Foreigners doing native language as qualification, fair or not?

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blissfully
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So do you think someone, eg spanish doing spanish as a GCSE/A Level is fair if they could speak spanish fluently?
it gives them an extra qualification although they have been through the efforts of learning both languages at an early age so fair or not?

a lot of friends say it's unfair and it shouldn't be allowed but i disagree.
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adoh
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I have 2 Spanish friends who have done the same thing. I guess there's nothing wrong with it if the schools allow it!

One of them wants to be a translator so I guess keeping his Spanish vocabulary sharp doesn't hurt
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Economi
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Alot of universities state that a language A-level from a native speaker doesn't count towards an offer. I don't mind it if they speak english fluently, as they must have put in the effort to learn it at some point, so deserve some sort of reward.
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BarackObama
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(Original post by blissfully)
So do you think someone, eg spanish doing spanish as a GCSE/A Level is fair if they could speak spanish fluently?
it gives them an extra qualification although they have been through the efforts of learning both languages at an early age so fair or not?

a lot of friends say it's unfair and it shouldn't be allowed but i disagree.
I'm a Russian (started learning English when I was 7, moved here when I was 9) taking Russian at A level, and I think it's completely fair. For starters, my English is much better than my Russian (98% at GCSE ), and I want to keep my standard of Russian at at least near-native level. Having Russian lessons on a regular basis definitely helps with that.

Besides, what's the problem with taking an A level that you find easier than the average candidate? A friend of mine is taking double maths and he finds it incredibly easy (Trinity Cambridge applicant, disgustingly clever), yet no university is saying that it shouldn't "count", and nobody's complaining that it's not "fair". I talked about this with him once, and he said something along the lines of, "well, you're fluent in Russian and you're taking Russian, I'm fluent in maths and I'm taking maths. Same thing, right?"
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Anna Schoon
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Speaking a language fluently as a native speaker does not necessarily mean that a student will do well in an examination! For example, in my experience as a French teacher, native French students often write abysmally badly as they have never learnt the grammar or spelling rules. They will confuse aller, allez, allé(e)(s), allais, allait, allai - because it all sounds the same. Of course they have the advantage of a wide range of vocabulary and idiomatic expression but they still have to prepare the topics just as thoroughly and they will lose lots of marks if they don't actually know what they are talking about.

So yes, I think it is fair: even they need to work on their language to get a good grade.
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TheBigJosh
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(Original post by BarackObama)
I'm a Russian (started learning English when I was 7, moved here when I was 9) taking Russian at A level, and I think it's completely fair. For starters, my English is much better than my Russian (98% at GCSE ), and I want to keep my standard of Russian at at least near-native level. Having Russian lessons on a regular basis definitely helps with that.

Besides, what's the problem with taking an A level that you find easier than the average candidate? A friend of mine is taking double maths and he finds it incredibly easy (Trinity Cambridge applicant, disgustingly clever), yet no university is saying that it shouldn't "count", and nobody's complaining that it's not "fair". I talked about this with him once, and he said something along the lines of, "well, you're fluent in Russian and you're taking Russian, I'm fluent in maths and I'm taking maths. Same thing, right?"
No.
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Hopple
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It's fair. If somebody wants someone who is good at Spanish so asks for an A*, then why shouldn't a native speaker's grades be permitted?

There is an issue where people assume that someone in this country is a good English speaker though, which is probably where your question would make sense. That assumption unfairly disadvantages someone who is good at English but merely okay at Spanish, when competing with someone who is good at Spanish but only okay at English, because the English requirement tends to be ignored provided it's above a C.
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Feefifofum
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Not fair. The exams are designed to test a language that you've had to learn as a second language. It isn't fair for people to sit them when they've known the language all their lives.

EDIT - one way round this would be to have a second A level option for each language.

French
French native language

Japanese
Japanese native language

etc. This would mean that people were judged in separate categories and it was recognised in the title of the qualification whether or not it was a native language qualification.
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BarackObama
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(Original post by TheBigJosh)
No.
Are you five? At least try to explain your opinion.
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username321708
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(Original post by Economi)
Alot of universities state that a language A-level from a native speaker doesn't count towards an offer. I don't mind it if they speak english fluently, as they must have put in the effort to learn it at some point, so deserve some sort of reward.
(Original post by blissfully)
So do you think someone, eg spanish doing spanish as a GCSE/A Level is fair if they could speak spanish fluently?
it gives them an extra qualification although they have been through the efforts of learning both languages at an early age so fair or not?

a lot of friends say it's unfair and it shouldn't be allowed but i disagree.
I wouldn't say it's an issue of fairness, but more to do with the point of usefulness. As Economi stated, most universities will not count an A level in a language towards an offer if the student is a native speaker. Therefore, as a native speaker, one would have to question the point of studying a subject for two years if it is going to be worth nothing and you already speak and understand the language to a high level.
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Feefifofum
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(Original post by 21stcenturyphantom)
I wouldn't say it's an issue of fairness, but more to do with the point of usefulness. As Economi stated, most universities will not count an A level in a language towards an offer if the student is a native speaker. Therefore, as a native speaker, one would have to question the point of studying a subject for two years if it is going to be worth nothing and you already speak and understand the language to a high level.
I wouldn't say 'most'. It needn't be apparent. Plenty of people have names that don't make it obvious that English is their second language, and when only UCAS points are asked for, that's an easy way to rack them up.
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username321708
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(Original post by Feefifofum)
I wouldn't say 'most'. It needn't be apparent. Plenty of people have names that don't make it obvious that English is their second language, and when only UCAS points are asked for, that's an easy way to rack them up.
I would rather one study a different subject at A level and expand one's intellect than study their own native language as a second language just as a way to 'easily rack up' UCAS points.
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Feefifofum
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(Original post by 21stcenturyphantom)
I would rather study a different subject at A level and expand intellect than study my own native language as a second language just as a way to 'easily rack up' UCAS points.
So would I! Not everyone is as honest though
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Economi
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(Original post by 21stcenturyphantom)
I wouldn't say it's an issue of fairness, but more to do with the point of usefulness. As Economi stated, most universities will not count an A level in a language towards an offer if the student is a native speaker. Therefore, as a native speaker, one would have to question the point of studying a subject for two years if it is going to be worth nothing and you already speak and understand the language to a high level.
I agree. Often it's just a matter of having one more thing than someone you're competing with (whether that's a uni place or a job). Also on a CV you could just put i got x A levels under qualifications, without going into detail what they're in. If I was fluent in my native language in addition to enlgish, i would probably sit the A level as long as a good grade is guarenteed just because you never know when it might be handy.
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emma2013
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Probably going to be attacked for this, but as someone who is english and has taken a foreign language A-Level I believe that perhaps there should be a separate qualification for those who are native speakers. My reasoning is that whenever I look at grade boundaries I feel somewhat disgruntled that if you lose just a few raw marks, then the top grades are gone, particularly in the speaking exams. In comparison with other subjects, where you can lose a few marks and still get 100% ums, I feel that the grade boundaries in language exams are artificially raised by native speakers, making it more difficult for non-native speakers to access the higher grades. For example in another of my subjects I received 100% ums, but upon examining grade boundaries I realised that I could have lost up to 15 marks and still received 100ums. In contrast, there is little such leeway in languages, whether or not this is caused by native speakers, I am not certain, but some statistics would be interesting. I know this is not prevalent everywhere, especially as for written papers you need to study literature and stuff as well, but for the speaking exams native speakers definitely have a large advantage over english candidates. This particularly irritates me as native speakers can't actually use the A-Level for uni applications, whereas someone like me who is relying on getting an A to get into uni is having to attain higher grade boundaries particularly in speaking exams. This is just my gut reaction to this debate, but I would be interested in seeing some statistics about the proportion of native speakers taking language exams and achieving the higher grades.
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John Stuart Mill
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I don't get it; should we scrap English GCSE and A-level? What's wrong with people taking qualifications in their native languages. Would you say, oh an English man doing an English A-level so he can get UCAS points what a cheater - no so what's the problem?
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Moofie10
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Erm....you're English....and studied English at school :doh:
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kpwxx
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I think it's fine for people to do it as it is a way to qualify what they know - proof. I have a Russian friend who did Russian A-level alongside their other A-levels; why not?

However, obviously someone looking to consider that person as a candidate for something would need to consider that they're a native speaker, because it would show a different skill set to if they weren't. Just as they would consider how a non-native speaker taking an English English language qualification would show a different skill set. So in some cases this may mean not including that qualification in a uni offer as it doesn't show specifically what they're looking for. But in other cases it would show perfectly what they need e.g. a job needed a Russian speaker.

I think anyone who assesses people using their qualifications should be able to make any judgements about what they can read from the qualification themselves, I don't see why they should need someone else to disallow people from taking the qualification.

xxx
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Ndella
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My Spanish friend is doing Spanish A level and is planning to study it at A2. She says its actually quite hard as the teacher comes up with verbs and tenses used to help the non-native speakers so its not exactly the way she learnt Spanish herself. I'd say studying your own language is similar to English Lang and Lit - it's not exactly easy.


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username321708
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(Original post by Moofie10)
Erm....you're English....and studied English at school :doh:
The English Language GCSE studied at school is not a course for those learning English as a foreign language, as is the case for language qualifications offered for French, German and Spanish etc.

Students are not taught how to compose a sentence demonstrating the correct use of the condition or present participle of a verb, for example, as they already know how to do such things.
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