Cambridge English Southern Europe

Experts in Language Assessment

Practical classroom exam tips and ideas for the preparation of Cambridge English FCE No 7.

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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 seventh post with teaching tips for Cambridge English: FCE.

Miloslava Navarro da Silva, Brazil 

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

Exam preparation idea for:
Cambridge English: First (FCE), Speaking paper, Part 2

1. Ask each student to choose a ‘compare and contrast’ topic card for the following homework activity.
2. Ask them to select two different photos on their topic from one of three websites specified.
3. Encourage them to record themselves answering the questions on their card, and to email the recording to you.
4. Send written feedback to each student and select a ‘video of the week’ to play next class.
5. Invite class feedback and brainstorm ideas about what else could be said about the photos.

Materials needed:
Topic cards

Topic cards – compare and contrast
“In class, each student chooses one of the Cambridge English: First Part 2 topic cards. Here are some examples:

Art: Compare and contrast the photos and say which piece of art you would choose for your house and why (e.g. a statue and a painting).

Food and drink: Compare and contrast the photos and say which meal represents a healthy diet and why (e.g. a hamburger and a salad).

Hobbies and interests: Compare and contrast the photos and say which hobby you would enjoy the most and why (e.g. playing tennis and playing cards).

Types of transport: Compare and contrast the photos and say which means of transport is more suitable for a longer journey and why
(e.g. an airplane and a car).

Places to visit: Compare and contrast the photos and say which places you would prefer to visit and why (e.g. a farm and a busy city).

People taking photos: Compare and contrast the photos and say why those people are taking photos in these situations (e.g. a paparazzi and a father).

I set the following homework task:

1. Go to or or and select two very different photos on your topic.
2. Answer the questions on your card. Time your answer (1 minute). Record yourself by using a digital camera/mobile phone/an online recording tool and email your recording to your teacher.

The teacher sends written feedback to each student and selects ‘the video of the week’ to play next class. Peers are invited to give feedback and brainstorm ideas about what else could be said about the photos.”

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

Written by Cambridge English Southern Europe

April 9, 2013 at 10:00 am

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