Trash talking: German oral examinations need work

I agree with the frustration expressed by Nick Mair, chair of the Independent Schools' Modern Languages Association, about the problems surrounding A-level grades in German. I, too, feel my students are being harshly, erratically and unfairly marked, particularly in the oral examinations.

However, part of my students' problem stems from the fact that private schools are entering native German speakers for an exam that is surely intended for those for whom German is a foreign language. Why are non-native speakers being judged against those for whom German is their mother tongue? Is it any surprise that my English-speaking state-school foreign language learners are found wanting?

Giselle Cragg, Cradley, Malvern.

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