15. Blog: The most exciting day of my life

Please click on the toggles below to navigate through information on this assessment task and reveal the links for downloading task materials.


Task details

Task details

Name of writing assessment task  Blog: The most exciting day of my life
EAL curriculum level range  B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, C4
Text orientation Informative
Task type Extended response


Task specification

Task specification

Purpose To assess students’ ability to write a personal recount.
Description Write a personal recount about the most exciting day of the student’s life for a personal diary or blog.
Assumed knowledge and description
  1. Content knowledge: Familiarity with the generic framework of a recount: orientation, series of events in chronological order, personal comment. Understanding of the nature of blogs or personal diaries, how and why they are written and for whom.
  2. Text type, genre: informative, personal recount
  3. Linguistic structures and features:
    • past tense
    • time phrases to sequence events
    • adjectives to describe places, events and people
    • adverbs to describe actions
    • superlatives to talk about the most exciting, the best etc.
    • foreshadowing to build interest and excitement.
  4. Vocabulary: describing events, places, people and actions


Learning/teaching context

Learning/teaching context

Language centre/mainstream class  Mainstream class/EAL Support
Subject/key curriculum objectives, outcomes   English
Topic/teaching unit  Past experiences and biographies
Assessment conditions
  1. Individual activity
  2. Formal/informal: formal
  3. Time limit: one lesson 
  4. Teacher intervention: limited to response to student request for clarification and encouragement
  5. Access to resources: Students may use their own personal dictionaries, classroom dictionaries and their own notes.
  6. Scaffolding (modelled/guided/independent support): independent support
  7. Accommodations: The blog medium is more appropriate for older learners and students who may be exploring the language used in electronic communication on the internet, in text messaging or social media. Teachers can consider the needs, experience and interests of their students and choose whether a blog or more traditional written text is most appropriate for their students.
Notes
  • The assessment is done on students’ first draft.
  • Pre-assessment activities can be extended as appropriate for students.
  • A wide range of blogs can be accessed via a Google search. Examples are provided in the ‘Pre-assessment activity section’ for use in lessons building up to the assessment task.


Task implementation

 

Task implementation

STAGE ACTION STEPS
Pre-assessment activity
Assessment activity
Post-assessment activity
  • Students share their blogs in pairs or small groups.
  • Students do self and peer feedback.
  • Students improve their texts and write a second draft.
  • Students post their blog on to the teacher-created blog and selected classmates respond to it OR to a classroom display board.
  • Students get into groups of four, swap blogs or personal texts, partners read the blog or text and write a response to it (the response is NOT assessed).
  • Once the students’ work has been read, provide individual and whole-class feedback on strengths and individual or global improvement steps.


Assessment criteria

An explanation of the purpose, nature and use of criteria sheets is available at 4. Using the assessment criteria.


Samples of student work


Biographical information:

Year:

Home language:

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 7.47.24 pm


Biographical information:

Year:

Home language:

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 7.47.33 pm


Biographical information:

Year:

Home language:

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 7.47.40 pm


Biographical information:

Year:

Home language:

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 7.47.49 pm


Annotations and commentary

Nature and purpose of the task

A personal recount is an important genre for communication about our own experience and backgrounds. It is often used as a writing topic for EAL learners, as this text type gets students to demonstrate their writing skills without the need to develop an understanding of other content, as it is based on their own experiences, which can be shared and affirmed by writing about them. This task asks students to write about a memorable or significant life event, and so may be linked to writing media that are shared with others, such as a personal diary, a classroom display board of student writing about themselves, or a computer-based blog. So as well as teaching the personal recount genre involved in the task, this task can provide an opportunity for students to learn about the purposes and qualities of different media in which  personal recounts may be produced and read. The blog medium is probably of most relevant for older learners what may be learning about internet-based communication and the nature of language used in electronic media.

TEAL Oral Task 1 and TEAL Writing Task 1 ‘My Weekend’ also involve personal recounts. However those cases involve students’ recent activities, in contrast to this task which asks for a recount of a memorable or significant event.

Commentary

The samples texts for this task were prepared for students to produce a personal recount for a blog. Sample 1 is highly scaffolded, and it is clear the student’s focus is still on constructing the essential elements of the recount. Samples 2 to 4 show an understanding of the nature and form of blogs, and include language appropriate for this, including capitalisation for emphasis and colloquial expressions and abbreviations used in blogs, which is not not considered appropriate in formal writing in more traditional writing formats.


Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 7.48.03 pm

Commentary

The sample shows an understanding of the task and an ability to recount a significant personal experience using relevant vocabulary.

The text shows that the student relies heavily on the provided text scaffold to organise the overall text structure. Events in the text are closely structured according to given sequence markers.

The student mainly uses compound sentences with correct regular past tense verbs but incorrect irregular past tense verbs.

The student uses phonetic but incorrect spelling of much key topic-specific vocabulary.

The student is able to form letters correctly using appropriate sentence punctuation including upper and lower case.

The student is reliant on teacher support and the text framework to accomplish the task.

The marked criteria sheet shows that the student meets most criteria at level 1 of performance.

The student’s language use in this task is consistent with the descriptions of students at Level C1, Victorian Curriculum F-10 EAL.

Using this assessment to improve learning

(Select the points you think are currently of most importance to the student.)

  • Ask the student to read her text and to see if she can spot any spelling errors. Identify the high frequency words that need attention and scribe them for the student: aunty, house, white, hair, some, all (‘are’ in the text: ‘are’ of my presents).
  • Perhaps also scribe some of the vocabulary central to her text: communion, to wear/wore, church, excited, secondly, thirdly etc.
  • Generally the student has used simple past verb forms well, so see if she can correct the following:
    • I waked up
    • I werd the white dress
  • The student has used some basic punctuation but more could be added, so read the text to the student to see if she can work where additional full stops could go, for example:
    • Secondly I wore my white dress. It looked very nice. Then my mum and aunty did my hair.


Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 7.48.29 pm

Commentary

The sample shows an understanding of the task and an ability to recount a significant personal experience in a diary/blog text type.

The text shows that the student is able to describe her experience within a coherent text recount structure. The text is structured by a chronological event sequence, indicated by time markers or phrases, and finishes with a concluding personal comment.

The student uses a mix of simple, compound and complex sentences, as well as a mix of past simple, continuous and perfect verb tenses.

The student uses correct spelling of key topic-specific vocabulary and has general control over sentence punctuation and is able to self-correct grammatical patterns.

The student uses the task as a stimulus to recount her own experience.

The marked criteria sheet shows that the student meets most criteria at level 3 of performance.

The student’s language use in this task is consistent with the descriptions of students at Level C2, Victorian Curriculum F-10 EAL.

Using this assessment to improve learning

(Select the points you think are currently of most importance to the student.)

  1. Excited / Exciting

Help the student to differentiate between ‘excited’ and ‘exciting’, ‘bored’ and ‘boring’, ‘interested’ and ’interesting’.

Which examples explain how someone felt inside? Which examples explain a quality that something or someone has. Ask the student to note when we use the ‘ed’ or the ‘ing’ form.

 

I was excited                    She was an exciting person

She was bored                 The lesson was boring

He was interested           The book was interesting

Now ask the student to look at her own text and see if she can decide whether to use exciting or excited.

2. Past tense forms

The student has generally use past tense forms well, so see if she can spot some issues with the following examples from her text:

I meet my father at the airport

I didn’t realised it was my father

I can’t stand it

3. Other grammatical patterns that may be worth raising

The student writes quite confidently and may well be able to self correct the following patterns:

I couldn’t stop laughing

                          talking

                          crying

Now see if the student can self correct: ‘I couldn’t stop smile

 

Because this food ……… by me OR I cooked the food

Since that day my father and I / my have lived together

What has being / been your most exciting day?


Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 7.48.49 pm

Commentary

The sample shows an understanding of the task and an ability to recount a significant personal experience that engages the reader. The text shows that the student is able to describe her experience in a consistent personal voice with details that elaborate her emotions and responses to events.

The text is structured by a build-up and modulation of excitement, personal response and a concluding narrative event.

The student uses a mix of simple, compound and complex sentences, as well as a mix of present simple, past simple and continuous verb tenses.

The student uses correct spelling of key topic-specific vocabulary and has general control over sentence grammar and punctuation.

The student is uses the task as a stimulus to recount her own experience.

The sample shows a text that best fits the criteria at level 3 of performance on the criteria sheet.

The marked criteria sheet shows that the student meets most criteria at level 3 of performance.

The student’s language use in this task is consistent with the descriptions of students at Level C2, Victorian Curriculum F-10 EAL.

Using this assessment to improve learning

(Select the points you think are currently of most importance to the student.)

  • The sample shows the student’s developing control over expressing past and present events in recounting an experience of personal significance. It highlights the student’s need to develop greater control over some verb forms.
  • Since, in general, the student has been able to manipulate most verb forms very well, ask the student to identify the issues in the following sentences from her text in relation to 1. the past perfect and, 2. and 3. irregular past tense forms and 4. The use of for/since rather than ago with the present perfect continuous form.
1. The day I …(had) ... waited for, finally came

2. I quickly waked up

3. Then we flight to Abu Dabe and finally we flight to Australia

4. I have been waiting for this day …………. 4 years (ago) OR I have been waiting for this day since ………….

Control of verb forms can be developed, over time, by encouraging the student to complete cloze texts which target accurate use of verbs forms to refer to past, present and future time.

 

  • See if the student can explain the difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’

‘their’ or ‘there’?

1. This house belongs to Wendy and Jim. It’s ……… house            

2. The cinema is over ………..        

3. ………….is someone I want you to meet

4. ………….are a lot of parks in Melbourne

5. I like going to see my grandparents. I love   ……..…. little dog Maisie.

  • The student has punctuated her text quite well, so see if she can correct the following from her text:

1. It’s time to leave me and my family start to cry

  • Vocabulary: Ask the student to explain more about the words ‘safure’ and ‘problem and possibly encourage her  to substitute ‘suffering’ for ‘safure’ and ‘anxiety’ for ‘problem’


Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 7.49.10 pm

Commentary

The sample shows an understanding of the task and an ability to recount a significant personal experience that engages the reader in a diary/blog text type. The text shows that the student is able to describe her experience in a consistent personal voice with details that elaborate her emotions and responses to events. The text is structured by a present/past/present time paragraphs reflecting a build-up and modulation of narrative excitement, personal reflection and a concluding question.

The student uses a mix of simple, compound and complex sentences, as well as a flexible mix of present simple, past simple verb tenses. The student uses correct spelling of key topic-specific vocabulary and has general control over sentence grammar and punctuation. The student uses the task as a stimulus to recount her own experience.

The marked criteria sheet shows that the student meets most criteria at level 4 of performance.

The student’s language use in this task is consistent with the descriptions of students at Level C3, Victorian Curriculum F-10 EAL.

Using this assessment to improve learning

(Select the points you think are currently of most importance to the student.)

The sample shows the student’s ability to write an engaging recount of a significant experience in response to a stimulus text. The competence and sophistication of the student’s writing at both text and sentence levels suggest that the student’s needs lie in the area of consolidating and extending their personal narrative voice in writing.

Narrative voice could be developed by providing the student further opportunities for personal writing using authentic personal texts as stimulus models for their own writing or setting similar writing tasks with key word/concept stimuli.


 


Skip to toolbar