English Language Education Section Curriculum and Assessment Planning at Senior Secondary Level: An Annotated Exemplar Introduction

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English Language Education Section

Curriculum and Assessment Planning at Senior Secondary Level:

An Annotated Exemplar Introduction

 This exemplar focusses on how a secondary school with students of generally high ability level develops and implements its school-based senior secondary English Language curriculum.

 Annotated with detailed commentary and lesson description, the exemplar portrays how the school:

 seeks to provide students with rich language learning experiences through a substantial and well-planned curriculum that builds on the knowledge and skills that students have developed in basic education;

 achieves coherence in the curriculum through not only integrating the Compulsory and Elective Parts, but also aligning learning, teaching and assessment; and

 encourages flexibility and variety to cater for learner diversity and promote assessment for learning.

School Background

• The school, located in the New Territories, is co-educational. Most subjects in the school are taught in English at both junior and senior secondary levels.

• Most of the teachers are experienced with more than ten years’ teaching experience.

• Students are cooperative but passive, relying rather heavily on teachers’ input.

• In terms of the English ability level, students are in the range of average to above-average.

Curriculum Planning

The following strategies were adopted in planning the curriculum for English Language in this school:

Feature Strategy

Holistic plan for three years

The school made a holistic plan for the three-year senior secondary curriculum with specific learning focuses for each year level:


- consolidating what students had learnt at junior secondary level and extending their learning through the Compulsory Part and the first elective module

- exposing students to a broad range of texts by implementing the reading/

viewing programme for School-Based Assessment (SBA)


- strengthening students’ English skills through the Compulsory Part and two elective modules

- providing more opportunities for speaking in daily classroom activities in preparation for the first SBA task at the end of S5


Considerations: The panel’s deliberations led to the following shared beliefs which guided their plan for the three-year senior secondary English Language curriculum:

 Continuity between the junior and senior secondary curricula should be maintained by developing a senior secondary curriculum that builds on students’ learning experiences and achievements at junior secondary level.

 The first elective module should be offered in the second term of S4 instead of S5, given the essential groundwork that was done in S3 as well as students’

generally competent language proficiency.

 Instead of treating SBA as a discrete curriculum component, it should be integrated into daily learning and teaching to enhance students’ language skills, particularly speaking.


Planning the three-year curriculum holistically has the advantage of better ensuring curriculum continuity and


- revisiting and consolidating language knowledge and skills learnt

- providing the necessary support based on students’ performance in the first SBA task so as to help them perform better in two other SBA tasks

- familiarising students with the HKDSE English Language examination

Compulsory Part

Two learning/teaching programmes were developed for the Compulsory Part, one for the more advanced classes (made up of high-achieving students) and another for the less advanced classes (made up of the average and relatively low-achieving students).

• Both programmes were mainly organised with reference to materials from a textbook and a set of skills books:

 The programme for the less advanced classes features more consolidation work on grammar basics (e.g. tenses, infinitives, passives) and less demanding learning tasks (e.g. shorter writing tasks in the first half of the school term, reading tasks with more explicit teaching and explanations).

 For the more advanced classes, the programme is more demanding in terms of the content of the materials used and the requirements of the learning tasks (e.g. more difficult reading texts and grammar tasks, longer writing tasks at an earlier time of the school term).

Students following the two different programmes were expected to attain some basic learning goals (e.g. being able to write a 200-word letter of complaint by the end of the first term of S4). These goals were laid down in the scheme of work for each school term

coherence while avoiding unnecessary overlap of learning content.

Considerations: Even though a single learning/teaching programme with room for variation might be more convenient and straightforward, teachers reached the consensus that the use of two learning programmes would better address their students’ diverse abilities and needs.


The use of different learning/teaching programmes for students of different ability levels better ensures that the learning input provided would adequately support students’ learning.


The two learning programmes, different in terms of design and level of difficulty, provide both enhancement and extension opportunities to cater for students of diverse abilities.


This ensures that students of the same year level share some basic learning goals and develop skills the panel considers essential despite the differences in the learning materials used and the processes which different classes undergo.


and students’ achievements were assessed in the end-of-term examinations.

Elective Part

• Teachers followed a common schedule for implementing three elective modules, i.e. implementing the first one in the second term of S4 and two more at S5. For each class, they decided which modules to offer, what materials to use and how they were delivered, taking into consideration students’ interests and needs as well as teachers’ own professional expertise and readiness. Between 2009/10 and 2010/11, a total of six elective modules had been offered to different classes.

Teachers integrated elements of the Compulsory and Elective Parts of the curriculum to suit students’ progress and the overall learning/teaching plan for each class. For instance, to make the learning experience more coherent for the students, a teacher re-sequenced the learning materials in order to integrate elements of the elective module on Social Issues with a related unit in the textbook for the Compulsory Part.

Time allocation

The panel devised a common plan on time allocation for the Compulsory and Elective Parts of the three-year curriculum and School-based Assessment (SBA) for all classes. The number of lessons to be allocated to each component was specified in the schemes of work (See Appendix 1 for an example).

Considerations: Teachers agreed that a uniform set of elective modules to be offered to all students throughout the three-year period would not be effective in addressing the classes’ varied interests and abilities. They saw the need to allow flexibility in the Elective Part so that teachers could exercise their discretion and autonomy in choosing the most suitable elective modules for individual classes.

Therefore, a common implementation schedule instead of a standard plan for the Elective Part was considered more appropriate.


The class-based approach to curriculum design and implementation provides flexibility in delivering the Elective Part and has the benefits of 1) catering for the diverse needs and interests of individual classes throughout the three-year programme and 2) exploiting teachers’ expertise more fully.


The class-based approach also creates room for curriculum adaptation based on teachers’ professional judgement so as to provide students with learning experiences the teacher considers appropriate.


This enables teachers to share a common understanding of the coverage of the school-based English Language curriculum.

Considerations: To deliver the curriculum effectively, teachers recognised that they needed a common plan on time allocation for each year level, which would provide them with a broad picture of what to cover but at the same time allow them flexibility to make adjustments where appropriate.


Flexibility was encouraged in the design and implementation of the curriculum in terms of what to cover, how it was delivered and how much time was allocated to each of its components. Where appropriate, teachers re-arranged the curriculum content and adjusted the time allocated according to students’


Learning/Teaching materials

The learning/teaching materials mainly comprised:

 two sets of textbooks; the set for the more advanced classes included more challenging learning tasks whereas the one for the less advanced classes had more scaffolding activities;

 skills books on writing, listening, speaking and grammar, where teachers exercised their discretion in focussing on relevant parts to cater for students’

interests and abilities;

 other learning/teaching materials (including resources provided by the EDB) which individual teachers selected and developed particularly for the elective modules and SBA; and

 self-access learning materials developed by service providers (e.g.

online reading programme, online TV news viewing activities).


Incorporating SBA in the teaching schedule helps to promote assessment for learning as part of the learning/teaching process.


Given the autonomy and flexibility in class-based curriculum design and time allocation, teachers could make holistic plans for each class to provide adequate exposure, enrichment and extension opportunities in different parts of the curriculum to enhance students’ learning of English.

Considerations: Teachers would like to use a variety of learning/teaching materials to support the implementation of the new curriculum. The panel emphasised the need to select and adapt the materials, where appropriate, to help enhance different students’ language abilities and develop their independent learning skills.


Selective use of a variety of learning/teaching materials broadens students’ exposure to the language in different contexts.


Carefully selected materials that cater for students’ abilities, needs and interests help motivate and scaffold students’ learning more effectively.


These provide further support to help consolidate and extend students’



Self-access learning provides further challenges and enhancement opportunities for students of all ability levels outside class time.

Reflective questions:

How do you plan the three-year curriculum for your school? How do you decide what and how much to teach to cater for your students’ abilities, interests and needs?

Are the Compulsory and Elective Parts implemented separately or as an integrated whole in your school? Will you consider integrating some elements of the two parts if they are delivered separately now? Why or why not?

How do you plan the time allocation for different components?

What learning/teaching materials have you selected and/or developed for your students? What are your considerations? How helpful are they in facilitating your students’ learning?


Catering for Learner Diversity in Learning and Teaching

To enrich students’ learning and to cater for their diverse needs and abilities, the school encouraged flexibility and variety in grouping as well as the use of learning/teaching materials and strategies:

Feature Strategy

Class organisation

For the English lessons, students of each year level from S4 to S6 were streamed into five classes according to their English ability, with two more advanced and three less advanced classes. Two learning/teaching programmes were developed for use with these classes. Each class is taught by the same teacher throughout the three years.

Within each class, collaborative learning, i.e. learning in groups, was encouraged. Different forms of grouping (homogeneous and mixed ability grouping) were adopted in all classes.

Learning/teaching materials

Teachers flexibly adopted and adapted resources (including those from publishes, the EDB as well as sources of authentic materials) based on the needs and progress of each class. Where appropriate, teachers developed their own class-based materials.

Considerations: Before the NSS curriculum was implemented, the English panel used to split the five classes in each of S4 and S5 into seven groups according to students’ English abilities. Altogether there were two “more advanced” groups, three “average” groups and two “less advanced” groups. This had been effective in helping teachers to teach to students’

abilities. Under the New Academic Structure (NAS), the total number of senior secondary classes increased to fifteen. It was not possible for the panel to continue the split-class arrangement due to limited human resources. To enable teachers to cater for students’ abilities, the panel streamed students according to their English abilities into five classes for the English lessons and developed two learning/teaching programmes for the more and less advanced classes respectively.


This allows teachers to adapt the school-based English Language curriculum and devise learning/teaching materials that better suit the diverse abilities, needs and interests of students in individual classes.


Students are provided with ample opportunities to learn from their peers as well as gain support and feedback for improving their learning in collaborative settings.

Considerations: While teachers felt that one set of textbooks for the whole year level was insufficient in meeting students’

diverse learning needs, a list of prescribed learning/teaching activities in the schemes of work for each term would at times be a burden for them as they might feel obliged to cover materials that did not entirely suit their students. The panel therefore decided


Learning/teaching strategies

Teachers provided a variety of learning opportunities based on students’ abilities and needs to encourage students to take an active role in their own learning. Teachers also varied the kind and level of support to facilitate students’

learning. To illustrate how this translates into classroom practices, an account of how a teacher planned and delivered the unit on “Job Hunting” in the elective module on Workplace Communication is provided below (See Appendix 2 for the unit outline). The two main tasks that students attempted in the unit were writing a job application letter (including a curriculum vitae (CV)) and attending job interviews.

to let teachers flexibly select and develop materials for individual classes’ use.


Teachers are able to exercise autonomy and their professional judgement in adapting the curriculum and organising lessons that suit students’ knowledge and ability levels, learning needs and interests.

Considerations: Apart from curriculum planning, the NAS also provides teachers with the opportunity to review their teaching approaches. They recognised that a teacher-centred approach (which they more or less relied on in the past) would only reinforce students’ passivity, so they decided to adopt a student-centred approach to let students play a more active role in learning.

Feature Strategy

Planning and materials development

A variety of work-related authentic written and spoken texts (e.g. job advertisements in Recruit) were used. These included job advertisements from newspapers and websites, sample CVs, job application letters and video clips on job interviews.

Learning and teaching

A game or competition element was deliberately built into the design and implementation of the learning activities leading to the major tasks. For example, learning about job search and job application took the forms of

 a noughts-and-crosses game on matching jobs with job duties;

 an inter-group competition on matching jobs with persons with the right attributes; and

Considerations: Students had very limited exposure to work-related texts because of their age as well as prior learning experience. It was necessary to increase their exposure through related authentic materials. Further, students expressed a strong interest in learning about workplace communication due to its novelty and practicality.

The use of these materials helps broaden students’

language experience and cater for their learning needs and interests.

Considerations: To engage students in their own learning and to encourage risk-taking in a topic about which they knew little, the panel decided to incorporate games and competitions throughout the unit.

This proves to be an effective way of motivating and scaffolding students’ learning. For most of the students who have little exposure or prior knowledge, the tasks of producing formal written


 mock interviews with three rounds of elimination and one successful applicant (See Appendix 3 for the design of the mock interviews as an example).

A series of sub-tasks leading up to the major tasks of writing a formal job application letter and attending job interviews were developed.

As illustration, the pre-writing sub-tasks for job application, with the specific genre features they focus on, are summarised in the table below:

Within these sub-tasks, the teacher adjusted the level of support and task requirements based on students’ abilities and needs. For instance, two versions of the worksheet for the listening activity on writing a CV were developed Writing a CV:

Purpose and basic features (Introduction)

- Listening to a talk introducing the reasons, content outline, language and conventions for writing a CV as well as making notes Content


- Matching section headings with appropriate content Content appropriateness


- Comparing two sample CVs and improving the less appropriately written one Writing a job application


Content, structure and format of letter (Introduction)

- Rearranging jumbled parts of a sample letter

Organisation of paragraphs (Introduction)

- Identifying content and purpose of each paragraph Content and format of letter


- Error identification of sample letter Content appropriateness of

letter (Consolidation)

- Matching job titles with sample letters - Identifying

inappropriate/irrelevant details in sample letters Language (Introduction) - Categorising sample

sentences with useful expressions from job application letters according to their functions

Letter writing - Collaborative writing in groups, with each group focussing on one paragraph only

and spoken work-related texts are challenging.

Games and competitions provide a stimulating means to engage students in tasks and materials on different topics, e.g. job duties and requirements, job interview etiquette.

Considerations: The three parts of the unit, i.e. Job Search, Job Application and Job Interviews, involved the learning/teaching of quite an extensive range of English skills and texts. The panel decided to divide each main task into sub-tasks with clear learning focusses for each to make learning more manageable and focussed, and to allow teachers to give additional, specific support where necessary.

Breaking a major task into sub-tasks has the benefits of (1) building students’ confidence and competence and (2) allowing the teacher to flexibly adjust the teaching plan according to students’

progress. Teachers can also have the option to decide whether to use some or all of these sub-tasks with their own class.

Adjustments to the learning/teaching materials and strategies based on students’ abilities and needs are essential for scaffolding students’ learning effectively.


(Appendices 4a-4c). More language support was provided in the version for the less advanced students, whereas minimal prompts were given to the more advanced ones to provide challenge.

To ensure that students could effectively handle the tasks of writing a job application and conducting a job interview, appropriate samples (e.g. peers’ exemplary written work (Appendix 5) and video clips on job interviews ) as well as group work were adopted (See the final sub-task, which focusses on collaborative letter writing in Appendix 6).

Highlighting the strong points in samples of student work helps enrich students’ learning experience and provide them with good models to follow.

Reflective questions:

Does your school encounter challenges in catering for leaner diversity? What measures and strategies have you and your colleagues adopted and how effective are they in catering for learner diversity?

What are your students’ needs and interests? How would you select and adapt materials to suit the varied needs and interests of your students?

What kinds of activities would you like to use to suit the different needs and interests of your students? What would you do to ensure that the activities designed can suitably challenge your students?

What kinds of support would you like to provide during the lessons? What would you do to maximise students’ participation in the learning, teaching and assessment process?

Would you like to include student group work and assign them different duties? Why/why not?

Assessment Planning

The school adopted a range of strategies to promote assessment of learning and assessment for learning:

Feature Strategy

Assessment of learning

• Internal assessments included uniform tests (UT) and end-of-term examinations. The numbers of assessments, decided by the entire panel, varied among the three year levels. For example, there was one UT and one examination in both terms at S4. At S5, while the number of examinations remained the same, there was no UT in the first term so as to create more time and space for learning and teaching.


The number and schedule of internal assessments for each year level is Considerations: The panel considered regular summative assessments necessary for helping their students to review and consolidate their learning, and for the teacher to find out about students’

achievements. However, they also realised that assessments could take up much lesson time and so it was not necessary to rigidly adhere to the same number of assessments for every year level. They deemed it more essential to allocate enough time for the learning and teaching of English Language particularly at S5, where the school intended to complete two elective modules in addition to the Compulsory Part.


The coverage of each assessment was in close alignment with what had been taught. The level of difficulty also increased progressively in the course of three years. For example, the writing paper for the first term of S4 only comprised a short writing task similar to Part A of the Writing Paper of the HKDSE English Language examination. After the electives were implemented in the second term of S4, an extended writing task on the Elective Part (i.e. Part B) was also included in subsequent internal examinations. The topics and text-types assessed were based on what had been covered in the Compulsory and Elective Parts of the school-based curriculum.

Assessment for learning

The panel’s efforts in using

assessment to improve

learning/teaching were guided by the principle of aligning learning goals, learning/teaching activities and assessments. To illustrate how this translates into classroom practices, the strategies teachers adopted in the design and delivery of a unit on “Job Hunting”

in the elective module on Workplace Communication are detailed below.

carefully planned such that enough time is allocated to learning/teaching. There is only one UT at S5 as students’

progress of learning can also be assessed by SBA.

Considerations: Teachers were aware of the need to prepare students for the HKDSE English Language examination.

However, they also saw the need to align assessment with learning/teaching and to avoid de-motivating students by engaging them in exam-oriented practices earlier than necessary.


Adjusting the coverage and demand of the internal examination papers according to the learning/teaching programmes for each term ensures that students are assessed on what they have learnt and that the assessments are pitched at the right level based on students’ progress over the three years.

Considerations: The panel valued the beneficial backwash of assessments which enhanced learning and teaching. They made an effort to closely examine the formative assessment tasks to see if they aligned with the learning/teaching materials and strategies through peer lesson observations and discussions. It was found that improvements in teachers’

questioning techniques and the provision of quality feedback were necessary in order to effectively promote assessment for learning.

Feature Strategy

Planning and materials development

The learning goals for the unit were set with reference to students’ needs and previous learning. Learning activities and formative assessments (including self and peer feedback) were designed in alignment with the learning goals.

Considerations: Teachers found from their peer lesson observations that some formative assessment tasks did not align with what was taught. For example, the focus of an S4 lesson was the past perfect tense. However, as formative assessment, a general grammar quiz which did not focus on the use of the past perfect tense was given to students. Since it was merely an exercise extracted from a grammar book out of convenience, it hardly served the lesson objective. To avoid similar situations from arising, the panel therefore tried to plan the unit on

“Job Hunting” collaboratively so that teachers could exchange their views on how the learning goals, learning activities and assessment criteria could better align.


Learning and teaching

The learning goals were shared with students.

The teacher introduced to students the learning goals at the beginning of the unit and highlighted them in the course of it, where necessary, in order to make sure that students were clear about what they were learning and why.

Review time for feedback and reflection was built into the entire process of learning and teaching. Before students attempted the main task, i.e. the job application letter, a series of sub-tasks were conducted to familiarise students with different aspects of business letter writing such as content appropriateness, structure, format, paragraph organisation and language. Between each sub-task, opportunities were provided for teachers to check students’ understanding and for students to reflect on what they had learnt through careful use of questions which were focussed and relevant to what had been taught. Teachers also provided instant feedback in class to let students know whether they had achieved a firm grasp of the subject matter. Where necessary, they provided further support to enhance students’

learning, such as clarifying students’

misperceptions, re-teaching aspects which they found challenging, as well as pinpointing areas that required more work in order that they achieve the learning goals.

Opportunities were provided to promote partnership between students and between teacher and students. Before students wrote the job application letter on their own, students were asked to work in groups and draft one paragraph for the letter. A whole-class discussion was then conducted for students and the teacher to comment on the selected students’ work and make

Linking the learning goals with the activities and the assessment criteria ensures that students are assessed on what they have been taught.

Considerations: Teachers might have set learning goals based on students’ needs but they did not often share or revisit the goals with students. As learning/teaching progressed, students easily lost sight of what and why they were learning and were not motivated to complete the learning tasks.

Sharing and revisiting the learning goals with students facilitates students’ understanding of the connection between learning and assessment.

Through the latter, they recognise how well they have achieved the learning goals.

Communicating the learning goals to students gives them a clear sense of purpose in attempting the learning tasks as well as opportunities to reflect on what they have learnt.

Considerations: Teachers found that end-of-unit/module assessments might not be the most effective in helping teachers to identify areas students did not fully understand, particularly in more complicated or challenging tasks, e.g. formal letter writing. To address this, teachers broke tasks into sub-tasks and reserved time for reviewing students’ learning progress at small intervals.

Building in review time in between each sub-task ensures that: 1) timely feedback could be provided; 2) students could have time to reflect on their own learning; and 3) students’ progress is on the right track.

Considerations: Students of the school were mostly passive and reliant on teachers’ input. Opportunities for students to work with their peers in learning and evaluation were considered by the panel as a useful means to help students to become independent learners.

This allows the class to become participatory, drawing on the experience of both the teacher and students. During the discussion, the teacher invited


suggestions for improvement.

The use of self and peer assessment forms was encouraged in some of the learning activities. For example, students were asked to reflect on their own learning and give feedback to their peers against the assessment criteria in the self and peer assessment forms for the letter writing task (Appendices 7-8). How the assessment forms should be used was explained to students beforehand. The different focuses of the self and peer assessment forms were also highlighted to students.

Teacher feedback was given to students on the final draft of the job application letter. Apart from highlighting the specific language problems in the students’ written work, the teacher also made use of a feedback sheet to comment holistically on their performance, covering not only the area of language but also the areas of content and organisation (Appendices 9a-9b).

feedback from students and focussed on instructional rather than correctional aspects of feedback, which helped students to understand how they could make improvements.

This provides an opportunity for students to participate in the learning and evaluation process.

Besides learning about their own strengths and weaknesses, students are encouraged to take greater responsibility for their own learning

Students also have the chance to attain a deepened understanding of the assessment criteria.

Different instead of identical focuses in the self and peer assessments enable students to see the value of their peers’ feedback on improving their own learning.

Considerations: Teachers understood their job as a role-model of the English Language for their students.

They were also aware of students’ expectations for them to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and to give them suggestions for improvement. The panel therefore decided to provide students with timely feedback in both verbal and written forms more often to help students to enhance their English.

Through the teacher’s encouragement and constructive criticism, students gain insights into their strengths and the areas where improvements can be made when they are to do similar tasks in future, e.g.

in internal examinations.

Evaluating and improving learning/

teaching using public assessment data

In addition to the internal assessment data, students’ performance in public assessments helped the panel to evaluate and plan the curriculum and assessment. For instance, there was a downward trend in students’ writing and speaking performance in the HKCE English Language examinations in 2008 and 2009. An evaluation of the curriculum conducted by the panel suggested that these students had limited exposure to good models of writing, a small vocabulary and weaknesses in spelling. Teachers of the cohorts sitting for the HKDSE examinations in 2010 and 2011 therefore selected more well-written

Considerations: Public assessment data provided objective information on students’ performance. Complementing other useful sources of information, e.g.

lesson observations, teachers’ and students’

reflections, they had always facilitated the panel’s evaluation of various aspects of the school-based curriculum. The panel agreed that the use of such data should be continued.


The school makes good use of assessment data to inform the design of the school-based curriculum.


The school flexibly adapts the curriculum to respond to students’

strengths and weaknesses revealed in the assessment data so as to better cater for their learning needs.


texts for students to read in the Compulsory Part and provided more speaking opportunities in the lessons for SBA. At the junior secondary level, an English Reading Programme and phonics elements were built into the curriculum to increase students’

exposure to both non-fictional and fictional texts, to enrich students’

vocabulary as well as to enhance their understanding of letter-sound relationship to help them to spell and read more effectively.

Reflective questions:

Are assessments of and for learning included in the three-year assessment plan for your school? Why or why not?

How do you make use of the assessment data to inform your school-based curriculum and learning/teaching practices?

Do you develop learning and teaching activities and assessment tasks based on the learning goals you have set?

Do you provide opportunities for students to participate in the evaluation process? Do you give them timely and constructive feedback?


Secondary 5 English – Second Term Scheme of Work (2010-2011) for the Less Advanced Classes (5ABD)

Date &

Module/Th eme



4 Writing


6 Grammar L

3 Listening L

6 Speaking L 2

SBA (Part A &



2 Elective Part

L 8

24/1 - 4/3

(22 school days)

(1) SA Unit 5:

Animals and Habitats Task 1: Writing an article about an endangered animal

- Pre-reading:

SA(Q&A) P.2 - Reading

Comprehension & Ex.:

SA(RB) P.2-4 SA(Q&A) P.4-5 - Vocabulary:

SA(Q&A) P.6 - Grammar:

SA (Q&A) P.7-8 - Integrated Listening:

SA(RB) P.5 SA(Q&A) P.9 (2) Newspaper Cutting # (3) i-Learner 

4 Writing (5)

***Proposal ▼

& Corrections:

200 words SA (Q&A) P.18-19 [Ref on PP2:


6 Advice, suggestions

& offers:

GU(B) Unit 21 P.177-184

3 1. CEP Set 1 Paper 3 2. Online TV

News  (Optional)

6 1. CEP Set 1 Paper 4 2. PP4 Test Paper 5 (P.110-115)



Go through

‘Freaky Friday’

2 2nd Elective Module:

Social Issues 8

Symbols: *** Common genres for more advanced and less advanced classes (will be tested in exams)

*Assignment with self-learning elements  Self-learning assignment

# Task for developing in-depth learning strategies ▼ Process Writing

Remarks: 1. For suggested lesson plans on Reading, please refer to SA Teacher’s Edition Teaching Guides & Resources 2. For writing, teachers should adjust the order of the writing tasks themselves

3. Total no. of lessons for 2nd Elective Module: 16 (Elective) + 6 (Writing) + 2 (SBA) = 24 lessons (i.e. approx 14 hours) 4. Total no. of lessons for 3rd Elective Module: 8 (Elective) + 2 (SBA) = 10 lessons (i.e. approx 5 hours)


SA (Step Ahead 4B) ESP (Exam Skills Plus)

SA(RB) (Reading Booklet) GU(B) (Grammar & Usage Set B) SA(Q&A) (Question & Answer Booklet)

PP2 (Performance Plus Paper 2) CEP (Complete Exam Practice) PP4 (Performance Plus Paper 4)

Appendix 1


Job Hunting Unit Outline


You are a job seeker. You have enrolled for a course organised by a career coaching agency which prepares young people for job seeking. In the course, you will be trained on how to search for jobs from job ads, apply for jobs and prepare for job interviews.

The coach of the course requires you to complete the following tasks:

1. searching for a job suitable for yourself;

2. writing a curriculum vitae (CV) and a job application letter; and 3. preparing for job interviews.

Tasks: Completing three training tasks for job seeking

Task 1: (4 lessons)

Job Search

Task 2: (7 lessons)

Job Application

Task 3: (7 lessons)

Job Interviews

1. Reading and understanding sample job ads 2. Playing games to

understand job duties and requirements 3. Searching for

jobs from various sources

1. Studying sample CVs and job application letters

2. Writing a CV 3. Writing a job

application letter

1. Predicting questions that are asked at interviews 2. Preparing

responses to possible questions at interviews 3. Watching video

clips on job interview etiquette and skills

4. Role-playing a job interview

Appendix 2


Appendix 3 Job Interview Procedures

First Round (Lesson 16):

1. Students take up the role they have set for themselves in Task 1. Ask students to form groups of 3-4 (making it up to 8 groups in total). In each group, students take turns to be the interviewer and interviewee. Every interviewer will ask the interviewee one question. While the interviewee is answering the questions, all the interviewers will assess his/her performance with the peer assessment form (WS 3e).

2. Each group chooses the best interviewee to enter the second round interview. There should be 8 best interviewees in total.


Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Fill in the blanks as you listen. You will be given 30 seconds to study the notes.

Notes on writing a CV

The words below may be useful for you when you fill in the blanks for Parts A & B:

extra-curricular (adj) capitalise employer

qualifications nationality marital status

application avoid (v) reverse chronological (adj)

A. Reasons for writing a CV:

i. It is the first step to present yourself to a potential _________________.

In other words, it opens the door to a __________ interview.

ii. It helps focus your mind on your ______________ points.

iii. It gives something to refer to when you write your ____________________________

______________ later.

Catering for LD:

Vocabulary support is provided. The teacher may need to explain the meaning of these words before students do the listening activity.

Catering for LD:

The teacher could go over the worksheet with students before the listening activity to ensure they know what to listen for and, where necessary, explain the rubrics. The audio recording could also be played twice to help students to get the answers. Alternatively, the students could listen to a recording whose pace is slightly slower.

Appendix 4a

Version A

(For less advanced students)


B. Layout of a CV:

Curriculum Vitae ______________________ DETAILS:







Professional ___________________________






___________ the headings or when beginning a sentence.

Do not write personal ________________

like “your weight” or “your height”.

Begin the sentence with __________


Do not use personal pronouns such as ____.

_________ your CV. Avoid writing your CV in _____-writing.

Always proofread your CV. Avoid making ______________ mistakes.

Write ______________ and concise sentences.

Do not write more than _____ pages.

Write in __________________ order. Do not exaggerate.

Catering for LD:

Prompts are provided in the table to help students with less advanced note-taking skills.

Appendix 4a


Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Fill in the blanks as you listen. You will be given 30 seconds to study the notes.

Notes on writing a CV

A. Reasons for writing a CV:

i. It is the first step to present yourself to a potential _________________.

In other words, it opens the door to a __________ interview.

ii. It helps focus your mind on your ______________ points.

iii. It gives something to refer to when you write your ____________________________

______________ later.

Catering for LD:

The teacher could ask students to read through the worksheet before listening to the recording. They could ask the teacher questions to clarify the task requirements to ensure they know what to listen for.

Catering for LD:

Students could be asked to come up with one or two more reasons for writing a CV, e.g. to keep a good record of one’s academic and work experience.

Appendix 4b

Version B

(For more advanced students)

Catering for LD:

Vocabulary support for Parts A and B is withheld.


B. Layout of a CV:

Curriculum Vitae ______________________ DETAILS:







Professional ___________________________






___________ the headings or when _________________________________.

Do not write ________________________

like “your weight” or “your height”.

Begin the sentence with


Do not use personal pronouns such as ____.

_________ your CV. Avoid writing your CV in _____-writing.

Always proofread your CV. Avoid making __________________


Write ______________ and


Do not write more than ________________.

Write in __________________ order. Do not exaggerate.

Catering for LD:

Students could be asked to predict the answers for the blanks above and check them as they listen. Fewer prompts are provided in the table as students are considered to possess good note-taking skills.

Appendix 4b


Writing a CV (Tapescript)

Now, let me start the workshop by asking, “Why do you need to write a CV?”

When you apply for a job, it is best to start by writing your CV as it is the first step to present yourself to a potential employer. If the employer likes you after reading your CV, you will be arranged a job interview. Moreover, as you are writing your CV, this will help focus your mind on your strong points.

Certainly, it will also help you have something to refer to when you later write your application letter.

As you have already known the importance of a good CV, what kinds of information should be included in a CV? Now, let’s take a look at the layout of a CV.

To start with, “curriculum vitae” should be put at the top, middle of the page. The letters “C” and “V”

should be written in block letters. A CV is also called a “resume”. It is spelt “r-e-s-u-m-e”.

Regarding the content, the first thing you should write is about yourself, your personal details. Your personal details include a lot of information. Certainly, the first thing you should put down is your name, followed by sex. If you are a boy, write male; if you are a girl, write female. You should also include your telephone number, either your home or mobile phone number, or both. Write the one that can reach you easily. So writing your mobile phone number is preferred. It is necessary to tell the potential employer where you live and when you were born. Therefore, your date of birth and home address should be written in your personal details as well. Got it? date… of ….birth …and home address... What else? Let me see… your nationality and your place of birth are important. Write nationality and place of birth on the right hand side. Do you know what your nationality is? My nationality is Chinese as I was born in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. I have the legal right to be a citizen of Hong Kong, which is my birth place.

Work address and marital status are optional. It is up to you whether to include them or not. They are not necessary information. I think none of you are married or divorced, right? Hahaha… so, if you want to show this information on your C.V., under marital status, you should write “single”, which means you are not married yet.

After writing your personal details, there should be a number of other sections in the CV. Depending on your experience, some are necessary while some are optional.

Let me tell you all the possible sections first. I will explain the details later. There are eight possible sections. The first one is education, second, extra-curricular-activities, third, work experience, fourth, professional qualifications, fifth, skills, sixth, languages, seventh, referees, and the last one is availability.

Appendix 4c


Now, let’s move on to discuss what we should and should not do when writing a CV. Regarding the content, as I have mentioned before, personal details are important and necessary personal information included in the CV. But remember, do not write personal information like your weight or your height. It is related to you but irrelevant to a CV.

Other than the content, I’d like to draw your attention to some language points when writing a CV.

Always capitalise the headings or when beginning a sentence. Begin the sentence with action words but don’t use personal pronouns like “I”. Certainly, it is always good to type your CV. In other words, writing your CV in handwriting should be avoided.

As it is the first step to present yourself to a potential employer, always proofread your CV. Avoid making spelling mistakes. Write short and concise sentences. Do not write more than 2 pages. Regarding your education and experience, write in reverse chronological order. Do not exaggerate.

Appendix 4c


Exemplary Student’s Work Appendix 5

Letter adopting an overall appropriate format and layout

A concise opening paragraph mentioning the job the writer is applying for and the source of his information about the job

The writer’s educational background and work experience clearly organised into paragraphs


Appendix 5

Demonstration of ability to use language to emphasise what the writer can offer the company

An effective closing with a clear and specific request for an interview


Use the job ad and role card given below, each group writes one paragraph of a job application letter assigned by your coach.

Job ad ABC Education Company Part-time tutors for primary pupils

We are looking for part-time tutors to work in Yuen Long and Tuen Mun.


 Have completed Form 7

 Good grades in English and Chinese in the HKCEE

 Enjoy working with children

 Work in the evening and at weekends

 Experience in tutoring preferred

To apply, please write to GPO Box 2000, Hong Kong.

SCMP, 13th May 2008

Role Card Name : Alex Ma

Age : 20

Academic Qualifications: F.7 Graduate

HKCEE (2005) English Language (Syllabus B) – C

Chinese Language – C Mathematics – D History – D Geography – E Chinese History – C Economics – E HKALE (2007) Use of English – D

Chinese Language and Culture – C Chinese History – D

History – E

Relevant experience: Homework Tutor for F.1 students at Kowloon Secondary School (2003-2006)

Appendix 6


Self-assessment Form

Appendix 7


Peer Assessment Form

Appendix 8


Teacher’s Written Feedback (I)

Appendix 9a


Teacher’s Written Feedback (II)

Appendix 9b




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