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©UCLES 2010 EMC/6534/0Y04
First Certificate in English
Examination Report December 2009 Syllabus 0101
Page Introduction Paper 1 – Reading Paper 2 – Writing Paper 3 – Use of English Paper 4 – Listening Paper 5 – Speaking Feedback Form 1 3 7 13 17 23 30
© UCLES 2010 0101
INTRODUCTION This report is intended to provide a general view of how candidates performed on each paper in the December 2009 session, and to offer guidance on the preparation of candidates. The overall pass rate for Syllabus 0101 was 59.28%. The following table gives details of the percentage of candidates at each grade. 0101 PERCENTAGE 5.25 12.83 41.20 10.08 30.64
GRADE A B C D E
Grading took place during January 2010 (approximately six weeks after the examination). The five FCE papers total 200 marks, after weighting. Papers 1–5 are each weighted to 40 marks. A candidate’s overall FCE grade is based on the total score gained by the candidate in all five papers. Candidates do not ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ in a particular paper, but rather in the examination as a whole. The overall grades (A, B, C, D and E) are set according to the following information: • • • • • statistics on the candidature statistics on the overall candidate performance statistics on individual questions, for those parts of the examination for which this is appropriate (Papers 1, 3 and 4) the advice of the Principal Examiners, based on the performance of candidates, and on the recommendation of examiners where this is relevant (Papers 2 and 5) comparison with statistics from previous years’ examination performance and candidature.
Results are reported as three passing grades (A, B and C) and two failing grades (D and E). Every candidate is provided with a Statement of Results which includes a graphical display of the candidate’s performance in each component, shown against the scale Exceptional – Good – Borderline – Weak. In addition, the Statement of Results includes a standardised score out of 100 (which is converted from the aggregate mark of 200). This score allows candidates to see exactly how they performed. It has set values for each grade, allowing comparison across sessions of the examination: Grade A = 80–100 marks Grade B = 75–79 marks Grade C = 60–74 marks Grade D = 55–59 marks Grade E = 54 marks or below. This means that the minimum score a candidate needs to achieve a passing grade will always be 60.
© UCLES 2010 0101
cambridgeesol. together with further copies of this report.• Special Consideration Special Consideration can be given to candidates affected by adverse circumstances immediately before or during an examination.org Feedback on this report is very welcome and should be sent to the Reports Co-ordinator. or can be purchased using the order form online at www. Cambridge ESOL produces the following documents which may be of use in preparing candidates for FCE: • • • • Regulations (available online. Examples of acceptable reasons for giving Special Consideration include illness and bereavement. within one month of the issue of Statements of Results. etc. © UCLES 2010 0101 2 . B or C) about six weeks after the issue of Statements of Results. Certificates are issued to candidates gaining a passing grade (A. collusion or breaking the examination regulations in some other way will be considered by the Cambridge ESOL Malpractice Committee.org www. CD and tapescript for Paper 4. answer keys. Please use the feedback form at the end of this report.) FCE Handbook (for detailed information on the examination and sample materials) Examination Report (produced in conjunction with the release of certain Past Papers) Past Paper Pack (made available periodically. All applications for Special Consideration must be made through the local Centre as soon as possible after the examination affected. and Paper 2 mark schemes and sample scripts) Users of this Examination Report may find it useful to refer simultaneously to the relevant Past Paper Pack.org If you do not have access to the internet. approximately 10 weeks after the relevant examination session. you can obtain an order form from: Cambridge ESOL Information 1 Hills Road Cambridge CB1 2EU United Kingdom Tel: Fax: +44 1223 553355 +44 1223 553068 Email: Website: ESOLinfo@cambridgeesol. including question papers for Papers 1–4. at the above address. This. for information on dates. is available from the Centre through which candidates entered. • Irregular Conduct The cases of candidates who are suspected of copying. • Notification of Results Candidates’ Statements of Results are issued through their local Centre approximately two months after the examination has been taken. Cambridge ESOL.cambridgeesol. sample Speaking test materials. Results may be withheld because further investigation is needed or because of infringement of the regulations. Requests for a check on results may be made through the local Centre.
Clare describes some of her fellow trainers and says ‘when everyone knew I was leaving. Candidates must decide from where in the text the sentences have been removed. candidates coped reasonably well with the three task formats of the paper. gist.PAPER 1 – READING Part 1 Task Type and Focus Multiple choice Focus: detail. main idea. attitude. opinion. A large proportion of the candidates correctly selected option C.’ Questions 4 and 7 proved to be more demanding. Part 1. which is scanned by computer. Question 7. Candidates must match prompts to elements in the text. Questions in Parts 1 and 2 carry two marks each. cohesion and coherence A text from which sentences have been removed and placed in jumbled order after the text. and a reference question. Questions 1–8: A change of lifestyle Candidates coped well with this four-option multiple-choice task. 7 Format A text followed by four-option multiple-choice questions Number of Questions 8 3 Multiple matching Focus: specific information. opinion and attitude 15 • Marking Candidates record their answers on a separate answer sheet. detail. reference) 2 Gapped text Focus: text structure. some of the stronger candidates and a significant number of the weaker candidates © UCLES 2010 0101 3 . “Clare – you can’t go!”’ However. Statistical evidence showed that the questions in all three parts provided a reliable assessment of candidates’ relative ability levels. Question 3. A text or several short texts preceded by multiple-matching questions. candidates had to decide how Clare felt at the end of her career as a trainer. I was quite taken aback by the number of people who said. A good proportion of the stronger candidates rightly selected option B (‘surprised at her colleagues’ reactions’). tone. purpose. which states that when Clare was a child she ‘enjoyed taking on responsibility’. text organisation features (exemplification. In the third paragraph. Questions in Part 3 carry one mark each. • Candidate Performance In general. It focused mainly on detailed comprehension but also included a lexical question. Candidates coped particularly well with Question 2. meaning from context. comparison. They realised that this matched the section of the text which explains that Clare remembers ‘feeling really grown up the day that I was allowed to feed them (the pigs) on my own. In Question 4.
rather than loading and unloading cargo or stores. proved to be the most successfully answered task on the paper. Nearly all the stronger candidates and a considerable number of the weaker candidates correctly selected option C. etc. This underlines the value of training candidates to pay attention to key referencing words in the text. In Question 7. this section of the text is referring to the ship as a whole and its passengers.’). A significant number of the weaker candidates chose option D (‘As for having to stock up on food for a fortnight ahead. focusing on text structure. candidates had to decide what the pronoun ‘It’ referred to. the meaning in option D contradicts what this part of the passage is saying. They successfully matched ‘thinks winning is the most important thing’ in Question 16 with ‘Losing makes me feel that I’ve done something wrong’ in text D. They may have been attracted to the word ‘food’. Some of the weaker candidates chose text B.’ However. linking it with the ‘rigid cruise schedule’ before the gap and the last passengers leaving the ship at the beginning of the next paragraph. Questions 16–30: Young people and sport This multiple-matching task. as in this case that ‘uniforms’ and ‘sweets’ are correctly referred to in the option as ‘they’. Candidates coped particularly well with Question 13. However. Part 2. However. Clare mentions that her son has ‘already had several winners’. Candidates coped particularly well with Questions 16 and 18. it is important to look at the meaning of an option as a whole and test whether it fits in with what is being said in the section of the text that surrounds the gap. they haven’t been missed amongst the loads of cornflakes and crisps that keep on coming…’ in the option. and checking. Once again. ‘It is something you really have to work at’. the next sentence begins with ‘But’. indicating a change of direction – ‘racehorse owners have high expectations. but in the context of Clare not being afraid of upsetting other people. but this was before she decided to retire. The word ‘upsetting’ appears earlier in the paragraph. which is that the ship is stocking up on tonnes of fish. They linked the information in the text that the Oriana’s ‘working practices are shaped … by … a rigid cruise schedule’ with ‘It would take really extreme weather conditions to stop the ship departing and returning at the stated times …’ in the option. no hotel chef would hear of it. Part 3. such as pronouns. Candidates should be warned of the dangers of choosing answers purely on the basis of matching a word in the option with one in the text. Weaker candidates had difficulty with Question 10 in particular. Most of the stronger candidates correctly selected option H. This indicates that the difficult issue introduced by the ‘But’ is being further developed and thus the pronoun ‘It’ refers to trying to keep the owners happy. where the writer says ‘when you’re not the best at a sport it doesn’t seem as much fun as when you’re a top player. Most of the stronger candidates correctly chose option A (‘dealing with the owners)’. It would be helpful to show candidates how to follow the way an idea is developed by means of pronouns and important linking words such as ‘but’. linking it rather tenuously to the ‘sweets’ before the gap. Weaker candidates were fairly equally spread over the other options with the highest proportion choosing option F. which focused on candidates’ ability to retrieve specific information from four short texts about young sportspeople. a significant proportion of the weaker candidates selected option C (‘being successful in races’). However. However. which says she was ‘upset by some people’s personal criticism’.chose option A. They linked the ‘waiters’ uniforms’ and ‘boiled sweets that don’t seem to have turned up’ in the text with ‘Hopefully. Questions 9–15: The Oriana Turnaround This gapped-sentence task. This choice is rather difficult to understand as the option states ‘ …a loud crash announces the departure of another empty metal container. ‘however’ and ‘instead’. They need to read each option carefully and then check the meaning as a whole against what is stated in the text. Clare admits that she had some ‘battles’ with some of the new trainers.’ She goes on to say that ‘keeping them happy is not an easy task’ and then adds.’ It may be that candidates were tempted by the word ‘departure’. proved to be the most challenging on the paper. she is referring to not being selected to play © UCLES 2010 0101 4 . rather than being upset herself.
students should be advised to read as widely as they can. This shows the importance of ensuring that all aspects of the question are reflected in the option that is chosen. © UCLES 2010 0101 5 . In this text. candidates may have been persuaded to choose this option because of an early mention of the word ‘team’.in a team. the coach thought I was too young and too inexperienced … But she agreed to give me a trial and I have been playing for three years now. Many of the texts for the Reading paper are drawn from magazines and newspapers. matching making ‘new friends from different countries’ and ‘I don’t have much time to go out with my friends from school’ with ‘feels their sport has both a positive and negative impact on their social life’ in the question. with a range of reading purposes reflecting those sampled in the paper (retrieving relevant information. the writer refers to a netball team. understanding detail. etc. getting the ‘gist’. particularly in Part 2. In this case. Most of the weaker candidates selected option B. location and presentation of main ideas would benefit candidates in Parts 1 and 3. Focusing on the sequence of tenses in continuous text and the use of pronouns for referencing would also be beneficial. Specific work on the identification. This deals with the negative aspect of not making the grade and how that can affect the sportsperson herself.). rather than winning matches. and students will benefit from being familiar with these different types of text. as in this case. but it is one she gained a place on and chose to leave because ‘the pressure of playing in matches was too much’. nearly all of the stronger candidates and a high proportion of the weaker candidates correctly chose option A. the meaning will be conveyed by information from several sentences in the text and so reading through the text is necessary. Sometimes. It is important to read through the text carefully and check whether every word in the option matches the section of text which seems to contain the answer.’ Here answering correctly depends on following the steps of the writer’s progress with the help of the linking words. A few of the weaker candidates selected text B. Question 20 proved to be the most challenging in this task. • RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CANDIDATE PREPARATION In addition to specific examination practice. ‘At first. The majority of the stronger candidates successfully matched ‘was nearly refused a place on a team’ in Question 20 with the writer stating in text C. although extracts from novels and short stories are also used. In Question 18. but only refers to social life at the end where the writer mentions ‘playing netball with my friends’ for fun.
remember in your personal reading as well as in the exam. and leave the problem areas until last. The information in these options may be true in itself.• DOs and DON’Ts for FCE PAPER 1 – READING DO DO make sure that you choose the correct option(s). B. C or D. you will not need to know the exact meaning of every word. fill what you think are the easy gaps first in Part 2. read and re-read your answers in Part 2. forget that. read through the main text in Part 2 first. ‘However’ must be preceded by a contrasting idea. tenses and time references all fit with the choices you have made in Part 2.. and then try to read for the main idea. Use clues like the title or any pictures to help you understand what a text is about. choose an answer just because you see the same word in the text and in the question option (‘word-spotting’). ‘Another mistake we made . in Part 2. Check that you have matched all elements of the questions in Parts 1 and 3 with the information in the text. seeing the same (or similar) word in both text and question is no guarantee that you have found the correct answer. read through your choices in all three parts of the paper to check that everything makes sense. pay careful attention to references to places. both fiction and non-fiction. prepare for the FCE Reading paper by reading as widely as you can in English. if a Part 1 multiple-choice question is an incomplete sentence. the whole sentence must match the text. think about the text before and after each gap in Part 2 and try to guess what is missing. you may need to think again about the choices you have already made. DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DON’T DON’T DON’T © UCLES 2010 0101 6 . Always be prepared to go back and check. when you find similar information in different sections of the text in Part 3. so you have a good idea of what it is about before you look at the extracts and choose any answers. introductory adverbs or phrases in the extracts must be connected with the ideas which go before the gap.g.’ must be preceded by a previous mistake. not just the phrase presented as A. forget that. In all parts of the paper. If you find that none of the choices you have left fits. e. Also check that linking words. etc. people and things (pronouns) in Parts 1 and 2.. and be prepared to change your mind. but may not work with the sentence beginning you are given. Getting into this habit will help you to read quickly and effectively.
comparing. mid or top of the band range. 3·2. and effect on target reader. range. This describes satisfactory Band 3 performance and covers content. explaining. a report. which has detailed Performance Bands from 0-5. schedules. comparing. apologising. explaining. expressing opinions. e.g. a review. recommending A situationally based writing task specified in no more than 70 words One task to be selected from a choice of five 120–180 words • Marking All scripts are marked by experienced examiners. These scores are converted to provide a mark out of 20 for each piece of writing. 3·1. register and format. who must be trained and standardised before they commence any marking. a story QUESTION 5 (Question 5 has two options) Writing one of the following. 2 QUESTIONS 2–4 Writing one of the following: an article.PAPER 2 – WRITING Part Task Type and Focus Format Number of Tasks and Length One compulsory task 120–150 words 1 QUESTION 1 Writing a letter or email Focus: advising. emails. describing. a letter. organisation. recommending and suggesting Candidates are required to deal with input material of up to 160 words. an essay. a report. examiners place the script more exactly at bottom. a letter. Within the bands. 3·3. persuading. a review Focus: varies according to the task. © UCLES 2010 0101 7 . Examples of the mark schemes are included in the FCE Past Paper Pack. extracts from letters. etc. Examiners award marks according to a General Mark Scheme. describing. expressing opinions. based on one of two prescribed reading texts: an article. Examiners also use a Task-specific Mark Scheme for each question. including: advising. This may include material taken from advertisements. justifying. an essay. justifying. where Band 3 describes a ‘satisfactory’ level.
expressing a whole range of ideas. Some used the word ‘great’. Candidates were able to develop the task well within the word length of 120-150 words. They clearly understood the scenario. as in ‘It’s so great that everyone can come. who in turn are monitored by the Principal Examiner. The register used was mostly informal. The third point required candidates to make a suggestion regarding music. Above all it’s cost effective. and also to give a reason for the choice. candidates were required to reply to an email from a class-mate. Part 1. and this approach was also accepted. reflecting the fact that candidates had been well prepared for the exam. so an alternative was required. Most candidates addressed both parts of the prompt effectively: ‘I suggest to pay a company to provide it. most candidates dealt successfully with the point. with stronger candidates using only key words from the task and then developing their answers in their own words to show their range of language. ‘Don’t worry about the band. It was obvious that candidates had been well trained to do this task. Failing to address both aspects of the prompt meant that the response was penalised. the paper was very accessible to the candidates in terms of topic and task type. To fulfil the task requirements of the second point. although a smaller number of candidates wrote in a neutral or more formal tone. For the fourth point. most enthusiastic: ‘Everyone will love to dress up as it will have a lot of fun’. so it was a pity that a few candidates omitted it and therefore had to be penalised. Any register was acceptable.Examiners work in small teams and are monitored and advised by Team Leaders. ‘If we ask everyone to bring something it’ll liven up the party. That’s the only way to be sure we don’t run out of food’. stating preference. because a reason was either given or implied: ‘A food company is professional but expensive. • Candidate Performance In general. Again. making a suggestion and giving an opinion) were addressed confidently. provided that it was used consistently through the task. Question 1 For this compulsory task. The topic was clearly accessible and of interest to the candidates and they responded effectively to the prompts. candidates had to choose between asking everyone to bring food to the party or paying a company to provide it. most answers were well-organised into clear paragraphs.’ Some gave reasons for both and left the final decision to Anna. and responded in an appropriately positive way to the fact that most invitees would be attending the party. Most candidates managed the first point well.’ Others expanded a little in their own words with phrases such as ‘They’re all coming? Excellent!’ and ’We’re going to have the time of our lifes at the party. The expected band could no longer play at the party. There were very few task point omissions and the functions prompted by each content point (responding positively. this point was intended as a way for candidates to open their email. If students bring their own it can have poor quality. and points were dealt with systematically. Performance overall was good. about organising a party. I’m not sure. The majority of candidates dealt with this scenario and its implications effectively and were able to make suitable suggestions: ‘I think we should hire a DJ now that the band can’t come’. Anna.’ This point elicited some good functional language. candidates had to respond to Anna’s idea of making the party a fancy dress one. and expansion was not expected.’ However. but no reason for it. what do you think?’ Unfortunately there were also candidates who gave their choice. I’ve got a better idea – karaoke! It’s cheaper and everyone can have fun. ‘I’ll © UCLES 2010 0101 8 .
‘I am interested in sports so I want to work in a shop which provides sport equipment. the story. A good range of cohesive devices and vocabulary of mysterious places. physics. This was accepted. © UCLES 2010 0101 9 . working the language they had learned in class into the given scenario. Most candidates correctly placed the prompt sentence at the start of their stories. fear and discovery was displayed. ‘Everyone has to know using computers because otherwise there’s no job available. although those who introduced a ‘flashback’ element to their stories occasionally made errors in their use of the past perfect tense. ‘It was covered in spider webs and smelled like a dead rat!’ There was also a wide variety of imaginative endings: ‘A huge amount of money was in the box. was most popular.contact shops that sell costumes and see how much it costed. and the narrative flowed well from it.’ Question 4 The story question was also popular and there were some very inventive answers. and this interpretation was accepted.’ Question 3 The letter of application for work in a shop on the beach proved by far the most popular question in Part 2. A few wrote well about how the whole curriculum was important and that it was impossible to choose between subjects. So computers lesson is vital for the future. hard-working and reliable …’. the essay. ‘And there it was. Question 2 The essay about which two subjects studied at school were most useful for the future was a fairly popular question. and approached it confidently. The diverse range of the storylines enabled the stronger candidates to really give their best and show a range of language as well as vivid imagination.’ A few candidates rejected the idea. so I took the liberty of cleaning it up without telling my parents or brother’.’ A few candidates interpreted ‘fancy dress’ to mean formal evening clothes. Candidates showed they could handle a range of past tenses effectively. which was obviously acceptable: ‘I don’t like your idea because we’re not children who like wearing Halloween masks!’. and chosen by 51% of candidates. ‘Your idea is a problem for people who can’t afford to buy fancy clothes. searching. as the task was clearly addressed. mostly to good effect. I am sociable. I look forward to receiving a reply at your earliest convenience. So my uncle had been a spy …’. was chosen by 20%. The vast majority put themselves in a very positive light. and Question 2. English. the set text questions. so I threw away the key’. Stronger candidates justified their responses well and demonstrated good lexical and grammatical range: ‘One advantage that these two subjects have is that they train your brain to become smarter’. history and their own language were the most useful subjects to study. Question 4. excitement. Some candidates introduced elements of direct speech. the letter of application. There was a pleasing variety of narrative contexts explaining what the old key in the prompt sentence was like: ‘It was terribly rusty. Candidates are clearly well trained for this type of task. making it clear to the potential employer that they were suitable for the position offered: ‘First of all I like meeting people.’ Many also closed their letter in a very professional way: ‘For all these reasons I believe I am suitable for this job. A small number of candidates answered Questions 5a and 5b. Part 2 Question 3. But money doesn’t buy happiness. was answered by 27% of candidates. Candidates mostly responded that maths.
students need to be taught to read the question carefully and make sure that they answer it directly. where one is only minimally expanded and the other includes good development. divide the essay into © UCLES 2010 0101 10 . It is important that students are instructed in the importance of maintaining a consistent tone throughout their email or letter. There were some very appropriate responses. this will enable them to write in an appropriate register. • RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CANDIDATE PREPARATION Candidates should read each question carefully and carry out what is required.Questions 5a and 5b A small number of candidates attempted one of the text-specific set book questions. they should avoid Question 5. if they have not studied the specific book referred to. It is good to help students to understand how a content point can be expanded. They need to plan their writing. including all the necessary points and keeping to the task set. These candidates were heavily penalised. there were also weaker candidates who had very obviously not read the book and had invented a storyline of their own. Stronger candidates answered the question well. students could be given a text without paragraphs and asked to suggest paragraphs for it or add appropriate linkers to it. Question 5b Candidates were asked to reply to a letter from a friend and explain why they thought Erik allowed Raoul to keep Christine for himself. where students spend time identifying the reader. Candidates need to be made aware that. Question 5a Candidates were asked to write an essay about Great Expectations explaining whether they thought that Pip was happy when he became rich. including ‘Maybe he thought Christine would have a better life with Raoul than him’ and ‘Erik understood Christine was unhappy with him so he let her go. the task type. Working with past papers in pairs or groups. and this should be pointed out during classroom preparation. Unfortunately. Good answers to Questions 5a and 5b dealt with the task well and made appropriate references to the book. In class. Information about the target reader and the reason for writing is given in each question to help the candidate. and showed they knew what happened in the story and had a good understanding of Pip’s character. and the important content points. perhaps by use of obviously contrasting sample answers. Students should be encouraged to make a plan before they start writing. and to think carefully about how to organise their ideas and what to say on each point. Part 1 In this task. A sound knowledge of the relevant story and characters is required to answer this type of question successfully. Students should also be encouraged to make sensible use of paragraphing and use a variety of linkers. film or (in the case of Phantom of the Opera) show. is also useful in planning what to write. Candidates who expand on points generally score higher marks.’ Many candidates made explicit reference to having seen the film or stage musical of Phantom of the Opera and wrote with obvious enthusiasm about the events and characters. They need to have a clear idea of the situation and the target reader. Part 2 To write an effective essay. candidates need to consider the bigger picture of why they are writing and be sensitive to the scenario described.
They should also be instructed to take note of who is referred to in the sentence so that they can continue from the prompt sentence appropriately. and to use linking words effectively. Students should also be briefed to write in a consistently neutral and courteous tone. this will mean it has a positive impact on the target reader. as will a clear and logical development of ideas that avoids repetition and reaches a clear conclusion. They should therefore be advised to avoid Question 5 unless they have a sound understanding of the storyline and a good knowledge of the main characters. In order to produce a good letter of application. The tone of the essay should be consistently neutral or formal. © UCLES 2010 0101 11 . Students should be warned NOT to attempt this task if they have no knowledge of the story. if one appears in the question.paragraphs. and very different in kind to Questions 2-4 in Part 2 of the paper. and use the same name. such answers will be penalised very heavily. whether in the first or third person. Students need to be taught how to link a story coherently to a given prompt sentence. Good linking phrases will improve the overall effectiveness of their answer. Students need to be very aware that set text tasks are now text-specific. and to ensure that their answer is tailored to a particular job or requirement. Students should also be encouraged to read the task carefully. It is expected that this knowledge will have been gained by studying the story in class and discussing the events and characters. They also need to know the appropriate conventions for opening and closing such letters. students need to be taught how to lay their letter out in paragraphs. especially the irregular forms and perfect tenses. and the use of adverbs. not general. and make their introduction as interesting as possible. Students may also need to revise past tenses.
mix formal and informal language. ‘lift’ too much language from the question paper. so that the examiner can read your answer. © UCLES 2010 0101 12 . choose a Part 2 question that you feel confident you can write about. check verb endings. make a plan for each answer. even if you are unsure of the correct spelling. use language that is appropriate for the task. using relevant ideas and information. expand the points in Part 1 if you can. write in paragraphs. whenever appropriate. including ALL the points. answer Question 5 unless you have read the book. write clearly. plural forms and word order in sentences.DOs and DON’Ts for FCE PAPER 2 – WRITING DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO read the whole question thoroughly and underline important parts. check irregular past tenses and question formation. DON’T DON’T DON’T DON’T misspell key words which appear on the question paper. use a range of vocabulary.
10A interested ‘in’ not ‘to’ and 11D ‘allow them to’. for example. For Part 4. Each gap corresponds to a word. distractors can be wrong for this reason.PAPER 3 – USE OF ENGLISH Part 1 Task Type and Focus Multiple-choice cloze Focus: lexical/lexicogrammatical 2 Open cloze Focus: grammatical/lexicogrammatical 3 Word formation Focus: lexical/lexicogrammatical Format A modified cloze text containing 12 gaps and followed by fouroption multiple-choice questions A modified cloze text containing 12 gaps Number of Questions 12 12 A text containing 10 gaps. There were rather fewer collocations and fixed phrases than is normally the case. because of the nature of the text. Candidates found this part the most challenging in the paper. each answer receives up to 2 marks. one of which is a given ‘key word’ 10 4 Key word transformations Focus: lexical and grammatical 8 • Marking Candidates write their answers on a separate answer sheet. One can see why this might be so. which is predominantly testing lexical knowledge. wrongly identified C as the correct answer. each with a lead-in sentence and a gapped second sentence to be completed in two to five words. each correct answer receives 1 mark. including some stronger ones. where the answer is the only correct word in the context. Large numbers of candidates. For Parts 1. Questions 1–12: Dogs Multiple-choice Cloze This Part 1 task contained a large number of questions testing semantic meaning. These were all verbs that needed a following preposition. Candidates should note that in this part. • Candidate Performance Part 1. Eight separate items. Two items tested phrasal verbs: ‘run after’ and ‘care for’. The stems of the missing words are given beside the text and must be changed to form the missing word. although only Question 10 proved significantly difficult. 2 and 3. in that candidates may © UCLES 2010 0101 13 . which is marked according to a mark scheme and then scanned by computer. Questions 10-12 featured some distractors which were wrong partly for grammatical reasons.
reported speech and verb patterns from the grammatical side. 4D. The latter was particularly pleasing. verb patterns. phrasal verbs. A feature of some weaker candidates’ answers was not supplying the correct tense. candidates found this part of the paper quite straightforward. candidates tended to put the wrong part of speech – either ‘lost’ or ‘losing’. Question 36 had a number of common wrong answers: ‘nobody was’. indicating missing verb. pronouns and infinitives. Candidates coped best with Questions 3 and 9. 2D. ‘nobody (interested)’. 31 and 33 were answered correctly only by a minority of candidates. or not recognising this common phrase. Part 3. and performance was highly consistent. as this secondary meaning of ‘see’. For Questions 14 and 19 the words they put were otherwise correct. indicating missing preposition. The other instance of stronger candidates finding a wrong option too tempting was 7B. Weaker candidates frequently chose the following incorrect options: 1C. and also various lexical phrases were tested. auxiliaries. The only question which candidates struggled with was Question 22. as in ‘looks good’ and ‘tastes nice’. with a particularly high proportion answering Question 28 correctly. 5C and 6D. and ‘(Apart) Naomi’. finding Questions 15 and 16 especially straightforward. Candidates performed very well. This is an understandable error given that the gap follows a verb. was quite subtle. a missing possessive. Question 37 was answered correctly by the great majority of candidates. as in ‘I have something on © UCLES 2010 0101 14 . but of course the ‘senses’ verbs take an adjective. strong and weak. The most common wrong answer was ‘all’. Questions 13–24: A hotel famous for its food Open Cloze The open cloze task is broadly grammatical in its focus. spelling was a problem with Questions 25 (‘strengh’). Of course ‘harmful’ is used in another way: an object can be harmful to dogs. as well as transforming the root word into an adjective. and use of the wrong preposition (‘on/of my mind’). passives. In Question 26. This suggests they were not engaging fully with the text before and after the gaps. The phrase ‘on my mind’. meaning ‘regard’.have learnt the grammatical chunk ‘it appeals to me / something appeals to somebody’. Questions which test this have proved challenging in the past. phrasal verbs. In the case of Question 31 the issue was spelling: ‘ingury’ being the most common rendition. Part 4. with candidates failing to spot the need for a preposition. but were in the present rather than the past tense. conjunctions. Among the other common wrong answers. Questions 35–42 Key Word Transformations On this occasion conditionals. Those candidates who made a mistake in Question 32 often wrote the adverb ‘uncomfortably’. Questions 26. Repeated errors occurring in significant numbers were confusion between the use of ‘no’ and ‘any’. The same was true of Question 39. candidates performed best on this part of the paper. Overall. Questions 25–34: Running for health Word Formation Overall. 29 (‘instructers’) and 33 (‘gradualy’). With Question 34 it was a failure to spot the plural that meant an incorrect answer. It was pleasing to see that the majority of candidates spotted the need for a negative prefix in Question 32. indicating wrong tense. Part 2. but of course the verb ‘attract’ works the other way round (‘it attracts me / I’m attracted to it’). This version tested knowledge of dependent prepositions.
Candidates should not underestimate the importance of this aspect of their work. As a result. The choice of correct answer often depends upon understanding of the surrounding context.my mind’. some candidates leave a blank or a series of dots to indicate where the prompt word should be. and ‘made me to lose’ in Question 42. Weaker candidates can focus so hard on individual items of language that they overlook the clues which a reading of the whole text would give them. they come up with something which does not make sense in the context. In Part 4. This is not acceptable as the markers cannot be certain that the candidates are using the prompt word in exactly the same form as written on the question paper. Finally there were common wrong answers with verb patterns: ‘(advised) me don’t be late’ for Question 41. does of course exist. Illegible answers will lose marks. © UCLES 2010 0101 15 . including the scripts of strong candidates. Candidates should remember to write out the given prompt word in full. but this has a different meaning. candidates should attempt as far as possible to engage with the whole text. • RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CANDIDATE PREPARATION In all the text-based parts of the paper. The administrators of the exam have produced comments on the poor quality of some students’ handwriting.
DON’T DON’T DON’T © UCLES 2010 0101 16 . write more than 5 words in your answer in Part 4. remember always to write the prompt word unchanged in your answer for Part 4.• DOs and DON’Ts for FCE PAPER 3 – USE OF ENGLISH DO DO check your spelling and make sure you copy things down correctly. make sure that an answer in Part 3 is based only on the word at the end of the same line. forget to change the word given in capitals in Part 3. make sure that the sentence you complete in Part 4 is as close in meaning to the first sentence as possible. make sure in all parts that you put your answer by the correct number on your answer sheet. forget to look carefully at the text in Part 3 in order to decide on the grammatical form of the missing words. DO DO DO DON’T DON’T decide on an answer without reading the whole of a sentence. write an answer in Part 4 which forms two sentences.
Format A series of short unrelated extracts. Candidates performed very well on this version of the paper. 7 • Marking Candidates write their answers on a separate answer sheet. For security reasons. from monologues or exchanges between interacting speakers. detail. stated opinion A monologue or text involving interacting speakers and lasting approximately three minutes. topic. agreement. relationship. gist. Number of Questions 8 2 Sentence completion Focus: detail. main idea. There are seven multiple-choice questions. each with three options. of approximately 30 seconds each. situation. opinion. agreement. opinion. of approximately 30 seconds each. attitude. • Candidate Performance This report is based on results from candidates who took version A of the Listening test. function. topic. In addition. attitude. © UCLES 2010 0101 17 . relationship. situation. place. the marks are adjusted to ensure that there is no advantage or disadvantage to candidates taking one particular version. Each question carries one mark. genre. which is marked according to a detailed mark scheme and then scanned by computer. Five short related monologues. Candidates are required to complete the sentences with information heard on the recording. specific information. As with all other FCE papers. Part 2 was the most accessible and Part 1 marginally the most challenging. each with three options. purpose. attitude. The multiple-matching questions require selection of the correct option from a list of six. place. rigorous checks are built into the question paper production process to ensure that all versions of the test are of comparable content and difficulty. etc. function. 10 3 Multiple matching Focus: general gist. genre. etc. purpose. detail.PAPER 4 – LISTENING Part 1 Task Type and Focus Multiple choice Focus: general gist. There is one multiple-choice question per text. more than one version of the Listening test is made available at each session. specific information A monologue or text involving interacting speakers and lasting approximately three minutes. 5 4 Multiple choice Focus: opinion. for Paper 4.
You’d probably have been sick if we’d stayed on any longer. many weaker candidates were distracted by option A. Part 2. it was a low point for me – I considered myself a failure …’. proved particularly distracting. Candidates coped best with Questions 1. for example. the most common wrong answer was ‘families’. Option C. weaker candidates had problems with the spelling of ‘grapes’ and wrote ’gripes’ or ‘gropes’. was chosen by those candidates who correctly understood the teacher’s comment. probably because candidates heard the woman say. 15 and 17 stand out as having been tackled very well by the majority of candidates. A.’ Stronger candidates chose the correct option. and to a slightly lesser extent option B.’ Weak candidates did not listen carefully to the man’s reply. in answer to the question based on a woman talking about her experiences at ballet school: ‘How did she feel when she left the school?’ This was probably because the speaker. ‘So you’ll have to check the room numbers carefully. though once again.. candidates had to listen to a teacher going over a timetable with her students and identify what she was doing in the process. your character is suppressed . and that the ‘changes do not affect tutor group meetings which will be . In Question 4.’ © UCLES 2010 0101 18 . A. Questions 9–18 This was a sentence-completion task based on an interview with a man talking about his job as a zookeeper. ‘It was too short’. ‘relieved’. In Question 14. and C. A similar pattern between weak and strong candidates was repeated in both Questions 4 and 7. C.. candidates coped extremely well with the topic in this part of the test. ‘embarrassed’. ‘advising them of room changes’. Questions 11. In Question 12. I reckon you were scared.’ In Question 7. However. ‘Judging by the colour of your face. ‘At the time. which was the most challenging. others produced the singular ‘grape’ which was not acceptable. was expressed by the man’s comments. in response to the speaker’s comment towards the end of the extract..’ Many weaker candidates opted for B. Overall. And I especially enjoy my talks with the students who come during the week. there was a range of performances. 5 and 6. Candidates heard the speaker say. ‘It was over so quickly . I got kicked out at the end of my first year. She mentions that the timetable ‘doesn’t include any extra lessons’. I thought there’d be more to it. These questions are intended to be a lead-in to the test and most candidates tackled them well... there was a significant difference in performance in some of the questions between strong and weak candidates. Of the ten questions. 3.’ The correct option. 13.Part 1. but Questions 4 and 7 proved more demanding. In Question 2. candidates had to listen to a man and woman talking about a ride at a theme park and identify what the man said about the ride.. ‘Lucas particularly likes talking to the students who come to the zoo. ‘informing them about additional classes’. as they were last term.’ Strong candidates correctly completed the sentence.. Questions 1–8 The eight short listening extracts in Part 1 provided a range of contexts and voices as well as a range of focuses across the eight questions. ‘It was too frightening’. while Questions 10 and 18 proved the most challenging in this part of the test. ‘Oh yeah? Have you seen the colour of your face?’ The correct option. ‘explaining about new tutor group meeting times’. ‘Lots of families come to the zoo at the weekend and I answer their questions.. in the course of what she says. mentions that her time at the ballet school ‘didn’t work out . ‘depressed’.
Part 4... I have to discover the real person behind the image . who coped very well with this part of the test.’ Candidates who selected A or D before listening to the complete extract overlooked the fact that the woman went on to say. ‘I leave my camera behind when I’m on holiday . ‘sometimes professional artists come in to © UCLES 2010 0101 19 . Part 3. ‘nature’. In Question 25. ‘I earn my living by doing portraits of well-known people . Question 20 proved to be the most challenging. for wild animals in Africa to see the work done there.Strong candidates also coped well with Question 18 by identifying and accurately spelling the correct answer ‘park’ to complete the sentence. E. with many weaker candidates choosing a range of options. It is essential that candidates make effective use of the second hearing in all the tasks. Many weaker candidates. candidates had to listen for what Roberto said about the lectures on his course.. tempted by his remark. In Question 22. Candidates.. they lose the potential use of that option in another question.. This suggests that weaker candidates had not listened carefully enough to the speaker who began by commenting... Questions 19–23 This was a multiple-matching task based on five short extracts in which five different people talk about taking photographs. 26 and 29 were answered best and Questions 25 and 28 proved the most challenging. ‘research’. option D was the distractor throughout this part. had to identify the subject that each person was most interested in photographing.. If candidates have made the wrong choice in one of the preceding questions. or choose an answer without listening to the complete extract. ‘safari’ or ‘conservation’ alone.’. Candidates who clearly print their answers in capitals fare best in this part of the test. to draw flowers and plants.. who are both studying at the same art school. Annabelle and Roberto.’ Strong candidates correctly chose B. ‘holidays’ and E. and the domino effect may become most marked by the final question in this task. Questions 24. Questions 24–30 This was a 3-option multiple-choice task based on an interview with two students.. and that is completely absorbing. Not as a tourist on some safari . The continuing marked contrast in performance between candidates suggests that weaker candidates are tempted to match words they hear with the same or similar words printed on the question paper.. ‘conservation’.’ Weak candidates who simply wrote ‘zoo’.. most notably D. and see the park where she does her research …’. had not listened carefully enough to Lucas’s comment. but actually to meet the famous conservationist . Candidates coped well with this part of the test. He continued by mentioning his hobby of travelling. but especially so in this multiple-matching task. The speaker began by saying. ‘what I’d really like to do is visit Africa. ‘wildlife’ or ‘animal’.’ Strong candidates chose the correct option. a significant number of weaker candidates were attracted to options A ‘news stories’ and D ‘holidays’. ‘My dream was to be a photojournalist. ‘nature’. whereas it would seem that weaker candidates relied too much on matching words they heard with words in the task. ‘In the end I got a job as a photographer on a wildlife magazine.. work for a famous newspaper or magazine and travel round the world following the big news stories of the day.. ‘Lucas’s ambition is to visit a …. The mark scheme allowed for ‘park’ being qualified by ‘safari’. but Questions 20 and 22 were more challenging. ‘celebrities’. but I always carry a sketch book . Questions 19 and 23 were the least challenging.
. ‘you’ve got to know about … the financial side of things. or the focus may be on the topic. Careful listening to the surrounding extract may reveal shades of meaning not appreciated at first. others call for an understanding of the gist of the extract. Candidates should listen carefully when the extract is repeated. other weak candidates opted for B. ‘Some are held in the studios of professional artists. following the order of the information in the recording. Some extracts may target points of detail in the question. Unlike the other parts of the paper. candidates are required to produce written answers in response to various types of prompt. they both read and hear the questions and options. so that candidates are prepared for the varying character and rhythm of both monologues and dialogues in Part 1. I photograph household objects . Additionally. so we get talks from accountants and agents .. A. ‘for the research stage. It is also important that great care is taken to ensure that an answer fits and makes © UCLES 2010 0101 20 . Every effort is made to achieve fair marking but illegible or ambiguous handwriting cannot be rewarded. In both cases. In his reply.. • RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CANDIDATE PREPARATION Part 1 This part of the paper is designed to enable candidates to settle into the Listening test in a relatively gentle way... Both strong and weak candidates found Question 28 challenging. I make copies and finish them off by hand . and they should use this time to think about the type of information which is missing. how exactly do you make your art?’ and the question read. In preparing for this part of the test. students should be encouraged to practise writing the short answers which are required in a productive task.. Students should be reminded that questions are chronological. attracted by the phrase ‘art historians’ in another of Roberto’s remarks. Roberto says. the temptation to match words heard with the printed words in the questions suggests that candidates are listening at word level and not focusing on understanding the whole text.’ opted for C. ‘write up his project’. Recordings may be either monologues or dialogues and a contextualising rubric sets the scene in terms of speaker(s).’ Many candidates opted for A.. The task consists of 10 gaps in a set of sentences. Part 2 In Part 2. opinions or feelings may also be tested. ‘Some of the best ones are about art history’. Attitudes. ‘Some are given by business people’ relied on understanding Roberto’s earlier comment.. function.’ The correct option. Similarly. The interviewer asked Roberto. and some weak candidates opted for C. and candidates need to be prepared to listen for a speaker’s attitude or point of view.’. our tutors email us feedback reports on what we’ve done for our records.. Adequate time is given for candidates to read the task before they hear the recording. rather than facts. ‘complete a piece of artwork’. particularly when an option seems to be obviously correct and is supported by an individual word or phrase used in the extract. ‘So. ‘put together some initial ideas’.. teachers should give students plenty of practice in dealing with the range of text types and focuses.. Legible capital letters are important. ‘Roberto uses a computer to .give lectures . ’. speaker or the main point of what is heard. topic and context. Students should be encouraged to use the information contained in the questions and options to help them focus on what they are about to hear and what they are listening for. Strong candidates who understood the stages Roberto was describing to make a piece of art chose B. This part of the test includes more questions which focus on understanding the expression of feelings and opinions. agreement.. then change their appearance on my computer .
for example. Both British and American spellings are accepted. Part 3 In Part 3. an answer requires two separate words.sense with what comes before and. which is expressed in the options listed. after the gap. Some minor spelling mistakes are accepted if the meaning of the word is not changed. They may find that they need to change more than one answer if they discover a mistake. The questions may test points of detail. because one incorrect answer may have a knock-on effect on the other questions. Students should be encouraged to think carefully about the context and should use the preparation time to read the options. Candidates listen to five short extracts on a topic which is indicated in the contextualising rubric. Students should be reminded that all three options in multiple-choice questions will include ideas and words from the text. the focus is principally on gist listening skills. Candidates should be advised to make good use of the repetition of the recording. In this case. if relevant. such as ‘snakes’ and ‘arm’ in Test A. and students should be warned that writing unnecessarily wordy answers will almost certainly not result in a mark. The keys usually focus on concrete items of information. they may be written in number form and need not be written out in words. Candidates are not expected to rephrase what they hear and should therefore focus on writing down the key information as it is heard in the text. but the main words and phrases tested are limited to those which candidates can reasonably be expected to spell correctly at FCE level. They are not required to make grammatical transformations from text to task. Occasionally. feelings and attitudes. this will help them to understand what it is they are listening for. gist meaning and the understanding of opinions. In Test A. Where keys focus on numerical information. the questions follow the order of the recording. but only one (the key) will combine with the question to reflect the exact meaning expressed in the recording. Students should be encouraged to listen for the meaning of the whole extract. All answers will be a single word. and will generally test understanding of that whole section rather than isolated words and phrases. and does not repeat information already included in the question. candidates may write their answers in either order. a number or a short phrase. the task focused on the way in which each speaker talked about what he or she was most interested in photographing. Part 4 Adequate time is given for candidates to read the 3-option multiple-choice questions before they hear the recording. even if they have answered every question on the first listening. and the task is multiple matching. for example. divided by ‘and’ in the box on the question paper. candidates should not expect to see key information which they have heard printed word for word on the question paper. As in Part 2. Each question focuses on one part of the recording. © UCLES 2010 0101 21 . and to focus on identifying each speaker’s opinion or message.
answer all the questions – even if you are not sure. make sure that you copy your answers accurately onto the answer sheet. especially in Parts 1. so you are prepared for what you hear. spend too much time on a question you are having difficulty with. use the information on the question paper to help you follow the listening text. 3 and 4. concentrate on understanding in as much depth as possible what speakers say. use the time allowed before hearing each recording to read through all the questions carefully. remember that any wrong answer you discover in Part 3 when hearing the recording for a second time may affect your other answers. Make sure you understand what you are listening for and what you have to do. look carefully at what is printed before and after the gap in Part 2 and think about the kind of information that you are listening for. irrelevant information. write your answers as clearly as possible in Part 2. complicate an answer in Part 2 by writing extra. DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DON’T rephrase what you hear in Part 2. you’ve probably understood more than you think. as you may miss the next question. do write down the figure(s) or word(s) that you hear spoken. check that your idea of what the correct answer is when you first hear the recording is confirmed when you hear it for the second time. using capital letters. DON’T DON’T © UCLES 2010 0101 22 .• DOs and DON’Ts for FCE PAPER 4 – LISTENING DO listen to and read the instructions. write only the missing information on the answer sheet. don’t be distracted by individual words and phrases.
the candidates are given a pair of photographs to talk about. The assessor awards marks to each candidate for performance throughout the test according to four analytical criteria: Grammar and Vocabulary. exchanging ideas. The interlocutor awards marks according to the Global Achievement Scale. etc. • Candidate Performance Candidate performance in this administration was consistent with that of June 2009. Feedback from Oral Examiners has been very positive and students. speculating. plus 20-second response from the second candidate 3 A two-way conversation between the candidates. as always. a candidate should answer the task set and therefore should not be afraid to ask for repetition of instructions before embarking on the task. which are used in a decision-making task. 3 minutes 4 A discussion on topics related to the collaborative task (spoken questions) Expressing and justifying opinions. agreeing and/or disagreeing. or who dominated the interaction. expressing and justifying opinions. These scores are converted by computer to provide a mark out of 40. agreeing and/or disagreeing 4 minutes • Marking The Speaking tests are conducted by trained examiners. reaching a decision through negotiation. describing. were well prepared for this paper. Sustaining an interaction. Pronunciation. In turn. Combining the analytical marks of the assessor and a global achievement mark from the interlocutor gives a balanced view of a candidate’s performance. Students should be made aware © UCLES 2010 0101 23 . suggesting. To perform well. which assesses the candidate’s overall effectiveness in tackling the tasks. who attend annual co-ordination sessions to ensure that standards are maintained. did not respond fully to questions asked. each candidate with a brief comparing. A 1-minute ‘long turn’ for each candidate. The candidates are given spoken instructions with written and visual stimuli. and Interactive Communication. Discourse Management. evaluating. expressing response from the second opinions candidate. Candidates who performed less well were those who did not listen carefully to the instructions.PAPER 5 – SPEAKING Part 1 Task Type and Format A conversation between the interlocutor and each candidate (spoken questions) Focus General interactional and social language Timing 3 minutes 2 An individual ‘long turn’ for Organising a larger unit of discourse.
Part 2 The tendency in this part of the test is for weaker candidates to focus on the visuals without listening carefully to the task set by the examiner. It gives the examiners their first impression of the candidates. and it is therefore important that the candidates speak naturally and with appropriate detail. candidates are always invited to do two things. (something specific about the visuals). Then decide …’ The two parts of the task will appear on the candidates’ sheet in the form of two direct questions. expressing their own views clearly..’. those who made their decisions very early on in the interaction. and then to come to a negotiated decision. They are required to respond to and give their views on a range of visual prompts.. ‘what the people are enjoying about spending time in the different places’. Part 3 The aim of this part of the test is for candidates to discuss the task outlined by the examiner as fully as possible. The interlocutor asks them to: ‘First talk to each other about … . Candidates who have not met prior to the test should not feel concerned. One-word responses are inadequate and will affect the score for Interactive Communication. Candidates should be encouraged to refer to this question so that they complete the task appropriately and are able to continue for the full minute.g. © UCLES 2010 0101 24 . Candidates should be aware of the importance of inviting their partner to respond. This does not lead to effective interactive communication. without first considering and discussing as fully as possible the range of suggestions presented to them. To perform well in this part of the test. Candidates who performed less well were. The first of these questions provides the bulk of the task. Candidates should not feel concerned if the examiner interrupts as this simply means that they have talked for the allotted time. contrast ‘and say. Part 1 This part of the test focuses on areas which deal directly with the candidates’ personal experience. as a result. In this part of the test. and to work towards a negotiated outcome in the time available. e. and is unlikely to provide enough to talk about for a full minute. candidates should be able to take a full and active part in the interaction. using a range of language appropriate to the level.that asking for the instructions to be repeated will not affect their marks in any way. e. This will appear in the form of a direct question. therefore. ensuring that both candidates take an equal part in the development of the interaction. and.g. Candidates will always be asked to compare. etc. work and education. and is noticed by examiners. making use of the range of visual prompts available. Students should also be advised not to prepare long responses to questions they feel they may be asked as this often means that they do not answer appropriately. It is important for candidates to start talking as soon as they can in order to make full use of their long turn. whereas redirection by the examiner once the task has begun may affect their performance. ran out of things to say. listening to their partner and developing their partner’s comments before moving on to the second part of the task where they try to negotiate an outcome. leisure activities. travel and holidays... Simply describing the two sets of visuals often results in the candidate producing a limited range of language for assessment. above the visuals on the task sheet handed to the candidates. as feedback from examiners indicates that this does not affect performance in this or any other part of the test.
The second picture shows some children. candidates are given a further opportunity to demonstrate their language ability by engaging in a three-way discussion with their partner and the examiner. I think he’s talking about work to someone on the phone because he seems very serious. He’s probably a very important man because someone is driving his car for him. the visuals show people travelling in different situations. This is natural in any interaction and will not be penalised. confident response and give fuller responses to other questions asked. I wouldn’t like to travel like this because it looks very crowded and busy. starting promptly and finishing only when the examiner interjects. The first shows a business man in the back of a car being taken to a meeting while the second photograph is of a railway station in China where school children can be seen getting onto a train. Part 4 In this part of the test. A strong candidate will have used the pictures to answer the task along the following lines: ‘In the first picture. I think they’re going to school because they’re wearing uniforms. I think they’ve chosen to travel by train because it’s a cheap way to travel and they can be with all their friends. The train has just arrived at the station and they’re standing on the platform. as well as answering the examiner’s questions. They should be reassured that their contribution will be appropriate if it provides a full response to the question asked. Candidates sometimes feel that the questions sound as if they merit a more sophisticated response than they feel able to give and are therefore reluctant to respond. Candidates should therefore try not to be affected by an unfamiliar question but should give a short.Candidates are expected to work towards a negotiated outcome but should not be concerned if they do not make a final decision or if they do not agree. It is therefore vital that candidates offer more than a minimal response and take the opportunity to initiate discussion. Finally. Strong candidates were able to develop and illustrate the topic by giving their opinions and talking about the reasons behind them. and these questions are likely to result in shorter answers. Candidates were asked to compare the visuals and say why the people were travelling in the different ways. Candidates may find. strong disagreement can undermine their partner’s confidence and an overbearing candidate may lose marks. that there are certain questions that they are less familiar with. Candidates should make full use of the time available. This is a good way for a businessman to travel because he can speak to people and work quietly during his journey but a lot of people can’t travel like this because it’s very expensive. It also provides an opportunity for examiners to redress any imbalances in turn-taking that may have occurred in other parts of the test.’ Here. such as how many people there are or what colour things in the photographs are. there’s a business man. the candidate describes each photograph and then moves on to spend the majority of the long turn focusing on why the people are travelling in the different ways rather than talking about specific but irrelevant details in the picture. They’re waiting to get on the train. © UCLES 2010 0101 25 . however. thus demonstrating a range of vocabulary. • Comments on Released Test Materials Part 2 Travelling As can be seen in the sample paper. Candidates should be reminded that there is no right or wrong answer and that they are being marked on the language they use. However. I often walk to school because it’s good exercise for me and I live near my school. not on their knowledge of the world or on how well they justify their opinions. He’s wearing a suit and talking on the phone. the student adds a personal comment in order to keep going for the full minute. Disagreeing in a friendly way can be an effective part of interactive communication. They should not feel concerned if they are asked to stop before they have reached their final decision as this will simply mean that they have talked for the allotted time.
feeling sad. some candidates were tempted to start with the second part of the task. for example. candidates were not only expected to compare the two photographs. Part 3 Having Friends This task was popular with candidates and they generally found plenty to say. Candidates should discuss the different ideas offered as fully as possible in the available time and come to a negotiated decision towards the end of their three minutes. Also the weather can change and that could be difficult for the people because they might get lost or even stuck on the mountain so it’s good that the people are climbing together. Candidates who performed well produced answers along the following lines: ‘In the first picture. The driver is sitting in car so he has some protection if he doesn’t crash the car. generally performed well and spoke fully about all the pictures. In this case. which may lead to them running out of things to say. having a party. Candidates were asked to talk about why it is good for people to have friends in these situations. taking part in a sport. Maybe the driver is on his own in the car – we can’t see. Candidates were given seven visual prompts which provided examples of situations in which it is good for people to have friends: shopping and choosing clothes. on a holiday.. whether they preferred to go shopping alone or with friends.. Candidates who did this often performed less well because they came to their final decision without having fully explored the alternatives. Most candidates found this task very accessible. to complete these tasks candidates were not expected to produce the word ‘chauffer’ for the ‘Travelling’ task and it was not necessary for them to do so in order to complete the task successfully. but they should have managed to discuss several pictures before making their decision. sharing a meal. the importance of having friends to comfort you when you’re upset and the advantages and disadvantages of going on holiday with friends rather than family. It’s very difficult to go climbing because the people might need special equipment to help them if the mountain is very steep and they could fall and hurt themselves if they aren’t careful. The first visual is of a car in a race through the desert and the second is of several people climbing along a mountain ridge. So I think I’d like to be the racing driver! Candidates who performed well responded with their own ideas as to what might be difficult about both activities. This seems quite dangerous to me because the car might break down and there’s nobody who could help the driver. rather than making a decision at the outset. Candidates were able to discuss. e. ‘I think it’s most important to have friends when you’re feeling sad because. and studying together. I think it’s more difficult for the people on the mountain than for the racing driver because they will get more tired walking. and so on. candidates should not simply tell the examiner that they do not know certain words. It’s probably in a race. candidates are not expected to move beyond giving simple reasons from their personal experience to deal with the task.’. It should be noted that tasks are not designed to test specific items of vocabulary. We can’t see their faces but I think they must be very tired. As in other tasks. not just describing the © UCLES 2010 0101 26 . I can see a car and I think it’s going very fast. For example.g. Although a degree of speculation is required at this level. candidates should have discussed each picture together. Candidates should not have felt concerned if they were unable to make use of the full range of visual prompts. but to say what they thought could be difficult about doing these different activities. Again. Responses that were restricted to a description merely of what candidates could see in each visual were inadequate. They were also able to discuss the reasons why it was good to get involved in team sports. In the second picture some people are walking along the top of a mountain.Part 2 Adventure Activities Candidates were given visual prompts showing different activities that could be considered adventurous. Candidates who did this tended to have problems completing their long turn or ran into difficulties with lexis. and were then asked to decide in which situation it is most important to have friends.
Candidates will. ‘Exam training’ can help with nervousness. For example. A confident response in which candidates simply state their opinion using language at the level will be appropriate. but giving as many reasons as possible for why it was important to have friends in the different situations. Part 4 Having Friends Candidates generally performed well and spoke fully about the questions they were asked in Part 4 of the ‘Having Friends’ task. There is no need for candidates to speak in the same detail about every visual. having discussed why friends are important in each of the situations. It is important. © UCLES 2010 0101 27 . They were able to talk about how their own friends are similar to them and how they are different. to the visual and say: ‘I think it’s good to have friends when you want to try a new sport like this because …’ As was mentioned in Part 2. because friends can sometimes stop you working. Examiners do not expect a particular answer to any question they ask. for example. Candidates were also asked to talk about who. This was not necessary for the successful completion of the task. candidates should have attempted to decide in which situation it was most important to have friends. however. They should also be reassured that. how important they thought it was to have a best friend and whether they thought it was good for friends to share everything with each other. therefore. When doing this task. • RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CANDIDATE PREPARATION Candidates are expected to take a full and active part in the test. for example. They also spoke fully about what people can do to remain friends when they live a long way away from each other and whether or not there were times when they preferred to be alone. perhaps because the photograph was taken in close up and included snowboards and therefore they did not have so much to say. Candidates who put themselves in a position where they need to use English on a regular basis are likely to perform well. they are not expected to know individual items of lexis such as the name for a snowboard. inside and outside the classroom. Candidates should be encouraged to speak more about the visuals they are comfortable with and deal with visuals they are not so sure about in as much detail as they are able to. candidates could have commented on the fact that it is very good to study with other people and to share your ideas but there are times when you get more done if you study without your friends. examiners are not looking for or testing specific lexical items. but this is no substitute for a genuine interest in the language. Questions are opinion based and candidates should be told that there is no right or wrong answer to any of the questions. for dealing with unknown words. Candidates were not penalised if they ran out of time and failed to come to a final decision. Candidates should be advised to give a brief response in a confident way to questions they are less familiar with and answer other questions more fully. that students seek as many opportunities to practise their spoken English as possible.picture. If students are unsure of the activity in a particular picture. apart from friends. such as paraphrasing. candidates tended to talk less about the snowboarding visual. agreeing and disagreeing with each other and following up on each other’s ideas. and candidates certainly benefit from being familiar with the different parts of the test. be expected to have developed strategies. a useful technique would have been to point. people can go to when they need advice and some candidates found this question more difficult to answer. with the picture of studying together. Candidates should be encouraged not to spend a long time wondering what to say but to start to talk promptly. Then.
They should not feel concerned about different interpretations of the visual materials. even if answers are short. Suitable thematic areas for discussion can be found in FCE coursebooks and should relate to the candidate’s own experience. rather than more abstract concepts (see the FCE Handbook for a list of topic areas). in the task entitled ‘Adventure Activities’. candidates should not be put off by tasks like this as they only involve speculation on the basis of what is evident in the picture or on the basis of candidates’ personal experience. using language at the level. Candidates should time themselves to check that they are able to keep going for a full minute. candidates will benefit from being given as many opportunities as possible to give their opinions on a range of issues. However. etc. This task looks quite challenging as it seems to demand a degree of speculation beyond what can be seen in the photographs. Candidates with a quieter disposition should be encouraged to develop strategies to ensure they are able to take their turn.). ‘I’m not sure’ or ‘I haven’t thought about that’. students will benefit from finding opportunities to practise talking about themselves (their likes and dislikes. Candidates should be reassured that it does not matter if their partner interprets a picture in a different way. Part 4 As in Part 3. Candidates are not expected to move beyond this simple degree of speculation at this level. and to expand on their views while inviting opinions from others and responding to them. and should be discouraged from making responses such as ‘I don’t know’. As with the more challenging question in the task ‘Having Friends’. © UCLES 2010 0101 28 . For example. present circumstances. and that they will have completed the task successfully if they answer the question set by discussing with their partner the visuals given.Part 1 For this part of the test. candidates were not just asked to describe photographs but were asked to talk about what they thought could be difficult about the different activities. Candidates should attempt visuals with which they may be less familiar. and going on to talk about the theme in a more general way. Stronger candidates should be encouraged to invite opinions from others. and try to talk for a minute on a question related to the visuals. plans and hopes for the future. Without practice. Part 2 Candidates can improve their performance in this part of the test by choosing pairs of thematically-linked visuals. but that this forms part of the interaction and negotiation. as they will have to do this in Part 3 of the test. so that all students have the opportunity to take the floor. Part 3 The best preparation for this part of the test is for students to practise taking part in discussions in small groups. candidates may find it difficult to speak for a full minute during the test. candidates need to learn to respond confidently. practising comparing and contrasting them. It is a good idea to give students practice in interpreting the pictures that they see in coursebooks or magazines. personal/educational history.
worry if you disagree with your partner in Parts 3 and 4. it is important that tests do not overrun. this is all part of interactive communication. You are unlikely to answer questions DON’T DON’T DON’T try to give your views during your partner’s long turn. As long as you are polite and not overbearing. function and procedures of all parts of the test. worry about being interrupted by the examiner. make use of opportunities to speak in all parts of the test and give extended contributions where you can. ask for repetition of instructions if you are unclear about what you should do. For administrative reasons. both inside and outside the classroom before the test. make frequent pauses and hesitations during the interaction or during your own turn. appropriately.• DOs and DON’Ts for FCE PAPER 5 – SPEAKING DO familiarise yourself with the focus. speak clearly so that both the assessor and the interlocutor can hear you. listen carefully to instructions given and questions asked throughout the test and focus your answers appropriately. DO DON’T prepare long responses in advance. refer to the written direct questions at the top of your task in Parts 2 and 3 of the test so that you don’t forget what you have to talk about. take every opportunity to practise your English in groups and pairs. try to dominate your partner or to interrupt him or her in an abrupt way. DON’T DON’T © UCLES 2010 0101 29 . DO DO DO DO DO DO respond to your partner’s contributions and invite your partner to contribute in Parts 3 and 4.
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