Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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Everyday English 1

6.3 Writing for assessments

This section specifically introduces the writing assessments for Functional Skills English Level 1 and Essential Skills Wales Communication Level 1. However, if you are not studying for these qualifications you will still find the activity useful, so please read through the section and try out Activities 44 and 45.

Functional Skills English and Essential Skills Wales Communication writing assessments

Functional Skills English and Essential Skills Wales Communication writing assessments are designed to assess your ability to write texts that can be understood by the reader they are written for. This means that any particular text needs to:

  • be structured, or laid out, as it should be

  • include the information it needs to, in a logical order

  • contain accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.

It is important to remember that your writing does not have to be perfect. Perfect writing is impossible. Even if you make no spelling, punctuation or grammar mistakes, it is very unlikely that everyone who reads your writing will completely agree with everything you said or not think that there is a better way to say it.

This is why you do not need 100 per cent in assessments to pass. The pass mark is different for different exams, but the idea is that you write well enough to be understood and to communicate clearly.

To pass a Functional Skills English Level 1 writing assessment or the writing element of the Essential Skills Wales Communication Level 1 controlled task, you must be able to write a range of texts to communicate information, ideas and opinions, using formats and styles suitable for their purpose and audience.

Requirements to pass a Functional Skills English Level 1 writing assessment

The specific requirements are that you:

  • write clearly and coherently, including an appropriate level of detail
  • present information in a logical sequence
  • use language, format and structure suitable for purpose and audience
  • use correct grammar, including correct and consistent use of tense
  • ensure written work includes generally accurate punctuation and spelling and that meaning is clear
  • do all of the above in more than one type of text.

Requirements to pass the writing element of the Essential Skills Wales Communication Level 1 controlled task

The specific requirements are that you:

  • produce a plan for each of your written documents, showing the main points you obtained from the source documents
  • produce an annotated draft for each of your written documents
  • write clearly and coherently, including an appropriate level of detail
  • ensure the written document is of appropriate length
  • use paragraphing appropriately to present information in a logical sequence
  • use language, format and structure suitable for purpose and audience
  • use correct grammar, including correct and consistent use of tense
  • ensure written work includes accurate punctuation and spelling and that meaning is clear
  • do all of the above in more than one type of text.

If you are preparing for the Functional Skills English Level 1 qualification, the next activity is particularly relevant as it will help you to think about the requirements for passing the writing assessment, listed above.

If you are not studying for the Functional Skills English qualification, you may still find the activity useful.

Activity 44 You do the marking

Allow about 15 minutes

The speech below has been written in response to the following question:

Write a short talk, to be given to a group of new college students, about the importance of having good English skills.

Use the Functional Skills English Level 1 writing requirements, listed above and copied in the text box below, to review the speech and decide whether or not you think it meets the standards. Try to make comments or identify examples from the speech to show how it matches each of the requirements.

Good morning everybody. My name is Jay and I am here today to talk to you about why it is important to keep learning and improving your English skills, and to make sure you get your qualifications.

Until recently I didn’t have any qualifications in English. I messed around at school and didn’t pass my exams. This wasn’t a problem for a while, but when I went for a promotion at work I was declined, because I didn’t have the certificate to prove my skills.

So I came to college. I worked hard and learned a lot. I learned things I didn’t even know I needed. I have since passed the English qualifications and got the promotion.

So my message to you is that without the right skills and qualifications in English you will find that things are harder. It is harder to do the things you need to do every day, but also harder to get the career you want. If you put in the effort now you will not be in my situation in a few years’ time.

Thank you for listening. Does anyone have any questions?

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
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Discussion

The speech does meet the standards for Functional Skills English Level 1 writing.

  • Write clearly and coherently, including an appropriate level of detail: It covers English skills and qualifications for work and life.
  • Present information in a logical sequence: It presents the story from messing around in school to getting promotion.
  • Use language, format and structure suitable for purpose and audience: The text starts with ‘Good morning’ – it opens like a speech.
  • Use correct grammar, including correct and consistent use of tense: It uses the past tense for the past and the future tense when talking about ‘a few years’ time’.
  • Ensure written work includes generally accurate punctuation and spelling and that meaning is clear: This is fine – capitals and full stops are used accurately.
  • Do all of the above in more than one type of text: This is only one text, but another text like this should be possible.

The key to a good piece of writing is that it communicates clearly what it needs to say. It does not have to be over-complicated or use long or complex words to try to sound clever.

Emails are a good example of a type of text that is used millions of times every day to communicate.

Activity 45 Constructing an email

Allow about 10 minutes

In the interactive below, sections of an email are mixed up. Drag each section around so that they are in the correct order for it to make sense.

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Discussion

The email below shows the sections in the correct order:

To: theboss@business.com

Subject: Pay Rise

Dear Mrs Carter

I am emailing you to request a pay rise. This is not the sort of thing I usually do, but I feel strongly enough in this case to do so.

I have worked at this company for two years now and have never had any kind of pay rise. I consistently work hard and have always met my monthly targets. Also, I have only had one day off sick in two years.

Considering all these things I really feel that I deserve a pay rise.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards

Jay Tanner

FSE_1

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