Cambridge English Southern Europe

Experts in Language Assessment

Practical classroom exam tips and ideas for the preparation of Cambridge English FCE No 11.

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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 eleventh post with teaching tips for Cambridge English: FCE.

Kerley Muniz, Brazil 

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

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

1. Divide the students into groups of four: A, B, C and D. Students A and B are candidates, C is the interlocutor and D is the assessor.
2. Ask A and B to do Parts 1 and 2 of the test conducted by the interlocutor, while the assessor observes and makes notes.
3. Encourage C and D to give feedback. Then they swap roles: C and D are candidates, A is the interlocutor and B is the assessor.
4. Ask the students to swap groups and do Parts 3 and 4.
5. Make notes throughout the activity and give feedback.

Materials needed:
Cambridge English: First Speaking test sample material – pictures and prompts.

Students as Speaking examiners
“Divide the students into groups of four: A, B, C and D. Students A and B are candidates, C is the interlocutor and D is the assessor. Students A and B do Parts 1 and 2 of the Cambridge English: First Speaking test conducted by the interlocutor, while the assessor  observes and makes notes on their performance using the following questions:

Did he/she speak for 1 minute? (For Part 2)
Were there long pauses?
Did he/she use language to describe, compare and contrast photos e.g.: whereas, on the other hand?
Was the pronunciation clear? Did he/she dominate the conversation, speaking too much/not enough? (For Parts 3 and 4)
Were there relevant grammar mistakes?

After A and B finish Parts 1 and 2, C and D give feedback. Then they swap roles: C and D are candidates, A is the interlocutor and B is the assessor. Feedback. They then swap groups and do Parts 3 and 4.

NOTE: During the activity, the teacher monitors unobtrusively, making notes to be used later on in areas such as: i) Delayed correction of grammar mistakes like ‘Has a woman in front of shop’ – students classify the mistake as S (serious), NS (not serious); ii) Suggestion of vocabulary (lexis) used to describe the photos e.g.: thunderstorm and drizzle to describe the weather, as well as fixed phrases, collocations and idioms e.g.: ‘sport‘ – elicit/teach: ‘to be a good sport‘/‘to take up a sport’; iii) Useful sentences (formulaic language) for contrasting, agreeing, interrupting, etc., and speaking sub-skills like expressing uncertainty and paraphrasing.” 

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

Written by Cambridge English Southern Europe

April 17, 2013 at 10:00 am

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