BATOD Tier 2 Online Language Modification
This course will be useful CPD for any Qualified Teachers of the Deaf (QToDs) who want to develop a specific understanding of how to make exam questions more accessible. It may be of interest to anyone working in the post-16 sector with an interest in writing accessible examinations.
Within the Tier 2 online course there are two sets of assignments:
Modifying questions by subject type (practice) assignments
- you will pick two out of four subject areas
- The document is tutor marked
- There are five separate questions in each subject area
Modifying whole papers assignment
- you will pick one out of four subjects
- The document is tutor marked
- There is a whole paper to modify
Feedback from practitioners who undertook the pilot Tier 2 course
“Having completed the Tier 1 course, which I found to be a useful – if challenging – introduction to language modification (and which I probably approached more from a teacher’s perspective), I decided to have a go at the Tier 2 course. I found it really helpful to have ‘The Language of Examinations, 3rd ed.’ available for reference, just to clarify points of grammar or to look at examples. The online guidance on Submitting Assignments was a useful starting point.
I chose to work on a subject which I am already familiar with, as I felt this gave me more confidence. The work on individual questions was quite straightforward in terms of being able to focus on just one section of the specification. The whole paper gave a better appreciation of the overall task and made me look at the rubric and instructions, and consider what was expected from the candidates, in more detail.
The feedback was fair and made me look at some questions, and the way I had suggested modifying them, again. There is obviously a subjective element to modification, but it is therefore important to be able to justify any comments made. Probably the most important comment was that I was taking too long over the work, and this is something I have tried to bear in mind when actually working for an examining body.
I was encouraged to repeat the process in a subject I was less familiar with, and this felt more like a modification task as I wasn’t spending so much time considering the content. I also made better use of the Marks Scheme this second time round, to make sure any suggestions matched the purpose of the question.”
“I took part in the pilot of this course in the winter of 2020. Tier 1 clearly outlined the issues and pitfalls associated with the syntax and semantics of the carrier language and rubric used in examinations. Although extremely detailed, the information provided was clear, and well explained using everyday examples.
Tier 2 really put me to the sword (forgive the idiom!) The examination questions I was set to modify were challenging and contained all the issues laid out in Tier 1. The questions were varied, with a diverse selection of subjects and question type. The level of challenge was necessary to prepare modifiers for their future role.
The course has not only built my confidence, knowledge and understanding in language modification, but has informed my practice as a teacher of the deaf in charge of a hearing support facility in a busy mainstream school. I feel empowered to deliver training to mainstream staff to ensure day to day carrier language used in the classroom, both spoken and written, is not over elaborate or confusing for all learners, irrespective of hearing status. As a former science teacher, I now feel confident going ‘toe to toe’ with our fantastic English department. A tremendous course.” Richard Hetherington, Teacher of the Deaf in charge of a Hearing Support Facility
On successful completion of both the Tier 1 and 2 courses, we will invite BATOD members to become a member of the BATOD panel of exam language modifiers. BATOD currently work with a small number of exam boards including AQA, CCEA, NCFE, Pearson/Edexcel and WJEC.
The current BATOD co-ordinator is Nicky Weightman. The Co-ordinator will contact you to ask you if you are interested in taking on language modification assignments for different exam boards, as work becomes available. Some exam boards have an induction process which they organise. When you accept the work, you are working for the exam board and BATOD knows no more about how the work goes. The exam board will expect you to keep to the contract you sign. They also inform the Co-ordinator if a modifier has not kept to the contract. The co-ordinator will have to pass on that information and may have to remove the person from the list.
Every 2 years, the whole team will be asked to modify a short paper to provide recent evidence of competence.
This means BATOD can continue to monitor and moderate professional practice and provide feedback if necessary.
It is difficult otherwise to check continuing competency, because exam boards do not always take up the modifiers’ suggestions, and you are also not allowed to keep any evidence of modification work on your computer. What we see eventually on the exam board’s website may not be the same as what you recommended.
If you have questions please contact via firstname.lastname@example.org