Cambridge English Southern Europe

Experts in Language Assessment

Practical classroom exam tips and ideas for the preparation of Cambridge English FCE No 2.

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Cambridge English Language Assessment UK and Bell ran a global competition inviting teachers of English from all over the world to submit written practical teaching ideas for preparing their candidates for a range of Cambridge English examinations.

We would like to share with you these teaching ideas as in a series of posts in our blog as we believe they are practical and useful tools to integrate into your classroom experience and will help to inspire you now and in the future.

This is the second post with teaching tips for Cambridge English: FCE.

Luliana Draghici 

Job role:
Teacher, Cambridge English: First (FCE)

Exam preparation idea for:
Cambridge English: First (FCE), Reading paper, Part 1, multiple choice

1. Give each student a sheet of paper with a tree drawn on it – each branch represents a word category, e.g. noun, adjective, verb.
2. Ask students to read a text, decide on the main issue and write this on the trunk of the tree.
3. Encourage them to find words corresponding to each branch and write them on the branches.
4. Discuss the reasons for their choices.
5. Ask students to reconstruct the story, then compare their versions with the original.

Materials needed:
Paper and pens or whiteboard

Word tree
“The teacher prepares sheets of paper with a tree drawn on each. Each branch is named after the structures targeted, e.g. nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbials, and has enough space around it for students to fill in the words or phrases spotted. He/She hands out a strip of paper to each student and explains the steps.

1. Students read a text and in pairs decide on the main idea or key issue: it may be a person, a place, an event, etc.
2. Then they write it on the trunk of the tree (the trunk is always named after the key issue under discussion). For example, if they decide on a person, they will write the name of the person, e.g. ‘Danny’; if a place: ‘Cardiff’; or an event: ‘Edinburgh Art Festival’, etc.
3. They also work in pairs in order to find the words corresponding to each branch and write them along it.
4. The teacher checks with the class and they discuss the reasons for their choices, for example, how difficult it was for them to spot the words related to the key issue.
5. Without looking back at the original text, students try to reconstruct it. They compare their versions with the original and the
teacher helps them draw conclusions.

Further on, this activity could be used to spot opinion, attitude, purpose, detail, tone and gist in the given text.”

If you have any further teaching tips please submit these to:

Written by Cambridge English Southern Europe

March 31, 2013 at 10:00 am

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