A successful candidate must demonstrate these typical performance features sufficiently to gain at least 6 out of 12 marks in each of the three activities. Assessment is broken down into six aspects: Activity Achievement (i.e. overall fitness for purpose), Grammar, Range, Pronunciation, Fluency/Interaction, and Comprehension. For each aspect, secure achievement provides 2 marks and satisfactory achievement provides 1 mark. A secure achievement (2 marks) on one aspect may mitigate against unsatisfactory achievement (0 marks) in another.
A pass in each of the three activities is required for an overall pass.
Only the criteria for secure achievement (2 marks) has been included below. This should make understanding the success criteria more straighforward for learners.
1. Activity achievement [secure – 2 marks]
- A. Candidate performs successfully all the functions required by the activity.
- B. All contributions to the discussion are relevant and effective.
2. Grammatical accuracy [secure – 2 marks]
- A. Consistently maintains a high degree of grammatical accuracy: errors are rare, difficult to spot and generally corrected when they do occur. [see Level 1 Grammar]
3. Range [secure – 2 marks]
- A. Has a good command of a broad range of vocabulary and structures, including idiomatic expressions (e.g. to make ends meet) and colloquialisms.
- B. Any gaps are readily overcome with circumlocution (I can’t remember what its called in English – the tool used for cutting things like paper and hair.)
- C. Can select suitable vocabulary express him/herself on a wide range of general, professional or leisure topics without restriction.
- D. Can use appropriate diplomatic formulations to criticise and to deal with socially difficult situations.
4. Pronunciation [secure – 2 marks]
- A. Most individual sounds are accurate and connected utterances have natural intonation and stress patterns.
- B. Varies intonation pattern to show degree of engagement in discussion or to indicate politeness.
5. Fluency/Interaction [secure – 2 marks]
- A. Can produce clear, smoothly flowing, well-structured speech showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
- B. Occasionally a difficult subject hinders the smooth flow of language.
- C. There is little obvious searching for expressions. Initiates and responds readily and appropriately, requiring little effort on the part of the interlocutor.
- D. Manages turn taking and shift of topic effectively and can interrupt another speaker effectively and politely.
- E. Can structure a long turn effectively with appropriate introductory remarks and closing summary.
6. Comprehension [secure – 2 marks]
- A. Understands the gist of complex arguments and discussions. Recognises a range of informal and colloquial expressions.
- B. Recognises the degree of formality of another speaker’s contributions and can adjust own contributions accordingly.
- C. Can understand what is said even when information is implied and not signalled explicitly.
- D. Recognises another speaker’s use of exaggeration, understatement, irony etc.