Preparation Manual

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Section 6: Sample Interpersonal and Presentational Writing Assignments
Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Spanish (613)

Directions for the Interpersonal and Presentational Writing Assignments

This section of the exam consists of three assignments that measure different aspects of your writing ability in the target language:

  1. Response to a Letter, Memo, or E-mail
  2. Opinion/Position Essay
  3. Presentational Writing: Integrated Skills

Directions for each assignment will be provided before the assignment.

The total testing time for this section of the exam is 50 minutes; therefore, you should manage your time so that you have enough time to respond to all three assignments within the allotted time.  The timer in the upper right corner of the screen will indicate how much time is remaining.

You will type your response to each assignment.  Your response must be written in the target language.  You may use the erasable notebooklet provided to make notes, write an outline, or otherwise prepare your response.  However, your final response to each assignment must be typed in the response box provided for the assignment.

Please note that special characters (such as letters with accents or other diacritical marks) cannot be entered using the keyboard but are available for insertion in the on-screen response box.  To access these characters, click on the ash symbol button that appears in the upper left corner of the screen.  Using the mouse, double-click on the character you wish to include in your response, or click on the character you wish to include in your response and then select "Insert."  The character will be inserted where the cursor is positioned in the response box.

Sample Interpersonal and Presentational Writing Assignments

Response to a Letter, Memo, or E-mail

For this assignment, you will be given a letter, memo, or e-mail to which you will write an appropriate response in the target language. First, read the content provided on-screen. Then, type your response in the response box.

Manage your time so that you allow enough time to plan, write, and revise your response. Your response to this assignment should be a minimum of 60 words.

Assignment 1

Imagine que está planeando su traslado a otra ciudad. Usted ha recibido el siguiente correo electrónico de una de las agencias de alquileres con las que se ha contactado. Escriba una respuesta teniendo en cuenta la información que se le solicita.

Asunto: Alquiler apartamento
De: Inmobiliaria Metrópolis
Fecha: 9 de agosto de 2014
Para: Alfonso Olivares

Estimado cliente:

En respuesta a su correo electrónico, le podemos decir que somos una de las principales agencias de alquiler de la ciudad. Nuestros profesionales le pueden ayudar a alquilar un apartamento a buen precio en la zona que usted desee. Rogamos nos diga las características del apartamento que busca, cuál es el alquiler máximo que está dispuesto a pagar y para cuándo tiene pensado realizar su traslado. Háganos saber cuándo estaría disponible para concertar una cita.

En espera de su respuesta, le saluda atentamente,

Sofía Acosta
Inmobiliaria Metrópolis

Opinion/Position Essay

For this assignment, you will be provided with a scenario to write an essay in the target language to support your opinion or position on an issue. First, read the scenario. Then, type your response in the response box provided.

Your essay should include reasons and/or examples to support your opinion.

Manage your time so that you allow enough time to plan, write, and revise your essay. An effective essay will typically contain a minimum of 120 words.

Assignment 2

Algunas personas creen que alargar el día escolar o el calendario académico ayudaría a mejorar la calidad de la enseñanza. ¿Está usted de acuerdo con esta postura?

  • Explique y defienda su postura con ejemplos específicos.

Presentational Writing: Integrated Skills

For this assignment, you will read a passage in the target language. This passage will appear in both the Writing and Speaking sections.

First, read the passage and associated writing task. Then, type your response in the response box provided.

Manage your time so that you allow enough time to plan, write, and revise your response. Your response should contain a minimum of 120 words and must be in the target language.

Assignment 3

La universidad en tu computadora

En los últimos años el acceso a Internet ha crecido de manera exponencial poniendo al alcance de millones de personas herramientas e información que antes parecían lejanas.

Una de las áreas que está experimentando una revolución es la educación.

Los cursos abiertos en línea —MOOC: massive open online courses— están apareciendo por doquier dotando a miles de estudiantes de acceso a instituciones educativas en varios países.

Todo apunta a una revolución educativa.

Los MOOC son cursos ofrecidos por universidades de alto prestigio que duran unas cuantas semanas y están disponibles para cualquier persona que tenga una computadora.

No hay límites en cuántas personas pueden registrarse para un curso. Pueden contar hasta con 100.000 alumnos. Tampoco suele haber complicados requisitos de inscripción y la gran mayoría de los cursos son gratuitos. Requieren un compromiso de tiempo, entre 5 y 10 horas a la semana, incluyendo la entrega de trabajos y evaluaciones.

¿Pero cómo evaluar a 100.000 alumnos? Algunos MOOC usan un sistema automatizado que permite "leer" las respuestas, pero este método sólo suele ser válido para exámenes de opción múltiple o respuestas cerradas.

Para respuestas abiertas o más complejas, la mayoría de los cursos en línea utilizan un sistema de revisión entre alumnos. Uno entrega el trabajo y después revisa el de un compañero dando una detallada retroalimentación.

La mayoría de los MOOC se ofrecen por universidades en EE. UU., pero algunas en el Reino Unido también se han aliado para crear un nuevo proyecto llamado FutureLearn. La idea no es reemplazar a la educación tradicional sino "reeinventar la educación para aprovechar la tecnología y las redes sociales".

La mayoría de los MOOC son gratis porque su objetivo es ofrecer educación de calidad a gente alrededor del mundo que no tiene los recursos para pagar o asistir a cursos presenciales. El material que se prepara para 20 personas, puede utilizarse para miles más.

Pero algunos también están viendo en la tecnología una oportunidad para extender la educación y generar ingresos comerciales.

2U es una de esas empresas. A diferencia de los cursos cortos y gratuitos que ofrecen los MOOC, 2U se ha aliado con importantes universidades en EE. UU. para ofrecer cursos completos en línea que terminen con un título académico.

El costo es el mismo que el de acudir a la universidad, pero es una alternativa para aquellos que no pueden juntar los recursos suficientes para viajar a otro país y pagar los costos de su estancia. Los defensores de los MOOC aseguran que este nuevo modelo está ampliando la educación a lugares que antes no tenían acceso a distinguidos profesores. Afirman que es posible entender mejor a los estudiantes al recopilar datos sobre el momento en el que hicieron pausa en un video o cuánto tiempo les tomó completar una lección con lo que los cursos siempre se están reinventando.

Pero hay quienes ven en este tipo de cursos una amenaza a la educación y creen que será una salida fácil para cortar costos en universidades y dejar a miles de maestros sin empleo.

Más allá de las razones económicas y sociales, también hay quienes creen que los MOOC sólo sirven para pasar un poco de conocimiento pero no pueden reemplazar la experiencia de estar en un aula con otros estudiantes y un maestro.

Para ellos la presencia aún juega un papel fundamental en la educación.

Por lo pronto, Internet sigue avanzando y dotando a la comunidad educativa de más herramientas para llevar la información a más lugares.

La revolución continúa.

© BBC 2013

Writing Assignment

Basándose en la información del artículo que ha leído, escriba un ensayo en el que defienda la postura en contra de las clases universitarias en la computadora. Usando sus propias palabras, dé un mínimo de dos razones por las cuales no se deberían ofrecer clases universitarias en la computadora y explique su punto de vista.

Scoring Rubrics

Scoring Rubric for Response to a Letter, Memo, or E-mail and Opinion/Position Essay

Score General Description Features/Dimensions
Task Completion Topic Development Writing Skills
3
High
A response at this level is characterized by most of the following features/dimensions:
  • Fully addresses and completes the task
  • Directly relates to the topic; topic well developed
  • All or almost all supporting details or examples are appropriate and effective
  • Response is well organized and generally coherent
  • Demonstrates a high or mid-high degree of control of a variety of structures; a few grammatical errors occur with no evident patterns
  • Varied vocabulary appropriate for the content and used with precision
  • Very few errors in conventions of the written language (orthography: spelling, accent marks and punctuation; sentence structure)
  • Register is appropriate (accurate social and/or cultural references included)
2
Mid-High
A response at this level is characterized by most of the following features/dimensions:
  • Addresses and completes the task
  • Relates to the topic
  • Most supporting details or examples are well defined
  • Response is organized, but some parts are not fully developed
  • Demonstrates a moderate degree of control of a variety of structures; some grammatical errors occur
  • Appropriate vocabulary with occasional errors such as making up words or code switching
  • Some errors in conventions of the written language (orthography: spelling, accent marks and punctuation; sentence structure) but they do not impede communication
  • Register is usually appropriate (generally accurate social and/or cultural references included)
1
Mid-Low
A response at this level is characterized by most of the following features/dimensions:
  • Addresses and completes the task
  • Moderately relates to the topic
  • Some supporting details or examples are vague or not well defined
  • Response is inadequately organized/not sequenced correctly
  • Demonstrates a lack of control of a variety of structures; frequent grammatical errors occur
  • Limited vocabulary; frequent errors such as making up words or code-switching
  • Frequent errors in conventions of the written language (orthography: spelling, accent marks and punctuation; sentence structure)
  • Register is inappropriate (inaccurate social and/or cultural references are included)
0
Low
A response at this level is characterized by most of the following features/dimensions:
  • Partially addresses and/or partially completes the task
  • Minimally relates to the topic
  • Most supporting details or examples are irrelevant or not effective
  • Response is disorganized
  • Demonstrates a lack of control of most structures; numerous grammatical errors impede communication
  • Insufficient vocabulary; constant interference from another language
  • Pervasive errors in conventions of the written language (orthography: spelling, accent marks and punctuation; sentence structure) impeding communication
  • Minimal to no attention to register (inaccurate social and/or cultural references are included)

Scoring Rubric for Presentational Writing: Integrated Skills

Score General Description Features/Dimensions
Task Completion Topic Development Writing Skills
3
High
A response at this level is characterized by most of the following features/dimensions:
  • Fully addresses and completes the task
  • Directly relates to the topic; topic well developed
  • All or almost all supporting details or examples are appropriate and effective
  • Clearly demonstrates a high degree of understanding of the content in the text
  • Response is well organized and generally coherent
  • Demonstrates a high or mid-high degree of control of a variety of structures; a few grammatical errors occur with no evident patterns
  • Varied vocabulary appropriate for the content and used with precision
  • Very few errors in conventions of the written language (orthography: spelling, accent marks and punctuation; sentence structure)
  • Register is appropriate (accurate social and/or cultural references included)
2
Mid-High
A response at this level is characterized by most of the following features/dimensions:
  • Addresses and completes the task
  • Relates to the topic
  • Most supporting details or examples are well defined
  • Demonstrates a moderate degree of understanding of the content in the text
  • Response is organized, but some parts are not fully developed
  • Demonstrates a moderate degree of control of a variety of structures; some grammatical errors occur
  • Appropriate vocabulary with occasional errors such as making up words or code switching
  • Some errors in conventions of the written language (orthography: spelling, accent marks and punctuation; sentence structure) but they do not impede communication
  • Register is usually appropriate (generally accurate social and/or cultural references included)
1
Mid-Low
A response at this level is characterized by most of the following features/dimensions:
  • Addresses and completes the task
  • Moderately relates to the topic
  • Some supporting details or examples are vague or not well defined
  • Demonstrates a low degree of understanding of the content in the text
  • Response is inadequately organized/not sequenced correctly
  • Demonstrates a lack of control of a variety of structures; frequent grammatical errors occur
  • Limited vocabulary; frequent errors such as making up words or code-switching
  • Frequent errors in conventions of the written language (orthography: spelling, accent marks and punctuation; sentence structure)
  • Register is inappropriate (inaccurate social and/or cultural references are included)
0
Low
A response at this level is characterized by most of the following features/dimensions:
  • Partially addresses and/or partially completes the task
  • Minimally relates to the topic
  • Most supporting details or examples are irrelevant or not effective
  • Demonstrates a poor degree of understanding of the content in the text
  • Response is disorganized
  • Demonstrates a lack of control of most structures; numerous grammatical errors impede communication
  • Insufficient vocabulary; constant interference from another language
  • Pervasive errors in conventions of the written language (orthography: spelling, accent marks and punctuation; sentence structure) impeding communication
  • Minimal to no attention to register (inaccurate social and/or cultural references are included)

Note: Your written response should be your original work, written in your own words and not copied or paraphrased from some other work.


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