Secondary pupils do poorly in DSE English exam: report
E-mail writing, spelling, pronunciation and vocabulary were among the most challenging areas for candidates in this year's Diploma of Secondary Education English examination.
Only 48.5 per cent of pupils met the university entrance requirement in this subject, the lowest rate among all subjects, an official report stated.
Candidates performed worst in a task requiring them to write an e-mail to a potential advertiser requesting changes to a submitted advertisement, according to the report, which was published yesterday by the Examinations and Assessment Authority.
Pupils sometimes struggled to combine information from different sources, such as editorial notes on the advertisement and policies reported in meeting records, the report said.
"Also, the advertisers should be include the business address and phone number in the advertisement" was an example cited in the report, in which the candidate failed to address the advertiser directly.
Spelling errors such as "chok" - a popular term among young Hongkongers meaning forcing oneself to look handsome - or "choke" for "chalk", "blockbroad" for "blackboard", and "frist" for "first" were common among the pupils.
In oral exams, examiners complained about candidates failing to understand key words or ideas. Some pupils talked about fried noodles and milk tea in a group discussion when the topic was about strange food, while other pupils said "I agree with you" despite errors.
Common pronunciation errors included pronouncing "robot" as "Robert" or "rabbit", "snack" as "snake", "healthy" as "heavy", and "pressure" as "pleasure", the report revealed.