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Exam Practice & Skill Development

March 10th, 2015

Thinking about coming to CIE Oxford to prepare for an exam? We offer tutoring for all Cambridge courses (KET, PET, FCE, CAE), IELTS, and TOEIC. We focus on the four main skills of exam practice, Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing to ensure you will do well in your exam. One of our teachers talks about her time teaching TOEIC skills to students from Kyorin University, Japan:
I took our Kyorin group for 2 weeks, teaching a mixture of TOEIC and IELTS skills. Students seemed to find these sessions particularly useful in working towards their future examinations. Their improvement was clear to see and I was very proud of their progress and determination to do better.
My idea was to take learning out of the book and into the classroom through a number of fun activities, to improve & strengthen their skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
I think it’s important for both myself and your students to see how much of an improvement has been made during the span of the course. Before we began we made 4 progress charts for each of the four disciplines, along with name arrows. (See attached pictures.) It was good to have a visual guide to motivate us.
exam practice - listening

exam practice - reading
Part of the TOEIC exam requires students to describe a photo in detail. To practise these skills we played the following games:
– Mime Your Day: In pairs or as a whole class, students mime their daily routine (e.g. brushing teeth, scanning bus pass etc.) while other students try to describe what’s happening.
– Freeze Frame: In pairs/groups students invent a scenario, e.g. at the doctors, and “freeze” in position while other students describe what they see and try to guess what is happening. “There is a man holding something. I think it’s an injection. He must be a doctor. The other man is holding his arm. He might be the patient. I think they are in a hospital.” After they’ve finished guessing, the pair/group unfreeze and act out the scene with words to see if they guessed correctly.
The Kyorin students enjoyed these games and were very good at them!
Another part of the exam gets students to read a piece of text out loud. We turned this into an exciting task by filming our own adverts! I held the script behind the camera, and they used their English (& acting!) skills to produce an advertisement. You can view them here:


Satoshi & Yu – BALANCE BAR!

Reie & Ikumi – A1 Steak Sauce

Jun, Haruka & Mayu – Amstel Light

By the end of our 2 weeks together I could see an improvement in students’ English skills. I am very pleased with their progress and we all had a good time learning. I hope they will return to CIE in the future!Sophie Clifton-Tucker, English Teacher.

Sophie with some of her Kyorin group!
Sophie with some of her Kyorin group!


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