giovedì 20 marzo 2014

Teaching for exams? Have fun! (Part 1)

Last week I posted two graphics aimed at students of the English language who want to do well in the Speaking papers of Cambridge PET and First. My blog post was so successful I decided to have a series of posts about teaching (aimed at teachers) and studying (aimed at learners) for English language exams. I will share my teaching ideas which worked in the classroom and some useful tips for students to smash their exams.


In this part of the test candidates need to read through one long text divided into sections or up to six shorter texts. The texts usually describe people's experiences and tastes.They have to find information in the texts that matches 15 short questions.

There is information in more than one section of the text which appears to match the questions.

I got this idea after reading this article

Materials for 6 students:
6 stick-on labels with the name of a famous person on
6 short texts
12 post-it notes with information on

1. Play the game Who Am I? 
- Write the name of a famous person on each stick-on card.
- Stick it on your students' forehead. (Or let them stick it by themselves but they cannot see what is written on the card).
- Choose a person to start the game. This person asks the group "yes or no" questions to figure out who they are. (E.g. 
- Continue around until everyone either has had a turn.

2. Once the students know which famous person they are, give them a short text about their character. Students read the text.

3. Gallery Walk - Students now go around the classroom to find two pieces of information about their characters.
This step is crucial because being the information pretty similar some students will "struggle" for getting the post-it note.
This method turned out to be effective because students realized they had to find synonyms or similar phrases in order to match the information with the character.

Students had a chance to make it practical and reflect on the ways they could do the exercise straightforwardly.
After the lesson I gave my students an exercise from the past papers of the exam and the number of correct answers was much higher than in previous exercises. Plus, one of my students came up with a technique to do this part of test: First read one section of the text/short text and then read the possible information which matches with it.

Note: This activity can be also used for a reading comprehension exercise at any level. You just need to adapt it to your students.

2 commenti:

  1. Great activity! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Nastya, thank you for visiting my blog. I'm glad you find it useful ;-)