SL Sample M


You can make use of this sample in three ways:

Marking standards calibration ... to test whether the way you mark results in the same marks as awarded

  • If so, just scroll down enough to play the recording ... carry out your marking, with the SL marking criteria to hand and making notes as you go ... decide your marks ... and then scroll down to the analysis + marks to check how you got on!

Guided tour of analysis ... to study the process of analysis, as you listen to the recording

  • If so, scroll down to the analysis + marks and read these before you listen to the recording ... doing it this way means that you will be warned about what to listen for!

Student marking + analysis ... to help students understand what is required for good marks in the Individual Interview

  • Prepare yourself with either (or both) of the procedures above ... then play the recording to the students, and discuss how the marks relate to the Criteria


For general convenience, here is the recording on Vimeo.

Stimulus image


(Click on the icons to see the hidden analysis.)

Crit.A Language

Crit.A Language  -  11/12

Command of the language is very effective throughout. Production is fluent, and pretty authentic both in phrasing and in pronunciation. The range of vocabulary is both appropriate and varied, with quite a sophisticated range of terms deployed, with occasional misuage (e.g. “making their popularity”). Similarly, there is an effective range of grammar used (e.g. skillful use of modals). Grammar is very largely used accurately – although there are quite regular minor slips, such as missing terminal ‘s’ or in the construction of verbs; and syntax can sometimes be a little tangled, even if this is in a usual native-speaker way. Pronunciation is almost entirely clear, with very occasional blurs (what sort of reader is she, at around 5’13”); while intonation is quite lively and expressive, especially as the interview progresses.

Crit.B1  (presentation)

Crit.B1  (presentation)  -  5/6   (or 4/6, if ‘target culture’ is enforced)

The presentation begins with a brief, but clear description of the image. Very quickly (at 0’36”), the student widens into a discussion of “these kinds of talk shows” – in other words, personal interpretation extending out from the stimulus. There is little further reference to the stimulus itself, but the arguments are developed with detailed reference to usual behavior in the talk show world. Such detailed development makes the points of view and value judgements presented quite convincing. However, the ideas become a little repetitive; and there is no indication of an overall plan, or ‘map’ – these weaknesses slightly detract from the clarity of the presentation

There is no mention of the ‘target culture’. For this bullet point, that would place the mark in the 1-2 band – or at least, would mean a reduction of one mark when combined with good performance under the other bullet points.

Crit.B2  (ideas)

Crit.B2  (ideas)  - 6/6

The student’s responses are prompt and relevant. While there are occasionally hesitations, these are evidently pauses for thought (for example, the response to the question about ‘high art’, at 6’10” onwards). Overall, it is clear that the student strives to offer full and serious responses, which include personal interpretations of several issues raised, and argued points of view. She generally provides answers which are developed in depth, even if not always entirely cogently.

Crit.C   (interaction)

Crit.C   (interaction)  - 6/6

The student has a very sound grasp of the thread of the discussion – she appears to be engaged and thoughtful throughout. In other words, interaction is clearly “consistently sustained”. In addition, she makes some very interesting personal contributions, such as the entire section (skillfully developed by the teacher) about Chinese culture – quite a fascinating conversation, at a relatively challenging level.


Total:   11 + 5 + 6 + 6 = 28/30        

(OR  11 + 4 + 6 + 6 = 27/30, if ‘target culture’ penalized)   



** The interview is generally well handled by the teacher

  • Timing is controlled appropriately - the teacher steps in to finish the student's presentation at 3'40", correctly, since the student doesn't seem to be about to deliver a clear conclusion ... and then the teacher clearly introduces Part 3 (around 6'50"), explicitly identifying the theme of Identity
  • The teacher's questions are clear, pretty concise, and supportive - it is obvious that the teacher knows the student and so pitches questions to draw out personal interests
  • Interaction in the conversation is easy and relaxed, but with suitably challenging questions at times

** The only concern would be that 'links to the target culture' do not appear in the Part 1 presentation. As suggested in the analysis of Criterion B1, in the offical exam session this would almost certainly result in a loss of marks. It would appear that neither student nor teacher had thought about the 'target culture(s)' element. So what should be done to ensure that the target (anglophone) culture is brought in?

  • The stimulus image should include some obvious visual link(s) to the target culture
  • The stimulus image should be chosen to remind the student of some subject matter dealt with in class which is clearly linked to the target culture
  • Students should be reminded that they must bring in the anglophone target culture in some way or another

** Is it an effective image? Perhaps a little simple for really detailed description, but the student seems to make the most of it through good interpretive skills.


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