Cambridge English Southern Europe

Experts in Language Assessment

Practical classroom exam tips and ideas for the preparation of Cambridge English FCE No 3.

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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 third post with teaching tips for Cambridge English: FCE.

Roxana Sava, Romania 

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

Exam preparation idea for:
Cambridge English: First (FCE), Writing paper

1. Pre-writing activities: brainstorming, planning, generating ideas, questioning, prompts.
2. Activities during writing: recursive writing, self-editing and revisions.
3. Post-writing activities: re-reading, eliminating redundant details.
4. Additional writing activities: vocabulary games, error file.

Materials needed:
Writing materials

Writing preparation and exercises
“Some pre-writing activities include brainstorming (where students divided into groups produce ideas about the writing), planning (students make a plan of the writing before they start), generating ideas (students write about the subject in six different ways – they describe it, compare it, associate it, analyse it, apply it, and argue for or against it), questioning (in groups students generate questions about the topic and the answers to these questions will form the basis to the writing), prompts (a well-chosen picture or
song), and so on.

During writing, I try to engage students in recursive writing, self-editing and revisions, and also guide them through areas such as syntax. Post-writing activities help students reflect on and revise their writing based on feedback from an audience. This consists of re-reading their work and making sure sentences make sense. Also, at this stage, students need to eliminate unnecessary/redundant details.

Vocabulary games are also a great help when it comes to writing. I use crossword puzzles, ‘the last is first’, ‘hangman’, ‘outburst’, and many others to help my students’ command of words.

And, last but not least, I make my students keep an error file throughout the preparation. Their mistakes are divided in sections (grammar, spelling, word order, etc.) for them to see what areas need improvement.”

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

Written by Cambridge English Southern Europe

April 1, 2013 at 10:00 am

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