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Preparing Students for PET
Preparing students for PET
Do you have students working towards the Preliminary English Test? To have the best possible chance of success, they need to be comfortable with the format of the exam and to have practice in the types of activity they will find in each of the papers. You can now find detailed information about every aspect of this intermediate-level exam on the new PET section of the Cambridge ESOL Teaching Resources website. This on-line resource also has plenty of classroom activities for you to use with your students and advice on the best way for them to tackle each of the tasks.
PET topics list
Clothes Education Environment Free time Hobbies and leisure Language Personal feelings, opinions and experiences Places and buildings Transport Sport Travel and holidays Work and jobs Daily life Entertainment and media Food and drink Health, medicine and exercise House and home People Personal identification Relations with other people Social interaction The natural world Weather
Reading and Writing at PET level
The Preliminary English Test is at the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework level B1. At this level a learner should be able to cope linguistically in a range of everyday situations which need a largely predictable use of language. They should be able to use English in their own or a foreign country in contact with native and non-native speakers of English for general purposes as described below.
The kinds of things that PET-level readers should be able to deal with are:
you then look for the bit of information you are interested in. how it is organised etc. to get a general feel for what it is about. Just as we do with the bus timetable. This kind of reading is called skimming and is a skill they will need in order to do some of the tasks in the PET Reading test. a learner at this level should be able to read in a number of ways. Skimming and scanning When reading. When you look at a bus timetable you quickly skim your eyes over the timetable to see how it is organised. Once you know how the information is organised. We use these skills regularly in our day-to-day lives. Once they have a basic knowledge of the text they will then probably need to pick out specific information. who it is intended for. . In an exam. and for this you will scan down the timetable until you find the bus time you need.Examinations Services Colombia Preparing Students for PET public notices product packaging forms posters brochures city guides instructions informal letters newspaper and magazine articles and features. Sometimes they will just need to get a quick overview of a reading text. This is called scanning. candidates are skimming and scanning in order to pick out information required to answer a question. Giving your students experience of working with these types of texts. as you prepare them for the PET exam. these are the kind of texts we look at if we want to find out about something and they help us in our day-to-day lives. will help them manage in the real world in English. they need to pick out important information and ignore the rest. The focus is very much on practical need. As you will notice.
They might need to: give practical information to someone report the events of something that happened describe a person they know describe a thing they own describe a place describe their reactions to situations and events report their opinions. hopes or regrets and say what makes them happy. For example. When they read they should be able to get a feel for the writer's attitude towards the topic and the effect the writer is hoping to have on the reader. Register Also. they should be able to use the language they know in an appropriate way. they also need to be able to understand opinions. they should write in an informal and friendly style. 2. Writing PET-level writers should be able to produce the kind of texts that people write on an everyday basis. if they are asked to write to a friend. attitudes. moods and wishes. . such as: postcards notes e-mails informal letters stories. Content There are a number of things that PET-level writers should be able to do in these texts. At this level students should also have some control of the grammar and use different grammatical structures accurately and not just produce a range of simple sentences.Examinations Services Colombia Preparing Students for PET Understanding attitude PET-level students don't just need to skim and scan.
from English language newspapers. Set up real reasons for reading and writing. Frequently. it might be demotivating and prevent them from taking risks in the future. a simple piece of research to do in the library or on the internet. the number of errors increases. Students can often read and understand texts that are more complicated than the texts they can write. This will give learners a good foundation on which to build their own writing ability. so it often follows on from reading.e. focus on the things they get right. i. If you want them to take risks and try to be ambitious with their language and ideas. . Talk with the class about the writer's reasons for writing and about the vocabulary and grammar of a particular text. the internet etc. Here is a list of a few things that you could do to help your learners develop their skills in both reading and writing: Expose them to a range of real English texts . If you pick out the mistakes they have made. Learners need to be able to do practical things such as: go to the bank or the post office buy food in a shop ask for directions or other important information meet people and make friends. By teaching your students how to do these things and providing them with meaningful practice.Examinations Services Colombia Preparing Students for PET Developing general Reading and Writing skills The kind of language skills needed to pass PET are the same as those needed to get by in an English-speaking country. magazines. when learners are more ambitious and try to write more complex language. Because of this always keep in mind the purpose of the exercise you are doing with your group. Reading can be a good starting point for writing. Ask students to find texts in English that interest them and bring them into class. Give learners the opportunity to read a range of texts that are written for different purposes. Writing is a productive skill and can therefore be more challenging. you are giving them many of the skills they need to pass PET.
. If they are willing. really sorry but I can't. get them to recount their experiences either to the whole group or to their partner/neighbour. Telling someone that their work is bad I'm afraid your work isn't as good as it has been. we need to choose our words carefully and always think about the feelings of the person receiving the information. 2.' ... I'm that's correct. I do apologise for. students Writing paper whole class and pair work writing paper or word processing programme Ask students when they last had to apologise to someone.. Correcting 3.....Examinations Services Colombia Preparing Students for PET Encourage learners to read graded readers and write brief reviews on them for the rest of the class to read... 4.. Classroom activity ‘Gently Does It’ Aim: Target Audience: Relevance to PET: Organisation: Materials needed: to increase learners' awareness of social and cultural appropriacy. Discuss with the class the difference between 'Your work is really awful!' and 'I'm afraid your work isn't as good as it has been. Point out that when we have to tell someone something they may not like.. Saying sorry I'm so sorry that / for. Please forgive me for.... I'm not sure if able to do. Encourage learners to think about their own reading and writing priorities and their strengths and weaknesses.. Set time limits when they read in order to speed up their skimming and scanning skills.. Now write the following headings on the board: 1. I can't say that I like the story you wrote. Saying you can't someone's mistake do something for another person I don't think that's I'm afraid I'm not right.
Ask pairs to compare what they have written.Examinations Services Colombia Preparing Students for PET (Answer: the second sentence is more thoughtful of the recipient.CambridgeESOL. it begins by apologising for being about to cause possible offence. You accidentally pour fruit juice on someone's white suit/skirt at a party.30 pm. For more PET classroom activities. Your teenage son or daughter comes home at midnight when you told them to be home at 9. 3. Your friend asks you to look after his pet snake while he goes on holiday. They should aim to be as polite as possible. You are a football manager and your goalkeeper keeps letting goals in. please visit www. Finish by writing a model on the board for students to copy. Who was the most polite? Was it always appropriate to be polite? Ask students to write a letter of apology to the person in situation A. it replaces 'bad' with 'not good' which is a bit softer and it makes reference to a time when their work was better.org/teach/PET Source: Cambridge ESOL . 1.) Read out the following situations and ask students to write down exactly what they would say to the person concerned. 2. 4.
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