4.2 Answering the question
It is important to be able to read texts and find the information you need confidently and accurately. It is as important to be able to record that information clearly.
In a Functional Skills English Level 1 assessment, you need to write your answers down and it is very important that you only give the required information. It is very easy to misread questions and provide an incorrect answer. It is also very easy to write too much if you are unsure of the answer. You may lose marks if you do this. To answer correctly you must always read the question carefully.
The Essential Skills Wales Communication Level 1 reading assessment has two parts:
- Part 1 is the controlled task element. You have to read two source documents of about 250 words and identify the main points. You then use some of the information gained to complete two pieces of writing. You also use some of the information from one source document to take part in a discussion.
- Part 2 is a confirmatory test. You read texts and answer a range of questions based on the information in those texts. The questions are all multiple choice.
Activity 29 Read the question (1)
Read the following text carefully and answer the questions. Read the questions carefully to ensure your answers are correct.
FLOODS AND GALES BATTER SOUTH COAST AND DAMAGE PIER
Violent wind and rainstorms swept across southern England yesterday causing severe disruption to road and passenger transport. The end of the pier at Bognor Regis was washed away, homes were flooded and holidaymakers had to move to more sheltered accommodation.
Severe gale warnings were in place on the coast last night after force 8 south-westerly winds were forecast for the rest of the weekend, an Environment Agency spokesman said. A Sussex police spokesman said about 60 feet of Bognor Pier had been washed away, causing more than one million pounds’ worth of damage, but no-one has been reported injured.
Similar storms were recorded in this area in the winter of 1934, and in November 1965 22 people were drowned in a storm of similar intensity in Bognor, which lasted for two days.
1. What part of England did the storm hit?
2. What is the cost of the damage likely to be?
More than £1 million.
3. What happened in 1934 and 1965?
Activity 30 Read the question (2)
Now practise again. Read the following text carefully and answer the questions.
Today we use the term ‘Anglo-Saxon’ to describe the part of history between 450 AD and 1066, when the Battle of Hastings established the Norman Kings in England. This is the period generally referred to as the Dark Ages in British history.
Although the early part of Anglo-Saxon history would have been unsettled and only partly civilised, people still lived productive lives. Though urban centres tended to fall into decay in the fifth century, trade still continued with Europe. Mediterranean pottery was imported and grave goods found with cremation and urn burials from the time include imported bronze, glass and ivory. Pottery sherds and flint adze heads show that although new technologies were being introduced, older tools from the Bronze Age were still in use, particularly in more remote areas of Britain.
Adze blade A type of stone tool designed for woodworking by our very ancient ancestors. An adze blade differs from an axe in that it is mounted on a shaft at a 90-degree angle. It was probably used for stripping bark from timbers. This helped to produce a smoother surface for sinking piles or posts and helped to preserve the wood by removing wood-worms, moulds and fungi.
Ages The terms ‘Bronze Age’, ‘Iron Age’ and so on are used by archaeologists as easy and quick ways for talking about the time periods of the past. In fact, the changes from one period to the next would have been far more gradual than it seems. After all, our prehistoric ancestors didn’t stop using stone tools on 31 December 2301 BC and switch to bronze tools overnight!
Anglo-Saxons ‘Anglo-Saxon’ is used as a general way to refer to the peoples who invaded and settled in England in large numbers during the fifth and sixth centuries AD. As well as the Angles (who came from the southern part of the Danish peninsula and eventually gave their name to England) and the Saxons (who came from the north German plain to the west), there were also Jutes from Jutland as well.
Dark Ages A way of speaking of the centuries after the Roman period, from about 400 AD, when it is very difficult to know what was happening in Britain in terms of farming and settlement. In most of Britain, people stopped using and making pottery, did not mint any new coins, built in wood (which has rotted away) rather than stone and left little trace of the past.
Sherd A broken piece of pottery.
1. What three types of people made up ‘Anglo-Saxons’?
Angles, Saxons and Jutes.
2. Where did the Saxons come from?
3. What is the period between 460 AD and 1066 AD often called?
The Dark Ages.
4. What material did people during this time mainly build with?
5. Who controlled or ruled Britain (i) before and (ii) after the Dark Ages?
(i) the Romans (ii) the Normans
6. True or false? An adze is the same as an axe.
7. Why were the Dark Ages called this?
No one knows much about them.
This section has given you some practice in reading carefully and picking out the important parts of a text. You will now extend those skills and look at how to use the information you read.