Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class, Vocabulary Classes

CAE Expressions Sheet

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a phrase sheet for my CAE students to help them with some nice informal expressions for the speaking assessment. The expressions are collected from various other worksheets but they idea was to have them all in one place for ease of studying. Download the sheet below.

cae-expression-sheet

 

Family

1.       I definitely take after my Mum.

2.       My sister and I get on like a house on fire.

3.       My Dad is the breadwinner in our family.

4.       My brother and I are like two peas in a pod.

5.       My cousin and I are like chalk and cheese.

6.       Curly hair runs in my family

7.       They say that blood is thicker than water.

8.       I want to follow in my parents’ footsteps and become a doctor.

9.       I’m always falling out with my sister, she’s so annoying.

10.   My uncle is the black sheep of the family.

11.   My little brother is the spitting image of my Dad.

12.   I’m named after my great-grandfather.

 

Friendship

1.      My best friend and I have been through thick and thin together.

2.       My best friend is such a good laugh.

3.       My best friend and I are like brothers/sisters from another mother.

4.       I can always turn to my friend for advice or help.

5.       My best friend always stands up for me in an argument or fight.

6.       I know that my best friend has got my back if there’s any trouble.

7.       If I tell my friend a secret, I know that their lips are sealed. They would never spill the beans.

8.       My best friend is definitely not a fair-weather friend.

9.       My best friend and I are lifelong friends.

10.  We were best friends at primary school but now we have drifted apart.

11.   My best friend and I are joined at the hip.

12.   I often crash at my friend’s house at the weekend.

 

 

 

Travelling

1.       Get itchy feet

2.       Get the travel bug

3.       Culture vulture

4.       Catch some rays

5.       Sit and watch the world go by

6.       Pack a lot in/Have a full plate

7.       See how the mood takes me

8.       Travel on a shoe string

9.       Live it up

10.   A culture shock

11.   Feel right at home

12.   Watch your back

13.   Travel light

14.   At the crack of dawn

 

The Future

With any luck, I will probably…

I have a burning ambition to…

I’ve always dreamed of… so I expect I will…

I haven’t made up my mind yet but I’m leaning towards studying…

I’m torn between studying… and ….

In all likelihood I’ll study…/work in…

I see myself working in the field of…

If everything goes to plan in 5 years, I’ll be…

I’ve got it all mapped out first I’m going to… then…

I have absolutely no clue what I’m going to do tomorrow let alone in 5 years.

I have always had aspirations to go into the field of…

I expect I’ll follow in my Mum/Dad’s footsteps.

 

Likes/Dislikes

·         I’m keen on / fond of……………

·         I’m a keen / avid + noun

·         I’m a keen swimmer.

·         I’m an avid guitarist.

·         I’m an avid traveller.

·         I’m a (bit of a) bookworm.

·         I’m an avid reader

·         I’m a (bit of a) film / music / history / art buff.

·         I’m a (bit of a) computer geek.

·         I’m a (bit of a) shopaholic.

·         I’m a (bit of a) workaholic.

·         I’m a bit of a risk taker / adrenalin junky / daredevil.

·         I like to recharge my batteries at the weekend.

·         I like to get away from the hustle and bustle of my job / school / the city.

·         The word is on the tip of my tongue

·         The word escapes me at the moment but….

·         I’m hooked on (Game of Thrones)

·         I’m a (bit of a) girly girl.

·         (Boys) I like sport, beer, and women.

·         I’m a (bit of a) man’s man.

·         I’m in tip top condition.

English/Education

·         I am / was a teacher’s pet / top of my class at school.

·         English is a requirement of my course / job.

·         If you want to get ahead in life you need English.

·         I’ve been studying English for ages.

·         I’ve been studying English for as long as I can remember.

·         English is an essential / key part of my everyday life.

 

 

Typical Speaking Part 1 Questions

  • What are you particular likes and dislikes?
  • What do you look for in a friend?
  • Describe your best friend.
  • What type of holidays do you enjoy?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
  • How important will English be in your future?
  • Tell me about your family.
  • What type of family do you have?
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Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Vocabulary Classes

We’re BFFs! Friendship Expressions

Image credit: www.zazzle.com.au

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a worksheet on expressions related to friendship for higher level learners. I designed it with CAE students in mind. Download the worksheet and key below:

bffs-4-eva update

Have students complete the worksheet in pairs and then personalise the expressions so that they are true for them.

BFFs!

Match the expressions on the left with the simple definition on the right.

1.       My best friend and I have been through thick and thin together.

2.       My best friend is such a good laugh.

3.       My best friend and I are like brothers/sisters from another mother.

4.       I can always turn to my friend for advice or help.

5.       My best friend always stands up for me in an argument or fight.

6.       I know that my best friend has got my back if there’s any trouble.

7.       If I tell my friend a secret, I know that their lips are sealed. They would never spill the beans.

8.       My best friend is definitely not a fair-weather friend.

9.       My best friend and I are lifelong friends.

10.   My best friend from primary school and I have drifted apart.

11.   My best friend and I are joined at the hip.

12.   I often crash at my friend’s house at the weekend.

a.       My best friend isn’t a person who is only around for the good times.

b.      My best friend from primary and I have slowly lost contact.

c.       My best friend is very trustworthy and good at keeping secrets.

d.      My best friend and I spend almost all our time together.

e.       My best friend is very funny.

f.        I often sleep over at my friend’s house.

g.       My best friend and I have experienced both good and bad times together.

h.      I know my best friend will defend me if anything bad happens.

i.         My best friend always defends me in a fight or argument.

j.        My best friend and I are very similar.

k.       If I have a problem, I can always talk about it with my friend.

l.         My best friend and I have been friends for a very long time.

 

Complete the sentences

Try to complete the sentences from memory

  1. I won’t tell anyone, my lips ________ _________.
  2. You’re such a ________________, as soon as there are any problems you disappear!
  3. I always see those two together, they’re practically joined _____ ______ _______.
  4. Jenifer spilt ______ ________ to everyone at the party about Sarah and Johnny.
  5. Don’t worry, if they start a fight I’ve _____ ______ ______. I’ll definitely stand _____ _____ ______.
  6. Freddy was there for me when my dog died but also when I got my dream job, we’ve been __________ ______________ ____________ _______________ _____________.
  7. I don’t know what happened, we were best friends at uni but I guess we just _________ __________.
  8. It’s getting late and I can’t be bothered to walk home can I ___________ _________ yours tonight?
  9. I always have so much fun with Tony, he’s such a __________ __________.
  10. We’re so similar it’s ridiculous we’re like _________ ____________ ___________ _______________.

Describe a close friend to your partner using as many expressions as you can.

Key

  1. G
  2. E
  3. J
  4. K
  5. I
  6. H
  7. C
  8. A
  9. L
  10. B
  11. D
  12. F

Sentence completion

  1. Are sealed
  2. Fair-weather friend
  3. At the hip
  4. The beans
  5. Got your back, up for you
  6. Through thick and thin together
  7. Drifted apart
  8. Crash at
  9. Good laugh
  10. Brothers/sisters from another mother
Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class, Vocabulary Classes

CAE Speaking: Future Plans

Image credit: www.bravadowaffle.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a phrase sheet to teach CAE students a range of impressive structures to talk about their future plans. Download the sheet below:

CAE Speaking Part 1 Future plans

In part 1 of the speaking paper it’s typical for candidates to be asked about their goals and aspirations. Give out the sheet and have students ask and answer the typical questions, then have them test each other on the expressions. They could go on to make gap-fill sentences for another pair to complete to consolidate the expressions.

Typical Part 1 Questions:

  1. What are your plans for the future?
  2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  3. What are your ambitions?

Expressions

With any luck, I will probably…

I have a burning ambition to…

I’ve always dreamed of… so I expect I will…

I haven’t made up my mind yet but I’m leaning towards studying…

I’m torn between studying… and ….

In all likelihood I’ll study…/work in…

I see myself working in the field of…

If everything goes to plan in 5 years, I’ll be…

I’ve got it all mapped out first I’m going to… then…

I have absolutely no clue what I’m going to do tomorrow let alone in 5 years.

I have always had aspirations to go into the field of…

I expect I’ll follow in my Mum/Dad’s footsteps.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class, Games

Game: Just a Minute/Blockbusters Mash-up

Image credits: www.bbc.co.uk and www.youtube.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

I’m running the Barcelona Half-Marathon dressed as David Bowie to raise money for Cancer Research, sponsor me here:

https://www.justgiving.com/Timothy-Warre/

This is a game that can be adapted for a range of levels. I thought it up specifically for students to practice for the FCE/CAE/CPE speaking part 1, in which candidates must give complete answers to a series of interview style questions.

You will need Adam Simpson’s amazing blockbusters powerpoint game which you can download here. You will also need a list of typical Cambridge exam questions which you can download below. Alternatively, for non-exam classes, you can play the game with the “Just a minute” topic cards also included below with the class procedure and rules.

Class procedure and rules

Typical Cambridge Exam Questions

just a minute

Class Procedure and Rules

Divide the class into two teams, orange and green, show the blockbusters power point. The green team’s objective is to make a line of tiles from left-to-right across the board, while the orange team has to do the same but from top-to-bottom.

Teams claim a tile by speaking about a topic for a minute with no hesitation, repetition or deviation. For lower levels you could change the time limit to 30 seconds and be more lenient with hesitation repetition and deviation. Students nominate one member of their team to go first.

The team decides which tile they want to try to claim. The teacher chooses a question from the list or a topic from the “Just a Minute” topic cards. The student must then speak for a minute about the topic, if they hesitate, repeat themselves or deviate from the topic the teacher stops the stop-watch and a member of the opposing team can try to talk for the rest of the minute to claim the tile for their team.

Useful language

Time buyers

Well, let me see…

That’s an interesting question…

Rephrasing/Clarifying

What I’m trying to say is…

What I want to say is…

I mean…

Discourse markers

Obviously,

Sadly,

(un)Fortunately,

Probably the (most important)…

etc.

Topic nomination

Speaking of…, … (Speaking of living abroad, my sister is currently living in…

That reminds me…

Before I forget…

Addition

What’s more…

Also…

On top of that…

Besides that…

… as well.

Just a Minute Topic Cards

The best advice my parents ever gave me. The best day of my life. Being an only child Albert Einstein
My favourite dessert Falling in love The most annoying thing in the world

 

My favourite toys as a child.
The worst thing about living in Barcelona My most embarrassing moment My favourite hobby How to cook the perfect paella
Bullfighting

 

 

Making a cup of tea Learning to drive Chocolate
Things that make me angry Weddings What I was like as a child. cheating
Don Quixote

 

Breakfast The best way to propose to your boyfriend / girlfriend Red wine
Beer English tourists Real Madrid Crocodiles

 

 

Ghosts and the supernatural

 

The pope Going to the dentists Buying a new car.