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AMEP Research Centre

Practice Tasks in Cert I, II and III in Spoken and written English

Book 1 for CSWE I and Preliminary Certificate By Karen Barber, Veronica Ribbons and Linda Frizelle
Book 2 for CSWE II Produced by Central TAFE WA
Book 3 for CSWE III by Shirley Haak and Katherine Seal

Book 1 for CSWE I and Preliminary Certificate
By Karen Barber, Veronica Ribbons and Linda Frizelle,
Published by the Western Australian Department of Education and Training 2006

The Practice Tasks for Certificate I and Preliminary Certificate is a comprehensive collection of tasks designed to give teachers a range of activities to prepare students prior to testing all Language Outcomes in both CSWE and Pre CSWE.

Whilst many teachers would use similar practice tests from their own teaching materials, this book gives a wide range of activities which are presented in a format aligned with the moderated assessments from the Curriculum Folder.  Use of this book would, in theory, eliminate the overuse of moderated assessment tasks.

A broad range of practice tests is included for all Language Outcomes, including a useful grid for ALO1.  The listening activities are particularly useful. They are clearly spoken and have a range of activities for students, including grids to complete from the spoken information.  

Whilst some of the practice tasks are specific for Western Australia, this book would be a useful addition for a teachers’ collection.  

However, due to the similarity of the layout of the practice tasks with the moderated tasks, care must be taken not to confuse these tasks with moderated tasks.

Reviewed by Meredith Hill, TAFE South Australia English Language Services


Book 2 for CSWE II
Produced by Central TAFE WA
Published by the Western Australian Department of Education and Training 2006

This resource comprises a book and CD. The practice tasks are for CSWE 2 modules A 1, A 3, B 1, B 2, B 3, E 1, G 1 & 2, H 1& 2. There are between one and six tasks for each of the modules mentioned above and each, where appropriate, includes an answer key. For module B 3 there is also a model answer. The CD is well produced, clear and the language pace is appropriate to the level. Perhaps the audio could also be made available on tape, as many community teachers don’t have access to more than one CD player, so in grouped classes CD players and tape players are used.

The task sheets are well set out and instructions to both teachers and students are brief and clear. The learner and interlocutor cards for module A 3 and E 1 are well devised with bullet points to draw attention to the requirements of each task. My students found these useful as they prepared for the tests.

Several students commented on the use of places in and around Perth – Perth Zoo, Midland Markets, Beatty Park, Cambridge Forum in Wembley, Araluen and other named suburbs. As many tasks use place names that are not recognizable to students here in “the West”, the familiarity seemed, perhaps, more authentic to them.

The only criticism, and it is a minor one, is that the second practice task for module B 1 was too long and was confusing for students.

This is a quality resource and very useful for teachers and students as a practical guide for test readiness. It is well presented and I would recommend it to all centres.

Reviewed by Lyn Grubiša, AMES WA April 2007


Book 3 for CSWE III
By Shirley Haak and Katherine Seal
Published by Western Australian Department of Education and Training 2006

Practice Tasks for Certificate 3 in Spoken and Written English is a course book with an accompanying CD and tasks designed for learners to practise the modules in the Certificate in Spoken and Written English III.

I have used this course book in a class which consisted of students from a variety of cultural backgrounds, 85% females, between the ages of 24 and 45. Most of the students have a tertiary educational background and plan to continue with further study in Australia. The practice tasks covered nine of the thirteen modules in the CSWE III, and all the learning outcomes for each module are represented. I have found the practice tasks to be very useful as they provided a broad range of new tasks.

Each learning outcome has two practice tasks so there is a choice of materials and themes. Some of activities may not be relevant to every class, so in my experience it was good to have more than one task available. Topics covered are broad ranging, from making pancakes to having a car detailed and of course, all relevant to Australia. The language used in the tasks is pitched at the level suitable for Certificate III and of appropriate complexity, with the inclusion of some idiomatic language,

The listening texts use authentic language and Australian accents and patterns of speaking, which are very useful. The casual conversations are between a male and a female which I found really helpful as models like this are hard to find in general listening texts for ESL.

In my teaching I have opted to use Practice Task 1 for Module K, Learning Outcome 1, for reading a newspaper article. This task is on the theme of emails, which tie well into the practice tasks for B LO2, writing an email.  Hence it could be integrated into a teaching theme instead of being taught in isolation. The reading is also a good model for writing as it has the logical structure of Introduction, paragraphs and conclusion, which a lot of newspaper articles do not have, so this also ties in to the structure of formal writing.

The answers are provided, where relevant, for each task. With the multiple choice answers in the reading task above, the answer key has proven to be helpful as some of the choices are quite ambiguous and students could give an oral explanation for their options.

A particularly helpful feature of the tasks is the provision of clearly explained assessment criteria for completing the task. This has not been available with other assessment material and is essential in outlining task requirements to students.

I found the book a really useful resource and the tasks I trialled in class were appropriate for the Certificate III level and the students found it to be interesting. The book has a great advantage as it is a photocopiable resource and it also provides more than one option to test a particular task.

Reviewed by Jennifer Chamberlain, RMIT University, Victoria