E1 Assessment criteria – NOCN S&L



To pass your exams you will need skill in the following 14 language elements. References (such as HBSB1.10.1) refer to relevant activities from units 1 – 3 of the Headway Beginners materials. For example: HBSB1.10.1 = Headway Beginners Student’s Book Unit 1, page 10, exercise 1). Not all of these 14 elements are addressed by Headway units 1 – 3. Supplementary material will be used to address these. Colour coding (e.g. red for stress/pronunciation/intonation) helps to ensure planning encompasses the full range of skills required for NOCN ESOL Speaking and Listening exams.

1. Speak clearly to be heard and understood

1.1 Use stress, pronunciation and intonation to make speech comprehensible to a sympathetic native speaker (HBSB 1.11, 2.12

  • A. Place stress on correct syllable in familiar words (e.g. station, computer, appointment) HBSB1.10.3, HBSB1.1A, HBSB2.12.starter, HBSB3.18.starter, HBSB3.18.2, HBWB3.?.11-12, E1DfES6.8A1
  • B. Pronounce phonemes adequately in utterances so as to be comprehensible and make meaning clear (e.g. ship or sheep?) can/can’t (24/09/12), HBSB1.7.3, HBSB1.10.1, HBSB1.11.3, HBSB2.12.3, HBSB2.14.1, HBSB2.17.1-6,HBSB3.18.starter, HBSB3.18.1-2, HBSB3.19.3,
  • C. Appropximate appropriate intonation patterns, for example, to indicate politeness, to ask questions (e.g. rising intonation: Can I see the manager, please?) HBSB1.8-9, HBSB2.16.3, HBSB3.19.5, HBSB3.20.3, HBSB3.11.3
  • D. Use intonation patterns appropriate for friendly social interactions HBSB1.6-7, HBSB2.12.1, HBSB2.13.5, HBSB3.23.1

2. Make and respond to requests and ask questions to obtain information

2.1 Make requests using appropriate terms

  • A. Make requests with or without modal verbs (e.g. Can I see the manager please? A cup of tea, please.) can 24/09/12, E1DfES1.4A-B, E1DfES6.7C
  • B. Introduce requests (e.g. Excuse mecan 24/09/12, E1DfES1.4B(needs modifying to meet this aim),E1DfES6.7C

2.2 Ask questions to obtain specific information

  • A. Ask WH and Yes/No questions (e.g. What’s your name? Where do you work? Do you speak English? What time is…? Do you live in…? Have you got a job?) HBSB1.6.1-2, HBSB1.9.1-3, HBSB1.10.1-5, HBSB2.11-13.1-6, HBSB2.14-15.1-7, HBSB3.19.1, HBSB3.19.4-5, HBSB3.20.1-3, HBSB3.22.4, E1DfES6.5.2
  • B. Use question form of simple present tense of common verbs, including verbs to be and have got (see previous examples) HBSB2.13.grammarspot, HBSB2.16.3, HBSB2.16.grammarspot, HBSB3.19.4-5, HBSB3.21.3
  • C. Form questions using common modal verbs (e.g. Can you drive?) can 24/09/12
  • D. Use contractions where appropriate (e.g. what’s, who’s, where’s) HBSB1.6, HBSB1.9.1-3, HBSB2.12.grammarspot, HBSB2.13.grammarspot, HBSB2.14-15.1-7, HBSB2.16.3, HBSB3.19.4-6
  • E. Seek clarification where necessary, for example, by asking for repetition, using non-verbal signals (e.g. Can you repeat that please?) HBSB3.23.2, E1DfES1.10A

2.3 Respond to requests for personal information

  • A. Recognise and respond to different types of WH and Yes/No questions (e.g. What’s your name? Parvis. e.g. Where do you come from? Iran.) HBSB1.6.1-2, HBSB2.15.6, HBSB3.21.3, HBSB3.22.4
  • B. Respond using minimal response, short form of verb, or fuller answer (e.g. Are you married? Yes. / Yes, I am. / No, I’m not. / I’m single.) HBSB3.19.grammarspot, HBSB3.20.1-3
  • C. Spell words out loud when asked HBSB3.21.3(adapted)

3. Present information to others [Headway Beginner units 1-3 is mainly concerned with exchanging personal information and therefore does not adequately address this skill area. The Present Simple (with verbs other than to be) is introduced and covered in units 5-6.]

3.1 Make simple statements of fact clearly

  • A. Use verb forms suitable for the level, e.g. Simple Present tense of common verbs and modal can (e.g. He works in Bristol. She can’t drive.) E1DfES2.1-6  EXTRA ACTIVITIES NEEDED FOR ‘CAN’
  • B. Use contracted forms HESB1.6, HESB1.8-9, [All the Headway and DfES materials frequently feature contractions though they don’t always teach them explicitly]
  • C. Spells words out loud when asked [This is addressed in the fortnightly spelling tests.]

3.2 Give a simple description of a person, place or thing

  • A. Use grammar appropriate to level, for example, there is/there are (e.g. There are lots of … in our town.) E1DfES6.2A-B
  • B. Use simple adjectives (e.g. It’s near the Underground. It has a red door. He’s very tall.) E1DfES6.6.A1-2, E1DfES6.6A4

3.3 Give single-step directions

  • A. Use imperative (positive and negative) (e.g. Go straight on. Don’t cross the road. Take the next left.) E1DfES6.7C, E1DfES1.5A
  • B. Use appropriate grammatical forms, for example: prepositional phrases (e.g. through the park, in front of the hospital); determiners (e.g. the, another, the third); and adverbs (e.g. first, then, finally) E1DfES6.7C

4. Speak and listen in simple exchanges and everyday contexts

4.1 Take part in basic social interaction

  • A. Greet another person (e.g. Hello, Hi, Good morning, How are you?) HBSB1.6.1-4, HBSB1.8.5-8, HBSB1.9.1-3, HBSB3.23.1
  • B. Respond to a greeting (e.g. Fine thanks. And you?) HBSB1.6-7, HBSB1.8-9, HBSB3.23.1
  • C. Introduce a person to others (e.g. This is Mahmoud. He’s from Iran.) HBSB1.7, HBSB1.9.3
  • D. Extend an invitation or offer (e.g. Would you like…) E1DfES1.6A
  • E. Recognise and respond to an offer (e.g. Yes please. No thanks. I’m sorry, I can’t.) E1DfES1.6A
  • F. Express thanks HBSB3.23.3.3, E1DfES1.6A, E1DfES6.5.B
  • G. Take leave (e.g. See you later.) HBSB3.23.1

4.2 Take part in more formal interaction.

  • A. Give personal information (e.g. I’ve got a pain in my chest.) E1DfES5.5A, E1DfES5.10A-B
  • B. State a problem (e.g. My son is ill.)E1DfES5.8A ANNOTATE COURSE FILE COPY, THIS WILL NEED SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL
  • C. Make a request (e.g. Can you help me, please?) E1DfES5.6A can 24/09/12

4.3 Express likes, dislikes, and simple views to another person

  • A. Recognise and respond to questions about likes and dislikes E1DfES2.7A-B
  • B. Express likes and dislikes (e.g. I like… / I don’t like…) E1DfES2.7-8. E1DfES2.8A-B
  • C. Express simple views (I think this is a good college.) E1DfES6.4A-B

4.4 Listen to another person in a simple discussion and indicate a response

  • A. Signal either verbally or non-verbally that you are listening during exchanges E1DfES6.8 can be supplemented to address 4.4A 
  • B. Recognise likes/dislikes/feelings/views of others and respond with a simple agreement or disagreement (e.g. I want a new job. Me too. I don’t like this town. Oh, I do. I think this is a good college. You’re right.) DEVISE EXAM TASK STYLE ACTIVITY TO DEVELOP THIS SKILL
  • C. Seeks clarification if necessary, for example: asking for repetition; using non-verbal signals E1DfES1.4A, E1DfES6.8A4-5

5. Listen to obtain information

5.1 Listen for the gist of short explanations, identifying situation and key words

  • A. Recognise context, identifying speaker or topic

5.2 Listen for detail using key words to extract specific information

  • A. Listen for and extract key information, for example: places; times; names. HBSB3.21.1, HBSB3.22.3, E1DfES6.5.1, E1DfES6.6.A3, E1DfES6.7B

5.3 Follow directions, asking for repetition if necessary

  • A. Recognise imperatives in directions (e.g. Turn right, then go straight ahead. Take the second road on the left.) E1DfES6.8A2, E1DfES6.8A6
  • B. Follow clear, simple directions (see above examples) E1DfES6.8A2-3, E1DfES6.8A6
  • C. Check back by repeating directions (e.g. Second on the left? Yes, that’s right.), E1DfES6.8A6

Lesson aims and objectives

Each lesson will take as its main aim one, or several, of the above functional skills (e.g. 4.2) though not necessarily in the same order. The term’s work will aim to address all of the above skills prior to the exam. The order in which these skills are addressed will depend largely on the Headway course book material as it unfolds. Skills not addressed in the Headway material will require adaptation of scheduled Headway activities or the use of material from other sources.

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