Abril – Guía Alumnado PUC 2014-15 (36 pages)
Jan 29: Announcement for upcoming month
Nov 7: red tape
News. Nov 2014: The authorities have just published the only C1 exam we have, to practice with in February. Please, don’t do it till we all do it together in due time. In February I’ll give a workshop on Exam Format, and you’ll see how all we have been learning helps you to succeed in taking it. Then you’ll do this only example we have, but not to test your level: to test your exam management skills. Then you’ll all design an exam, in Working Groups.
At our school, 2015 will be the first year we give the Certificate C1 Exam. Till September 2014 I didn’t know if we would have to design it or if the authorities were desinging it. Today, Sept. 24, our adorable head sent me the two C1 exams the authorities have given. We’ll use them in February to train in Exam Format Practice. But you need to use all the learning stategies and techniques I explain in class first, while enjoying your English. So now… forget about the exam! Enjoy your English! ❤
What I wrote when I didn’t know (summer 2014)… Now I need to take those exams (by the end of January 2015) and compare them to these notes below, so that I can explain things in February.
The C1 Examination Papers will be four. In the second part of our course, we will be devoting a few lessons to Designing Exams, so you understand what is tested. Here is a quick draft I’ll brush up once the course has started (Just now it’s July, and I’m trying to design this C1 course, including the testing system, but I’m exhausted. We used to do this in the last two weeks in September, when we are also able to meet. July is not the moment because we need to stop and recover, to be able to devote some time to our own learning, and also have a month’s holiday.)
Reading Test (60-90 min): two, or three parts. A multiple choice reading comprehension exercise, a cloze test, (and a matching exercise).
Listening Test (30-45 min): three parts. A multiple choice listening comprehension exercise. A fill-in-the-gaps exercise, where the use of phonemic transcription is allowed and both transcription and spelling mistakes do not necessarily invalidate the word, provided it’s clear which word it is. A matching exercise based on different news items or speakers. A minimum of two accents: US American and British. Other possible accents: Spanish, Italian, French, German, Irish, Asian, African…
Writing Test: two parts (90-120 min). One called Expression (250-300) — Article, Essay, Biography — , another called Interaction — Formal Letter or Business Report or Proposal — (150-200). We will agree in class which kinds of texts we need to be working on (one a month, with a Before and After Writing), depending on what you should learn and what you are more interested in.
DRAFT – The Expression exercise will be a real or fictional story, an article on a location you know for a travel guide, an article on a work of art (literature, art, movies…) for a magazine, a an article analyzing a topic. The Interaction will be a letter to the Editor, a formal complaint letter to a travel agency you booked a holiday package with, a proposal of improvements in your town/city for the town/city hall, a job-/grant-application letter, a semiformal letter responding to an ad, a business email.
Speaking Test: two parts (20 min). One called Presentation (3-4 min), another called Conversation (5-6 min; 7-8 min for 3 people). In class, we will agree which Timed Presentations you need to work on every month (Speaking File, one Timed Presentation a month, “improvised” weekly at home and recording a final try, your best). We’ll also create the Speaking Tests you will be taking at the end of the course, especially the Conversation cards.