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Paper 4 The Continuous Writing Paper

Key issues, using the mark scheme and suggested strategies

The Continuous Writing Paper


2 pieces of writing in 75 minutes, 110-140 words in length 25 marks available per question Communication 5 marks (20%) points must be in correct tense Quality of Language 15 marks (60%) General Impression 5 marks (20%) dictated by Language mark Tot 25 A 17 B 13 C 9 D 7 E 5 F 3 G 1

Question 1 types
"Point of view" questions Describe something e.g. your school / region etc. Give and justify your opinion about it Talk about the advantages / disadvantages Say whether you are for or against it This could be in the form of A letter to a friend (informal) A letter to a French school or family (e.g. about an exchange) A letter to a magazine or newspaper An article Text type features counted for language marks e.g. letter openings / endings Could affect General Impression mark

Question 1 types
Specific letters Job applications (explain why you want the job, why you are capable & when you are free) Formal letters to hotels Letters of complaint e.g. about a stay in a hotel) Letters explaining you have left something at the hotel Persuasive letters (e.g. persuade a family to visit you by giving information about your house, region, climate and what you need to bring) Explanatory letters (e.g. a family is coming to visit you and you need to change the dates of the visit because you have had an accident)

Question 2s
Always requires the use of past tenses Description of past events (have to describe at least 3 things that happened using accurate grammar to get communication marks)

Describe someone elses reactions e.g. my parents were surprised


Describe your reactions / whether you liked / disliked something

Key features of mark scheme


140 words max If the task is a letter, addresses and dates do not count towards the total word count. The definition of a word is a group of letters surrounded by a space A group of letters containing a hyphen or apostrophe is regarded as one word.
Lhomme = one word La dame = two words Quest-ce que cest = three word Il y a = three words Y a-t-il? = two words

All numbers count as one word whether written as figures or words


21 = one word Vingt et un = one word

Key features of mark Marking units scheme


Verbs Noun + adjective Noun + preposition Adverbs Conjunctions

Zero marks for


Nouns (but do get mark if possessive is used) Trs, bien, et, mais Faulty gender & agreement

Tolerances
Use of accents (except -er in perfect tense) hyphens and punctuation Accept declared gender (not name on front)

Lots of moderation essential Top 10 common mistakes Top 15 features to include

Suggestions for improving continuous writing skills


Languages online
Year 10 spelling improvement programme GCSE silly mistakes from essays Verb busters

Intensive translation work using mini-whiteboards Encourage lower ability students to stick to basic structures (e.g. regular -ER verbs in perfect tense) and learn bonus phrases IGCSE style tasks in formal assessments from Year 7 Correct the mistakes exercises Peer marking focusing on 1-2 elements from mark scheme Lots of practice papers and log sheet for mistakes (with tallies)