Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Writing Classes

Structuring a Paragraph

Image credit: Savvy in Second: Stoplight Paragraphs: Helping Structure Writing

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is worksheet to help students structure their paragraphs correctly when writing formal essays. I prepared it with CAE students preparing for writing part 1 in mind. Download the handout below:

Paragraph Structure

Advertisements
Posted in Writing Classes

CAE Writing Part 1: A Formal Essay

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

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.

Posted in Exam Preparation Class

CPE Study Guide

Here are some materials to help students prepare for the Cambridge CPE exam.

Cambridge CPE Handbook

Download the latest version of the CPE handbook here:

http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/168194-cambridge-english-proficiency-teachers-handbook.pdf

It contains explanations of each part of the exam and practice tests with answers.

Quizlet sets:

Here are loads of different quizlet sets on different parts of the exam:

http://quizlet.com/20934139/cpe-use-of-english-2-open-cloze-flash-cards/

http://quizlet.com/15560940/cae-cpe-inversion-transformations-flash-cards/

http://quizlet.com/56144162/cpe-describing-feelings-flash-cards/

http://quizlet.com/16987300/cae-cpe-use-of-english-practice-part-5-flash-cards/

http://quizlet.com/2150978/cpe-idioms-flash-cards/

Join this class for more:

http://quizlet.com/join/gkF6yKCg8

Recommended websites:

These websites have great materials for self-study:

http://www.flo-joe.com/cpe/students/

http://www.examenglish.com/cpe/ – old exam format but still useful.

http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams/proficiency/how-to-prepare/

Writing Handouts

Here are a selection of documents to help prepare students for the writing paper:

CPE Writing part 1 (2)

CAE CPE Writing part 2 plan handout

cae-writing-useful-language-1

CPE Report

CPE Review

CPE speaking writing phrases

CPE writing essay 2nd plan

CPE Writing Part 1 walkthrough

Letter of Complaint tim

Narrative Letter

Paragraph Structure

Writing Expressions

Prezis

Here are links to various prezis on types of writing and grammar points:

Relative clauses: 

http://prezi.com/inqmfkuikbbt/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Inversion: 

http://prezi.com/wxy3-yvm3osw/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Inversion 2: 

http://prezi.com/mhabu89gv8-7/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Conditionals: 

http://prezi.com/r8peruvmq8nf/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Academic Writing: 

http://prezi.com/x1qhxvkwahez/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Report: 

http://prezi.com/cc55ukdsa3rk/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Planning Writing:

http://prezi.com/vmxjibrjz3lt/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Narrative/Descriptive writing: 

http://prezi.com/zvhgk3raimei/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Letter of Complaint: 

http://prezi.com/dxsaxacxoquv/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Book review: 

http://prezi.com/tvjva9mynbsj/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Proposal: 

http://prezi.com/faz_7zanfvvb/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Article: 

http://prezi.com/nwmmfijnmrlv/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Letter of application: 

http://prezi.com/dmwaid3cj4ql/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Speaking Materials:

Agreeingand disagreeing

CPE Speaking part 1

CPE long turn examples

Speaking Long Turn (1)

CAE Speaking Part 2 speculation

CAE Speaking Part 2

Posted in Vocabulary Classes, Writing Classes

For example…

A quick post of different ways to say “for example” that I found at https://www.englishforums.com/English/AnotherWayToSayForExample/znhzk/post.htm

“For instance…”
“This can be seen when…”
“… is one example of …”
“…as illustrated by…”
“…as seen in …”
“…which is made apparent when…”
these include…
for instance…
particularly…
especially…
this is illustrated…
note well….
for instance
As an example
such as
e.g.(meaning “exempli gratia”)
“by way of illustration”,
“in particular”,
“as a case in point”,
“namely”,
“an example being…”

Posted in Writing Classes

CPE Report

This is a handout with as much language and advice possible for approaching the CPE writing part 2 report tasks. I made it for my December candidates, fingers crossed they actually read it!

You can download the handout here: CPE Report

CPE Report

Register:

Formal, impersonal, cold and factual.

DO NOT USE:

·         Contractions

·         Colourful language (gorgeous/stunning/awesome etc.)

·         Informal phrasal verbs (meet up/break down/check out etc.)

·         “I/we think….” (too personal)

Forms and Conventions:

Title: Report into …….

Paragraph Titles: Introduction, Strengths, Weaknesses, Conclusion. (for example)

 

Fixed introduction: The aim of this report is to evaluate/put forward ideas for/examine etc.

Planning, 6 step system:

1.        Read task, underline content points.

2.        Decide paragraph titles. Are they obvious from the task? Or do you have to be creative. Maximum of 5 paragraphs.

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: 280-320

Introduction:

The purpose/aim of this report is to….

This report sets out to…

The report will comment on…

Below is an explanation of…

The focus of this report is…

This report will offer an in depth critique of…

Fake survey/questionnaire:

It can be a good idea to base the report on a survey/questionnaire.

This report will present the findings of/This report is based on the findings/results of an extensive survey carried out by…

Ending Introduction:

It will go on to give recommendations regarding…

Expressing general opinions/info:

….is considered/thought/said to be

…is highly regarded in (place)…(good reputation)

There is widespread agreement that…

Opinions are divided regarding…

It is common knowledge that…

Recent research indicates that…

Interviewees who had first-hand knowledge of the situation stated…

There is considerable disagreement regarding

Comparing and Contrasting

There is a world of difference between… and…

… and… are fundamentally similar

… and… bear little resemblance to each other

There is a clear distinction between… and…

compares favourably with…

… and… are polar opposites

There is a yawning gap between… and…

There is a subtle difference between… and…

There is a growing disparity between rich and poor.

… is strikingly different to…

Advantages/disadvantages:

…’s advantages clearly outweigh its disadvantages.

advantages

benefits/pros/strengths

disadvantages

downsides/weaknesses/drawbacks

Giving Recommendations:

-In light of the above, we believe the following

measures should be adopted…

-In the short/long term, we suggest you should

consider…

-My recommendations are as follows:…

-In my view, in future, we should…

-To improve the situation, we recommend…

-It is recommended that…

Concluding:

-To sum up,…To conclude,…

-I hope that the plan outlined/presented in this

report meets with your approval…

-I hope that the recommendations outlined/

presented in this report will receive your serious

consideration.

Should the recommendations outlined in this report be carried out, I have no doubt that …. Will be a resounding success.

 

Grammar check list

Have 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…)

·         Linkers (Nevertheless/despite/due to/consequently)

·         Impressive verbs (bring about change/undergo development)

Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Writing Classes

CPE Writing Part 1: Formal Essay

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. 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/

CPE Writing Part 1: Essay

This is a lesson plan to help prepare students for part 1 of the CPE writing exam, in which students are required to write a formal essay which summarises and evaluates two other texts.

Here is my step-by-step guide to approaching the task:

Download the class handout here:

CPE writing essay 2nd plan

Step 1 – Text analysis

  • Read both texts and decide if they are complementary or contrasting.
  • Underline the two key content points in each text.

Step 2 – Paraphrasing and summarising

  • Brainstorm different ways to paraphrase and summarise the key points.
  • What impressive structures can you use? Inversions, passives, collocations, expressions.

Step 3 – Evaluate and react

  • Decide which points you agree and disagree with.
  • Brainstorm your own thoughts and experiences on the subject.

Summarise, evaluate, react.

Introduction

Present the topic of discussion and ask questions the essay will answer.

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

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

The trend nowadays is towards (gerund)

How has the public’s opinion on this issue shifted over the last few years?

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

This raises the issue of whether or not……………..

This issue strikes a chord with the vast majority of the general public.

What impact, if any, have these shifts/changes/developments had on the general public’s psyche?

How are we to gauge the effect of such shifts/changes/developments?

Finish your introduction with the following sentence:

Both (1) extracts (2) discuss the nature of these (3) notions, but from different (4) viewpoints.

synonyms for text – extract passage

discuss/evaluate/explore

notions/concepts/ideas

viewpoints/perspectives/points of view

Paragraph 1 – Text 1

The first (1)text (2)argues that………

(1)extract/passage

(2)suggests/puts forward the idea that/asserts

Try and sum up the first point neatly with an inversion:

Seldom does the airplane make the top 5, let alone the top spot when the lists of the so-called most influential inventions are drawn up.

Not since…. Only when….. Not until…. Not only…. But also, No sooner… than
Seldom/rarely…….. Barely/scarcely/hardly……… when

Paragraph structure:

Option 1
  • Introduce content point 1 (paraphrased)
  • Evaluate and react. (your opinion)
  • Introduce content point 2
  • Evaluate and react. (your opinion)

Option 2

  • Summarise both content points
  • Own evaluations and reaction.

Stating opinion

Stating your opinion

As I see it,

It seems to me that ………… I would also say that ….

I am convinced that ……………

I am inclined to believe that ………………

There is no doubt in my mind that ………………

One of the drawbacks of ……. is ……….

However, one of the benefits is that …………

EMPHASIZING

I would like to stress that the research is still at an early stage.

It should be noted that there are a number of alternative methods available.

It is worth bearing in mind that 90% of the scientists researching herbicides in the US are employed by chemical companies.

CAUSE

-lead to: The research could lead to a cure for many serious illnesses.

-result in: The fire resulted in damage to their property.

-be responsible for: He was responsible for the accident.

-bring about: The war brought about enormous social change.

-give rise to: Poor performance in exams can give rise to depression and even thoughts of suicide.

-trigger: to make something suddenly start to happen, especially a bad situation such as a crisis or a war, or a medical condition: Certain foods can trigger allergies.

-contribute to: Passive smoking could contribute to the development of respiratory diseases among nonsmokers.

-factor: Cost is often the deciding factor when choosing any product.

Describing causes

One factor which has led to ………… is …………..

One of the factors which has brought this about is ………

The problem often stems from ………………..

The situation has been exacerbated by …………….

………….. has only made the situation worse.

One consequence of ……………. is …………….

Concluding

All in all it seems to me that ………..

The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that …………………..

All things considered, ………….

On balance, I tend to believe that …………

The world would surely be a better place to live in if …………..

If people stopped ….ing, we would have/ we could look forward to a ……………

The prospects for the future will be bleak/grim unless ……………….

Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Writing Classes

CAE Proposal

Proposal2

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. 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/

CAE Proposal

This is a lesson plan designed to introduce students to the proposal writing task featured in the CAE writing paper. Below are links to the prezi, the handout, the task and a model answer.

Proposal Task – referred to in the prezi as page 189

Prezi

Proposal Handout