Language Tutors – an overview?

  • Adrian Jefferies


    We are bracing ourselves to start Language Tutors. As others have noted, it seems ok until you get into the detail.

    In short make a database, then run a query which produces data.
    Feed that data into a program.

    Have I got this right? If the our students test their programs from first principles, they will be constantly typing the database data (names, etc) into the program – a very slow process. I then briefly wondered if it might be possible to get Access (our database) to write a file, which could then be read by Visual Basic (our main programming language). This approach is a non-starter.

    I feel the programming problem is clumsy and unclear – plus it took us a while to figure out exactly what had to be done. Obviiously it could be argued that when testing the program, you just keep trying it with a couple of names just to drive the main logic parts.

    And as for the marking scheme ….. I think a big copy/paste crowbar was used here.

    However, my gripes aside – is this same as last year or has it been tweaked? How did you get on? Am I missing the point?

    Thanks, Adrian

    Marc McWhirter

    If you used a DB output file like a CSV and input it into your program this would be a Higher level task. I really wouldn’t expect that of N5 students.

    I found the task to be really lengthy in practice last year. That was my biggest gripe.

    Robert Young

    Only used this as a practice last year and the students found it ok. It took a while to work through but no longer than Ticket Agency did.

    Alan McGregor

    It looks much better this year than it was last year. The four/five language issue has been resolved,and the examplar now has sensible primary keys. Also, there is a completed database supplied. I expect it not to take as long to do this time round. We’ll see…

    Darren Brown

    The number of hours in the program has to be input validated as being 10 or more so will have to be typed in. I did have a pupil last year who listed the student names in an array at the top so she didn’t have to type them in each time just display them.

    Adrian Jefferies


    We have made a discovery – so many thanks to Compednet in general & Alan McGregor in particular ……. We downloaded Last Years Assessments ….

    The 2014/15 material is dated September, so we must have missed it by an atom. It all makes more sense now.

    I still have strong reservations about the quantity & quaility of the materials, etc, but right now I allI can do, on behalf of myself & the school, is to humbly withdraw from the fray.

    I nominate this thread as Closed.

    I’m off for a bit of lie down now ,,,,

    many thanks

    Andrew Douglas

    What level of Pseudocode is required from the pupils? Would anyone be willing to share with me an example of the type of thing that they would expect from their pupils?


    Give me an email address and I’ll send you a copy of a pupil sample. Not prefect but pretty good, and what I am looking for from pupils looking to score well in the coursework.

    Andrew Douglas
    Brian Avarl


    My pupils have just completed this assignment – any chance you could send me a copy – it might help me when I am marking mine.


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