Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Help with the Cambridge interviews

Here's a teaching tip for helping students prepare for the Cambridge exams, and in particular the interview section. The activity is designed to help get the ready the parts of the interview that involve working together to discuss a question. In this part of the test students are given long, complicated instructions which must be followed carefully.

Lesson plan

1 Instead of asking students just to read the instructions, get them to close their books and listen. Explain to them that they are going to hear the instructions for this part of the interview twice.

2 Read out the instructions for the first time, remind students that all they should do is listen.

3 Next explain to them that they are going to hear the question a second time and that they should note down as much as they can about the question. Tell them that you will read the question out at normal speed and so that nobody can be expected to note down everything.

4 Read out the question again ( at slightly slower speed than before).

5 Students then work together in groups to reconstruct the question.

6 They then compare their version with the original in the book. Once again remind them that the most important thing is that they have the same idea rather than being a carbon copy of the original.

7 Students then work in pairs and do the interview exercise.

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