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03 December 2013

`Writing Essays

Lots of good advice on high-level essay writing here.

25 November 2013

Editing and Proofing

Everyone's done some homework now, so you might find your teacher recommending more checking.

Try this page for some editing and proofreading practice.

05 November 2013

Proposals 3 of 3

Our minicourse concludes with work on structure here.

31 October 2013

Essays 3 of 3: Structure.

Final part of our minicourse on structure. Take a look at this video class.

29 October 2013

Proposals 2 of 3: Vocabulary

Following on from last week's video, go here for work on vocab for proposals.

Next week: Structure.

28 October 2013

Letter or Email? Not a problem!

Jane's guide to writing slips

Here's an interesting article from the BBC - some real world advice on emails - some, maybe most of it could be useful to you - thinking about what a native speaker reader is expecting to hear.

24 October 2013

Essays 2 of 3: Structure

Go here to start working on essay structure.

22 October 2013

Proposals 1 of 3: A summary

Go here to try an online video lesson helping you learn about writing proposals.

Comeback next week for a follow up exercise on vocabulary.

17 October 2013

Essays 1 of 3: Watch and Listen

Go here to watch an introduction to essay writing, ideal for Proficiency. Interesting for FCE and CAE.

16 October 2013

First - Sentence Transformations

If you've just started using Objective First Certificate, you'll know that Uniyt 1.1 introduces sentence transformations. Practice is important, so here's a link to some to try out - answers are at the bottom of the page.


15 October 2013

Writing for Purpose

Writing for purpose - composing quality writing work for academic or profesional reasons.

A British Council course is here.

10 October 2013

Formal Letters

Formal Letters are key to First, Advanced and Proficiency.

Go here to get started.

29 May 2013

First Student's Work

A part 1 enquiry letter.

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26 May 2013

22 May 2013

Advanced Student's Work

A CAE level proposal

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First Student's Work

A second FCE level report:

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21 May 2013

First Use of English, Pt 1 Advice

Advice from Level 6 on Use of English Part 1

Why "Do Part 2 then look at Part 1 again"? 
Experience suggests that candidates often see mistakes given some space from the question - and more often change wrong >>> right than the opposite.


15 May 2013

Advanced Student's Work

A CAE report.

The Env Sit in Frank Cit Cen (possessives in geography!)
The purpose of this report is to outline the recent actions done in Frankfurt to reduce the use of energy and natural resources, while evaluating their effectiveness. It will also consider likely future developments in this matter. excellent!
Public buildings
The regional government has set up various measures(colocation doesn’t work)  to reduce pollution and energy wastewf. Heating in public buildings has been limited to 21C and has to be turned off during weekends. Energy saving plans for universities and public companies helped bringingg down monthly energy expenses by 20%.
Recycle & Reduce
Another approach has been the street marketing campaigns undergone at busy Benedict’s Square. Their aim was to make people aware of the importance of very good! saving water and recycling on a daily basis, trying to go ahead and show it as a green life style. These kind of campaigns have had a great impact on Trier’s citizens because of their unconventional methods.
Traffic congestion
A popular way for cutting down pollution in cities is the overcoming of automobile dependence, dependence on... and with that purpose a whole new circuit of bike lanes was finished completed is better in November. The project of a CO2 free city centre has found great acceptance, and cooperation with a local e-bike’s factory has been highly successful so far.
 Future developments
The outlook great for our city is optimistic, however there is still much to be done. I would strongly recommend start planning the introduction of renewable energy systems like wind power and solar collectors, among others. Improvements in environmental issues should always be in our city’s agenda.
5/5. Tried to find a way to go for 4, but it’s excellent. Very nice indeed! . vocab, word order, collocations all very good, so even the ones that don’t come off are not a problem. Better than some of the English translations you find on Madrid government publicity.

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First Student's Work

An FCE Report

14 May 2013

First - application letters

Watch a video on First application letters here:

08 May 2013

First Student's Work

An FCE Article

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02 May 2013

CAE Student's Work

A formal letter. Passing with a mark of around 8/10.

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01 May 2013

Advanced Student's Work

A CAE level article.

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First Student's Work

A TV review

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30 April 2013

First - Reading Practice

Extra FCE Reading practice and advice here.

28 April 2013

First Student's Work

A Part 1 FCE application letter.

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25 April 2013

Advanced Reading Exercises

Find a selection of CAE reading questions to have a go at here.

70 Expressions for Formal Writing

Academic English, but useful for essays, reports and proposals, amongst other forms of formal English.

23 April 2013

Writing Complaints

Advice on Complaining letters here.

18 April 2013

CAE - Information sheet

Some useful advice for information sheets (and reports and proposals) here.

16 April 2013

First: An application letter

FInd lots of advice here on writing an application!

11 April 2013

Writing Templates


You'll find a selection of writing templates here - lots of material for different email and letter types. 

08 April 2013

C1 and C2: Paraphrasing

From the superlative UEfAP website, a brilliant collection of exercises on rewriting phrases in the right hand column of the table.

Not at all easy, but very very good practice.

04 April 2013

Referencing not repeating.

Avoid repition in your formal writing!
Two pages which can help you improve your writing by avoiding repetition, linking ideas, sentences and paragraphs, and overall making your wirting clearer.
Go here and here

14 March 2013

Build your Collocations


Some more vocabulary work this week. Visit this page and take a look through the many collocations on offer. 

Think about where and when you could use some of them in writing. Think task (letter, article, review, and so on) and topic.

For example, honestly believe could easily be used in a formal letter or an article giving your opinion - and you could use if for films, books, TV programmes - anything in fact!

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05 March 2013

Essays and Articles

An excellent slideshow with language for essays and articles.

05 February 2013

Is this you?

Langauge learning advice.

31 January 2013

Advanced and First: Paragraph Practice

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!

22 January 2013


Do it yourself, Use of English

Practice for Part 2 of FCE, CAE and CPE. You can now make your own exercises - and, ideally, share them with your classmates.

1 Find a section from a suitable article. Aim for about 200-250 words. Try to make sure it ends at a logical point (ie the end of a paragraph).
2 Copy from the webpage. You might need or want to check you have the text you want by pasting into an application like Word.
3 Go to here 
4 Paste in your text.
5 Choose a level: one word in 12 is best.
6 Print or save as PDF.


  • There's no level, as such - use this technique to practise understanding a text with gaps and filling spaces logically.
  • The words are selected at random, not specifically as they are for the exams.
  • The software doesn't distinguish between contractions or punctuation.