Monthly Archives: November 2013

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All I want for Christmas is… Now with elementary YL version too!

Everyone loves presents.  But what’s the one thing you REALLY want? And can you make a good case for it to Santa Claus? This lesson involves some Christmas vocab, open-cloze, listening to a song, pronunciation and speaking and culminates with giving a convincing speech to Santa Claus about the one thing you really want for […]

Vocab Swap

Vocab Swap

This is a short activity you can use to practise or revise vocabulary.  All the students are involved in speaking and actively listening and it can be used as a warmer, a game or a filler. When my adult FCE students had arrived last night and we were about to begin the lesson, I asked […]

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FCE Speaking Exam Infographic

After the class a week ago where my students got to grips with the speaking exam and what it entails, I asked them to write down on post-it notes the advice they would give themselves the next time they try a part of the exam. I’ve used their tips as well as some wording from […]

FCE speaking exam diagrams

FCE Speaking exam overview – a warmer

This is a bit of a different way to introduce activities that practise the FCE Speaking exam. The students have to use speculative language and their imaginations to decipher a series of diagrams. Some of my teenage FCE students are taking the exam in a couple of weeks and wanted to get to grips with […]

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CPE: Pie Protest – Lesson Plan

I made this lesson for my CPE (proficiency) class and it’s centred on this article about pie-throwing protesters in Northern Spain that I read in The Guardian. The areas of the exam it practises are Speaking part 3, and Reading and Use of English parts 1, 2, and 3. My class really enjoyed talking about […]

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Quizicon’s 100 most common words quiz

What are the most common words in English and how can this question help FCE students prepare for Open Cloze exercises? In this simple online quiz from Quizicon you have 5 minutes to guess the 100 most common words in English. Simple, eh? And a good challenge! And, guess what, these words all happen to […]

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How To Spot A Liar

I’ve used this activity with both FCE and CAE classes to add another element to speaking practice.  It includes a bit of listening and a spot of lying.  My students enjoyed the challenge of being a convincing liar and also guessing other students’ lies. Start with the trusty old two truths and a lie. When […]

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ACEIA talk – Onward & Upward: Advancing Vocabulary

On Saturday, I gave a talk at the ACEIA conference in Seville.  It was the first time I’ve given a talk  to more than 8 people, and I rather enjoyed it.  I hope the participants did too.  I ran out of handouts so here I’ve uploaded it here for anyone who wanted it and didn’t […]

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Say That Again!

This is a good activity for practising paraphrasing skills, or for introducing an FCE, CAE or CPE -style Sentence Transformation exercise.  I’ve used this activity in both CAE and CPE classes and I think the students have been surprised at how many different ways they can think of to say something.  They’re also surprised when […]

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Shoot Out

This game can be used as an icebreaker, a warmer or a vocabulary exercise.   I’ve never used it as an icebreaker although I wish I had as it would be a good one for learning names.   I have recently used it as both a warmer for a some sleepy teenagers (there was a […]