Tips and tricks for exam preparation (8)

This post closes my series about exam preparation. I have discussed some typical exam exercises in every paper (Reading, Use of English, Writing, Listening and Speaking) and tried to provide guidelines how to prepare for these. In this last post, I would like to give you some final tips for your exam preparation course. Read more

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Tips and tricks for exam preparation (6)

In the next two posts, I would like to discuss some details that might improve your students’ performance in the speaking exam. Remember that your students have only got used to speaking to you and their classmates, so the situation where they have to talk to a complete stranger about unexpected things might cause a high level of stress which might cause even the best student to stumble. So try to find enough time to talk about the examiner’s aim, about realistic expectations (an A2 student doesn’t have to be ‘fluent’ and not knowing a word is not a sin, etc.) and what candidates are supposed to do during the exam. This way, you will help your students face the oral part of their exam without (or at least with a lower level of) anxiety. Read more

Tips and tricks for exam preparation (5)

Listening might be the most difficult challenge for your students, mainly due to incorrect learning habits. Traditional language teaching still puts emphasis on mechanical grammar exercises, reading, tests and, usually, speaking drills that don’t really involve listening skill training. Students should be exposed to native spoken English every day. By assigning homework which involves watching TV in English or even listening to short videos on YouTube, teachers will encourage students to practise their listening skills. Still, these types of homework assignments are exceptions rather than the rule. There might be some improvement in students using their CD-Rom included in their course pack, but these often provide subtitles which turns their practice into reading instead of listening. Read more