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Useful FCE websites

Great resources for FCE. Thanks Sandy!

Sandy Millin

Here are all of the useful websites I can find to help students preparing for the Cambridge First Certificate exam. Please let me know if there are any broken links, or if you find something you think I should add.

General

www.flo-joe.com/fce/

Great website, full of tips, especially for Reading, Use of English and Writing. I’d definitely recommend students look at the word bank every day, and that teachers try to make use of those words in their classes to motivate students to use it! There is also a bank of writing showcasing all of the different text types, including teacher feedback.

http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/fce/index.html

The official Cambridge FCE website, with information about the length of the papers and the task types, as well as some free materials to download.

http://www.fceexam.com/

http://firstcertificate.wordpress.com/

http://www.fcepass.com

Three sites aimed at students. All include information, tips and exercises covering all parts of the exam.

http://tefltastic.wordpress.com/worksheets/exams/cambridge-exams/fce/

Alex Case’s…

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Posted in Conversation Classes

Desert Island Problem Solving Speaking Activity

Desert-Island

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Task handout:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!503&authkey=!ABjaGRY8sNM-iRU

Language handout:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!504&authkey=!AICWqGyfQ2DTrCE

It’s an old classic but as they say, the old ones are the best!

Warm up questions

What’s the most remote place you’ve ever visited?

Did you spend the night there?

Do you like camping?

Have you ever slept under the stars?

Would you consider it?

What’s the most dangerous natural environment you’ve been in? Jungle? Desert?

What things do you always take with you on holiday?

Part 1:

Give out desert island and language handouts and explain the situation.

Task:

You have been selected to take part in a social experiment. You and your group will be taken to a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You will have to survive there for a year without contact with the outside world. The island has:

  • Fresh water
  • Banana trees
  • Coconut palms

The climate is mild (not too hot, not too cold) first individually make a list of 8-10 things you think you will need to survive. Then, as a group you will have to decide on 8 things, list them in order of importance.

Students think of their own personal lists first.

In groups they first list all the possible problems they will encounter, then decide on a list of items that will help with these problems.

Students present their lists to class explaining their decisions.

Part 2:

Students must go into more depth about how their island will work.

Students must decide on:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Division of labour
  • Leadership
  • Justice / punishment / laws /rules
  • Decision making

Students present their system to the class, other groups can ask questions.

Language:

We’re definitely going to need ________________

__________________ will be vital / essential / extremely useful / completely useless / a waste of space

I can’t live without ____________________

Making Suggestions

I think we should……………….

I reckon we ought to…………………

Why don’t we………………………..

How about / what about + gerund………………………….

Agreeing / Disagreeing

Agreeing Disagreeing Ending an argument:
  • We see eye to eye
  • I couldn’t agree with you more.
  • That’s exactly how I feel.
  • You have a point there.
  • I was just going to say that.
  • Absolutely.
  • We don’t see eye to eye
  • I take your point but
  • I tend to disagree with you there
  • I’m afraid I have to disagree with you there
  • I beg to differ
  • That’s not always the case.
  • Let’s just move on shall we?
  • I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree.
  • We’ll come back to that later.
Posted in Uncategorized

Quizicon’s 100 most common words quiz

A cool and surprisingly difficult quiz!

A Hive of Activities

What are the most common words in English and how can this question help FCE students prepare for Open Cloze exercises?

In this simple online quiz from Quizicon you have 5 minutes to guess the 100 most common words in English. Simple, eh? And a good challenge! And, guess what, these words all happen to be articles, determiners, pronouns, auxiliary verbs, modals, prepositions, possessive adjectives, linkers, etc, ie. exactly the kinds of words students need to be aware of when completing an open cloze.

When I’ve done this with my students they’ve enjoyed the challenge and on one occasion even asked to try it again! I found it an interesting way to introduce the exam exercise and it was a good way to get the students working together – I had one student typing while the rest were calling out suggestions for him to type.

If you know any other…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Error Correction Techniques

Some really nice error correction techniques.

Language Teaching Tips

HOT or COLD?

Image

As English teachers, we know that making mistakes is the proof of learning, but the question is how we can handle these mistakes. We need to sharpen our error correction skills in order not to demotivate our students.

There are two kinds of error correction techniques:

  1. Hot correction: As soon as we notice a student making an error while we are presenting the language or practicing activities, we can ask CCQs (concept checking questions) that focus on meaning and form.We should encourage self correction first and then peer correction if needed.

Also within hot correction, we can use Quick fire Drills, these are:

  • Repetition drills: In this type,teacher first models the target language then students at first drill chorally, then individually.
  • Backchaining: For longer utterences this is a useful type. In it the language is in chunks and it is drilled from the end backwards.

e.g.

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Posted in Conversation Classes

The €100,000 question, conversation topic

US100000dollarsbillreverse

Put your students in groups of 3 and ask them the following question:

What would you do with €100,000?

Give them 2 minutes to share their ideas, then have them report each other’s answers to the class. (each person reports someone else from their group’s answer)

Did anyone give it to charity?

Give out the following handout:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!452&authkey=!AB2H6x3IinOC6wE

In their groups students discuss the problem and then present their ideas to the class.

As a wrap up ask the students which suggestions they thought were the best, see if they can come to an agreement as a class on how to give the money away.

Task:

A long lost aunt that you didn’t know you had has recently passed away. In her will she left your group €100,000 with a note saying it should be given away to “make the world a better place.” Decide in your groups who you are going to give it to.

Making Suggestions

I think we should……………….

I reckon we ought to…………………

Why don’t we………………………..

How about / what about + gerund………………………….

Agreeing / Disagreeing

Agreeing Disagreeing Ending an argument:
  • We see eye to eye
  • I couldn’t agree with you more.
  • That’s exactly how I feel.
  • You have a point there.
  • I was just going to say that.
  • Absolutely.
  • We don’t see eye to eye
  • I take your point but
  • I tend to disagree with you there
  • I’m afraid I have to disagree with you there
  • I beg to differ
  • That’s not always the case.
  • Let’s just move on shall we?
  • I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree.
  • We’ll come back to that later.