Skills for Life. Writing Entry 2 Examination Report Test 097

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1 Skills for Life Writing Entry 2 Examination Report 2010 Test 097

2 Skills for Life Writing Examination Report: Entry 2 This report is based on candidate performance on one version of the Skills for Life Writing Entry 2 tests in 2009/10. The report is intended as an aid to teachers and colleges in preparing candidates for future Cambridge ESOL Skills for Life Writing tests. It includes a number of sample candidate answers accompanied by examiner comments. Test 097 The three tasks in this test were an to a family member about a friend, a note to a friend about a missed party, and a letter to a landlord about problems in the flat. There were 33 marks available on the paper: 9 for Task 1, 12 for Task 2 and 12 for Task 3. The breakdown of marks available for each assessment (Text, Sentence and Word) is shown below. Text Sentence Word Total Task Task Task Total Scores were highest for Text and lowest for Sentence. Task 1 about new friend Candidates generally handled this task quite well. Text : Most candidates covered all the content points. The first point rarely produced more than one simple introductory sentence so most of the language came from the other two points. Some weaker candidates confused like as a verb with like as a preposition and wrote about what the friend liked. Because this was a task that candidates could relate to, many wrote much more than was asked, which may have affected those who found the last task more challenging. Sentence : The second and third content points produced a range of sentence types, particularly the latter, which produced compound sentences giving reasons for liking the friend (see comments on the first content point above). There was also plenty of scope for adjectives describing the friend s appearance and personality. Some stronger candidates used past tenses to explain where and when they met the friend. Word was not assessed in this task. Task 2 Note about missed party This was a straightforward task which candidates on the whole coped well with. Text : Many candidates scored highly here. All content points were covered, although a few candidates missed the second (asking what happened). Answers were well organised into paragraphs, had generally appropriate openings and closings and were written in an informal register. Nearly all candidates started with an apology, which gave their notes a more authentic feel. Sentence : The task produced a good range of sentence types. The first point enabled even quite weak candidates to produce compound sentences with because. The second point was a good test of 2

3 past question forms and use of question marks. The third point gave stronger candidates the opportunity to use future tenses in their invitations. Word : The task produced a range of vocabulary. The reason for not going to the party was typically some form of illness or accident or having to work late. The invitation for next weekend often related to another party but gave better candidates the opportunity to suggest a range of activities. Task 3 Letter to landlord This was clearly the most demanding question on the paper but brought out the best from strong candidates. Text : The task required candidates to invent problems and suggest solutions, which was hard for weaker candidates; many attempted to describe situations which were beyond them linguistically. Many candidates seemed unfamiliar with the register expected for a formal letter, with even strong candidates often using very informal language. Aside from that, good candidates were able to produce very good answers and weaker candidates were able to communicate that there was a problem with their flat. The first two points were usually dealt with together, with the second point often an add on to the problem e.g. in the kitchen. The final point was sometimes omitted. Sentence : This task again produced a variety of sentence types, typically compound sentences explaining the causes of the problem. Better candidates often used past tenses here. The final point often produced requests with a variety of modal forms. Word : This task required a wide range of vocabulary, which was sometimes a problem. Many candidates tried to describe situations that were obviously real, but for which they lacked the necessary vocabulary. Recognisable attempts at lower frequency words were rewarded with Band 3 scores. Recommendations for Candidate Preparation All Cambridge ESOL Skills for Life tests are based on the Adult ESOL Core Curriculum and cover all the Basic Skills Standards in each mode at each level. Therefore, by following the Adult ESOL Core Curriculum, teachers will be preparing their students for the tests. Candidates will benefit from being reminded of the following Dos and Don'ts: Do Do read all the task instructions carefully. Do make sure you know all the task types by looking at practice tests. Do make sure that your handwriting is clear and easy to read. Do read the task carefully and plan an answer which addresses all the content points of the task. Try to develop each point fully. Do consider who you are writing to and try to write in an appropriate style and tone. Do think carefully about whether the task requires you to ask, describe, invite etc and make sure you do this in your answer. Do allow time to check through what you have written. 3

4 Don t Don t use a pencil. Don t worry if you make a few grammatical errors in tasks. Communicating the message is the most important thing. Don t write answers which are much shorter or longer than the recommended number of words. Don t spend too long on one answer. Don t write a full, rough copy of your answer. Just write brief notes to plan your answer. Sample Scripts Sample scripts are provided for each task in the question paper. Please note that it is not possible to reproduce the candidate answers in the original handwriting, and so any references in the commentaries to quality of handwriting will not be reflected in the samples provided. 4

5 Entry 2 (Test 097) Sample Scripts and Commentaries Entry 2 Script A Task 1 (About 10 minutes) You have a new friend at college. Write an to someone in your family. In your , say: where your new friend is from what your new friend looks like what you like about your new friend. Write about 50 words. Subject: my new friend Hello Anna! Last week I start Bedford College. It s very nice. I have a lot of new friends but one is special. She name is Wiesia and she is from Poland. She is very friendly person. Very quickly help me to do everyting because how you now I start lerning english after one month how everybody students. Wiesia has 46 year and she livs with family in Bedford. Mayby when you coming we can go togeder SAME special place. See you soon xxx Your the best sister Kasia :) 5

6 Entry 2 Script A Task 1 Commentary Band Mark Text Sentence Candidate has only covered two of the content points where from, what you like (implied). Text is coherent and there is evidence of ability to organise text and use simple cohesive devices. Candidate shows some evidence of ability to construct compound sentences. Sentence grammar is sufficiently controlled for most of the meaning to be communicated, though meaning may be impeded at times e.g. after one month how everybody students Word Not assessed in this task 6

7 Entry 2 Script B Task 1 (About 10 minutes) You have a new friend at college. Write an to someone in your family. In your , say: where your new friend is from what your new friend looks like what you like about your new friend. Write about 50 words. Subject: my new friend My friend name is ceren. She is very friendlly. She has got black eyes. She is tall She has got two children she has got black hair She is housewife She likes reading a book She likes go to shopping She likes swimming. 7

8 Entry 2 Script B Task 1 Commentary Band Mark Text Candidate has attempted to cover the task. There is a clear description and what you like is implied through She is very friendlly. 2 2 Sentence Candidate uses simple sentences without conjunctions and full stops are inconsistently used. 1 2 Word Not assessed in this task 8

9 Entry 2 Script C Task 2 (About 20 minutes) Your friend Leyla had a birthday party yesterday. Leyla invited you to the party but you couldn t go. Write a note to Leyla. In your note: tell her why you couldn t go to the party ask her what happened at the party invite her to do something with you next weekend. Write about 70 words. He Leyla I m sorry couldn t come to you a birthday party, on yesterdad Bacues I was eall. I was raning you bat you mouball was switch of. I well invite for a danna next week after danna we go to sanama I hopas you had a good time. ast my birthday next monats I invite some more friend and well like to come to home leyla for my birthday Tankeyou 9

10 Entry 2 Script C Task 2 Commentary Band Mark Text Audience would be informed of some of the main points. There is coherence in places and evidence of organisation with paragraphs. 2 3 Sentence Full stops and capital letters are not always used. Evidence of some control over word order and tenses, though some confusion arises, e.g. I well invite for a danna. 1 1 Word Candidate experiences difficulty spelling less familiar words e.g. mouball, raning. Handwriting requires effort

11 Entry 2 Script D Task 2 (About 20 minutes) Your friend Leyla had a birthday party yesterday. Leyla invited you to the party but you couldn t go. Write a note to Leyla. In your note: tell her why you couldn t go to the party ask her what happened at the party invite her to do something with you next weekend. Write about 70 words. I m sorry I can t come your party becouse I have appoment. how is you party going, are you stay hom antyl nigth or did you go restoran. how meny people enjoy your party, do you have good party. 11

12 Entry 2 Script D Task 2 Commentary Band Mark Text Candidate has attempted to cover the task. Text is largely coherent. 2 3 Sentence Full stops and capital letters used as sentence boundaries are often missing, and question marks are not used where appropriate. Some confusion over meaning due to verb tenses, e.g. mixing past and present are you stay hom antyl nigth or did you go restoran. 1 1 Word Some incorrect spelling causes confusion. The handwriting is legible

13 Entry 2 Script E Task 3 (About 20 minutes) You moved into a new flat last week. There are some problems in the flat. Write a letter to Mr Price, the landlord of the flat. In your letter tell Mr Price: what the problems are where the problems are what you want him to do. Write about 70 words. You do not need to write the address or the date. Dearly Mrs Price Hi Mrs Price. How are you? Where are the problems about a flat? I work full time. What are the problems? Don t do you like me? Don t worry I will pay it. I will get married. I need a flat. I want to this flat. I will give you some money about flat. Please can you help me? If you want, we can meet some where. See you soon Sincerely Mrs Price 13

14 Entry 2 Script E Task 3 Commentary Band Mark Text Candidate has misinterpreted the task. Although the candidate has not covered the content points, the text is linked to the topic of the task. 1 1 Sentence Candidate shows some evidence of control over basic verb tenses. Full stops and capital letters are consistently used as sentence boundary markers and question marks are used where appropriate. 2 2 Word The spelling is mostly accurate. However, there is a limited range of vocabulary appropriate to task

15 Entry 2 Script F Task 3 (About 20 minutes) You moved into a new flat last week. There are some problems in the flat. Write a letter to Mr Price, the landlord of the flat. In your letter tell Mr Price: what the problems are where the problems are what you want him to do. Write about 70 words. You do not need to write the address or the date. Hello Mrs Prince. It s me Magda Kowalski. I have a problem in the flat. Actuall problem is in a kitchen. Ther is a lot off insekt s. I don t know what to do because bihaind a sink is water, i don t know why and everything stinking Can you come and help me i will very happy. I ll waiting on your answer. This week i stay at home so you can come when you want. Thanks very much and see you soon. Magda 15

16 Entry 2 Script F Task 3 Commentary Band Mark Text Sentence Word The candidate has covered the main points and the intended audience would be informed. Some attention has been paid to organisation and cohesion. However there is no paragraphing. Sentence grammar is sufficiently controlled for most of the message to be communicated. There is some evidence of ability to construct compound sentences. The pronoun I is not always produced in upper case. Candidate has selected vocabulary appropriate to task. Spelling of familiar common words is generally accurate. Although the spelling of more ambitious vocabulary is not always correct, meaning remains clear, e.g. Actuall, insekt s

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