schools to spring up after class. Now twenty out of twenty five examinations are facing the axe including Hindi, Cantonese and Tamil.

Without Asset, it will be impossible to get any qualifications in a host of languages including Swedish, Yoruba and Somali."
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/why-government-ripping-language-learning


Hope this helps! As someone else who studied a "community language" in England, I can really sympathise. There's no support, no incentives, just an uphill struggle as far as these languages are concerned. A very sad state of affairs.


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madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Swedish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Will do Ty Nov 2, 2012

Useful info/links.

I've send an email asking for info to the only accredited centre for Swedish in London/SE England. It's based in south-east London so not very convenient for us north of the river, but organising an exam with them will probably be speedier than persuading my son's secondary do start offering it - with me doing the oral

Funny that, at the same time as austerity measures are limiting foreign language tuition/knowledge, a certain Mr Gove is lamenting the lack of language study.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Hebrew to English
Also,.... Nov 2, 2012

.....Have you seen this?

http://www.folkuniversitetet.se/swedex

They have two exam centres in London. I don't know how recognized or prestigious they are though but looks like a possible alternative and possibly goes to a higher level than that of the OCR.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Hebrew to English
Looks like they go up to level B2 Nov 2, 2012

...which is equivalent to A-Level.
http://www.ict4lt.org/en/en_mod4-1.htm#cef


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madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Swedish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Ty Nov 2, 2012

That was really good info/links.

Folkuniversitetet is not bad, and I'll check if Swedex might also be a substitute for TISUS which he would otherwise need to sit to prove his knowledge of Swedish in order to go to university in Sweden.

Currently I have two aims:

1. for son to get some kind of recognition of his Swedish knowledge
2. for him to be able to "save" 9K/year in the event he chooses to study at university in Sweden

[Edited at 2012-11-02 14:40 GMT]


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:23
Hebrew to English
Don't blame you.... Nov 2, 2012

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

That was really good info/links.

Folkuniversitetet is not bad, and I'll check if Swedex might also be a substitute for TISUS which he would otherwise need to sit to prove his knowledge of Swedish in order to go to university in Sweden.

Currently I have two aims:

1. for son to get some kind of recognition of his Swedish knowledge
2. for him to be able to "save" 9K/year if he eventfully chooses to study at university in Sweden


If I was going to university now, well I wouldn't basically because there's no way I'd be comfortable with 9K a year, I "paid" 3K a year and I still questioned the value for money (given the amount of contact time which was reduced further in the year before I left).


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