Our first session
Welcome to everyone and there were slightly more people in the room 161 (designed for up to six and no more than eight people) than it can comfortably accommodate so I will be contacting the VHS Management to see if there is a bigger room for us to use. So keep your eyes out on this blog.
I hope that with the introductory note you have the resources to start the course. You are always welcome to ask me questions at anytime during the course on particular points of the structure of the Cambridge English: Proficiency Examination so do not hesitate to contact me via the contact page or my email address
We also did a few exercises from the text book (page 8) – which you will see when you get your copy so you got a flavour for the book.
A skill necessary for Proficiency students
Summarising texts is a skill that is required and is tested in the Cambridge English: Proficiency Exam (specifically in the writing paper part 1 question 1 – which is compulsory). The idea in the writing paper is that you are given two texts of about 100 words and have to briefly summarise them and then comment on the two texts. So it is important that you learn to reduce a short text to its key points and learn to write them coherently in around 30 words (this is roughly two or three sentences in Modern English).
Points you need to be aware of are:
- You can and should get used to writing on the question paper – underlining the keypoints in the text that you want to reproduce in the summary
- You can draft and redraft the final text – you have some time and you have rough paper on which to do it – remember even the greatest writers draft and redraft their writing:
Welcome to the mind of the examiners
We noticed when doing the exercises a couple of useful lessons about the exams that Cambridge English set. These things are very useful for us because they help us understand what the examiner wants and what kind of questions they are likely to ask and how they are likely to mark your answers.
- If the words in one of the answers are the same as the text/question you should always be suspicious of that as an answer. The examiners rarely if ever use the same words for the answer as those in the text or question.
- There are often one more paragraph or answer than spaces for the answers – one of the possible answers is made up to try and fool you.
Homework for 19 February 2015
There are several parts to the homework:
- Buy (beg steal or borrow) a copy of the textbook – you have the details you need your own copy for class and homework.
- Download the handbook for teachers from the Cambridge English: Proficiency website
- Try summarising the four short texts which I handed out to you here
NOTE Written homework should be on a separate sheet of paper (with your name on it) – if you type it please do it with one and a half or two line spacing and in 12 point (otherwise I will have problems reading it). If you send me your homework by email – I can read many formats but I would find it useful if I can alter the font / font size / line spacing as necessary – so make the document editable.
I hope you enjoyed the lesson and look forward to seeing you next Thursday at the VHS Bielefeld.