Most Clicks this week?

07 December 2012

C2 In Depth - Essay and Report Writing

Supplementary Study for C2

Openlearn is the Open University's free site. it contains entire short courses in a huge variety of subjects, including writing skills. Here's a link to a course (15 hours of self study) on Essay and Report Writing. 

If you're interested in studying at a British university this is worth looking through.

03 December 2012

Plan, plan, plan!

Working on an essay? Try Essay Planner.

Need to Compare and Contrast? Try the Compare and Contrast Map.

30 November 2012

Proficiency - Use of English Part 4

Get some advice, and have a go at some sentence transformations here.

26 November 2012

First - Verb Collocations

Work on Part 1 of Use of English with some extra collocation practice here on Quizlet.

23 November 2012

Proficiency Use of English Part 3

Go here for some word formation practice, and use the CAE Use of English Part 3 label from the archive to find lots of further practice.

22 November 2012

Ingredients for a Review of a TV advert

You can adapt this list to any review!

A good review will have:
Has a title 
Sums up the story/product in a sentence or two.Includes positive and negative commentSays if the writer thinks it’s a successful product and whyUses some suitable vocabulary – plot, soundtrack, twist, director, advertisement, advent, get ready,
Has Some opinion language
“If you ask me”. “For me”Some linking between the similar things (“in addition”) and some contrast– “on the other hand”, “however”It's all in the same formality

Advanced - Collocation

You can find more than 20 collocation exercises on Quizlet. Here's a link to a good CAE one.

19 November 2012

First & Advanced: Checking for Mistakes

From BBC Learning, here's a letter to study and look for mistakes.

 Click on "View Answersheet" to see page 2 and the answers.

16 November 2012

Proficiency - Reviews

There's loads of material on the VER about writing reviews for CAE and FCE - use the Reviews label. 

For your use, here's a link to PDF of C2 level review - aim for this standard and you won't go too far wrong.

14 November 2012

Advanced - Formality

A link to some Advanced and Proficiency formality.

12 November 2012

First - Formality

Practice your formal and informals with some flashcard fun!

09 November 2012

Proficiency Use of English Part 2

Try a sample of part 2 of the exam here.

06 November 2012

Advanced & Proficiency: Movie Review

Here's our review of the a James Bond film.  Might give you some ideas for your own work!

Better than 007 out of 10? 
A jolly good Bond film scoring 8/10 with ease for me. Easily my favourite since Goldeneye, maybe The Living Daylights. Many years ago I read a Bond review in a magazine, where the writer said he'd love to see something different from Bond - like have him carry out an investigation in London, for instance, but there's no way it'd ever happen, what with the need forrproduct placement and so on. That author has pretty much got his wish and it worked very well. 

It feels like Bond, looks like Bond and sounds like Bond to me. About 1 second into the film there's something that tells you exactly what the tone of the movie is, puts a big smile on your face, and from there on it's almost all great stuff, doing something interesting and different, yet also familiar. Absolutely loved the tiny little touches ("For her eyes only") which are proper Bond film things and showed the director really knows his stuff. 

The only time it felt a tiny bit slow was in the Bond-doing-the-tests bit, and, for the character, it's odd they've jumped from callow new boy in Casino Royale to old warrior so quickly. I thought the new MI6 team looked good, and like the idea of them all having earnt their stripes in front of each other in this movie. I'm never going to think Daniel Craig is quite right, as he doesn't seem to be quite as comfortable with the humour as the action and darker character work, but in a film as good as this I can pretty much overlook it.  

I'd consider going to see it again if I had a spare couple of hours. What better recommendation can I give?

02 November 2012

Proficiency Essays

Click on the link below for some advice from a US university website on writing at CEFR C2 level, including Cambridge Proficiency.

01 November 2012

Advanced - Use of English Part 3

Extra Word Formation practice here.

30 October 2012

First: Articles

Visit this page for some great examples of students' writing work.

Proficiency - Proofreading Practice

Friday becomes Tuesday - Our apologies for the delay!

Check your writing! If you're doing h/w soon, see if you're proofing skills are up to scratch:

25 October 2012

Advanced - Reading Part 1

Go here for some extra practice. 

19 October 2012

Proficiency Use of English Part 1

Multiple Choice Cloze

Try out another example of the Reading-Use of English exercise from unit 1 of the coursebook, (based on the longer format of the 2012 exam) here.

18 October 2012

Advanced Use of English Part 4

Extra practice of the always challenging Part 4:

You can find plenty more navigating the links on the page.

16 October 2012

First - Use of English Part 2

Here's a link to some in-depth practice and advice on the task type in Unit 1.

12 October 2012

Proficiency: Formality & Informality

Go to this link for some useful exercises to get you thinking about different registers of English:

29 May 2012

Advanced Students Work

A formal letter scoring around 4/10.

Follow us on

15 May 2012

Advanced Students Work

A Complaint Letter. Part 1 of the exam.

Follow us on

17 April 2012

FCE and CAE: Planning your work

Advice and exercises can be found here.

Follow us on

13 April 2012

CAE - Information Sheet/Leaflet

A student writes has a go

A student's answer to a typical question, with some feedback:
Follow us on

12 April 2012

Sample Music Review: (FCE Length, Proficiency level)

A Music Review

Written a year ago, this might give you something to play with in terms of register and style. Around FCE length, but written for a native speaker reader.

Alison Krauss & Union Station: Paper Airplane
Bluegrass is like...Ronaldo. It makes you so mad you want to throw things at it or makes you tick. AKUS (not a lot of words allowed on Fb) are top of the line.

You get three sorts of song. Ali going wistful and emotional. Because, as a beautiful, willowly blonde with an angelic voice, she's naturally sad, lonely and desperate for company. Hmmm, not entirely plausible, but we'll let her run with it. The there's the hardcore stuff. Really. Proper rustic vocals, dustbowls, obscure American towns and tales of loss and love. It's like Irish folk with cowboy hats. Finally there's the odd instrumental, with Ali going like the clappers on the violin, Jerry Douglas picking on the steel guitar like his life depended on it, and the rest of them hitting every note spot on.
PA follows on from UKAS' last two albums. A bit more New Favourite country than Lonely Runs Both Ways country-pop. You'll love it or hate all three. Me? Love it.

06 March 2012

Build your Vocabulary.

A new phrase a day, keeps the teacher at bay:

Follow us!

21 February 2012

Advanced Student's Work: A Film Review

Student Sample

Read the homework. Can you use your experience to imagine how many marks of out 10 this review of two movies might get?

>>  ?? <<  
Produced with fifteen years of difference[m1] , Source Code and The Rock are both remarkable movies.
Source Code is an intriguingü action film, which is still in some cinemas, and is suitable for a general audience. This thrillerü is centered on a soldier, Jake Gyllenhaal, who wakes up in a train, in the body of an unknown man. After some minutes, he discovers he is part of a mission to find a terrorist who is in that train. The plot is captivatingü; with some unexpected twist that makes this film very thought-provokingü. As a curiosity, I would like to mention that it is a low-budget film. It has cost ^32 million while the normal budget for American films is about ^100 million. I strongly recommendü watching it, as it is one of the best films I have seen this year.
 Going back to 1996, The Rock is one of my all-timeüü favorite thrillers. With a really intense plot, this film catches your attention from the first minute to the last one. A renegadeü general and his group of Marines take over Alcatraz with some hostages and biological weapons.  They threaten the city of San Francisco to protest for an injustice from the government. The cast couldn´t be betterüü: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris give a tremendous performance. 
Although it is an entertained film and also has some moments of humor, because of the scenes of violence and sex, this film would be better only for adults.

Highlight to read the teacher's comments:
 Pretty good, although I would have liked a title on the top – and a bit more personality would be good, but I think, I will, go for 8 because I can see the effort is there. I would like more “film” vocabulary to be really confident about the mark though.

 [m1]Fifteen years apart

Follow us on

08 February 2012

First: Formal Writing

Reviewing Formal Letters
We'd like to recommend this page on the Flo-Joe website. have a go at some of the twenty two(!) exercises before your next homework.
Obviously, we're happy to answer questions or doubts you have here or on Facebook.
Follow us on

03 February 2012

Presentation C1/Advanced

Powerpoint Presentation for C1 level:

Advice on:
Formality and grading it
Planning Writing
Checking Writing


Follow us on

02 February 2012

Real World Writing

Real people...
real reasons...
real writing!

Link here to an interesting real webpage written by a university professor to his students about what he expects from their emails to him. Some lessons for everyone here!

Follow us on

30 January 2012

First and Advanced: Paragraphs

Go to the BBC's Skillswise writing site to do as much work as you like on paragraphs. There are factsheets, exercises and games to have a go at  and even videos to watch Enjoy!
Follow us on