Test writing at A2 level for Lower Secondary

Since coming back after the break, I have been tasked with briefing some unit and progress tests for an A2 Lower Secondary course for 11-14 year olds. I’m currently writing the progress and end-of-year tests, so I am working with my Cambridge English KET Handbook close to hand. I am cheered by the news that I may have found a writer for our unit tests as we are asking for someone to start as soon as possible and our first choices were booked up.

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Test writing from the inside perspective

It’s the second day back at my desk since the UK August bank holiday, when I treated myself to four whole days off including a very sunny Friday in the garden.

I’m now getting on with revising a sample Primary test in line with the client’s feedback. I know my stuff, or so it seems from the good overall feedback, but I have to be mindful of not writing too much especially as it is the first unit test. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Fortunately the client has given good suggestions on how to counter this, so I will be amending the activity types so less text can feature. And I will be sketching out the layout as this is a requirement.

Sometimes people think because there is so little on the page for children that it is a doddle to write for this age group. Wrong! I am inclined to think it takes more time as you have to get it right in terms of cognitive challenge, interest, physical ‘fit’, course book ‘fit’, motivation, engaging activities that children want to do and so on.

February update

I start February energised after the fabulous 2nd ELT Freelancers’ Awayday in Oxford at the end of last month.

It was organised by Karen White of @KarenWhiteInk and Helen Holwill and took place at the Hawkwell Hotel in Iffley, Oxford.

In the morning, Sophie O’Rourke and her colleagues from emc design gave a fascinating insight into how designers, media researchers and editors can work smarter.

In addition to this, there were two workshop slots with ten topics to discuss everything from creating a digital brand to adapting to working from home. I am now a new face on Twitter! See @trishburrowelt and share your thoughts and encourage me to learn more. You can also find out more about the event by following ELT Freelancers.

To end the day, Lorna Membury and Charlotte Webb from OUP presented on their new workflow designed to facilitate lean management of the content and copy editing process.

The event was a brilliant way to connect and reconnect with ELT colleagues old and new and had ample space for discussions over coffee and lunch and then at the end-of-day drinks event sponsored by OUP. It was a sell out so I advise booking early for the 2017 event.

See you next January!