Week One


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Some of the materials for this course will be available at La Rapida in the first week of lessons.

Welcome to a new course! If you are at a C2 level, it means that you have probably already studied the basic grammatico-lexical systems of English, and developed your skills to a high degree of competence.
The focus of this course is on developing those language skills and concentrating on academic usage of language.

The Class Blog
This is the wiki where you will find information, your class modules and a lot of activities to help you learn. There is also a class blog, however, that you should look at regularly because that is where messages are posted and every week you can look at:
a) an overview of your lessons:
b) class notes (if there were any that week)
c) preparation for the next week.
This is very useful for everyone (and not only when you miss a lesson)
This is the address: http://shartle.edublogs.org

Module One : what is C2?


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In the first lesson we look at how the course is structured and what is in the tests, in particular. It is also useful to look at the Common European Framework, and how levels are described there. You can do this test and then evaluate your own levels. You can then check your answers by looking at p.27 of the Common European Framework of Reference.

1) Try this little test to see if you know what is expected at a C2 level


2) The official description

3) An explanatory description in English of the written exam

4) Criteria for Assessment at C2

5) The Complete Common European Framework.
(This is very long so do not try to read it all. Look at the relevant page 27 on levels.)


6) Getting To Know Each Other



Text Version

1. Look at the pictures at the end of this document. They depict high and low points from my summer. Decide with a partner which you think might be the high and which the low points.
2. Read the text and put the sentences back in the right places, then decide why they are interesting as examples of "language chunks".
3.One photo is not connected to any of the texts but it is from my summer. Which one is it and why do you think I chose it for this activity?
3. Write one of your own about your summer and add it to our noticeboard with a photo. To get some ideas look at this one that students did in the summer.
FULL NOTICEBOARD
The original noticeboard is now full so post on this one.

Module Two: General Language Review: reading, advanced grammar and lexis work

In the second module we do a basic revision of aspect looking at the past as an example although aspect exists in the present and future as well, of course. One of the best ways of acquiring language is reading. Follow this link to see a discussion of extensive reading and how it can help you.

Grammar
1) Look at this activity first to revise the tenses:

2) Look at the document below to see a description of some examples of this:


3) Now look at these examples taken from the text we read together:

4) Practice activity


We start looking at the future of reading "virtually". If you would like to contribute to the discussion on this subject or watch the video again, follow this link: CAE Page 6

Vocabulary
Although we tend to think of vocabulary as collections of single words, there is much more to successful use of lexis than this. Follow this link to go to the Vocabulary Skills page where you will see various activities related to lexis and to dictionary usage.

Remember that the more you know about language and how to use it the more successful you will be at expressing yourself.

Exam Strategies

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The first part of the Test in itinere involves:
a) listening to a text /or watching a videob) doing a brief summary of the main ideas
c) developing some aspect of the discussion that you are asked about or that interests you. (This depends on the question)

The language you use should be general English at this stage (not Academic) but it should be in a neutral "written" register.

How can I practise for the exam?

1) You need to practise listening and notetaking (Only note down the most important key ideas)
2) Remember that the summary should be "brief"
3) Practise watching interesting "discussion" videos on YouTube The History Channel etc. or podcasts. The BBC has a series of excellent podcasts, and sometimes there is also a written text to go with these.

Look at this link:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts
Another excellent site is the TED site where you can select the type of talk you are interested in:
http://www.ted.com/

When you have watched or listened to a talk, go to the discussion space (above) and write a paragraph about it. Add the link too so that other people can watch or listen to it. (You can talk about videos or podcasts you liked or disliked.)

Why can't I pass the written test?

Not being able to pass an exam is always frustrating and makes you feel helpless but you are not. You need to think about
a) what your problem areas are;
b) what is expected of you;
c) how you can organise your learning systematically.

Look at this document to get an idea:

There is not always enough time in class to talk about many of the things that help learners to approach exams confidently. For this reason I have made an online course for you called How to Pass Exams. Check it out now at the beginning of the year.

Module Three: spoken presentation skills 1 (signposting and note taking)


In this module we work on, among other things, note-taking and signposting oral presentations. When you give a speech, presentation, take an oral exam or even chair a meeting etc. it is important to use expressions to help your listener follow what you are saying. This was discussed in the presentation we listened to in class. Look at the worksheet below to complete it with your own ideas:



Study Skills: note-taking
We looked at various ways of taking notes when listening to extended talks. This is an important skill for students and will be part of the exam in January. Here are my notes. Look at them and see what the advantages are of taking notes in this way. (You may have other ways too. This is just a guide.)

Two excellent digital tools for digital notetaking that you can use on computers, tablets and smartphones are Evernote and Trello. Try them out.

Now go to C2 Page Two for more on oral presentations.