Cambridge English Southern Europe

Experts in Language Assessment

Practical classroom exam tips and ideas for the preparation of Cambridge English FCE No 5.

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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 fifth post with teaching tips for Cambridge English: FCE.

Anna Pavlycheva, Russia 

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

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

1. Begin by teaching students the rules of writing a paragraph.
2. Develop this by exploring writing different types of paragraph.
3. Introduce connecting words and phrases appropriate for each type of paragraph.
4. Encourage students to study example paragraphs and find the topic sentence, underline linkers and identify supporting ideas.
5. Ask students to write their own paragraphs.

Materials needed:
White board or pieces of paper.

How to create a proper paragraph
“First of all, I teach my students how to create a proper paragraph. It is a good idea to start with making the topic sentence (main idea) of a paragraph, which can be either at the beginning or at the end. It is also advisable to memorise useful phrases that are likely to help a student express the topic sentence.

After that students are taught to write different types of paragraph, for example, the one which follows a contrast pattern, a listing pattern, a comparison pattern, a process pattern, a classification paragraph, a cause and effect pattern. In order to create a cohesive and unified piece of writing, students also learn how to make use of connecting words and phrases appropriately for each kind
of paragraph.

It should be mentioned that a good way to grasp the idea of how to write a paragraph is to study an example. Therefore students are always given sample pieces of writing to look at. They read them, find the topic sentence, underline linkers and identify supporting ideas. Finally, they create their own paragraph about something, following the sample answer given. They can be offered a topic
sentence or make their own.”

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

Written by Cambridge English Southern Europe

April 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

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