Showing posts from 2011

Error Checklist for First

Error Checklist for FCE Writing:

Compiled in S6 on Monday 19 Dec

Some examples of things you might be able to see before you hand in your work to the teacher:

Contractions in formal English? Exclamation marks in formal English. Eliminate them.

Check double consonants.

Much and many on countable/uncountable nouns.

Avoid direct questions in formal letters.

Word order in non-questions.
Fred asked what time it was
Fred asked what time was it.Confused plurals

Life >>>> lives.
person >>> people
child >>> children
Does it sound or look good to you?

Have you avoided the same word in adjacent sentences?
Describe differently
Synonym if you can
Use pronounsWord Order
Put your adverbs in the right places - usually at the end.

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Sentence Transformations...

Sentence Transformation Advice

Some basic things to think about in part 4 of FCE and part 5 of CAE. Questions and comments (and additions) welcome! 
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Report Shopping List

What to include in your report.

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Article Shopping List

Things to Include in your Article
vocabulary connected to the topicgrammar to do the action in the question ("give advice" >>> should, if I were you, etc.)stay within 10% of the word limitwrite sufficient clear paragrpahsconnect your sentencestry to be interestingshow some personalitydon't forget a title Follow us on

First Writing Part 1. Two Samples.

Two First Formal Letters.

Take a look at these two letters answering the same Part 1 question. Decide which you think is better and why. You'll find corrections underneath. 

Letter 1
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to apply to the [m1]Adrenalin Adventure whichü I have seen the advertisement in a magazine. I am thinking in[m2] the possibility of surfing or horse-riding. Could it be possible?
We are a group of seven[m3]. We would like to know ifü |+| is possible to sleep in single rooms, just becauseü |+| is not very confortable[m4] to share the room with other people. Could you search if there are places avaliable on 12-13 august[m5]?
I would be grateful if you could tell me ifü the prize [m6]includes meals and hire of equipment[m7]? We are also worried about the lower age limit since I have a friend who is only 17. Could he come?
I look forward to hearing from you

Formal English - 10 points to correct and think about

Extracts from formal writing homework - comments follow below. Note that all of them contain good along with things to work on. Add comments or ask questions as you wish. (To add comments you need to click on the title and open this post in a new window)

1.We would regret having to take this matter further.[m1] 2.some points which I think are not true[m2] in your article 3.I would like to draw up your attentionü[to…..] [m3]in order to voiceü my disappointment with the article publishedü in the local newspaper recently 4.must disagree[m4] whith your version of events 5.I would like that your article[m5] had included Dear Sir, 6.My name is Joseph Martin Smith[m6] and I am a member of the 7.

Advanced Use of English Part 2

If you'd like an extra exercise on filling gaps, have a go at a sample practice of an Open Cloze test here
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Formal in Informal

How does your reader know if your writing is formal or informal? Simple - the very first sentence or two will tell them - often from the vocabulary on its own.
So, take a look at these two first sentences:
My greatest ambition would be to set up a new businessvs
My greatest ambition would be to establish a new businessOnly one word different, but one's certainly a bit more formal than the other!

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First Use of English Part 1: extra

Go here for information from Cambridge on part 1, and here for a practice exercise from Flo-Joe.
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Advanced: Formal vs Informal Writing

Language for Letters and Emails
Language for Formal and Informal Email and Letters. Take a look at this page on Alex Case's website

Can you do the exercise that Alex Case has designed? You might want to print the page out to look at it more carefully and write notes.
First, decide if the phrases are formal or informal. Make a list of new phrases in your vocabulary section or notebook. You can scrolldown the page for Alex’s comments.
Second, think about exactly what they mean. Are you familiar with the phrases like you’re a star, and give me a belland vocabulary like to pop, toland someone in it and a wee bit tricky?
Third, you can post your guesses, answers or comments here via the comment button on our Facebook page.
Finally, try to use a couple of them in your homework.

First - Writing Samples: Informal Letter

Informal Letter/Email to Review Take a look at this letter. We`ve indicated some positives and corrections. What do you think  of it? You might find some language you'd like to use yourself. Dear Megan:Things are as good as always! Last night I went to a fancy dress party, and I dress up[m1]ü like an Egyptian girl. I will send you all the pictures I tookü that night!! It was one of the best nights ever, you should have been there!üHow are things going there?ü It has been a long time since we haven’t talk[m2], its good to hear again from [m3]you! So you have to tell me many t[m4]hings, like how Sean and you broke up?
My mother has told me that I can go to your house [m5]on July!! So we have to plan many things that we are going to do thenü and you have to help me [to] choose which clothes I am taking. Oh and my mom have [m6]told me that you can come with us to[m7] a Mediterranean cruise we’re going ^ from the 12th of august[m8] until the 30th of the same month!! Please convince üyour …

Advanced - reviewing your writing knowledge

Advanced Students - review writing with this lesson plan - there's not going to be time to do it in class, but you can teach yourself!
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First: Assess an article

If you are interested in writing articles, think about this one:
Today's television
"A load of old rubbish" or
"More choice than ever before"?

Is today's television still good value for money?
How would you answer this question? Pay a visit to the flo-joe website to take a look at one student's attempt.

Advanced Sample - Article on the past

Article The Times newspaper has asked the public to contribute articles for a series in their Sunday magazine supplement. If we make a concerted effort to conserve energy, could we live without electricity? They wish to receive your views and opinions on this subject. What do YOU think life would be like with no electricity? Send your articles to us at the address below or use the e-mail number. Write your article.

Back to the past Can you conceive your life without electricity? Imagine a complete power cutü. Imagine[m1]your house or your job without any artificial light. Imagine hospitals, commercial centres, even the street`s lights, all gone.And now try to assume that this is the new way of living. It sounds like a terrible nightmare, doesn`t it? üü
If this had happen, it would be necessary a complete change [m2]in our world. First of all, if there was no artificial light, we would need to adapt our timetables to the sun hours=. In additionü, a great amount[m3] of jobs would need to be …