Published on February 18, 2014
Preliminary and Preliminary for Schools FCE and First for Schools Productive skills: Speaking and Writing CEIN, February 22, 2014
Handout 1 Listening and Speaking ‘Can Do’ statements The chart below contains the Listening ‘Can Do’ statements for Cambridge English: Preliminary and Cambridge English: First. And For schools. Fit the Speaking ‘Can Do’ statements into the correct gaps. 1. CAN keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics. 2. CAN express own opinion, and present arguments to a limited extent. 3. CAN check that all instructions are understood. Can ask for factual information and understand the answer. Can ask for clarification and further explanation and will probably understand the answer. 4. CAN offer advice to clients within own job area on simple matters. 5. CAN take part in a seminar or tutorial using simple language. CAN repeat back what people say to check that he/ she has understood and give detailed practical instructions on how to do something he/ she knows well. 6. CAN ask for information about travel and accommodation. CAN talk about things such as films and music and describe his/ her reaction. 7. CAN express simple opinions on abstract/cultural matters in a limited way or offer advice within a known area. 8. CAN keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics. CAN understand and discuss the stories in films, books, TV programmes with their friends Listening and Speaking ‘Can Do’ statements Cambridge English: Preliminary Cambridge English: First CAN understand straightforward Overall general ability CAN follow a talk on a instructions or public familiar topic. announcements. CAN CAN CAN identify the main topic of a news broadcast on television if further explanation, and is there is a strong visual element. Social and tourist CAN ask for clarification and likely to understand the Can identify the main points of TV programmes on familiar topics answer. CAN CAN CAN follow a simple CAN ask for factual presentation/demonstration. information and understand CAN Work the answer. CAN CAN understand instructions on Study and school CAN answer predictable or classes and assignments given factual questions. by a teacher or lecturer. CAN CAN CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
Handout 2 The differences between Cambridge English: Preliminary and Cambridge English: First Speaking You are going to watch two videos of Cambridge English: Preliminary and Cambridge English: First candidates performing Part 1 of the Speaking test. Whilst you are watching, take notes about the differences in level between Cambridge English: Preliminary and Cambridge English: First, using the following questions as a guide. 1. All four candidates are asked where they are from. What do you notice about the difference in the responses from the Cambridge English: Preliminary and Cambridge English: First candidates? 2. What do you notice about how the candidates use connectors and discourse markers. In which exam do you hear these? Yeah so it depends 3. but and because as I said Pronunciation: At Cambridge English: Preliminary (B1), pronunciation should be ‘generally intelligible, but L1 features may put a strain on the listener’, whereas at Cambridge English: First (B2), ‘although pronunciation is easily understood, L1 features may be intrusive’. Think about the four candidates’ pronunciation. Do you think they fit the scales? Give examples where possible. 4. When the candidates pause to think before answering, do you notice any differences? 5. Think about the content of the candidates’ answers. Which answers would the candidates have been able to prepare for before the exam? Which would have been the most familiar? Which would have been harder to predict? CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
SPEAKING Handout 3 Common clangers! FCE These are all very common mistakes at this level which candidates make. Correct them with a partner. Which ones are impeding errors? 1. Going to the beach is very funny! 2. I was to the mountains last weekend. 3. They are my friends during a lot of years. 4. They are enjoying near a lake. 5. I am agree/ I am not agree with you. 6. I like to stay with my friends. 7. The girl is very concentrated. 8. He is a cooker in a restaurant. 9. My village is well-‐connected with Madrid. 10. I prefer study by my own. 11. I don’t practise any sport. 12. The city can be so stressing. 13. I am used to play football three times a week. 14. You can relax yourself. Pronunciation nature society comfortable mountains interesting necessary clothes dangerous Redundancy From my point of view, I prefer.. In my opinion I think…. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
Handout 4 Part 1 Personal questions A) Read these extracts of different students completing Part 1 of the Cambridge English: First Speaking test. Which answer do you think is the best? Examiner: Where are you from? Student: Barcelona Examiner: What do you like about living there? Student: My family. My friends. Examiner: Where are you from? Student: Barcelona, in Spain. Examiner: What do you like about living there? Student: All my friends and my family live there and there are many things to do. Barcelona is a very popular city! Examiner: Where are you from? Student: I am from Barcelona. It is the second-‐biggest city in Spain and the biggest city in Catalonia in the north-‐east of Spain. It has a population of more than 4 million people. Barcelona is very popular with tourists because it is a beautiful city and has many attractions for visitors to see, especially the famous architecture of Gaudi. It is also an industrial city and the textile, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors are all big employers in the region. It is also famous for football … B) Discuss these questions with your partner. Try to make your answers as naturalsounding as possible. • How do you get to work/school/college every day? • What is your favourite time of the year? Why? • Do you like listening to music? What kind of music do you listen to? • Are you more of a morning person or an evening person? • What do you like to do with your friends? CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
Handout 5 Questioning : Preliminary 1. Tell the class an interesting and true fact about yourself, e.g. I’m getting married in the autumn/I’ve just taken an exam/I was really worried last week/etc. 2. Pause, and hopefully someone will ask you a follow-up question. 3. Answer it, and explain that asking questions is a very important part of the speaking skill. 4. Write the following sentences on the board: • I never eat breakfast. • I’m writing an important email. • I hate flying. • My mother is in the USA. 5. Tell students that they have to think of at least three questions for each piece of information. N.B. If necessary, give them prompt words like why/what/how long?/etc. 6. Divide the students into groups of four. One person in the group says one of the sentences on the board and the other three have to ask them questions. The person then has to invent answers and create a situation or story: a sort of role play. 7. When students have had enough time for each person to make a statement, ask for some group feedback – which was the strangest/funniest situation? CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
HANDOUT 6: PRELIMINARY PART 2 SPEAKING Worksheet Help! I have to talk about this photograph – What can I say? Tip: Start with the general context then describe the details. The general context Is it inside or outside? How do you know? Example: The people are outside because I can see the sky. Is it day or night? How do you know? Example: It could be the morning or afternoon because the light is not turned on. What’s the weather like? How do you know? The people How many people can you see? How old are they? Describe their hair/eyes/faces … Describe their clothes. What are they doing? How do you know this? About the rest of the picture What things can you see in the picture? Where are they? CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
Handout 6 Part 2 Comparing photos FCE 1 Timing Procedure 1. Students work in pairs. Student A is given a Part 2 task. They should describe the first photograph for 10–15 seconds, then move to the second photograph and say what is similar and what is different from the first. Allow 15–20 seconds for this. Finally, student A addresses the task written above the photographs, all the time mentioning similarities and differences. There will be approximately 25–30 seconds left for this. 2. Student B times student A, indicating when each block of time is up. 3. Students swap roles, and repeat the activity with a second pair of photographs. Feedback It is a good idea to practise this regularly to give your students a better feel for the timing – they should be able to gauge the amount of time to spend on each photograph, and on the question. This will increase their confidence regarding Part 2 of the paper. 2 Answering the question Procedure 1. Distribute the worksheet (A): Answering the question to one person in each pair. Ensure that they read the question before folding the page and showing the photographs to their partner. Give student A a minute to speak and then ask student B in each pair to guess what the question was. 2. Distribute the worksheet (B): Answering the question to the students who listened the last time. Ensure that they read the question, fold the page and show the photographs to their partner. Give them a minute to speak and then allow time for student A to guess the supplementary question. 3. In feedback, you can discuss whether students guessed right or wrong and you could give (or elicit from students) some good examples of ways to answer the questions that they have just discussed. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
Worksheet (A): Answering the question Student A You are going to compare the following photographs and answer the question. Do not tell your partner what the question is. Fold the sheet and show the photographs to your partner, but do not show them the question. Here are two photographs of people eating. Compare the photographs and say what you think the people are enjoying about eating in these situations. ****************fold here***************************fold here********************************* CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
Worksheet (B): Answering the question You are going to compare the following photographs and answer the question. Do not tell your partner what the question is. Fold the sheet and show the photographs to your partner, but do not show them the question. Here are two photographs of people with animals. Compare the photographs and say why you think the animals are important to these people’s lives. ****************fold here***************************fold here********************************* CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
WRITING Handout 7: Challenges in writing Choose the three key issues your students face in the Cambridge English: Preliminary and FCE and Preliminary/ First for Schools Writing paper from the list below. 1) Learners don’t use full sentences with correct grammar and punctuation when they write. They tend to write in note form or text speech. 2) Learners find it difficult to sequence their ideas logically. Teenage logic seems to be different to that of adults. What is logical in English is not necessarily logical in students’ L1. 3) Learners don’t read the question carefully enough and then write a ‘great’ answer which is inappropriate, as it does not meet the task instructions. 4) Learners don’t think that they need to check their work once it is written and then receive a lower grade than they expected as they did not correct their mistakes. 5) Learners don’t use a range of language (vocabulary and/or forms). They use their favourite language or language they are sure of. 6) Learners don’t use the correct format for the text type they write. 7) Learners don’t link their ideas together with a variety of linking words. 8) Learners have poor handwriting which, at times, is impossible to read, while some learners only use capital letters when they write. 9) Learners have poor time management and are unable to finish the second task. 10) Learners start writing their answers without planning. 11) Learners use a combination of US and UK English. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
1. Handout 8: Writing Part 1 sample task Look at this Writing Part 1 sample task. Can you identify the target audience, style and key points? CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
2. Handout 9: Writing Part 1 sample answers Candidate A Did the candidate choose an appropriate style and include the four points in her answer? Candidate B Can you identify the main mistakes this candidate has made in his answer? Hello Alex. I’m exciting about this weekend. I think it’s a good idea go to the new activity centre which has just opened near your house. I prefer climing please. I don’t like mountain biking. On Saturday if we are tired then I think we can stay in and do something. See you on Friday. Rob CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
Classroom activities PRELIMINARY LEVEL 1 At the beginning of your lesson write a brief letter to your students on the board, for example: Dear students, How are you? I hope you’re all well. Today we are not going to talk! When you want to say something you must write it on a piece of paper. Our first activity is to say hello to our classmates and find out how they are. Please write a brief note to the person next to you. Then give it to them. When you receive your note, please reply to it. We will continue to write notes for two minutes. No talking! Thank you. Mrs Jones Give your students time to read the letter. Then write, ‘OK?’ or ‘Any questions?’ on the board. If anyone has a question, invite them to write it on the board. Once there are no doubts then the students start the note-‐writing activity. You can start out with two minutes’ silence but there’s a good chance this will actually extend. Variation Students can later be encouraged to write and respond to notes on other subjects, such as invitations to a party or questions about homework. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
2 Dictogloss Here are some sentences about a holiday on a canal boat. For questions 1-‐5, complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first. Use no more than three words. 1. It took us a long time to decide where to go. We spent a long time ……………………… where to go. 2. The boat didn’t move very quickly down the river. The boat moved very ……………………… down the river. 3. We could not fish in many parts of the river. We were not ……………………… fish in many parts of the river. 4. There was a small kitchen on the boat. The boat ……………………… a small kitchen. 5. The sun shone every day of the boat trip. It was ……………………… every day of the boat trip. This short text is based on a Preliminary Writing Part 1 as a dictogloss activity: Last summer I went on holiday on a canal boat. Before we left, we spent a long time deciding where to go. The boat moved very slowly down the river and it was perfect for fishing, but we weren’t allowed to fish in many parts of the river. We cooked on the boat because it had a small kitchen. It was sunny every day of the trip, and we had a great time. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
This is an example of how one group of students reconstructed the text: Last summer, I went to holiday with a canal boat. Before left, we spent long time decide where for go. This boat went slowly on the river. It is perfect for the fishing, but we don’t allowed fish in some part of the river. We cook on boat in small kitchen. There was sunny all days of trip, and there was great time. What grammatical features do you think these students noticed when they compared their own text with the original? CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
3 A nice letter Timing 10 minutes Materials worksheet: a nice letter Rationale vocabulary development (adjectives), useful for Part 2 Procedure Brainstorm contexts where the word ‘nice’ is used, for example: a nice dress, a nice day, a nice meal. Have students offer alternatives, such as a pretty dress, a beautiful sunny day, a tasty meal. Give students the worksheet (one copy per pair). Set the following questions: a) b) To whom? (to her Auntie Jean) c) 6. Who wrote the letter? (Jenny) What is the situation? (Jenny is on a school trip in Hawaii.) Have students read through the text quickly for a general idea and to answer these questions. Review the questions as a group. 7. Then ask the students to look at the letter in detail and to suggest alternatives for the use of ‘nice’. 8. Review ideas with the whole group. Follow up: Students could write their own letter (or email) from a holiday situation, using the vocabulary that was suggested. Worksheet: a nice letter Dear Auntie Jean, Hello. How are you? I’m fine. I just thought I would w rite and tell you what a nice school trip I am having here in Hawaii. It’s a really nice hotel right on a nice beach. As you can imagine the view from our nice hotel room is really nice. I went swimming in the nice swimming pool as soon as we arrived this morning. Oh, and I must tell you about the weather – it’s absolutely nice. The weather forecast says it’s going to stay that way for the whole two weeks which is very nice. Tomorrow we are planning a trip to a nice local village where you can buy nice local handicrafts which I want to get for presents and souvenirs. I’ve heard the jewellery is nice and you know how I love to buy that kind of thing! CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
4 The longest sentence Timing 5+ minutes Rationale to encourage students to expand their ideas Procedure Write the base sentence on the board. For example: I saw a boy on a bike. 9. Ask the students to add a word or phrase to expand the idea: Yesterday, I saw a boy on a bike. (The new word is underlined.) 10. Continue until the students run out of ideas: Yesterday afternoon, I saw a small boy called John riding in the park on a beautiful new, red bike. 11. Then give the students a new base sentence. Set a time limit (e.g. two minutes) and have the students work in small groups. See which group can write the longest sentence. Follow up Students can use this sentence as part of a story. Variation: If you are working with a small group, split the group into two or three small groups and have each one write their sentence on the board so it’s easier to compare ideas. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
5 Group story Aim To encourage learners to use linkers and sequencers to make their written work more coherent and cohesive. Procedure 1. Give out a copy of the worksheet to each student. (In large groups, students could write the sentences in pairs). 2. Each student completes the first sentence. The teacher goes round and helps. 3. The students pass the piece of paper to the person sitting on their right. They then complete the second sentence on the paper they now have, reading the previous sentence so it all makes sense. The procedure is repeated until the story is finished. 4. Stick up the stories around the classroom. Students stand up and read them, and vote on which is the best/funniest/silliest etc. 5. Write up some errors from the stories on the board and correct them with the class. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
Worksheet : Group story 1. I felt nervous when the phone rang because …………………………. 2. I had just …………………………………………………………………. 3. I went to ……………………………………………… 4. but ………………………………………………………… 5. so I decided to ………………………………………………. 6. When ……………………………………………………………………… 7. I heard ..…………………………………………………………………. 8. After that, ………………………………………………………………. Finally, …………………………………………………….. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES FCE 1 Spellchecker Timing 5–10 minutes, plus preparation time Materials text in the word-‐processing programme of choice (e.g. Microsoft Word) with spelling mistakes Rationale Using ICT is especially relevant to teenagers. This is one way to heighten students’ awareness of what the spellchecker does, whilst working on spelling. Procedure 3. Before class, the teacher should prepare a short paragraph, misspelling approximately one key word in every 15 words. Either publish the text on your class blog or make sure that each student has access to a copy in, e.g. Word. 4. Make sure that the spellcheckers are turned off. 5. Ask students to work individually or in pairs to identify which words are misspelled. Once they have decided which words are incorrect, they should turn on the spellchecker to see if they were correct. 6. This activity can be done in class or for homework, though in both cases you will need students to be honest! Note: You may need to adjust the language settings of your word-processing programme so that it recognises English spelling. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
2 Focus on the problems of texting and chatting This activity encourages learners to think about the differences between ‘text speak’ and correct written English. It also aims to raise awareness of the need to plan answers for the Writing paper. Part 1 – text speech 1. Give out worksheet: Text messages and ask students to ‘translate’ the text messages into standard English (see key to worksheet, below). An alternative activity would be to have students correct/translate a tapescript. Part 2 – planning 1. Tell learners that you are going to do a rapid-fire writing activity in which they must write the first answer they think of. Tell them to divide a piece of paper into three columns. 2. Dictate a question (see a list of examples, below), which the students write in column one. Allow them 20 seconds to write their answer in column two. Repeat this process with the remaining questions. 3. When all of the questions have been answered, tell students to return to each question and, in column three, write down three points that they would like to include in their answers. The emphasis should be on content (rather than speed). 4. Finally, ask learners to number the points for each question in order of importance. 5. Feed back with the whole group. Discuss first the content of the activity, then raise awareness of the quality of their answers, comparing the first and second set of answers. Hopefully students will feel that when the focus was on planning, the content and quality of their ideas improved. 6. As a class, one of the questions can then be used to plan a longer piece of written work, similar to those that students need to write on the Cambridge English: First for Schools Writing paper. Start by generating ideas and writing them on the board. Then have students suggest ways these ideas could be organised into a coherent piece of text. This can then be set for homework. Example questions: 1. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why? 2. What is your favourite day of the week and why? 3. Is summer better than winter? 4. Describe your perfect day. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
Worksheet: Text messages Read the following text messages and abbreviations and write them out in standard English. 1) C u 2morrow 2) C u l8r 3) Cn u meet @3? 4) ASAP 5) luv u 6) IMHO 7) BTW 8) thx 9) lol 10) gr8 CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
3 Jigsaw reading Timing varies Materials a jumbled text, with the paragraphs in the wrong order Rationale This is a common activity that is useful for reviewing coherence and paragraphing, and which works well as a computer-‐based activity. Procedure 1. Before the lesson, choose an appropriate model text. For example, if the students are studying essay-‐writing, then choose an essay. It should have a clear structure with an introduction, development and conclusion. Post this text on the class blog with the paragraphs in the wrong order. 2. Ask students to access the text on their computers and paste the paragraphs in the correct order. They should be ready to explain their choices. 3. Review via a smart board (or OHP.) 4. Ask students to use the structure as a template for their own writing. For example, if they have chosen an essay and have organised it into an introduction, development and conclusion, then they use this as a plan for their essay. Variations Different aspects that show how to link the paragraphs into a text can be highlighted using this activity. For example, with one text students can work on sequencing ideas in chronological order. With another text, the focus could be on referencing, with students highlighting lexical referencing in yellow or pronouns with blue. The use of linking words could be the objective with another text. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH
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