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Integrated Skills in English (ISE)

Guide for Teachers — ISE II (B2)


Reading & Writing | Speaking & Listening

Trinity College London


www.trinitycollege.com
Charity number 1014792
Patron HRH The Duke of Kent KG
Copyright © 2015 Trinity College London
Published by Trinity College London
Third impression, April 2016
Contents

Contents

ISE II Reading & Writing exam


Overview of the ISE Reading & Writing exam  6
Who is ISE Reading & Writing for? 6
Introduction to ISE Reading & Writing tasks at ISE II 7
Glossary of reading skills for ISE II 8
Glossary of writing aims for ISE II  9
Candidate profile 10
Task specifications for ISE II Reading & Writing 11
Task 1 — Long reading 11
Task 2 — Multi-text reading 12
Task 3 — Reading into writing 13
Task 4 — Extended writing 13
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing 14
Task 1 — Long reading: Reduce, reuse, recycle  14
Task 3 — Reading into writing: Happiness report  18
Task 4 — Extended writing: The advantages and disadvantages of using mobile phones 25

ISE II Speaking & Listening exam


Overview of the ISE Speaking & Listening exam 34
Who is ISE Speaking & Listening for? 34
Introduction to ISE Speaking & Listening tasks 35
Glossary of speaking aims for ISE II 37
Glossary of listening skills for ISE II 37
Candidate profile 38
Task specifications for ISE II Speaking & Listening 39
Topic task 39
Collaborative task 40
Conversation task 41
Independent listening task 41
Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening 42
Topic task: Talking about various topics from healthy eating to extreme sports 42
Conversation task: A conversation about living in society today 46
Independent listening task: Working from home 49

Appendices
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper 54
Appendix 2 — Information on the Speaking & Listening exam 66
Appendix 3 — Language functions and suggested grammar for ISE II 69
Appendix 4 — ISE II Task 3 Reading into writing rating scale 70
Appendix 5 — ISE II Task 4 Extended writing rating scale 72
Appendix 6 — ISE II Speaking and listening rating scale 73
Appendix 7 — ISE II Independent listening rating scale 74

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Foreword
Trinity’s Integrated Skills in English (ISE) exam assesses all four language skills — reading, writing,
speaking and listening. In the ISE exam, all four skills are tested in an integrated way, reflecting how
skills are used together in real-life situations.
This guide:
◗◗ gives you a brief overview of the two modules of the ISE II exam — Reading & Writing and
Speaking & Listening
◗◗ offers some practical advice for preparing students for each task in the exam
◗◗ provides some example activities that you can use in the classroom and adapt for your students.
For more classroom activities to help prepare your students for ISE II, as well as the exam specifications,
see www.trinitycollege.com/ISEII
Please note that ISE IV has a different format — see www.trinitycollege.com/ISEIV for details.

Please check trinitycollege.com/ISE for the latest information about Trinity’s ISE exams, and to make
sure you are using the latest version of the related documents.

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5
ISE II Reading
& Writing exam
Overview of the ISE Reading & Writing exam

Overview of the ISE Reading & Writing exam


Trinity’s ISE Reading & Writing exam tests reading and writing skills through an integrated approach.
The integrated skills approach mirrors how we use reading and writing skills both together and
separately in our studies and work. The reading texts reflect the range of subjects a student may
encounter in an educational or academic setting and the way that he or she needs to find, select and
report relevant and appropriate information. The writing tasks reflect the kind of activities a student
does in a school or college context, such as essay writing.
The purpose of the exam is to assess a candidate’s skills in reading and writing in the English language
through tasks which correspond to his or her real world activity and reason for learning English.
The ISE Reading & Writing exam is currently offered at four levels of the Common European Framework
of Reference (CEFR) from A2 to C1.

Who is ISE Reading & Writing for?


The intended candidate is a young person or adult, typically at secondary school or college, who is
using English as a second or foreign language as part of their studies in order to develop their skills
and improve their knowledge of a range of subject areas. The typical ISE candidate is aged between
11 and 19, but may be older.
A candidate at the lower levels of the exam (ISE Foundation and ISE I), is generally a young person or
adult in school or college who is taking ISE as evidence to progress to a higher level of English study
within their mainstream or English language school. At the higher levels of the exam (ISE II and ISE III),
a candidate is typically a young person or adult preparing for further or higher education who is
required to prove their English language proficiency levels within an educational context.

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Overview of the ISE Reading & Writing exam

Introduction to ISE Reading & Writing tasks at ISE II


The Reading & Writing exam consists of four tasks.
Task 1 is the Long reading task, where the candidate reads a single text and answers 15 questions.
The aims of this task are to understand:
◗◗ the main idea of a paragraph or text
◗◗ specific information at sentence, phrase and word levels.
Task 2 is the Multi-text reading task, where the candidate first reads four texts and then answers
15 questions. The aims of this task are to:
◗◗ understand the main idea of a paragraph or text
◗◗ understand specific information at sentence, phrase and word levels
◗◗ find specific information in different texts in order to create a text summary.
Task 3 is the Reading into writing task, where the candidate produces a piece of writing based on
the four texts in task 2.
Task 4 is the Extended writing task, where the candidate produces a piece of writing in response to
a prompt.

Overview of ISE Reading & Writing at all levels

ISE Foundation ISE I ISE II ISE III

CEFR level A2 B1 B2 C1

Time 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours

Task 1 Long reading Long reading Long reading Long reading


◗◗ 300 words ◗◗ 400 words ◗◗ 500 words ◗◗ 700 words
◗◗ 15 questions ◗◗ 15 questions ◗◗ 15 questions ◗◗ 15 questions

Task 2 Multi-text reading Multi-text reading Multi-text reading Multi-text reading


◗◗ 3 texts ◗◗ 4 texts ◗◗ 4 texts ◗◗ 4 texts
◗◗ 300 words ◗◗ 400 words ◗◗ 500 words ◗◗ 700 words
◗◗ 15 questions ◗◗ 15 questions ◗◗ 15 questions ◗◗ 15 questions

Task 3 Reading into writing Reading into writing Reading into writing Reading into writing
◗◗ 70–100 words ◗◗ 100–130 words ◗◗ 150–180 words ◗◗ 200–230 words

Task 4 Extended writing Extended writing Extended writing Extended writing


◗◗ 70–100 words ◗◗ 100–130 words ◗◗ 150–180 words ◗◗ 200–230 words

Please see pages 8 and 9 for glossaries of reading skills and writing aims for ISE II.

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Overview of the ISE Reading & Writing exam

Glossary of reading skills for ISE II

Reading for general ◗◗ Reading a wide range of complex texts likely to be encountered in social,
comprehension professional or academic life
Skimming ◗◗ Reading to understand the general meaning of a paragraph, text or
infographic (graphic with writing)
Reading for gist ◗◗ Reading to understand the main idea of a paragraph, text or infographic
◗◗ Quickly identifying the content and relevance of news items, articles and
reports on a wide range of topics
◗◗ Deciding if closer study is worthwhile
Scanning ◗◗ Reading longer and more complex texts or infographics to find
relevant details
◗◗ Finding information, ideas and opinions from specialised sources on
a familiar topic or within his or her field of interest
Careful reading to ◗◗ Reading to understand specific, factual information at the word, phrase
understand specific or sentence level
facts, information ◗◗ Reading to understand important points in a text
and significant points ◗◗ Looking for main points and clues from context
◗◗ Identifying which information is factual, which is opinion
◗◗ Identifying which information is the main point and which information is
an example or details
◗◗ Comparing and evaluating information at sentence, phrase and word level
◗◗ Adapting style and speed of reading to different texts and purposes
Deducing meaning ◗◗ Inferring meaning, eg the writer’s attitude, line of argument and intentions
◗◗ Anticipate what will come next
◗◗ Guessing the meaning of sentences, phrases and words from their context
Understand a range ◗◗ Reading specialised articles outside his or her field, with occasional use
of texts of a dictionary as appropriate
◗◗ Reading articles and reports concerned with contemporary issues in
which the writers adopt particular positions or points of view
Summarising ◗◗ Reading to identify the main conclusions in clearly structured and
signposted argumentative texts
◗◗ Synthesising and evaluating information and arguments from a number
of different types of texts
◗◗ Commenting on and discussing contrasting points of view and the
main themes

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Overview of the ISE Reading & Writing exam

Glossary of writing aims for ISE II

Reading for writing ◗◗ Showing understanding of reading texts


◗◗ Identifying common themes in reading texts
◗◗ Summarising or paraphrasing ideas from reading texts

Task fulfilment ◗◗ Responding to the prompt fully


◗◗ Using the correct number of words to respond to the prompt
◗◗ Showing awareness of the reader and the purpose for writing

Organisation and structure ◗◗ Presenting ideas and arguments clearly


◗◗ Using the best text type to fulfil the task
◗◗ Structuring the writing appropriately, eg using beginnings,
endings and paragraphs

Language control ◗◗ Using a range of language functions, grammar and vocabulary


◗◗ Using language functions, grammar and vocabulary accurately
◗◗ Using spelling and punctuation accurately

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Overview of the ISE Reading & Writing exam

Candidate profile
Reading (tasks 1 and 2)
A candidate who passes ISE II Reading can:
◗◗ read with a large degree of independence, adapting style and speed of reading to different texts
and purposes, using appropriate reference sources selectively
◗◗ scan quickly through long and complex texts, locating relevant details
◗◗ quickly identify the content and relevance of news items, articles and reports on a wide range of
topics, deciding whether closer study is worthwhile
◗◗ obtain information, ideas and opinions from specialised sources within his or her field
◗◗ use a variety of strategies to achieve comprehension, including reading for main points and checking
comprehension by using contextual clues
◗◗ summarise a range of factual and imaginative texts, commenting on and discussing contrasting
points of view and the main themes
◗◗ use a broad active reading vocabulary, but may experience some difficulty with unusual expressions
◗◗ understand articles and reports concerned with contemporary problems in which the writers adopt
particular stances or viewpoints
◗◗ paraphrase and summarise ideas, opinions, arguments and discussion
In tasks 1 and 2, the candidate is assessed on his or her ability to read across several texts and
demonstrate a range of reading skills including skimming, scanning, reading for gist and detail,
and inferring and summarising.

Reading into writing (task 3)


A candidate who passes ISE II Task 3 — Reading into writing can:
◗◗ identify connections and themes between four texts in task 2
◗◗ identify content from the text in task 2 that is relevant to task 3
◗◗ synthesise information in task 2 to produce coherent responses to suit the purpose for writing
in task 3

Writing (tasks 3 and 4)


A candidate who passes ISE II Writing can:
◗◗ synthesise and evaluate information and arguments from a number of sources
◗◗ express news and views effectively in writing and relate to the views of others
◗◗ write clear, detailed texts on a variety of subjects related to his or her interests, following established
conventions of the text type concerned
◗◗ write clear, detailed descriptions of real or imaginary events and experiences, marking the relationship
between ideas in clear, connected text
◗◗ write an essay or report that develops an argument systematically, gives reasons and relevant
details, and highlights key points
◗◗ explain the advantages and disadvantages of various options
◗◗ evaluate different ideas or solutions to a problem
◗◗ summarise a range of factual and imaginative texts, eg news items, interviews or documentaries
◗◗ discuss and contrast points of view, arguments and the main themes
◗◗ summarise the plot and sequence of events in a film or play.

This profile is based on the level B2, Independent User, of the Council of Europe’s Common European
Framework of Reference (CEFR).

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Task specifications for ISE II Reading & Writing

Task specifications for ISE II Reading & Writing

Task 1 — Long reading


Task One reading text followed by 15 questions

Text The text is complex with factual ideas, opinions, argument and/or discussion. It is
the type of text that a candidate is familiar with from his or her own educational
setting (eg textbook, article, review, magazine, website).
Subject areas for ISE II:
◗◗ Society and living standards ◗◗ National customs
◗◗ Personal values and ideals ◗◗ Village and city life
◗◗ The world of work ◗◗ National and local produce
◗◗ Natural environmental concerns and products
◗◗ Public figures past and present ◗◗ Early memories
◗◗ Education ◗◗ Pollution and recycling

Text length 500 words (approximately)

Number of 15 questions
questions

Question types Title matching (Questions 1–5)


These require the candidate to choose the most appropriate title for each
paragraph of the text. The text has five paragraphs and there are six titles to
choose from. Some useful reading subskills to practise for this section are:
◗◗ skimming
◗◗ scanning
◗◗ reading for gist
◗◗ understanding the main ideas of each paragraph.

Selecting the true statements (Questions 6–10)


These require the candidate to select five true statements from a list of eight
statements. Five statements are true according to the text. Three are false or are
not stated in the text.
Some useful reading subskills to practise for this section are:
◗◗ careful reading for specific information
◗◗ understanding specific, factual information at the sentence level
◗◗ comparing, evaluating and inferring
◗◗ distinguishing principal statement from supporting examples or details
◗◗ distinguishing fact from opinion.

Completing sentences (Questions 11–15)


In this section, the candidate completes sentences with a word or phrase taken
from the text (up to three words).
Some useful reading subskills to practise for this section are:
◗◗ careful reading for comprehension
◗◗ understanding cohesion patterns, lexis, grammar and collocation
◗◗ understanding specific, factual information at the word and/or phrase level OR
inferring and understanding across paragraphs (eg writer’s attitude, line
of argument etc).

Timing The candidate is advised to spend 20 minutes on this part of the exam

Assessment The task is scored against an answer key

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Task specifications for ISE II Reading & Writing

Task 2 — Multi-text reading


Task Four reading texts read as a group followed by 15 questions

Text The four texts are complex with factual ideas, opinions, argument and/or discussion
of the kind that is familiar to the candidate from his or her own educational setting.
One text is an infographic (eg a diagram, drawing, map or table).
Subject areas for ISE II:
◗◗ Society and living standards ◗◗ National customs
◗◗ Personal values and ideals ◗◗ Village and city life
◗◗ The world of work ◗◗ National and local produce and products
◗◗ Natural environmental concerns ◗◗ Early memories
◗◗ Public figures past and present ◗◗ Pollution and recycling
◗◗ Education
All four texts are on the same topic and should be thematically linked.

Text length 500 words (approximately) across the four texts


One text is an infographic

Number of 15 questions
questions
Question Multiple matching (Questions 16–20)
types In this section, the candidate chooses the most appropriate sentence to describe
each text.
Some useful reading subskills to practise for this section are:
◗◗ skimming
◗◗ scanning
◗◗ reading for gist
◗◗ reading for purpose or main ideas.

Selecting the true statements (Questions 21–25)


In this section, the candidate selects five true statements from a list of eight
statements. Five statements are true according to the texts. Three are false or are not
stated in the texts.
Some useful reading subskills to practise for this section are:
◗◗ careful reading for specific information
◗◗ understanding specific, factual information at the sentence level
◗◗ inferring
◗◗ scanning.

Completing summary notes (Questions 26–30)


In this section, the candidate completes sentences with a word or phrase taken from
the four texts (up to three words).
Some useful reading subskills to practise for this section are:
◗◗ careful reading for comprehension at the word and/or phrase level across texts
◗◗ inferring
◗◗ summarising.

Timing The candidate is advised to spend 20 minutes on this part of the exam

Assessment The task is scored against an answer key

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Task specifications for ISE II Reading & Writing

Task 3 — Reading into writing


Task A writing task in which the four texts from task 2 are used to respond to a prompt.
The response should only take information from the texts in task 2. There is space
for planning.
The candidate should check his or her response when he or she has finished.

Task focus This section assesses the ability to:


◗◗ identify information that is relevant to the writing task and common themes and
links across multiple texts
◗◗ paraphrase and summarise factual ideas, opinions, arguments and/or discussion
◗◗ synthesise such information to produce coherent responses to suit the purpose
for writing (eg to offer solutions to a problem and/or evaluation of the ideas).

Output length 150–180 words

Output genre ◗◗ Descriptive essay


◗◗ Discursive essay
◗◗ Argument essay
◗◗ Report
◗◗ Article (magazine or online)

Timing The candidate is advised to spend 40 minutes on this part of the exam

Assessment This task is assessed using the Reading into writing rating scale on pages 70–71

Task 4 — Extended writing


Task A writing task in which the candidate responds to a prompt. There is space
for planning.
The candidate should check his or her response when he or she has finished.

Task focus This section assesses the ability to produce a clear and detailed response to a prompt.
For the target ISE II language functions see page 69.

Output length 150–180 words

Output genre ◗◗ Descriptive essay ◗◗ Informal email or letter


◗◗ Discursive essay ◗◗ Formal email or letter
◗◗ Argument essay ◗◗ Review
◗◗ Article (magazine or online) ◗◗ Report

Subject area The writing prompt relates to one of the subject areas for ISE II:
◗◗ Society and living standards ◗◗ National customs
◗◗ Personal values and ideals ◗◗ Village and city life
◗◗ The world of work ◗◗ National and local produce and products
◗◗ Natural environmental concerns ◗◗ Early memories
◗◗ Public figures past and present ◗◗ Pollution and recycling
◗◗ Education

Timing The candidate is advised to spend 40 minutes on this part of the exam

Assessment This task is assessed using the Extended writing rating scale on page 72

For a sample ISE Reading & Writing exam, please see appendix 1.

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Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing


Task 1 — Long reading: Reduce, reuse, recycle

Level: ISE II
Focus: Task 1 — Long reading
Aims: To develop reading strategies by reading a short article about the three Rs (reduce, reuse
and recycle) and answer three sets of questions
Objectives: To scan an article for gist, to skim an article and answer ‘true/false/not given’
questions and to skim an article to complete sentences with information from the text
Skill: Skimming and scanning
Subject area: Natural environmental concerns — Recycling
Language functions: Giving advice, and giving opinions, preferences and reasons
Lexis: Environmental concerns
Materials needed: One student worksheet per student, dictionaries, and slips of paper prepared
as below
Timing: 60 minutes

Preparation
1. Print or copy one worksheet per student.
2. Prepare slips of paper and write one of the following categories on each slip of paper: a group of
teenagers, a group of elderly people, a group of very young children, a group of students, a group
of soldiers, a group of wives/husbands. There needs to be one slip of paper per two students.
You can repeat the categories if necessary.

In class
1. Explain to the class that today in class they will be doing a reading activity that will help them to
prepare for the Long reading task of ISE II.
2. Tell the class they are going to learn about what we should do with the waste and rubbish we
produce. Write ‘waste’ and ‘rubbish’ on the board and ask what they mean (elicit). Ask students to
work in pairs and discuss what they do in their daily life to reduce waste. Carry out feedback as a
group. Write suggestions on the board.
3. Put the following words on the board: ‘deal with’, ‘packaging’, ‘refuse’, ‘borrow’, ‘durable’,
‘collection points’, ‘create’, ‘fibre’. These words are in a text about the environment they are going
to read later. Tell the students to discuss the meaning of each word in pairs. Let them look up any
unknown words in a dictionary if possible.
4. Go over the answers in open-class. Ask concept-check questions for one or two more challenging
words. (Examples of concept-check questions: ‘Do you say “yes” or “no” when you refuse to do
something?‘, ‘What is another word for “create”?’)
5. Tell the students they are going to read about the three Rs of the environment. Write ‘The three Rs’
on the board. Give each student one worksheet and tell them they have two minutes to read
the article. Tell the students they need to answer ‘A. What are the three Rs of the environment?’
Stop the students after two minutes and let them write down the answers. Then ask the students
to compare their answers in pairs.
6. Go over the answer together as a class. (Answer: Reduce, reuse, recycle)
7. Tell the students they are going to read the article again but now they have more time. Ask the
students to do task B. Tell the students that there are five statements and that they need to say
whether each statement is true, false or not given. Check the students’ understanding of true,
false and not given.
8. After four to five minutes, ask the students to compare their answers with their partner. Ask five
students to come to the board and tell them to each write down one answer.
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Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

9. Go over the answers together as a class.


10. Tell the class they now need to complete task C which involves them completing the sentences
by looking for the information in the text. Do one example together as a class. Ask the students
to compare answers once they have finished.
11. Write the following words on the board as headings: ‘teenagers’, ‘the elderly’, ‘very young children’,
‘students’, ‘soldiers’, ‘wives/husbands’. Elicit for each group of people one example of items they
use or buy on a regular basis and write it under the corresponding heading. (Examples: teenagers —
fashionable clothes, the elderly — newspapers, very young children — toys, wives/husbands — a mop.)
12. Now ask the students to work in pairs. Give each pair one of the slips of paper that you prepared
before the class. Tell them they cannot show their slip of paper to the other students. Ask each pair
to think of a lot of ideas (brainstorm) on what this particular group uses on a daily basis. Then ask
the students to brainstorm ideas on how this particular group can reduce, reuse and recycle.
13. After 5 to 10 minutes ask the students to present their ideas for the class. The other students guess
which group the presentation is for.

Extension activity
For students who finish the task early, tell them to write one or two true/false questions for the text.
They can then ask their partner the questions and give feedback on their answers to their partner.

Further support activity


1. Ask students to check the answers of students who are finding the task difficult.
2. Number the lines in the text and ask the students finding the task difficult to locate the answers
in the text. Alternatively ask them to underline the answers in the text.
3. Tell the students finding the task difficult that the answer for the gist task can be found in the first
paragraph.
4. Give students finding the task difficult more time to complete the true/false/not given questions.

Homework
1. Ask the students to look online or in a book for more ideas on how to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Ask the students to report back in the next class.
2. Ask students to find the video of the song ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ by Jack Johnson and the lyrics
on the internet. Tell the students to listen to the song while following the lyrics. Ask the students in
the next class if they liked the song.

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Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

Student worksheet: The three Rs

The three Rs of the environment


People everywhere in the world produce a lot of rubbish but there is not enough space, and
landfills are filling up quickly. If we want to save our planet, then the so-called three Rs are essential
for learning how to deal with the waste we produce. The three Rs are reduce, reuse,
and recycle. Here are a number of tips on what you can do to save the environment.
Reduce
A good place to start is by buying things that don’t have a lot of packaging. Then there are items
you may not use very often, so you might as well borrow them from someone instead of buying
them. Nowadays, newspapers can be read online so buying the paper edition is not necessary. The
same goes for emails and hence it is usually not necessary to print them out. Generally, the use of
electricity can be greatly reduced by, for example, turning off lights that are not used.
Reuse
When you go shopping, refuse plastic bags and bring a bag with you instead. If you’re not buying a
lot, a bag is not necessary to begin with. Reusable bags should be heavier and more durable. If you
prepare your lunch at home, put it in a plastic lunch box. I always keep shoe boxes as they are great to
store stuff. Many cities have collection points for used clothes. If you have clothes that are still in good
shape, you can bring them to the collection points rather than throwing them away.
Recycle
Recycling is a process that makes it possible to create new products out of old ones. Paper,
aluminium, glass and plastic can often be recycled.
Glass has been used for thousands of years and is relatively easy to recycle. Aluminium can
be repeatedly recycled quickly and easily. Paper is recyclable but it cannot be recycled forever.
The small fibres in paper eventually become very weak so that they can’t be recycled into good
paper anymore. Also, not every type of paper is recyclable as some high-quality paper is too
expensive to recycle.

A. Read the text quickly. What are the three Rs of the environment?
B. Read the text again. Are the statements True, False or Not Given?

Statements True, False or Not Given?

1. The author suggests borrowing certain items rather than buying them.

2. According to the author, shoe boxes can be very useful to store things.

3. Used clothes can be donated.

4. It’s not possible to recycle aluminum over and over again.

5. Empty plastic bottles are relatively easy to recycle.

C. Complete the sentences with information from the text.


1. are almost to full capacity.
2. If possible, try to buy items with little or no .
3. Bring your own bag but make sure it is and .
4. It’s a waste of paper if you print your .
5. Many cities have where people can take used garments that are
then redistributed to people in need.
6. There is a limit to how many times paper can be recycled because it is made of .

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Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

Answers: The three Rs

A. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


B. 1. True 2. True 3. True 4. False 5. Not Given
C. 1. Landfills 2. Packaging 3. Heavy, durable 4. Emails 5. Collection points 6. Small fibres

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Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

Task 3 — Reading into writing: Happiness report

Level: ISE II
Focus: Task 3 — Reading into writing
Aims: Students practise writing a report based on four input texts
Objectives: Students can demonstrate their understanding of the input texts in a short written
text, write a coherent text in the required format, and can locate and summarise/paraphrase ideas
and attitudes provided in the texts
Skill: Incorporate information from input texts into a written report
Subject area: Personal values and ideals
Language functions: Expressing and expanding ideas and opinions, speculating, expressing
agreement and disagreement, and eliciting further information
Lexis: Vocabulary related to feelings and emotions and vocabulary related to research projects
Materials needed: One worksheet per student
Timing: 80 minutes

Preparation
1. Print or copy one worksheet per student.
2. Think about how to explain the vocabulary in step 3 below.

In class
1. Tell students they are going to perform a writing task similar to task 3 of the ISE II Reading & Writing
exam. Tell them that the subject of their writing task will be ‘happiness’.
2. Write ‘happiness’ on the board. Ask students individually to list five things that make them happy.
Ask the students to compare what they have written with a partner. Elicit some answers from the
class, and write on the board.
3. Tell students they are going to take a happiness survey. Give each student a worksheet. Before
they read text A, check the students understand the following words: rewarding, optimistic, sense
of purpose, satisfied, committed, involved, in control. Now ask the students to complete the survey
individually and read what their score means. Tell students they will not be asked to share their
answers, as they may find the topic sensitive.
4. Write on the board ‘Are men or women happier?’ Divide the class into groups of three or four
students. If possible, group students with members of the same gender. Ask them to discuss the
question and try to come to an agreement. After five minutes, stop the discussion and ask each
group to briefly give feedback to the class.
5. Tell students they are going to read three more texts about happiness. Put students in pairs. Give
each pair one text to read, either B, C or D. Ask them to discuss what kind of text they think it is and
where they would expect to find it. After two minutes, discuss as a class.
Example answers:
Text B — Part of a research report comparing men and women’s happiness. It could be found as an
appendix to an undergraduate essay.
Text C — An online forum on men and women’s happiness. It could be found following an online
article about the same topic.
Text D — An article about men and women’s happiness. It could be found in a magazine or newspaper.
6. Put students back in the same groups as in step 4. Ask them to discuss the evidence they can find in the
three texts to support the argument that men are happier than women, and the opposing argument that
women are happier than men. After 10 minutes, stop them and ask if anyone has changed their opinion.

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Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

7. Ask the students to read the Writing task instructions on the worksheet. Ensure the students are
aware of what they have to do. Before they start writing, ask the students some questions to check
their knowledge of reports, for example:
◗◗ How is a report typically structured?
◗◗ How is it different from an essay?
◗◗ What kind of language is used?

8. Tell the students they have 10 minutes to plan the task. Monitor and make sure they plan in note
form, not full sentences.
9. Tell students they have 30 minutes to write the task. After 25 minutes, ask students to stop writing
and to check their work for errors.
10. Collect in their writing and mark for the next lesson.

Extension activity
Students who finish more quickly can be asked to invent and write more entries for the forum in text C.

Further support activity


For students finding the tasks difficult, the writing task can be broken down into stages. Firstly, ask
them to write two or three sentences summarising the information for each of the texts B, C and D.
Secondly, ask them to link these sentences together to form a paragraph. Finally, ask them to write
an introductory and a concluding sentence.

Homework
Students write a questionnaire similar to that in text A about values and ideals in general. You can elicit
some example questions at the end of the lesson to help them. In the following lesson, they can carry
out the questionnaire and write a report on their findings.

19
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

Student worksheet: Happiness report


Aim: To practise task 3 of the ISE II Reading & Writing exam.

Reading texts
Read the following texts about happiness and then perform the writing task below.

Text A

How Happy Are You?


Take this Happiness Survey to discover how happy you are.
Instructions:
Read the sentences about happiness then rate how much you agree or disagree with each one by
ticking the appropriate box. When you have finished, add up your total points and read what your
score means.

Strongly Slightly Neither Slightly Strongly


disagree disagree agree nor agree agree
(1 point) (2 points) disagree (4 points) (5 points)
(3 points)
I think that the world is a
good place
I feel that life is very
rewarding
I am very optimistic about
the future
I have warm feelings
towards almost everyone
I have a sense of purpose
in my life
I am satisfied about
everything in my life
I have happy memories
of the past
I feel pleased with the
way I am
I am always committed
and involved
I feel that I am in control
of my life

What your score means:


35–50 Your happiness levels are above average. You are satisfied with most aspects of your life.
20–34 Your happiness levels are average. There are some aspects of your life that could be
improved, but generally you are happy.
0–19 Your happiness levels are below average. This does not necessarily mean you are unhappy,
but there could be an imbalance in your life, and particular areas may need attention.

20
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

Text B

Results of the happiness survey at Burlesbrook University


Participants = 15 male and 15 female third year Sociology undergraduate students

12

10
Number of responses

0
35–50 20–34 0–19
Score
Male Female

Text C

Are men or women happier?

Rachel (female) Definitely men. Women worry too much – about the way they look,
what other people think of them, getting old. Men don’t bother about
stuff like that.
Amy (female) @Rachel – I agree. I often think I’d be happier if I was a man!

Carlo (male) I think men are happier. My girlfriend is always upset about
something, and my mum and my sister aren’t much better.
Kaya (female) I think women are happier. We are more focused and ambitious.
We also make better use of our time.
Jon (male) @Kaya – I’d have to disagree with you. I think women are less happy
precisely because they take on too much and they don’t know how
to relax!
Divia (male) I’m not sure that’s something men normally think about…

21
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

Text D

Are men or women happier?


According to a recent study, men are happier than women. The study compared the amount of
time each gender spent relaxing with the amount of time they spent worrying. The results showed
that women spend two hours per week more than men worrying, and men spend more hours
per week relaxing.
However, a similar study carried out in the same month revealed that women are happier. Women
rated their happiness as an average of 7 out of 10 compared to just 6.5 out of 10 for men, and 1 in
5 said that they were a 10 out of 10 in terms of happiness, compared to 1 in 8 of men.
The question that arises is whether more studies are needed, or whether it is impossible for
research to prove that one gender is happier than the other.

Writing task
Use the information from the four texts you have read to write a report (150–180 words) entitled:
A comparison of men and women’s happiness levels
Plan your report before you start writing. Think about what to include and make some notes in this box:

Planning notes:

Now write your report of 150–180 words. Try to use your own words as far as possible.

22
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

23
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

24
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

Task 4 — Extended writing: The advantages and disadvantages of


using mobile phones

Level: ISE II
Focus: Task 4 — Extended writing
Aims: To write an essay on the advantages and disadvantages of using mobile phones and also
give an opinion
Objectives: Planning an essay, writing an introduction, giving advantages and disadvantages,
writing a conclusion and giving an opinion
Skill: Writing an essay in four paragraphs
Topic: Technology
Language functions: Highlighting advantages and disadvantages, and giving opinions, preferences
and reasons
Lexis: Essay writing
Materials needed: Student worksheet
Timing: 1 hour

Preparation
Print or copy one worksheet per student.

In class
1. Tell the class they are going to do an activity which will help them prepare for ISE II Task 4 —
Extended writing. For this part of the exam, they have to write an essay of between 150–180 words
in 40 minutes.
2. Write ‘Mobile Phones’ on the board. Ask the class to think of one word which they think of when
they see those words. Ask the students to whisper to their partner what that word is.
3. Ask 5–10 students for some words their partner thought of. Write some of the good examples on
the board (eg ‘great’, ‘convenient’, ‘essential’, ‘expensive’, ‘easy’, ‘fun’, ‘apps’, ‘friends’, ‘music’).
4. Give each student a number from 1–4 (depending on class size — maximum six students per group).
Now ask all number 1s to work together, all the number 2s to work together, all the number 3s and
the number 4s to work together. Give them a few minutes to find their groups and ask them to sit
in different parts of the room.
5. Give each student one worksheet and tell the groups of 1s and 3s they are going to work on advantages
of mobile phones, and the groups of 2s and 4s that they are going to work on disadvantages of
mobile phones. Ask students if they know the meaning of advantages (good or positive things), and
disadvantages (bad or negative things). For 10 minutes, each group talks together and writes down
their ideas under A on the worksheet. Ask them to write at least five advantages or disadvantages.
6. Now ask the groups to present their ideas to the class. Write down the ideas on the board under two
columns: Advantages and Disadvantages.

Advantages Disadvantages

25
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

7. Ask the class which ideas they think are the best. Choose four good ideas for advantages and four
for disadvantages. Leave only the good ideas on the board. Now ask the students to look at B on the
worksheet, which introduces an essay question. Tell the students that this is a typical exam question.
8. Ask the students the following questions about essays:
◗◗ What is an essay?
◗◗ What is the purpose of an essay?
◗◗ Who do you write an essay for?
◗◗ What types of language do you use in an essay?
First ask the students to discuss the questions with their partner and then give feedback in open-class.
9. Explain to the class that before writing any essay, it is essential that they think carefully about the essay
question for 10 minutes and write down any ideas they may have in note form. Ask them why they think
this is important. (Answer: It gives them time to think about the topic and focus on the best ideas.)
10. Elicit from the students how many paragraphs they think is best for this type of essay. Explain
that four paragraphs are appropriate for this type of essay and this is how it should be structured:
paragraph 1 — an introduction, paragraph 2 — a paragraph on the advantages, paragraph 3 — a
paragraph on the disadvantages and paragraph 4 — the conclusion. Ask the students to complete
C on the worksheet and then give feedback in open-class.
11. Now ask the students to discuss with their partner what the purpose of the introduction is and
what they should include. Elicit some ideas from the students. Then tell the students that in the
introduction they should:
◗◗ introduce the topic (for example: ‘There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to using
mobile phones …’)
◗◗ then tell the audience what the purpose of the essay is (for example: ‘In this essay I will discuss
both the advantages and disadvantages of using mobile phones and finally I will give my opinion.’).
Ask the students to complete D on the worksheet.
12. Draw the students’ attention to some of the common expressions used to express the advantages or
disadvantages of something. See E on the worksheet. Ask the students to place the expressions in the
correct column. Ask students to complete the task individually and then give feedback in open-class.
13. Ask the students to discuss what they should include in paragraph 2 (the first paragraph of the main
body). In paragraph 2, they should discuss the advantages (or disadvantages) of using a mobile
phone. Elicit some ideas from the students. For example, ‘One advantage of having a mobile phone
is that you can contact anyone at any time. This has made life much easier because you can be
more flexible and you can contact people at the last minute to change plans.’ Ask the students to
complete the first part of F on the worksheet.
14. Ask the students to discuss what they should include in paragraph 3 (the second paragraph of the
main body). In paragraph 3, they should discuss the disadvantages (or advantages) of using a mobile
phone. Elicit some ideas from the students. For example, ‘One disadvantage of having a mobile
phone is that you might become addicted to using it and you use it too much, so you stop talking to
people and instead play games on your phone or use social media.’ Ask the students to complete the
second part of F on the worksheet.
15. Draw the students’ attention to ‘linking expressions’ on the worksheet. Explain they are words or
phrases used to connect or join language. For example, ‘this is because...’ Ask the student to complete
G on the worksheet.
16. Finally, ask the students to discuss what they should include in paragraph 4 (the conclusion). The
final paragraph should be a short conclusion. Elicit from the students what they should include.
(For example: It should state both the advantages and disadvantages of mobile phones and their opinion —
‘In conclusion, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using a mobile phone. In my opinion the
advantages outweigh the disadvantages and mobile phones are essential for our lives today — we could
not live without them’.)
Draw the student’s attention to key phrases such as ‘in conclusion’ and ‘in my opinion’. The students
should complete H on the worksheet. Give feedback in open-class.
17. Give students feedback on their writing and review the main focus of the lesson.

26
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

Extension activity
More advanced students can write down the advantages and disadvantages of something else.

Further support activity


Students finding the task difficult can practise writing the notes for longer, and writing fewer words.

Homework
Ask the students to write an essay (150–180 words) (four paragraphs) on the advantages and
disadvantages of going to university.

27
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

Student worksheet: The advantages and disadvantages of using


mobile phones
You are going to do an activity which will help you prepare for ISE II Task 4 — Extended writing. For this
part of the exam you have to write an essay. The topic of the essay is mobile phones.

A. Introduction to the topic


◗◗ What is the first word you think of when you see the words ‘mobile phones’?
◗◗ Tell your partner quietly what the word is. Tell your teacher what your partner’s word is.
◗◗ Working with your group, think of some advantages (good things), or disadvantages (bad things),
about mobile phones. Write down your best ideas.
◗◗ You should spend 10 minutes on this activity. Think of five or more ideas.

Ideas
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

B. An essay question
Look at the essay question below.

Write an essay (150–180 words) for the school magazine about the advantages and disadvantages of
using mobile phones. Give your opinion about whether there are more advantages than disadvantages.

C. Overview of an essay (fill in the gaps)


An essay this length should have paragraphs
A. An i
B. A paragraph about
C. A paragraph about
D. A c

D. Writing the introduction


Paragraph 1
With your partner, discuss what the purpose of an introduction is and what it should include.
Write an introduction to an essay on mobile phones using the following model.

There are a number of and to in


this essay. I will discuss both and give my opinion.

28
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

E. Common expressions
Here are some expressions used for expressing advantages and disadvantages:

◗◗ A negative effect ◗◗ A positive aspect


◗◗ A good point ◗◗ An argument in favour of
◗◗ The downside ◗◗ A negative aspect
◗◗ A drawback ◗◗ A criticism of
◗◗ An objection

Decide which expressions can be used for advantages, and which ones are used for disadvantages. Write
them in the box.

Advantages Disadvantages

F. Main body paragraphs


Paragraph 2
In the next paragraph you should discuss the advantages of using mobile phones.
For example, ‘One advantage of using a mobile phone is that you can contact anyone at any time. This
has made life much easier because you can be more flexible and you can contact people at the last
minute to change plans.’
Now write a paragraph about the advantages of using mobile phones. Write three advantages. Begin
like this, ‘One advantage of using a mobile phone is that...’ Try to use some of the expressions you
learned in section E.

Paragraph 3
In the next paragraph you should discuss the disadvantages of using mobile phones. For example, ‘One
disadvantage of having a mobile phone is that you might become addicted to using it and you use it too
much, so you stop talking to people and instead play games on your phone or use social media.’
Now you write a paragraph about the disadvantages of using mobile phones. Write three disadvantages.
Begin like this ‘One disadvantage of using a mobile phone is that...’ Try to use some of the expressions
you learned in section E.

29
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

G. Linking expressions
Now here are some linking expressions. What is a linking expression? What does ‘link’ mean? Decide
together or look it up in a dictionary.
Link means
Here are some common linking expressions:

◗◗ A common example of this is when ◗◗ So


◗◗ This is because ◗◗ Therefore
◗◗ In other words ◗◗ Another objection to (this) is that
◗◗ However

Write three sentences explaining the advantages of using mobile phones with your best ideas. Use a
common expression from the box on the previous page, and a linking expression from the box above.
You have 10 minutes to do this.

Now write three sentences explaining the disadvantages of using mobile phones with your best ideas.
Use a common expression from the box on the previous page, and a linking expression from the box
above. You have 10 minutes to do this.

H. The conclusion
Paragraph 4
The final paragraph should be a short conclusion stating both the advantages and disadvantages of
mobile phones and giving your opinion.
For example: ‘In conclusion there are both advantages and disadvantages to using mobile phones. In
my opinion the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and they are essential for our lives today, we
could not live without them.’ What do you think outweigh means?
Now we are going to work on a conclusion to your essay. Begin like this: ‘In conclusion, there are both
advantages and disadvantages to using mobile phones. In my opinion...’

30
Preparation activities for ISE II Reading & Writing

Answers: The advantages and disadvantages of using


mobile phones
C. Overview of an essay
A. An introduction
B. A paragraph about advantages
C. A paragraph about disadvantages
D. A conclusion

D. Writing the introduction


There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to consider in this essay. I will discuss both and
give my opinion.

E. Common expressions
Advantages:
A good point, a positive aspect, an argument in favour of
Disadvantages:
A negative effect, the downside, a drawback, an objection to, a negative aspect, a criticism of

Model essay
There are a number of advantages to using mobile phones. In this essay I will discuss both the
advantages and the disadvantages and give my opinion.
An argument in favour of using mobile phones is that you can contact anyone at any time. A common
example of this is when you are going to be late and you can tell people about it so they are not kept
waiting. Another positive aspect is that we are all better informed as we can check the internet whenever
we want.
On the other hand, there are various drawbacks of using mobile phones. One is that people can no
longer have so much privacy, so, they may be busy with something important but their phone rings and
disturbs everybody. A further objection is that people use them so much they become addicted, this is
a problem.
In conclusion, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using mobile phones. In my opinion the
advantages outweigh the disadvantages and they are absolutely vital for our lives today, we simply
could not live without them.

31
32
33
ISE II Speaking
& Listening exam
Overview of the ISE Speaking & Listening exam

Overview of the ISE Speaking & Listening exam


Trinity’s ISE Speaking & Listening exam tests speaking and listening skills through an integrated
approach. The integrated skills approach reflects how we use listening and speaking skills both together
and separately in our studies and work, mirroring the way the two skills interact in the real world. The
integrated speaking and listening tasks reflect the kind of activities a student does in a school
or college setting. Additionally, the Independent listening task reflects the way that a student finds,
selects and reports relevant and appropriate information in an educational or academic setting.
The purpose of the exam is to assess a candidate’s English language skills in speaking and listening
through tasks which correspond to their real world activities and their purpose for learning English.
The ISE Speaking & Listening exam is currently offered at four levels of the Common European
Framework of Reference (CEFR) from A2 to C1.

Who is ISE Speaking & Listening for?


The intended candidate is a young person or adult, typically at secondary school or college who is
using English as a second or foreign language as part of their studies in order to develop their skills
and improve their knowledge of a range of subject areas. The typical ISE candidate is aged between
11 and 19, but may be older.
A candidate at the lower levels of the exam (ISE Foundation and ISE I), is generally a young person or
adult in school or college who is taking ISE as evidence to progress to a higher level of English study
within their mainstream or English language school. At the higher levels of the exam (ISE II and ISE III),
a candidate is typically a young person or adult preparing for further or higher education who is
required to prove their English language proficiency levels within an educational context.

34
Overview of the ISE Speaking & Listening exam

Introduction to ISE Speaking & Listening tasks


The Speaking & Listening exam consists of several tasks and increases in length as the level increases.
The table below shows the progression across the levels.

ISE Foundation ISE I ISE II ISE III


CEFR level A2 B1 B2 C1
Time 13 minutes 18 minutes 20 minutes 25 minutes
Topic task 4 minutes 4 minutes 4 minutes 8 minutes
Collaborative task — — 4 minutes 4 minutes
Conversation task 2 minutes 2 minutes 2 minutes 3 minutes
Independent listening task 6 minutes 10 minutes 8 minutes 8 minutes
Examiner administration time 1 minute 2 minutes 2 minutes 2 minutes

The Topic task


What is the Topic task?
Before the exam the candidate prepares a topic of his or her own choice, and in the exam this topic
is used as a basis for a discussion. The Topic task provides the candidate with the opportunity to talk
about a topic which is of personal interest or relevance to him or her and which he or she feels confident
about. This task gives the candidate a degree of autonomy and control.
What language skills can the candidate demonstrate in the Topic task?
The candidate can demonstrate they can:
◗◗ link sentences together to talk about a subject at some length
◗◗ use the language functions of the level
◗◗ engage in one-to-one, unscripted discussion with an expert speaker of English
◗◗ understand and respond appropriately to examiner questions and comments.
Can the candidate bring notes with them?
In the ISE II exam, the candidate does not need to complete a topic form as in ISE Foundation and ISE I.
They are advised to bring notes or mind maps with them to the exam. These will guide the discussion
with the examiner. The notes are used by the examiner to ask questions and make comments. The
examiner does not choose the points on the handout in a fixed order. This encourages spontaneous
conversation and discourages recitation by the candidate.

Level Support
ISE Foundation Topic form with four points
ISE I Topic form with four points
ISE II Candidate may use notes or a mind map
ISE III Formal handout must accompany presentation

35
Overview of the ISE Speaking & Listening exam

The Collaborative task


What happens in the Collaborative task?
The examiner reads the candidate a prompt. The candidate responds to the prompt by starting,
leading and maintaining the interaction. For example, the candidate can ask questions to find out
more information, respond to information and comments from the examiner, demonstrate skills in
turn-taking. It is essential for the candidate to initiate, interact and collaborate with the examiner.
The candidate should not wait for the examiner to lead the conversation, and monologues from the
candidate will receive a low mark.
What is the examiner’s prompt?
The prompt presents a dilemma, a situation or an opinion. The candidate then needs to take the
initiative to find out more about the background of the examiner’s circumstances or opinion and
engage the examiner in a sustained discussion about his or her circumstances or views. All of the
examiner’s prompts are prepared in advance by Trinity.
What language skills can the candidate demonstrate in the Collaborative task?
The task provides the opportunity for the candidate to demonstrate his or her ability to take control of
the interaction through the use of questioning techniques and language functions such as requesting
information and clarification. This task allows the candidate to show that they can initiate ‘turns’
and control the direction of the interaction. The Collaborative task produces an authentic exchange
of information and opinions, with the language functions listed at ISE II arising naturally from the
interaction. The language functions for ISE II are on page 69.

The Conversation task


What is the Conversation task?
The Conversation task is a meaningful and authentic exchange of information, ideas and opinions.
It is not a formal ‘question and answer’ interview. In the Conversation task, the examiner selects one
subject area for discussion with the candidate.
What are the possible subjects for discussion?
The subject areas have been carefully selected to offer a progression from the ‘concrete’ subjects
at ISE Foundation to the ‘abstract’ at ISE III. For the subject areas for the Conversation task at ISE II,
please see page 41.
What does the interaction in the Conversation task involve?
The examiner asks a question to start the conversation but the candidate is expected to take some
responsibility for initiating and maintaining the conversation. The candidate is expected to ask the
examiner questions in order to develop the interaction. These questions should arise naturally out
of the conversation.

The Independent listening task


What is the Independent listening task?
Listening skills are tested in an integrated way together with speaking skills in the Topic task,
Collaborative task and Conversation task. In the Independent listening task the candidate has the
opportunity to demonstrate the kind of listening skills that are required in lessons and lectures.
In the Independent listening task, the candidate listens to a recording, and talks about the content
of the recording.
What is the procedure for the Independent listening task?
The examiner plays an audio recording. The candidate listens once and the examiner asks the
candidate to say in a few words what the recording was about. As the candidate listens for a second
time, he or she can take notes. However, the notes are not assessed as part of the exam. The candidate
then has one minute to talk about what he or she heard.

36
Overview of the ISE Speaking & Listening exam

Glossary of speaking aims for ISE II

Communicative ◗◗ Responding appropriately to interaction


effectiveness ◗◗ Initiating and maintaining conversation
Interactive listening ◗◗ Showing understanding of other speakers or the examiner
◗◗ Following the speech of other speakers or the examiner
Language control ◗◗ Using a range of language functions, grammar and vocabulary
◗◗ Using language functions, grammar and vocabulary accurately
◗◗ Avoiding errors which affect the understanding of the listener
Delivery ◗◗ Using clear and understandable pronunciation
◗◗ Using stress and intonation appropriately

Glossary of listening skills for ISE II

Intensive listening in ◗◗ Understanding specific, factual information at the word and/or phrase level
detail to gather as ◗◗ Listening for explicitly stated ideas and information
much information
as possible
Intensive listening ◗◗ Listening to understand all or most of the information the recording
for detailed provides
understanding
Extensive listening ◗◗ Listening to understand the topic and main ideas of the recording
for gist, for main
ideas and for global
understanding
Deducing meaning ◗◗ Guessing the meaning of utterances, phrases and words from their
context
Inferring attitude, ◗◗ Identifying which information is factual and which information is opinion
intentions, ◗◗ Inferring meaning, eg the speaker’s attitude, line of argument, mood
viewpoints and and intentions
implications
Identifying the ◗◗ Identifying which information is key information, and which information
difference between is a supporting example or detail
main and subsidiary ◗◗ Identifying which information is the main point and which information is
points, supporting an example or details
examples or details;
identifying the
difference between
facts and opinions

37
Overview of the ISE Speaking & Listening exam

Candidate profile
Speaking
A candidate who passes ISE II Speaking can:
◗◗ initiate, maintain and end discourse appropriately in unprepared one-to-one conversations, using
effective turn-taking
◗◗ engage and participate in extended conversation on most general topics
◗◗ communicate spontaneously with good language control without much sign of having to restrict
what he or she wants to say
◗◗ use a level of formality appropriate to the circumstances
◗◗ use language fluently, accurately and effectively on a wide range of general, academic, vocational or
leisure topics, demonstrating the relationships between ideas
◗◗ interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity with a native speaker without creating
communication difficulties
◗◗ highlight the personal significance of events and experiences
◗◗ explain views clearly by providing relevant explanations and arguments
◗◗ convey degrees of emotion and highlight the personal significance of events and experiences
◗◗ outline a topical issue or a problem clearly, speculating about causes or consequences, and weighing
advantages and disadvantages of different approaches
◗◗ give clear, detailed descriptions on a wide range of subjects of interest, expanding and supporting
ideas with subsidiary points and relevant examples
◗◗ develop a clear argument, expanding and supporting his or her points of view at some length with
subsidiary points and relevant examples
◗◗ intervene appropriately in discussion, exploiting appropriate language to do so
◗◗ ask follow-up questions to check that he or she has understood what a speaker intended to say, and
clarify ambiguous points
◗◗ paraphrase to cover gaps in vocabulary and structure.

Listening
A candidate who passes ISE II Listening can:
◗◗ understand standard spoken language on both familiar and unfamiliar topics from personal, social,
academic or vocational life
◗◗ understand the main ideas of complex speech in standard English on both concrete and abstract
topics, including technical discussions
◗◗ understand extended speech and complex lines of argument on familiar topics signposted by
explicit markers
◗◗ understand recordings in standard English from social, professional or academic life
◗◗ identify information content, speaker viewpoints, attitudes, mood and tone
◗◗ understand most recorded audio material delivered in standard English and identify the speakers
◗◗ use a variety of strategies to achieve comprehension, including listening for main points, and
checking comprehension by using contextual clues
◗◗ understand a clearly structured lecture on a familiar subject, and take notes on points he or she
considers important
◗◗ summarise extracts from news items, interviews or documentaries containing opinions, argument
and discussion.

This profile is based on the level B2, Independent User, of the Council of Europe’s Common European
Framework of Reference (CEFR).

38
Task specifications for ISE II Speaking & Listening

Task specifications for ISE II Speaking & Listening

Topic task
Task type and The Topic task is an integrated speaking and listening task.
format The candidate prepares a topic for discussion. The candidate is advised to prepare
some notes for the examiner, for example, some bullet points or a mind map.
The examiner and the candidate discuss the prepared topic and any notes in an
authentic exchange of information and ideas.

Timing 4 minutes

Language ◗◗ Initiating and maintaining the conversation


functions ◗◗ Expressing and expanding ideas and opinions
◗◗ Highlighting advantages and disadvantages
◗◗ Speculating
◗◗ Giving advice
◗◗ Expressing agreement and disagreement
◗◗ Eliciting further information
◗◗ Establishing common ground

Examiner role The examiner asks the candidate questions and makes comments. The examiner
asks questions to elicit the language functions of ISE II. The examiner may
interrupt the candidate where appropriate to discourage recitation and
encourage spontaneous conversational flow.

Assessment The Topic task, Collaborative task and Conversation task are given one score
using four criteria:
◗◗ Communicative effectiveness
◗◗ Interactive listening
◗◗ Language control
◗◗ Delivery

39
Task specifications for ISE II Speaking & Listening

Collaborative task
Task type and The Collaborative task is an integrated speaking and listening task. The examiner
format reads a prompt. The prompt may express a dilemma, situation or opinion. The
candidate needs to ask the examiner questions and make comments to find out
more information and keep the conversation going.

Timing 4 minutes

Language ◗◗ Initiating and maintaining the conversation


functions ◗◗ Expressing and expanding ideas and opinions
◗◗ Highlighting advantages and disadvantages
◗◗ Speculating
◗◗ Giving advice
◗◗ Expressing agreement and disagreement
◗◗ Eliciting further information
◗◗ Establishing common ground

Examiner role The examiner reads a prompt containing a dilemma, situation or opinion. The
examiner responds naturally to the candidate’s questioning. The examiner does
not give away too much information in one turn, or unnaturally restrict information.

Assessment The Collaborative task, Topic task and Conversation task are given one score
using four criteria:
◗◗ Communicative effectiveness
◗◗ Interactive listening
◗◗ Language control
◗◗ Delivery

40
Task specifications for ISE II Speaking & Listening

Conversation task
Task type and The Conversation task is an integrated speaking and listening task. The examiner
format selects a conversation subject area from the ISE II list given below and asks the
candidate a question or makes a comment to start a conversation about the subject.

Timing 2 minutes

Language ◗◗ Initiating and maintaining the conversation


functions ◗◗ Expressing and expanding ideas and opinions
◗◗ Highlighting advantages and disadvantages
◗◗ Speculating
◗◗ Giving advice
◗◗ Expressing agreement and disagreement
◗◗ Eliciting further information
◗◗ Establishing common ground

Examiner role The examiner uses the list of subject areas below to ask questions, make
comments and elicit the target language functions of the level

Subject ◗◗ Society and living standards


areas for the ◗◗ Personal values and ideals
conversation ◗◗ The world of work
◗◗ National environmental concerns
◗◗ Public figures past and present

Assessment The Conversation task, Collaborative task and Topic task are given one score
using four criteria:
◗◗ Communicative effectiveness
◗◗ Interactive listening
◗◗ Language control
◗◗ Delivery

Independent listening task


Task type and The Independent listening task is an audio recording. The candidate listens to the
format recording and responds verbally.
The candidate listens twice to a recording. After the first listening he or she
reports the gist of what he or she has heard. After the second listening he or she
reports details. During the second listening only, he or she may take notes.
The recording is approximately 2 minutes and 45 seconds long.

Timing 8 minutes

Task focus ◗◗ A candidate shows that he or she is able to process and report information,
including main points and supporting detail
◗◗ Placing information in a wider context
◗◗ Inferring information not expressed explicitly
◗◗ Communicative effectiveness
◗◗ Reporting speaker’s intentions
◗◗ Interactive listening
◗◗ Inferring word meaning
◗◗ Language control
Examiner role The examiner reads the instructions and plays the recording twice
◗◗ Delivery
Assessment This task is scored using the ISE II Independent listening on page 74. The notes are
not assessed.

For text of a sample ISE Speaking & Listening exam, please see appendix 2. There are also sample
videos and audio files of ISE II exams at www.trinitycollege.com/ISEII

41
Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening

Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening


Topic task: Talking about various topics from healthy eating
to extreme sports

Level: ISE II
Focus: Topic task
Aims: Talking about various topics in a natural and spontaneous way
Objectives: Generating ideas and asking and answering questions about various topics
Topic: Communicate facts, ideas, opinions and explain viewpoints about a chosen topic linked
across a series of extended turns
Language functions: Highlighting advantages and disadvantages, speculating, and describing past
actions in the indefinite and recent past
Lexis: Various — health, technology, sports, society, news and lifestyle
Materials needed: Blank paper, topic cards and question cards (one set of each per group of
4–8 students)
Timing: 1 hour

Preparation
Print or copy and cut out topic cards and question cards (one set per group of four to eight students).

In class
1. Explain to the class that at ISE II, candidates are expected to communicate facts, handle
interruptions and engage the examiner in their topic. This lesson will help them with this.
If necessary, explain the meaning of each of these areas to the students and give examples.
2. Write ‘TOPIC’ on the board in large letters. Elicit some ideas from students about good ideas for
topics that they themselves can talk about. Write some ideas on the board. These should be taken
from a wide range.
3. Explain to the students that their topic must be a personalised topic, on a subject they are personally
interested in, knowledgeable about and are able to talk about. Tell them they are going to practise
talking about various different topics.
4. Write ‘interrupt’ on the board. Ask students for examples of how they can interrupt someone
(eg Could I just..., So what you’re saying is...?, Can I just interrupt you for a second...?). Ask them
to practise these expressions with a partner.
5. Divide students into groups of four to eight, and give each group a set of topic cards and question
cards. Pre-teach any unfamiliar vocabulary — vegetarianism, veganism, extreme sports, and chess.
Tell them to place the topic and the question cards face down on the table in two sets. Ask them
to pick one topic card from the pile and to pick up one question card. Someone in the group has to
answer the question they have picked up relating it to their topic card. The group can help formulate
the question if it is incomplete. Model an example of what you want the students to do in open-class.
Once one student has answered the first question, repeat the process with a different student,
picking up a different question, until all of the questions have been answered.
6. While the students are carrying out this activity, walk around each group listening to their ideas and
encouraging them to speak more, making sure everyone is involved. Also, make a note on the board
of any recurring errors.
7. Once the students have completed all of the topic cards (around 20–30 minutes), give the students
some feedback on how well they completed the task.
8. Now ask the students to either choose their favourite topic card or to think of another topic and
prepare to talk about it and to write down some questions. Encourage them to use the language
requirements and grammar of the level. (Elicit or explain what they are from the current syllabus).

42
Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening

9. As an example, for ‘new technologies’ some questions could be ‘If you had a thousand Euros (change
to your currency as relevant), what item of technology would you buy?’ or ‘If you had had a thousand
Euros in your parents’ generation, what item of technology would you have bought?’ Elicit some
more questions based on the grammar of the level.
10. Now give each student a piece of paper and ask them to write the topic they have chosen in the
middle. Draw lines from the topic, writing their questions down. Explain they are going to present
their topic to the group for approximately 10 minutes. Walk around checking everyone is involved
and motivated.
11. Bring this activity to a close, ask for the names of the topics and write them on the board. Ask
each student to think of a question to ask about each of the topics and write it down. Now each
group presents their topic to the class. Make sure everyone in the group takes part in this. Ask
various students to ask each group questions about their topic. Encourage dialogue and interaction
between groups.

Extension activity
More advanced students can prepare their own topic for the exam.

Further support activity


Students finding the task more challenging can be encouraged to think of vocabulary related to a topic
of their choice.

Homework
Ask students to choose someone to talk to outside of class (a friend or family member for example).
They should ask this person questions about a topic which they are interested in and be ready to tell
the class about it.

43
Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening

Topic cards

Veganism and vegetarianism

Extreme sports

The value of university education

Chess

The importance of work experience

Multicultural societies

The economic side of football

New technologies

Latest top news stories

Why are some people so rich, others so poor?

The importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle

How our generation can make the world a better place

The best thing that has happened to me is...

44
Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening

Question cards

Why have people chosen


What is it?
to do…?

What are the advantages and


Would it be difficult to do…?
disadvantages of…?

In the past, would people


What do you think of…?
have done…?

In the future, will people Ask someone a question


still do…? about this.

Interrupt someone when they


Talk for 1 minute about this.
are speaking about this.

How long have you


If you could, would you do…?
been doing…?

When you were younger, did you What have people just been
used to do…? saying about…?

45
Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening

Conversation task: A conversation about living in society today

Level: ISE II
Focus: Conversation task
Aims: To converse with a partner about objects that society uses today
Objectives: To think about a topic, to learn appropriate conversational phrases and to use the
phrases in a short conversation about the topic
Subject area: Society and living standards — Modern society
Language functions: Expressing and expanding ideas and opinions, expressing agreement and
disagreement, and eliciting further information
Lexis: Household/family objects
Materials needed: One worksheet per student
Timing: 55 minutes

Preparation
1. Print or copy one worksheet per student.
2. Check you are familiar with all the objects in the box on the worksheet. You can add new/different
objects if you think they are more appropriate to your context.

In class
1. Tell the students that they are going to practise having a conversation like in the Conversation task,
which is part of the ISE II Speaking & Listening exam. They are going to have a conversation about
objects, for example, a fridge, a computer, or a car, that they think are essential (things that we
absolutely need) or just helpful (things that make our life easier) for life today in a family. They are
then going to tell their partner about their opinions of these things. They are also going to learn some
phrases to help them with the conversation and phrases that they can use in the exam.
2. Give out the worksheet and tell the students to read box A where there are some objects listed.
Check that the students know the meanings of all the objects and how to pronounce them. Then
get the students to work in pairs for 10 minutes and to decide whether the objects in the box are
essential or helpful. They need to choose at least eight items. Before they start, ask in open-class
why, for example, a fridge is essential or necessary.
(The students might say: ‘A fridge is essential because in the summer the food can spoil and it’s
good to have cold drinks. My family can’t live without a fridge or we could get sick.’ Or: ‘A dishwasher
is useful because it makes life easier in families. It’s a time-saver.’)
Write any essential vocabulary on the board.
3. When the students finish the activity, get more feedback from the students and write more ideas
and vocabulary on the board, even if students have different opinions.
4. Make sure that you have a good list on the board of objects that the students consider necessary
or helpful to modern society and the reasons why the students think they are necessary or helpful.
Then tell the students that they are going to have a conversation with their partners about this and
that they need to give their opinions and ask their partners whether they agree or not and why.
5. Ask the students what language they will need to use in a conversation like this. You could ask the
students, ‘What expressions can you use to give your opinion?’, ‘How can you ask someone if they
agree with you or not?‘
(They could say: ‘In my opinion, a … is essential because …‘, ‘Well, I think that … is helpful because …’,
‘Do you agree with me that …?’)
Tell the students to look at their worksheets and read box A aloud to their partners.

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Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening

6. Then ask the students to look at box B on the worksheet and read the phrases they can use if
they don’t understand what their partner says in the conversation. Get the class to practise the
pronunciation of these phrases. You can ask the class to add in any other expressions they know
that they can use when they don’t understand.
7. Put the class into groups of three. Tell two students in the group they are going to have a
conversation about their opinions of modern objects in family life. Write three questions on the board
for them to start their discussion: ‘What do you think about …?’, ‘What’s your opinion of …?’, ‘Do you
think a … is essential or useful?’ Tell the third student in the group to listen for the phrases which
express opinion and ask for clarification that are on the worksheet. The student must give points for
each time a phrase is used. The two students talk for two minutes. The third student will tell them
when to stop. At the end of the time the third student will say which student used the phrases on the
worksheet more.
8. Change roles in the group of three so that a different student is counting the phrases for the
next conversation.

Extension activity
Students who finish early can think about and then talk together about another topic, for example,
the qualities that friends should have, using the phrases suggested.

Further support activity


If some students are finding the activity difficult, you could write more ideas on the board about why
things are necessary or helpful so they can be used as prompts.

Homework
At home, students could prepare five ideas about the environmental problems in their country and why
they think they are problems. They could then discuss the ideas with a partner during the next lesson
for two minutes, using the phrases.

47
Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening

Student worksheet: A conversation about living in society today


Are these objects essential or helpful? Why? Categorise each object. You can add other objects.

Box A

DVD/DVD player mobile phone freezer


television landline car
tablet (small computer) an oven or microwave electric food mixer
vacuum cleaner or hoover electric razor computer
lawnmower electric toothbrush E-book reader
bicycle fridge gym equipment

Essential Helpful

Use the phrases below in your conversation to give and ask opinions.

Box B

Useful phrases for giving an opinion


In my opinion, a … is essential because …
Well, I think that … is helpful because …
Do you agree with me that …?
Why do you think that …?
Well, I’m not so sure about … I think that …

Other phrases

48
Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening

Independent listening task: Working from home

Level: ISE II
Focus: Independent listening task
Aims: To provide practice in identifying gist and specific information from a listening text
Objectives: To familiarise students with the type of listening tasks that they will face at ISE II
Topic: Working from home
Language functions: Highlighting advantages and disadvantages, speculating, and expressing
agreement and disagreement
Lexis: The world of work
Materials needed: A recording of the audio script (if possible), enough photocopies of the audio
script for each student
Timing: 1 hour

Preparation
Make sure a recording of the audio script has been made on an MP3 player or equivalent device. If this
is not possible the teacher may read out the audio script in open-class.

In class
1. Tell students they are going to practise a listening task for the ISE II Speaking & Listening exam.
In this task they will have to listen to a recording of approximately 400 words, first listening for gist
and then making notes of more specific details.
2. Tell them they will begin by discussing the world of work. Ask students to discuss in pairs or groups
of three, for two minutes, whether they know anyone who works from home, and whether they like it
or not. Ask a few students to report their discussion to the class.
3. Now dictate the following to the students: ‘My friend has told me that she has given up going to the
office and started working from home. She said it wasn’t quite what she had expected.’
4. Students can check each other’s papers to see what they have written and correct them if
necessary. Ask students what they think your friend means by this. This should elicit there are
disadvantages as well as advantages of working from home.
5. Divide the class into two groups (or even four depending on class size), and ask each group to
consider the advantages OR disadvantages of working from home. Ten minutes should be enough
time for the students to discuss this.
6. Draw two columns on the board

Advantages Disadvantages

Ask a student from each group to write their advantages or disadvantages on the board as a series
of points. Each group should have come up with at least three or four advantages or disadvantages.

49
Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening

7. Tell the students that they are now going to listen to the audio which talks about the world of work.
First they will listen for gist (general understanding) of the script. Ask them if they think the speaker
is in favour or working from home or not. The students can make notes on a piece of paper if they
want. Tell students that in the exam they don’t take notes the first time they listen, but they may
take notes the second time they listen.
8. Play the audio script.
9. Ask the students to discuss their answers in pairs and threes. (Answer: Yes he/she was generally in
favour of working from home, and maybe the students can tell you why — see ‘Answers’ on page 52).
10. Tell the students that you are going to play the recording again. This time, ask the students to make
bullet points of the advantages and disadvantages of working from home (there are four advantages
and three disadvantages). Play the recording a second time.
11. Ask the students to compare their notes in pairs or threes. While the students are doing this,
monitor and ask one student to write on the board the answers for the advantages, and another
to write up the disadvantages.
12. Confirm the answers (see ‘Answers’ on page 52). How similar were they to the suggestions they
made in stage 6?
13. Give students the audio script, ask the students to read it and underline any expressions the
students are not familiar with.
14. Ask students to reflect on the listening activity. Why were some parts difficult? Is it unknown
vocabulary or is it the linking of and elision of words — particularly phrasal verbs such as ‘check up
on you’, ‘stick to it’, ‘stuck in’?
15. Give students two to three minutes to speculate, in groups of three, whether or not they would like to
work from home. After they have done that you could have a class vote on it.

Extension activity
Students who finish the activity early can write sentences meaningful to them, using the new vocabulary
items that they have seen in the audio script.

Further support activity


The recording can be played a third time for students finding the activity difficult, following being given
the audio script. Students can ask for the recording/reading of the audio script to be stopped when
they experience difficulties.

Homework
Ask students to research other lexical items connected with the world of work which they will have to
explain to other members of the class in the next lesson.

50
Preparation activities for ISE II Speaking & Listening

Audio script
Have you ever sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic in the rush hour and wondered how much better it
would be to work from home instead of doing the daily commute to the office? It seems that more and
more people have been working from home in recent years, but is it really as great as it seems?
Many people have started to work from home but then realised there were a lot of drawbacks that they
had not considered. Some workers reported that working from home had proved to be very isolating at
times. They had missed the day-to-day contact with their colleagues. For example, it is nice to chat to
colleagues in the breaks about things that are happening at work, or even talking about simple things
like TV programmes from the night before. Some workers also said that they missed not having an IT
department, as they did not have someone to help them if they had a problem with their computer.
Many found that there were even more distractions working from home than there were at the office.
It can be extremely tempting to play around on the internet or constantly check social networking sites
which can be a terrible distraction now that the boss is not around to check up on you. Some even
reported that they had started watching daytime TV.
However, despite these disadvantages, there are of course a lot of great things about working from
home. It is possible to fill in the gaps when family members are ill or when children need to be picked
up from school. There is much greater flexibility in that people can work at the times you decide.
Perhaps you are an early riser and prefer to work from 5am in the morning or perhaps you work better
in the afternoons or evenings. Whatever it is, you can fix your own schedule, but it is better to be
disciplined, set a timetable and stick to it.
It is also possible to save money working at home. There would be no temptation to go out for lunch
with your colleagues, which if done every day can really make a dent in your salary. Cooking lunch at
home will keep that money in your pocket. Finally, the best thing about working from home that most
people reported, was that they did not have to take that commute into work either on the train, or on
the bus, or worst of all in the car, when they were frequently stuck in frustrating rush-hour traffic.

51
Answers: A conversation about living in society today
Gist question: Overall the speaker is positive about working from home, especially as he/she does not
have to commute to work.

Answers to listening task

Advantages Disadvantages
◗◗ Don’t have to commute to work ◗◗ Can feel isolated from colleagues
◗◗ Can be flexible to attend to family needs ◗◗ No one to help you with IT problems
such as when someone is ill or children need ◗◗ Distractions of the internet, social networking
picking up sites, daytime TV
◗◗ Flexibility to set own timetable of work
◗◗ Can save money on food

52
53
Appendices
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper

Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper

ISE II

Integrated Skills in English II


Time allowed: 2 hours
This exam paper has four tasks. Complete all tasks.

Task 1 — Long reading


Read the following text about maths skills and answer the 15 questions on page 3.

The importance of maths skills


Paragraph 1
A new charity called National Numeracy (NN) claims that millions of adults across the country
have such poor mathematical skills that they are unable to carry out many of the basic
numerical tasks in everyday life that many of us do naturally. These include understanding
travel timetables, pay slips, household bills and even checking our change in shops. The charity
is keen to argue against the myth that maths at school is boring and not really important to us
once we get out of school and start to live in the real world. According to NN, nothing could be
further from the truth. It is estimated that poor numeracy skills amongst adults cost the nation
billions each year.
Paragraph 2
In addition, poor numeracy skills not only contribute to personal disadvantage to individuals
who are unable to carry out the most basic tasks, but they can also be linked to a number of
other social and personal ills. People without a basic understanding of maths are more likely to
be unemployed, more likely to suffer from depression and more likely to suffer from a number
of negative social circumstances we would all like to avoid, such as poor housing, poor health
and related problems. In short, it pays to possess at least some basic numeracy skills in order
to develop one’s identity and wellbeing in a difficult world.
Paragraph 3
Whilst adult literacy has been improving, thanks to a number of government policies which have
provided money for practical support and solutions, adult numeracy has at the same time got
worse. The fact of the matter is that many people simply don’t like maths and don’t see any
point to it. Furthermore, maths isn’t cool. It’s apparently OK to say ‘I’m no good at maths’ whilst
there is much more reluctance to admitting to being unable to read. To many people, maths
is simply another inconvenient school subject for which there is no need to make much of an
effort because you won’t need it once you leave school.
Paragraph 4
Unfortunately, the problem seems to be passed down the generations. Parents who tell their
children they were no good at maths at school are likely to find the same attitude amongst
their own children and will be unable to help them with their maths homework. Even today, with
interesting and practical new approaches to maths which have replaced simply learning things
by heart, maths is still one of those subjects that many kids hate.
Paragraph 5
Perhaps it’s the way it’s taught in schools, or the way teachers are trained to teach it, or the
failure of the teaching profession to attract gifted teachers of maths. There is obviously a need
to present maths as a way of solving practical problems and working with others in a stimulating
way and of making people see its practical uses in everyday life, rather than treating it as a
waste of time and something one has to do until the end of school.

page 2 This exam paper has four tasks. Complete all tasks.

54
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper (contd)

ISE II ISE II

Questions 1–5
The text on page 2 has five paragraphs (1–5). Choose the best title for each paragraph from A–F
below and write the letter (A–F) on the lines below. There is one title you don’t need.

1. Paragraph 1 A Why numeracy is not regarded as being as important


as literacy
2. Paragraph 2
B How attitudes towards maths are handed down
3. Paragraph 3 C How maths skills are related to other skills
4. Paragraph 4 D Possible causes of poor attitude to maths
E The results of poor maths skills in daily life
5. Paragraph 5
F Social and mental problems because of poor maths skills

Questions 6–10
Choose the five statements from A–H below that are TRUE according to the information given in
the text on page 2. Write the letters of the TRUE statements on the lines below (in any order).

6. A The charity is trying to make maths at school more interesting.


7. B The writer feels the government is trying to deal with the issue.
C According to NN, adult numeracy is at its lowest ever point.
8. D People with poor maths skills often have other problems too.
9. E Maths is regarded as a subject which one has to put up with until
the end of school.
10.
F There are now more interesting approaches to maths than there
used to be.
G Many people feel very bad about admitting their poor maths skills.
H According to NN, poor adult numeracy is a financial burden on the country.

Questions 11–15
Complete sentences 11–15 with a word, phrase or number from the text (maximum three words).
Write the word, phrase or number on the lines below.
11. The common belief that maths is not useful is a .

12. As well as practical problems, having difficulty with basic maths can also affect one’s

13. People are more likely to say they can’t add up than to say they can’t

14. In the writer’s view, poor numeracy may be due to the fact that it’s difficult to recruit

of maths.

15. The writer argues that people need to see the


of maths in daily life.

asks. Turn over page page 3

55
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper (contd)

ISE II

Task 2 — Multi-text reading

In this section there are four short texts for you to read and some questions for you to answer.

Questions 16–20
Read questions 16–20 first and then read texts A, B, C and D below the questions.
As you read each text, decide which text each question refers to. Choose one letter — A, B, C or D —
and write it on the lines below. You can use any letter more than once.

Which text
16. reports on an investigation into brain activity under different conditions?
17. describes how the brain computes external information in order to make memories?
18. recommends a specific technique for remembering vocabulary?
19. compares the impact of different activities on the process of remembering?
20. presents some surprising results with implications for teaching and learning?

Text A

Chris’ blog - Study tips


December 10, 2014
Mnemonics are really cool tools to help you remember facts. They’re techniques or strategies
consciously used to improve your memory, and are especially useful if, like me, you often
forget things. One of these strategies, which is specifically used for language learning, is called
‘LinkWord Technique’. It uses a visualised image to link a word in one language with a word in
another; for example, in Thai, the word khao means rice, so you would have to imagine a cow
eating a bowl of rice! The funnier the image, the more memorable it is! But the system does
have drawbacks – creating a scene for every new word you learn can take up a lot of time. You
might also have problems finding similarities between the two languages. Still, give it a try!

Text B

Memory
Our senses play an important part in memory creation, starting with a biological process known
as encoding, which can involve all five. For example, when you first meet someone, your sense
of sight will capture what they look like, while your ears will register the sound of their voice. Your
sense of smell may pick up some perfume. Perhaps you shake hands, thus bringing in the sense
of touch. Going for a coffee together could even mean that taste is involved.

Each of these separate sensations is immediately sent to a part of your brain called the
hippocampus, which combines them into your experience, or memory, of that particular person.
Whether or not that experience will be moved from your short-term to your long-term memory is
also believed to depend on the hippocampus, which processes its importance and decides if it’s
worth remembering. Exactly how it does this is not yet understood, but its role is vital: if it did not
discard most of our daily experiences, our memories would be too full to function.

page 4 This exam paper has four tasks. Complete all tasks.

56
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper (contd)

ISE II ISE II

Text C

The Memory Pyramid

We remember:
25% of what we see
and hear
30% of what we
demonstrate to others

35% of what we read

50% of the things we discuss with others

70% of what we learn by physically doing things

90% of what we teach to others!

Text D

New research from a leading US university has scents. The participants reacted by sniffing when
uncovered an unconscious form of memory which they heard the notes, even though they couldn’t have
could mean that people are capable of learning while smelt anything this time. This happened both while
they’re asleep. As researcher Vally Pugland told us: they were asleep and awake. ‘This would suggest
‘We’ve found evidence that the brain continues to that people can learn new information while they
process information without our knowing it, and this sleep’, said Pugland, ‘and that this can unconsciously
ability may aid our waking memory.’ affect their behaviour when they’re awake. We now
Researchers played notes, then released certain need to investigate whether this new “sleep memory”
scents, to sleeping participants. Later, the same notes could improve classroom performance.’
were played to them without the accompanying

Questions 21–25
Choose the five statements from A–H below that are TRUE according to the information given
in the texts above. Write the letters of the TRUE statements on the lines below (in any order).

21. A Our memory would stop working if we remembered everything we saw


and did.
22.
B Sight is the most important sense for the creation of memories.
23.
C The link between words is easier to recall if it is associated with an
24. amusing scene.
25. D The sniffing behaviour was only observed when the participants
were sleeping.
E There are both advantages and disadvantages to the LinkWord Technique.
F Experiences that are important to us tend to generate long-term memories.
G Research has shown that ‘sleep memory’ can lead to better exam results.
H We generally remember more of what we do with others than what we
do on our own.

asks. Turn over page page 5

57
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper (contd)

ISE II

Questions 26–30
The summary notes below contain information from the texts on pages 4 and 5. Find a word or phrase from
texts A–D to complete the missing information in gaps 26–30.
Write your answers on the lines below.

Summary notes

The power of memory


• starts with a biological process: (26.)

• different senses can be involved

• area of the brain that processes physical sensations:

(27.)

• understanding of short-term memory versus long-term memory

• discovery of conscious versus unconscious forms of memory

• based on research recently undertaken at a (28.)

involving two particular senses: (29.) and

• the memory pyramid — illustrates the relative effectiveness of different activities

• memory improvement strategies, eg (30.)

page 6 This exam paper has four tasks. Complete all tasks.

58
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper (contd)

ISE II ISE II

Task 3 — Reading into writing


Use the information from the four texts you read in Task 2 (pages 4–6) to write a short article
(150–180 words) for a website giving advice for students on how to improve memory skills.

You should plan your article before you start writing. Think about what you want to say and make
some notes to help you in this box:

Planning notes

(No marks are given for these planning notes)

Now write your article of 150–180 words on the lines below. Try to use your own words as far as
possible — don’t just copy sentences from the reading texts.

asks. Turn over page page 7

59
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper (contd)

ISE II

page 8 This exam paper has four tasks. Complete all tasks.

60
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper (contd)

ISE II ISE II

When you have finished your article, spend 2–3 minutes reading through what you have written.
Make sure you have answered the task completely. Remember to check how you made use of the
reading texts, as well as the language and organisation of your writing.

asks. Turn over page page 9

61
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper (contd)

ISE II

Task 4 — Extended writing


Write an essay (150–180 words) for your teacher on whether or not sport should be a compulsory
school subject. Give your opinion with reasons and arguments.
You should plan your essay before you start writing. Think about what you want to say and make
some notes to help you in this box:

Planning notes

(No marks are given for these planning notes)

Now write your essay of 150–180 words on the lines below.

page 10 This exam paper has four tasks. Complete all tasks.

62
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper (contd)

ISE II ISE II

asks. Turn over page page 11

63
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper (contd)

ISE II

When you have finished your essay, spend 2–3 minutes reading through what you have written.
Make sure you have answered the task completely and remember to check the language and
organisation of your writing.

End of exam
Copyright © 2015 Trinity College London

64
Appendix 1 — Sample Reading & Writing exam paper (contd)

ISE II Sample paper 2


Answers

Task 1 — Long reading


1. E
2. F
3. A
4. B
5. D

6–10 can appear in any order


6. A
7. D
8. E
9. F
10. H

11. myth
12. identity and wellbeing
13. read
14. gifted teachers
15. practical uses

Task 2 — Multi-text reading


16. D
17. B
18. A
19. C
20. D

21–25 can appear in any order


21. A
22. C
23. E
24. F
25. H

26. encoding
27. (the) hippocampus
28. (leading) US university
29. sound and smell
30. LinkWord technique OR mnemonics

65
Appendix 2 — Information on the Speaking & Listening exam

Appendix 2 — Information on the Speaking & Listening exam


Videos of sample Speaking & Listening exams may be viewed at www.trinitycollege.com/ISE
There is a note-taking sheet on page 68 which may be photocopied and used in the classroom to help
students practise note-taking.

Sample Independent listening task


Examiner rubric:
You’re going to hear a talk about wind energy. You will hear the talk twice. The first time,
just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?
Now listen to the talk again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask
you to tell me the reasons the speaker gives for and against the use of wind energy. Are you ready?

Audio script for Independent listening task


When it comes to investing in wind turbines to create electricity, there are various factors that need
to be considered. Most obviously, the creation of wind energy is ‘clean’. Unlike the use of coal or oil,
generating energy from the wind doesn’t produce pollutants or require harmful chemicals, and it’s this
factor which weighs most heavily with those worried about the future of our planet. Moreover, wind
will never run out, unlike other natural, non-renewable resources. So it would seem to be a winner in
at least two very significant areas.
There are those, however, who continue to argue against the use of wind turbines — but it has to be
said their arguments tend to focus on much more detailed issues, and largely ignore the bigger overall
picture. It’s claimed, for example, that the blades of wind turbines can sometimes be dangerous to
wildlife, particularly birds. This may be true, but it seems a small price to pay compared to using other
means of power generation, which could end up destroying the habitats of those very same birds. In
addition, the sound turbines create can, admittedly, be a problem for those nearby. Perhaps a more
significant point, though, and certainly one often mentioned by those who object to turbines, is that it
requires a lot of open land to set them up, and cutting down trees seems to defeat the green purpose.
Those who criticise wind energy point out that the wind doesn’t always blow consistently. And that’s
certainly a drawback right now — turbines typically operate at only 30% capacity. If the weather isn’t
in your favour, you may end up without electricity. And when there is wind, well, severe storms or
extremely high winds might damage turbines, especially when they’re struck by lightning. As such
weather already damages existing methods of power production, however, this line of attack seems
to be without much merit.
Ultimately, wind is free. In suitable geographical locations, it’s there for the taking. While start-up
costs are still off-putting for some, it’s undeniable that the overall costs of producing wind energy
have been dropping significantly in recent years, and as it gains popularity, it’ll continue to become
more affordable. In many countries, the costs of purchasing and installing turbines are subsidised by
government schemes aimed to promote expansion. There are, no question, a number of problems
associated with turbines which still require solutions — but in the longer view, the case for them
appears beyond doubt.

66
Appendix 2 — Information on the Speaking & Listening exam (contd)

Answers

Gist: Wind energy may be a good way to reduce damage to the environment, but there are drawbacks.
Overall, there is a strong case for using them (any broadly similar formulation is acceptable).

For Against
◗◗ Clean energy — no harmful chemicals or ◗◗ Turbines dangerous to wildlife, especially birds
pollutants involved/produced ◗◗ Noisy
◗◗ Will never run out ◗◗ Requires large area of open land — may lead to
◗◗ Doesn’t destroy habitats as other power cutting down of trees
generation means do ◗◗ Supply of wind not consistent — turbines
◗◗ Essentially free/any associated costs falling operating at 30% capacity
◗◗ Bad weather can damage turbines

67
Appendix 2 — Information on the Speaking & Listening exam (contd)

Note-taking sheet for practising

Notes

w w

w w

w w

w w

w w

Extra notes

68
Appendix 3 — Language functions and suggested grammar for ISE II

Appendix 3 — Language functions and suggested grammar


for ISE II

Language functions
◗◗ Initiating and maintaining the conversation
◗◗ Expressing and expanding ideas and opinions
◗◗ Highlighting advantages and disadvantages
◗◗ Speculating
◗◗ Giving advice
◗◗ Expressing agreement and disagreement
◗◗ Eliciting further information
◗◗ Establishing common ground

Please note that the language functions are cumulative through the ISE levels.

The list below gives some suggested grammar for students to practise when preparing for an
ISE exam. This list is intended to be for guidance only and is not a list of forms the candidate
must produce in the test.

Grammar
◗◗ Second and third conditionals ◗◗ Discourse connectors because of, due to
◗◗ Simple passive ◗◗ Present perfect continuous tense
◗◗ Used to ◗◗ Past perfect tense
◗◗ Relative clauses ◗◗ Reported speech
◗◗ Modals and phrases used to give advice and ◗◗ Linking expressions, eg even though,
make suggestions, eg should/ought to, could, in spite of, although
you’d better
◗◗ Modals and phrases used to express possibility
and uncertainty may, might, I’m not sure

69
Appendix 4 — ISE II Task 3 Reading into writing rating scale

Appendix 4 — ISE II Task 3 Reading into writing rating scale


Score Reading for writing Task fulfilment
◗◗Understanding of source materials ◗◗Overall achievement of communicative aim
◗◗Selection of relevant content from source texts ◗◗Awareness of the writer–reader relationship (style and register)
◗◗Ability to identify common themes and links within ◗◗Adequacy of topic coverage
and across the multiple texts
◗◗Adaptation of content to suit the purpose for writing
◗◗Use of paraphrasing/summarising

4 ◗◗ Full and accurate understanding of the essential meaning ◗◗ Excellent achievement of the communicative aim
of all source materials demonstrated ◗◗ Excellent awareness of the writer–reader relationship (ie appropriate
◗◗ A wholly appropriate and accurate selection of relevant use of standard style and register throughout the text)
content from the source texts ◗◗ All requirements (ie genre, topic, reader, purpose and number of
◗◗ Excellent ability to identify common themes and links within words) of the instruction appropriately met
and across the multiple texts and the writers’ stances
◗◗ An excellent adaptation of content to suit the purpose
for writing
◗◗ Excellent paraphrasing/summarising skills of factual ideas,
opinions, argument and/or discussion demonstrated

3 ◗◗ Full and accurate understanding of the essential meaning ◗◗ Good achievement of the communicative aim (ie easy to follow
of most source materials demonstrated and convincing for reader)
◗◗ An appropriate and accurate selection of relevant content ◗◗ Good awareness of the writer–reader relationship (ie appropriate
from the source texts (ie most relevant ideas are selected use of standard style and register throughout the text)
and most ideas selected are relevant) ◗◗ Most requirements (ie, genre, topic, reader, purpose and number
◗◗ Good ability to identify common themes and links within of words) of the instruction appropriately met
and across the multiple texts and the writers’ stances
◗◗ A good adaptation of content to suit the purpose
for writing (eg apply the content of the source texts
appropriately to offer solutions, offer some evaluation
of the ideas based on the purpose for writing)
◗◗ Good paraphrasing/summarising skills of factual ideas,
opinions, argument and/or discussion demonstrated (with
very limited lifting and a few disconnected ideas)

2 ◗◗ Full and accurate understanding of more than half of the ◗◗ Acceptable achievement of the communicative aim
source materials demonstrated ◗◗ Some awareness of the writer–reader relationship
◗◗ An acceptable selection of relevant content from the ◗◗ Most requirements (ie genre, topic, reader, purpose and number
source texts (the content selected must come from more of words) of the instruction acceptably met
than one text)
◗◗ Acceptable ability to identify common themes and links
within and across the multiple texts and the writers’
stances (eg ability to discern when the same idea has been
mentioned in several texts and therefore avoid repeating it)
◗◗ Acceptable adaptation of content to suit the purpose
for writing
◗◗ Acceptable paraphrasing/summarising skills of factual
ideas, opinions, argument and/or discussion demonstrated

1 ◗◗ Inaccurate and limited understanding of most source materials ◗◗ Poor achievement of the communicative aim (ie difficult to follow
◗◗ Inadequate and inaccurate selection of relevant content from and unconvincing for reader)
the source texts (ie fewer than half of the relevant ideas are ◗◗ Poor awareness of the writer–reader relationship
selected and most of the selected ideas are irrelevant) ◗◗ Most requirements (ie genre, topic, reader, purpose and number
◗◗ Poor ability to identify common themes and links within of words) of the instruction are NOT met
and across the multiple texts and the writers’ stances
(ie misunderstanding of the common themes and links
is evident)
◗◗ Poor adaptation of content to suit the purpose for writing
(ie does not use the source texts’ content to address the
purpose for writing)
◗◗ Poor paraphrasing/summarising skills of factual ideas,
opinions, argument and/or discussion (with heavy lifting
and many disconnected ideas)

0 ◗◗ Task not attempted


◗◗ Paper void
◗◗ No performance to evaluate

70
Appendix 4 — ISE II Task 3 Reading into writing rating scale (contd)

Score Organisation and structure Language control


◗◗Text organisation, including use of paragraphing, ◗◗Range and accuracy of grammar
beginnings/endings ◗◗Range and accuracy of lexis
◗◗Presentation of ideas and arguments, including clarity ◗◗Effect of linguistic errors on understanding
and coherence of their development ◗◗Control of punctuation and spelling
◗◗Consistent use of format to suit the task
◗◗Use of signposting

4 ◗◗ Effective organisation of text ◗◗ Wide range of grammatical items relating to the task with good
◗◗ Very clear presentation and logical development of most level of accuracy
ideas and arguments, with appropriate highlighting of ◗◗ Wide range of lexical items relating to the task with good level
significant points and relevant supporting detail of accuracy
◗◗ Appropriate format throughout the text ◗◗ Any errors do not impede understanding
◗◗ Effective signposting ◗◗ Excellent spelling and punctuation

3 ◗◗ Good organisation of text (eg appropriately organised ◗◗ Appropriate range of grammatical items relating to the task with
into clear and connected paragraphs, appropriate opening good level of accuracy (with mostly non-systematic errors)
and closing) ◗◗ Appropriate range of lexical items relating to the task with good
◗◗ Clear presentation and logical development of most level of accuracy (without frequent repetition)
ideas and arguments, with appropriate highlighting of ◗◗ Errors only occasionally impede understanding
significant points and relevant supporting detail ◗◗ Good spelling and punctuation (may show some signs of first
◗◗ Appropriate format in most of the text language influence)
◗◗ Good signposting (eg appropriate use of cohesive devices
and topic sentences)

2 ◗◗ Acceptable organisation of text ◗◗ Acceptable level of grammatical accuracy and appropriacy


◗◗ Presentation and development of most ideas and relating to the task, though range may be restricted
arguments are acceptably clear and logical, with ◗◗ Acceptable level of lexical accuracy and appropriacy relating
some highlighting of significant points and relevant to the task, though range may be restricted
supporting detail ◗◗ Errors sometimes impede understanding
◗◗ Appropriate format in general ◗◗ Acceptable spelling and punctuation
◗◗ Acceptable signposting (eg some inconsistent/faulty
use of cohesive devices and topic sentences)

1 ◗◗ Very limited or poor text organisation ◗◗ Inadequate evidence of grammatical range and accuracy (may
◗◗ Most ideas and arguments lack coherence and do not have control over the language below the level)
progress logically ◗◗ Inadequate evidence of lexical range and accuracy (may have
◗◗ Inappropriate format throughout the text control over the language below the level)
◗◗ Poor signposting (eg inappropriate or poor use of cohesive ◗◗ Errors frequently impede understanding
devices and topic sentences) ◗◗ Poor spelling and punctuation throughout

0 ◗◗ Task not attempted


◗◗ Paper void
◗◗ No performance to evaluate

71
Appendix 5 — ISE II Task 4 Extended writing rating scale

Appendix 5 — ISE II Task 4 Extended writing rating scale


Task
Score 4 Task
Extended
fulfilment writing Organisation and structure Language control
◗◗Overall achievement of ◗◗Text organisation, including use of ◗◗Range and accuracy of grammar
communicative aim paragraphing, beginnings/endings ◗◗Range and accuracy of lexis
◗◗Awareness of the writer–reader ◗◗Presentation of ideas and arguments, ◗◗Effect of linguistic errors on
relationship (style and register) including clarity and coherence of their understanding
◗◗Adequacy of topic coverage development ◗◗Control of punctuation and spelling
◗◗ Consistent use of format to suit the task
◗◗Use of signposting

4 ◗◗ Excellent achievement of the ◗◗ Effective organisation of text ◗◗ Wide range of grammatical items
communicative aim ◗◗ Very clear presentation and logical relating to the task with good level
◗◗ Excellent awareness of the writer– development of most ideas and of accuracy
reader relationship (ie appropriate arguments, with appropriate ◗◗ Wide range of lexical items relating to
use of standard style and register highlighting of significant points and the task with good level of accuracy
throughout the text) relevant supporting detail ◗◗ Any errors do not impede understanding
◗◗ All requirements (ie genre, topic, ◗◗ Appropriate format throughout the text ◗◗ Excellent spelling and punctuation
reader, purpose and number of words) ◗◗ Effective signposting
of the instruction appropriately met

3 ◗◗ Good achievement of the ◗◗ Good organisation of text (eg ◗◗ Appropriate range of grammatical
communicative aim (ie easy to follow appropriately organised into clear items relating to the task with good
and convincing for reader) and connected paragraphs, appropriate level of accuracy (with mostly non-
◗◗ Good awareness of the writer–reader opening and closing) systematic errors)
relationship (ie appropriate use of ◗◗ Clear presentation and logical ◗◗ Appropriate range of lexical items
standard style and register throughout development of most ideas and relating to the task with good level of
the text) arguments, with appropriate accuracy (without frequent repetition)
◗◗ Most requirements (ie genre, topic, highlighting of significant points ◗◗ Errors only occasionally impede
reader, purpose and number of words) and relevant supporting detail understanding
of the instruction appropriately met ◗◗ Appropriate format in most of the text ◗◗ Good spelling and punctuation (may
◗◗ Good signposting (eg appropriate show some signs of first language
use of cohesive devices and topic influence)
sentences)

2 ◗◗ Acceptable achievement of the ◗◗ Acceptable organisation of text ◗◗ Acceptable level of grammatical


communicative aim ◗◗ Presentation and development accuracy and appropriacy relating
◗◗ Some awareness of the writer–reader of most ideas and arguments are to the task, though range may be
relationship acceptably clear and logical, with some restricted
◗◗ Most requirements (ie genre, topic, highlighting of significant points and ◗◗ Acceptable level of lexical accuracy
reader, purpose and number of words) relevant supporting detail and appropriacy relating to the task,
of the instruction acceptably met ◗◗ Appropriate format in general though range may be restricted
◗◗ Acceptable signposting (eg some ◗◗ Errors sometimes impede understanding
inconsistent/faulty use of cohesive ◗◗ Acceptable spelling and punctuation
devices and topic sentences)

1 ◗◗ Poor achievement of the ◗◗ Very limited or poor text organisation ◗◗ Inadequate evidence of grammatical
communicative aim (ie difficult to ◗◗ Most ideas and arguments lack range and accuracy (may have control
follow and unconvincing for reader) coherence and do not progress logically over the language below the level)
◗◗ Poor awareness of the writer–reader ◗◗ Inappropriate format throughout ◗◗ Inadequate evidence of lexical range
relationship the text and accuracy (may have control over
◗◗ Most requirements (ie genre, topic, ◗◗ Poor signposting (eg inappropriate or the language below the level)
reader, purpose and number of words) poor use of cohesive devices and topic ◗◗ Errors frequently impede understanding
of the instruction are NOT met sentences) ◗◗ Poor spelling and punctuation
throughout

0 ◗◗ Task not attempted


◗◗ Paper void
◗◗ No performance to evaluate

72
Appendix 6 — ISE II Speaking and listening rating scale

Appendix 6 — ISE II Speaking and listening rating scale


Score Communicative Interactive listening Language control Delivery
effectiveness ◗◗Comprehension and ◗◗Range ◗◗Intelligibility
◗◗Task fulfilment relevant response ◗◗Accuracy/precision ◗◗Lexical stress/intonation
◗◗Appropriacy of contributions ◗◗Level of understanding ◗◗Effects of inaccuracies ◗◗Fluency
/turn-taking ◗◗Speech rate of examiner ◗◗Effects on the listener
◗◗Repair strategies interventions
◗◗Speed and accuracy
of response

4 ◗◗ Fulfils the task very well ◗◗ Understands all interventions ◗◗ Uses a wide range of ◗◗ Clearly intelligible
◗◗ Initiates and responds with on a first hearing grammatical structures/ ◗◗ Uses focal stress and
effective turn-taking ◗◗ Interprets examiner’s aims lexis flexibly to deal with intonation effectively
◗◗ Effectively maintains and and viewpoints accurately topics at this level ◗◗ Speaks promptly and
develops the interaction by making links with earlier ◗◗ Consistently shows a fluently
◗◗ Solves communication information high level of grammatical ◗◗ Requires no careful
problems naturally, if any ◗◗ Makes immediate and accuracy and lexical precision listening
relevant responses ◗◗ Errors do not impede
communication

3 ◗◗ Fulfils the task appropriately ◗◗ Understands most ◗◗ Uses an appropriate range ◗◗ Clearly intelligible despite
◗◗ Initiates and responds interventions on a first of grammatical structures/ some use of non-standard
appropriately hearing lexis to deal with topics at phonemes
◗◗ Maintains and develops the ◗◗ Interprets examiner’s aims this level ◗◗ Uses focal stress and
interaction appropriately and viewpoints accurately ◗◗ Shows a relatively high intonation appropriately
(eg expanding and ◗◗ Makes prompt and relevant level of grammatical ◗◗ Generally speaks promptly
developing ideas, and response accuracy and lexical and fluently — occasionally
showing understanding precision affected by some
of what the examiner said) ◗◗ Errors do not impede hesitancy
◗◗ Deals with communication communication ◗◗ Requires almost no careful
problems well listening

2 ◗◗ Fulfils the task acceptably ◗◗ Usually understands ◗◗ Uses an acceptable ◗◗ Intelligible despite some
with support interventions; occasionally range of grammatical use of non-standard
◗◗ Initiates and responds needs clarification structures/lexis to manage phonemes
acceptably ◗◗ Shows occasional topics at this level, but ◗◗ Uses focal stress and
◗◗ Maintains and develops uncertainty about grammatical/lexical gaps intonation acceptably
the interaction, but examiner’s aims or still cause hesitation and ◗◗ Speaks promptly and
contributions are not viewpoints circumlocution fluently enough to follow
always appropriate and/or ◗◗ Makes relatively prompt ◗◗ Shows an acceptable level ◗◗ Requires some careful
somewhat dependent on responses of grammatical accuracy listening
the examiner and lexical precision
◗◗ Manages to solve ◗◗ Most errors do not impede
communication problems, communication
but requires more than
one attempt and/or
does not always do this
naturally (eg ‘What?’)

1 ◗◗ Does not fulfil the task even ◗◗ Has difficulty in ◗◗ Uses a limited range of ◗◗ Generally intelligible or
with support understanding interventions grammatical structures/ sometimes unintelligible
◗◗ Does not initiate or respond ◗◗ Frequently misinterprets lexis that is not always — use of non-standard
adequately examiner’s aims and adequate to deal with phonemes is sometimes
◗◗ Does not maintain and viewpoints topics at this level or frequently evident
develop the interaction ◗◗ Responds slowly due to ◗◗ Does not show an ◗◗ Sometimes or often misuses
sufficiently difficulty in understanding adequate level of focal stress and intonation
◗◗ Contributions are input grammatical accuracy ◗◗ Speaks slowly, sometimes
inappropriate and/or and lexical precision or often halted by hesitancy
overly dependent on ◗◗ Some errors impede ◗◗ Requires (some) careful
the examiner communication listening
◗◗ Has some difficulty in
resolving communication
problems

0 No performance to assess (candidate does not speak, or does not speak in English). Also use if no topic is prepared.

73
Appendix 7 — ISE II Independent listening rating scale

Appendix 7 — ISE II Independent listening rating scale

4 ◗◗ Identifies and reports all important points relevantly


◗◗ Shows full understanding of main points, and how they relate to the message as a whole
◗◗ Makes sense of connected English speech rapidly and accurately with confidence
◗◗ Fully infers meanings left unstated (eg speaker’s viewpoints)
3 ◗◗ Identifies and reports most points relevantly
◗◗ Shows good understanding of main points and is aware of the line of argument linking them
◗◗ Makes sense of connected English speech quite rapidly and accurately
◗◗ Infers meanings left unstated (eg speaker’s viewpoints)
2 ◗◗ Identifies main points but incompletely or in a general way
◗◗ Shows understanding of recording, but does not always grasp the line of argument
◗◗ Makes sense of connected English speech with some degrees of promptness and accuracy
◗◗ Infers some meanings left unstated (eg speaker’s viewpoints)
1 ◗◗ Does not succeed in identifying main points
◗◗ Shows incomplete understanding, limited to factual level information
0 ◗◗ No performance to assess (eg candidate does not speak)

74