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Faculty of Languages and Cultures

UG Marking Guidelines

Coursework (including ISPs)

The guidelines below reflect the standards of work expected at undergraduate level. All assessed essays are marked by a Teaching Assistant (TA) or a full-time member of staff, and a sample is then moderated by another member of staff. Any essay may be made available to the external examiner(s). Please feel free to discuss your essay and how your grade was arrived at with the appropriate member of staff.

80+ (First Class)
A mark of 80+ will fulfil the following criteria:
  • shows clear evidence of wide and relevant reading and an engagement with the conceptual issues;
  • develops a sophisticated and intelligent argument;
  • shows a rigorous use and a confident understanding of relevant source materials;
  • achieves an appropriate balance between factual detail and key theoretical issues;
  • provides evidence of original thinking.
70-79 (First Class)
A mark in the range 70-79 will fulfil the following criteria:
  • engages closely with the question;
  • shows some evidence of wide and relevant reading and an engagement with the conceptual issues;
  • shows some sophistication of argument;
  • shows an intelligent use and a good understanding of relevant source materials.
60-69 (Upper Second Class – II(i))
A mark in the range 60-69 will fulfil the following criteria:
offers critical insights and shows evidence of critical thinking;
  • shows a good understanding of the major factual and/or theoretical issues, and addresses the relevant literature on the topic;
  • develops a focused and clear argument and articulates a sustained train of logical thought;
  • gives a clear exposition of models/diagrams, with derivation, where appropriate;
  • shows clear evidence of planning in the formulation of the written answer and includes a judicious choice of sources and methodology.
50-59 (Lower Second Class – II(ii))
A mark in the range 50-59 will fulfil the following criteria:
  • shows some understanding of relevant major theoretical and/or factual issues;
  • shows evidence of planning in the formulation of the written answer, makes selective use of appropriate sources, and demonstrates some knowledge of the literature;
  • shows, at various points if not throughout the entire text, examples of a clear train of thought or argument;
  • presents basic models / diagrams, where appropriate;
  • provides an appropriate conclusion to the textual argument(s).
40-49 (Third Class)
A mark in the range 40-49 will fulfil the following criteria:
  • shows some awareness and understanding of the factual and/or theoretical issues, but demonstrates limited ability to develop these;
  • provides clear evidence of misunderstandings;
  • shows some, albeit limited, evidence of planning in the formulation of the written answer, but also includes material or arguments which are irrelevant or unrelated to the question;
  • fails to develop a clear or coherent response to the question, but shows occasional knowledge or insight.
20-39 (Fail)
A Fail will be awarded in cases which:
  • fail to answer the question or develop an argument;
  • fail to demonstrate knowledge of the key issues or arguments;
  • contain clear conceptual or factual errors or misunderstandings;
  • are poorly organised and/or poorly written.
0-19 (Fail)
A Fail will be awarded in cases which:
  • fail to answer the question even in part;
  • show no knowledge of the question or topic;
  • contain blatant conceptual or factual errors;
  • are very poorly organised and/or very poorly written.

Unseen written examinations

80+ (First Class)
A mark of 80+ will fulfil the following criteria:
  • shows clear evidence of wide and relevant reading and an engagement with the conceptual issues;
  • develops a sophisticated and intelligent argument;
  • shows a rigorous use and a confident understanding of relevant source materials;
  • achieves an appropriate balance between factual detail and key theoretical issues;
  • provides evidence of original thinking;
  • shows outstanding ability of synthesis under exam pressure.
70-79 (First Class)
A mark in the range 70-79 will fulfil the following criteria:
  • engages closely with the question and its conceptual issues;
  • shows some evidence of independent reading;
  • shows some sophistication of argument;
  • shows an intelligent use and a good understanding of relevant source materials;
  • shows significant ability of synthesis under exam pressure.
60-69 (Upper Second Class – II(i))
A mark in the range 60-69 will fulfil the following criteria:
  • offers critical insights and shows evidence of critical thinking;
  • shows a good understanding of the major factual and/or theoretical issues relating to the question;
  • cites some relevant literature on the topic;
  • develops a focused and clear argument and articulates a sustained train of logical thought;
  • gives a clear exposition of models/diagrams, with derivation, where appropriate;
  • shows clear evidence of planning in the formulation of the written answer under exam pressure.
50-59 (Lower Second Class – II(ii))
A mark in the range 50-59 will fulfil the following criteria:
  • shows some understanding of relevant major theoretical and/or factual issues;
  • shows evidence of planning in the formulation of the written answer,
  • makes selective use of appropriate sources, and demonstrates some knowledge of the literature;
  • shows, at various points if not throughout the entire text, examples of a clear train of thought or argument;
  • presents basic models / diagrams, where appropriate;
  • provides an appropriate conclusion to the textual argument(s).
40-49 (Third Class)
A mark in the range 40-49 will fulfil the following criteria:
  • shows some awareness and understanding of the factual and/or theoretical issues, but demonstrates limited ability to develop these;
  • provides clear evidence of misunderstandings;
  • shows some, albeit limited, evidence of planning in the formulation of the written answer, but also includes material or arguments which are irrelevant or unrelated to the question.
  • fails to develop a clear or coherent response to the question, but shows occasional knowledge or insight;
  • produces an incomplete answer.
20-39 (Fail)
A Fail will be awarded in cases which:
  • fail to answer the question or develop an argument;
  • fail to demonstrate knowledge of the key issues or arguments;
  • contain clear conceptual or factual errors or misunderstandings;
  • are poorly organised and/or poorly written.
0-19 (Fail)
A Fail will be awarded in cases which:
  • fail to answer the question even in part;
  • show no knowledge of the question or topic;
  • contain blatant conceptual or factual errors;
  • are very poorly organised and/or very poorly written.

 

Language Acquisition courses marking guidelines

In addition to the general marking guidelines for UG and PGT courses, the following guidelines relate specifically to Language Acquisition courses.
Students will normally demonstrate their achievements in four aspects of language learning (oral comprehension, oral expression, reading, and writing), as well as in metalinguistic knowledge.

Each language course separately defines its goals and expected outcomes (these are detailed in the learning outcomes for the course), and different aspects of achievements are relevant for different courses.

However, all assessment of language acquisition courses makes reference to the following Generic Marking Guidelines (although different courses may assign different weightings to the criteria).

In addition to the Generic Marking Guidelines, courses may make reference to additional Course Specific Marking Guidelines. These may make reference to specific aspects and learning outcomes of the course and how achievement in these aspects is demonstrated.

80+ (First Class)
  • Oral Comprehension: Can understand with ease the full range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date in spoken discourse, up to the level appropriate for the course, without any difficulties.
  • Oral Expression: Can express with ease a very wide variety of concepts and ideas appropriate for the level of the course, using the full range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, without any difficulties; advanced level language courses: can communicate idiomatically at near-native level.
  • Reading skills: Can understand written text on a very wide variety of topics appropriate for the level of the course, containing the full range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, without any difficulties.
  • Writing skills: Can produce clear text on a very wide variety of topics appropriate for the level of the course, using the full range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, without any difficulties; advanced language courses: compositions will show elegance of style and give the impression of being conceived in the target language.
  • Metalinguistic knowledge: Have a confident understanding of the full variety of the underlying structural relations of the language studied to date and good awareness of the appropriateness of the full range of the structures and forms of the language studied to date in a given context.

70-79 (First Class)
  • Oral Comprehension: Can understand the full range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date in spoken discourse, up to the level appropriate for the course.
  • Oral Expression: Can express a very wide variety of concepts and ideas appropriate for the level of the course, using the full range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date.
  • Reading skills: Can understand written text on a very wide variety of topics appropriate for the level of the course, containing the full range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date.
  • Writing skills: Can produce clear text on a very wide variety of topics appropriate for the level of the course, using the full range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date.
  • Metalinguistic knowledge: Have a good understanding of the full variety of the underlying structural relations of the language studied to date and good awareness of the appropriateness of the full range of the structures and forms of the language studied to date in a given context.

60-69 (Upper Second Class: 2.I)
  • Oral Comprehension: Can understand with ease a wide range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date in spoken discourse, up to the level appropriate for the course, but some with some difficulty.
  • Oral Expression: Can express a wide variety of concepts and ideas appropriate for the level of the course, using a wide range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, but some with some difficulty.
  • Reading skills: Can understand written text on a wide variety of topics appropriate for the level of the course, containing a wide range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, but some with some difficulty.
  • Writing skills: Can produce text on a wide variety of topics appropriate for the level of the course, using a wide range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, but some with some difficulty.
  • Metalinguistic knowledge: Have a good understanding of a wide variety of the underlying structural relations of the language studied to date and awareness of the appropriateness of a wide range of the structures and forms of the language studied to date in a given context.

50-59 (Lower Second Class: 2.II)
  • Oral Comprehension: Can understand a good range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date in spoken discourse, up to the level appropriate for the course, but sometimes only with difficulty.
  • Oral Expression: Can express a good variety of concepts and ideas appropriate for the level of the course, using an appropriate range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, but sometimes only with difficulty.
  • Reading skills: Can understand written text on a good variety of topics appropriate for the level of the course, containing an appropriate range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, but sometimes only with difficulty.
  • Writing skills: Can produce text on a good variety of topics appropriate for the level of the course, using an appropriate range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, but sometimes only with difficulty.
  • Metalinguistic knowledge: Have an appropriate understanding of a good variety of the underlying structural relations of the language studied to date and awareness of the appropriateness of an appropriate range of the structures and forms of the language studied to date in a given context.

40-49 (UG students: Third Class: III; PG students: Fail)
  • Oral Comprehension: Can understand a limited range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date in spoken discourse, up to the level appropriate for the course, and often only with difficulty.
  • Oral Expression: Can express a limited variety of concepts and ideas appropriate for the level of the course, using a limited range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, and often only with difficulty.
  • Reading skills: Can understand written text on a limited variety of topics appropriate for the level of the course, containing a limited range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, and often only with difficulty.
  • Writing skills: Can produce text on a limited variety of topics appropriate for the level of the course, using a limited range of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, and often only with difficulty.
  • Metalinguistic knowledge: Have some understanding of a limited variety of the underlying structural relations of the language studied to date and awareness of the appropriateness of a limited range of the structures and forms of the language studied to date in a given context.
20-39  (Fail)
  • Oral Comprehension: Can understand only a small subset of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date in spoken discourse, up to the level appropriate for the course, and only with difficulty.
  • Oral Expression: Can express only a few concepts and ideas appropriate for the level of the course, using only a small subset of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, and only with difficulty.
  • Reading skills: Can understand written text on a few of the topics appropriate for the level of the course, containing only a small subset of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, and only with difficulty.
  • Writing skills: Can produce text on a few of the topics appropriate for the level of the course, using only a small subset of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, and only with difficulty.
  • Metalinguistic knowledge: Have very little understanding of the underlying structural relations of the language studied to date, and awareness of the appropriateness of only a small subset of the structures and forms of the language studied to date in a given context.

0-19 (Fail)
  • Oral Comprehension: Can understand very little or none of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date in spoken discourse, up to the level appropriate for the course, and only with considerable difficulty.
  • Oral Expression: Can express very few or no concepts and ideas appropriate for the level of the course, using only very little or none of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, and only with considerable difficulty.
  • Reading skills: Can understand written text on very few or none of the topics appropriate for the level of the course, containing very little or none of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, and only with considerable difficulty.
  • Writing skills: Can produce text on very few or none of the topics appropriate for the level of the course, using very little or none of the vocabulary, structures and expressions studied to date, and only with considerable difficulty.
  • Metalinguistic knowledge: Have no understanding or awareness of the underlying structural relations of the language studied to date, and of the appropriateness of the structures and forms of the language studied to date in a given context.