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.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Exams Loom

Travel Chaos reigns across Europe, but as it's no one's fault really, no one complains too much. My Dad was due to come and visit next week, but we'll see. My cousin was on his honeymoon in Rome and was complaining that he was stuck there and couldn't get back to work. My heart bleeds!
My exam guys are due to have solid exam prep until the exams in June, and because of the Portuguese national exams some of them are unlucky enough to have to do a May exam! It's late in the day to worry too much, but top of my list of things you should revise are phrasal verbs. Set/Take/Get/Make for the moment (you'll see these pop up in class in the next two weeks or so) but keep an eye on these.
I am also concerned STILL about silly spelling mistakes. Is it just my students who hate writting (sic) practise.