Sample ISE III portfolio tasks

Candidate answers, assessments and rationale
ISE III - Section 1 – Correspondence (180-210 words)
You read an article in a national newspaper recently which argued that
criminals should not have any civil or social rights while imprisoned, such
as the right to vote, the right to study, the right to have a television etc.
Write a letter to the Editor of the newspaper, discussing to what extent
you agree or disagree with the article and why.
The Editor
“The Evening Courier”,
15 South Street
Rome
25th June
Dear Sir,
I’m writing to comment about the article which appeared in the Courier of
yesterday that clearly explained why, according to the author, people who have
committed a crime or have been found guilty of it shouldn’t have any rights while
they are imprisoned. I don’t completely agree with this statement and I’m going to
explain why. First of all I think we should differentiate between social or civil rights
and political ones: I am of the opinion that it is correct to deprive imprisoned
people of the right to vote, because criminals tend to vote for other persons who
are affiliated or connected in whatever way to criminal organisations or are
somehow controlled by them. Let us consider, by way of illustration, the case of
important members of the Mafia: as they have the right to vote, they can support
people who have joined that criminal organisation at local or even national level.
But I find it difficult to share the opinion that prisoners shouldn’t have any civil or
social rights: even though they are criminals, they are nevertheless human beings
and so they must have the right to study, the right to profess their own religion, to
talk and think freely, the right to be treated for any illness, etc. Moreover I find it
hard to believe that nowadays someone could bring into question such rights, as
we live in a world in which the words “equality”, “freedom” and “brotherhood” are
usually bandied about and are at the base of all the Constitutions of democratic
countries.
Yours faithfully
Candidate X

Disclaimer: The above materials have been provided to assist teachers with the preparation of
learners for the Trinity Integrated Skills in English examinations. Please make sure you consult
the syllabus fully for all requirements of the examinations. Trinity will not accept appeals which
cite the use of examination materials in support of the appeal.

ISE III - Section 1 – Correspondence (180-210 words)
Rationale for ISE III Portfolio assessment
Grade: B
Overall achievement of communicative aim
The candidate has made a good attempt at the task, in a fluent discussion which
argues for the importance of civil and social rights for prisoners being preserved.
However, the letter at 263 words is over the stated word length range, so he/she
fails to satisfy all the requirements of the task.  Tip – It is vital that candidates
adhere to the stated maximum word length range, as any additional text is not
assessed by the examiner! This mistake could have been easily avoided by using
the word count facility on the computer. Nevertheless, even without the additional
text, this is a very good attempt at the task.  Tip – Please note the address and
date are not included in the word count.
Text organisation
There are only two paragraphs, where three or four would have been more
appropriate, with a division after the opening two sentences.  Tip – The text
should be well-organised into appropriate paragraphs. In spite of this, the text is
fluent and cohesive, assisted by the use of such linking phrases as ‘according to the
author’, ‘First of all’, ‘Let us consider’, ‘even though’ and ‘Moreover’.
Appropriacy of format, style and register
The format is suitable for a formal letter, though the date is incomplete. The style
and register are mainly appropriate for the level of formality and the subject
matter, though contractions are not usually used in such correspondence.
Accuracy and range of the grammatical, functional and lexical items of the level
The candidate is well able to employ such language functions as challenging,
developing and justifying an argument, defending a point of view and expressing
abstract ideas. His/her grasp of advanced grammatical structures and the lexis
related to social issues and the rights of the individual are more than equal to the
set task.
Spelling and punctuation
Spelling is almost entirely faultless. There are three examples of inappropriate use
of the colon, where a full stop would have been correct.
Effect on reader
The overall effect on the reader is very positive.

Disclaimer: The above materials have been provided to assist teachers with the preparation of
learners for the Trinity Integrated Skills in English examinations. Please make sure you consult
the syllabus fully for all requirements of the examinations. Trinity will not accept appeals which
cite the use of examination materials in support of the appeal.

ISE III - Section 2 – Factual writing (220- 250 words)
Write a report for a consumer group on a recent scientific or
technological invention (real or imaginary) which you were asked to try
out in your place of work or study. Assess its usefulness, reliability and
value for money.

two years ago ,while experimenting with a new protective coating for plastic in my
laboratory, I put down paper to keep my workspace clean.but before throughing
the paper I decided to test it and discovered that the paper not absorbing water
and was rewritable.the new coating can be applied on one side of the paper or both
sides with a variety of dosages.the nanopartcles penetrate through he paper
blocking water and many liquid,even when only one side of the paper is coated.the
paper is writable in pencil or ink and is printable and erasable.colored forms of
coating have been developed ,which actively resist mold.the coating is good for
shipping equipments ,packaging and building materials.for the moment the
invention is not on the market but I hope that it will very soon.tests showed that
the paper absorb completely the nanoparticles,which are not divisible and could be
dangerous for man’s health.

Disclaimer: The above materials have been provided to assist teachers with the preparation of
learners for the Trinity Integrated Skills in English examinations. Please make sure you consult
the syllabus fully for all requirements of the examinations. Trinity will not accept appeals which
cite the use of examination materials in support of the appeal.

ISE III - Section 2 – Factual writing (220- 250 words)
Rationale for ISE III Portfolio assessment
Grade: E
Overall achievement of communicative aim
This is a highly unsatisfactory piece of writing which fails to address the task as
stated. There is some mention of the invention’s usefulness, but none of its
reliability or value for money. Tip - It is vital that candidates are trained to
underline key words in the question and check that all of them have been
covered before handing in their Portfolios. Due to these serious omissions the
text is 71 words under the required word length. Tip - Use the word count
facility on the computer to check the text length.
Text organisation
There is no discernible organisation here, which makes the text very difficult to
follow. Linking language is hardly included at all, there is no paragraphing and
both cohesion and coherence are sadly lacking. Tip - When candidates plan and
draft their writing, they need to think about how to structure it appropriately.
Appropriacy of format, style and register
There is no recognition that this is a report for a consumer group and/or no
attention to the need to use report format, with a complete absence of clear
sections, headings and possibly bullet points. Tip - It is important that
candidates learn the standard conventions for different text types. The use of ‘I’
is unsuitable in a report, which normally employs passive constructions (e.g. ‘can
be applied’ and ‘have been developed’ in the text) throughout to ensure a formal,
impersonal register.
Accuracy and range of the grammatical, functional and lexical items of the level
There are some basic grammatical errors, such as ‘the paper not absorbing water’
‘many liquid’, ‘the paper is writable’ and ‘the paper absorb’. Tip – Having had the
benefit of the use of reference materials and drafting and correcting, a very
high level of accuracy is expected in the Portfolio at all levels. The writing
presents only facts and fails to use the functions of evaluating, expressing
caution, hypothesising and summarising, all of which might have been usefully
incorporated. Tip – Candidates should include a wide range of the relevant
language functions of the level, to show the examiner what they can do. Refer
to the syllabus for the specified language items of ISE III. The vocabulary range
is mainly adequate for the purpose, though for the specified readership terms like
‘nanoparticles’ need explanation.
Spelling and punctuation
There are few spelling errors (‘throughing’ is the only one) but punctuation is
totally inadequate, with not a single sentence beginning with a capital letter, so
that it is often hard to determine where one sentence finishes and the next one
starts. This omission severely affects the reader’s ability to follow the text.
Effect on reader
The task has a negative effect on the reader.

Disclaimer: The above materials have been provided to assist teachers with the preparation of
learners for the Trinity Integrated Skills in English examinations. Please make sure you consult
the syllabus fully for all requirements of the examinations. Trinity will not accept appeals which
cite the use of examination materials in support of the appeal.

ISE III - Section 3 – Creative and descriptive writing (220 – 250 words)
Write a short story to be included in a children’s book which has a moral
message at the end.

Once upon a time there was a little turtle, called Tobia, who had on his back a
heavy shell, which didn’t allow him to move nimbly. Tobia envied the agile animals
of the wood where he lived.
Once day, he suddenly felt light because his shell had disappeared. Tobia was so
happy that he began to jump, dance and play with birds and butterflies. Tobia went
for a walk in the wood, where he met his friends who couldn’t recognize him and
laughed at him, since they had never seen a turtle without a shell. During the walk,
he met a Robin who said to Tobia <<Why did you abandon a sure and solid house?
It would have lasted for ever, it’s not like my nest, which has to be done every year.
Remember my words: one day you will regret your shell!>>
Tobia didn’t pay attention to what he was told. Winter came, the little turtle
couldn’t find a home which could protect him from coldness and wind. While he
was looking for a shelter, as big cat jumped in front of Tobia, with the intention of
eating him. The turtle was so afraid that he had no strength to move: <<If I still had
my shell I could...>> Tobia had no time to think anything else because the cat was
ready to eat him, it opened its mouth and…Tobia woke up!
It was only a nightmare, but it was enough to make Tobia understand that
everybody must be satisfied with what he has!.

Disclaimer: The above materials have been provided to assist teachers with the preparation of
learners for the Trinity Integrated Skills in English examinations. Please make sure you consult
the syllabus fully for all requirements of the examinations. Trinity will not accept appeals which
cite the use of examination materials in support of the appeal.

ISE III - Section 3 – Creative and descriptive writing (220 – 250 words)
Rationale for ISE III Portfolio assessment
Grade: B
Overall achievement of communicative aim
A very good attempt at the task. All requirements of the task are satisfied, with the
exception that at 255 words it is ever so slightly over the word limit by 5 words.
This is a pity considering that the candidate has had time to edit their work.  Tip
– It is vital that candidates adhere to the stated maximum word length range.
Nevertheless, the story covers the main points and culminates with a very
appropriate moral.
Text organisation
The paragraphs are divided at exactly the appropriate points: after the
introduction, when the seasons change, and before the final comment. The
addition of a range of suitable linking phrases, e.g. ‘Once upon a time’, ‘One day’,
‘During the walk’ and ‘While he was looking’ also aids cohesion. The story flows
easily and enjoyably.
Appropriacy of format, style and register
A suitable format has been used and the register is extremely well chosen for a
children’s traditional story. Possibly the addition of a title would have further
enhanced it.
Accuracy and range of the grammatical, functional and lexical items of the level
The narrative proceeds very effectively and a wide range of lexical and
grammatical items are used appropriately and accurately. Conditional sentences,
varied verb tenses and forms, and an interesting choice of vocabulary all combine
to enhance the story e.g. ‘move nimbly’, ‘envied the agile animals’ and ‘he suddenly
felt light because his shell had disappeared’. There are a few non-impeding errors,
such as ‘a so sure and solid house’ and ‘coldness’, but these do not affect the
communication of meaning.
Spelling and punctuation
Spelling is thoroughly reliable. Although it would have been better to use “…”
instead of << … >> for speech marks.  Tip – Candidates should check UK
punctuation conventions. Otherwise the punctuation is varied and appropriate.
Effect on reader
Overall, it has a positive effect on the reader.

Disclaimer: The above materials have been provided to assist teachers with the preparation of
learners for the Trinity Integrated Skills in English examinations. Please make sure you consult
the syllabus fully for all requirements of the examinations. Trinity will not accept appeals which
cite the use of examination materials in support of the appeal.

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