City & Guilds IESOL Sample Writing Tasks at B2 Communicator level

Introduction The aim of this booklet is to familiarize teachers who prepare candidates for the City and Guilds ESOL examinations with tasks, performance samples, assessment criteria and benchmark performance samples. The tasks and performance samples in the current material represent level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference. The CEFR levels and descriptors are embedded in every stage of the production and delivery of the International ESOL and Spoken ESOL tests and are also incorporated in the marking procedures. The material includes sample tasks from former live tests and authentic performance samples produced by ESOL candidates. An attempt has been made to select samples which represent a wide variety of performance levels within the given CEFR level. All samples have been double marked to ensure that the evaluation criteria are rigorously followed and marking is consistent, accurate and reliable.

Marking the writing tasks The current guide includes only the open writing tasks which are evaluated with the help of task-specific mark schemes. Each level has a task-specific mark scheme with descriptors for Task fulfilment, Grammar, Vocabulary and Structure. The Task fulfilment mark reflects how far the candidate has achieved the task, the Grammar mark measures the range, appropriacy and accuracy of grammar, the Vocabulary mark assesses the range, accuracy and appropriacy of vocabulary as well as spelling accuracy. The Structure mark reflects how coherently ideas are linked in the text and how accurate the punctuation is. There are four levels of performance with a corresponding mark in each of the above criteria: First Class Pass, Pass, Narrow Fail and Fail. The total marks awarded for the task are the sum of the marks awarded to each criterion. The writing tasks are marked by trained markers who use the task-specific mark scheme for the evaluation of the tasks. The mark-schemes are regularly updated and markers are trained regularly to ensure that they are marking to standard. Grading the Writing section If a task has not been attempted, a zero mark should be awarded for that task. Once each Writing task has been marked, an overall mark is awarded for the Writing section. This overall mark is translated into one of the following grades: Fail, Narrow Fail, Pass or First Class Pass

Maximum marks for each writing task Part 1 Part 2 respond appropriately to a given text to produce a formal response for an intended public audience produce a personal letter, a narrative or descriptive composition Maximum mark: 12 Maximum mark: 12

Grade table for Writing section for B2 Grade FCP PASS NF F Total marks: 24 20-24 12-19 11 0-10

Spelling and capitalisation American spelling is accepted if used consistently. Inappropriate use of capital letters is generally not penalised unless spelling is the focus of the task. Over and under length answers The Task Fulfilment criterion with seriously under length answers will probably attract a score of 1 or 0 as there will most likely be no or little expansion of the topic. Answers which are seriously over length are awarded one mark less for the Task Fulfilment criterion than would otherwise have been awarded. Writing - Tasks Communicator Level – (B2) Writing 1: respond appropriately to a given text to produce a formal response for an intended public audience Writing 2: produce a personal letter, a narrative or descriptive composition 100-150 words

150-200 words

Writing –Marking CEFR Overall Written Production descriptor B2 Can write clear, detailed official and semi-official texts on a variety of subjects related to his field of interest synthesising and evaluating information and arguments from a number of sources.

CEFR descriptors related to assessment criteria Task Fulfilment Can write clear, detailed descriptions of real or imaginary events and experiences marking the relationship between ideas in dear connected text, and following established conventions of the genre concerned. Can write clear, detailed descriptions on a variety of subjects related to his/her field of interest. Can write a review of a film, book or play. Grammar Shows a relatively high degree of grammatical control. Does not make errors which cause misunderstandings. Vocabulary Has a sufficient range of language to be able to give clear descriptions, express viewpoints on most general topics, using some complex sentence forms to do so, language lacks, however, expressiveness and idiomatic and use of more complex forms is still stereotypic. Structure Can use a limited number of cohesive devices to link his/her sentences into clear, coherent text, though there may be some 'jumpiness' in a longer text.

B2

Marking Writing Part 1 Writing a neutral or formal response to a written, graphic or visual input for a public audience: 100-150 words.

Public Version Mark scheme B2 - Part 1
Task Fulfilment Fully and appropriately addresses all four content points satisfying the demands of the task, with good expansion & support. Mainly satisfies the demands of the task, covering at least 3 content points with adequate expansion of the topic / content points. Responds to at least 2 content points. Partially satisfying the demands of the task, with little expansion of the topic / content points. Does not satisfy the demands of the task, responding to only one or none of the content points appropriately. No expansion of the topic OR off topic. Grammar Vocabulary A good command of a broad repertoire. Good command of idiomatic expressions. No serious errors. Good range of vocabulary on general topics, accuracy is high. Errors don’t impede communication. A range capable of describing situations only relating to him/herself, eg family, hobbies, work. Errors make understanding difficult. Only a rudimentary range of vocabulary used. Many errors, often difficult to follow. Structure

3 First Class Pass

Broad range of grammar used with clarity, assurance and precision.

Few if any errors of coherence, structure or punctuation.

2 Pass

Adequate range of grammar used, with no impeding errors.

Cohesive & coherent text adequately using a range of linguistic devices. Punctuation errors do not impede communication. Attempts to use linguistic devices though not always consistent. Errors, including punctuation make the text difficult to follow. Lacks cohesion and/or uses linguistic devices inappropriately. Punctuation errors make the text almost impossible to follow.

1 Narrow Fail

Relatively narrow range of grammar used, with some impeding errors.

0 Fail

Only a rudimentary range of grammar used. Many errors, often difficult to follow.

Marking Writing Part 2 Free writing to produce a text using informal language: 150-200 words.

Public Version Mark scheme B2 -Part 2
Task Fulfilment Fully and appropriately satisfies the demands of the task, with good expansion & support. Mainly satisfies the demands of the task, with adequate expansion of the topic. Grammar Vocabulary A good command of a broad repertoire. Good command of idiomatic expressions. No serious errors. Good range of vocabulary on general topics, accuracy is high. Errors don’t impede communication. A range capable of describing situations only relating to him/herself, eg family, hobbies, work. Errors make understanding difficult. Only a rudimentary range of vocabulary used. Many errors, often difficult to follow. Structure

3 First Class Pass

Broad range of grammar used with clarity, assurance and precision.

Few if any errors of coherence, structure or punctuation.

2 Pass

Adequate range of grammar used, with no impeding errors.

Cohesive & coherent text adequately using a range of linguistic devices. Punctuation errors do not impede communication. Attempts to use linguistic devices though not always consistent. Errors, including punctuation, make the text difficult to follow. Lacks cohesion and/or uses linguistic devices inappropriately. Punctuation errors make the text almost impossible to follow.

1 Narrow Fail

Partially satisfies the demands of the task, with little expansion of the topic.

Relatively narrow range of grammar used, with some impeding errors.

0 Fail

Does not satisfy the demands of the task, with no expansion of the topic OR off topic.

Only a rudimentary range of grammar used. Many errors, often difficult to follow.

Sample answers and scores with examiner’s comments B2 Communicator Writing Part 1 Example 1
Write a letter to the magazine that included the following graph. Mention the following: • • • • if you agree that the title of the graph is accurate the advantages of using the Internet the disadvantages of using the Internet your views on the results of the survey.

Write between 100 and 150 words. .

Do you agree that the title above the graph is accurate?

Sample answer 1

Dear Sirs, I would like to respond to the article called ’Results of survey demonstrating that neither men nor women waste their time using the internet at home’ which appeared in Tuesday’s edition of your newspaper. At the age of the World Wide Web, the survey you had conducted could be eye opening to read, however, I believe that the activities you’ve listed do not give a full picture of Internet usage in general, therefore the title itself is rather misleading. Unfortunately the focus was put on the advantages the Internet offers, such as having access to online newspapers and shopping. But let’s not forget about the traps either. Many people spend hours playing online games, visiting social websites to look up photos of friends old forgotten or chatting endlessly. Unfortunately such disadvantages were totally neglected by your analysis. Furthermore, the findings suggest that men use the Net more extensively regardless of the nature of its purpose, which idea can be very much argued as well. Best Regards Abigail Waugh

Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 3 3 3 3 12

Examiner’s comments This sample does an excellent job of presenting the writer’s arguments in a well-structured, logical form. Information and ideas are skilfully organised through a range of cohesive devices, which are used to good effect. A wide range of complex structures and vocabulary is used effectively. This sample uses sophisticated and appropriate language and is ambitious in both concept and approach to the task as well as language. The candidate’s writing has a very positive effect on the reader.

Sample answer 2

Dear Sir or madam I would like to give you my opinion about the survey published yesterday in your magazine. I do not think these numbers and title words are absolutely right. For example I do not know any woman who checks out sport scores on the Internet. Also I suppose the online shopping is more popular among the women, not men. That is because men have better imagination about the dangers of Internet and they do not believe the Internet shops as much as women. What I find a real advantage of Internet is the possibility of getting news. Of course these information may not be always true, but you cannot be sure about truth of information in any item of messmedias generally. Another one from the yes of Internet is undonblealy communication which is missing in your survey. Many people, including myself, use the Internet, especially Facebook, to be in contact with their friends and relatives. I would find a survey about development of Internet interpersonal communication really amazing. However, I suppose that in future PC will become the major mean of communication. Thank you for your interesting articles and surveys. Yours faithfully I. Rosanova
Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 3 2 2 2 9

Examiner’s comments The text includes each content point but the organization lacks logical progression, coherence and cohesion. Lack of organizational structure makes it sometimes difficult to follow the author’s line of thought. This inconsistent organizational structure is maintained throughout the text. Grammatical and vocabulary mistakes (e.g. any woman, messmedias) occur but usually they are non-impeding.

Sample answer 3

Dear Sir Internet at home I am writing this letter with regard to you graph which you appeared in a magazine. Moreover, I agree with you about that men and women do not waste time using the Internet at home. In fact, they spend their time in shopping or sitting in fornt of television. Although they can get the Internet at home easly, they do not care about it. In addition, there are advantages and disadvantages to using the Internet. First of all, the disadvantages to use this service are as follows: This service need more time to spend with it. Moreover, sometime it could be efacted in your eyes. Also, if you let this service for your children, they can get enfaction in their behavior. On the other hand, there are advantages to use this service such as you can get many information quickly and also you can improve you self with this service. I hope that I kick the nile to give you my opinion about this service. Thank you very much for your kind attantion. Yours Faithfkully. Ahmed al Shukali
Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 1 1 2 1 5

Examiner’s comments Inadequate attempt. The contradictory ideas presented in the text (men and women do not waste time using the Internet …, they do not care about it) suggest that the writer lacks clear focus or lacks the linguistic resources to present their arguments clearly and comprehensibly. There are a number of linking devices in the text, but many of them are used inadequately. The frequent and sometimes erroneous use of the linking devices makes the text unnatural. Frequent errors (e.g. which you appeared, efacted, kick the nile) impede comprehension.

Sample answers and scores with examiner’s comments B2 Communicator Writing Part 1 Example 2
Write an email of applicant for the following job: say you are interested in the job say what skills you have ask whether they provide accommodation ask about pay.

Write between 100 and 150 words. SUNNY BAY HOLIDAY CAMP Are you energetic with a good sense of humour? Do you enjoy arts and crafts? Come and spend the summer with us Help to organise activities for children such as: sports tournaments, art competitions and musical performances Apply to Mr Green (Manager): jgreen@sunnybay.com

Sample answer 1

Dear Mr Green I am writing with regard to your advertisement published in the Mladá Fronta 10.12.09. For long I have been looking for suitable work and I am deeply interested in your offering. I am 20 years old student. Since my youth I have been interested in art and music. I play on a guitar, a violin and also a bass guitar. My other hobbies includes painting, skiing and tennis. People say I had good sense of humour. I have already organised some musical performances and I think I could help in this area. However, I will be grateful if you answer my question. Do you provide accommodation? If not, is there some list of available accomodations? Second, may I ask you for information about payment? I am sure we will make an agreement. I hope you will consider my application. I am looking forward to your reply. Yours sincerely Ondrej Dosunov
Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 3 2 3 2 10

Examiner’s comments A good attempt that covers all content points with reasonable expansion. There are a few mistakes in grammar (People say I had good sense of humour) but also a wide range of accurate structures. The vocabulary used is ambitious (grateful, provide, consider). The ideas are well arranged, and the text is coherent with accurate punctuation.

Sample answer 2

Dear Mr Green, I am applying for the job at the Sunny Bay Holiday Camp as an Organiser of activities for children. As a former scout I attended many camps as a child and later on I had my own group. I am a very social person, enjoying taking part in group activities. I am very creative as well and rather good with children. Let me inquire if you give accomodation? I am happy to sleep with other people, it is not a problem at all. Can you also inform me about the exact payment for the summer camp job, please? I hope my application will meet your expectations. Thank you for your consideration. Best Regards David
Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 2 2 2 2 8

Examiner’s comments All content points are addressed and although there are some errors, these do not prevent the message being conveyed. The structures are fairly simple and the candidate does not appear to make efforts to produce more complex sentences. Register and format are reasonably appropriate to the purpose of the task and the audience.

Sample answer 3

Mr. Green, I would like to apply for a job as an activity leader which you need for July and August. I am 17 years old student who studies art and sport. My hobbies are music, sport, art and children. Every Monday I stay in a centre where are children with no family. And I must add that I am really good tennis player. I win local competition every single year. Now I have to ask you about pay. I have to know it. I am really looking forward to get letter from you. And I hope it will be positive because I would like to get this job. Your faithfully Kristina Georgikova
Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 1 1 1 1 4

Examiner’s comments Concise text but addresses all content points. Lacks linguistic resources to achieve the appropriate style, though the message is clear. Simple vocabulary and simple sentence structures are used throughout the text.

Sample answers and scores with examiner’s comments B2 Communicator Writing Part 2 Example 1
You’ve recently celebrated a significant birthday. Write a letter to a friend expressing how you feel about being this age. What’s good and bad about it? Write between 150 to 200 words.

Sample answer 1

Dear Judy, How are you doing? Thanks for the last letter and forgive me this so late response. I’ve been incredibly busy for last month, as I was preparing and planning my 20th birthday party. It took place in my and parents’s house last Saturday and over fifty people came to join the party. Honestly, that was one of the best parties ever, even my friends told that. It’s a pity you couldn’t be there. Anyway, I find this age really exciting! I’m just finishing the high school, preparing for university, so that’s a bit difficult. But I feel more an adult than two or three years ago, which I find good for my self-confidence and satisfaction with myself. I haven’t found any disadvantage about this age so far, really! Maybe just one little con – I started working 6 months ago and I’m getting payed quite a lot of money. That makes me a bit rain, because I can afford more things that I could before. Maybe you would visit me next month and we can go shopping or just to a café. I haven’t seen you for ages! We can discuss on age’s possibilities together. I can’t wait for the 20th birthday party of yours, it will be great. I think then you’ll find this age as amazing as I do. I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon. Love, Orsi
Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 3 3 3 2 11

Examiner’s comments The script addresses the subject extensively, even going over the required length. It is written in the right informal style except for one lapse when a formal closing is added to the informal one. There is a good range of grammar used accurately. Vocabulary is in the higher range of the level with very few mistakes, one of those (con) the result of an ambitious effort. The text is coherent with a good range of linking words. Unfortunately, there is no attempt to use paragraphs although the ideas are clearly arranged. Therefore it loses a point on structures.

Sample answer 2

Dear Ahmed Hi! How are you and how is your family? It seems ages since I saw you. I hop your new job is going well. I’m writing now to tell you about my significant birthday. Actually my birthday was on 1st March, last week. In my family we make a party for everyone who has an event like that. In fact I invited many people such as my friend, my relatives and also our family friends. Moreover, I made a big party with music and dance. I’m really very happy because I’m 20 now so I can rely on my self and also there are many people who respect me now more than before. In addition, any party like this should has good things because you see your friends and your relatives around you and also you reach 20 year old. Therefore, all these things made me happy. However, there was one thing which was bad in my party. This thing was when one of my friend got sick during my party. I’m really disappointed because that happened in my birthday party. Anyhow, I’m very happy because I’m 20 now so I do many things which I couldn’t do before. I hope to see you as soon as you can. Give my best regards to your family. Love Ali
Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 2 2 2 2 8

Examiner’s comments There is very little in the answer that actually relates to the content point set, which is how you feel about your age. Instead it gives an account of irrelevant details of the birthday party (e.g. how someone turned sick). The range of grammar is reasonable with a few errors (should has good things). For vocabulary it is less than ambitious and remains at the lower range of the level. Some sophisticated linking words are overused and out of place. Coherence is disrupted by the random repetition of the ideas (I’m happy because I’m 20 now, the invitation of friends and family).

Sample answer 3

Dear friend Katy, Are you good? I’m very much. I am qoter centuries last week. I’m not happy for partys, celebration was with family. We have a big family. I have 4 siblings all older as me. My family gave me big surprize they buy a big puzzle from 2000 peace. We strated putting it together but we didn’t success. My father says we can do it next week when it is my twin bothers celebration. I wanted to give them puzzle too, but I have to try something diferent do you think. I’m happy cos I drive and do so good thinks I am not small. Next year I go to abroad cos I have money I picked from my wage. I wanna go to NY. It is lots of money but I dreamed it when I was a small girl. I wanna go to Empire States building. I send you my postcard, ok? Buy, Maria
Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 0 1 1 0 2

Examiner’s comments Inadequate attempt with little relevant content. There are numerous errors and frequent misspellings of basic words which require considerable effort by the reader, with the overall clarity of the message impaired.

Sample answers and scores with examiner’s comments B2 Communicator Writing Part 2 Example 2
Your friend wants you to go on holiday together but it’s to a place you’re not keen on. Write a letter persuading your friend to go somewhere you’d like to go to. Write between 150 and 200 words.

Sample answer 1

Dear Eva, Thank you for your letter last week in which you invited me to go skiing in Turkey in the summer. I know we have been planning a holiday together ever since we left secondary school, however, I thought to go to a nice and warm summer resort rather than to the cold and icy mountains. Do you have any particular reason for this choice? If not, let me suggest we go to a place where the temperature is nice, we can do some sports, go on sightseeing or just sunbathe on the beach. What about going to Egypt? I know you like history. Haven’t you wanted to see the pyramids? Some say the sea is beautiful there. You could take the opportunity to dive in the Red See. Doesn’t it tease your interest? If you have any doubts about organising the holiday let me assure you that we will be fine as one of my friends is working there as a tourist guide. I can ask her to arrange accommodation for us and give a tip about the sights worth seeing once we are there. I hope I could stir your interest and you will agree to spend a fortnight on the lovely beaches of Egypt. I am sure we’ll have lots of fun and a memorable holiday together. Let me know if you are happy to go there, so I can get in touch with my friend and start arranging things. Lots of love Angela
Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 3 3 3 3 12

Examiner’s comments This is a very good attempt, ambitious in concepts as well as language. The writer is confident and well-organized. The candidate uses a wide range of structures and vocabulary, practically error-free. The content is relevant and the topic is fully developed. The candidate’s writing has a very positive effect on the reader.

Sample answer 2

Dear Lucy, I was very pleased when I got letter from you. I’m sorry, that I didn’t write to you earlier but I was very busy with my school matters. Anyway, let’s make some important decisions about our holiday. You said you would like to go to Czech Republic, but I’m not so excited about this idea. There’s no sea, no beaches and no warm enough. So I want to beg you if you could change your mind. I was thinking about some more interesting places such as Greece, Spain or Italy. God, I love Spain. There are really nice monument and the beaches are beautiful places when you can spend holiday. So, what are you saying? Do you like it? If you do, talk to your parents. Ok, I must go to do my homework for English lesson. And I’m really looking forward to receive your letter. Best wishes Your best friend Sheila
Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 3 2 2 3 10

Examiner’s comments The text is the minimum length required with just adequate expansion of the topic, but makes a good impression due to the appropriate informal style. There are several mistakes in grammar (there’s no warm enough, there are really nice monument, what are you saying?). The vocabulary used is adequate but not error-free (places when you can spend holiday). The text is well-structured with appropriate linking words and accurate punctuation.

Sample answer 3

Hi Era, I am writting you because holiday are coming soon. But first write me how are you? What are you doing now? Oh, yes and what’s about your new job? I didn’t see you long time. But now why I am writting. I spoked with Mot and he told me about our holiday. I am really looking forward to spend time with you, but I am not sure when I want to go to India, because you know. I don’t like Indian food and flue is there. I’d rather go to Japan, there is more thing to do, better food and no ill people. And the traditions of Japan are more interesting than one in India. Ok all thing in now only up to you. When you choose India I still will want to go but please think about it. I am really looking forward to you and our holiday and I am sure that it will be fun. Please write me as soon as it will be possible. Xoxo, John.
Score Task Fulfilment Grammar Vocabulary Structure Total 1 1 1 1 4

Examiner’s comments Very basic vocabulary and very simple sentence structures with a number of basic errors in syntax and vocabulary (e.g. writting, I spoked). The candidate fails to present convincing arguments. Although all content elements are attempted, the overall clarity of the message impaired.

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