Posted in Writing Classes

CAE Writing Part 2: Phrase Sheet Pack

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Image credit: Cambridge English

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I’ve decided to put all the phrase sheets I have made for CAE writing part 2 together in one pack that I can print out and give to my students in preparation for them sitting the exam in June. Download the pack below:

CAE Writing Part 2 Pack

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Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Uncategorized, Writing Classes

CPE/Proficiency Writing Part 1: Phrase Sheet

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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, Writing Classes

CAE Informal Letter of Recommendation

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This is phrase sheet for CAE students to help them tackle informal letters of recommendation, which sometimes come up in part 2 of the writing paper. Download the handout below:

Informal Recommendation Letter

Handout

A possible letter task in the CAE is an informal letter to a friend recommending (or not) a course/activity/holiday you have been on. Below is an example:

You have recently been on a two week adventure holiday in a foreign country. A good friend writes to you because they are thinking about booking a holiday with the same company. You should describe the highlights of the holiday and any problems you encountered and state if you would recommend the experience to your friend.

Informal greetings

Hello mate! How’s it going?
What’re you up to nowadays? Lovely to hear from you.
It’s been ages since we last saw each other. I hope all’s well.

Mixing good with bad

In the task you have to tell your friend about both the positive and negative sides of the activity. What I don’t want you to do is write one paragraph of good points and one of bad because who writes a letter like that? I want you to mix the good with the bad.

Despite/In spite of + noun Despite/In spite of + the fact that + clause
In spite of the dreadful weather (bad), we had a wonderful time. (good) Despite the fact that it poured with rain all week (bad), we had a wonderful time. (good)
Although/Even though + clause Apart from + noun + relative clause
Even though the instructor didn’t speak English (bad), we still managed to pick up the basics. (good) Apart from the first day when it poured, we had clear blue skies every day.

 

Apart from the taxi driver who tried to rip us off, all the people were lovely.

2nd Conditionals

If you did decide to go, I could lend you…../I might come with you. If I were you, I’d………..
If I were in your shoes, I’d………………  

3rd Conditionals

It would have been better if there had been………… I would have been better if I had/hadn’t………………
If I had/hadn’t……………., we could have………….  

Not only

Not only did we ….(do 1 activity), but also …….(another activity) Not only did we learn how to ……….., but also ……………
Not only did we see lions and elephants, but also giraffes and monkeys.  

 

Phrasal verbs

To take up a hobby – to start doing a hobby

I have just taken up snowboarding.

To make up for – to compensate

The excellent food more than made up for the awful weather.

To pick up new skills – to acquire

I picked up some useful skills, such as……..

To get a lot out of something – to take benefit from something. (enjoyment, knowledge, etc.)

I got a lot out of the training sessions.

To catch up with someone – to share the latest news about your life with someone.

We should meet for a coffee and catch up.

To come across – to find unexpectedly (not people)

We were walking through the jungle when we came across some old ruined buildings.

To get on/along with someone – to like and be friendly with someone.

We got along with everyone in our group.

To keep/carry on doing something – to continue

We kept on walking all night.

Look/watch out for – be vigilant for

Look out for pickpockets on the metro system.

Sort out a problem – resolve a problem

The manager came and sorted out the problem.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class

CAE Speaking Part 3+4: Phrase Worksheet

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This is a gap-fill worksheet for CAE students to teach phrases for the collaborative parts of the speaking exam. Download the gap-fill and key below.

CAE speaking phrases part 3+4 gap-fill

CAE speaking phrases part 3+4 key

Key

Starting

What shall we do first?

Shall I start?

Do you mind if I start?

We could start by talking about…

Let’s talk about .. first.

Shall we start with this picture

Opinion

As far as I’m concerned,

As I see it,

From my point of view,

In my humble opinion,

I’d say that…

 

Giving yourself time

That’s a big question!

I haven’t given it much thought until now.

Let me see

How can I put this?

Well, it’s difficult to say really.

That’s an interesting question.

Rephrasing

What I mean is…

What I’m trying to say is…

In other words

To put it another way

Basically what you are saying is…

Agreeing

We see eye to eye.

Yeah, I’d go along with that.

Absolutely!

You took the words right out of my mouth.

I couldn’t agree more.

You have a point there.

I’m with you 100% on this one.

Disagreeing

We don’t see eye to eye.

I take your point but…

I tend to disagree with you there.

That’s not always the case

I beg to differ

Isn’t it more a case of…

Starting to make a conclusion

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

The bottom line is we have to choose one…

It’s a tough one, I’m torn between … and ….

Shall we go with ….?

Asking for opinion

What’s your take on….?

Where do you stand on….?

In my opinion…., would you go along with that?

What are your thoughts on this?

Personalising

Speaking from personal experience,…

For me personally,..

This is a topic that is particularly close to my heart…

It’s funny I was just thinking about this the other day.

My gut/initial reaction is…

If I were to choose one of these situations (part 2 pictures), I’d go with… because…

Impressive structures

Another point I’d like to add about … is…

It’s also worth bearing in mind that…

Coming back to what (Javi) was saying about …. I’d also like to point out that…

I think it’s important not to forget that…

The vast majority of people tend to think that…

At the end of the day…

When all’s said and done…

 

Tips

Eye-contact

Active listening

Open body language

Speak up

Don’t dominate

Asking for repetition

I beg your pardon, I didn’t catch that.

Sorry would you mind repeating that?

Could you repeat the question please?

Gap-fill

Starting

What _____ we do first?

_______ I start?

Do you _________ if I start?

We could start _______ talking about…

________ talk about .. first.

________ we start with…?

Opinion

As ________ as I’m concerned,

______ I see it,

From my ________ of view,

In my __________ opinion,

I’d _________ that…

 

Giving yourself time

________ a big question!

I haven’t given it much ________ until now.

Let me ________

How _______ I put this?

Well, it’s difficult to say really.

That’s an ____________ question.

Rephrasing

What I ________ is…

What I’m trying to ________ is…

In other __________

To put it another __________

___________ what you are saying is…

Agreeing

We _______ eye to eye.

Yeah, I’d _______ along with that.

Absolutely!

You took the ________ right out of my _______.

I ____________ agree more.

You have a ___________ there.

I’m with you 100% _______ this one.

Disagreeing

We _________ see eye to eye.

I take your ________ but…

I _________ to disagree with you there.

That’s not always the ___________.

I __________ to differ

Isn’t it more a __________ of…

Starting to make a conclusion

Let’s ________ down to the nitty gritty.

The bottom ________ is we have to choose one…

It’s a tough one, I’m torn ___________ … and ….

_________ we go with ….?

Asking for opinion

What’s your take _____….?

Where do you ______ on….?

In my opinion…., would you go along with that?

What are your thoughts on this?

Personalising

Speaking ________ personal experience,…

_______ me personally,..

This is a topic that is particularly close to my __________…

It’s funny I was just thinking _________ this the other day.

My gut/initial __________ is…

 

Impressive structures

Another point I’d like to add about … is…

It’s also worth bearing in _______ that…

Coming _______ to what (Javi) was saying about …. I’d also like to point ______ that…

I think it’s important not to forget that…

The ______ majority of people tend to think that…

At the _______ of the day…

When all’s said and ________…

 

Tips

Eye-contact

Active listening

Open body language

Speak up

Don’t dominate

Asking for repetition

I beg your ________, I didn’t catch that.

Sorry would you ________ repeating that?

Could you __________ the question please?