In our new room 258 of the VHS we were able to work on the unit one of the Textbook Objective Proficiency drawing attention to the Exam spots and Idiom Spots in the book as useful to read.
My philosophy with this book is to in class do the activities which needed talking, listening or explanation and reserving the activities which need research and individual effort to homework.
These (yellow-coloured sections of the book) show common errors that some candidates have made in the CPE exams over the last few years and I find that showing people common errors is not very helpful as what tends to be remembered are the errors not the correct versions of the texts. I will therefore be skipping over those sections and any exercises where you have to correct mistakes in the book. You are adults and if you want to do these exercises – you can chose to do them.
Foci for the evening
We focussed on the following parts of the Cambridge English: Proficiency exam:
- multiple-choice cloze – where you are given four words and asked to select one to fit in the gap (paper 1 part 1)
- word formations – where you have a gap in a text and have to fill it with a word derived from a KEYWORD at the end of the line (paper 1 part 3)
- phrasal verbs – verbs often with Germanic origins where the propositions are used to add meaning and extend meaning as in German. However having been freed from the grammatical straightjacket of German the phrasal verbs are much more complex than the separable verbs in German grammar.
hints and suggestions
Here are a few of the hints and suggestions made during the session:
- getting hold of three/four file cards – one for the place in the textbook, one for the place in the answers, one for the grammar section in the back of the book – the fourth is helpful on pp 6 -7 where the layout of the exam is explained.
- in class when you are asked to tackle a particular question it is always worth if you have worked it out to look at the others (especially the later ones which tend to be harder) and have a go at those too.
- if you are doing the exam in June 2015 – you need to be aware that we will not get through the whole book and you can work on extra material at the back of the book.
some videos that help to lighten the weight of work
1. Someone on the first evening asked about accents that you might encounter in the exam and I explained that you might encounter Scots, Irish, Welsh, North American, Antipodean or Southern African accents in the listening paper so you need to be familiar with them to some extent. Here is a video where two Scots encounter a “voice recognition” lift – can you understand what they say?
2. Summarising is an art form that we have to learn. Here is the Monty Python Summarizing Proust Competition notice who gets the highest on the “Proustometer”:
Homework for 26 February 2015
The homework for the next week is:
- page 9 exercises 4 and 6
- Exam folder 1 (pp 14 – 15)
- preparing Unit 2.1
- be prepared to talk for two minutes on a favourite book, film, television programme or piece of art.