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#89753 - 06/04/11 01:19 PM Spanish exams in UK ( for Spanish teachers )
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1158
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
I know , and have had the pleasure , of meeting quite a few teachers of Spanish in various countries via this message board . I studied Spanish up until the age of 19 .
In the UK at 16 years of age we take exams .. when I was younger there was the lowest level ( CSE - Certficate of Secondary Education ),then ( GSE - General Certificate of Education ) , (A-level - Advanced level ) and ( S-level - Special level ) . I passed my Spanish exam , aged 19 at Special Level . I just found , in all my stored papers , my exam paper . I thought it might interest some of the teachers here . It was very very difficult !

University of London GCE Special level - June 1985 ( three hours ) :

1 ) Translate into Spanish :

Kate arrived and said gloomily , ' Ma rang ' .
' She´s well I hope ? '
She shot him a supicious look . ' Why shouldn`t she be ? ' She always has been . Or are you being satirical or something ? I never know for sure . Sometimes you're making fun and I don't absolutely know , it's off-putting . '
' I thought it was interesting ' said Tom , 'Isn't that interesting - not instantly being sure what people mean ? '
' No . It's unsettling . And I wish she wouldn't ring the museum . I've asked her not to . She just says bt darling I always used to ring Hugh at the council , nobody minded at all . And when I say well that was different , he was the head of it all ,, I'm just an assistant and it annoys people to have to come chasing up to the archives to find me , she says well Kate I expect if you you work hard you'll do quite well in the end '
Tom laughed .
'She says why don't we go down this weekend. '
' Why don't we then ? '
' She's got this person from the BBC coming , the one who's doing the programme on Dad . '
' Ah '
' And people for lunch on Sunday '
' What sort of people ? '
' People who live in Wiltshire and find things to do . ' said Kate morosely .
' Where I come from ' , said Tom , ' they go to a lot of trouble not to do anything they haven't got to. '
He had discovered with surprise , on his arrival in the Southern counties , the furious busyness of the professional classes ... If he had asked his father if he was busy , he would have stared in incomprehension : if you were at work , you were at work, and if you were at home , you were at home , and that was all there was to it .

2 ) Compare and contrast the following three poems , paying particular attention to the attitude towards life and death displayed by each poet . Say which poem you prefer and why .

a ) La vida se nos pasa , el tiempo vuela ,
las Parcas van obrando por su estilo ,
Atropos muy apriesa corta el hilo ,
la Muerte hsce msngas desta tela .

Y va ya la cargada navezuela
batida de las ondas deste Nilo ,
el aire vital sopla , arde el pabilo ,
consúmese el humor , muere la vela .

Pasando del peligro a la tormenta ,
de la fortuna al mal y al accidente ,
perdemos , si es perder , tan triste vida .

Y desde vida tal hacemos cuenta
y olvidase la que es eternamente
de gozo incomparable y sin medida .

b ) El tiempo es una llanura
y mi memoría un caballo ,
jínete suyo yo voy
a oscuras por ese campo
sin deternerme en recuerdos
fugaces como relámpagos .
Mi caminar por el tiempo
tan sólo tiene un descanso
en el año de tu muerte
-- isla de luto y de llanto --
Plaza de mármoles fríos
y luna yerta . Me paro
deteniendo mi memoría
desbocada con espanto .
Junto al ciprés de tu sueño
para verte descabalgo .
No son recuerdos , que es vida
y verdadero el diálogo
que contigo tengo , madre ,
cuando aquí nos encontramos .

c) No es el amor quien muere ,
somos nosotros mismos .

Inocencia primera
Abolida en deseo ,
Olvido de sí mismo en otro olvido ,
Ramas entrelazadas ,
¿ Por qué vivir si disparaceís un día ?

Sólo vive quien mira
siempre ante sí los ojos de su aurora ,
Sólo vive quien besa
Aquel cuerpo de ángel que el amor levantara.

Fantasmas de la pena ,
A los lejos , los otros ,
Los que ese amor perdieron ,
Como un recuerdo en sueños ,
Recorriendo las tumbas
Otro vacío estrechan.

Por allá van y gimen ,
Muertos en pie , vidas tras de la piedra ,
Golpeando impotencia ,
Arañando la sombra
Con inútil ternura .

No , no es el amor quien muere .

This was an incredibly hard exam for me and i passed it ( only just ! )

University of London , Gc

#89755 - 06/04/11 03:41 PM Re: Spanish exams in UK ( for Spanish teachers ) [Re: steve robinson]
billy the man Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 04/04/06
Posts: 373
Loc: Bolton England
well i can say without fear of contradiction...............
i would have failed that exam

that must have been tough for a Spaniard to translate,wow Steve you must be fluent well done!

#89756 - 06/04/11 08:02 PM Re: Spanish exams in UK ( for Spanish teachers ) [Re: billy the man]
esperanza Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 01/06/01
Posts: 775
Loc: New York City
Steve, that really is a very difficult exam! If most English students take exams like this in foreign languages in high school, then I can assume that they graduate with a very high level of fluency (at least in comprehension). As you know, I am a Spanish teacher in the States and I know for a fact that my highest level students would not be able to do this test. (First of all, they would be complaining about how hard it was and then they would not pass!)

So, my friend, Congratulations on passing this test! smile

And, thanks for sharing it... it is very enlightening!!

#89767 - 06/05/11 03:24 PM Re: Spanish exams in UK ( for Spanish teachers ) [Re: esperanza]
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1158
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
Esperanza - One can pass this exam with the highest "A" grade through to "E" grade . "F" grade is a fail . Igot a "D" grade so I just scraped through . I did the same exam in French .. Man , that was difficult ...and I got a "C" grade .
With hindsight , I love the idea that we were pushed beyond our limits .. It made us work harder even if , during the lessons , we almost felt like giving up .
I gave some Spanish students ( a school in Vallecas ) a spelling test ... Just 20 words . These words were meant for an advanced course , but I gave this to my 15 year olds . Initially they were horrified at their low scores .. but when I explained that the test was meant for advanced students and that the class ( the 15 year olds ) had done well , they were happy and took lots of notes on the words they hadn't been able to spell .
I fully believe that students should be pushed a little beyond their expectations rather than give them an easy path , as long as the potential advantages are explained to them .

#89779 - 06/07/11 09:11 AM Re: Spanish exams in UK ( for Spanish teachers ) [Re: steve robinson]
esperanza Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 01/06/01
Posts: 775
Loc: New York City
I totally agree with that philosophy, Steve! Push them and encourage!

#89780 - 06/07/11 01:09 PM Re: Spanish exams in UK ( for Spanish teachers ) [Re: esperanza]
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1158
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
Yep get that bull whip out and start cracking it at their feet .. jejejejejeje . But to be serious , stress has to be looked at with students . I know that in Japan they have a big problem with students being so pressurised by their schools and their parents to succeed that they commit suicide . That is a real problem in Japan as perhaps your daughter will be aware .I was always under stress from my school but found ways around it .. not least by talking to my friends who were in the same boat . Schools , colleges and universities need , however , to recognise stress in young people these days .


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