The Malta Independent 2 December 2023, Saturday
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More than half of students fail to get pass in one foreign language

Malta Independent Friday, 26 September 2014, 10:20 Last update: about 10 years ago

Half or more of the students aged 16 fail to obtain any kind of accredited certification in at least one foreign language, while 30% fail to get certification in either English or Maltese.

An alternative learning programme for languages will allow students falling behind in the study of languages to learn the subject at their own pace, and still obtain an accredited certification at the end of Form 5.

The Subject Proficiency Assessment (SPA) is based on subject proficiency at levels 1,2 and 3 of the Malta Qualification Framework. Students will be leaning the language in terms of speaking, writing, listening and reading in real-world situations. Currently examinations focus on the writing aspect.

In the SEC examination session of May 2013, 38.5% failed to register for any foreign language at SEC level, 19% failed to register for English language and 23.7% failed to register for Maltese. Besides these students, one must also take into account another 12-15% of students who either register but fail to turn up for the examinations or fail to make the grade.

This programme, under the coordination of Dr Mario Pace, is being soft launched in two schools, namely, Maria Regina College Girls’ Secondary School, Mosta and St Ignatius College Boys’ Secondary School, Handaq, with students being offered a programme in Italian at Level 1.   By September 2015, this programme will start addressing another five languages: French, Spanish, German, English and Maltese.

The examinations, which will be set at the national level, will consist of four different papers, one for each basic language skill, namely Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Each paper will receive a separate mark and students will have the opportunity to obtain a certificate indicating the marks and the Level obtained for each of the skills for each language being studied annually.

The teaching process will be more personalised and will target the student’s particular needs. 

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