Spanish Continuers

NESA documents

Stage 6 Spanish Continuers syllabus

Assessment and reporting in Continuers Stage 6

Support materials – including past HSC papers

Advice for students

HSC examinations in Continuers language courses – advice for students (DOCX 86KB) – generic advice to support students of the Continuers course to prepare for the oral and written HSC examinations.

Text types in Continuers

What are ‘texts’ (text types)?

‘Texts’ (text types) are various forms of spoken and written language, such as articles, conversations, letters and so on. Each text type varies in its characteristics of format, style, and language. In the Spanish Continuers HSC written examination, the following text types are specified for production:

  1. article
  2. diary entry
  3. email
  4. letter
  5. message
  6. note
  7. notice
  8. postcard
  9. recount
  10. report
  11. script of an interview
  12. script of a speech/talk.

Note: In the oral examination, you participate in a conversation.

In the written section of the HSC examination, you are required to produce 2 different styles of writing:

  • the first style is informative or descriptive
  • the second style is reflective, persuasive or evaluative, and could require you to explain or justify a point of view.

Using the correct text type and including the correct style of content is important.

Sample tasks and practice questions

Past HSC papers can be downloaded from the NESA website.

Some past HSC questions have been used as sample tasks in this document.

For each task, identify the following:

  1. What is the purpose?
  2. Who is the audience?
  3. What is the context?
  4. What is the required text type?
  5. What is the style?

The ‘texts’ (text types)

1 – article

Purpose

  • to sustain an argument
  • to describe
  • to inform, persuade, amuse or entertain

Structure

  • titles/headings (if appropriate)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas
  • statement of conclusion or advice

Language features

  • range of tenses (past, present, future, conditional)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the article)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in SPANISH. You have been asked to write an article for your local paper about a festival held recently in your area, including an evaluation of how successful it was.

2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 12(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

2 – diary entry

Purpose

  • a personal reflection on a theme, place or situation

Structure

  • date
  • opening (Querido diario)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas
  • concluding statement (for example Adiós, Es todo por hoy)
  • sign off with name (optional)

Language features

  • written in the first person (keep the tone/perspective of the character from whose perspective you are writing)
  • usually written in past tense (simple past, imperfect, past perfect)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal register

Sample questions

Write approximately 200 words in SPANISH. You have been given a pet but your parents are not in favour of you keeping it. Write a diary entry in which you reflect on the situation.

2013 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2013

Write approximately 200 words in SPANISH. Your best friend is thinking about leaving school and has asked you for your opinion. Write a diary entry in which you reflect on the positive and negative aspects of your friend’s decision before talking to him/her about it.

2017 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017

3 – email

Purpose

  • to use technology-based methods of communication
  • to send greetings
  • to retell events
  • to inform
  • to seek a response

Structure

  • email conventions (you are not usually required to write an email address in the exam)
  • specific details without elaboration
  • salutation (for example Estimado señor, Estimada señora, Querido…, Querida…, Hola)
  • conclusion (for example Saludos cordiales, Un saludo, Un abrazo, Estamos en contacto)

Language features

  • range of tenses (present, perfect, imperfect, conditional)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the email)

Sample questions

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in SPANISH. You have just returned from your Year 12 farewell luncheon. Write an email to your best friend, who was unable to attend, describing your experience.

2012 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2012

Write approximately 200 words in SPANISH. Your friends support the proposal to replace the local park with a shopping centre. You do not agree with this proposal. Write the text of an email to your friends to persuade them to change their point of view.

2014 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2014

4 – letter

Purpose

  • to communicate in writing with acquaintances, friends or family
  • to inform, amuse, persuade

Structure

  • your name and address on the right side with the address to which you are writing on the left (formal)
  • town and date under the address to which you are writing
  • salutations (for example Estimado señor, Estimada señora, Querido…, Querida…)
  • letter conventions (for example Muchas gracias por su/tu respuesta, Espero sus/tus noticias)
  • ending (for example Saludos cordiales, Cordialmente, Aprovecho la ocasión para enviarle un cordial saludo, Con cariño, Estamos en contacto, un abrazo)

Language features

  • range of tenses (present, perfect, imperfect, future, conditional)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • formality of language will depend on relationship between participants (for example letter to a friend or letter to a newspaper)

Sample questions

Write approximately 200 words in SPANISH. You have decided to travel for a year before making any decisions about your future. Write a letter to your best friend persuading him/her to join you.

2010 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 13(b) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2010

Write approximately 200 words in SPANISH. You are working part time in an after-school centre. Write a letter to the person in charge persuading him or her to introduce the learning of Spanish into the after-school program.

2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

5 – message

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type, such as voicemail message, text message, email, social media post.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • frequent use of colloquial language if to a close friend/family member
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the message)

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in SPANISH. Your friend did not turn up to your birthday party and has not given you an explanation. Write a message to him/her in which you express your disappointment.

2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

6 – note

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type such as voicemail message, text message, email.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • frequent use of colloquial language (does not necessarily mean informal register)
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the note)

Sample questions

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in SPANISH. Write a note to your grandmother thanking her for your birthday present.

2011 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 11 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2011

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in SPANISH. You are looking for someone to share your apartment but you have special requirements. Write a note to place on the noticeboard in your local shopping centre.

2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

7 – notice

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to seek a response (for example looking for a pen pal or looking for a roommate to share accommodation)

Structure

  • heading/addressee
  • specific details without elaboration
  • statement of conclusion or advice (for example giving contact details)

Language features

  • often written in present tense
  • language can be descriptive, factual, emotive or persuasive depending on context
  • informal or formal register

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in SPANISH. You are intending to rent an apartment at the end of the school year. Write a notice to be placed in the school bulletin asking if anyone wants to share an apartment with you.

Adapted from 2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

8 – postcard

Purpose

  • to provide information, amuse or entertain
  • to retell events and experiences (for example who, where, what, when)

Structure

  • salutations (Querido…, Querida…, Hola…)
  • brief description or message
  • formulaic ending (Besos, Hasta pronto)

Language features

  • descriptive language
  • personal impressions
  • present or past tense, for example what it is like, or where you went, what you did, what you saw

Sample question

Write approximately 75 words in SPANISH. You have been travelling throughout a Spanish speaking country. Write a postcard about your experiences to the primary school soccer team you coached last year.

Adapted from 2009 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 12(a) (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2009

9 – recount

Purpose

  • to inform or entertain
  • to retell past events or experiences
  • to retell a series of events

Structure

  • introduction/orientation (set the scene – who, what, where, when)
  • events sequenced in chronological order
  • closing statement

Language features

  • often told in the first person
  • descriptive language
  • often told in past tense (imperfect, perfect)
  • time words to connect events (for example en primer lugar, luego, finalmente, cuando, mientras tanto)
  • words which tell us when, where, with whom and how
  • linking words (for example si, porque, pero)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in SPANISH. Write a recount for your school blog reflecting on a special family celebration.

Adapted from 2013 Higher School Certificate Examination, Korean Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2013

10 – report

Purpose

  • to present information about a class of things (to classify) OR
  • to describe the way things are
  • to organise facts
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • general statement or classification
  • series of paragraphs that describes
  • logical progression
  • concluding statement or summary

Language features

  • factual with supporting evidence, such as statistics, examples
  • objective language
  • linking words (for example si, porque, pero)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in SPANISH. Recent studies have shown that students who work part-time for more than six hours per week will suffer adversely in terms of their levels of performance and achievement. You have spoken with a significant number of students in Years 11 and 12. Write a report based on these students’ comments for your school principal in which you identify and discuss the issues.

Adapted from 2005 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 13(b) (9 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2005

Note: This question is now worth 10 marks.

11 – script of an interview

Purpose

  • to find out information (for example a story or a response)
  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • salutations
  • clear idea of the purpose of the interview (Me gustaría hablar sobre…)
  • question and response sequence (initials followed by a colon, for example A: and B:)
  • use of filler expressions (¿no es así? pero, pero no, por supuesto, de hecho)
  • conclusion (for example Gracias por su atención)

Language features

  • question forms (by the interviewer)
  • register – use polite language (for example, Usted)
  • phrases to delve deeper (for example ¿Qué piensas de ...? porque)
  • transition strategies when switching topics (Ahora me gustaría hablar de otro tema, hablemos de, hablando de, para pasar al siguiente tema)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in SPANISH. You have interviewed a youth group leader for your local newspaper. Write the script of the interview in which the leader reflects on the experience of working with young people.

2015 Higher School Certificate Examination, Spanish Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015

12 – script of a speech/talk

Purpose

  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to entertain
  • to persuade
  • to welcome
  • to thank

Structure

  • salutations (for example Queridos compañeros, Estimados señoras y señores, Buenos días/buenas tardes, señoras y señores)
  • introductory statement of purpose (for example Hoy hablaré de..., Me dirijo a ustedes)
  • ideas and information organised and linked
  • concluding remarks (for example para terminar, por último, os doy las gracias por)

Language features

  • choice of expressions to engage the audience
  • descriptive words
  • range of tenses
  • usually subjective language (this depends on the context)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in SPANISH. You are going to give a speech in honour of someone important in your life at his/her birthday celebration. Write the script of the speech.

Adapted from 2014 Higher School Certificate Examination, French Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2014

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