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Dodds, Martin C.L. (1989) Examining Urdu: A study of 16+ examinations in the U.K. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The purpose of this thesis is to investigate some aspects of Urdu examinations in Britain. The changeover from GCE to GCSE has required Urdu teachers and students to develop a broader range of skills. The goals of the Urdu-using community do not necessarily accord with the demands of the GCSE, which requires Urdu to be examined according to criteria determined for French. Chapter 1 discusses factors which affect the examination and distinguish Urdu from French: the students' bilingual background, teachers and teaching provision, the implications of the change in the examination system, the introduction of the National Curriculum and the notion of parity of status with 'Modern Languages'. Chapter 2 analyses the GCSE criteria and the Urdu syllabuses derived from them. Certain aspects of the GCSE are given special consideration, including writing standards, the oral examination, discrete-skill testing and the use of dual language papers. In view of the social priority accorded to writing by the Urdu-using community it was thought appropriate to investigate examination candidates' written performance. Chapter 3 discusses the rationale for the collection and analysis of the corpus analysed. Chapter 4 demonstrates the types and range of verbs and verb forms used by the candidates and relates them to the GCSE vocabulary and structure lists. Chapter 5 analyses errors with particular reference to the influence of Panjabi and the relationship between phonemes and graphemes and considers them from the standpoint of the GCSE assessment criteria. Chapter 6 contains an analysis of English words used in the Urdu compositions and of those included in the GCSE vocabularies. The final chapter summarises the findings of the research and suggests areas worthy of further investigation. Alternative examination formats are also suggested which may be more appropriate for Urdu than those prescribed. These include graded assessment, the introduction of national attainment targets and the development of a new post 16+ examination.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:14

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