Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Vocabulary Classes

CAE Gapped sentences practice

confused student

The gapped sentences exercise appears in the use of English section of the CAE, and is a part that many students tend to struggle with. Each correct answer in this section is worth 2 points so they make up a considerable part of the final mark. This class will try to present ways to practice and prepare for this exercise.

Here is a link to quizlet set of flashcards for this exercise:

http://quizlet.com/11177000/cae-gapped-sentences-flash-cards/

In the gapped sentences exercise students are presented with 3 sentences with a word missing in each. The same word completes all three sentences.

Example:

Gillian decided it was time to turn over a new _______ and forget her past mistakes.

Why don’t you take a _______ out of Simon’s book and start helping.

Autumn came suddenly and the first _______ had fallen before August had even ended.

Answer: leaf

The exercise tests the students vocabulary: their knowledge of collocations, phrasal verbs and expressions. As you can see from the example above the uses of the word can be very different.

Lesson plan:

Put the above example on the board, or print it out and hand it out to the students to complete in pairs. If needed explain the two expressions with leaf:

to turn over a new leaf – to make a resolution to change for the better.

to take a leaf out of someone’s book – to copy someone or try to be more like someone.

Load up http://www.wordreference.com and ask students to volunteer words to look for. Alternatively you can search for a typical words that often come up in this exercise. These are often words that require no transformation from verb to noun. For example “mark” or “place”. The idea is to give the students an idea as to the number or different uses each word has.

Class Exercise:

Put students in pairs and give each pair a word from the following list:

A: couple
B: place
C: stood
D: show
E: care
F: left
G: fell
H: mark
I: right

Give each pair a dictionary or allow them to use word reference on their smartphones. Tell them that they have to make a gapped sentence set for the rest of the class to complete. Encourage them to use more difficult meanings of the word. While they work go around and aid with sentence construction. Collect in the gapped sentences and put them on the board. The whole class then completes all the exercises.

Homework

Students create another set of gapped sentences at home. Encourage them to use word reference or a good dictionary to find more obscure uses of different words. Tell them to make them as difficult as possible.

The following class you can take them in, correct them and then print them out for class or homework, or post them online for the students to complete.

Here are some examples made by my CAE exam class:

1. He can usually be contacted at his……………….. of work.
2. Excuse me I seem to have lost my……………………… on the course.
3. I’ve saved you a ……………………., come and sit here.
(place)

1. We all………………….. around in the corridor waiting.
2. We …………………..up in order to get a better view.
3. The house …………………….. empty for a long time.
(stood)

1. She wants to ………………… her friends her new pair of heels.
2. He will ……………………… off during the football match.
3. The play will be on …………………….. at 10pm tonight.
(show)

1. The girl knows more than she would ………………….. to admit.
2. You don’t mean anything to me, I don’t …………………… what you think.
3. He doesn’t take ……………………. of Jack.
(care)

1. My eyes ………………………. before his steady gaze.
2. The city ………………………… to the enemy.
3. After 3 years his shoes ………………………….. apart.
(fell)

1.The cup left a ………………….. on the table.
2. The temperature hit the forty degree ……………………..
3. They shook hands as a ………………………. of respect.
(mark)

Here is a link to a set of gapped sentence examples on quizlet.com

http://quizlet.com/11177000/cae-gapped-sentences-flash-cards/

9/3/13 Title was amended as gapped sentences is no long part of the CPE exam.

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Author:

Barcelona based English Teacher, blogger and sometime actor and director.

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