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Teacher evaluates CXC exams by taking test

Teacher evaluates CXC exams by taking test


The time allotted by the CXC for some of its CSEC examinations may pose a problem for some students.

This is the opinion of French teacher Rodcliff Noel, which he formed after he sat English A, Spanish and French as a private candidate in the 2014 CSEC examinations.

In these three language based subjects,{{more}} Noel obtained three Grade ones with all A profiles.

“It was basically a self- assessment. I felt that I needed to assess myself as a language teacher. I wanted to know how good I was or how bad I was. An external body like CXC, an examining body like CXC would have helped to evaluate,” he told SEARCHLIGHT, as one of his reasons for sitting the subjects.

“I was also trying to stay current with the CXC exam and practices. I did CXC several years ago. What has changed? I just wanted to know what’s happening with CXC. I wanted to be a resource person for my students. So, if they ask ‘Sir, what should I expect from CXC this year? Sir, how can you help me with this?’ I think also as a language teacher, I wanted to simply broad base my profession; I teach French, but I show competence where I can teach English and Spanish.”

Although he is not sure if it was an issue when he sat the CSEC examinations as a fifth form student, Noel opined that not enough time is given on language examinations.

“Imagine I’m a French teacher. Imagine to the students who may not be as efficient in French as myself and I am struggling with the time that you give me, imagine what their situation would be,” he said.

Noel also suggested that “an extra half an hour would be more appropriate, so you can finish and double check your work.”

Despite being his first language, the French teacher revealed that for him, English A was the hardest exam, because of the time constraints. Additionally, he noted that such an exam may be difficult if a student is a slow reader or writer.

“I went to do the English exam. My first language is English. It was the hardest exam and when I finished the exam, I came out of the room and I went somewhere and I sat down and for about half an hour, I was there just trying to blow off. You had to run through that exam. There was so little time to work with. You had to breeze through the exam,” he said.

Except for time, Noel gives CXC top marks for being a truthful examining body with a reliable marking system.

Noel told SEARCHLIGHT that he believes the examinations cover all aspects of the languages, especially in French and Spanish, where there are aural, oral and written exams.

Additionally, the University of the West Indies French graduate believes that CSEC efficiently assesses a student’s capability.

When asked how he felt about achieving grade one passes, Noel stated: “I don’t even know what to feel. I was asking myself if it’s really worth anything. It’s not like I changed the world or anything.”

However, he is satisfied that he has achieved what he set out to and intends to try his hand at CAPE with the same subjects.

Another of Noel’s aspirations is to use his language skills to translate for public officials or Miss Carival contestants.(BK)