Tuesday, October 13, 2020

B2 Sample Writing 16 (Transactional Letter / Email - Summer Language School)


 The following sample letter has been written so that exam candidates for a B2 level English examination (FCE now called First for Schools, ECCE, IELTS - 5.5 / 6.0, MSU-CELC, ESB, LRN) can get some ideas about how to organize and argue their writing.  First take a look at how to use the sample essays and letters that appear on this blog by reading the following post:

What do I do with the sample writing found on this blog?


Remember: such topics can also be used to start class discussions, so teachers might also want to read on to get ideas about a class activity they could set up to improve students' oral skills.


This particular question has been taken from a B2-level textbook preparing candidates for the Writing section of an English-language exam (particularly the FCE, now known as the B2 First or B2 First for Schools). In particular, this question deals with a transactional letter asking for information meaning that specific aspects need to be addressed in your letter. 

The length of the sample letter that follows (a little over 200 words) is approximately what examiners would expect to be completed in half an hour's time.

Here's the rubric:

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Speaking Topics - Supported Opinion Questions in English-language Exams


My two previous posts explained how to deal with two distinct types of oral examination questions as part of English-language certification qualifications. The first post gave some tips how to describe a person, place, object or activity while the second how to narrate past experiences or any kind of situations one may have had to deal with.  
 
Though these types of questions are typically part of the English oral examination for the Michigan State University (MSU) certificate at C2 level, this as well as the two previous posts can be used to train candidates of other English-language examinations, be they B1, B2, C1 or C2-level exams. Based on experience, I have seen that helping a candidate develop fluency requires building up their ability to narrate and describe, so whether they are sitting the IELTS or CPE, the ECPE or LRN, LRN, TOEFL, BULATS, TIE, ECCE, FCE and so many others that are out there on the market, knowing how to describe and narrate is a must.
 
This post therefore is not only geared towards those taking the MSU exam, but for candidates preparing for the IELTS, CPE, ECPE, ESB, LRN, TOEFL, PTE, BULATS, TIE, and similar tests whose list will doubtless increase with time.
 
Perhaps the most difficult third skill which needs to be elaborated and is this post's center of attention, is expressing an opinion and backing it up with arguments. These supported opinion questions are especially troublesome when candidates are youngish and haven't managed to formulate their own views on a number of pressing, social or moot issues, which makes it all the more essential that they be practiced as often as possible.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Speaking Topics - Narration Questions in English-language Exams

https://argutelegacy.blogspot.com/2020/06/speaking-topics-narration.html
In my last post, I talked about how to deal with oral exam questions that asked candidates of English-certification exams -- such as the the Michigan State University (MSU) exam -- to describe someone or something. The post and questions that accompanied it were meant to help C2-level candidates, but the same questions could easily be used to get B2-level exam takers to speak more.

This post now deals with narrations, that is, questions which require candidates to speak about a past experience, a situation they had to endure or they enjoyed.

As I said in my last post, the questions that follow can be used by students and teachers alike as discussion starters, so even if you are not planning to sit an exam, you might find this article useful in terms of improving your English. Prepare vocabulary associated with the topic, or think about using linking words to sequence your ideas. These are just two of the "activities" teachers can promote as they discuss these questions with their pupils.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Speaking Topics - Description Questions in English-language Exams

https://argutelegacy.blogspot.com/2020/06/speaking-topics-description.html
The English oral examination for the Michigan State University (MSU) certificate at C2 level is a straight-forward affair if you know ahead of time what it is examiners might ask.

This applies to all Speaking components of English-language certificate exams which means that the more varied the types of questions a candidate has knowledge of in advance, the more likely he or she is to stumble upon a similar question on the actual day of the test. Thinking about what answers could be given ahead of time and jotting down some ideas in note form lets candidates worry about finding the right words to use during the exam instead of searching for things to say, arguments to give, examples to support an opinion which they might even not have at that particular moment.

This post therefore is not only geared towards those taking the MSU exam, but for candidates preparing for the IELTS, CPE, ECPE, ESB, LRN, TOEFL, PTE, BULATS, TIE, and similar tests whose list will doubtless increase with time.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

IELTS Academic Task 1 Sample Report 3 (Air Pollution: Emissions of black smoke, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides)

https://argutelegacy.blogspot.com/search/label/Reports
This is the third sample report (Task 1) which follows IELTS guidelines for the Writing section of the Academic Module. 

The graph in this case deals with three categories gas emissions that contribute to air pollution. It is a longer report than what a candidate would have time to draft (230 words approximately), but the reason for this is to give candidates more words to underline and add to their list of phrases to use in such types of writing tasks.
 


You can begin by reading my post 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Thursday, May 21, 2020

IELTS Academic Task 1 Sample Report 1 (Undergraduate & postgraduate students)

https://argutelegacy.blogspot.com/search/label/Reports
This, I hope, is the first of several sample reports to come. They follow the guidelines for the IELTS Task 1 writing section which asks candidates to write a summary of data presented in a graph or diagram. 

Task 1 can therefore be seen as consisting of two subcategories of tasks: 
  • a graph, chart, table or
  • a diagram, map, image showing a process or object

In this series of reports, I'll focus on the first type which deals with graphs so that candidates can see how facts can be grouped together and presented in an orderly manner. 

You can begin by reading my post  

Thursday, May 7, 2020

C2 Sample Essay 37 (Careers and further education)


https://argutelegacy.blogspot.com/2020/05/c2-essay-37-careers-further-education.html
Writing at C2 level (Proficient User) on English language examinations is the same no matter the awarding body when it comes to writing essays. If you are a candidate giving an exam in English (IELTS, CPE, ECPE, CELP, LRN, ESB, TOEFL), make sure you read my earlier post What do I do with the sample writing found on this blog? to get the most out of the sample essays provided on Argute Legacy.  

The topic of this essay is to discuss single versus multiple careers in addition to further education (how the former is becoming "old-fashioned").



If you are not taking an exam but need to discuss this topic, then read on and note down what you deem useful. If you intend to use this essay as part of an assignment, remember to paraphrase so as not to plagiarize.

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