Giving is Caring

Always remember:

The value of time, the success of perseverance, the worth of character, the power of kindness, the influence of example, and the obligation of duty.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Today I attended a very interesting event organized by Cambridge English Language Assessment from Cambridge University Press. It was interesting for several reasons: the first one was because, as a Cambridge Speaking examiner, I must be well acquainted with any news about the administration of the exam. 

The second one because the information provided not only help you learn more about this important skill but also reassured us, CTS tutors, on the activities we use when preparing our students to sit for these exams. 

Regarding this latter, in Customized Training Services we organize skills marathon for the two exams we run courses for: Cambridge English First and Cambridge English Advanced. How satisfactory it was to hear that to prepare for these exams we need to expose our students to functional language using real life situations and encouraging meaningful communication!!. This is something we always ask our tutors and participants to look for.

Another important impact of assessing speaking- according to the lecturer, Graeme Harrison, is to propitiate interaction and to practice using tasks that reflect the different levels of proficiency our students have. "Since language is learned in chunks, it should be taught in chunks too and the overall focus of speaking assessment should be intelligibility and not native-like pronunciation". 

We have also been using this principle when running our Pronunciation course in the past three years. Graeme suggested displaying a phonemic chart in the classroom so as to take every opportunity to improve pronunciation of individual sounds and that is exactly what we have in our classrooms. We use the Pronunciation chart created by Adrian Underhill, having been his student I feel he is one of the best teachers of Pronunciation ever and I have ever since tried to promote the use of his chart and articulation techniques in the classroom.

All of the information we received today made us fell really proud of our exam preparation and pronunciation and conversation courses. We are also more motivated to keep learning so as to continue offering the best.

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