Refine VCE Language Oral Exams or Scrap It All Together

Refine VCE Language Oral Exams or Scrap It All Together

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The language oral exam has undoubtedly been one of the most stressful components of the end of year VCE exams for students studying a language. Whether it be Italian, Japanese, French, Greek or even Indonesian, students spend all year preparing for this exam however, now under this year's circumstances, LOTE students are feeling even more pressure as this language oral quickly approaches.

The 15 minutes oral exam typically consists of 2 main components, 'personal world', in which students are asked questions about their family, school, work, future etc., and a 'detailed study' where students are asked to study a cultural topic and recite information about it. This counts towards 12% of the final study score.

This petition argues to either eliminate the whole oral exam or at least remove the detailed study component of the study design. Reasons for this include the fact that students have spent almost half the school year learning remotely, limiting their opportunities to practice their speaking with a tutor or teacher under the oral conditions. With only a few months until these exams are to take place, many schools have not yet begun to look into their detailed study topic. The 'personal world' part of the exam would be enough to assess the students as they are able to demonstrate their complexity and knowledge of the language, as well as their ability to answer questions spontaneously. In addition, the study designs for most other VCE subjects have already been amended, such as English, which had the oral presentation SAC removed, but LOTE subjects such as Italian did not see many changes to the study designs.

Students have already given themselves a good challenge by choosing to study a language, however the transition into online learning due to COVID-19 has not made it any easier for them. It would be unreasonable to make them do a 15 minute oral exam confidently and to their full potential after what they've been through this year. 

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