There’s not as much useful stuff out there for Proficiency, is there? A lot of what’s there relates to the old CPE exam, too. In this post, I’m listing websites which are useful both for teachers and students of CPE (2013). I’ll try to keep adding to this list, so if you have any recommendations of sites or blogs to add, please let me know!
GENERAL TEACHING RESOURCES
The Cambridge English Teachers’ Resources page has a few activities which are useful for introducing students to the different activities. There’s one sample Speaking exam video (Derk and Annick) with marks and commentary (not an activity, but useful to see what’s required). There are quite a few teacher-made resources too. I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t tried any of them! You need a log-in to view and download resources.
David Petrie, the delightful teflgeek stickman, has several lesson ideas. This link will take you to all posts tagged with ‘proficiency’, where you will also find some online presentations David has done and a general rant about the CPE exam. I also recommend looking under the Exam Classes section. I really like the idea of removing the gaps from gapped exercises – see the post here.
Teaching tips from one of my favourite presenters, Elspeth Pollock.
There aren’t that many practice Speaking papers out there just yet and these part 3 style questions from teflgeek are great for practice. Get students to invent the follow up questions.
I came across this one by accident the other day. It’s another Cambridge Speaking video, this time starring Rodrigo and Ollin with information about the exam, how it’s assessed, and the examiner’s commentary. The links in the commentary take you to that point of the clip (Cool!). I gave it to my students and they found it really useful. Reassuring, actually.
This is the youtube link to a clip of Derk and Annick doing the Speaking exam.
Splendid Speaking gives a nice explanation of what’s happens in the Speaking exam with some sample questions, tips and phrases. Useful for students to read at home. They also have a weekly ‘Get Speaking’ task sheet for advanced learners which is free to download.
More tips from Elspeth Pollock.
This article by Alex Case on Using English gives general good advice for any Speaking exam.
Tim’s Free Lesson plans has an activity idea for practising the long turn.
Teflgeek has some ideas for summary task (Writing paper Part 1) lesson activities here and here. Teflgeek’s Say That Again activity (which I tried and also blogged about here) is great for practising paraphrasing.
This great little TedEd video from Helen Sword can help students notice clunky writing caused by too many nominalisations if that’s the kind of problem they have.
Tips for CPE students and sample writings are on this site.
Here‘s a video of a webinar from Cambridge with info about the 2013 exam, how to mark it and classroom activity ideas.
There´s what looks like an aid to marking CPE writing called assessing writing performance c2 in the Cambridge English Teachers´Resource page (see General Teaching Resources above)
These 39 videos each show an idiom – literally. They’re all super short – 40 seconds or so – and the aim is to guess the idiom before it pops up on screen at the end. There’s also an explanation.
Here are some Idioms with pictures.
COLLOCATIONS & CONCORDANCES
Simple but not infallible – ozdic.
Lextutor has a decent concordancer.
To encourage noticing language when reading extensively, I gave my students this text analysis sheet to fill in at home. They shared the language they learned in the next lesson and said they enjoyed doing it. As part of the task, I asked them to summarise the text they read, too.
My Run For Your Life zombie lesson plan, practising the gapped text (Part 6) as well as speaking parts 1 and 2, was well received by my students.
I like to recommend the BBC World Service’s 60 second idea site to my students for listening practice because the format is ‘long turn’ followed by discussion – and it’s short and usually interesting. I based a lesson plan on it (to practise Listening along with Speaking part 3).
You can often find a good TED talk to use in class or suggest that students find one that interests them at home.
A Cambridge sample paper (with audio and key) can be found here. It can be printed off and used in class.
Here are some online Use Of English practice tests from English Revealed. Hints are given!
More online practice tests for the whole Reading and Use Of English paper on ESL Lounge.
If you want your students to keep an exam practice record, so they can see their progress, I made one here that you can download and adapt.
PearsonELT have some tips and recordings on how to do well in the exam here. There’s a lot of other stuff too, including a guide for teachers on using your old CPE books to study for the new exam, but you have to be a registered user to access it. It’s free!