Saturday, 24 April 2010

Ambition will be rewarded

I was at a training session yesterday discussing the Cambridge exams and some interesting points came up. The emphasis of the meeting was the speaking exam and we had a look at some of Cambridge's most recent releases to try and judge the 'correct' score given. After some reflection I feel that I personally haven't been paying enough attention to cohesive markers and perhaps been playing it a little too safe with my KISS strategy (Keep It Simple, Stupid!). Sure, by keeping things simple and answering the question and having a few fixed phrases at the ready you can pass the speaking exam (attain a level 3 or so), but if you are (or have a student) expecting an 'A' grade then you're going to need to do more. At FCE we need to hear linking devices, such as 'Firstly', 'on the other hand', oh, you get the idea.
Also, we are going to need to hear more advanced grammar to get that 'A' grade. Let's have some decent conditional sentences, they are not so hard really, and so interesting adjectives (good, bad and nice are just not enough!).
So, get the basics right, then reach for the stars and have a bit of ambition.
Exams in May and June for my guys.... get studying.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything you said, Dave... and let's be honest here: students do not need all this grammar for the sole purpose of getting an A in the exams. The main reason is that they need to be able to communicate efficiently after they get the certificate, using proper grammatical structures and a variety of words. Even if they happen to pass the exams out of sheer luck, the certificate will not be useful to them later on unless they can prove their mettle in everyday speech!