How to write an A or A* controlled GCSE Spanish written assessment – blog post 2
This is the second in a series of blogposts on how to write an A or A* Spanish controlled GCSE written assessment.
If you missed the first one, then click here.
In this blog post I will talk about using a key Spanish verb TENER (to have) idiomatically. Idiomatically is defined in the Collins English dictionary as “linguistic usage that is grammatical and natural to the native speakers of a language.” This is why idioms and idiomatic usage are marked highly by GCSE Spanish examiners.
Accordingly, it makes sense to have a good variety of TENER phrases in your written piece. But how can you do this? One of my maxims is to keep things simple, and with this in mind, I suggest that you introduce two or three TENER phrases into your work.
Here are some examples:-
Tengo … años (I am … years old). Notice in Spanish you are actually saying “I have..years”
Even better though, with additional complexity, try:-
Cuando tenga ….. años – this means “when I am …years old”. For the sharp eyed, you will see that “tengo” has changed to “tenga”. For the grammatically minded, “tenga” is a subjunctive. This grammatical feature is highly prized by the GCSE examiners. Use it! It is easy to get into a flowing and well crafted piece.
Tener has lots of idiomatic usages.
Why not work these into your assessment?
tengo hambre – I am hungry
tengo sed – I am thirsty.
tengo razón – I am right
tengo suerte – I am lucky
A real favourite of examiners is a phrase like “si yo tuviera suerte…” meaning “if I was lucky”. Use it in your assessment. See the glint in the examiners’ eyes!
So – use the verb TENER idiomatically in your Spanish controlled written assessments – it’s one of the keys in getting an A or A*.
Steven French Languages is based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire and specialises in GCSE and A level tuition in both French and Spanish.
2. In your introduction really focus on the historic event you are assessing, make explicit reference to it, supporting with statistics or relevant historic policies.
3. Clearly concentrate on your coursework question, make clear in your introduction what the different interpretation`s views of this question are. Which ones you think are the most credible and why, support with historical evidence. Then make your judgment.
4. Remember at the end of the day your coursework is indeed similar to an AS History source exam. So structure it and think of it as an essay.
5. Some schools may have given you a structure for how to tackle the sources. If they have use it, it will assist the flow and structure of your essay. If they have not given you a structure, familiarize yourself with each of the interpretations. Additionally you might find it useful to start with the interpretations which support the question.
6. In your planning stages ensure you include all of the relevant quotes from whichever of the interpretations you are examining. You might find it useful to create a table for this.
7. Then you want to briefly examine or explain this quote in your own words and demonstrate how this supports the historian`s interpretation or view. Again you could include this in the table in a new column.
8. Next still using your table justify and support your analysis so far with relevant historical evidence to support the interpretation. This could be another column in your table.
9. Ensure you frequently refer to and demonstrate with quotes, explanation/analysis or historic evidence the historian`s credibility, persuasiveness or demonstrate the strength of their argument. Again use the terms "credibility", "credible argument", "credible", "supported" etc...
10. Introduce the next interpretation by noting how it is similar to the first. E.g. "Similarly" then follow the same format as before.
11. Then highlight the limitations or weaknesses of these interpretations by explaining what they have omitted or not examined.
12. Next demonstrate how the next interpretation differs from the previous interpretation, then follow the same format for this and your final interpretation.
13. Your conclusion should explain which two sources are the most credible and why, then answer the question
Best wishes with your coursework everyone.
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