Cambridge Certificate

I teach two Cambridge ESOL courses in my school

  • FCE (First Certificate in English)
  • CAE (Certificate in Advanced English)

Probably the best way to get an idea of the work in the groups is to read what Nadine Bäumel wrote for the 2011 school year book.

    Cambridge AG
    “Talk with your partner for 2 or 3 minutes about the topic of communication.“ That is how our Cambridge starts every Tuesday afternoon; the topic varies, of course. First of all we get a partner and then we have to do “non-stop-talking” about any topic Mr Martin gives us. This is not always easy, but a really good practice.
    Afterwards we can ask about vocabulary we didn’t know during our talking. For the rest of the lesson we usually work with our Cambridge “Self-study Student’s Book” to prepare ourselves for the CAE exam (Certificate of Advanced English). The exam consists of 5 parts: Reading, Writing, Use of English, Listening, and Speaking.

    The only language spoken in the Cambridge lesson is English, which really helps to improve your English skills. Another advantage over the normal English lessons is that we really focus on the language itself, the content is less important.
    The exercises in the book take up the different aspects we need for the test, so we do some of the tasks in the lesson in groups of two. The answers are in the back of the book, but we usually discuss them with the group. Sometimes we do some “listening”: we listen to different people talking and then have to answer questions about the talk or take notes during the presentation.

    During the year preparation time, we have two pre-tests. This means that we have exam papers sent to our school and we can practice for the proper exam. The pre-tests are marked by Cambridge people and we get a feedback of our performance.
    We also have to do some studies at home, but only occasionally. And it is not like normal homework, as a lot of the tasks are multiple choice or we only have to add one or two words to a sentence.

    You may wonder what the Certificate is for?
    The FCE (First Certificate of English) is accepted at some British universities and at most companies. Which means you could work or study in England.
    The CAE is a precondition to study at good British universities, so it is really handy to have it.
    Both certificates don’t expire after a certain time, different to the TOEFL which is commonly asked in the US. There is no workgroup to prepare for TOEFL at our school, but Cambridge is a good preparation for it.

    This is an example, what the tasks look like:
    Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence.
    Use the word in bold and other words. Use between two and five words.

      I regret not taking your advice.
      followed
    If only ___________________________________ your advice.
If you can solve this task easily, why not come to the Cambridge AG next school year?

(© Nadine Bäumel, 2011)


Cambridge CAE from Richard Martin on Vimeo.


The film is © Marlissa Gerken, 2008

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