Category Archives: Listening

Exercises designed to test your listening skill. Any materials enhancing your knowledge about listening strategy during exam. Examples of original Polish military tests.

Tactical game – testing stage

English resources for the military

I believe I have a great news for all military English fans. I have been developing the idea of a tactical board game for the English learners for two years already. And this week I finally reached the stage of practical tests in my unit. The idea of a tactical game originated from my own experience with language learning and the language deficiencies identified during ISAF mission. No matter what teachers I had I always missed practical application of the materials presented. To

Fragment of a tactical game board. Ghazni area in Afghanistan - the settings of the game for the military.

The game board – one sixth of the featured sketch. Ghazni area of Afganistan.

pratice military jargon in real military situations with non-military teachers was even harder to perform.

But this year I’m going to change this situation a little! Let me explain to you what the whole concept is about.

English tactical game – rules

The rules are super simple. There are two players or teams in the game – color coded as Whites and Blacks. Whites are players who do tasks of the patrol leader and Blacks are those who do tasks of the unit commander in TOC. Players draw Continue reading “Tactical game – testing stage” »

English test on level 2 – listening

Listening comprehension tasks according to STANAG 6001 - military EnglishSTANAG 6001 test – courtesy of CEBFL in Poland. You can practise it on-line. The whole test is designed to test your listening comprehension within 35 minutes. Any time the break is required, you will be informed and must count this time yourself. All tasks recordings are played twice during exam.

Listening test – SLP 2222

(L2/L/002)

Task One

 For questions 1-7 please choose the best answer a), b) or c). You now have one minute to look through the questions for Task One.

You can play and/or download the task 1 here.

1. David became successful when he showed tricks to …

A. ordinary people
B. famous people
C. TV viewers Continue reading “English test on level 2 – listening” »

Listening comprehension – level 2

Listening comprehension tasks according to STANAG 6001 - military EnglishSTANAG 6001 test derived from the Central Examination Board for  Foreign Languages of the Ministry of National Defense (CEBFL) in Poland. It was adjusted a little to make it easier for the site visitors to practise on-line. The whole test is designed to test your listening comprehension within 35 minutes. Any time the break is required, you will be informed and must count this time yourself. All tasks recordings are played twice during exam.

Listening test – SLP 2222

(L2/L/001)

Task One

For questions 1-7 please choose the best answer a), b) or c). You now have one minute to look through the questions for Task One.

You can play and/or download the task one here.

1. The Grand National horse race is … Continue reading “Listening comprehension – level 2” »

Level 4 test – listening part

listening resources for STANAG 6001 testsIt’s another STANAG 6001 test derived from the Central Examination Board for  Foreign Languages of the Ministry of National Defense (CEBFL) in Poland. Again, it was adjusted a little to make it easier for the site visitors to practise on-line.

Listening test – SLP 4444

(L4/L/002)

Task One

You are going to listen to six news items. Listen and choose the best answer A, B, C or D. You can hear the items once only. I repeat, once only. Take a break of 30 seconds before each news item to read through the questions to that item.

1. Recently, the Congolese President …

Play/download task 1_1 here.

A.     has invited foreigners to join the Congolese Army
B.     has promised to tighten cooperation with Rwanda
C.     has authorized the use of force against the rebels
D.     has criticized the proxy war between Hutus and Tutsis

Continue reading “Level 4 test – listening part” »

Listening tasks – level 4 exam

LEVEL 4 EXAM (SLP4444)

Listening tasks

(L4/L/001)

Today, I present the first material for listening test on level 4 according to STANAG 6001. This is a full examination set, checking your listening skills. The test was designed by the Central Examination Board for  Foreign Languages of the Ministry of National Defense (CEBFL), Poland. All recordings are taken from their test and were modified to make the whole test easier to practice for the Internet users. All tasks were organized in such a way to let you do each task seperately. Original listening exam is played continuously with no breaks, however, the pauses are included in the recording. The same concerns repetitions whenever the task foresees listening to the recording twice. Here, you will have to play the given part twice instead. Original instructions were adjusted to fit an on-line character of the test. I considered recorded verbal instructions as pointless here, therefore they were removed from the recordings. Enjoy the test and do not hesitate to comment on it, like it, recommend it or to ask for additional resources via e-mail.

Continue reading “Listening tasks – level 4 exam” »

Level 4 exam – marking considerations

STANAG exam requirements

As far as the exam requirements are concerned there is nothing surprising about the fact that your four basic linguistic skills will be tested. There is a fixed sequence of the skills tests. Reading goes as the first one, then listening follows, then writing and eventually speaking. In each part the examinee should show his/her proficiency in English, but how we are marked for our performance depends on the assessment criteria and the assessors’ evaluation. Fortunately, the assessment criteria are not a mistery any longer.

STANAG 6001 – marking system

The assessment criteria introduced to Polish examination boards are very simple and clear. For each part of the exam you can receive 20 points in total. Many people are familiar with that number of points to get, however, not many know that the total number of points you are awarded consists of four components (applicable to so called productive skills only). For each skill there are different components which are subject to evaluation during the exam.

For writing it will be :

1) grammatical range and accuracy – max. 6 points;
2) lexical range and accuracy – max. 6 points;
3) task achievements – max. 6 points;
4) organisation – max. 2 points.

For speaking it will be:

1) grammatical range and accuracy – max. 6 points;
2) vocabulary range and accuracy – max. 6 points;
3) presentation skills – max. 5 points;
4) interactive ability – max. 3 points.

If you fail any of the productive components, you cannot pass the whole skill part of the exam. E.g. you can get 6 points for writing accuracy, 6 points for lexical range, but you failed in task achievement and you got two points for organisation. The total number of points is 14, theoretically it still  is the pass mark, but since you didn’t achieve the overarching goal of your task, you are not given the credit for your writing. To make things worse, to pass the components you are required to fit your performance into so called ‘top band‘ or ‘pass band‘. It means that in case of grammatical range and accuracy you have to obtain at least 4 points out of 6 available in the rating scale.

 Writing – rating scale:

Grammatical range and accuracy Lexical range and accuracy Task achievement Organisation
Top band

wide range of structures, including the use of complex structures;
complete accuracy achieved

6 points

wide range of lexical resources, including complex lexis;
complete accuracy and appropriacy

6 points

all seven elements fulfilled in a satisfactory manner;
full use of supporting evidence and convincing arguments

6 points

as in the pass band

2 points

Pass band

wide range of structures, including the use of complex structures;
a few problems with complex structures;
all other structures accurate

4 points

wide range of lexical resources, including complex lexis;
minor slips in complex lexis;
all other lexis accurate and appropriate

4 points

six elements fulfilled in a satisfactory manner;
adequate use of supporting evidence and convincing arguments

4 points

paragraphs/sections well-defined and concise;
text easy to follow

2 points

Fail band wide range of structures used, including the use of complex structures; noticeable problems with complex structures; all other structures accurate

2 points

lexical accuracy generally high; complex lexis either not attempted or, if attempted, showing noticeable inaccuracies and inappropriacies

2 points

no more than five elements fulfilled in a satisfactory manner; weak or irrelevant supporting evidence and unconvincing arguments used

2 points

paragraphs/sections present but either poorly defined or not concise; text difficult to follow at times

0 points

Bad fail band wide range of simple to middle level structures; no attempt at complex structures, or if attempted, mostly inaccurate

0 points

inaccuracies and inappropiacies even in middle-level lexis

0 points

several elements not attempted or done in an unsatisfactory manner; unsatisfactory use of supporting evidence; unconvincing arguments

0 points

as in the fail band

0 points

 Speaking – rating scale:

Grammatical range and accuracy
To be assessed throughout the whole exam
Vocabulary range and accuracy
To be assessed throughout the whole exam
Presentation skills
To be assessed in the second task only
Interactive ability
To be assessed in the third task only
Top band

all structures including complex structures fully accurate

6 points

wide range of vocabulary and complex lexis used accurately; no searching for words;
no avoidance strategy applied

6 points

presentation logical and clear;
very good organisation:
– clearly marked sections
– smooth transitions
– perfect time management;a native-like fluency with
natural hesitations

5 points

awareness of the partner’s arguments and fully communicative / co-operative response to them;
turn taking maintained and noticeable attempts to involve the partner in discussion (the interlocutor’s involvement is not necessary)

3 points

Pass band

all structures including complex structures used but minor slips or few mistakes may occur;
if mistakes appear
self-correction technique is applied

4 points

wide range of vocabulary though occasional groping
for words may be present;
gaps readily overcome with circumlocution;
minor slips repaired
immediately

4 points

presentation logical and clear;
good organisation:
– clearly-marked sections
– transitions not always
present
– minor defects in time
management;

good fluency, hesitations to order ideas but not in search for lexis.

4 points

awareness and understanding of the partner’s arguments
though asking for clarification may appear;
turn taking mostly maintained though the interlocutor’s assistance may once be given in case one candidate dominates

2 points

Fail band no complex structures
attempted or attempted
unsuccessfully;
mistakes in simple
structures may occur without selfcorrection

2 points

range of vocabulary
not adequate to cope with the topic;
groping for words
frequent;
avoidance strategy
often used leading
to simplification of
language

2 points

occasional lack of logic and clarity;
organisation disturbed:
– not clearly marked
sections
– rough transitions
– impaired time
management (e.g. parts
over-stretched or missing);fluency not maintained at times due to groping for
words.

2 points

awareness and understanding of the partner’s arguments are limited;
unwillingness to ask for clarification is apparent;
turn taking mostly maintained though the interlocutor’s assistance is occasionally necessary if one candidate is constantly dominant or the other unwilling to speak

1 point

Bad fail band noticeable mistakes and/or noticeable simplification of the language used

0 points

noticeable misuse
of vocabulary
items;
communication
disturbed

0 points

lack of logic and clarity;
bad organisation:
– no divisions into sections
– no transitions
– poor time management
(e.g. presentation not
finished);fluency not maintained
because of frequent groping for words.

0 points

ignoring or misunderstanding
the partner’s arguments or/and lack of appropriate response;
turn taking noticeably
disturbed;
no attempts to involve the partner in discussion (the
interlocutor’s assistance
frequently needed

0 points

Both tables – courtesy of Central Examination Board of the Polish MoD, “Model egzaminu z języka angielskiego”, Łódź, 2007