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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:26 am
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Can anyone please give me information/websites for good Language Aptitude Tests for kids? Some language schools have this as an exam and it would be nice to have some practice.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:21 pm 
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our local comprehensive does them to allow a percentage of out of catchment children in (vaguely rural area so harder to establish a fair circle). Ours didn't have to take it when doing the "fair banding" bit as in catchment so this is only hearsay but it seemed to consist of speaking or "acting" in a totally made up gobbledygook "language" - all very odd.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:41 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
One of my DC sat one of these laguage aptitude tests. Real language was used, but it was one of the Scandinavian ones. In this particular exam, the candidates were given translations of various words. After a break, and without the benefit of this crib sheet, they were asked questions, the answers to which were in the original (missing) doc. Sounded gruesome to me, but all the children I knew seemed to think this approach was acceptable - I thought it was utterly mean!

Another exercise involved words from other languages that you could have a stab at if you had a good grasp of English. Can't remember many / any precise examples but it was the sort of thing where animals words had to be paired off. So for "horse" the DC's had to look for a word that was based around the "equine", or maybe "pig" and "porc". I have absolutely no aptitude for foreign languages (& maybe not even English) so am struggling to remember much more.

I do however seem to remember that one of the indie schools exam papers that are available to download freely had English papers with gobbledy-gook language exercises. Is it Manchester Grammar Schools papers?? It was certainly one of the schools that other posters refer to as I only found it by following a tip off from this site. Might be worth a look.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:02 am 
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I am involved in setting and delivering these tests. The idea is that you cannot practise for them, and indeed you would be wasting your time trying to do so. They are designed to show aptitude and not competence, and we work very hard to ensure that no coaching or tutoring would pay off. That way we consider them a fair test of a child's ability to learn a new language, rather than any ability they might have in an existing one.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:26 am 
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Children who did it for our school, Amber, had very differing views of it. The confident children took it in their stride but there was one boy who was crippled by shyness and just felt too foolish to give it a go, far too self-conscious and easily embarrassed. Just from the children I know it tended to suit the girls better. Maybe because they were more mature or had spent so long prancing away in dancing lessons and used to displaying "that" side of them, but for some of the boys it was painful. Might be a different sort of test but the differing reaction seemed interesting.

At least this year, with the grammar results out earlier, fewer children round here will be exposed to another irritating layer of tests - DS2 and others had to do the Fair Banding test on the day the GS results came out which is a lot of wasted admin and a Saturday morning down the pan.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:36 am 
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The tests I am involved with are 90% written, Milla, so I am not sure how shyness would play a part.
When I have used oral tests, I have noticed no gender difference at all in the willingness of the children to try what is required; and certainly no gender bias whatsoever in the results. If children are shy, then the examiner should do his/her best to put them at their ease, to take into account nerves on the outcome and to make it fun. I have been involved in this type of thing for a few years now and have never once had a child 'crippled by shyness'. More often we finish and they say "was that it?"


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:26 am 
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must be a different system. Ours reported back (and, again, stress that NOT my children) that it was a performance or interactive thing rather than written. Was just interesting that's all, no criticism intended.


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