Skills for Life. Writing Level 1 Examination Report Test 067

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1 Skills for Life Writing Level 1 Examination Report 2007 Test 067 1

2 Skills for Life Writing Examination Report: Level 1 This report is based on candidate performance on one version of the Skills for Life Writing Level 1 tests in 2006/07. 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 067 The four tasks in this test were an accident report, an to student service asking to be a volunteer helper, an article about the advantages and disadvantages of living in different areas of a town or city and a report on living arrangements for elderly people. There were 36 marks available on the paper, 9 for Task 1, 12 for Task 2 and 15 for Task 3. The breakdown of marks available for each assessment focus (Text, Sentence and Word) is shown below: Text Sentence Word Task Task Task Candidates performed well in the Word focus on both questions where this was assessed (Tasks 1 and 3) but the strongest performance was seen in Task 1, which focused on familiar vocabulary of travelling. This was also a task where candidates had to give a straightforward narrative saying what happened to them. They did marginally less well in Task 3 where some candidates made errors when they attempted more ambitious vocabulary. Candidates generally also performed well on Text focus answering questions fully and organising their answers well. This was done best on Task 1 but was done less well on Task 3, where some candidates struggled with addressing all the points and organising their answers. Candidates performed least well on Sentence focus. Most managed to produce appropriate complex and compound sentences but, in Task 3 especially, some candidates made errors in word order, noun-verb agreement and prepositions. Task 1 Accident Report In this task, the most successful answers sequenced the information as suggested and included a sufficient level of detail. A few candidates additionally made successful use of headings although this was not specifically required. Giving details of location and time of the accident presented no difficulty for most candidates. Some candidates attempted too complex a description of how the accident happened or used vocabulary that they were uncertain of with resulting loss of clarity. Action required by the bus company presented few difficulties with most candidates highlighting regular inspection and/or compensation. The tone of the report was generally appropriate. Prepositional use was generally accurate in detailing when and where the accident happened. The simple past was mostly chosen to describe the sequence of events leading up to the accident with appropriate use of linkers. Explanation of why the accident happened or what the consequences were, where this was provided, generally required use of more complex sentence forms involving subordinate clauses with if, because or as. These were not always 2

3 successful. Action required by the company usually involved the would like construction in which to before the infinitive was sometimes missing. Stronger candidates successfully used so that clauses in completing the report. Appropriate vocabulary was generally accurately used when describing location and time of accident and indicating action required. Describing how the accident happened gave rise to a higher level of inappropriacy such as felt down, the bus took off, the seat sunk / turned over, equipments, lost my mind. Task 2 Student Guide In this task, there was greater opportunity for candidates to use their own ideas and they were generally not short of ideas as they had either experienced college induction procedures or were fully aware of student interests. Stronger candidates tended to write more than the number words suggested but some candidates failed to indicate sufficiently clearly why they would be eminently suitable as volunteers although this was one of the main task requirements. Generally, paragraphing and progression of argument was good with an opening statement, two (or more) main paragraphs and a concluding statement. Generally good use was made of the language of explanation, suggestion and persuasion involving complex sentences with subordinating clauses of reason, purpose and result. Good use was also made of would like, modals and future forms. Weaker candidates tended to omit would when intending would like. Use of linkers between sentences and paragraphs ( the main reason why another reason is that ) was also generally accurate. Lexical accuracy is not assessed in tasks and marks that would otherwise be available for Word are allocated to Sentence. Task 3a City Article This was a popular choice among the option questions and most candidates responded well to all parts of the question and had no difficulty in discussing facilities, amenities and services or lack of them. A minority omitted one of the three aspects of the task. A small minority of candidates who misinterpreted the task and wrote about different areas of the town, rather than the area they lived in. Generally this task was well paragraphed with good opening and closing statements. Stronger candidates sometimes made use of rhetorical questions in the opening paragraphs or introduced the article with an arresting title as mechanisms for arousing interest. Generally good use was made of the language of description, comparison and contrast, explanation and suggestion involving both simple sentences and complex constructions. Present simple and present progressive forms were generally accurately used as were there are and there is and this task provided a lot of opportunity for use of modals. An appropriate range of vocabulary relating to housing, population, services, amenities, and facilities was used. The incidence of crime in the area was frequently highlighted and appropriate vocabulary used. It appears that candidates had been well prepared for this topic. 3b Elderly People Report Most candidates were able to summarise the four strands of information and to make relevant comparisons. A minority of candidates focussed too exclusively on care home arrangements and lost marks accordingly. Discussion of why the changes had happened tended to focus on family neglect and accommodation in care homes and this was generally satisfactorily accomplished. There was more under-paragraphing on this task sometimes just one for the summary and one for the explanation and headings were used sparingly. 3

4 In summarising the changes, good use was made of relative clauses, the present perfect, there are and there were, although there were noticeable errors in singular / plural agreement. More than sometimes appeared as more that. Explanation of the changes generally required complex sentences in which subordinating clauses of reason, cause and result were appropriate. This task elicited a range of vocabulary relating to care for the elderly. The most common lexical error was elderlies used as a noun (or sometimes elderly s ). Independence also sometimes appeared as independant or independency and carers were sometimes caretakers. Recommendations for Candidate Preparation All Cambridge ESOL Skills for Life tests are based closely 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 make use of the guidelines which tell you how much to write and how much time to spend on each task. read the task instructions carefully and check that you have done what the instructions say. think carefully about the intended audience and adopt an appropriate tone and style. plan your answer carefully to make sure you have balanced the points. make sure you use paragraphs and organise your answer appropriately. make use of appropriate opening and closing formulae (such as Dear Miho and Yours sincerely) in notes, letters and s. Don t worry if you run out of space: your Centre will provide extra paper which will be marked in the normal way. waste time writing out a rough answer use planning instead. forget to spend time checking your answers. Sample Scripts Sample scripts are provided for each task in the question paper. Please note that it is not possible to reproduce the original candidate answers, and so any references in the commentaries to quality of handwriting will not be reflected in the samples provided. 4

5 Level 1 (Test 067) Sample Scripts and Commentaries Level 1 Script A Task 1 (About 10 minutes) You were travelling on your local bus when you hurt yourself on a broken seat. Write an accident report for the bus company: giving details of when and where the accident happened describing how it happened saying what you would like the bus company to do. Write about 80 words. Accident Report The aim of this report is to give details of the accident, which happened last Monday. Last week I was travelling on our local bus to college, when I accident happened. When I got onto the bus, I found an empty seat and I went and sat on that, which was broken, as a result I filled down and unfortunately I got a crack in my left leg bone. I suggest the bus company to look after their busses and repair those parts which are broken or out of order even if it is a small thing because it can cause big problems. I think these are the important things the bus company can do to give good service to the public. (Total: 9 marks) 5

6 Level 1 Script A Commentary Band Mark Text All points covered with suitable expansion, except for point 1, which is minimally covered. Good organisation and paragraphing. 3 3 Sentence Evidence of ability to construct complex sentences but not always accurately e.g. long sentence in paragraph Word Appropriate range of vocabulary with a few spelling errors e.g. busses [Turn over

7 Level 1 Script B Task 1 (About 10 minutes) You were travelling on your local bus when you hurt yourself on a broken seat. Write an accident report for the bus company: giving details of when and where the accident happened describing how it happened saying what you would like the bus company to do. Write about 80 words. Accident Report Dir Mrs/Mr I have complain about your company ficilities. I traveing by bus No 41 in Sale area evry day and some of the sets in these buses are broken, so need to be change or repear, cuple days ago I did hurt myself with that. Many people who has age has travel evry day and they couldn t handel that problem if they will get hurt, pealse give it attention and sort it out this problem as soon as posible. your faitfuly (Total: 9 marks) 7 [Turn over

8 Level 1 Script B Commentary Band Mark Text Some attempt at task with notable omissions. 1 1 Sentence Some evidence of ability to construct complex sentences but they are all marred by error. 1 1 Word Frequent basic errors, some of which impede communication [Turn over

9 Level 1 Script C Task 2 (About 25 minutes) You read this notice at college. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED URGENTLY! 50 new students are arriving at college next week. They are year olds who are learning English. In the first few days, we would like volunteers to take care of small groups. We want you to welcome them to the college, introduce them to other students and show them around the town. Can you help us? If so, the head of Student Services explaining why you would like to volunteer and why you are the right person to help. Write an to the head of Student Services. Write about 130 words. To: Student Subject: Volunteers To the head of student services. Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing in reply to the college request asking for some volunteers to take care of small groups. I would like to be one of the volunteers to welcome the new students to the college, introduce them to others and help them. I would like to be volunteer because now a days I am free and I feel boaring at home and also I like meeting new students and helping them the ways I can do. I would also like to help the college, I am still studying at in any way that I can. I think I am the right person to be chosen, because I have been living very near to the college from the last three years, as a result I know the town near the college very well, in addition I also know lots of students in the college, so I can easily introduce them to other students. Another point I think is that I am 23 years old, I mean being young and having more patience to deal with teenagers and to understand them well. Above are some reasons which make me feel that I am the right person to help. I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely M S (Total: 12 marks) 9 [Turn over

10 Level 1 Script C Commentary Band Mark Text All points covered with suitable expansion. Reader would be both informed and persuaded. 3 6 Sentence Accurate use of tenses, but sentences not always correctly punctuated and often overlong. 2 4 Word Not assessed in this task 10 [Turn over

11 Level 1 Script D Task 2 (About 25 minutes) You read this notice at college. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED URGENTLY! 50 new students are arriving at college next week. They are year olds who are learning English. In the first few days, we would like volunteers to take care of small groups. We want you to welcome them to the college, introduce them to other students and show them around the town. Can you help us? If so, the head of Student Services explaining why you would like to volunteer and why you are the right person to help. Write an to the head of Student Services. Write about 130 words. To: Student Subject: Volunteers Hello! I think I am the right person to volunteer for students because I always get on with younger people. I would be pleased to see them. First of all why I would like to volunteer because I want to try something new in my life, to be honest I never was volunteering for somebody, so I decide to be a volunteer for these students. As I m saying I have the skills, I can work with students easily. I can understand them and help them a lot. I am sure I am the right person for this volunteer job. Thank you for reading, I hope you will choose me to be on one of the volunteers. See you, R (Total: 12 marks) 11 [Turn over

12 Level 1 Script D Commentary Band Mark Text Both points addressed although not always fully coherent. 2 4 Sentence Evidence of ability to construct complex sentences with varying degrees of accuracy. 2 4 Word Not assessed in this task 12 [Turn over

13 Level 1 Script E Task 3a (About 40 minutes) A local magazine wants to publish articles about the advantages and disadvantages of living in different areas of your town or city. You decide to write an article about your area. In your article, describe your area, explain the advantages and disadvantages of living there and suggest at least one improvement you would like to see. Write about 200 words. The aim of this article is to give some describtion of the area where I live as well as some advantages and disadvantages of it. The area I live in is Hendon, where I have been living from the last three years. This area is very big and has a lot of beautiful and important places. we have two beautiful and big parks near our area. we also have too many schools, colleges and a university in our area. There is a fire station as well as a big and beautiful library. This area has too many busses, night busses and two train stations, which are very important services for the.local public. We have a big shopping centre and two street markets, where we can find everything we need. On the other hand some disadvantages of this area is that shops close very early and some of the streets are a little dirty, which needs cleaning service. The rent of the houses are very high that you will find it hard to live here. I suggest them to clean the streets. (Total: 15 marks) 13 [Turn over

14 Level 1 Script E Commentary Band Mark Text First two points fully covered and third point briefly addressed. 2 4 Sentence Evidence of ability to construct complex sentences. Punctuation inconsistent at times. 2 4 Word Some evidence of range with generally accurate spelling [Turn over

15 Level 1 Script F Task 3a (About 40 minutes) A local magazine wants to publish articles about the advantages and disadvantages of living in different areas of your town or city. You decide to write an article about your area. In your article, describe your area, explain the advantages and disadvantages of living there and suggest at least one improvement you would like to see. Write about 200 words. I am living in Sale area wich is good because in this area you could find evrything easy. It has nice shopping centre include indoor and outdoor that s close to the metro station and bus stop, library. Library is part of town hall which it has good hall for teater and some time cinema, in summer almost they put program for youngest and children. You could find diffrent pop and resturant like Italian, Tahi, Chinees,... and many takeaway. If you going littel bit far from city centre in Broad Road Walington Park is there that is nice clean and big and how often you could go there for car bot our funfair. This area is enough big and clean and good people living there who cares about own area. But it has disadvantages as well. Lot s of new apartmemant biulded and Lot s of them isn t finish yet, which are made large number poputatio and trafic and secend problem is most of the houses is sold and you couldn t find enugh for let so if you need place in this area you must going to living in new apartmet that is very expensive, the rent price of these are comper with house. Next problem is about leasure center in sale isn t enough big and clean and price is not good. I think if cancel make good way for people who hasn t enough money to buy the house such as low income people that they couldn t go somewhere else for many of reson is much better than let it to big company to make apartemant. (Total: 15 marks) 15 [Turn over

16 Level 1 Script F Commentary Band Mark Text Task completed but with minimal expansion although there may be some confusion over point Sentence Some evidence of ability to construct complex sentences with lack of control. 1 2 Word Frequent basic spelling errors leading to confusion e.g. cancel [Turn over

17 Level 1 Script G Task 3b (About 40 minutes) As part of your course at college, you have been studying changes in where old people live in the UK. The data below shows where old people lived in 1976 and where they live now. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS FOR ELDERLY PEOPLE ALONE 25% 40% WITH FAMILY 35% 5% WITH FRIENDS 15% 5% IN A CARE HOME 25% 50% Write a report: summarising the changes saying why you think these changes have happened. Write about 200 words. I think old people who lived alone in befor was less than now because they had not enough equipment to care ownself but now tecnologey bring a easy and comfortable lif more than befor for them. But about old people who live with family are less than before because the life is chang and people got diffrent problem on theire life more than befor and they buseir and when old people could take care ownself isnot any more reson to living with family like befor but I must mention it fmaily life has more fun and respect, I think is fantastic. And about living with friend the resons is the mix of two reson that I say about living alone and with family plus living in carehome. because one of bigest reson that bring down ather persentage live homecare. Homecare: Most of old people going to the homecare for many reson lik, chldren hasn t enugh time to look after old people or they hadn t good stuation to living with faimly as helth or mental 17 [Turn over

18 problem. Sometime they hasn t nobody to look after them. Most of the time children has own family with two or tree childern which they lot of job to do and they want to look after them but they hasn t any choice and at last they put old people in homecare even get more benefit to care. (Total: 15 marks) 18

19 Level 1 Script G Commentary Band Mark Text Both points addressed although not always clearly. 2 3 Sentence Some evidence of ability to construct complex sentences but not always sufficiently controlled for meaning to remain clear. 1 2 Word Limited range of vocabulary not always spelt correctly

20 Level 1 Script H Task 3b (About 40 minutes) As part of your course at college, you have been studying changes in where old people live in the UK. The data below shows where old people lived in 1976 and where they live now. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS FOR ELDERLY PEOPLE ALONE 25% 40% WITH FAMILY 35% 5% WITH FRIENDS 15% 5% IN A CARE HOME 25% 50% Write a report: summarising the changes saying why you think these changes have happened. Write about 200 words. Report About Living Arrangements for Elderly People The living arrangements for elderly people has complete changed between In 1975, 25% of elderly people lived alone But in 2005 the elderly people living 40%. The elderly people living with family just 5% in 2005, but in 1975 they were living 35% of elderly people. In 1975, 15% of elderly people living with friends but only 5% they were living in In 2005, 50% of elderly people living in Care Home but they used to live just 25% in Care Home. I think everything gone worse then it used to be because in 1975 elderly people used to live much more with their friends and families then in and the Badness is that so in 1975 elderly 20

21 people were living alone and in care homes not as many elderly people as in The procentage gone up nearly twice in section: living alone and living in care home. The reason why it happened like that is because people have changed a lot in worse way. They became not as good as they were. They aren t so helpful, friendly, lovely, and good persons as they were. This is the thing, World changes and people with it. At the time everything going in the bad way. I would like to not to be like that but to change the World in the good way is very hard, but I hope after years, I don t know how many, but after quite many years the World is going to be good and that means people are going to be more friendly and everything is going to be great! (Total: 15 marks) 21

22 Level 1 Script H Commentary Band Mark Text Both points covered but with little development. Satisfactory level of detail to achieve purpose. 2 4 Sentence Evidence of ability to construct complex sentences, although second paragraph sentence is overlong. Otherwise minimal error. 2 4 Word Some evidence of range with generally accurate spelling

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