21 Sep 2021

B1 Preliminary Writing checklists

In today’s post, I’m sharing some checklists to use with B1 Preliminary students.

Getting students to check their answer once they’ve finished writing is always a struggle. So, to encourage them to do this, and hopefully reinforce the layout, language and content needed, I created these checklists. You could project the checklist onto the board and students can re-read their answers and see if they can tick all the boxes, or, students could work in pairs and read both their answers together and discuss if they can both tick all the boxes.

Part 1 – the email

In Part 1, the compulsory question, candidates have to write an email. For many of our younger students, they may not have very much real-life experience of writing emails, but it is something that we can teach quite easily, by showing them examples. And it should be a relevant thing to know for their future as they will probably need to write emails in the future.

Typically, for the emails, poorer answers occur because of lack of planning, omitting one (or more) content point(s), or, often, all four content points are mentioned, but one of more of the content points is not sufficiently developed, so the effect on the target reader (assessed under Content) is not positive.  The content should be developed and include suggestions, preferences and reasons for these ideas and choices.  A useful language area for making suggestions is, of course modal verbs – should, might, could – for example.

The email checklist covers these areas, style, tone, organisation and touches on language.















Part 2 

In this part, candidates can choose to write either a story or an article.

The story

For the story, students have to continue from the first sentence, which is given in the question.

Typical errors include inconsistent use of pronouns.  If the person in the story is a male figure, then the pronouns need to be he, him, his, etc. If she’s a female, then she needs to stay female throughout.

Good stories have a range of tenses to put things in perspective. They have a variety in sentence length. 

The story checklist includes these areas.

The article

For the other writing task, the article, candidates have to write about a topic and usually answer three questions, and include opinions and reactions.

This is perhaps a task that students won’t have much experience of writing, so showing them lots of examples is a good idea. You can use the samples in the B1 Preliminary and B1 Preliminary for Schools Handbooks, as well as article from the Internet on topics that students enjoy.

Notice, that as well as reasons, examples are extremely useful for writing articles.

I hope you’ll find these checklists useful and you can download them here.

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