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Portfolio tasks for ISE 0, I, II, III & IV

January–December 2010

1. These are the only acceptable tasks for candidates taking the
ISE examination January–December 2010. Your portfolio
tasks must come from this list.

2. Your portfolio must contain a total of three tasks. You must


present one task from each section:
• One from Section 1 - Correspondence
• One from Section 2 - Factual writing
• One from Section 3 – Creative and descriptive writing
(ISE 0-III) or Critical and analytical writing (ISE IV)

3. Please select your tasks from the appropriate ISE level you
are taking. You must not mix levels.

4. Please write the task question number on each piece of work.

5. At the end of each task, write the number of words you have
used to complete the task. You must not exceed the stated
maximum word length range.

6. Please present your completed portfolio in the colour-coded


file (as provided by Trinity) along with the Portfolio cover
sheet and Student portfolio feedback forms.

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 1


INTRODUCTION TO
ISE 0 & I EXAMS

Introduction to ISE 0 & I Exams


Contents
1. What is ISE? ........................................................................ 1
2. ISE Levels........................................................................... 1
3. Language of the Level- ISE 0 & I ................................................ 2
4. ISE Components ................................................................... 3
5. Differences between the Portfolio and Controlled Written ................ 3
6. The Portfolio....................................................................... 4
7. The Controlled Written exam ................................................... 4
8. The Interview ...................................................................... 5
9. Summary of the structure of the ISE 0 & I .................................... 6
10. The Syllabus ....................................................................... 6

1. What is ISE?
Integrated Skills in English examinations (ISE) assess all four language skills
– speaking, writing, listening and reading – interacting with each other as
they do in the real world.

SPEAKING LISTENING

ISE
WRITING READING

2. ISE Levels
How many ISE levels are available?
ISE is available at five key levels which are linked to the Common European
Framework of Reference. This workshop focuses on ISE 0 and I:

ISE CEFR
ISE IV C2
ISE III C1
ISE II B2
ISE I B1
ISE 0 A2

Introduction to ISE 0 & I


1
INTRODUCTION TO
ISE 0 & I EXAMS

3. Language of the Level- ISE 0 & I


What language items are the candidates expected to
understand and produce at ISE 0 & I?

 What differences do you notice between the language in Box A and Box B?
 What grammatical items are being used in each box?

If I go to London, it might rain.

B
I have to take my passport and mobile with me when I go on holiday.
The day after tomorrow, I’m flying to Rome.
I first went to London when I was studying English at university.
When I grow up, I might be a fashion designer.
I like classical music, but I prefer pop.
I’ve been to a few concerts, but never a music festival.
I’ll probably go to the Benicassim festival next year.

I went home after school.

A
I’m going to meet my mum after the exam
I never play football in the winter.
She is the best teacher in the world.
He is the worst singer in the competition.
I took the exam and I passed it.
I don’t like rock music but I like pop.

 What level of language are your students producing? Do you have a mixture?

Introduction to ISE 0 & I


2
INTRODUCTION TO
ISE 0 & I EXAMS

4. ISE Components
What does ISE exam consist of?

ISE

Written Portfolio Controlled Written Interview


(20%) (30%) (50%)

To be awarded a pass, candidates must achieve a pass grade in both:

a)  The Portfolio + Controlled Written exam


b) The Interview

5. Differences between the Portfolio and Controlled Written

Portfolio Controlled Written


(20%) (30%)

 Prepared writing (6-12 wks)  Spontaneous writing


 Untimed  Timed
 Choice of tasks  No choice of tasks
 3 sections  2 sections
 Marked by a visiting examiner  Sent to London for marking
 Students use resources:  Students cannot use any
additional resources
 dictionaries
 grammar books
 coursebooks
 internet
 word processors
 teachers!

Introduction to ISE 0 & I


3
INTRODUCTION TO
ISE 0 & I EXAMS

6. The Portfolio

ISE Portfolio
(20%)

Creative and
Correspondence Factual
Descriptive

 It is divided into 3 sections, Correspondence, Factual Writing and


Creative and Descriptive Writing.
 There is a choice of 5 possible questions in each section.
 The candidates can do as many as they like, but they must present the
best example of their work from each section to the examiner.
 It is not a timed exam, but represents the best work that a candidate
can produce, given time, access to dictionaries, computers and teachers.

7. The Controlled Written exam


ISE Controlled Written
(30%)

Reading into Writing Writing

 It is divided into 2 sections, Reading into Writing and Writing.


 It is a timed exam and there is no choice of questions.
 The ISE 0 and ISE I candidates must do both questions in both sections:

Introduction to ISE 0 & I


4
INTRODUCTION TO
ISE 0 & I EXAMS

8. The Interview
 The ISE Interview is a 1-to-1 oral exam with a visiting Trinity examiner.
 The ISE 0 & I Interviews consist of 2 Phases:

ISE Interview
(50%)

Conversation &
Topic Discussion
Portfolio Discussion
(4 minutes)
(4 minutes)

In the Topic Discussion: In the Conversation/Portfolio:

 The candidate chooses a Topic to discuss.  The examiner will choose 1 of the 6
possible ‘Subject Areas for Conversation’
 ISE 0 students prepare 4 points to discuss. to discuss.
 ISE I students prepare 6 points to discuss.  The examiner will ask the candidate about
 The candidate uses the discussion points to his/her Portfolio.
demonstrate the Language of the Grade.  The candidate should use the Language of
 The candidate also asks the examiner the Level throughout the discussion.
questions using the Language of the Grade.

Introduction to ISE 0 & I


5
INTRODUCTION TO
ISE 0 & I EXAMS

9. Summary of the structure of the ISE 0 & I

ISE
Portfolio
PORTFOLIO
(Prepared over 6-12 weeks in class/at home)
Creative and
Correspondence Factual Descriptive

ISE
Controlled
Written
CONTROLLED WRITTEN EXAM
(Timed exam)
Reading into
Writing
Writing

ISE
Interview
INTERVIEW
(8 minutes)
Topic Conversation &
Portfolio
Discussion
Discussion

10. The Syllabus


 There is only one Syllabus for Trinity ISE Exams, and all relevant information is
contained in the one book.

 All teachers should familiarise themselves with the ISE Syllabus (from Feb. 2010):
 ‘About…’ sections, pages 6-19
 Regulations, pages 65-73
 Appendices, pages 74-81

 Depending on the level, teachers should also refer to:


 ISE 0, pages 20-26
 ISE I, pages 27-33

Introduction to ISE 0 & I


6
ISE 0 & I PORTFOLIO AND
CONTROLLED WRITTEN

ISE 0 & I Portfolio and Controlled Written exams


Contents

1. The Portfolio - summary ......................................................... 1


2. Preparing the Portfolio ........................................................... 2
3. The difference between ISE 0 and ISE I Portfolio Tasks ..................... 4
4. The Controlled Written exam - summary...................................... 6
5. Tips for preparing candidates for Trinity ISE written exams ............... 7
6. Assessing the Portfolio: Performance Descriptors............................ 8
7. Practice Assessments - ISE I Portfolio Tasks .................................. 9

1. The Portfolio - summary


What is the Portfolio?
 The Portfolio is a collection of the candidate‟s best 3 pieces of work.
 Candidates at ISE 0 & I must present their best example of each of the
following tasks:
 Section 1 = 1 x Correspondence writing
 Section 2 = 1 x Factual writing
 Section 3 = 1 x Creative and Descriptive Writing
 The candidate‟s work is marked by the examiner when he/she visits your
school, before the Interview Phase of the exam.
 After marking the Portfolio, the examiner will discuss the content of the
Portfolio in the Interview Phase of the exam.

What does the ISE Portfolio consist of?

ISE
Portfolio

Creative and
Correspondence Factual Writing
Descriptive Writing

ISE 0 & I Portfolio and Controlled Written exams


1
ISE 0 & I PORTFOLIO AND
CONTROLLED WRITTEN

Characteristics of the Portfolio


 It allows candidates to prepare the best work they can.
 Prepared writing (6-12 wks), in class and at home
 Not a timed exam
 Choice of tasks
 Students can use a wide range of resources:
 dictionaries
 grammar books
 coursebooks
 internet
 word processors
 teachers!

2. Preparing the Portfolio


 Candidates for ISE 0 and ISE I visit the Trinity website: www.trinitycollege.co.uk
 They see the list of Portfolio Tasks for this year.
 They see a selection of possible tasks:
 Section 1 = 5 x Correspondence writing
 Section 2 = 5 x Factual writing
 Section 3 = 5 x Creative and Descriptive Writing
 They select between 1-5 tasks from each section to prepare.
 Candidates should choose tasks which are personally interesting for them and which
help them to demonstrate the Language of the Grade.
 See the handout „Portfolio Tasks 2010‟ for this year‟s tasks.

Writing the Portfolio Tasks


 The tasks practise real-life writing situations.
 They usually take between 6-12 weeks.
 Candidates can prepare the tasks in class or at home.
 Candidates can use as many resources as they need.
 Writing the tasks encourages learner independence.
 Candidates are encouraged to use the computer.

ISE 0 & I Portfolio and Controlled Written exams


2
ISE 0 & I PORTFOLIO AND
CONTROLLED WRITTEN

Example candidate answer:


Write a postcard to a friend telling him or her where you are, what the weather is like
and what you are doing. (40-60 words)

Hi
I am in Moscow! Here is the whether good. Is not cold how usually is in
Russia!
I stay in hotel in center of city. Is no big but comfortable! Moscow is very
big. The architecture is very old and beautiful. And is many tourists!
Write me and tell me your news!
Bye!

The Portfolio Feedback Form - What is the role of the teacher?


 The teacher can give the candidates feedback on their essays, but the teachers do
not write on the candidate‟s written work.
 All feedback is noted on the Portfolio Feedback Form. (p.71, ISE Syllabus)
 Candidates can have one completed Portfolio Feedback Form for every task that
they write. Here is an example Portfolio Feedback Form:

ISE 0 & I Portfolio and Controlled Written exams


3
ISE 0 & I PORTFOLIO AND
CONTROLLED WRITTEN

3. The difference between ISE 0 and ISE I Portfolio Tasks


What is the difference in the types of text?
 As the ISE 0 is an A2 exam and the ISE I is a B1 exam, there is naturally a difference
in the length of texts the candidates must produce.
 IMPORTANT! The word limit is strict! The number of words written must be
within the range specified. If the candidate writes too few or too many words,
they will be seen as not having satisfactorily completed the task. The candidates
may still pass the exam, but they are unlikely to achieve an „A‟ or „B‟ grade.
 Please note that as the candidate has weeks to prepare the texts, has access to a
teacher, a computer, a dictionary and other resources, there is no excuse for not
observing the word limits.
 There is also a difference in types of texts the candidates must produce.
ISE 0 Portfolio:
ISE 0
Portfolio

CREATIVE AND
CORRESPONDENCE FACTUAL WRITING DESCRIPTIVE WRITING
40-60 words 80-100
80-100words
words 80-100 words
- -Instructions
Instructions -- Story
Story
- Postcard
- Memo - -Directions
Directions - Diary
- Note -- Description
Description
- Informal letter
- Email

ISE I Portfolio: ISE I


Portfolio

CREATIVE AND
CORRESPONDENCE FACTUAL WRITING DESCRIPTIVE WRITING
70-80 words 80-100
110-130 words
words 80-100 words
110-130 words
- Instructions - Story
- Informal letter - Report - Story
- -Directions
Article -- Diary
Diary
- Formal letter
- Email - Review -- Description
Description

ISE 0 & I Portfolio and Controlled Written exams


4
ISE 0 & I PORTFOLIO AND
CONTROLLED WRITTEN

Summary of the text types for the Portfolio:

Correspondence ISE 0 ISE I


A. Postcards 
B. Memos 
C. Notes 
D. Informal letters  
E. Formal letters 
F. Emails  

Factual Writing ISE 0 ISE I


G. Instructions 
H. Directions 
I. Report 
J. Article 
K. Review 

Creative and descriptive writing


H. Story  
I. Diary  
J. Description  

 Please see the handout „Text types: Definitions‟ for full details.

ISE 0 & I Portfolio and Controlled Written exams


5
ISE 0 & I PORTFOLIO AND
CONTROLLED WRITTEN

4. The Controlled Written exam - summary


Characteristics of the Controlled Written exam
 Spontaneous writing
 A „traditional‟ timed exam in silence
 2 sections
 No choice of tasks
 Usually every 3rd Wednesday of the month
 Sent to London for marking
 Students cannot use any additional resources

What do the ISE 0 & I Controlled Written exams consist of?


ISE 0 Controlled Written:
ISE 0
Controlled Written
45 minutes

Reading into Writing Writing


approx. 75 words approx. 75 words
(+/- 10%) (+/-10%)

 There is an example of the ISE 0 Controlled Written exam in the ISE Syllabus, p.21

ISE I Controlled Written:


ISE 1
Controlled Written
1hour 30 minutes

Reading into Writing Writing


approx. 150 words approx. 150 words
(+/- 10%) (+/-10%)

 There is an example of the ISE I Controlled Written exam in the ISE Syllabus, p.28.

ISE 0 & I Portfolio and Controlled Written exams


6
ISE 0 & I PORTFOLIO AND
CONTROLLED WRITTEN

5. Tips for preparing candidates for Trinity ISE written exams


 Candidates should look at the questions and consider the following:

Purpose

Audience Format & words

Trinity
writing tasks

Component ideas Language

Paragraphs

Example question from an ISE I/B1 Portfolio Tasks:


ISE I – Task Section 1 - Correspondence (Word limit: 70–80 words)
“You have just finished some important exams. A friend has e-mailed you to ask
how the exams went and what will happen if you pass. Reply to your friend.”

Audience:
Purpose:
Format & words:
Component ideas:

_______________________________________

_______________________________________
________________________
_______________________________________
________________________
_______________________________________
________________________
_______________________________________
________________________
_______________________________________

_______________________________________

ISE 0 & I Portfolio and Controlled Written exams


7
ISE 0 & I PORTFOLIO AND
CONTROLLED WRITTEN

6. Assessing the Portfolio: Performance Descriptors

ISE 0 & I Portfolio and Controlled Written exams


8
ISE 0 & I PORTFOLIO AND
CONTROLLED WRITTEN

7. Practice Assessments - ISE I Portfolio Tasks

1/. ISE I – Sample Portfolio tasks – Correspondence (70-80 words)


You receive an email from a friend saying that she always feels tired and unwell. Write
your friend an email telling her what she needs to eat and what physical activities she has
to do to feel better.

Hello Susie!!
How are you today??
I have just read your email…and for me you only need of a holiday for resting!!
But now there is the school and you can‟t do a holiday, so my idea is that you can
begin to drink every evening before going to sleep an herbal tea and you will say
that you‟ll be more relaxed!!
Another thing for feeling better is a swim to the swimming pool..
You listen to me..
Bye..
Love Violetta

2/. ISE I – Sample Portfolio tasks – Correspondence (70-80 words)

Write a letter or e-mail to a friend and tell her/him about a place you have visited in the
last year, giving your impressions of the surroundings and the people you met. Ask your
friend to write back and tell you about any travelling that he/she has done.

25th February 2005


Dear Valery,
How are you? I‟m very well, above all since I have got home after my holiday in Portugal.
It‟s a beautiful country. I met some very kind people and when I went to Cabo da Roca it
was amazing! It is the western point of the European continent, a sheer cliff above the
Atlantic sea…it‟s fantastic! You have to see it!
Write to me soon and tell me about your last holiday.
Love,
C

ISE 0 & I Portfolio and Controlled Written exams


9
ISE 0 & I
TEXT TYPES: Definitions

ISE 0 & I TEXT TYPES: Definitions

Contents
A. Postcards (ISE 0 only) ............................................................ 1
B. Memos (ISE 0 only) ................................................................ 2
C. Notes (ISE 0 only) ................................................................. 2
D. Informal letters (ISE 0 & ISE I) .................................................. 3
E. Formal letters (ISE I only) ....................................................... 3
F. Emails (ISE 0 & ISE I).............................................................. 4
G. Instructions (ISE 0 only) .......................................................... 4
H. Directions (ISE 0 only) ............................................................ 5
I. Reports (ISE I only) ............................................................... 5
J. Articles (ISE I only)................................................................ 6
K. Reviews (ISE I only) ............................................................... 7
L. Summary (ISE I only) .............................................................. 7
M. Creative writing (ISE 0 & I) ...................................................... 8
N. Descriptive writing (ISE 0 & I) ................................................... 8

What types of tasks do the students do in


the Portfolio and Controlled Written
exams in ISE 0 and I?

Correspondence
A. Postcards (ISE 0 only)
Organisation and presentation
 Present in a postcard format
 May include the recipient’s address and date (not included in word count)
 Have a greeting (followed by an optional comma)
 The message should be brief and clear.
 Have a suitable closing.
Language
 Use relevant language items of ISE 0 as required e.g. Past simple tense.
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected.
Style and register
 Postcards are informal in nature.
 Keep the sentences short and simple.

ISE 0 & I Text types: Definitions


1
ISE 0 & I
TEXT TYPES: Definitions

B. Memos (ISE 0 only)


A memo is a short note normally used within the workplace.
Organisation and presentation
 Present in a memo format
 Include the names of the writer and receiver of the memo
 May include the date (not included in word count)
 There is no need for an address.
 May include a short and clear subject title (not included in word count)
 Writers can use bullet points or numbered lists.
 Have a suitable closing
Language
 Use relevant language items of ISE 0 as required e.g. Past simple tense.
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation are expected.
Style and register
 Memos are normally more formal as they are used in the workplace.
 The style should be factual.
 Keep the sentences short and simple.

C. Notes (ISE 0 only)


A note is an informal, short piece of writing.
Organisation and presentation
 Present in a note format.
 Include a greeting and closing.
 There is no need for the date or an address.
 The message should be brief and clear.
Language
 Use relevant language items of ISE 0 as required e.g. Past simple tense.
 In real use there may be tolerance of spelling, grammar and punctuation
deviations. In the context of examination submissions however, accurate
spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected.
Style and register
 A note is informal in nature.
 Keep the sentences short and simple.

ISE 0 & I Text types: Definitions


2
ISE 0 & I
TEXT TYPES: Definitions

D. Informal letters (ISE 0 & ISE I)


Organisation and presentation
 May (or may not) include sender's address (not included in word count)
 The recipient's address is not necessary and considered inappropriate for this
type of letter
 Date optional (not included in word count) positioned above greeting.
 Include an appropriate greeting/closing e.g. ‘Dear John’/‘Best Wishes’
 The letter should be well-organised with appropriate use of paragraphs.
 Sign off with first name only
Language
 Include the relevant language items of the level as required.
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected.
 Punctuation conventions should be observed and consistent, including address,
greeting etc. e.g. Dear Mary(,) i.e. comma optional but not ‘Dear Mary!’
 Capitalisation must be observed, as appropriate.
Style and register
 Informal in nature e.g. contractions, abbreviations, exclamation marks
 Style and register should be consistent

E. Formal letters (ISE I only)


Organisation and presentation
 Include sender and recipient's address, positioned at top of letter (not included
in word count)
 Include date, below addresses (not included in word count)
 Subject of letter (optional), positioned before greeting on left or centred
 Include an appropriate greeting e.g. ‘Dear Mr Young’, ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ and
closing e.g.‘Yours faithfully’, ‘Yours sincerely’
 The letter should be well-organised into appropriate paragraphs e.g. an
opening paragraph which gives the reason for writing, the body of the letter
and the final concluding paragraph.
 Sign off with signature and full name printed underneath
Language
 Include the relevant language items of the level as required.
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation are expected.
 Punctuation conventions to be observed and consistent, including address,
greeting and signing-off e.g. Dear Mary, (comma optional) but not Dear Mary!
 Capitalisation must be observed, as appropriate.
Style and register
 Formal and more impersonal in nature e.g. relative clauses, passives,
signposting words
 Style and register should be consistent

ISE 0 & I Text types: Definitions


3
ISE 0 & I
TEXT TYPES: Definitions

F. Emails (ISE 0 & ISE I)


Organisation and presentation
 Present in an email format. Ideally, the email should be produced on an email
package (with a hardcopy printed for marking by the examiner).
 Customised prompts, such as the recipient’s email address and subject line
may be included and completed (not included in word count).
 Include a suitable greeting and closing.
 The message should be brief and clear.
 Layout is flexible, but the text should be well-organised with appropriate use
of paragraphs and cohesive devices.
Language
 Include the relevant language items of the level as required.
 In real use there is great tolerance of spelling, grammar and punctuation
deviations. In the context of examination submissions however, accurate
spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected.
 Emoticons e.g. 'smilies' and conventional abbreviations e.g. ASAP are
acceptable (not included in word count).
 Text-messaging conventions are not acceptable, e.g. 'R', 'U’.
Style and register
 Choose a style and register appropriate for the audience.
 Style and register should be consistent.

Factual Writing
G. Instructions (ISE 0 only)
Instructions give advice and information about how to do or use something.
Organisation and presentation
 Provide a title to help the reader determine what the instructions will help
them do e.g. ‘Instructions on how to ..’ (titles are not included in word count).
 Think about the best order for the instructions.
 Bulleted and numbered lists can be used - A numbered list should be used
when the order is important, a bulleted list when the order is not important.
 The writer may include simple diagrams to support their instructions (however,
only written work is assessed)
Language
 Use relevant language items of ISE 0 as required e.g. present simple tense.
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected
 Start each instruction with an imperative verb form that instructs the reader
to do something e.g. ‘Open the door’, ‘Add the butter’
Style and register
 Choose a style appropriate for the audience
 Keep the sentences short and simple
 Use a level of detail that is appropriate to the audience

ISE 0 & I Text types: Definitions


4
ISE 0 & I
TEXT TYPES: Definitions

H. Directions (ISE 0 only)


Directions tell the reader how to get from one place to another or how to find a
particular place.
Organisation and presentation
 Provide a title or a brief introduction to help the reader determine which
place he/she will find e.g. ‘Directions from the train station to my house’
(titles are not included in the word count).
 Think about the best order for the directions.
 A numbered list can be used.
 The writer may include simple maps to support their directions (however, only
written work is assessed).
Language
 Use the relevant language items of ISE 0 as required e.g. Present simple tense,
‘going to’ future.
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected
 Start each direction with an imperative verb form e.g. ‘Turn left at the
supermarket’, ‘Continue on this road for five kilometres’
Style and register
 Choose a style appropriate for the audience
 Keep the sentences short and simple
 Use a level of detail that is appropriate to the audience

I. Reports (ISE I only)


A report is a factual description of an event or situation. It may be written for a
superior (e.g. teacher, manager), a peer group (e.g. colleagues) or a general
audience (e.g. a committee). A report will certainly contain some factual
descriptions and explanations and possibly some suggestions, justifications or
recommendations. Due to the factual nature of reports, they would not normally
include the writer’s opinion.

Organisation and presentation


 A clear sequence is expected
 Where appropriate include a heading (not included in word count)
 Begin with an introduction stating the purpose of the report
 The report should be clearly organised into paragraphs with section headings
 May use bullet points, tables, diagrams (only written work assessed) etc.
 There should be clear sign-posting, with unambiguous forward and backward
referencing
 Reports are usually the result of research and may contain examples of
percentages and statistics
 Where appropriate end with a conclusion, which would normally be a summary
of the points listed in the report

ISE 0 & I Text types: Definitions


5
ISE 0 & I
TEXT TYPES: Definitions

Language
 Use the relevant language of the level as required
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected
 Use wording and terminology appropriate to the intended audience
 There is a greater tolerance of technical language as the audience for a report
is likely to be restricted and to some extent informed
 Cohesive devices, discourse connectors, linking expressions can be used
Style and register
 Content by nature is formal and therefore attracts a more formal register
 Reports are more objective than articles (they should not be personal)
 The style should be factual
 The style and register should be consistent

J. Articles (ISE I only)


An article is a piece of writing on a particular subject in a newspaper, magazine or
journal. Articles are written to arouse interest and win over an audience who are
not necessarily knowledgeable about the subject matter. It will usually include the
writer’s opinion, commentary or interpretation.
Organisation and presentation
 Include an interesting and informative title (not included in word count),
which introduces the subject and makes the reader want to read the article.
 Clearly introduce the subject that will be discussed in the article
 The main text should be clearly divided into paragraphs with one topic
discussed in each paragraph
 Conclude the article with a brief summary
Language
 Use the relevant language of the level as required
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected
 Cohesive devices, discourse connectors, linking expressions can be used
 Descriptive language, language of opinion and rhetorical questions can be used
Style and register
 The style and register will depend on the medium where the article is being
reported and the intended audience
 The writer must choose the most appropriate style e.g. informal, witty,
serious, etc.
 Style and register should be consistent

ISE 0 & I Text types: Definitions


6
ISE 0 & I
TEXT TYPES: Definitions

K. Reviews (ISE I only)


 A review calls on the candidate to react to an event, performance, work of art
or literature, film, drama, product and so on.
 Organisation and presentation
 Include a title (not included in word count) to introduce the subject which has
been reviewed
 Clearly introduce the subject that will be discussed in the review
 The main text should be clearly divided into paragraphs. It may contain a
descriptive summary of the object under review, an evaluation of it (e.g. the
weak and strong points), a comparison with other examples in the genre etc.
 A final recommendation to the reader may be included
Language
 Use the relevant language of the level as required
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected
 Cohesive devices, discourse connectors, linking expressions can be used
 Descriptive language and language of opinion can be used
Style and register
 The writer must choose the most appropriate style e.g. witty, serious, etc.
 Style and register should be consistent

L. Summary (ISE I only)


A summary is a short, clear description that gives the main facts or ideas about
something or someone.
Organisation and presentation
 A summary should not contain repetition or irrelevant details from the original
document in the exam paper.
 It should cover every important aspect of the original document
 The text should be well-organised with appropriate use of paragraphs and
cohesive devices
Language
 Use the relevant language of the level as required
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected
Style and register
 The writer must choose the most appropriate style for the intended audience
 Style and register should be consistent

ISE 0 & I Text types: Definitions


7
ISE 0 & I
TEXT TYPES: Definitions

Creative and descriptive writing


M. Creative writing (ISE 0 & I)
By definition, creative writing requires originality of approach.
Organisation and presentation
 Layout is flexible and will vary according to the genre concerned
 Include a title where appropriate (not included in word count)
 The text should be well-organised with appropriate use of paragraphs and
cohesive devices.
Language
 Use the relevant language of the level as required
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected
 A variety of verb tense may be used
 Descriptive language should be used to add interest e.g. adjectives and
adverbs
Style and register
 Style and register will vary according to type of creative writing and the
intended reader
 Style and register should be consistent

N. Descriptive writing (ISE 0 & I)


Descriptive writing requires the writer to describe something, especially in a
detailed and interesting way.

Organisation and presentation


 Include a title where appropriate (not included in word count)
 The text should be well-organised with appropriate use of paragraphs and
cohesive devices
Language
 Use the relevant language of the level as required
 Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected
 Descriptive language should be used to add interest e.g. a range of adjectives
and adverbs
Style and register
 Style and register will vary according to type of descriptive writing and the
intended reader
 Style and register should be consistent

Past papers and teacher support materials for the Controlled Written exam can be
downloaded from the Trinity website at www.trinitycollege.co.uk

ISE 0 & I Text types: Definitions


8
ISE 0 — PORTFOLIO TASKS 2010
SECTION 1
ISE 0 — Correspondence (word length range: 40–60 words)

1. Last week you and your family moved to a new home. Write an email to your
English friend telling her about some of the differences between your old
home and your new home. Invite your friend to visit you soon.

2. You are spending the weekend camping in the countryside. Write a postcard
to a friend saying what the weather is like, what you did yesterday and what
you are going to do tomorrow.

3. Tom, your American penfriend, wants to know about your best friend. Write a
letter to Tom telling him about your best friend’s appearance and personality.
Say what you and your best friend usually like to do together.

4. You are going on holiday next month. Write an email to a friend telling him
where you are going and what you are going to do there. Invite your friend to
come with you.

5. Last summer you worked in a beach café. Your Irish penfriend wants to know
about the job. Write a letter to your penfriend telling her what you did, how
many hours you worked and what you enjoyed the most.

Remember — you must choose your ISE 0 correspondence task from the above list!

SECTION 2
ISE 0 — Factual writing (word length range: 80–100 words)

1. Your English friend, Peter, is visiting you and he wants to change some
money. Write some directions for Peter telling him how to find the bank from
your home. Say what days and times it is usually open.

2. Next weekend you are going to take some Irish visitors on an excursion to the
capital city of your country. Write some instructions for them saying when
and where to meet, what to wear and what to bring.

3. Your friend wants to make a cake for his sister’s birthday. Write him some
instructions for your friend saying what ingredients to buy, how to make the
cake and how to decorate it.

4. You are going to the cinema with your American friend this Saturday. Write
some directions for your friend telling her how to find the cinema from the
train station. Say what time to meet you and what film you are going to see.

5. Your dog is going to have puppies and your friend is going to take one. Write
some ‘puppy care’ instructions for your friend about how to look after the
puppy. Tell her about food, exercise and training.

Remember — you must choose your ISE 0 factual writing task from the above list!

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 2


SECTION 3
ISE 0 — Creative and descriptive writing (word length range: 80–100
words)

1. Write a description of your favourite shop for a shopping guide. Say what you
can buy at the shop, how often you go there and when it is open.

2. Write a story for a writing competition about a teenage girl who liked playing
football and wanted to be in the national team.

3. Imagine today was your last day at school. Write your diary saying what you
liked and disliked about school and how your life is going to change in the
future.

4. Write a description for a family magazine of the different seasons in your


country. Say how many seasons there are, what the weather is like and which
season you like best.

5. Write a story for a writing competition about a holiday when you had a big
surprise. Say where you went, what you did and what the surprise was.

Remember — you must choose your ISE 0 creative/descriptive writing task from the
above list!

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 3


ISE I — PORTFOLIO TASKS 2010
SECTION 1
ISE I — Correspondence (word length range: 70–80 words)

1. You have just won a prize in a talent show for your singing. Write an email to
a friend saying what you have won, what you had to do to get the prize and
when you are planning to perform in the future.

2. You recently got a new mountain bike for your birthday. Write a letter to your
English penfriend saying how long you have had it, what you have to do to
keep it in good condition and why you enjoy riding it.

3. You want to attend a two-week English course at a school in London. Write a


letter to the principal explaining why you have decided to attend the course
and asking how much it will cost. Tell him about your previous experience of
learning English.

4. You have been invited to the wedding of a family friend, but you have not
seen him for many years. Write a letter to your friend to accept the invitation.
Ask about his plans for the wedding and tell him about your most important
recent news.

5. You have recently become very fit. Write an email to a friend saying what you
have done to reach your new level of fitness and explaining what you were
doing wrong before you became fit. Invite your friend to exercise with you.

Remember — you must choose your ISE I correspondence task from the above list!

SECTION 2
ISE I — Factual writing (word length range: 110–130 words)

1. Write an article for a family magazine about rules teenagers have to follow in
your country. Describe two of these rules and give your opinion on them. Say
what happens if someone breaks the rules.

2. There has been an increase in car accidents in your area. Write a report for a
transport organisation describing the increase in accidents and giving
possible reasons. Say what drivers need to do to stay safe on the roads.

3. You recently saw your favourite band in concert. Write a review of the
concert for a music magazine. Describe the music, the atmosphere and say
what this band is planning for the future.

4. A fast food restaurant has just opened in your area. Write a report for a
healthy-eating organisation explaining what food the restaurant serves and
why it is unhealthy. Say what health problems people might have if they eat a
lot of fast food.

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 4


5. Write an article for a travel magazine with the title, ‘The importance of foreign
travel’. Say why it is important to visit foreign countries, where you have been
personally and what you learnt from the experience.

Remember — you must choose your ISE I factual writing task from the above list!

SECTION 3
ISE I — Creative and descriptive writing (word length range: 110–130 words)

1. Write a story for a writing competition beginning with the words, ‘There is one
school rule I’ll never break again...’ Describe the rule, say how you broke it and
explain why this had serious consequences.

2. Write a description for a website called www.terribletrips.com about the worst


journey you have ever had. Describe the journey, say how long it took and
explain why it was so bad.

3. Write a story for a writing competition about a poor family who won a lot of
money on the lottery. Explain how much money they won, what they did with
it and how it changed their lives.

4. Write a diary entry for a young fashion model who has just taken part in a
fashion show for the first time. Say where it was, what she had to do and what
her impressions were.

5. Imagine you have a collection of famous people’s autographs. Write a


description for an entertainment magazine saying how you got them and why
they are special to you. Say which autographs you intend to get in the future.

Remember — you must choose your ISE I creative/descriptive writing task from the
above list!

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 5


ISE II — PORTFOLIO TASKS 2010
SECTION 1
ISE II — Correspondence (word length range: 120–150 words)

1. A television company wants to make a documentary about local products.


Write an email to the producer of the programme telling her about a famous
product from your area. Explain how it is made and say how it would benefit
your area if it was featured on the programme.

2. Write a letter to the editor of an international environmental publication


explaining how your country’s environment is being damaged by business
activities. Express your feelings about the situation and emphasise the need
for government action.

3. When you were shopping at the supermarket recently, the assistant at the
checkout was very rude to you. Write a letter to the supermarket manager,
reporting what the assistant said, explaining how you felt and saying what
action you think the manager should take.

4. Your friend recently moved from a flat in the city to a farm in the countryside.
She is finding the change difficult and feels lonely. Write an email to your
friend, encouraging her to see the positive sides of country life and
suggesting ways in which she could meet new people.

5. A teacher, who had a very positive influence on you, has just retired. Write a
letter to this teacher explaining in what ways they influenced your personal
values and speculating how your life would have been different if they had not
been your teacher.

Remember — you must choose your ISE II correspondence task from the above list!

SECTION 2
ISE II — Factual writing (word length range: 170–200 words)

1. ‘It is better to have brothers and sisters than to be an only child’. Write an
article for a sociology magazine, explaining to what extent you agree or
disagree with this statement. Support your point of view with relevant
examples from your own childhood.

2. A beautiful building of historic importance is going to be demolished so that a


new motorway can be built. Write a report for the department of transport
persuading them to reconsider the decision. Explain why you disagree with
the plan and recommend an alternative route for the motorway.

3. Write a review of your favourite children’s book for a magazine feature on,
‘The world’s most popular books for children’. Include details of the story and
main characters. Explain why you would recommend it to young readers.

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 6


4. Write an article for a magazine called ‘Star Sign’ about a horoscope which
came true for one of your friends. Say what was predicted and what actually
happened. Conclude with your opinion on the reliability of this kind of
prediction.

5. Write a report for an international student organisation about the value of


gap years. Highlight the advantages and disadvantages of taking a year out
from full-time education, and make some suggestions about possible activities
students could do.

Remember — you must choose your ISE II factual writing task from the above list!

SECTION 3
ISE II — Creative and descriptive writing (word length range: 170–200
words)

1. Write a short story for a writing competition that begins or ends with the
words ‘If I had told him the truth in the beginning, we would still be friends
now.’

2. Imagine you had spent a day at school one hundred years ago. Write a
description for the website www.schooldays.com describing your day. Say
what people used to do at school and whether learning was easier or harder
than it is today.

3. You have been working as a doctor in a busy hospital for one week. Write your
diary at the end of your first week, describing the highlights and challenges of
your new job and saying how you have been feeling.

4. Write a short story for a writing competition about a young woman who did
not use to believe in miracles until something incredible happened which
changed her mind.

5. Imagine you had a machine that could transport you through time and space.
Write a description for a science-fiction magazine explaining where you would
you go and what time you would you choose. Say what you could do there.

Remember — you must choose your ISE II creative/descriptive writing task from
the above list!

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 7


ISE III — PORTFOLIO TASKS 2010
SECTION 1
ISE III — Correspondence (word length range: 180–210 words)

1. You are concerned that the behaviour displayed by some celebrities sets a
bad example for young people. Write a letter to the chairman of a youth
organisation outlining your concerns, with relevant examples. Express your
hopes for a change in their behaviour in the future.

2. A close friend has been extremely stressed recently due to family problems
and a demanding boss. Write an email to your friend empathising with her
situation, offering your support and proposing ways to stay calm and release
tension.

3. You are concerned about the dubious merits of reality television shows and
the way in which they exploit participants. Write a letter to the editor of a
media publication summarising your position and quoting examples to
support your views.

4. A young relative of yours has been caught trying to steal small items from a
local shop with a group of his friends. Write an email to the teenager, trying
to empathise with his situation but gently pointing out that his actions
constitute unacceptable behaviour.

5. A multi-national company is planning to build a new supermarket in your area


on land which is currently used as a sports ground. Write a letter to the local
council outlining your strong objections to the proposal and emphasising the
importance of providing sports facilities for the community.

Remember — you must choose your ISE III correspondence task from the above list!

SECTION 2
ISE III — Factual writing (word length range 220–250 words)

1. Audiences for theatre performances have become smaller in recent years.


Write a report for a cultural organisation summarising the reasons for this
decline and outlining measures to encourage more people to support the arts.

2. Write an article for a consumer magazine with the title, ‘Internet censorship -
the case for freedom of information’. Evaluate the different standpoints in
this argument and conclude with your own views on whether the internet
should be more tightly controlled.

3. Recent studies have found that women are still underpaid and rarely
promoted to senior positions in comparison to men. Write a report for an
equal opportunities committee citing recent examples of inequality of
opportunity and challenging employers to justify their actions.

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 8


4. There are increasing concerns about the effects of climate change. Write an
article for an environmental publication, discussing the implications of
changing weather patterns and saying what needs to be done to prevent the
problem from escalating.

5. Write a review for literary magazine of the most inspiring novel you have ever
read in English. Discuss the merits of the novel, justify your opinions and
explain how it had a positive impact on your life.

Remember — you must choose your ISE III factual writing task from the above list!

SECTION 3
ISE III — Creative and descriptive writing (word length range: 220–250
words)

1. Write a story for a teenage magazine about a young person who became
addicted to using the internet to the point where she could only communicate
with people encountered in cyberspace.

2. Write a series of diary entries, extending over several years, of someone who
was extremely ambitious and achieved wealth and power using dishonest
means.

3. Imagine you work in advertising and have been asked to create a marketing
strategy for a new box of chocolates. Write a description of the product and
packaging, and outline some suitable marketing strategies.

4. Write a description of the stereotypical strengths and weaknesses of your


fellow countrymen, outlining the historical and other forces that you believe
helped to shape your nation.

5. Write a story for a writing competition that begins or ends with the words ‘He
knew he shouldn’t have done it, but it was the most important race of his life
and he was desperate to win. He just hoped no one would ever find out.’

Remember — you must choose your ISE III creative/descriptive writing task from the
above list!

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 9


ISE IV — PORTFOLIO TASKS 2010

SECTION 1

ISE IV — Correspondence (word length range: 300–350 words)

1. A sports team with which you are associated is being investigated by the
police after charges of using banned drugs were made by an opposing team.

Write a formal letter to the police officer in charge of the case, contradicting
detailed information in the other team’s statement and vehemently denying
all the charges.

AND

Write an informal email to the members of your team, empathising with their
unfortunate situation and affirming your complete faith in their innocence.

2. A female colleague has recently returned from maternity leave to find that
she has been demoted to a less senior post on a lower pay scale.

Write a sympathetic email to your colleague, affirming your support and


stating your willingness to take a stand on her behalf.

AND

Write a formal letter to the head of the human resources, asserting your
colleague’s rights as an employee and asking for her to be reinstated to her
previous post.

3. You recently attended a presentation of research findings delivered by a


well-known expert who made false assertions about a subject of which you
have considerable knowledge.

Write a formal letter to the expert, pointing out the errors in his presentation
and referring to appropriate sources for the true facts.

AND

Write an informal email to a friend, who also has an interest in the subject,
explaining why you felt it imperative to contradict the expert’s incorrect
assumptions.

4. In these days of war-torn countries and shifting populations, an issue of


burning importance is the extent to which free migration across borders
should be allowed or encouraged.

Develop a blog in which two or more contributors with strongly opposing


views and language styles debate this moral question.

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 10


5. With improved standards of living, people in many parts of the world are
living longer. This causes economic problems both for them and the
younger generation.

Develop a blog in which two or more contributors with contrasting views and
language styles discuss alternative ways of dealing with an ageing population.

Remember — you must choose your ISE IV correspondence task from the above list!

Please note the word length range given above for ISE IV correspondence tasks is for the
whole task e.g. letter and email. Dividing the word length between the individual pieces of
correspondence is the responsibility of each candidate. However, you must not exceed
the stated maximum word length range.

SECTION 2
ISE IV - Factual writing (Word length range: 300- 350 words)

1. It is said that variations in body language can radically affect the


impression we make on another person, e.g. in an interview situation.

Write an article for a psychology publication, providing evidence to support


your affirmation or denial of this perception. Justify your opinion with
examples from real-life situations.

2. Is it possible to devise an education system which allows equal


opportunities to every child, regardless of background, family or place of
birth?

Write a report for a government think tank which is considering educational


reforms, asserting your views on the current system in your country and
presenting your proposals for greater equality of access to education.

3. Your company recently decided to reduce prices on a range of goods in


order to maintain sales at a time of fierce competition. It is now time to
evaluate the results of this strategy.

Write a report for your senior manager, evaluating the effects of the strategy
on sales, expressing caution about widening the policy to other products and
justifying your conclusions, with an analysis of the evidence presented.

4. Drug-dealing and taking present a major problem to governments, who


have sought to tackle it with methods ranging from declaring ‘war on drugs’
to passing legislation to decriminalise drug-dealing and using.

Write an article for an international news publication, evaluating the options


for dealing with this matter, affirming your own beliefs on the subject and
including evidence to support your argument.

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 11


5. Adaptation, the process by which one art form develops into another, is a
commonplace artistic activity1.

Write a critical review of a film or play which has been adapted from a novel
discussing the extent to which the adaptation was creative or destructive.
Conclude with your views on the challenges involved in adaptation.

Remember — you must choose your ISE IV factual writing task from the above list!

SECTION 3
ISE IV - Critical and analytical writing (Word length range: 300 - 350
words)

1. ‘It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even
more to stand up to your friends.’ (J. K. Rowling, author)

Write an essay commenting on the merits of J.K Rowling’s opinions,


illustrating your views with relevant examples. Contrast your opinions with
alternative viewpoints.

2. ‘The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The


inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.’ (Winston
Churchill)

Write an essay in which you comment on the truth or otherwise of this


statement and say what it implies for our social well-being, with illustrations
from your own experience.

3. ‘Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man
present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the
entire population.’ (Albert Einstein)

Write an essay commenting on the relevance of Einstein’s statement in


today’s society, giving pertinent examples to illustrate your viewpoint.

4. ‘A mind once expanded can never return to its original dimensions.’ (Anne
Hathaway)

Write an essay commenting on the truth or otherwise of this quotation and


evaluating some experiences you have undergone which have opened your
mind to new perspectives on the world.

5. ‘A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your


creative instincts.’ (Richard Branson)

Write an essay commenting on the validity of Branson’s viewpoint. Assert


your own views on how to establish and maintain a successful business,
illustrating your contentions with relevant examples.

Remember — you must choose your ISE IV critical/analytical writing task from the
above list!

1
Salman Rushdie

ISE 0-IV PORTOLIO TASKS 2010 12