Showing posts from 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.

Plan, plan, plan!

Working on an essay? Try Essay Planner.

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

Proficiency - Use of English Part 4

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

First - Verb Collocations

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

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.

Ingredients for a Review of a TV advert

You can adapt this list to any review!
A good review will have: Has a titleSums 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.

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.

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.

Advanced - Formality

A link to some Advanced and Proficiency formality.

First - Formality

Practice your formal and informals with some flashcard fun!

Proficiency Use of English Part 2

Try a sample of part 2 of the exam here.

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?SkyfallA 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 pro…

Proficiency Essays

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

Advanced - Use of English Part 3

Extra Word Formation practice here.

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:

Advanced - Reading Part 1

Go here for some extra practice. 

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.

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.

First - Use of English Part 2

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

Proficiency: Formality & Informality

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

Advanced Students Work

A formal letter scoring around 4/10.

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Advanced Students Work

A Complaint Letter. Part 1 of the exam.

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FCE and CAE: Planning your work

Advice and exercises can be found here.

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CAE - Information Sheet/Leaflet

A student writes has a go

A student's answer to a typical question, with some feedback:
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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 …

Build your Vocabulary.

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

First: Formal Writing

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

Presentation C1/Advanced

Powerpoint Presentation for C1 level:

Advice on:
Formality and grading it
Planning Writing
Checking Writing


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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!

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First and Advanced: Paragraphs

Go to the BBC's Skillswise writing site 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!
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