Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №6/2008

Exam Focus: Training for the Final Exam

Aims and Objectives:
• to review vocabulary for talking about London
• to provide a lead-in for listening
• to review grammar: the passive and conditional sentences
• to write a letter: 120-180 words
Level: Upper-Intermediate
Stage: Consolidation
Equipment: computers; Web access; CD drive; electronic dictionaries

Lesson Structure

1. Vocabulary work (20 minutes)
Start the lesson by telling your students that London and/or Great Britain is one of their examination topics. Tell them that they are going to study several Web pages, and to take notes which will help them prepare a one minute speech for the next lesson. Set the time limit: 20 minutes for note taking (half the lesson).
Go to visitlondon.com. You will see the first Web page of this extensive site with many links and a map of London. First, check that the students understand all the words. Encourage them to use a dictionary if needed. While they are sure to remember many words that appear in the list of categories, like River and Waterways, they may not remember all of them. Explain that they are to choose any category listed. Be sure to check that there are as many sub-topics as there are students in your class! Otherwise, all the boys may take Sports, and all the girls may take Shopping as the subject of their reports. Emphasize that no matter which category they choose, they are to take notes, so that each talk is a report about London and not about a city in general.
For example, if a student says, “There are many places of interest in London, such as museums, picture galleries and churches”, explain to them that these phrases can be used about any big city. Whereas, if they say, “There are many shops in London, and I would like to visit Harrods’s because it is the biggest one”, the examiners will immediately see that the student is really ready to talk about London. When students commence working with the site, walk around the class to check what they are doing; encourage them to write down the actual place names and a few details. For example, they can write, “St. Paul’s Cathedral, built by Sir Christopher Wren, 18th Century, 529 steps to the top”.

The words: attractions, eating out, royal, accommodation, luxury, accessible, beyond, entertainment, essential.

Caution: if a student chooses Gay and Lesbian, or Pubs and Bars, which are listed as links on the Web site, let them study the pages, but be sure to mention that these topics may excite comment and present difficulties if chosen as material for the examination.
You may download the Web page needed in advance. Tell your students to look at the page, and to check that they know all the words used. Then instruct them to copy and paste the Web address, and immediately click on the link chosen. http://www.visitlondon.com/

Eating Out
Pubs & Bars
River & Waterways
Gay & Lesbian
Parks & Open Spaces
Accessible London
About London
Maps and Guides
Beyond London
Essential Information


2. Listening (5-7 minutes)
Tell students to close down the site. Explain that the following activity will help them relax, and also will enable them to train for the Listening Comprehension part of the exam. The excerpt is from a song by Avril Lavigne, a popular singer. Print out the lyrics beforehand, and give students handouts, with some gaps in the text. Keep a copy without gaps for yourself. Depending on your students’ listening skills, you may either include a list of words, to be put into gaps, or just let them listen and decide what they hear. Before you start, draw their attention to the title. Ask them if they use this sort of abbreviation when they write e-mails or send SMS to friends. This will provide a bridge from the previous activity (Vocabulary work) to the actual listening, and help them relax. Give them a minute to look at the text, and to decide what part of speech should be included into which space. You may also explain the reason why you decided to make a dozen (12) gaps in the text: the English count things in dozens, not in tens; thus, when you buy a carton of eggs in a store, there are twelve eggs in it. This little fact never fails to amuse students, and it gives them a little insight into the difference between the British and the Russian ways of thinking.

(Skater Boy)

Avril Lavigne
He was a boy, She was a girl,
Can I (1)… it any more obvious?
He was a punk, She did ballet,
What (2)… can I say.
He wanted her, she’d never tell (3)… she wanted him as well,
But all of her friends stuck up their nose,
They had a (4)… with his baggy clothes, he was a sk8er boy,
He wasn’t good enough for her. She had a pretty face,
But her (5)… was up in space, she needed to come back down to Earth.

Five years from now she (6)… at home, feeding the baby,
She’s all alone, she turns on TV, guess who she sees.
Sk8er boy, rockin’ up MTV,
She calls up her friends, They already know,
And they’ve all got tickets to see his show,
She tags (7)…, stands in the crowd,
Looks up at the man that she turned down.
He was a sk8er boy, she said see you later boy,
He wasn’t good enough for her,
Now he’s a (8)… star, slamming on his guitar,
Does your pretty face see what he’s worth?

Sorry girl, but you missed out, well tough luck that boy is mine now,
We are more than just good friends, this is how the story (9)…
Too bad that you couldn’t see, see the man that boy could be,
There is more that meets the eye, I see the soul that’s (10)….
He’s just a boy, and I’m just a girl, can I (11)…. it any more obvious?
We are in love, haven’t you heard how we rock each other’s world.

I’m with the sk8er boy, I said see you later boy,
I’ll be back stage after the show, I’ll be at the studio,
Singing the song we (12)… about a girl you used to know.

Words: (1) make, (2) more, (3) secretly, (4) problem, (5) head, (6) sits, (7) along, (8) super, (9) ends, (10) inside, (11) make, (12) wrote

3. Grammar Review (10 minutes)
Remind your students that in English, the Passive is very often used in different situations, for example in this very sentence (is used). Ask them if they came across a passive constructions while taking notes about London. You are sure to get such answers as, London is situated… It is known… etc. Suggest that they build up a few sentences in the passive voice, using different tense forms. This should not be a protracted exercise, you may quickly point at those students who are sure to raise their hands, and listen to their examples. This simple scheme for turning Active into Passive may help your students quickly refresh their grammar.

(0) Everybody knows that earthquakes cannot happen in Siberia.

Subject Predicate    Object

It is known that there are no earthquakes in Siberia.

Subject Predicate    Object

To make a smooth transition into a short review of the conditional sentences, offer them a few questions using the lesson material.
• If you could go to London, where would you go first? (Conditional 2)
• If you have enough money, which transport will you use? (Conditional 1)
• If you had written a song like SK8ER BOI, would you have changed anything? (Conditional 3)

4. Writing a Letter (120-180 words)
Depending on how often you perform this task with students, you may wish to do it at another lesson, or as homework.
If your students are familiar with this task, which is a standard requirement for any examination today, you may write it down on the board before the lesson as HW (Homework). It can be designated as, “A Letter from London”, in which case students should pay attention to the words and phrases they just saw on the site, as well as to the information which they copied down into their notebooks; or “I want to visit London”, in which case they should use the words and phrases from the topic Travelling, too.
Alternately, you may wish to do this task as a class activity during one of the next lessons, after all the students have made their one-minute reports about London. You may wish to write down a few salient points on the board while they are speaking in turn, so that they see how useful their accumulated material is. Encourage them to make a short writing plan, and to decide what should be included into the letter.
• How do we get to London?
• How much money do we need?
• Where will we stay?
• What do we want to see there?
• What is the duration of our stay?
• Do we want to take any pictures?
• Do we buy any souvenirs?

This is one example of exam training in the final year of school. When you are done, remind the students that this is their examination format. Be sure to tell them that during the months to come, they will have a chance to enhance their reading, listening, speaking and writing skills many times, with different examination topics.

By Nina Koptyug ,