Oral Communication In oral communication components, the candidate is usually required to give a presentation or take part in a group discussion.
For candidates with a hearing impairment, in components which require oral communication SQA approve the use of BSL, Sign Supported English or other sign language. This would be delivered to a hearing audience or group by a translator.
It would not be acceptable to have an interpreter translating for a hearing impaired candidate for the components in the Unit which assess written communication.
This follows SQA policy on Assessment Arrangements that candidates are entitled to access assessments in the way in which they access the course and in through their usual means of communication. As such candidates with speech difficulties may also make use of appropriate ICT support.
In written communication components a candidate with a disability and/or additional support need would be entitled to the same assessment arrangements as they would in other subjects. This includes using a scribe or ICT with spell-check. This is because when we say written communication we mean the skill being assessed is the ability to convey communication in written form, not the physical ability to write.
In allowing such support, SQA believes that candidates, who have been appropriately identified as having a disability (not simply candidates with poor spelling and grammar) which means that they are unable to produce a written response without such support, should not be prevented from demonstrating their ability to, for example, in the Core Skills SCQF Level 6 Communication Unit, produce a document (or a series of related documents) that conveys several pieces of information, opinions or ideas.
Even with the support of a scribe or ICT, candidates will still have to demonstrate all of the key aspects of the assessment objective with the exception of where the candidate has a specific difficulty which requires support in spelling and punctuation. Candidates will have to show that they can:
- Choose a format for a piece of writing that is appropriate to the readers and the subject matter.
- Choose layout, structure, vocabulary and graphics (if appropriate) which make the piece of writing clear, suit the topic, and be appropriate for the reader.
- Gather and select relevant information or ideas and present them with supporting detail, in a logical and effective order, linking related information or ideas. vary the sentence structure, paragraphing and vocabulary to suit the purpose of the writing and the intended readers
- Vary language for effect
- Use a writing style that takes account of purpose and readership.
Similarly, candidates who have been appropriately identified as having a disability which that they are unable to access written text should not be prevented from demonstrating their ability to, for example, in the Core Skills SCQF Level 6 Communication Unit, identify and summarise all the important ideas, key points and supporting detail in a complex piece of non-fiction writing or evaluate fully how well a complex piece of writing meets its purpose and the needs.
Even with the support of a reader or ICT, candidates will still have to demonstrate all of the key aspects of the assessment objective.
The use of these arrangements is of course based on the centre having evidence of the candidate’s need in line with SQA Quality Assurance principles for Assessment Arrangements.