BBC Learning English. Teaching exam-based writing skills. Attitudes towards writing skills Exam writing Comparing model texts/candidate answers Register transformation with a formal letter Error correction Topic sentences Removing irrelevant details Guided brainstorming Conclusion Attitudes towards writing skills Often, students have had negative experiences of writing in the language classroom in the past, perhaps they see it as a waste of class-time, which could be better spent practising their oral skills, or perhaps they simply find writing a difficult and laborious task even in their first language.
Whatever the reason, getting adult students motivated to write in class can be tough! However, for teachers it can be very useful to monitor students writing in class. You are at hand to answer any language difficulties, give advice on how to structure sentences in a more natural way, provide vocabulary that students are lacking and generally be available to deal with individual needs as well as noting common problem areas. First Lesson Reports: Getting Started with Exam classes (FCE, CAE, CPE) A designerlessons plan by Neil McMillan First days can be painful.
None more so than my first day at secondary school in smalltown Scotland, where a rickety chair collapsed under the weight of my burgeoning teenage backside, causing an outbreak of hilarity among my new classmates. One even came to thank me for ‘breaking the ice’ …. where in reality all I’d broken was the chair. In the absence of dodgy furniture, however, what should a first class involve? My current DOS is adamant, rightly, that we should not be enquiring after the students’ summer holidays. A First Lesson Should … When it comes to exam classes preparing Ss for FCE, CAE or CPE, there will also be an expectation from the group that all classwork should somehow lead towards meeting their very clear goal of passing that exam.
With that in mind, here is a first-day lesson which hopefully ticks all the above boxes – while additionally attempting to: i) facilitate practice with an aspect of the exam the class is working towards.
HLT Magazine, July 02 : Short Article 4. Alex Case, Central School of English, London This article aims to look at how you can humanise your language exam class, with specific reference to the Cambridge FCE and CAE (although most of it is relevant for any exam).
Some may think it strange to put the words 'humanise' and 'exam class' together – some even seem to think of them as opposites – but I think it is useful to examine how (or if) it's possible. Why? Firstly, my exam classes seem to have the best atmosphere of any of my classes, with students frequently coming back to let me know how they've got on and to continue with their English by joining other (exam or non-exam) classes. They also seem to stay in touch with each other more than in other classes.
Use whatever you can find in the exam that matches your own humanistic aims. For example, the Cambridge speaking exams Part One involves talking about yourself and is therefore a perfect excuse for classroom 'getting to know you' activities. Lose the textbook. Build the team.