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Cambridge General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level
3180 Arabic November 2012
Principal Examiner Report for Teachers

ARABIC
Paper 3180/01
Composition

Key messages
In order to do well in this paper, candidates should:






ensure that they answer one question from Section A and one question from Section B
adhere to the word limits specified
ensure that their work is legible, accurate and logically presented
ensure that they present their response in the form stipulated in the question (e.g. letter, dialogue etc)
plan their use of time for each question and allow time for thorough checking of their work.

General comments
On the whole, candidates performed quite well in this paper.
In some cases, handwriting proved quite difficult to read. Candidates need to ensure that they present their
work clearly and legibly. Candidates should be reminded to write in black or dark blue pen.

Comments on specific questions
Section A – Letter, Report or Speech, Dialogue
1(a)

Some candidates did not have enough vocabulary to be able to write about their symptoms. Some
candidates ignored the requirement to present their response in the form of a dialogue, instead
presenting a narrative containing some reported speech. Candidates should be reminded that a
dialogue takes place between two people and that they should write their response accordingly.

1(b)

This was the most popular question in this section, and responses were generally good. A number
of candidates wasted many words by using extensive greeting phrases; it would have been a better
use of time and words to write on the topic.

1(c)

Many candidates could not write in the appropriate format. They would benefit from more practice
in writing reports, focusing in particular on how to start the report.

Section B – Essay
Candidates seemed to prefer this section of the paper, and Questions 2(b) and 2(c) were the most popular
questions in this section. Responses to Question 2(b) were often excellent. In response to Question 2(c), a
number of candidates made a good attempt to attract and hold the reader’s attention by narrating stories that
were full of suspense. On the whole, answers to this question were well narrated.

1

© 2012

Cambridge General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level
3180 Arabic November 2012
Principal Examiner Report for Teachers

ARABIC
Paper 3180/02
Translation and Reading Comprehension

Key messages
In order to do well in this paper, candidates should:




ensure that they plan their time for each question and allow time for thorough checking of their work
ensure that their work is legible and logically presented
read the translation passages carefully before beginning to translate.

General comments
Overall, performance in this paper was very good.
There were a number of issues with grammar, syntax, tenses and choice of vocabulary. Encouraging
candidates to read widely can help them to enrich their vocabulary and consolidate points of grammar.
Candidates should try to learn new vocabulary items in context.
Further practice in translation may also benefit candidates.

Comments on specific questions
Section A – Translation
Question 1
This question required candidates to translate a passage from Arabic into English, and many candidates did
very well.
The following is a list of common errors seen in candidates’ answers:


The word ‘beautiful’ was often translated as ‘cute’.



The word ‘wicked’ was frequently translated as ‘selfish’.

Question 2
This question required candidates to translate a passage from English into Arabic. The majority of
candidates coped well with this translation.
The following is a list of common errors seen in candidates’ answers:


A number of candidates translated ‘bazaar’ as ‘shop’.



The word ‘airport’ was often translated as ‘plane station’.



Many candidates translated ‘historical’ as ‘archaeological’, ‘old’ or ‘famous’.



The word ‘river’ was frequently translated as ‘sea’.



Some candidates translated ‘fort’ as ‘harbour’.

2

© 2012

Cambridge General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level
3180 Arabic November 2012
Principal Examiner Report for Teachers
Questions 3–10
Candidates generally attempted these questions well.
Some candidates could not explain the meaning of the vocabulary items in Question 10. Some candidates
copied out the sentences from the reading passage that contained the vocabulary items given in the
question, but this was not sufficient to demonstrate comprehension. Other candidates gave incorrect
synonyms/antonyms.

3

© 2012


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