Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Writing Classes

CAE/CPE Writing: Formal Letter of Complaint – Task + Phrase Sheet

Resultat d'imatges de complaint

Image credit: Durham Constabulary

This is a phrase sheet and writing task for CAE/CPE students designed to help them tackle formal letter of complaint tasks. Download the handout below:

Letter of complaint phrase sheet

CAE/CPE – Letter of Complaint

Task – CPE Testbuilder pg 91

You recently stayed at one of a chain of large hotels and encountered a number of problems during your stay. Write a letter to the company’s head office detailing the problems you had, describing what happened when you complained to the hotel staff and suggesting ways the company could improve its service. (CAE 220-260 words – CPE 280-320 words)

Opening

  • Dear Sir or Madam, / To whom it may concern,
  • I am writing to express my disappointment with/dissatisfaction with the service I received in…
  • I would like to lodge a formal complaint against your company for the reasons outlined below:
  • I feel compelled to write to you in order to describe the

Listing Problems

  • First of all,
  • Not only was there a hair in my wife’s soup, but the main course also arrived cold.
  • On top of that…
  • As if that was not enough…
  • To top it all off…
  • The straw that broke the camel’s back was…

Complaining Expressions

  • The standard of the… was not up to scratch.
  • The… was not up to the expected standard.
  • The… left a lot to be desired.
  • The… failed to live up to our expectations.
  • We were left bitterly disappointed by…
  • The quality of the customer service we received was woefully inadequate.
  • The… was an absolute disgrace. (v.strong)
  • Overall, our visit to your (restaurant) was an unmitigated disaster from start to finish.

Requesting Action

  • It seems only fair that you should… (offer a full refund)
  • I would appreciate it if you…
  • I would be grateful if you…
  • Should these demands not be met, you will be hearing from my lawyers.
  • I expect to receive compensation to the tune of (€2000) for the…

Making Recommendations

  • I strongly recommend that your organisation…
  • It would be advisable to…
  • I suggest re-evaluating your procedures regarding…

Sign off

  • I look forward to receiving your reply.
  • I expect to receive a prompt reply to this letter.
  • Yours faithfully,
Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Uncategorized, Writing Classes

CPE/Proficiency Writing Part 1: Phrase Sheet

Imatge relacionada

Image credit: qvictorias.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

I’ve recently started teaching CPE again so I decided to make a phrase sheet for my students to help them tackle part 1 of the writing paper, the formal essay. Download it below:

CPE Writing Part 1 Phrase Sheet

Summarising Texts

  • The first text/passage/extract outlines the benefits/drawbacks of…
  • The second text argues/claims that…
  • The first text advocates… +…ing (supports)
  • The second text puts forward the idea that…
  • It then goes on to espouse the viewpoint that… (say)
  • The text sheds light on the issue/topic of…
  • The text brings the topic of… to light.
  • The writer of the first text is a firm believer in…
  • The writer/author of the second text is highly critical of…
  • Both writers seem to agree that…, where their ideas deviate however is on the topic of…
  • The second text makes bold statements in support of…
  • Not only does the first text state that…, but it also claims that…
  • In addition to the aforementioned point, it also claims that…

Critical Examination

  • One thing the writer fails to mention is…
  • A glaring omission from the first text is…
  • While the writer makes some valid arguments in favour of…, she ignores the fact that…
  • One area which the writer seems to have overlooked is…
  • While I am generally in agreement with the majority of the first writer’s points the obvious hole in their argument is…
  • Were I to pick holes in the writer’s arguments, I would start by pointing out that…
  • I feel it must also be pointed out that…
  • When it comes to the topic of…, the text seems to be lacking somewhat
  • One major weakness in the writer’s argument is that…
  • The text neglects to mention that fact that…
  • The writer seems to have gone overboard in their praise/criticism of…

Expressing Opinion

  • I am of the opinion that…
  • In my humble opinion…
  • My thoughts on the matter are that…
  • As far as I am concerned,
  • As far as my opinions on the matter are concerned,…
  • My initial reaction to the opinions outlined in the text was…
  • I am a firm believer in…
  • On the whole, I tend to agree with… due to the fact that…
Posted in Exam Preparation Class

CAE Key Word Transformations: Training Worksheet

Image result for cae exam

Image credit: Cambridge Exams

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a worksheet for CAE students designed to introduce them to a number of expressions that can appear in the use of English part 4 – key word transformations. Download the worksheet and key below:

Key Word Transformation Training

Key Word Transformation Training KEY

Put students in pairs and have them complete the worksheet together, then play a game of connect 4 or noughts and crosses to check the answers.

Worksheet

Sentence Completion

Complete the sentences with the key words from the box.

ACROSS  LOSS  RESULT  LIKELY  TRACK  UP  LOOKOUT  MUCH  RATHER  LET  PART  SUCH
  1. You need to be ON THE ________ FOR pickpockets in this area.
  2. Plans ARE BEING DRAWN _________ for a new shopping centre on the outskirts of the city.
  3. ________TO OUR HORROR, when we got back to the hotel all our stuff had been stolen.
  4. Would YOU __________ I HAD NOT told them about the party?
  5. _________ME KNOW if you can come to the party, I need to buy the food tonight.
  6. Andrés WAS AT A _________ TO EXPLAIN why he was late for class again.
  7. Failure to show a valid ticket is LIKELY TO ________ IN you having to pay a fine.
  8. It is HIGHLY __________ THAT THE FILM WILL win several awards.
  9. Quick ACTION ON THE ________ OF the ambulance crew saved the little girl’s life.
  10. How can I GET IT _________ TO HIM that I’m just not that into him.
  11. Don’t be silly, there IS NO _________ THING as vampires.
  12. I’m so sorry I’m late, I (COMPLETELY) LOST __________ OF TIME!

Missing Words

Complete the expressions with a missing preposition.

  1. I was _____ the point ____ leaving the house when the phone rang.
  2. He insisted _____ carrying my bag for me.
  3. He objected _____ being treated in such a rude way.
  4. They accused him _____ being careless and irresponsible
  5. Failure to arrive on time for your flight could result ____ you being unable to travel.
  6. You can always count _____ Jill to have a clear plan in situations like this.
  7. The headmaster’s speech will be followed ____ a performance by the school orchestra.
  8. They congratulated me ____ passing my driving test.
  9. It’s time for you to make ____ your mind about the course you want to study.
  10. Everything is going according ____ plan.
  11. The company is highly spoken ____ in the local area.
  12. The job offer came ____ a big surprise ____ me.
  13. I was taken ____ by the size of the phone bill. (surprised)
  14. I’m not going to put up ____ your rudeness anymore! (tolerate)
  15. Don’t hesitate ____ call if you have any questions or doubts.
  16. I sometimes feel that my children take me ____ granted.
  17. They have put him in charge ____ the marketing department.
  18. I applied ____ Apple ____ a job in sales.
  19. I am ____ no doubt that the show will be a big success.
  20. The little boys took no notice ____ what their mothers were saying.
Posted in Conversation Classes

Conversation Topic: Everyday Sexism

everyday sexism

Credit: https://everydaysexism.com

This is a conversation lesson for higher-level adults and mature teenagers on the topic of everyday sexism. I have used extracts taken from the fantastic everyday sexism project website. Download the student handout, teacher’s notes, discussion language and powerpoint below:

Everyday Sexism Teacher notes

Everyday Sexism Student handout

Everyday Sexism

Collaborative Speaking Phrases

Teacher’s Notes

Vocabulary

Complete the table

Noun Adjective
Feminism (concept)

Feminist (person)

Feminist
Sexism (concept)

Sexist (person)

Sexist
Stereotype Stereotypical

Look at the vocabulary in bold and discuss the meaning with a partner

  • Talk over sb = to talk loudly at the same time as someone else
  • Talk down to sb = to talk to sb in a condescending way
  • Wolf-whistle at sb = whistle in a suggestive way
  • Catcall = make unwanted, inappropriate, suggestive comments
  • Leer at sb = to look at someone in an obviously sexual way
  • Grope sb = to grab someone in a sexual place, often unsolicited
  • Gender roles = stereotypical jobs/responsibilities
  • Mansplain = when a man explains something to a woman in a condescending, overconfident way.

Discussion

CAE Part 3 Practice

Give out the collaborative language handout and show students the first slide of the powerpoint. If you want to use it as exam practice have them discuss the questions for 2 minutes, then stop them and give them one more minute to answer the following question:

  • In which situation do women experience the most discrimination?

Repeat for 2nd slide then ask:

  • Which is the most effective way to combat sexism?

Sexism in Advertising

Show students the examples of sexist advertising, ask them:

  • Do you think the adverts are sexist? Why/why not?
  • Can you think of any other examples?

Accounts of Everyday Sexism

Have students read the accounts from https://everydaysexism.com and discuss them in pairs or small groups.

Alex

I opened the door for another student recently and didn’t think twice about it, until he said to me, “Oh no, ladies first.” A little taken aback, I told him “You don’t need to worry about that, it’s 2017, we’re past that.” “No we’re not,” he said, and held on to the door that I was already holding open and refused to walk through it. That’s not helpful or chivalrous. That’s just being difficult and wasting my time. Just say thank you and keep walking boys!

Oppressed White Male

‘Man up’ ‘grow a pair’ ‘act like a real man’…all comments that personally I have heard almost every female in my adult life say to or about men at some point or another.

Rarely acknowledged but just as offensive as being told to get back in the kitchen.

Joanne

On a cold and rainy morning having got up on my day off work, solely to walk my daughter to the bus stop. A stranger shouted at me to smile more. It’s a small incident but is another example of how some people feel it’s OK to police women’s presentation of themselves.

Ingrid

I was part of an all female group presenting a project within the architecture school at a very good German University. We were criticized – which is normal, and likely the work wasn’t brilliant – for some window details we had drawn that would have been very difficult to clean in real life. A valuable lesson. Until we were told that as women, we should know about cleaning… and perhaps we should focus on that instead of pursuing architecture.

Laura

My boyfriend is a doctor and I’m a medical student. So, one day, we were chatting at his parent’s house and I was saying that I was really interested in surgery and his father started laughing saying I am too small and petite to be a surgeon, while his mother started asking me who would take care of the children if I became a surgeon. I just let go and laughed it off, but I was really sorry to hear such nice people say those things.

Catcalling Videos

You can either show students the original “10 hours walking in NYC as a woman”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1XGPvbWn0A

Or show them the newer parody version in which a woman responds to the catcalling with funny comments:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35KqGNa1FGA

Ask students to recount their experience of catcalling and answer the questions on the handout.