ANALYSIS OF COMMON MISTAKES IN FIRST CERTIFICATE IN ENGLISH COMPULSORY WRITING TASK "ESSAY" (BY AN EXAMPLE OF THE EXAM PREPARATION COURSE)
National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The main purpose of the work is to consider Essay" in the writing paper of the Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) examination which was introduced as a compulsory writing task 1 in 2015. The work is focused on the essay as a form of educational and testing activity based on provided ideas and highlights prerequisites for successful task performance.
The authors analyzed the assessment scales used by Cambridge English Language Assessment writing examiners who mark essays according to the scales developed with precise focus on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The assessment subscales/criteria: “Content”, “Communicative Achievement”, “Organization” and “Language” and subscale/criterion descriptors for the marks from 0 to 5 were discussed.
In order to identify problem areas and common mistakes, 25 essays of the students doing the preparation course for the FCE Cambridge exam in the 2014-2015 academic year were analyzed. Marking written responses involved the above-mentioned scales. Subsequently, major drawbacks, mistakes and difficulties by each criterion were identified. Further study defined the characteristic features of the learners’ knowledge gaps and mark correlation between the criteria. Finally, the factors influencing task performance were detected. The obtained data were illustrated either with the examples or exhibited graphically.
The analysis of common difficulties and mistakes reviewed in this work may contribute to practical guidance on developing core writing skills. The research carried out and the presented data could be beneficial for both the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers and FCE candidates. Moreover, the results could be applied in tasks designing not only for the FCE students but also for any EFL learners.
Keywords: Assessment criteria, assessment scale, FCE essay, common mistakes, writing.