Swansea University

Assessment in Welsh/Another Language

Assessment in Welsh/Another Language

Guidelines on Assessment or Examination in Welsh or in a Language Other than the Language of Tuition

1. Assessments through the medium of Welsh

The teaching and assessment language of the University is predominantly English, but in accordance with the University’s Welsh Language Scheme and Feedback and Assessment Policy, students may submit assessed work or be examined in Welsh.  This policy DOES NOT apply for students pursuing modules in which proficiency/ competency in another language must be demonstrated.

Students must submit a written request to the College within four weeks of the start of the relevant module(s) to be permitted to sit an examination and/or submit assessed work in Welsh.  (Where modules are of a shorter duration than four weeks, requests must be submitted upon enrolment on the module). The College shall then forward these requests to the Director of Academic Services who will then liaise with the Head of College (or nominee) regarding:

The provision of question papers through the medium of English or Welsh;The necessary arrangements for the translation and/or marking of scripts in time for the inclusion of candidates’ results as appropriate;The engagement of a suitable person or persons to act as assessment advisor or (at an approved fee) as translators.

It is a student’s responsibility to determine whether or not they are competent in the Welsh language, including appropriate technical terminology for the subjects concerned. Students must be aware that marks may be deducted for poor spelling/punctuation/grammar in accordance with the College(s) policy on this matter.

2. Translation of Assessment Questions

Where a Welsh language translation of an examination paper has been provided for an English-medium module, students should also be permitted to view the English language paper and to respond through the medium of English should they choose to do so.  This approach is taken in order to ensure that the opportunity for students to be assessed in the language of their choosing does not compromise the student’s ability to achieve to their maximum.

3. Marking of assessed work submitted in Welsh

For programmes taught through the medium of English

Welsh Medium Assessment Framework

All students of Swansea University may submit assessed work in either English or Welsh.  To maintain the integrity of assessments submitted in Welsh, the University will endeavour to ensure wherever possible, that work is marked and feedback provided through the medium of Welsh entirely, rather than being subject to translation into English.

The University has established the following framework to manage the marking of assessments submitted through the medium of Welsh to ensure assessment integrity and compliance with the Welsh Language Act.

What process should be followed when a student wishes to submit an assessment in Welsh?

Should a student at Swansea University elect to submit an assessment in Welsh, Colleges must ensure that they have the necessary expertise in place to enable a student to do so.

To ensure Colleges have sufficient time to put the necessary framework in place, it is essential that students alert their College to their potential Welsh language submission as early as possible, and no later than four weeks from the start of the relevant module.  Students who do not inform their Colleges may experience some delays in marking and/or their work may be translated for marking.

When a student submits an assessment in Welsh, Colleges should refer to the table below to identify the best solution.

Scenario Proposed Option(s)
Internal Welsh-speaking primary marker and moderator in place No further action needed. Work is marked internally as standard.
Internal Welsh-speaking primary marker in place, without moderator College to source external Assessment Advisor to act as a moderator (Should the internal primary marker not be available, Colleges should revert to option 1 or 2 below)
No primary marker in place  1) Source internal Welsh-speaking member of staff from cognate subject area to ascertain if they would be willing to act as a primary marker. The work will then be sent to an Assessment Advisor for moderation
2) Work is translated and an internal member of staff acts as a primary marker, and the Welsh version of the work is sent to an Assessment Advisor for moderation and to ensure the integrity of the marking.
3) As a last resort the work is translated and the primary marking and moderation is carried out internally through the medium of English.

Academic Quality Services will provide Colleges with a list of internal Welsh-speaking staff and their disciplines, and a list of Welsh-speaking external academics and their disciplines at the beginning of each academic year to assist staff in identifying internal cover and/or Assessment Advisors.

What is an Assessment Advisor?

An external Assessment Advisor is an academic from a different University who has agreed to act as a moderator for an assessment submitted in Welsh, should the Department not have adequate cover.  Assessment Advisors will be paid for their work, and Academic Quality Services can be contacted via externalexaminers@swansea.ac.uk  where they will be able to provide further guidance on fees.

An Assessment Advisor will be required to:

  • Moderate students’ work through the medium of Welsh in a timely manner
  • Submit a moderator’s report in both Welsh and English.

An Assessment Advisor will not be required to:

  • Carry out primary marking
  • Contribute to the assessment questions
  • Attend examination boards

Assessment Advisers are recruited purely to modify students' work in the language in which they submitted. There is no further involvement at any stage.

Who is responsible for ensuring quality and standards of marking are maintained?

The module co-ordinator and Programme Director will assume responsibility for ensuring that the quality and standards of marking through the medium of Welsh by Assessment Advisors is maintained. This is made possible through the bilingual moderator’s report.

How can I find a potential Assessment Advisor?        

Each College will be provided with a list of potential Assessment Advisors and their disciplines by Academic Quality Services at the beginning of each academic year. Should the College require an Assessment Advisor, they should select one from the list, and contact externalexaminers@swansea.ac.uk for guidance on fees and next steps. The potential Assessment Advisor should then be approached by the College to ascertain their availability to complete the work.

What happens after we have appointed an Assessment Advisor?

After the Assessment Advisor has completed the work, you should submit their casual payment form and a scanned copy of their passport to externalexaminers@swansea.ac.uk 

Should the external academic accept the role of Assessment Advisor, they will not normally be permitted to be appointed as an External Examiner in the same subject area for a minimum of five years.   It may also be the case that any colleague in the same Department as the Assessment Advisor may not be considered sufficiently independent to act as an External Examiner for five years.

For programmes taught through the medium of Welsh

As a first principle, we encourage assignments to be marked by the individual teaching on that topic.

As a second principle, we encourage the appointment of a Welsh speaking External Examiner who is linguistically and academically competent to make judgements on the original language text or oral assessments.  Welsh speaking competency is requested in the nomination form for External Examiners.  The University of Wales and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol also maintain a database of Welsh-speaking External Examiners to which Swansea University has access to assist in identifying appropriate expertise.

Good Practice

Where a bilingual External Examiner is appointed, it is good practice for the examiner to review assessments in English as well as Welsh to compare and confirm standards.

4. Assessments through a language other than Welsh/English

In the case of students pursuing Modern Languages programmes, if appropriate and with the approval of the relevant module coordinator, students may be permitted to complete continuous assessment or examinations in the target language of modern languages modules.  However if the rubric of the examination/assessment requires submission in English/Welsh, then this requirement shall prevail.

5. Marking of assessed work submitted in a language other than Welsh/English

In the case of students pursuing Modern Languages programmes, internal and External Examiners must be competent in the relevant languages and therefore issues regarding assuring standards and translation matters (as outlined above for Welsh language submissions) are not applicable.

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