Posted in Writing Classes

CAE Essay Revision Worksheet

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

My students are doing a mock CAE writing exam tomorrow so I’ve made them this worksheet to revise for it. I’ve also made a kahoot quiz to test them on some of the language.

cae-essay-revision

CAE Essay Revision Key

On the first page there is a true/false quiz for students to complete in pairs, followed by two exercises on formal language and linkers.

The task

Answer the questions with your partner:

  1. What is the word limit?
  2. This is a formal writing task True/False
  3. You can use contractions (Wouldn’t/don’t etc.) T/F
  4. You have to write about all 3 bullet points in the task. T/F
  5. An essay needs a title. T/F
  6. You have to include the 3 opinions from the task. T/F
  7. You can use the same language to express the opinions from the task. T/F
  8. An essay has paragraph titles (Introduction/conclusion) T/F
  9. An essay should be factual and objective T/F
  10. In your conclusion you must state which of the bullet points is most important/has the biggest influence. T/F

 

Example

Put the missing words back into the essay.

Hardly a week goes by without another report of the recent increase in online shopping appearing in the papers. The decline of the high street shop is undoubtedly a major issue in this day and _____. However, which aspect of shopping has the biggest influence ____ where people shop?

The first area to take into _______ is convenience. It is undoubtedly the ______ that shopping online is much more convenient than shopping on the high street. A clear example of this is that you can shop from the comfort of your armchair without lifting a finger. In _________, the goods are delivered directly to your door whereas when you shop in physical shops you have to carry it home yourself.

Another _______ to consider is cost. There are ______ who argue that cost has the biggest _______ on where people decide to shop. This is _________ by the fact that during the sales many people buy things in shops they would not normally enter. __________, for some people the cost is not an issue, they buy what they want to buy no matter the price.

In ______ of the above, it is probably _____ to say that cost has the biggest impact on where people decide to shop due to the fact that most of the time, if you cannot afford something then you will not be able to buy it.

On   case   age   nevertheless     those    aspect    account    addition    impact    illustrated   light  true

Formal Language

Match the formal words or phrases (1-10) that can replace the words/phrases in bold (a-j) .

1.       It goes without saying that

2.       In light of the above,

3.       It is widely believed that

4.       Furthermore/Moreover

5.       A great deal of + (uncountable noun)

6.       Due to the fact that

7.       A large number of + (countable noun)

8.       There are those who believe that

9.       In spite of the fact that

10.   therefore

a)      Lots of people think that museums are out-dated.

b)      Many museums do not cater for young children so they must be updated.

c)       The majority of public gardens are badly-maintained because local governments cannot afford to employ more gardeners.

d)      Although many youngsters still play sports, participation id decreasing due to the influence of video games.

e)      To sum up, it is vitally important that local governments invest more in museums.

f)       Obviously having access to good sports facilities makes it easier to participate in both individual and team sports.

g)      Some people think that investing in public gardens is a waste of money.

h)      Also, many sports facilities are overcrowded due to a rise in demand.

i)        Local governments have already spent a lot of money on upgrading the city’s parks and gardens.

j)        A lot of local people have expressed their disappointment with the cuts in public spending for museums.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class

Speaking Activity: Persuading/Convincing Role-plays

Image credit: maybusch.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a speaking activity for intermediate and upwards on the subject of persuading and convincing. It can be used as preparation for FCE and CAE due to its similarity to part 3 of the speaking test.

You will need this powerpoint:

Debate, Discuss, Persuade

Split the class into groups of 4 or 5. Use this quizlet set to practice language for convincing and persuading. For higher levels get them to brainstorm the language in pairs first and then board it.

Language from the quizlet set:

  1. Don’t you _________ it would be better to go to Ibiza?
  2. __________ it be better to go to Ibiza?
  3. I think we _________ go to Ibiza.
  4. I suggest/recommend ________ to Ibiza.
  5. We o_________ to go to Ibiza.
  6.  I i__________ that we go to Ibiza.
  7. By ______ the best idea is to go to Ibiza
  8. What/How _______ going to Ibiza?

Key:

think

Wouldn’t

should

going

ought

insist

far

about

Students discuss the different situations in the powerpoint in their groups of 4-5. Nominate one person from the group to be the person who the others must persuade (parent, headmaster, boss, editor, friend)

Report back at the end. Who was the most persuasive?

Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class

Fun FCE Picture Description Practice

Image credit: theguardian.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Download the worksheet here:

Describing Pictures

And the picture reveal powerpoint here:

picture-reveal-fce

Yet another lesson plan on picture descriptions, deduction and speculation. What can I say? I’ve got to prep a lot of students for FCE speaking!

Warmer – Who’s this?

Show students the picture of BBC radio 2 DJ Steve Wright but don’t tell them who it is. Put them in groups and tell them to come up with an idea of who he is. Monitor and check what language they’re using, board any nice examples of speculative language.

Students present their ideas of who he is. After reveal that he is a famous radio DJ in the UK.

Speculative Language

Handout the exercise on the worksheet. Have students complete the gap-fill in pairs; encourage them to discuss it in English: “Number 1 could be …, don’t you think?” etc.

Complete the sentences with a word from the box

guess     can’t    as    could/might/may   perhaps   pretty   must
  1. He ______ be a policeman with that long hair. (it’s impossible that he’s a policeman)
  2. ______ she’s a lawyer, she’s wearing a smart suit. (It’s possible she’s a lawyer)
  3. He ______ be enjoying himself, look at that big smile. (I’m sure he’s enjoying himself)
  4. I’m ______ sure they’re brother and sister, they look quite similar. (75% sure)
  5. I’d ______ that they’re in a hot country, judging by their clothes. (It’s possible)
  6. She ______/_______/________ be his girlfriend, they seem very close. (It’s possible)
  7. He looks _______ if he’s tired after a long day at work.

Review as a class:

  1. can’t
  2. perhaps
  3. must
  4. pretty
  5. guess
  6. could/might/may
  7. as

Choral drill sentences for intonation and sentence stress.

Practice

Show students the pictures of more English celebrities. Elicit the instructions to the next activity, (use the new language to speculate about the people in the photographs)

Students share ideas as a class, award points to groups that guess correctly.

 

Answers:

  1. Stephen Fry – TV presenter, journalist, novelist
  2. Jade Goody – Reality TV star, Big Brother contestant
  3. Jack Monroe – Chef, writer, journalist, political activist
  4. Jeremy Corbyn – Politician, new leader of the Labour Party.

Picture Reveal Game

Massive thanks to https://tekhnologic.wordpress.com/ for the amazing picture reveal powerpoint template I’ve used for this next activity.

Project the first slide of the picture reveal powerpoint. Students take it in turns to choose a number, click on the number and it will disappear, revealing part of the picture underneath. Students must then speculate as to what the picture is. Award points for correct use of the phrases and teams that correctly guess the contents of the photo.

Slide 4 is an actual FCE part 2 task with 2 pictures to compare and contrast, while slide 5 is a part 3 collaborative task that students can complete in pairs or threes at the end of the game.

Follow-up

Nominate a few students to bring a photo to the next class to repeat the activity as a warmer.

 

Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Grammar Classes, Vocabulary Classes

CAE: Collocations with similar words worksheet

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a worksheet to practice different collocations putting similar words into context. It will be useful for teachers teaching CAE preparation classes as it will help students develop the skills needed for part 1 of the use of English paper. Download the worksheet below:

Collocations Similar Words

Use of English – Collocations

  1. She stood on the ____ of the diving board and dove into the pool head first.
  2. They all stood in ____ waiting for their dinner.
  3. He was on the _____ of calling the Police when the man ran away.
  4. It’s a picturesque village on the Swiss/French _____.

Border  verge    line        edge

  • The film was so _______ terrifying that I had to hide behind the sofa.
  • He is _______ qualified and should get the job easily.
  • The new basketball player was ________ tall, he was 20cm taller than the rest of the players.
  • It is ________ hot at midday in the desert.

Intensely            utterly                  highly                   exceptionally

  1. The charity spent the evening ___________ food to the homeless.
  2. We thought the show was going to be a disaster but it ___________ fine in the end.
  3. They have been _____________ tests on her all weekend but they still don’t know what’s wrong.
  4. After 20 years of rumours about his sexuality he finally ___________ in an interview with GQ magazine.

Turned                 out         came out            carried out         gave out

  1. I live _________ a beautiful gothic church.
  2. _________ to popular belief pigs are actually very clean animals.
  3. _________ my brother, I’m a very sociable person.
  4. This breed of dog is ________ from its long lost cousin the wolf in many ways.

Distinct                contrary              unlike                   opposite

  1. They ___________ a fantastic array of food for us when we arrived.
  2. After waiting on the phone for 3 hours they finally _______ me________ to the department I needed to speak to.
  3. We spent 6 months _____________ our house after we bought it.
  4. The referee __________ the rules very clearly before the game began.

Put through       set out                 fixed up               laid on

  1. Have you heard? They’re making a new ________ of the Lion King, I bet it’s going to be rubbish!
  2. This __________ of the roof was badly damaged in the fire.
  3. You’ll have to speak to John in the finance ___________ if you want to get your money back.
  4. They divided the different insects they found into 5 different ____________ based on size.

Section                version                department                      categories

  1. After the earthquake 100 people are still _____________ for.
  2. This material is ____________ of 30% cotton and 70% polyester.
  3. He ___________ the club in 1999 and has been a member ever since.
  4. They _____________ detailed records of all their findings and presented them to the director.

Composed                         compiled                            joined                  unaccounted

  1. You can __________ at my house after the concert if you want.
  2. Of the 50 trees we planted in 1975 only 10 __________.
  3. To reach the top of the mountain they had to ____________ bitter cold and biting winds.
  4. When he asked her out on a date the first time she turned him down but he ___________ and finally she said yes.

Remain                endure                persisted            stay

Key:

  1. edge
  2. line
  3. verge
  4. border

 

  1. utterly
  2. highly
  3. exceptionally
  4. intensely

 

  1. giving out
  2. turned out
  3. carrying out
  4. came out

 

  1. opposite
  2. contrary
  3. unlike
  4. distinct

 

  1. laid on
  2. put through
  3. fixing up
  4. set out

 

  1. version
  2. section
  3. department
  4. categories

 

  1. unaccounted
  2. composed
  3. joined
  4. compiled

 

  1. stay
  2. remain
  3. endure
  4. persist
Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

3rd Conditional: Balloon Debate

Photo credit:en.wikipedia.org

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Before you use these materials, why not check out our new podcast for learners and teachers alike? It’s called 2Ts in a Pod, have a listen here:

 

This is a conversation lesson plan to practise past (3rd) conditional structures whilst debating the value of specific professions to society. Credit to the university of Kent for the inspiration for the activity. I have changed the wording of the task slightly so that students must imagine a world without the achievements and inventions of some famous names from history.

You will need the handout, I have made 4 versions:

Intermediate teens:

Balloon Debate intermediate teenagers

Intermediate adults:

Balloon Debate Intermediate adults

Advanced teens:

Balloon Debate Adv teenagers

Advanced adults:

Balloon Debate Adv adults

I planned this as an activity to practise uses of advanced 3rd conditional structures such as:

But for + noun phrase, would/could/might have….

But for Thomas Edison, the lightbulb would have been invented much later.

Or inverted past conditionals:

Had it not been for Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have such a rich vocabulary.

You may want to preteach these structures using my other materials which you can find here and here.

Below you will find they advanced adults version of the activity.

Balloon Debate

You are in a hot air balloon which is losing height rapidly and will soon crash because it is overweight. You are travelling with a group of school children who will grow up to be very famous. You have to decide which 7 to throw over the side; if the balloon crashes you will all die. The passengers are:

  • Mother Teresa
  • Mao Tse-tung
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Mikael Gorbachev
  • Charles Darwin
  • William Shakespeare
  • Diego Maradona
  • Albert Einstein
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Beethoven
  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Jane Austen
  • Steve Jobs

 

Language

Conditionals Making Decisions
If_____ hadn’t invented_____, _____ wouldn’t have happened. There’s no way we’re throwing ______ overboard because______
But for ________ we wouldn’t have________. Throwing _______ is out of the question because________
If it hadn’t been for ______, we wouldn’t have _______ now I think ________ is expendable.
Had it not been for _______, we wouldn’t have________. What did _______ really do for us?

Examples:

If Charles Darwin hadn’t discovered evolution, society wouldn’t have developed like it has.

If it hadn’t been for Gandhi, India would still be a British colony.

But for Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have such a rich language.

Had it not been for Abraham Lincoln, the slaves wouldn’t have been freed.

Homework Activity:

Students write an essay examining two of the people from the balloon and deciding which one has contributed most to society. They must compare and contrast the achievements of the two and reach a conclusion as to which should be crowned as the most inspiring person in history.

Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Vocabulary Classes, Writing Classes

CAE Review – Phrase Sheet

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This is essentially the same as my CPE sheet but with the title and word limit changed. Download it here:

cae-review

CAE Review

Register: Informal/neutralUse: all your colourful vocabulary:

Phrasal verbs/idioms/impressive collocations.

Forms and conventions:Title: for films/books/restaurants use the name/title or if think up an imaginative title using an idiom/expression.
Planning, 6 step system:1.        Read task, underline content points.

2.        Divide content points into paragraphs: Intro, décor, ambiance, service, food, recommendation.

3.        WHAT do you want to say? Add your notes to each paragraph in simple form.

4.        HOW are you going to say that? Brainstorm advanced grammar and vocabulary for each note.

5.        Forms and conventions: Title paragraph titles, fixed introduction.

6.        Write! Remember word limit is: 220-260

Introduction:Personal anecdote to grab attention. Introduce name of book/film, restaurant + location, course, TV show etc.

Seldom do I find the time to…, however when I do take time out of my hectic schedule, I like nothing more than…

Being a bit of a film buff/book worm/foody, the news that … had opened a new restaurant/released a new film/book had me itching to try/see/read it. So last week I popped down with a friend to check it out.

Having never seen/read/tried… before I approached … with a sense of trepidation, not knowing what to expect. Soon however, all my fears were allayed.

Book reviews:Vocab to describe the book in general:

a page-turner / a white-knuckle ride / a tearjerker / a laugh a minute / I couldn’t put it down.

Vocab to describe specific parts:

a slow start / a gentle introduction /gripping climax / nail-biting conclusion / cliff-hanger ending/ a shocking twist in the tail

Setting:

The book is set in _______(place/time)

The action takes place in ______ (place/time)

the present day (now)

an alternate reality where vampires / wizards walk the earth

a sleepy village in the USA

the bustling city of New York

Plot:

The plot centres around / focuses on (the adventures / lives of _________)

The plot follows the adventures of _________(character name)

Characters:

Villain / hero / heroine / anti-hero / main character / protagonist

The characters are believable / well-crafted / a bit 2 dimensional.

Film/TV reviews:General:

An all-star cast

heavily influenced by the films of..

glowing reviews

startling originality

suspense builds up

a polished performance

a bold experiment

an accomplished actor

an unmitigated disaster (bad film)

a dazzling display of his/her talents

made a lasting impression on me.

Brought a tear to my eye

Like watching paint dry (boring)

I was on the edge of my seat (exciting)

A blockbuster (big commercial film eg Superman)

… sets off an amazing chain of events

Gripping film (exciting)

The director/author evoked a magical atmosphere

… awakened my interest in…

Hold my attention

Capture the audience’s imagination.

Spectacular set-pieces (main action scenes)

… is cast in the role of…

… is miscast in the role of…

…gives a(n) (un)convincing performance as…

The film is let down by a clichéd script.

Restaurant review:

Hearty mealWholesome food

Piping-hot

Succulent/juicy (meat)

Creamy

With a kick (spicy)

Crunchy/crispy

Well-seasoned

Packed with flavour

A steaming plate of..

Hungry/starving/ravenous/famished

Bustling eatery(restaurant)

Lively atmosphere

Service with a smile

A plate piled high with..Mouth-watering

To die for

Heavenly

To lick your lips in anticipation

Roast

Pan-fried

Grilled

Steamed

Freshly-baked

Restaurants cont.Make a pig of one’s self

To feast/gorge on (eat a lot of)

To eat/drink to your heart’s content

Devour/gobble up

Savour

Nibble

Bite

Lick

Aromas wafting from the kitchen

Cheap – economical/reasonably-priced

Expensive – pricey/costs an arm and a leg

€20 a head (per person)

Killer Lines:Were I to sum up … in one word, it would be…

… left a lot to be desired (wasn’t good enough)

…more than lives up to the hype (is as good as everyone says it is)

… is by far and away the best … you’re likely to … this year

… really raises the bar (sets a higher standard)

… sets the benchmark for other (others will be judges against how good it is)

… ticks all the right boxes

… holds up well in comparison with …

…comes off badly in comparison with …

Grammar check listHave you included?

·         An inversion (not only/no sooner/seldom)

·         An inverted conditional (Were we to…)

·         A participle clause (Being…/Having gone…)

·         A double comparative (The more we… the more)

·         A cleft sentence (What is most crucial is…)

·         Idioms

·         Phrasal verbs

Posted in Games, Vocabulary Classes

Who wants to be a phrasal verb millionaire?

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

I’ve made this set of phrasal verb questions for CAE (C1) students using Adam Simpson’s amazing Who wants to be a millionaire template.

Download the template here to make your own.

Or download my phrasal verb version here:

who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire-phrasal-verbs

Or my B1/B2 version that covers verb/noun collocations, prepositions and phrasal verbs:

who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire-intermediate-fce

Posted in Grammar Classes, Video Classes

Chucky’s Participle Clauses

Photo credit: http://www.eltern.de/foren/2007-plauderforum-neu/1181239-chucky.html

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan for higher levels (C1+) to teach participle clauses based around the theme of phobias and horror films.

You will need to download the powerpoint and lesson plan:

chuckys-participle-clauses-update

chucky-worksheet

Chucky’s Participle Clauses Lesson Plan

Warmer

What are you scared of?

Brainstorm different phobias on the board.

What gives you nightmares?

Have any specific films given you nightmares?

Have you seen any of the Chucky films?

Chucky Prank Video

Show the Chucky bus stop prank video until 2:20, tell students to focus on the actions:

Have them report back the different actions they saw.

Powerpoint

Go through the powerpoint, it will take students through present participle clauses and perfect participle clauses.

Guess My Job Game

Cut out and give out the job cards on the hand out, tell students to keep them secret from the rest of the class.

Students have to imagine that they are the person on their card; they have been invited to the class to share their experiences with the other students and give advice using participle clauses.

Example: Explorer, Having traveled all over the world, I can say that there’s no place like home. Having learnt 6 different languages, I thoroughly recommend it because it has broadened my mind immensely.

Give students a couple of minutes to think of their sentences, they then read them to the rest of the class who have to guess what job card they were given.

Having robbed a lot of banks, I have loads of money” “Are you a bank robber?” “Yes, I am!”

Homework

Set a film/book review task as participle clause can easily be used to describe narratives, encourage students to use at least 2 in their review.

Seeing her sister nominated to participate in the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteered to take her place.”

Having never seen a troll before, Bilbo was petrified.”

Posted in Writing Classes

CAE Writing Part 1: A Formal Essay

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Photo Credit: http://ozgekaraoglu.edublogs.org/2015/04/01/how-to-get-a-good-essay-written-by-writers/

Just a quick note…

Before you use these materials… We’ve created a new podcast aimed at B2+ level English students and teachers alike. You can listen for free at our SoundCloud page below. We have released 5 episodes so far and you can download teacher’s notes to accompany them from our Facebook page or from this blog. All comments and feedback welcome! Give us a like and a share 😉

https://soundcloud.com/2tspod


https://www.facebook.com/2tspodcast/

This is a lesson plan to help students approach and complete the new formal essay task in the CAE writing paper.

You will need the handout and teacher’s key:

CAE Writing Part 1 handout

CAE Writing key

Task Type

The new CAE writing part 1 is a formal essay based on a talk/lecture that the student has recently attended. There are always 3 bullet points that the lecture discussed, of which the candidate must only address two. There are also some quotes from other attendees/surveyed people that can be used. The final part of the task will include a question that the essay MUST answer.

essay shopping

Credit: Spotlight on Advanced – Cengage Learning and National Geographic.

Planning

Make enough copies of the 2nd page of the hand out for one between two. Cut the hand out up, give the slips of paper with the different planning steps to the students and have them put them in order. My suggested order is as follows:

  1. Read task carefully. Underline most important parts; focus on the question that your essay MUST
  2. Brainstorm ideas based on the 3 bullet points.
  3. Choose the 2 bullet point you have the most ideas about.
  4. Brainstorm ways to express your ideas and the quotes in the task using advanced grammar:
  • Inversions: Not only is/do…..but also… Rarely/seldom do people….
  • Double comparatives: The cheaper the…., the more popular…
  • Participle clauses: Being a keen shopper myself,… Having bought many products online,….
  • Advanced linkers: Despite the fact that…., ….. due to the fact that = because
  1. Plan your introduction:
  • An interesting way to introduce the topic.
  • Formal questions that the essay will answer.
  1. Plan your conclusion: Focus on answering the question you underlined in step 1.
  2. Write
  3. Reread carefully checking for:
  • Repetition of words/structures.
  • Contractions
  • Boring/informal vocabulary.
  • Also Furthermore/moreover. Because due/owing to the fact that. Although In spite of the fact that. However nonetheless/nevertheless.
  • Have you answered the question completely?

Have students complete step 1 in pairs:

essay shopping underlined

Have students complete step 2 as a CAE speaking part 3 task. Draw a spider diagram on the board. In the middle write: What influences where/how people shop? On the 3 spokes write the three bullet points: Convenience, cost and enjoyment. Briefly recap some language for speaking tasks and have students discuss the topic for 3 minutes.

Hold a plenary session and board all the students ideas in note form. Then put them in pairs to complete the next step: Brainstorming impressive grammar structures to use.

When shopping online not only do you avoid paying parking fees, but also crowds of people.

Having shopped both online and in stores, I would say that….

Linkers activity

Give out 1 copy of the third page of the handout to each student and have them complete it in pairs.

Pimp my paragraph

Either hand out the paragraph upgrade sheet out or project it on to the board. Students must upgrade the language in the paragraph to make it more impressive and more formal.

Introduction Phrases:

I got these great phrases from another handout I found on the internet:

More and more families are choosing to have only one child.

The trend nowadays is towards having smaller families.

Over the past ten years or so the media have frequently carried reports of ……………

Recent research indicates that the number of teenagers who smoke is increasing.

Hardly a week goes by without another report of …………….. appearing in the media.

This raises the issue of whether ……………..

Although most people would generally agree that …………… few would deny that …………….

I hope you find these activities useful in developing your students’ writing abilities, I appreciate any feedback or constructive criticism in the comments section.