Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Proficiency, Vocabulary Classes

C2 Proficiency: Inverted Open Cloze

C2 Proficiency: Exam Technique – Reading Part 7 – Tim's Free English Lesson  Plans

This is a lesson plan for C2 proficiency students designed to more fully exploit a use of English part 2 open cloze text. Download the handout below:

The part 2 exercise is taken from the Expert Proficiency Coursebook published by Pearson.

Students first complete the exercise from their books, compare answers with a partner and correct the task in open class. The teacher then instructs them to close their books/fold the handout over and try to complete the second “inverted” version. In this version, different words have been removed from the fixed expressions tested in the original text. Other changes have been made in order to fully exploit the text for more high level lexis such as phrasal verbs and fixed expressions. Students can then refer back to the original in order to check their answers.

You can create your own inverted cloze exercises from any text in your course book. Happy inverting!

Inverted Version

Cover the original exercise.

Complete this version.

The relationship between the modern consumer and their rubbish is a complex one. Getting (1) ……. of rubbish has come to mean a great (2) ……. more than simply consigning breakfast leftovers (3) ……. a plastic bag. With the advent (4)……. recycling, rubbish has now invaded many people’s personal lives to an unprecedented (5) ……. There was a time, (6) ……. living memory, when rubbish collection was a simple matter – but today’s household rubbish, before being (7) ……., has to be filed and sorted (8) ……. colour-coded containers (9) ……. to its recycling category.

What is (10) ……., we are brought (11) ……. in a rash of irritation by the suggestion that, if rubbish collections were to become more infrequent, people would then make the effort to (12) ……. down on shopping and recycle more. We might be excused for wondering (13) ……. this would be possible. Can people realistically buy fewer eggs or (14) ……. of toothpaste than their lives require?

Recycling is supposed to be good for us. But for some, it’s just a (15) ……. of rubbish.

Posted in Advanced C1, B2 First, Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class

B2+ Goat vs Bear – Exam Practice & Discussion

This is a lesson plan for B2+ students. It is based on a text from on the subject of wild animals. It will serve as good exam practice for students preparing to take Cambridge exams and should also be an engaging topic of conversation for teenagers and adults. Download the handouts and slides below:

Link to original article:


  1. Show students the second slide of the PowerPoint, encourage them to guess which animal would win.
  2. Show them the second and have them speculate about how a goat would beat a bear.
  3. Give out handout and have students read to confirm their speculations, check in open class.
  4. Have students complete the open cloze, they could work in pairs or individually and then check with their partner. Good practice for Cambridge exams use of English.
  5. Lead students through the vocabulary exercises.
  6. Discussion: Which animal could you beat in a fight? Show students the fourth slide and explain the statistics to them. Put students in groups and have them discuss which animals they think they could beat and how they would do it. 
  7. Lead a discussion on the best way to tackle certain large, dangerous animals. Have students speculate on the best thing to do in each encounter, then check on the internet to see whether or not they would have survived. Board any emergent language and exploit it for recall later.

Open Cloze Key

Apex predators make (1) IT to the top (2) BY being the most efficient hunters in their domain, but every now and (3) THEN an underdog crops up to disrupt the food chain. (4) SUCH an example played out on the mountains of Burgess Pass in Yoho National Park, where Parks Canada retrieved the body of a female grizzly bear. Such a creature would usually (5) BE  the slayer rather than the slain, and most surprisingly of all the assailant turned (6) OUT to be a goat.

The battle (7) TOOK place sometime before September 4 after which Parks Canada was made aware (8) OF the presence of a carcass. Bodies such (9) AS these need to be removed as they can otherwise lure in wildlife that could put visitors to the pass (10) AT risk.

The discovery of a slain bear merits a forensic investigation to determine the (11) CAUSE of death, and so a necropsy (12) WAS conducted on the animal. During the examination, staff noticed that the fatal wounds were at the base of the bear’s neck and in (13) ITS armpits. The attack sites might sound random to the uninitiated, but to experienced park rangers, this was the work (14) OF one extremely lucky mountain goat.

“When grizzly bears attack, they tend (15) TO focus (16) ON the head, neck, and shoulders of the prey, usually (17) FROM above,” Alison Biles, Public Relations and Communications Officer for Parks Canada, told IFLScience. “In turn, the defensive response of mountain goats would (18) BE  to protect themselves using (19) THEIR sharp horns.”

“Grizzly bear predation of mountain goats is relatively common and significant goat activity was observed (20) IN the immediate area. (21) IN this case, it appears that the mountain goat was (22) TRYING/ABLE to defend itself. While rare, other cases of mountain goats defensively killing bears have (23) BEEN reported in the past, (24) WHICH is not completely surprising since mountain goats are strong animals that are well-equipped to defend (25) THEMSELVES” 

Adapted from: 

Find words or phrases in the text to match these definitions:

  1. Animals at the top of the local food chain. – APEX PREDATORS
  2. Someone in a game or fight who has little chance of winning. – AN UNDERDOG
  3. A killer. – SLAYER – assailant – an attacker
  4. The dead body of an animal. – CARCASS
  5. Attract. – LURE IN
  6. Where your arm meets your chest. – ARMPITS
  7. People without experience. – THE UNINITIATED 
  8. A person who patrols and maintains a national park. – PARK RANGER
  9. To have the tools to do something. – BE WELL-EQUIPPED

Complete the collocations from the text:

  1. MAKE it to the top
  2. Every NOW and then
  3. Such AN example
  4. The assailant TURNED out to be a goat
  5. The battle took PLACE sometime before September 4
  6. Parks Canada was MADE aware of the presence of a carcass.
  7. Put visitors at RISK
  8. An investigation to determine the cause of DEATH

Complete the sentences with one of the collocations:

  1. The police still aren’t sure of the CAUSE OF DEATH
  2. I don’t go out often but EVERY NOW AND THEN I like to meet up with friends and let my hair down.
  3. His carelessness PUT everyone on board the ship AT RISK, it can’t happen again.
  4. I have been MADE AWARE OF some complaints that customers have made and I would like to address them.
  5. The match will TAKE PLACE tonight at the usual address.
  6. To MAKE IT TO THE TOP in this industry you have to work very hard and get lucky.
  7. We thought it was a shark under the boat but TURNED OUT TO BE a piece of rubbish.
Posted in Exam Preparation Class

CAE Use of English Training

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This is a lesson plan I have designed for my CAE students who are about to take the exam. It is designed to help them prepare for the four use of English exercises in paper 1. You could set the worksheet as homework or have students complete it stage by stage in class in pairs or individually. Download the worksheet and key below:

CAE Use of English Training

CAE Use of English Training Key

Part 1 – Multiple Choice Cloze

Complete the 4 sentences with the words in the box below:

  1. I’ve been trying to get _______ of my boss all morning but he’s not picking up.
  2. The government realises that homelessness is an issues but has failed to ________ the scale of the problem.
  3. The article gives a fascinating ________ into the lives of the most vulnerable people in society.
  4. The _________ was dawning that this was a major disaster.
Insight Realisation Hold Grasp
  1. It’s just a ________of time before all courses are taught at least partially online.
  2. The police are only beginning to realise the complexity of the _________ now.
  3. The ______ of the accident has yet to be identified, but police have their suspicions.
  4. Since the inconclusive elections the political system has been in a _______ of disarray.
State Situation Matter Cause
  1. After the show I was ________ by an agent from a record company and offered a contract.
  2. Over the course of the trip we _________ many difficulties but we carried on regardless.
  3. After 30 years of service to the company he was _________ with a golden Rolex watch.
  4. They ________ us double what we originally paid for the house so we accepted straightaway.
Presented Offered Encountered Approached
  1. After several attempts to untie the knot I had to ________ defeat and cut the rope with a knife.
  2. I’m afraid I can’t ________ you to enter this area, it’s a restricted zone.
  3. The family will ________ €25,000 in compensation for the damage caused in the accident.
  4. I’m sorry sir but your parking ________ has expired and you have to pay a fine.
Permit Admit Allow Receive
  1. Hi, I’ve come ______ the party, I’m a friend of Josh’s.
  2. When it comes _____ computers, I’m completely useless.
  3. My family originally comes _____ Scotland but I grew up in Birmingham.
  4. The console comes _____ 2 free games of your choosing.
From With To For
  1. University should be _________ to people from all backgrounds to increase equality.
  2. Planning and organising the whole festival in just 2 days is not __________.
  3. The summit of the mountain is only __________ to experienced climbers.
  4. It’s best to use turkey for this dish, but if it isn’t ___________, just use chicken.
Feasible Obtainable Accessible Reachable
  1. We must do more challenge stereotypical gender _______ like male heroes and females needing rescuing.
  2. My favourite comic-book _________ are Batman and Ironman because they’re just normal guys with amazing gadgets.
  3. He is a general in the army and he certainly looks the ________.
  4. Surfing isn’t a hobby dude, it’s a _______ of mind!
Characters State Part Roles

Part 2 – Open Cloze

Complete the sentences with 1 word.

  1. Two students, neither of ______ had done their homework, showed up to class.
  2. The study was carried _____ by a group of scientists from Harvard.
  3. The houses on my street, all of ______ were built over 200 years ago, are painted in a range of colours.
  4. It normally takes me an hour or ____ to get home from school.
  5. Sometimes as _____ as 50 people come to the free dance classes.
  6. The city has many places of interest, _____ the beautiful roman buildings in the centre ___ the ultra-modern harbour side.
  7. I try to do at least a little exercise ____ a daily basis.
  8. The government have cut spending on education. ______ this means is that class sizes will increase.
  9. This part of the building is in the process of ______ repaired.
  10. _____ there were so many people at the concert, people had to sit on each other’s laps.
  11. The problems associated ____ shooting the film underwater were a real headache for the director.
  12. The development of smaller, hand-held cameras led ____ photography becoming a popular hobby.
  13. In the past people _____ have to wait up to a week for their photographs to be developed.
  14. They were ____ the point of calling off the search when they found the missing dog sleeping under a tree.
  15. When taken ____ a whole, the Lord of the Rings saga is one of the most impressive stories ever told.
  16. He has written well _____ a thousand songs in his career. (much more than)
  17. We’re thinking about having our house done ____ this summer, but it might be too expensive.
  18. I’m still not sure ______ or not I lost my phone or someone stole it.

Part 3 – Word Formation

Put the correct negative prefix on the word: in-/dis-/il-/im-/ir-/un-

1.       ____legal

2.       ____secure

3.       ____regular

4.       ____logical

5.       ____predictable

6.       ____pleased

7.       ____sufficient

8.       ____reparable

9.       ____loyal

10.    ____literate

11.    ____rational

12.    ____adequate

13.    ____conventional

14.    ____professional

15.    ____willing

16.    ____capable

17.    ____able

18.    ____precise

19.    ____mature

20.    ____patient

21.    ____complete

22.    ____belief

23.    ____agreement

24.    ____affected

25.    ____pleasant

26.    ____coherent

27.    ____ accurate

28.    ____valid

29.    ____perfect

30.    ____certain

Complete the sentences with one of the words above, check the context, should the word be positive or negative?

  1. Don’t be so ___________! You have to wait for your turn like everyone else. PATIENCE
  2. I’m afraid there is ___________ money to pay everyone this month. SUFFICE
  3. There was a __________ smell coming from the kitchen that made my mouth water. PLEASE
  4. It was very difficult for the _______________ refugee children to fit in at school. LITERACY
  5. We finally reached a(n) ________________ about what to do with the money. AGREE
  6. I’m afraid that the damage to the car is _______________. REPAIR
  7. Your tickets are ___________ for the VIP area, take a glass of champagne and sit down. VALIDATION
  8. He was so drunk that his speech was completely ______________. COHERENCE
  9. Our son is so ___________ compared to the other boys in his class, he never gets in trouble. MATURITY
  10. If your ___________ behaviour continues, you’re going to be out of a job. PROFESSIONALISM
  11. I hate that kind of film, the endings are always so __________ you can see it coming a mile off. PREDICT
  12. What Donald Trump said about Mexican immigrants was completely _____________ and should be corrected at once. ACCURACY
  13. Luckily out area was _____________ by the storm and heavy rain. AFFECT
  14. Your work on the project was _______________ and I expect you to do better next time. ADEQUACY
  15. We should sack him immediately, he’s _____________ of arriving on time. CAPABILITY
  16. Calm down, we need to be ____________ and think about it carefully. RATIONALITY
  17. If they are ____________ to lower the price then we should break off negotiations. WILL
  18. When I was a teenager I felt very ____________ about my body, but I’m fine now. SECURITY
  19. The puzzle is still _____________, we’re missing 4 pieces. COMPLETION
  20. Her methods may be _______________, but they’re very effective. CONVENTION

Part 4 – Key Word Transformations

Choose the correct option to complete the key word transformations:

  1. Mauro says he prefers to do his homework on his own


Mauro says that ______________________________________ do his homework with other people.

  1. He wouldn’t rather to
  2. He would rather not
  3. He would rather not to
  4. He rather wouldn’t


  1. Clara said that she had not seen the missing letter.


Clara ___________________________________ the missing letter.

  1. Refused having seen
  2. Denied having to see
  3. Admitted to not having seen
  4. Denied having seen


  1. It took Layla five minutes to find her car keys.


Layla ___________________________________ for her car keys.

  1. Spent five minutes looking
  2. Spent five minutes to search
  3. Spent five minutes finding
  4. Spent five minutes to find


  1. A short meeting of the cast will take place after today’s rehearsal.


Today’s rehearsal ___________________________________________ a short meeting of the cast.

  1. Will be after by
  2. Followed after by
  3. Will be followed by
  4. Will followed by


  1. I’ll be happy to show you round the sights of my city when you come to visit me.


It will be a _____________________________________________ sightseeing tour of my city when you come to visit me.

  1. Happiness taking you to a
  2. Pleasure to take you on a
  3. Pleasing to take you to a
  4. Pleasure taking you on a


  1. Rousseau painted fabulous pictures of the rainforest although he had never travelled outside Europe.


Rousseau painted fabulous pictures of the rainforest ____________________________________ travelled outside Europe.

  1. In spite of the fact that he never
  2. In spite of he never
  3. In spite the fact he never
  4. In spite of never having


  1. It is thought that one in every five people cannot control how much they spend.


One in every five people is thought _______________________________ their spending under control.

  1. To be unable to keep
  2. That is unable to control
  3. Of being unable to control
  4. Unable to keep


Part 1:

1.       Hold

2.       Grasp

3.       Insight

4.       Realisation


1.       Matter

2.       Situation

3.       Cause

4.       State


1.       Approached

2.       Encountered

3.       Presented

4.       Offered


1.       Admit

2.       Allow

3.       Receive

4.       Permit

1.       For

2.       To

3.       From

4.       With


1.       Accessible

2.       Feasible

3.       Reachable

4.       Obtainable


1.       Roles

2.       Characters

3.       Part

4.       State


Part 2:

1.       Whom

2.       Out

3.       Which

4.       So

5.       Many

6.       From, to

7.       On

8.       What

9.       being

10.    as/since/because

11.    with

12.    to

13.    would

14.    on

15.    as

16.    over

17.    up

18.    whether

Part 3:

1.       illegal

2.       insecure

3.       irregular

4.       illogical

5.       unpredictable

6.       displeased

7.       insufficient

8.       irreparable

9.       disloyal

10.    illiterate

11.    irrational

12.    inadequate

13.    unconventional

14.    unprofessional

15.    unwilling

16.    incapable

17.    unable (adjective) disable (verb)

18.    imprecise

19.    immature

20.    impatient

21.    incomplete

22.    disbelief

23.    disagreement

24.    unaffected

25.    unpleasant

26.    incoherent

27.    inaccurate

28.    invalid

29.    imperfect

30.    uncertain


1.       impatient

2.       insufficient

3.       pleasant

4.       illiterate

5.       agreement

6.       irreparable

7.       valid

8.       incoherent

9.       mature

10.    unprofessional

11.    predictable

12.    inaccurate

13.    unaffected

14.    inadequate

15.    incapable

16.    rational

17.    unwilling

18.    insecure

19.    incomplete

20.    unconventional

Part 4:

  1. b
  2. d
  3. a
  4. c
  5. b
  6. d
  7. a