SL Sample R


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  -  6/12

Command of the language is rather mixed: there is clear evidence of quite a wide range of vocabulary and phrasing, but there are also significant weaknesses in pronunciation and the use of grammar, which blur communication quite frequently. Vocabulary is sophisticated at times (e.g. “residents”, “extreme weather”), but some of these complex terms are mis-used - for instance, “the metropolitan” (4’51”) when presumably ‘the metropolis’ is intended, or just ‘the city’. Pronunciation has regular flaws – it is not immediately apparent that the student is talking about the ‘country’ (0’44”, etc), and the comment that because the weather is hot in the country, the residents know to get a “head” (for ‘hat’). Production of the language is a bit of a struggle: there are regular stumbles, but also bursts of fluency. Overall, command must be judged as only “partially effective”, despite some strengths.

Crit.B1  (presentation)

Crit.B1  (presentation)  -  3/6   (or 2/6, if ‘target culture’ is enforced)

The student does not describe the image particularly methodically, but certainly includes some detailed interpretation of what is seen e.g. the location of the scene, and what the figures are wearing (thus implying the difference between ‘teenage boys’ and ‘residents’). There are some rather strange deductions, such as whether the “structure” in the image is a “toilet” or “for pigs” … and the confused explanation about the suitability of the structure to weather conditions (?). There is no evidence of a plan or ‘map’, and so the ideas presented are somewhat rambling and unstructured. The mention of ‘volunteering’ appears to have been cued by the stated theme of the stimulus. Overall then, the presentation is relevant to the image, but the interpretations made are not entirely clear or convincing.

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 performance under the other bullet points.

Crit.B2  (ideas)

Crit.B2  (ideas)  - 5/6

Responses are promptly delivered: there seems to be little or no problem with understanding the questions. Ideas are explained reasonably clearly (language blurs aside); and there are some full and complex answers (e.g. the long explanation about ‘mountain areas’ 6’07” – 6’57”), quite logically argued, even if the student sometimes has to struggle to find the right phrasing. There are some quite judicious arguments presented, for instance the response about the speed of technological change (1’’04”-11’05”).

Crit.C   (interaction)

Crit.C   (interaction)  - 4/6

In general, the student grasps the thread of the conversation pretty effectively. The discussion in Part 2 is quite coherent, even if the explanations are a little laborious; and the student handles the abrupt introduction of the Part 3 topic of ‘scientists and social development’ (around 8’13”) – which is a vast and open topic, but he has the agility to select some areas to discuss (the microscope, the virus, and so on…). Participation is certainly “mostly sustained”, but is a little too stumbling to be judged as “consistently sustained”, since the flow of the student’s ideas is sometimes not quite clear.


Total:   6 + 3 + 5 + 4 = 18/30        

(OR 6 + 2 + 5 + 4 =  17/30, if ‘target culture’ penalized)  



** 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? Not particularly clear, perhaps, and it could really show any kind of building project anywhere - but in fact the student demonstrates some imagination in imposing some kind of interpretation (probably largely drawn from personal experience?)


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