*Disclaimer:* The Chinese Internal Assessment is an Individual Oral Assessment (IOA) based upon the 5 themes that are studied in Chinese. This article is written based upon the personal experience of the Chinese IOA from a Chinese B SL student.
Part 1: The Picture
The student will be given 15 minutes prior to the actual oral assessment to choose their photo and make notes on the photo, and these will be the only set of notes that you are allowed to bring into the assessment room.
Section A: Describe the Picture
To begin, the student must take about a minute to describe the picture. Talking about the five W’s is great starting point. Who is in the picture? What are they doing? Why might they be doing it? When might this be taking place? Where might this be taking place? What is the theme of the picture? Why does this picture fit in with this theme?
Section B: Chinese Culture & International Mindedness
For this section, it is important to think about the theme of the selected picture, and how that theme can relate to Chinese culture. This shows the examiner that the student recognizes that they are in a course where they are learning Chinese, both as a language, and as a culture. When talking about both the Chinese culture, and links to Western culture, don’t forget to connect it back to the picture.
Section C: Personal Experiences
This is another section where students must remember to connect their responses to the things which occur in the picture. This section may tend to be easier for students, as they are asked to speak about their personal experiences relating to the theme. How is your life connected to the theme? Students may choose to speak about their experience travelling, or their use of social media, depending on the theme.
Part 2: Thematic Questions
For the next 3-4 minutes, the student will be asked questions related to the theme which matches the photo. Teachers at school may provide practice questions before the actual assessment — take advantage of this! It’s a good idea for students to prepare answers to all of the practice questions before going in, as you will not be allowed to bring in notes (except the ones made at the start of the oral) to the assessment.
Part 3: Questions from Other Themes
Make sure that students have had exposure to the remaining themes, as the last 4-5 minutes of the assessment will consist of questions from other themes, unrelated to the picture. Preparing answers to practice questions is the best way to prepare for this section.
For my Chinese IOA, my chosen picture fit in with the theme of Human Ingenuity, centering on the more specific theme of social media addiction. I spoke about the way teenagers use social media, and the way our use of it has changed due to COVID-19. For the Chinese Culture and International Mindedness section, I spoke about various applications that are popular in China, and equivalents used in other areas in the world. When talking about my personal experience with social media, I explained the various social media apps I tend to use, and whether I considered myself a social media addict or not. For the other themes I had to answer questions to, my topics were Travel and Stress. For these, I mainly spoke about my experiences with both of these topics.
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