Objective: First Certificate (FCE)

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Homework & Readings (FCE Set book 2009)

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  • Unit 21: page 136, act. 2 & page 137, act. 6.
  • Unit 20: page 131, act. 4 (further practice on gerunds vs infinitives).

Concerning the set book. In Question 5 of Paper 2 (Writing), there is a choice of 2 tasks, at least one of which will be an essay. The other task might be an article, report, letter o review. Please avoid lengthy descriptions about the plot, that’s seen as irrelevant, stick to the question instead. Read it carefully, decide exactly what is required and then make your choice: the essay vs the other option. Draft your answer if possible.

From December 2008, when the updated FCE exam is introduced, there will be two set texts with one text specific question on each.

December 2008 — December 2009 READINGS:

  • Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.
  • Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera.

My0.2 cts: You can buy the books or get them online for free (you know I always opt for *legal* web-based options).

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations:

Gaston Lerous, The Phantom of the Opera:

Yep, you owe me a beer or two…

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Written by ElenaBen

March 25, 2009 at 10:45 pm

How to write a short story

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Written by ElenaBen

March 27, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Posted in Writing

Tagged with

Letterwise

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(From Cambridge ESOL site)

Look at the following expressions which are used when writing letters. Where would you find each of them in a letter? Make a list under each heading:

Beginnings

Signalling the end

Closings (at the end)

When you have finished, decide if each expression comes from a formal or informal letter, and write F (formal) or I (informal) after each one.

a. Thanks for your letter.
b. I’ll finish now as I’m running out of space.
c. Thank you for sending me your brochure.
d. I must go now.
e. Sorry for not writing for so long.
f. If you have any further questions, please contact me again.
g. I must apologise for not contacting you sooner.
h. I look forward to hearing from you.
i. I’m writing to ask you a favour.
j. I’d better finish.
k. Write again soon!
l. The reason for my writing is to apply for the job I saw advertised.
m. Bye for now.
n. Anyway, I’d better post this letter now.
o. It was lovely to hear from you.
p. All my love.
q. Best wishes.
r. It was great to get your letter.
s. Regards,
t. Thank you so much for writing.
u. Take care.
v. I was so sad to hear that you had been ill.
w. Good luck!
x. I wish to complain about the terrible service at your restaurant.
y. Hope to hear from you soon.
z. I am writing with reference to your letter…

Language of formal and informal letters

Look at the following characteristics of letters. Decide whether they apply to formal or informal letters or both.

formal

informal

begins with Dear …

refers to reason for writing

uses contractions

uses abbreviations

uses simple, short sentences

uses simple linkers, e.g. then, later

has paragraphs

is polite

could use slang

could use exclamation marks (!)

ends with Yours sincerely, / Yours faithfully

ends with Best wishes / Write soon

ends with a signature

ends with a signature and a full name printed (or in capitals)

Written by ElenaBen

December 8, 2007 at 10:35 am

Posted in Paper 2: Writing, Writing

Tagged with , ,

Write right

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(FCE Writing: 1 hour & 30′)

Letters always appear in Part 1. It is a transactional letter in response to or initiate a course of action. The letter may be formal or informal, the instructions will tell you which style is expected. In Part 2, you will be able to choose from a range of writing tasks including a composition, an article, a report, a short story, an informal letter or a letter of application (depending on the type of letter which has appeared in Part 1). Here, I show you a list of writing tasks with their links to writing tips and a FCE sample (which you can email me)

Online sites for further practice on writing skills:

  1. Parapal Online: cloze letter exercises.
  2. ParagraphPunch: this site takes you through the steps of writing paragraphs on a given topic.

For the lucky (i.e. with a lot of free time) and curious: a list on links on Writing Skills.

Written by ElenaBen

December 7, 2007 at 10:38 am