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Bill: Hi Toni. You look busy. Are you grading students’ works?
Toni: Yes, Bill. I’ve got about twenty IELTS papers to check. I’ve done half of them, but I still have a lot to go.
Bill: How’s it going so far?
Toni: Not so bad. I am marking all of the writing sections first – Reports.
Bill: Any good?
Toni: Well, you know that’s confidential information.
Bill: Reports are easy to write, though. I would have thought that was what students found easiest. They aren’t like narrative texts, which you can’t write if you don’t have a vivid imagination.
Toni: Yes, I think you’re right, but you’d be surprised at the silly mistakes students make sometimes.
Bill: For example?
Toni: Well, lots of people don’t read the task carefully, so they end up writing a report about the wrong thing. Or, they read the question too quickly, think they understand what they have to do, but miss out on a whole chunk of information.
Bill: Yeah, I know what you mean. My students do that in class. They don’t seem to realize how important it is just reading the task and thinking about it a bit — what it means; who the report is for; what style they should use. They are always in too much of a hurry to start writing.
Toni: Yes! I am sure that half the candidates hardly make an outline. It is easy to spot the ones that do. Their reports are much easier to follow. They include all the information, and they are noticeably better written.
Toni: Yes. Absolutely!
Bill: Is it okay if I share that tip with my students?
Toni: Of course! It should be obvious, anyway. I am sure you’ve told them before. And one more tip – I think it’s a good idea to get your students used to be using some sort of a checklist after they have finished writing their report, or at least after they’ve finished written their first draft.
Bill: A checklist?
Toni: Yes, a list of things to check — obvious things, but the ones which are often forgotten. Well, to check if the register is the right one, of course, so if a report is supposed to formal, then it should be formal. No contractions, no colloquial expressions, and then spelling and headings.
Bill: Yes, everyone makes spelling mistakes, and usually the same ones again and again. If you can identify your own particular mistakes, then you can add them to your checklist.
Toni: Yes, that’s true.
Bill: Thank you!
A. Toni informs Bill on what marks she has just given. — 2: False
B. Bill thinks reports are easier to write than narrative texts. — 1: True
C. Bill has never had enough imagination to write narrative texts. — 3: Not stated
D. Some students make mistakes not paying attention to the exam questions. — 1: True
E. Toni thinks some students don’t write a plan for their report. — 1: True
F. Toni’s students normally check each other’s reports. — 3: Not stated
G. It’s not a good idea to include your spelling mistakes to your checklists. — 2: False