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Integrated Skills in English

Sample interactive prompts ISE IV

The Interactive phase ISE IV

The purpose of the Interactive phase is for candidates to demonstrate their ability to take
control of and maintain the interaction while demonstrating their ability to use the language
functions and grammatical items of the grade.

In the Interactive phase at ISE IV, candidates are required to express the language
functions of the level and demonstrate their control of the grammatical items listed for
the level and the previous levels.
In addition to general functions such as requesting information, some of the language
functions listed for the particular level should arise naturally from each task prompt.
Therefore, candidates must be able to understand and use the language functions of the
level to take a full part in the exchange.
It is important that, once the examiner has set up the situation, the candidate takes
responsibility for the interaction by asking questions and commenting on the
examiners responses. The interaction will take the form of multiple turns, with the
examiners turns being much shorter than those of the candidate.
In some cases the interaction may involve role play but the examiner and candidate are
free to be themselves so as to create as authentic an exchange as possible.
In the Interactive phase, the responsibility for maintaining the interaction is the
candidates. If a candidate fails to maintain the interaction of this phase, the examiner
will not intervene and take control. In such a case, the phase will not extend to the full
five minutes and the candidates performance will not be rated highly.
Candidates may ask the examiner to repeat the initial oral prompt if necessary.
Those responsible for preparing candidates for the Interactive phase are strongly
advised to help them practise:
question formations using the grammatical structures of the level and
preceding levels
expressing the functions of the specific ISE level in a variety of ways
holding conversations which naturally result in the use of the language
functions of the specific ISE level
strategies to maintain the flow of conversation
taking the initiative and controlling the direction of the conversation.

On the following pages are some SAMPLE interactive prompts for ISE IV. Please note
these are samples and will NOT be used in an actual examination.
At ISE IV, the examiner will introduce this phase by saying:
In this task, Ill start by telling you something. Youll have to ask me questions to find
out more information and make comments. Its your responsibility to maintain the
conversation. Are you ready?

ISE IV Sample interactive prompts

1. Some people are worried that, as a result of globalisation, we are all in danger of losing
our cultural identities. I must say, from some of the things Ive seen, I think they may
have a point.
(Possible functions: asserting, denying, contradicting, affirming, softening and downplaying
2. Sometimes I get very annoyed when people come out with tired old stereotypes about
national characteristics. In my experience they hardly ever exist.
(Possible functions: contradicting, asserting, denying, affirming, softening and downplaying
3. The teachers in a school I know have been told by the director to make school activities
more competitive. The teachers are divided on this.
(Possible functions: asserting, implying)
4. Sometimes I think I must be the unluckiest person in the world! I seem to be prone to
more disasters than anyone else I know. Recently I can hardly make a move without
something awful happening to me.
(Possible functions: implying, softening and downplaying propositions)
5. Of all the places in the world that Ive visited, theres one which I found absolutely
fascinating for its culture and scenery. Unfortunately, it also has terrible economic
programmes and part of me felt guilty going there as a tourist.
(Possible functions: affirming, asserting, contradicting)
6. There used to be a series on the radio a while ago called 'True Confessions' where
people admitted to what were usually trivial misdemeanours they'd carried out some time
in their past. I never took part myself but I must admit I was tempted.
(Possible functions: denying, implying, affirming)
7. These days it's almost become a clich to say that you can't trust a politician but once
in a while, as in fact happened to me the other week, you hear something to make you
feel more optimistic.
(Possible functions: asserting, contradicting, affirming, denying)
8. I've got quite a few friends who advocate an alternative lifestyle which at times seems
to verge on anarchy. They're always pressurising me to join them and I can see some
advantages but am not totally convinced.
(Possible functions: asserting, affirming, contradicting, softening and downplaying propositions)
9. I changed my job a few months ago and all the benefits I'd hoped for have in fact
materialised but I'm still finding it difficult to get used to working with my new colleagues
and am wondering if I did make the right decision after all.
(Possible functions: asserting, implying, softening and downplaying propositions)
10. I went to a new modern art gallery a few months ago with a friend. I thought the main
exhibit was completely ridiculous - I really thought they were pulling our leg - but my
friend didn't agree.
(Possible functions: asserting, affirming, denying, contradicting)

11. Advertising is getting more and more sophisticated all the time. Im not sure that
companies should be allowed to target young children, who then pester their parents for
things they cant afford to buy.
(Possible functions: affirming, contradicting)
12. Stars often complain about being hounded by photographers and seeing their intimate
secrets published in the media. But surely, a loss of privacy is the price celebrities have
to pay for fame and fortune.
(Possible functions: affirming, contradicting, softening and downplaying propositions)
13. I've made a mistake with something and really feel I should own up to it but maybe it's
better to leave well enough alone and hope that no-one finds out.
(Possible functions: affirming, contradicting)
14. An elderly friend of mine is delighted at the news that they are planning to have a
more visible police force in the area. She's convinced it will lead to less crime but I'm not
so sure either about the motives or the outcome of this move.
(Possible functions: asserting, contradicting, affirming, softening and downplaying propositions)
15. I know a couple who haven't got a great deal of money who have been offered vast
sums of money to use their child in advertisements. We were talking about it the other
day and they're in a real dilemma as to whether to accept the offer or not.
(Possible functions: asserting, denying, contradicting)

Disclaimer: The above materials have been provided to assist teachers with the preparation of
learners for the Trinity Integrated Skills in English. Please make sure you consult the syllabus fully
for all requirements of the examinations. Trinity will not accept appeals which cite the use of
examination materials in support of the appeal.