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FCE Activities

This post looks at two ways to practice speaking skills with exam students, but both of these activities can be used with lower level students. These activities are easy to adapt and as such can be used  regularly to practice for Part 2 and 3 of the FCE and CAE exams.

Wordle headlines

This activity is a great activity to practice speaking for the FCE but can be used with a number of different levels. 

Activity Time:  5 – 10 minutes +
Materials required: A wordle headline for each pair of students. Pre-prepared activity download.
Skills practiced: Speaking, listening, writing and reading.
Level: Pre-intermediate +

Method

1. Find a number of interesting headlines. I usually find interesting headlines at the following websites:

The Telegraph 
The Huffington post 

Optionally, download this pre-prepared activity

2. When you find interesting headlines, copy and paste the headlines into wordle. You should have something like the example below. Make enough different wordle headlines for each group in your class.

3. In class, put students into pairs. Tell the students that they are going to receive a headline from the news. Tell them that they must first unscramble their headline and then write it down. Don’t forget to tell them that they must use all the words to create their headline.
When they have made a logical headline using all the words, they must talk about what they think the story is about and what their opinion of the story is.

In The News

Activity Time:  5 – 10 minutes +
Materials required: A mini news article for each student. Pre-prepared activity download.
Skills practiced: Speaking, listening and reading.
Level: Pre-intermediate +
 
Method
1. Find some interesting articles, copy and paste the headline and the first few lines of the article into a word document or download this pre-prepared printable.

2. Give one article to each student. Tell them they have one minute to read the article. When they are finished, they must explain what their article was about to their partner and then ask their partner’s opinion about the article.  


Give the students some useful vocabulary on the board. Remind them that this is the vocabulary needed in Part 3 of the FCE and CAE speaking exams. 


Encourage students to speak for at least 2 – 3 minutes. Ask them to report back to the class about their opinions on the article.

Expressions for asking opinion 

  What do you think of…?
  What do you think about…?
  How d’you feel (about…)?
  What d’you reckon (about…)?
 What’s your opinion of…?
  (What do think about) that?
  What are your views on…?
 What would you say to… / if we…?


Expressing opinion
 

I think……
I feel……..
I believe…….
As I see it……..
In my opinion…….
As far as I’m concerned……
My point of view is that…….
It seems to me that……..

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Trick or Treat

Halloween is a great, fun event for your ESL students to get away from their text books. In this post, I have a fun game that will save you time and add to any lesson ideas that you have already planned. 

Trick or Treat. ESL Game for the Halloween Season

Trick or treat is a very simple activity to set up and is always enjoyed by my students. I have prepared two versions of this game; one for young learners and another for teens.

Activity Time:  15 mins +
Materials required: A bag/box, a copy of the printable and some candy.
Level: Young learners and teens.
Printable: Young learners and Teens

Method

1. Print out a copy of the young learners sheet or the teen sheet and cut out the cards.

2. Put the cards into a bag or box.

3. Students pick a card from the box/bag. If they pick a treat, they get candy. If they get a trick card they have to answer a question or challenge to get a treat. The card is given to another student to ask the question and the answer to difficult questions are written on the card. There are a total of 9 treat cards and 18 trick cards.
ESL Halloween Zombie

Enjoyed this game? Have some suggestions? Leave a message and let me know!