The LPATE 1
Proficiency Levels 2
General Description 4
Test Taking Strategies 4
Sample Reading Paper 5
Sample Reading Paper – Suggested Answers 21
Scores and Proficiency Levels for Sample Reading Paper 24
General Description 25
Part 1: Composition 25
Test Taking Strategies for Part 1 25
LPATE Performance Descriptors: Writing (Part 1: Composition) 26
Sample Writing (Part 1) Task 27
Sample Writings and Assessment 28
Part 2: Correcting and Explaining Errors/Problems in a Student’s Composition 32
Test Taking Strategies for Part 2 32
Sample Writing (Part 2) Tasks 33
Sample Writing (Part 2) Tasks – Suggested Answers 39
Scores and Proficiency Levels for Sample Writing (Part 2) Tasks 40
General Description 41
Test Taking Strategies 41
Sample Listening Paper 43
Sample Listening Paper – Suggested Answers 65
Scores and Proficiency Levels for Sample Listening Paper 68
General Description 69
Test Taking Strategies 70
LPATE Performance Descriptors: Speaking 71
Sample Speaking Paper 74
CLASSROOM LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT 78
General Description 78
Advice to Candidates 78
LPATE Performance Descriptors: Classroom Language Assessment 80
Language) (LPATE) for candidates, administrators and other users. It outlines the key features of the LPATE from the 2011 administration onward and replaces the Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers (English Language) Handbook (October 2007).
The Handbook contains a description of each component of the LPATE, sample papers, suggested answers and exemplar performances to help candidates to better understand the requirements of the 2011 and subsequent administrations of the LPATE. The Handbook is accompanied by a CD containing a recording of the sample Listening paper and a DVD containing recordings of sample performances of the Speaking paper and the Classroom Language Assessment.
The objective of the LPATE is to provide an objective reference against which the language proficiency of primary/secondary English teachers can be gauged.
The LPATE is a standards-referenced assessment in which the same sets of scales and descriptors as well as criteria for determining grades are applied to all candidates, i.e. candidates are not compared against each other.
Candidates must satisfy the entry requirements as stipulated by the Education Bureau and the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority.
The five papers in the LPATE are:
1. Reading 2. Writing 3. Listening 4. Speaking
5. Classroom Language Assessment
Participating candidates are assessed by three pen-and-paper tests, a speaking assessment, and in their use of classroom language. Please refer to the respective sections for detailed explanations of the specific language skill areas to be assessed.
Candidates can apply to sit up to five papers in each administration of the Assessment.
In the assessment of Writing (Part 1: Composition), Speaking and Classroom Language, the assessors use scales and descriptors. The assessment of performance in these three papers involves the use of more than one scale. When using a scale, an assessor will award, based on the performance of a candidate, a number from 1 to 5, indicating the ability level demonstrated on a scale.
Level 5 is the highest proficiency level a candidate can attain on a scale, and Level 1 the lowest. A candidate is considered to have reached the required level of proficiency (i.e. Level 3) in each of the above papers / part of the paper if he or she has attained at least ‘2.5’ or above on any one scale and
‘3’ or above on all other scales in the relevant papers. For each of the scales in papers involving two assessors, it is possible for a non-integer score (e.g. ‘2.5’) to be awarded to a candidate because the proficiency level awarded is the average of the grades from two assessors.1
For the assessment of Reading, Writing (Part 2: Correcting and Explaining Errors/Problems in a Student’s Composition) and Listening, which does not involve the use of scales and descriptors (see Note below), a candidate is considered to have satisfied the language proficiency requirement if he or she has achieved an overall ‘3’ or above in each of the relevant papers / part of the paper.
The language proficiency requirement for each paper can thus be summarised as below:-
Paper Language Proficiency Requirement
Reading Level 3 or above
Composition At least ‘2.5’ or above on any one scale and ‘3’
or above on the other two scales AND
Writing Correcting and Explaining
Errors/Problems in a Student’s Composition
‘3’ or above on each scale
Listening Level 3 or above
Speaking At least ‘2.5’ or above on any one scale and ‘3’
or above on all the other scales
Classroom Language Assessment At least ‘2.5’ or above on any one scale and ‘3’
or above on all the other scales
Note: Scales and descriptors are not used in the assessment of Reading, Writing (Part 2: Correcting and Explaining Errors/Problems in a Student’s Composition) and Listening, because these components are made up of relatively large sets of discrete items. The proficiency levels to be
1 The Writing (Part 1: Composition) component employs Rasch modelling techniques in order to arrive at a Fair Average score for each candidate on each scale of performance. The Rasch model takes into account factors such as task difficulty and assessor characteristics. The fair averaging procedure may also give rise to non-integer scores.
measurement independent of variations in the ability of test-takers and the difficulty level of different test items used in different sittings of assessment.) Expert judgement involves experts in the field reviewing the test content in combination with the information about item and test difficulty provided by the Rasch statistical analysis in order to relate marks on the test to levels of performance and ability.
Paper format The Reading paper consists of three parts.
Timing 1 hour 30 minutes
No. of questions 40 – 50
Question types Including but not limited to: open-ended short answer, sentence- completion, gap-fill, table or diagram completion, multiple choice and true-false.
Answer format Candidates write their answers in a Question-Answer Book.
Text input Three texts of a combined word length of 1,500 to 2,000 words. These texts may be of various types, including narratives, arguments, descriptions, dialogues and explanations. They represent types of text that English teachers typically read for both teaching and professional development purposes.
Marks Each question carries one or more marks. The number of marks available for each question is stated.
Test Taking Strategies
The paper is marked according to a marking scheme. The total marks gained by each candidate are then accorded a proficiency level (1 to 5). The proficiency levels are determined by two methods, as described on pages 2 and 3.
Candidates may wish to adopt the following strategies:
• Plan the time they wish to allocate to each section.
• Read each passage before attempting the questions.
• Attempt to answer all questions.
• Refer to the text for answers rather than try to guess from personal knowledge or experience.
• Write concise answers that, wherever possible, summarise or paraphrase the information contained in the text. Sometimes the words in the text may form the most appropriate answer;
however, candidates should not copy irrelevant sections of the text.
Candidates should recognise that reading widely is beneficial to the development of language skills and will help improve their performance in the Assessment. Reading on educational matters pertaining to English teaching is very useful but candidates should also read texts on topics of common interest that they might use for classroom teaching.
Sources for reading texts may include popular interest magazines, opinion pieces in the media, newspaper reports, letters to the editor, essays, news on commercial websites and personal blogs, among others.
A sample Reading paper, together with reading passages and suggested answers, is given on the following pages.
S a m p l e Re a d i n g P a p e r
Passage A Please answer the following questions. You may use words from the passage or your own words except where explicitly stated. You do not have to answer each question in complete sentences but make sure that your answers are full enough and coherent enough for the assessor to understand.
Why is this picture of the earth included in the passage?
(1 mark) 1.
Which of these is closest in meaning to ‘to fret about’ (line 5)? Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D
A. to ignore
B. to take action on C. to occupy their minds D. to be enthusiastic about
What attitude to environmentalists does the first paragraph suggest? Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D
A. They underestimate the issues raised.
B. They are acting responsibly.
C. They should be taken seriously.
D. They focus on too many things.
What does ‘frugal’ as used in line 8 mean? Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D
A. wasteful B. economical C. inexpensive D. careful
5. What comparison is made in the second paragraph?
Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
‘All that said’ (line 12) means the same as (1 mark)
A B C D
A. Moreover B. Besides
C. On the contrary D. Nevertheless
What expression could best be used instead of ‘gobble up’ (line 15)? Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D E
A. save B. waste C. consume D. provide E. increase
8. In the paragraph beginning on line 14, what point is made about servers in America?
Use YOUR OWN WORDS. (1 mark)
9. What does the word ‘generation’ (line 18) imply about servers?
10. Find a synonym for ‘juice’ (line 20) used in the passage.
11. What does ‘The trend’ (line 22) refer to?
12. What recommendation do IT consultants give their clients?
What does the paragraph beginning on line 34 imply about energy awareness in most companies?
Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D
A. It is an issue important to all.
B. The issue is dealt with inefficiently.
C. The issue affects inter-departmental relationships.
D. Involvement in the issue is never rewarded.
What does the passage imply that employees do with old e-mails? (lines 41-42) Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D
A. They often forget to archive them.
B. They would rather not archive them.
C. They archive them automatically.
D. They often think archiving them is unnecessary.
What expression could best be used instead of ‘By the same token’ (line 38)? Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D
A. On the other hand B. Secondly
C. Actually D. Similarly
16. What does ‘since the year dot’ (line 42) imply?
17. State whether you think that ‘The gigabyte guzzlers’ is a good title for this passage by ticking () one of the options below.
Whichever option you have chosen, you must now explain your answer, referring to the passage.
Passage B Please answer the following questions. You may use words from the passage or your own words except where explicitly stated. You do not have to answer each question in complete sentences but make sure that your answers are full enough and coherent enough for the assessor to understand.
18. What does ‘bracing themselves for’ (lines 4-5) mean in this passage?
19. What does the word ‘surge’ (line 6) imply in this passage?
What does the first paragraph imply about astrologers? Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D
A. Everyone consults one.
B. Most people do not trust them.
C. They are irrelevant to modern day life.
D. They offer greatly varying predictions.
What does the second paragraph imply about the year 2006? Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D
A. It was not auspicious.
B. There were 120,000 births in Beijing.
C. It was more auspicious than 2007.
D. There were 50,000 more births than expected.
What expression could best be used instead of ‘stem the influx’ (line 23)? Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D
A. solve the problem
B. reduce numbers of arrivals C. protect Hong Kong people D. make things harder
23. According to the paragraph beginning on line 26, why will China not change its one-child policy?
24. ‘China's top family-planning official, Zhang Weiqing, said last month that given the current bulge in the number of people reaching childbearing age, the government would not relax its one-child policy.’ (lines 26-29)
Explain why you think ‘bulge’ is a good word to use when talking about the number of people reaching child-bearing age.
25. What is meant by ‘a correction’ (line 31)?
26. What irony is implied in the passage, relating to children born in auspicious years, such as the year of the dragon or pig?
27. What does the last paragraph imply about superstition?
Use YOUR OWN WORDS. (1 mark)
28. What does ‘to be heeded’ (lines 41-42) mean? Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D
A. to be obeyed B. to be noticed C. to be ignored D. to be expected
Passage C Please answer the following questions. You may use words from the passage or your own words except where explicitly stated. You do not have to answer each question in complete sentences but make sure that your answers are full enough and coherent enough for the assessor to understand.
29. According to the passage, why is it unrealistic to ‘stamp out bullying’ (line 2)?
Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
The expression ‘knee-jerk reaction’ (line 2) implies
A B C D
A. a painful procedure.
B. unthinking behaviour.
C. careful behaviour.
D. a bending of rules.
31. What TWO ideas are expressed in the sentence ‘Not limited to our own species, bullying has been with us since the dawn of mankind’ (lines 4-5)?
Use YOUR OWN WORDS. (2 marks) (a)
32. Which word in the passage is the best synonym for ‘protagonists’ (line 9)?
What difficulty is discussed in the paragraph beginning on line 8? Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D E
A. structuring lessons outside the classroom B. correctly interpreting students’ behaviour C. students defending themselves against bullies D. seeing bullying as harmless fun
E. keeping an eye on easy targets
34. What are the ‘undercurrents’ (line 13)?
35. List TWO dangers of making the wrong decision in cases of bullying mentioned in the passage.
Explain the meaning of the expressions underlined as used in this passage.
Use YOUR OWN WORDS. (2 marks) (a) ‘it could be my head on the block’ (line 17)
(b) ‘Doing what is right in relation to bullying is not an exact science.’ (line 19)
37. What does the word ‘stampede’ (line 23) imply about bullying policies?
38. What makes ‘Anonymity in the classroom … less likely’ (line 28)?
What is the best expression to replace ‘ward off’ (line 31)? Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
A B C D
A. punish B. prevent C. minimise D. recognise
40. What does ‘this’ (line 33) refer to?
41. According to the author, there are various practical things authorities could do to reduce bullying.
List THREE of his suggestions.
42. What is the writer’s purpose in referring to ‘other professionals’ (line 35)?
43. Why does the author end the paragraph beginning on line 33 with ‘If … If …’?
44. Blacken one circle to indicate your answer.
‘I’m not trying to exploit the issue of bullying by hitching it onto the wagon of teachers’
rights.’ (line 40). This sentence means that the author thinks that
A B C D
A. bullying and teachers’ rights are separate issues.
B. bullying leads to teachers being exploited.
C. teachers’ rights are less important than bullying.
D. teachers’ rights and bullying are closely linked.
45. State what you think is the author’s attitude to bullying policies by ticking () one of the options below.
(a) He thinks they are helpful. (b) He thinks they are useless.
(c) He thinks they are of limited value.
Whichever option you have chosen, you must now explain your answer, referring to the passage.
End of Paper
The Gigabyte Guzzlers
FOR environmentalists who worry already how often they fly, how much rubbish they throw out and what sort of groceries they buy, here is something else to fret about: how much power that computer over there is using, even as 5
it browses the Greenpeace website.
Relax: the main problem is not the computer you keep at home. Most of those are fairly frugal. A typical desktop and monitor together use perhaps 150 watts, and in “sleep” mode the consumption could be as little as 20 watts. An electric oven uses several thousand.
If you want to cut power consumption (whether to save the planet or to save money), look 10
first to air-conditioning, heating and hot water, and then to the efficiency of appliances.
All that said, turning a computer off at night would certainly do no harm (though it might not be best for the computer).
The gas-guzzlers of the computer world are the big servers that big firms use to store big data.
They gobble up 4% of all electricity consumed in America according to Logicalis, an IT 15
And their ranks are swelling fast. The number of servers in the world has doubled since 2000.
Each new generation of servers is bigger and more power-hungry than the last.
They consume more power, they generate more heat, they demand more air-conditioning that sucks up yet more juice. As much as 70% of the power used by a typical firm in a service 20
industry is due to its servers, says Tom Kelly, the boss of Logicalis.
The trend is not lost on the biggest names in the tech business. On January 27th, both Intel and IBM announced separately that they had found ways to make computer chips much more energy-efficient. Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft are all building server farms near hydroelectric plants to ensure cheap, reliable power supplies. Chip-makers such as AMD and 25
Intel have begun to tout not only the raw processing power of their wares, but also the processing power per watt.
Even America’s government is in on the act. Last year, Congress passed a law ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to tackle power-hungry servers. The Department of Energy is also trying to help tech firms cut their electricity bills.
On top of any technological fixes, there are organisational ones. It takes as much power to run an empty server as a full one. Consultants are queuing up to explain to firms how to get more out of their machines ― or get rid of them altogether, by outsourcing data management.
But at most companies, the people buying the computers and the people paying the power bills do not have much to do with one another. Even if the geeks in IT did look into the 35
operating costs of gadgets before they bought them, the finance guys in the corporate suite probably would not even notice, much less reward, the effort.
By the same token, the employee saving data to a shared drive probably does not know where the server room is located, let alone what goes on there. Endless out-of-date Power Point
presentations, forgotten staff memos and internet downloads hum on in the dark for ever.
Perfectly thrifty employees, who would not dream of leaving the lights on when they go home for the night, do not think twice about archiving all their e-mails since the year dot.
Companies and consultants have spent 20 years reminding workers to back up the data they need. It may be time now for an offsetting reminder, not to back up the stuff that is done with.
© The Economist Newspaper Limited, London (29 January 2007).
The golden pig cohort
As China enters an auspicious year, the birth rate is expected to soar HOSPITALS across China are bracing
themselves for what is expected to be a 5
surge of babies born in the year of the pig, which starts on February 18th. Pig years, which occur every 12 years, are considered auspicious. But the coming one, or so many believe, will be especially fortunate since it 10
is not just a pig but a golden pig, the first in 60 or even 600 years, depending on which astrologer one consults.
China's state-owned media have carried
numerous stories of gynaecologists struggling to cope with unusual numbers of expectant 15
women. Life Times, a weekly newspaper, quoted an official as saying that Beijing alone could see 170,000 births this year, 50,000 more than in 2006 (quite an auspicious year itself). The increase is partly the result of a mini-baby boom in the 1980s, which was in turn caused by a boom two decades earlier. But officials say the golden pig has much to answer for.
In recent years, Hong Kong has become a magnet for urban Chinese women trying to evade 20
China's strict one-child policy and enjoy better standards of hospital care (often free since many leave without paying their bills). But those hoping for a golden pig baby in Hong Kong will face difficulties. To stem the influx, Hong Kong introduced new rules on February 1st requiring mainland women who are more than seven months pregnant to prove they have a hospital booking in the territory before they can cross the border.
China's top family-planning official, Zhang Weiqing, said last month that given the current bulge in the number of people reaching childbearing age, the government would not relax its one-child policy. This will probably mean that the golden pig's impact on the birth rate will be 30
followed by a correction once the auspicious period is over (next year is also being tipped as lucky, what with the Olympics and all).
But problems are bound to arise as the golden pig cohort reaches school age. In some parts of China, children born 35
in 2000, the year of the dragon (also very auspicious, as suggested by the chart), are already facing stiffer than usual competition for places. In Shanghai last week, deputies to the local legislature's advisory body called on
city planners to start taking account of auspicious years when considering education demand.
They also appealed to citizens to abandon superstition, but that is much less likely to be heeded.
© The Economist Newspaper Limited, London (8 February 2007).
Bullying: The view from the classroom
RECENT calls to ‘stamp out bullying’ are an unrealistic, knee-jerk reaction to the threat of litigation that hangs over all schools. Bullying is partly a consequence of human nature and partly to do with the environment in which it occurs. Not limited to our own species, bullying has been with us since the dawn of mankind.
As a teacher, it is part of my job description to counsel both victims and tormenters; to punish the latter if their crime warrants such treatment.
From a teacher's perspective, it's not always easy to distinguish genuine instances of bullying from harmless fun where one of the protagonists has gone a little too far. Naturally, we keep an eye on those students who are likely to be easy targets and those who tend to be the 10
catalysts of trouble. However, the social dynamics of any given class are very complex; with so much interaction between students outside the formal lesson structure, even the most experienced teacher can fail to read the undercurrents correctly.
It can be a tough call at times - to act, or to keep my distance so as to prevent the victim becoming more isolated from their peers than they already are. Is it a one-off incident that 15
can be dealt with in the classroom, or is there a pattern of behaviour I should take heed of? If I get it wrong, then it could be my head on the block, no matter how well I've documented each incident or reported it to the appropriate authority.
Doing what is right in relation to bullying is not an exact science. Issues relating to gender, race, dress, physical appearance, peer pressure, and so on, all stand to complicate the matter.
Many schools have a ‘bullying policy’. Such policies are useful in that they serve to concentrate teacher and administration attention on the issues, and on the rights and responsibilities of all concerned. However, the recent stampede to impose policies statewide is born more out of a fear of court proceedings than a genuine desire to tackle some of the harder issues.
The best defence against bullying in schools is for teachers to know their students well. Small class sizes allow teachers to better know the characters of their students and develop stronger staff-student relationships. Anonymity in the classroom is less likely and, remembering that a significant percentage of bullying that takes place in a school context is outside the classroom, students are more likely to confide in their teachers when trouble is about. Teachers are more 30
likely to make the right decisions and, more often than not, ward off instances of bullying before they even occur.
But this happens only in a stable school environment, where teachers are familiar faces from year to year and, preferably, where the student population is not too large (over 500, say). If teachers were paid salaries more in line with other professionals who had done similar 35
amounts of training, perhaps a greater number would long to see out their working days in front of a blackboard; would harbour a desire to nurture a class through to their final exams.
If counselling services and teaching aides were perceived by those who pay as more than optional extras... If... If...
I'm not trying to exploit the issue of bullying by hitching it to the wagon of teachers' rights.
But I am trying to point out that there are obvious things that can be done to create a more caring environment in schools and hence reduce bullying.
Teachers have a greater role to play, but they need support.
Peter Hodge / Courtesy of The Age (27 January 2000).
Sample Reading Paper – Suggested Answers
The answers suggested here are for reference only. The answers are expressed in key phrases to show how marks are allocated. They are not always in complete sentences, nor are they intended to be the only possible, correct answers.
Full marks: 54 marks (Each answer carries 1 mark unless stated.)
1. because this is about the environment // the globe symbolises the environment // because power consumption threatens the world // it happens around the world/everywhere [Refers to the environment OR threat to the world from pollution OR it being a global phenomenon.]
2. C 3. D 4. B
5. between power used by your PC vs. your oven/other domestic appliances // how much power different things use // power used by computer while in use/working on it vs. sleep
mode/standby // power use difference between PC and electric oven
[Refers to comparison of power used by computer when in use or on standby OR between the computer and other appliances]
6. D 7. C
8. They use too much power/electricity.
9. They are changing/evolving. // They don’t last long. // There have been many different versions.
10. power // electricity // watts // energy // gas
11. using big servers // using too much power/electricity
12. outsource data management // employ other companies to store old data // how to get more out of their machines // delete unnecessary files permanently // update the machines where they store old data // use machines more efficiently
13. B 14. C
16. has been going on forever // has lasted a long time
17. Yes, the text is talking about computers and how much energy they need. // Yes, the title suggests computers are greedy (for energy/data). // Yes, it refers to the people storing unnecessary data. OR
No, the text isn’t talking about gigabytes but energy wasted. // No, waste of energy is not the computers’ fault but the big companies’.
18. preparing for // getting ready
19. a rise // a wave // up movement // boost // increase // boom // explosion 20. D
21. B 22. B
23. Because of the bulge in the number of people reaching child-bearing age. // To avoid another baby boom.
24. It’s humorous, means increase and also describes shape of pregnant woman // The same word describes the baby boom and an expecting woman’s belly. // It’s a pun. [2 marks]
It means that there is a large number. // There is a baby boom. // The number of people reaching child-bearing age increases sharply. [1 mark]
25. reduction in birth rate // fewer children // opposite of a boom
26. 2000 was an auspicious year but children born then are finding life harder than normal. // In some parts of China school places are hard to find for the ‘golden dragon’ children. // They are seen as lucky, but life can be tougher for them.
27. There’s no point in fighting it. // Superstition is stronger than policies. // Superstition is rooted firmly in Chinese culture.
29. Bullying has always been there. // Bullying is part of human nature.
31. Other species bully too. // Not only humans bully. AND Bullying has been around forever. [1 mark for each]
32. tormenter(s) // catalysts (of trouble) 33. B
34. tension between students // social dynamics (of a class) // implicit messages students send //
classroom behaviour which is not obvious
[Refers to behaviour or atmosphere which is/are hard to detect]
35. isolating the victim further // making life harder for the victim // not really helping the victim OR
putting own head on the block // being attacked by parents // teacher may be blamed OR
court proceedings // litigation // school could be sued // legal consequences [2 marks for any two; 1 mark for any one]
36. (a) I could be in trouble. // It could end badly for me. // I might be blamed for taking the wrong decision. // I could be criticized. // It could ruin my reputation.
(b) There’s not one right answer. // Bullying is a complex issue. // Bullying is always different. // There are many factors which influence it.
37. They are rushing to bring in the policies. // There’s not much thought put into the policies. // It matters more to have the policies than what they are. // They’re not really thinking about what they’re doing.
38. small class sizes // smaller schools 39. B
40. teachers knowing their students well // teachers making the right decisions with regard to bullying // students confiding in their teachers // teachers warding off bullying
41. smaller class sizes // better student-teacher relationships OR
higher salaries for teachers // motivated teachers OR
more counselling services OR
more teaching aides
[3 marks for any three; 2 marks for any two; 1 mark for any one]
42. to explain why teachers may not be committed to staying in their job // to suggest teachers should be valued more highly [2 marks] [Explains the purpose of comparing teachers to other professionals.]
to complain about teachers’ salaries // to show others are better off // to compare them [other professionals] with teachers [1 mark] [Refers only to salaries or general comparison between
teachers and other professionals, without explaining the purpose of this reference.]
43. Because he thinks these things will never happen. // Because he is frustrated. // It’s all hypothetical.
45. [Chooses (c) and explains ambivalence, referring to the text.]
He does find them useful, but is concerned about implementation. // They’re good in principle but the motives behind them aren’t right. // They help focus on the issues but bullying is hard to pinpoint and tackle. // They are the first step, but more needs to be done to minimize bullying. [3 marks]
[Chooses (b) and only refers to negative attitude.]
The motives behind the policies aren’t right. // Bullying is hard to pinpoint and tackle even with policies. // Policies can’t make teachers know students better. // Bullying is too complicated/complex. // To find one solution to bullying is not an exact science. [2 marks]
[Chooses (a) and only refers to positive attitude.]
Policies help focus on the issue. // Policies raise awareness of bullying. // Policies give
guidelines on what to do. // The policies tell teachers their rights and responsibilities. [1 mark]
Note: Answers marked with a slash (/) are alternatives within answers. Answers marked with a double slash (//) are complete alternative answers. Text in brackets ( ) is not essential.The
comments in square brackets [ ] provide general descriptions of the characteristics of the answers given here.
Scores and Proficiency Levels for Sample Reading Paper
With specific reference to the questions used for the sample paper on pages 5 to14 (with a total of 54 marks)*, the marks required for each proficiency level are given as follows:
Proficiency Level Marks (out of a total of 54)
5 44 marks or above
4 38 – 43 marks
3 24 – 37 marks
2 17 – 23 marks
1 16 marks or below
* The total marks and number of items in each Reading paper may differ.
Paper format The Writing paper consists of two parts.
Timing 2 hours
No. of tasks Part 1 consists of one task and Part 2 consists of two tasks.
Task types Part 1 requires candidates to write one text of about 400 words (e.g.
expository, narrative, descriptive, etc.) on a topic familiar to Hong Kong teachers (but not necessarily related to education).
Part 2 involves rewriting of excerpts from a student’s composition and completing written explanations of errors/problems by gap-filling.
Answer format Candidates write their answers in an Answer Book.
Text input For Part 1, a text of up to 200 words.
For Part 2, a student’s composition of approximately 300 words.
Marks For Part 1, scales and descriptors are used to judge performance.
For Part 2, each item carries one or more marks.
Part 1: Composition
Test Taking Strategies for Part 1
• A common problem is not completing all aspects of the task. Candidates should make sure they read the task instructions carefully and ascertain exactly what they are required to do. The instructions usually explain that there are a number of specific aspects of the overall task, all of which need to be completed.
• To avoid breakdowns in organisation and coherence, it is advisable to write a separate paragraph to deal with each topic. There should also be clear linkage between paragraphs by referring forwards or backwards in the text using cohesive devices such as appropriate conjunctions, pronouns, repetition or substitution of key words and phrases, and words such as ‘this’, ‘that’,
‘previously’, ‘next’, etc. Writing should be concise and should not include any unnecessary or irrelevant content.
• Candidates should make sure that they proofread their finished writing carefully to avoid such grammatical errors as poor sentence structure, incorrect subject-verb agreement, inconsistent or inaccurate use of singular and plural, poor word order, incorrect tenses, incorrect use of parts of speech (using an adjective instead of an adverb, or a noun instead of a verb, for example) and incorrect punctuation, as well as spelling mistakes. Clichés such as ‘widening their horizons’ or
‘taking golden opportunities’ should be avoided as they are frequently (mis)used and can lead to confusion.
• Candidates are advised to spend more time reading English texts of the kind described in the Reading section so as to increase their vocabulary, and to practise their writing. They should also be familiar with the basic structure of a coherent text.
LPATE Performance Descriptors: Writing (Part 1: Composition) 2
For Writing (Composition), candidates are assessed on the following three scales:
• Organisation and Coherence
• Grammatical and Lexical Accuracy and Range
• Task Completion
The following descriptors indicate what candidates are expected to be able to do at each level on this task.
5Organisation and Coherence Writes a completely coherent text such that ideas and information flow in a smooth and natural way. Makes use of appropriate language to ensure cohesion and logical links between ideas.
Grammatical and Lexical Accuracy and Range Demonstrates control over a range of grammatical structures and vocabulary, including idiomatic expressions.
Task Completion Addresses all elements of the task, with elaboration and illustration where appropriate.
4Organisation and Coherence Writes a coherent text such that ideas and information flow in a mostly smooth and natural way. Makes use of appropriate language to aid cohesion and logical links between ideas.
Grammatical and Lexical Accuracy and Range Demonstrates control over a range of grammatical structures and vocabulary, including idiomatic expressions, though with occasional mistakes.
Task Completion Addresses all elements of the task, with some elaboration and illustration.
3Organisation and Coherence Presents ideas and information in a generally clear way. Links ideas together using mostly appropriate language.
Grammatical and Lexical Accuracy and Range Demonstrates a limited control over grammatical structures and vocabulary.
Task Completion Completes the task with minor omissions.
2Organisation and Coherence Presents ideas and information in a way that makes it difficult for a reader to follow. Does not link ideas effectively.
Grammatical and Lexical Accuracy and Range Demonstrates a very limited control over grammatical structures and vocabulary.
Task Completion Fails to address one or more major requirements of the task.
1Organisation and Coherence Presents and links ideas and information in a way that is very difficult to understand.
Grammatical and Lexical Accuracy and Range Demonstrates no control over grammatical structures and vocabulary.
Task Completion Does not complete the task.
2 The descriptors are for illustrative purposes to help candidates to grasp the skills required at each level. They are a simplified version of the scales and descriptors used by assessors in the assessment of performance in the LPATE.
A sample Writing (Part 1: Composition) task is given below. This is followed by two samples of candidates’ writing on this task. Explanations of the key features of the samples are provided to help prospective candidates to better understand the requirements of this part of the Assessment.
Sample Writing (Part 1) Task
In Part 1, you are required to write a coherent text using accurate grammar. Please make sure you address all aspects of the task.
Read the following recollections about relationships.
I can remember doing an exercise once when I was training to be a teacher. We all had to cut up 20 pieces of paper into small bits and then write down on those slips of paper different ‘roles’ we had in our daily lives. For example for me I was
‘girlfriend’; ‘employee’; ‘student’; ‘sister’ etc. We then had to rank them in order of importance to ourselves.
This exercise really made me think about all the different kinds of relationships I have with those I encounter every day or on a regular basis. Some are close personal relationships and others are quite formal and distant. Some are family, some are friends. Some take up a lot of my time, others are not so time-consuming.
You have been asked to write a short article of about 400 words for a youth club magazine describing different relationships you have encountered as a young professional.
Describe at least three people in your life with whom you have very different relationships. Explain how these relationships are different.
Sample Writings and Assessment Sample Writing 1
There are different roles we have to play in our whole lives, such as ‘student’, ‘brother’, ‘daughter’ or even ‘mother’ in the future. It is impossible to have the same kind of relationship with every person that you meet in your daily life. As a young professional, I would like to share my experiences, talk about three people in my life whom I have very different relationships and explain how they are different.
The first person that I am going to talk about has a very close relationship with me. She is my elder sister. My sister is only two years older than me, so we have no communication problems at all. We have similar characters, similar hobbies and even the same idol. We were in the same primary and secondary school, thus at that time, we always chat with each other for hours after school, talking about what had happened that day and what funny jokes the teachers had said. We share secrets, 10
happiness and also things that upset us. Therefore, we have very close relationship.
The second person that I am going to share is my parent. I have close relationship with them, but not as close as my elder sister. The things that I usually discuss with them are not secrets any more. Our discussions are usually about the big decisions that I have to make, such as choosing which university, entering which department. I am always given useful and practical suggestions because they are 15
much older than me and have more experiences in the society. I share the problems that I encounter in my work, but not things happened in school when I was a student or secrets anymore.
The last person has a more formal and distant relationship with me. He was my professor when I was in the university. We had not much interactions compared with my parent and sister. We usually only saw each other in the lessons. Unlike primary and secondary schools, we seldom met professors in 20
the campus and chat with them. Therefore, we have quite formal and distant relationship.
To conclude, it is normal to have different relationship with different people because of their importance to us, some people would have very close relationships with us because we spend most of the time with them, but for some, we would only see them under formal situations.
Assessment of Sample Writing 1
Sample 1 was considered to be of the minimum standard required to attain the language proficiency requirement. The following are comments made by the assessors on each different scale:
Organisation and Coherence (Level 3)
The organisation in this sample is generally well achieved. Each paragraph deals with a different topic and there is a satisfactory flow of ideas, although sometimes the coherence breaks down. In line 13, the sentence ‘The things that I usually discuss with them are not secrets any more’ needs to be read more than once before the meaning becomes clear. The same problem occurs in line 19 with the sentence ‘We had not much interactions compared with my parent and sister.’ The writer does make quite good use of cohesion, including pronouns, but sometimes this breaks down, such as in the paragraph beginning on line 18 where the reference of the pronoun ‘we’ seems to refer to different people in the last two sentences than it does in the first three sentences. There is also a need for better use of conjunction as in the sentence on lines 3-5: ‘As a young professional, I would like to share my experiences, [and] talk about three people in my life …’. In general, the organisation and coherence is satisfactory.
Grammatical and Lexical Accuracy and Range (Level 3)
Grammatical structures are usually accurate and some more complex structures are attempted, for example from line 8: ‘We were in the same primary and secondary school, thus at that time, we always chat[ted] with each other for hours after school, talking about what had happened that day and what funny jokes the teachers had said’. However, there are some consistent errors such as the use of single/plural nouns (‘parent’, interactions’, ‘relationship’, ‘experience’) and omission of articles (‘I have [a] close relationship with them’ and ‘we have quite [a] formal and distant relationship’). However, these seldom impede understanding.
Task Completion (Level 3)
The writer completes the task to an acceptable degree. She3 describes three different people with whom she has different relationships and describes these relationships quite well. However, the explanations of how the three relationships are different could be further elaborated.
3 The pronoun ‘she’ is used to refer generically to candidates of both genders.
Sample Writing 2
My VIPs in Life
‘Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be, the future is ours to see…’ This is the song that I learned in F.2. Actually, we cannot see our future. Hardly can I believe that I will become a professional teacher after one more year. Looking back, I realize that there are people whom I have met along my career path of being an English teacher. I call them my VIPs.
Miss Chui, who was my F.4-5 English teacher, is definitely the first person on my VIP list. Although I performed well in English, I was a very passive student in class. She, however, opened my mind. She spent quite a lot of her spare time talking to me, through either face-to-face interactions or letters. She cared not only about my academic performance but also my personal life. I began to share my joys and pain with her since then. What is more, I realized that being a teacher is more than teaching 10
academic knowledge to students, a good teacher cares about his students’ personal growth. After meeting her, I started to think of being an English teacher as my future career.
Luckily enough, I entered an English-education programme at university. Nevertheless, things have got harder and tougher. If I had not had met them, I would have given up what I have being longing for.
Mae, who went to the same secondary school with me and is now one of my best friends, comes in second on my list. We talk about everything. Although we are taking two different courses, we listen to each other’s sharing about the school life patiently. We give advice to each other; we do sports to release our pressure; we travel together. Without her listening to my grumbles about my study, I wonder what I would be like now. Friends are always important in life.
Another VIP whom I met is my current classmate, Samuel. As we are taking the same programme, we support each other. I remember him comforting me when I was having hard time in my field experience last year. We sent SMS to each other to cheer one another up while meeting deadlines of assignment submission. I am so glad that I can find a true friend in my university life. I am sure we will share our teaching life in the future too.
Framing one’s career path is not easy, no one can do it without any ‘VIPs’. I feel blessed that I have got Miss Chui to be my inspiring teacher; Mae to be my lifelong listener and Samuel to be my teaching-life sharing partner. I am clear about my future now and I hope every one of you can find your own VIPs soon.
Assessment of Sample Writing 2
Sample 2 was considered to be a good piece of writing. The following are comments made by the assessors on each different scale:
Organisation and coherence (Level 4)
Sample 2 shows examples of good organisation at both a paragraph and sentence level. Each main paragraph deals clearly with one topic, which is introduced and then elaborated. The composition has a chronological structure: the writer begins by referring to her path to becoming a teacher and then introduces the three people with whom she has different relationships according to the stage at which she met them. Various cohesive devices are used to link ideas together. For example, the sentence on line 6 introduces the first person that the writer wishes to talk about: ‘Miss Chui … is definitely the first person on my VIP list’, while on line 21, the writer introduces the third with ‘Another VIP whom I met is … ’, showing an ability to vary the form of expression used. There is good use of reference words and expressions such as ‘looking back’, ‘what is more’, and ‘nevertheless’ to achieve coherence and cohesion. Though there are occasional moments of hesitation for the reader (such as wondering when ‘since then’, line 10, refers to), the text is easy to read and to extract information from.
Grammatical and lexical accuracy and range (Level 4)
The writer makes good use of a range of grammatical structures and a number of complex structures are attempted successfully. Examples of these are in line 6: ‘Although I performed well in English, I was a very passive student in class’; line 8: ‘She cared not only about my academic performance but also my personal life’; and line 10: ‘What is more, I realized that being a teacher is more than teaching academic knowledge to students, a good teacher cares about his students’ personal growth’. A good range of vocabulary is used appropriately. There are occasional errors but overall the use of grammar and vocabulary ensures good comprehensibility.
Task completion (Level 4)
The task is completed well in that the main points asked for are addressed. The writer describes three different people with whom she has different relationships and describes each one of these well using examples and elaboration. Had the writer specified more clearly how these relationships are different from each other then she might have scored more highly on this criterion.
Part 2: Correcting and Explaining Errors/Problems in a Student’s Composition
Test Taking Strategies for Part 2
A marking scheme is used for the marking of the two tasks in Part 2 of the Writing paper. The marks allocated to each candidate are then converted to proficiency levels according to the procedures outlined on pages 2 and 3.
Below are some general points that candidates may wish to note:
• For Task 2A, candidates should correct only the errors in underlined and numbered items designated for correction. For Task 2B, candidates are required to explain only the errors/problems in items designated for explanation.
• Candidates should read the instructions carefully and make sure that all items designated for correction and explanation in Task 2A and 2B are completed.
• Becoming more familiar with basic grammatical terminology can help in identifying and explaining errors more clearly and concisely. Candidates may wish to refer to a grammar textbook for guidance. If so, they should choose a book which they find easy to use and from a reputable publisher.
A sample Part 2 of the Writing paper, including the Answer Book and suggested answers, is given on the following pages.
Sample Writing (Part 2) Tasks
Task 2A: Detection and correction of errors/problems
Below is a student’s composition. Although it contains a large number of errors/problems, you are asked to correct those in Items 2 to 10 only. Each item has at least one error / problem and possibly more (e.g. subject-verb agreement; omission of third person singular ‘s’ or plural ‘s’). When you provide corrections in the Answer Book, please retain the original meaning and words as much as possible; any unnecessary changes may be penalised. Item 1 has been done for you as an example in the right-hand column.
It was a nightmare. I still remember that night – (1) it is very scarily and horror and it is very unforgettable for me. (2) On that night I was playing TV game in home. Suddenly (3) I seed many people screamed on the street.
(4) A bigger monster was appear and had been destroying the city. (5) There had a lot of police discussing about what was it and what to do.
And I came out the street and see what happen was it. Oh no! A bigger monster was come to the city. And (6) it’s outlook was horrified. It has three heads and six arms, and many terrific hair. I can see the city was on fire, and I can hear (7) screamings, that moment was like end of the world.
Next the police were use laser guns to fire the robot, and (8) many buildings were collapsed. (9) Suddenly, the street like a dead zone. (10) The dead silence let us scared. I remember (11) to feel very frightened. And the robot was hurt. It was in chaos very scary. (12) Totally four men was hurt. Also the peoples were very helpless. And some people ran to (13) the protective dome, very dark and crowded. And some peoples were scream of help. The protective dome just like a hell.
In protective dome (14) some people were cry, shout and scream, it was very scary. Suddenly we listened a good news. (15) The robot was run out of energy, we were safe – no danger any more. (16) If we left the protective dome, we were very happy.
(17) At last, the city explained to the people that the malfunctioned robot was a product of the Artificial Intelligence Council. (18) I wish this will not happen again.
(1) it was very scary
Now provide corrections for
Write them in the Answer Book.
Task 2B: Explanation of errors/problems
In this task, you are asked to complete the explanations of the errors/problems in Items 11 to 18 to show your understanding of them.
You should demonstrate to the examiners your understanding of the underlying rules or generalisations, using grammatical terms where appropriate to complete the explanations.
Here is an example based on Item 1:
Item 1: it is very scarily
There are two problems in this item. The first problem concerns the incorrect use of (a) the (main) verb “is”. The writer should use (b) the simple past tense to indicate the correct time of action.
The second problem concerns a wrong use of (c) the adverb “scarily”. The (d) adjective “scary”
should be used instead.
Please complete the error explanations for Items 11-18 in the Answer Book.
Write the correct versions of Items 2 to 10 in the spaces provided below.
Item 2: ___________________________________________________________________________
Item 3: __________________________________________________________________________
Item 4: ___________________________________________________________________________
Item 5: __________________________________________________________________________
Item 6: ___________________________________________________________________________
Item 7: ___________________________________________________________________________
Item 8: ___________________________________________________________________________
Item 9: ___________________________________________________________________________
Item 10: __________________________________________________________________________
In this task, you are asked to complete the explanations of the errors/problems in Items 11 to 18 of the student composition to show your understanding of them.
You should demonstrate to the examiners your understanding of the underlying rules or generalisations, using grammatical terms where appropriate to complete the explanations.
You are strongly advised to read the original student composition in the Question Book when answering this task.
Item 11: to feel very frightened
The problem is with the (a) ________________________________ “to feel”. It should be replaced by “feeling” because the writer wishes to describe (b) _____________________________, rather than an intended action.
Item 12: Totally four men was hurt
There are two problems in this item. First of all, the (a) _______________________ “Totally” should be replaced by “In total” because the former means (b) __________________________ whereas the latter, which expresses the intended meaning here, means “the sum”, “in all” or “the aggregate amount”.
The second problem is one of (c) ___________________________________. The verb “was” should be changed because (d) _______________________________________.
Item 13: the protective dome, very dark and crowded
The problem here is that the phrase “very dark and crowded” cannot be placed right after the comma.
Instead, the (a) ___________________________________ “which” plus the verb “was” should be inserted before “very” to form the (b) _________________________________ that describes the dome.
Item 14: some people were cry
The problem is that the writer has used the bare infinitive “cry” instead of the (a) ________________
________________ “crying” to form the (b) _______________________________________.
Item 15: The robot was run out of energy, we were safe
There are two problems in this item. The incorrect verb form “was run out” should be replaced with the (a) ___________________________ tense form to indicate (b) __________________________
The second problem is one of (c) _____________________________________________________.
To correct this problem, the writer needs to (d) __________________________________________
Item 16: If we left the protective dome
The problem is with the wrong use of the (a) ______________________________________ “If”, which should be replaced by “When” because the previous sentence states that they were safe, and so there is no need to express (b) ________________________________ when describing the possibility of leaving the dome.
Item 17: At last, the city explained
The writer has used an incorrect (a) ___________________________________, “At last”. Instead, (b) ____________________________ can be used to indicate when the explanation occurred.
Item 18: I wish this will not happen
The use of the (a) ______________________ “wish” in this item is incorrect. “Wish” is commonly used in (b) ___________________________ situations. Instead “hope” should be used to express a desired outcome.
End of Paper