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Raffles Institution (Junior College) 2009 JC2 Common Test 2 General Paper (Paper 2) MARK SCHEME

General notes: Do not give marks for language or AQ marks may be given for short questions based on examiners discretion From Passage 1

1. What can you deduce about the KwaZulu-Natal culture from the two things the
student from KwaZulu-Natal learnt that should not be adopted in his culture (lines 16-17)? Use your own words as far as possible. [2 marks] Pt a Lift how early a girl is exposed to a relationship how the Western culture treats the elderly Suggested answer: Conservative, protective of females, paternalistic, young women do not date till they are older, they are strict about dating (any 1) Respectful of the aged/values filial piety/take care of the aged Mk 1

do not treat the aged the same way as


Westerners do (too vague)

KwaZulu-Natal culture is not easily


eroded/resists Western influences/do not follow what they are exposed to blindly Comments This was not a difficult question and most students did well. Some, however, lost marks because they either described the culture of the West (e.g. females start dating from a young age) or stated what should be done (Aged people should be given more care) rather than describe the KwaZulu-Natal culture. There was also a tendency to make sweeping statements about Western culture to the extent of declaring filial piety to be non-existent! which was not necessary. In trying to paraphrase girl and relationship, some students also resorted to colloquial terms/phrases like kid, go out with a guy. A few points to note: For point (a), it is not enough to say teenagers are not encouraged to have romantic ties; it is the young women who are protected that way For a straightforward question like this, students have to be as specific as they can. Saying that the KwaZulu-Natal people value bonds between men and women or that they regard the elderly favourably is not enough.

2. What does the description of people as tabulae rasae on which global capitalisms
moving finger writes its message (lines 20-21) imply about these people? Use your own words as far as possible. [1 mark] Lift People as tabulae rasae on which global capitalisms moving finger writes its message another homogenised consumer Suggested answer: Passive, impressionable/easily influenced, susceptible to influences, without strong opinion/without a mind of their own, unquestioning (any 1) mark = it implies that they are products of popular media Mk 1

ignorant, no opinion/thought

Comments The description of people as tabulae rasae on which global capitalisms moving finger writes its message conveys the idea that these people are passive receptacles, accepting the foreign influences without question. Answers that were not accepted include: people are ignorant (point is not that they have no knowledge but that they lack the ability/judgement to discern what to accept or not) people are not well educated (as above) they are devoid of their own culture/ do not have their own cultures (not the cultures that are blank slates but the people!) they readily accept Western influence (the idea of passivity is important; it is not a conscious or willing decision)

3. Using material from paragraphs 2 to 6, summarise the authors arguments against


the theory of cultural imperialism often invoked by cultural preservationists. Write your summary in no more than 120 words, not counting the opening words which are printed below. Use your own words as far as possible. [8 marks] The author argues that cultural imperialism is a false theory because Pt a b Lift the evidence doesnt bear it out (line 7) if there is a local product many people prefer it (line 9) people tend to prefer television programming thats close to their own culture (lines 12-13) academic research confirms people tend to prefer television programming thats close to their own culture (lines 12-13) how people respond to these American products depends on their existing cultural context (lines 14-15) he learnt that two things shouldnt be adopted into his cultureThey can also resist (lines 17- 19) 2 Suggested answer: there is no proof of it. In fact, people favour their own cultural goods/shows, Mk 1 1

c d e

as proven by studies. People from different cultures react differently to American influence due to their different social environments. They can reject it.

1 1 1

f g

Talk of cultural imperialismtreats people as tabulae rasaedeeply condescending (lines 19-22) And it isnt true. (line 22) Cultural consumers are not dupes (lines 1819) Behind much of the grumblingis an image of how the world used to be - an image that is both unrealistic and unappealing (lines 23 24)

It is highly patronising/arrogant/demeaning and wrong to view others as easily influenced by the American culture. OR People are not easily manipulated The assumption that cultures in the past were homogeneous is nave/improbable/false ( m) and disagreeable ( m) Note: do not award mark if students do not understand what it is that is unrealistic and unappealing The mixing of cultural influences has always occurred.

1 1

None of this is modern (line 33)

Migrations that have contaminated the larger world were not all modern (line 30) migrations have always occurred (not migration per se, but the mixing of cultures brought about by migration) We have never needed a homogeneous Sharing identical beliefs/morals/ethics system of values in order to have a home has never been a prerequisite for (line 34) building a common/national/cultural identity.

do not accept codes of conduct for


k Cultural purity is an oxymoron(lines 34 35) (NB: focus is on the nature of culture) l values It is impossible for any culture to be unadulterated/untouched by other cultures. OR Cultural purity does not exist/is a contradiction People adapt foreign goods to local purposes. 1

people in each place make their own uses even of the most famous global commodities (lines 42-43) (maximum 8 marks; mark deducted if word count is missing)

Comments The summary was mostly well handled with the average marks being around 5-6. Better students went beyond direct paraphrasing and were able to distill the key points from a long section and rephrase them in a coherent manner. In this manner, they also save on the words used. e.g Lines 12-13 is basically the point of how studies have shown imperialism is not all powerful and can be reduced to e.g People can reject unwanted foreign values Point H was a tricky Inferential question and most students were unable to obtain the mark. This was due to them not really understanding what exactly was unappealing and unrealistic. Many tried to get around it by writing The world in the past was not attractive and improbable without clarifying what about the past was so unappealing. Marks cannot be awarded only for imaginative re-phrasing. 3

Weaker answers showed lack of understanding and poor attempts to rephrase chunks of the passage without much coherence to points. e.g The world has always been polluted by people moving about (this is for point i ) --- this displayed no understanding of culture mixing or We never required the same morals to live (for point j ) ---- this displayed no understanding of beliefs and common identity/nationalism Also, many summaries sounded like a telegraph. At times, it felt like discrete unrelated points lumped together without connectors. This of course had bearing on general fluency and the language marks. However, there was a general improvement in the students ability to sieve out the relevant points and leaving out unnecessary details such as long examples. From Passage 2

4. Why would nationalists and cultural romanticists condemn the homogenising


influences of globalisation (line 1)? a Lift nationalists [2 marks] Mk 1 Suggested (inferred) They feel that globalisation undermines their attempts at (re)creating a sense of national identity/compromises patriotism/compromises cultural uniqueness and hence national identity/they want to preserve their countrys unique identity cultural They feel that globalisation destroys the purity/integrity of indigenous romanticists culture/compromises cultural uniqueness

Note : there is no need for students to point out who (whether the nationalist or the cultural romanticist) makes the criticism : there should be 2 separate points given for the full 2 marks to be awarded (i.e. the point of loss of cultural uniqueness, while applicable to both the nationalist and the romanticist, needs to be separately dealt with in order to be given 2 marks) Comments Many candidates missed out on the nationalist part of the question. As such, many only scored one mark here. Candidates are required to show that nationalists feel that such a move will cause countries to become over-dependent on one another, or lose their distinctive features, which would lead to a loss of sovereignty or national identity of a country. Cultural romanticists feel that important cultures would be lost and diluted in the wake of removal of cultural barriers between countries, leading to the loss of cultural identity/uniqueness. For the 2-mark question, 2 separate points are expected in order for the candidate to be awarded the full marks. 5. According to the author in paragraph 2, why is the media seen as a threat to some countries? Use your own words as far as possible. [4 marks] Pt a Lift The United States dominates this global traffic in information and ideas. American music, American movies, American television, and American software are so dominant 4 Suggested The American culture controls the media and this, in turn, Mk 1

the media is ubiquitous

OR that they are now available literally everywhere b influence the tastes, lives, and aspirations ..are viewed as corrupting Shapes the preferences of their citizens Shapes the everyday reality of their citizens Shapes the dreams of their citizens [Any ONE of the three] This American influence is seen as (morally) dubious / pernicious/insidious/negative/unhealthy/bad (Note: the idea of a negative influence is necessary) Citizens are exposed to foreign influences/new sources of information/ideologies OR (inferred) seen as undermining the legitimacy of the governments / threatening political power 1

control of the new media that gave previously closed or controlled societies ..access to the outside world is a high priority

Comments Although the instruction words according to the author and use your own words were expressly stated in the question, it was disappointing to note that a substantial number of candidates attempted to offer a free response, even to the extent of offering examples of their own to substantiate the points they made. There were also some who disregarded the mark allocation and produced oneliners that hardly did justice to the question. Rephrasing was often unsatisfactory, particularly where points (a) and (b) were concerned.

6. What does the story of King Canute in lines 19-20 reveal about
i. the nature of globalisation? ii. the character of King Canute? i Lift sea's edgewaves Suggested (inferred) It is impossible to stop the tide of globalisation / it is unstoppable/inevitable/unavoidable/irreversible [1 mark] [1 mark] 1

it is a natural process, it is forceful/powerful/too fast/a force


that keeps going forward/undeniable (focus is on contextual meaning, and hence we do not accept answers merely describing the general nature of waves) Imperious / deluded / egotistical/ unreasonable/ unrealistic/ foolish/arrogant/domineering/stubborn/unwilling to accept change/nave/irrational (any 1)

ii

infamousset his throne at the sea's edge and commanded the waves to go backward

highly powerful/ignorant/demanding/determined/cloeminded/conservative/tyrannical Comments 5

The majority of students managed to provide the correct answers for both parts of the question, especially for part (i). So this was generally well-answered, except for the following points to note: Part (i): Some students apparently did not realise that they were supposed to describe the nature of globalisation, as implied by the waves in the story of King Canute. Hence, some merely gave very literal descriptions of the waves, which, while true of waves in general, is not what the question demands. Part (ii): Some students provided positive adjectives (e.g. he showed unwavering determination), which did not fit in with the critical attitude the author displays towards countries like King Canute. Students should therefore read passages carefully and ensure they understand aspects like their context, authors attitudes etc. before they answer questions.

7. In paragraph 6, the author gives a number of reasons why America should not shy
away from promoting its values, so clearly in the interests of the world at large. (lines 43-44) Give any THREE of these reasons. Use your own words as far as possible. [3 marks] Pt a Lift American culture allows individual freedoms and cultures to thrive of all the nationsthe most just, Suggested American culture encourages personal liberty/rights/choices and the flourishing of varied traditions [Any ONE of the two] Most impartial/fair 1

least corrupt
c The most tolerant, Most open-minded / liberal / accepting of different beliefs / inclusive/most understanding of differences or different beliefs 1

most understanding The most willing to constantly reassess Most given to self-evaluation / betterment / and improve itself, reformation [Any ONE of the two] most adaptable most given to change

and the best model for the future.

Best archetype / an ideal to strive towards

most relevant
Note: the idea of most must be present in the answers (b)-(e) Comments This was quite a winner for almost all the candidates assessed. With five options in the suggested mark scheme, and most options broadly interpreted or with ANY ONE OF TWO sub-categories, students fared very well. In fact, most gave the entire five options for the 3 marks, cleverly merging two or three points into one, in the hope of presenting a very comprehensive answer. Another interesting observation was that there was hardly any lifting for this answer. Those few who really fell 6

short of the question had generous language problems or failed to address the relative notion of most in assessing America positively.

8. Give the meaning of the following words as they are used in the passage. Write your
answer in one word or a short phrase. a accelerates (line 4)
It accelerates a process that has taken place throughout history (look out for the idea of increasing speed)

[5 marks] m 0m Forwards; furthers; drives; go faster United; mingled; converged; assimilated; congealed; interlinked; intertwined Unusual; unrelated; exotic; unfamiliar; unknown; strange; radical; unacceptable progress; succeed; handle; survive; result; pay; experience useless; unproductive; impossible; random; foolish; lofty; stagnant; passive; inactive

commingled (line 5)
discrete groups have become familiar with one another, allied, and commingled - ultimately becoming more alike (look out for idea of becoming 1 entity)

1m hastens; quickens; expedites; speeds up; advances; hastens; hurries; rushes; increases in speed become mixed; blended; combined; amalgamated; integrated; merged; joined dissimilar; disparate; different; foreign; differing

compounded; synthesised; came/come together

alien (line 16)


central governments have aggressively sought to keep out American and other alien political views and mores. (look out for idea of difference from local norms, not necessarily the opposite)

Opposing; contrary; incompatible; contrasting; incongruent; dissenting

fare (line 21)


The Soviet Union fell in part because a closed society cannot compete in the Information Age. These countries will fare no better.

turn out; do; perform; cope; manage; get on; get by; end up; be in a situation that is hollow; unrealistic; groundless; vain; futile; baseless; frivolous; pointless; unachievable; empty

idle (line 34)


These are not simply idle aspirations. (look out for the idea of unachievable aspirations)

Note: - mark for wrong word class, though not wrong tense Comments Part (a): this was a relatively easy question and those students who lost marks tended to give answers which, while related, didnt fit how the word is used e.g. goes faster.

Part (b): the key idea in commingled is about how people happened to form an entity (which may not be intentional), and answers which suggest more than that (without further evidence) would not be the most appropriate Part (c): the passages context indicates that alien is more about different than strange or unknown; a government may want to keep out some countries ideas because it knows they are (dangerously) different. Part (d): generally well-answered. Fare is term that doesnt usually suggest more than turn out, for example, so other terms like succeed would be inappropriate. Part (e): there were several strange answers such as lofty or too literal ones (e.g. inactive). For more challenging terms, students should study the passage for contextual clues more closely. There were not too many cases of answers with the wrong word class but students are reminded to strive for the best/most precise answers. From Passages 1 and 2 9. Appiah argues that globalisation leads to a heterogeneous mixing of cultures. Rothkpof, on the other hand, argues that globalisation leads to the creation of a homogeneous global culture dominated by the United States. Does your country have a more heterogeneous mixing of cultures or is it more influenced by a homogeneous global culture? Support your answer by referring to what you have read in the passages and to the situation in your country. [8 marks] Possible points from passages More heterogeneous mixing of cultures (Passage 1) if there is a local product many people prefer it The academic research confirms that people tend to prefer television programming thats close to their own culture (paragraph 2) how people respond to these American products depends on their existing cultural context (paragraph 3) he learnt that two things shouldnt be adopted into his cultureCultural consumers are not dupes. They can also resist. (paragraph 3) Talk of cultural imperialism structuring the consciousness of those in the periphery treats people like these students as tabulae rasae It is deeply condescending. And it isnt true. (paragraph 3) Behind much of the grumbling about the cultural 8 More influenced by a homogeneous global culture (Passage 2) globalisation promotes integration and the removal not only of cultural barriers discrete groups have become familiar with one another, allied, and commingled - ultimately becoming more alike. (paragraph 1) The United States dominates this global traffic in information and ideas. American music, American movies, American television, and American software are so dominant (paragraph 2) lives of the elite are virtually identicalto compete in the global marketplace they must conform to the culture of that marketplace (paragraph 3) United Statesencourage the development of a worldshared interestscommon language common telecommunications and quality standardstelevision, radio, and music, the programming be Americancommon values (paragraph 4)

effects of globalisation is an image of how the world used to be - an image that is both unrealistic and unappealing the migrations that have contaminated the larger world were not all modern (paragraphs 4 and 5) Cultural purity is an oxymoron. The odds are that, culturally speaking, you already live a cosmopolitan life that contains influences from many places (paragraph 6) people in each place make their own uses even of the most famous global commodities (paragraph 6) Students are required to: State stand - more heterogeneous mixing of cultures or more homogeneous global culture Draw on points from both passages Forward arguments, counter-arguments and rebuttals Demonstrate knowledge of the situation in their country

Sample answer Stand Point from Passage 2 (counterarguments) Singapore has a more heterogeneous mixing of cultures The United States dominates this global traffic in information and ideas. American music, American movies, American television, and American software are so dominant (paragraph 2) Evaluation and evidence - American influence in Singapore is seen in the use of English as first language, the influx of American media (eg: MTV, reality TV programs, news channels), American food including fast food, our knowledge of American celebrity culture, fashion trends. - BUT it isnt the dominant influence and doesnt diminish the cultural diversity in Singapore - America isnt the only country from which we import products and services like news and TV programs, fashion and food. Singapores major trading partners are mainly Asian countries: Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong. - Singapore government also emphasises not losing touch with ones culture through their policies and actions (eg: Speak Mandarin Campaign to reverse the trend of speaking English in Chinese families, bilingual education policy). They recognise the importance of maintaining cultural roots to build a sense of belonging in a young nation. - Rising influence of China also contribute to government efforts to focus not just on the West but to see China as culturally and economically important. 9

Point from Cultural purity is an oxymoron. The odds are that, culturally speaking, you already live Passage 1 a cosmopolitan life that contains influences from many places (paragraph 6) (arguments) Evaluation and evidence - Culture is dynamic and open to external influences, even those seemingly homogeneous cultures with long traditions (eg: Japanese culture greatly influenced by the Chinese, English language brought to England by the Germans and influenced by the Normans). - Singapore is a city with many different cultural influences due to: immigrant roots, colonial rule, few resources resulting in the attraction of foreign talent, use of foreign labour, allowing immigrants in to maintain current racial mix; use of English for economic progress and high telecommunications connectivity exposing us to Western (and other) influences. - In Singapore, new cultures even develop from amalgamations of other cultures (eg: Peranakan and Eurasian cultures). - Singapores pride in being a multiracial society translates to practices that respect and celebrate differences (eg: celebration of different festivals/new years, appreciation of ethnic foods, development of some ethnic enclaves, 4 official languages, learning of mother tongue languages). Conclusion Even though there are American influences in Singapore, local cultures remain vibrant. American influence is but one of many cultural influences in cosmopolitan Singapore.

Mark Range 6-8 A

Grade Descriptors Makes very convincing EVALUATION by making judgements and decisions, and by developing ideas to logical conclusions. Systematic reference to the given REQUIREMENTS of the question with evidence of a balanced treatment. EXPLANATION shows a good or very good understanding of terms and issues, and includes elaboration and support through personal insight and apt illustration. Show high degree of COHERENCE and organisation. EVALUATION is attempted but it is not always convincing and tends to be superficial with limited development of ideas. Covers given REQUIREMENTS of the question but not necessarily a balanced treatment given. EXPLANATION shows an adequate level of understanding of terms and issues (which may include minor misinterpretation) and is not thorough in support and illustration. COHERENCE and organisation are not as sharp or systematic as the top band. Tends to be a mere summary or restatement of the text rather than an EVALUATION of it. Largely fails to address the given REQUIREMENTS of a question.
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3-5 B

1-2 C

EXPLANATION shows very limited levels of understanding and a higher incidence of misinterpretation with very thin support. Inconsistency in the argument is evident. COHERENCE is in question.

Comments The application question was by and large rather disappointing, with many students scoring B-C grades. The common errors are listed below: a. Poor evaluation I. Sweeping statements: Wild claims were liberally made about the profligate and corrupting West, which was blamed for the introduction of pornography, vulgarity, vanity (as in plastic surgery), materialism, outspokenness, cohabitation and premarital sex in Singapore. No attempt was made to establish the validity of these assertions. Particularly perplexing was why the US is responsible for materialism in Singaporeans when all humans are capable of being innately greedy. Other claims that demonstrated poor critical thinking include how turning up for the River Hongbao show means that Singaporeans are not easily susceptible to Western influence, and how the existence of some popular American shows in Singapore means that foreign shows are always more popular than local ones, and vice versa. II. No evaluation of the authors arguments: Frequently, the authors arguments were unquestioningly accepted by students, who jumped to provide evidence to support these views without first stopping to critically evaluate the claims made. Refreshing perspectives were offered by students who were able to identify the flaws in the authors arguments. For example, some students refuted the claim made in Passage 2 that Singapore is a global hub in which the lives of the elite are virtually identical. While acknowledging that the global culture has undisputed influence, they pointed out that Singapore businesses are also concerned with innovation in exporting local heritage and culture, and do not merely concern themselves with Westernising their products. Local and global business practices may also differ, for example, local businesses may be more concerned with guan xi or reciprocity, which stands them in good stead when collaborating with regional and Chinese partners. III. No evaluation of the students own observations: Frequently observations about the Singapore culture were made without any accounting for why they are so. For example, students may point out that Singapore already had a myriad of cultural influences before the onset of globalisation and the Information Age, but do not account for why this is so. They may also observe that there is a heterogeneous mix of political views in the Singapore government, but again do not analyse the genesis of such a mix. b. Poor substantiation I. Wrong evidence provided: Some students were woefully misinformed about current affairs, or made inaccurate observations. For example, some stated that the stopping of Aware sexuality programmes in schools demonstrated a new liberalism in Singapore, or that American shows are always more popular in Singapore, ignoring the fact that some local shows (eg: The Little Nyonya, 11

Phua Chu Kang, Singapore Idol) have also enjoyed great popularity. Others think that Singapores national language has changed from Malay to English. II. Valid but run-of-the-mill evidence provided: Many valid but rather conventional observations were made, like the multicultural aspects of Singapores food, language, fashion, and media. Better scripts did not simply provide a descriptive list of these features, but accounted for their existence. For example, better students do not stop at observing how Singaporeans hold fast to their heterogeneity, but provided reasons for why this is so (for example, due to government policies aimed at maintaining the delicate balance between cultures, due to the political sensitivities of being situated in a largely Islamic region, due to Singapores few resources and the need to attract immigrants and foreign talent). c. Poor organisation Students need to be more circumscribe about paragraphing, and apply the same principles in essay-writing to the application question: each paragraph must have a coherent point, and be differentiated from the next. A new point necessitates a new paragraph. Some students were overly anxious to discuss as many of the authors arguments as possible, and sacrificed depth for breadth, leaving out important evaluation and substantiation. They would do well to remember that quality is more important than quantity in answering the question. Minor but commonplace errors: Homogeneous and heterogeneous were misspelled, missing out the last e. Names of TV shows, movies, books, must be accompanied by .

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OVERALL USE OF LANGUAGE 15 Marks General Paper COMPREHENSION marking guide This mark is awarded on the basis of English performance over the whole comprehension paper, bearing in mind that time pressure may cause performance to deteriorate towards the end. Base your mark on the candidates best work. Indicate errors of grammar and expression in the margin as an aid to assessing the mark. A provisional mark should emerge prior to your marking the summary. This mark will then be confirmed or modified by performance in the summary. Incomplete papers will already have a low content mark; use the full range of 15 marks if there is enough original writing to assess adequately. Circle errors - Sp., P., omission, vocab., syntax. Use a wavy line to highlight poor expression, dubious idioms. Tick positive merits of expression, vocab., construction. Make a short comment after the summary of your overall impression. CLASS A MARK RANGE 12-15 DESCRIPTION OF ENGLISH QUALITY Comparatively few serious errors. Positive merits of vocabulary, syntax etc. Uses own words consistently. Own sentences are original, inventive and developed. Answers are cogent/concise and well organised. Generally has the clarity, maturity and fluency to be expected of a good student at AO level. A number or errors of various kinds, but they do not seriously impede the flow of the writing. Perhaps one or two positive features/merits. Avoids wholesale copying. Vocabulary and sentence structures are competent but limited. Usually writes in convincing and idiomatic English. Errors are frequent but the English is mostly intelligible. Frequent lifting. Misuse of vocabulary and / or breakdown of syntax/ grammar (tenses, omission, number etc.) occur from time to time. English is halting, repetitive, generally insecure. Only simple sentences attempted successfully (4-5 marks maximum). Errors are so frequent as to render a significant proportion muddled or unintelligible. Wholesale lifting with little own language to be assessed. Widespread misuse of vocabulary. Writing falls short of the minimum level of competence expected of post - O level students.

8-11

4-7

1-3

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