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Session 2

The Reading Paper

What is this session for?


This session looks at 13 practical activities to make the reading tasks of the exam more
familiar and more enjoyable. They can help teachers and their students increase their
awareness of useful skills such as scanning texts and predicting content and at the same time
they get a chance to act as the examiner and try to get an insight into how the questions are
designed and what potential pitfalls there may be for the unwary.
A lot of the skills built up here will also help students with their own writing as they focus on
written discourse and paragraphing.
An example of each task has been included, published with the permission of UCLES from
one of their handbooks - in this case from 2001. This is purely for demonstration purposes in
order to explain the activities more clearly. For the classroom the same activities should be
done with the students own coursebooks or with copies of exam papers bought for this
purpose from UCLES.

Who is this session for?


It is envisaged that this session will be presented to teachers by a senior member of staff as it
is written. Some activities may be presented in full, others merely explained. At IH Opole, the
entire session lasted 60 minutes with teachers having a very limited look at each activity and
being made aware of how this could be expanded in class. The teachers will then use these
techniques as and when the task types occur in the coursebook they are using and, rather
than handing out copies of the activities shown here, they will adapt the materials in the
coursebook instead.

What does the session include?


Reading task 1: Matching paragraphs with headings 3 activities
Reading task 2: Multiple choice questions
4 activities
Reading task 3: Text insertion
3 activities
Reading task 4: Multiple matching
3 activities

2.1

FCE Paper 1 Part 1: Matching headings to paragraphs


What can we do and why?
We can help students to:
2.1A look at text organisation
2.1B work from the paragraphs.
2.1C work from the headings

2.1A

Looking at text organisation


How to do it
Type up a piece of text into a solid block. The students work out where the paragraphs fall
and, by doing that, they see how each paragraph contains different information. Allow the
students time to compare ideas and discuss and justify any differences of opinion they may
have

Why do it?
This is a useful introduction to the task as it immediately focuses attention on paragraphs and
their main topic focus. This idea comes from Process Writing by White and Arndt, published by
Longman and they have an example on pages 152/153. The text given here (Session 2
Matching Paragraphs With Headings Worksheet 1) is the same as is used in session 1, an
overview of the exam. This means that you may photocopy this for use in class or in sessions
as it is an original text created for this session. This is a fairly easy script to use as it is
basically split into paragraphs based on the different papers.

2.1B

Working from paragraphs


How to do it
Give all the students the first paragraph of the text along with the title of the text (Session 2
Matching Paragraphs With Headings Worksheet 2). Then put the students in pairs and ask
them to write down, on a piece of paper, the numbers 1- 7. Explain that they are going to read
7 paragraphs from the text and, for each, they have to decide between them a short, snappy
headline that would sum up the main point of the paragraph. To make the task clear, elicit
ideas, whole class, for the original paragraph.
Once they have looked at all the paragraphs and written a possible heading for each, they
should join together with students from other groups to discuss what they wrote and why and,
finally, as a group, decide on the best heading for each paragraph. At this point they can look
at the given headings to see:
i) how close theirs are to what was given
ii)how easy it is to match the headings now that they have written their own

Why do it?
This activity allows the students to see how the examiners and their peers look at information
and what other people consider to be the overall meaning of a piece of writing.

2.1C

Working from the headings


How to do it
The students can either guess a number of key words that they expect to find when they read
each paragraph or they can write a short summary of what they expect the paragraph to be

about. They then read the different paragraphs to see how well they did and how easy it is,
now, to match the two.
In the example given (Session 2 Matching Paragraphs With Headings Worksheet 3) look
at the first heading as a whole group. Tell them that the text as a whole is on the topic of
sailing. The first heading is Sailing tends to run in families. First of all elicit synonyms, give
the group an example to start them off and then let them brainstorm:
families relatives, relations, brother, father, sister etc
Feedback ideas from the students and see which actually appear in the text. Even if their
ideas arent written in the text they should be able to pick out which paragraph goes with that
heading (paragraph 3) because they have been thinking so hard about the meaning implicit in
the heading.
Now look at heading B Theres no hiding these sailors ambitions. This time, with the
students help, write a short paragraph, using their elicited ideas, which this heading could
refer to. When finished, make sure that all the students are happy with what is written and
then read out the actual paragraph (5) to see how close or far their ideas corresponded to the
actual paragraph in the text.
Now split the group into 6 sub-groups and give each a heading (C-H). They do the same as
before, first thinking of key words and then putting them into a short paragraph that they think
the heading refers to. Once all the groups have finished they swap paragraphs BUT NOT
HEADINGS. The students now get the entire text and try to find the paragraph that relates to
the one they now have in front of them. Although they do not know what the original heading
was, in theory, they should be able to work out which paragraph the other students were trying
to recreate.

Why do it?
This activity helps to build students ability to predict content from a heading and thus prepare
themselves for what they are about to read.
In the exam students should read the whole article quickly to get the overall gist. Then
go back to each paragraph to see its function as a part of the whole. This should enable
them to understand how each given headline could be applied to the individual
paragraphs

2.2

FCE Paper 1 Part 2: Multiple Choice comprehension


What can we do and why?
2.2 A Give the question but not the choices. Students identify which lines of the text contain
the necessary information
2.2 B Give the question but not the choices for the students to find the answer and put into
their own words.
2.2 C Give the four choices and ask students to identify which three are wrong and why.
2.2 D Give the question and ask the students to try to come up with four possible answers,
three of which are wrong.

2.2A

Where is the information?


How to do it
Give out the text Session 2 Multiple Choice Worksheet 1 and the questions Session 2
Multiple Choice Worksheet 2. Tell the students to look at the first question and, without
answering it or even looking at the four choices available, identify the line(s) in the text where
the answer can be found. If you dont trust the learners not to look at the choices give out or
dictate the questions only, without the choices. The learners work alone or in pairs to identify
where the necessary information can be found and then get together with others to compare
what they thought. They should justify their answers if there are any disagreements.
In this example the relevant section of the text can be found in paragraph 1 of Session 2
Multiple Choice Worksheet 3.

Why do it?
This is a simple task which increases the students ability to find relevant information quickly and
efficiently. The value of this kind of exercise should be obvious; by learning to find relevant
information in the text as quickly as possible, the students will then have more time to read
around the section in more detail in order to find the correct answer to the question.

2.2B Working out the answer without the choices.


How to do it
Look at question 2 on Session 2 Multiple Choice Worksheet 2The question is What does
that in line 26 refer to? First of all, we find that the answer is in the second paragraph (Session
2 Multiple Choice Worksheet 3). Reading more carefully we can see that before the word that
the writer refers to some possible examples of star behaviour that you might expect to find
amongst radio presenters. Without the choices, students might guess having people doing their
make-up or star signs on their doors. This is unlikely to be a choice so the students have to
learn how to rephrase; perhaps behaviour expected from famous stars. Students then look at
the actual choices (Worksheet Session 2 Multiple Choice 2) and C is the obvious choice.

Why do it?
The reasons for asking the students to work out the answers for themselves without having the
four choices are:

2.2C

Because the choices are often deliberately designed to mislead and confuse and therefore
students can find it more difficult to choose than to find an answer alone.
To enable students to think about how the answer in the text may be rewritten so as not to
make the correct choice immediately obvious.

Why are three choices wrong?


How to do it
Look at question 3 on Session 2 Multiple Choice Worksheet 2. Again, ask students to find
where the relevant information is written (answers given on Session 2 Multiple Choice
Worksheet 3) and then tell the students what the correct answer is (D). Now ask the students to
read the paragraph carefully and say why each of the other answers is incorrect.
In this example:
A: Untrue. She says, There has been the odd mistake which implies that there has been more
than one.
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B: Not explicitly stated. She talks about nerves but doesnt say whether or not nerves caused
the problem mentioned here
C: She says Thats one occasion that will stay with me forever. The implication is that she
wont be able to forget about it, not that other people keep reminding her

Why do it?
Often the multiple-choice answers seem to give more than one correct choice. This may be
because it is possible to infer that one answer is correct using our knowledge of the world or the
topic of the text, but the text itself does not give us this information. If it is not explicitly stated in
the text then it cannot be the correct answer. This is, after all, a reading comprehension not a
general knowledge quiz. Finding why answers are incorrect can be as important, if not more so,
than identifying which is correct.

2.2 D

Write your own choices


How to do it
Look at question 4 on Session 2 Multiple Choice Worksheet 2 with the whole group, without
looking at the choices given in the question. The question is One point Margherita makes about
her job is that she.... Ask the students to read the relevant section (Session 2 Multiple Choice
Worksheet 3 paragraph 4 is where this is mentioned) and think of what the answer is. (The
correct answer is that she enjoys talking to the people whose records she plays). Then ask the
students in groups to read through the text again and try to think of any other choices that might
be given. When the students have thought of three other possibilities they join together to
discuss what they thought and why.
At this point you can show them the actual choices given to see if they were similar to those the
students came up with and, if not, whether they think the choices in the exam were more or less
difficult than their own and why.

Why do it?
Asking students to think up four possible answers is very difficult. One or two wrong choices
may be easy to write but not all three. The value of this exercise, though, is to try to get the
students thinking like examiners, trying to catch each other out by finding answers that, at first
glance, look correct, but with more careful scrutiny prove not to be.
In the exam the students should read the whole text to gain an overall understanding,
then scan to find the relevant section for each question and then read that section more
thoroughly to try to answer the question for themselves and, if necessary, look at the
alternative choices to see how three of them can be discounted.

2.3 FCE Paper 1 Part 3, CAE Paper 3 Part 6. Text Insertion


What can we do and why?
2.3 A
Cut up a text and get students to put it back together, examining the words and
phrases that enabled them to do this
2.3 B
Look at the removed pieces and ask questions that will be answered if they are
inserted in the correct place
2.3 C
Look at the text before and after the missing phrases to see how the two pieces can be
linked

2.3A

Cut up text
How to do it
In Session 2 Text Insertion Worksheet 1 this section of the reading paper has been rewritten
and should be cut up where the spaces occur. Clues have been highlighted by changing the
font to bold italic. Simply cut the text up and give to students in pairs. They then have to
recreate the text seeing how the marked sections help them to decide where the sections go.
These are as follows:
I shouted automatically, That's me!' ......

What was I saying?

had suggested that we might climb again together........ I took no persuading,


small plastic bag filled with the coolest, clearest water that you could imagine......It was
heaven. I had wondered what was taking so long; he had found some trickling over
mosses and with great patience had captured half a cupful in the plastic bag.
we saw that storm clouds were tumbling over the Nantile hills like a huge waterfall, their
progress slow, but threatening......We ignored their presence
our heatwave was coming to a sudden end.....We collected the rope and hurried down to
our camp, racing against nature
the first rumbles of distant thunder sent us hurrying into the tent.....A storm in the hills
we lay there marvelling at the power of nature.......We no longer needed a plastic bag to
catch the water. The rain came down in sheets, drumming on the tent, but we were dry in
our man-made cavern
power and the majesty of the storm around us.........Finally, it died away l
and started up the steep slab above. When I neared the top, I could see John's feet
dangling in space. He had obviously found somewhere comfortable to sit and look at the
view........As I got closer, he peered down
Once the students have ordered the text, ask them to justify their ordering as listed above. As
can be seen, the clues are sometimes pronouns, sometimes synonyms or opposites and
sometimes shown by linking words, often contrastive (but, however, despite etc.)

Why do it?
Any study of written discourse is useful for this section of the exam. If a text is cut up into
paragraphs or even less ordered pieces and the students work together to reorder it, they will
be looking at overall meaning but also at pronouns, conjunctions and other discourse markers.
Alternatively, the text can be left whole and the students can examine the use of referencing,
conjunction etc. The cut up text probably makes them think harder and is more interesting. If the
text is long or the students are not very good at this, key words can be highlighted which will
help them. This will also enable them to see which words are useful when they next try to do the
exercise without any help

2.3B

Asking questions
How to do it
The removed sections of text have been chosen so that it is possible to find where they
originally came from. As has been seen in part a) of this section, there are many linguistic clues
which can help us to put a text together, pronouns, linking words, synonyms etc. These are all
what are known as cohesive devices that hold the text together in a meaningful way. Texts
should also have coherence i.e. there should be logical sense as well as grammatical. As an
example:
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The girl walked along the street. She was cold because it was long.
This is cohesive she refers to the girl and it refers to the street. However, it isnt very
coherent. Where is the logical link between length of road and coldness? We can infer logicality
by assuming that it was a cold day and she wasnt adequately dressed but we would probably
expect the writer to make his meaning more clear.
The girl walked along the street. He was tired because he had been walking along them for
several hours
This is coherent in that there is a logical link between the length of time spent walking and the
tiredness but doesnt have cohesiveness because he cannot refer to The girl and they cannot
refer to a street.
For the student to know that they have made the correct choice, there must be both
cohesiveness and coherence and this can be checked by looking at the removed sections of
text and asking questions that you would expect to be able to answer if you were to place the
section of text in the correct place.
With the students look at text A from Session 2 Text Insertion Worksheet 2 and either give or
elicit questions as follows:
Finally, it died away like the outgoing tide and, in the deepening silence, sleep drifted into the
tent. The next day would bring another adventure.
What died away? After it died away there was silence. What noise did it make? What happened
the next day?
The correct position for this extract is 19 see 2 Text Insertion Worksheet Session 3
Ask the students to find the answers to the three questions:
They were listening to the power and the majesty of the storm around them
The writer had referred to distant thunder and also the rain drumming on the tent
The next day they went climbing again
Here we have clear answers to our three questions and, in addition, the correct pronoun (it) to
refer to storm
Now tell the students to do the same with the other extracts. Write questions for each one that
they would expect to find answered when the extract is replaced into the text. They then carry
out the exam task and check their choices by making sure that they can answer their questions.
As an alternative, the students, in groups, think of their own questions for each extract. Then,
when each group has decided on the answers they join together and question each other.
So, for example, student A says that 17 is G. Then B asks A the questions they (B) had
thought of for G. A then has to find the answers to the questions either just before or just after
answer 17. If they cant answer Bs questions, there is a good chance that they have made the
wrong decision.

Why do it?

The asking of the questions gives the students a clear and easy way of checking that their
choices are the correct ones.

2.3C

Bridging the gap


How to do it
In this activity the students ignore the choices A-I and instead concentrate on the body of the
text Session 2 Text Insertion Worksheet 3. The idea is to look at what is written before the
gap and what comes after the gap and to try to decide what information could link the two
together
Again, look first with the whole group. Before the gap (0) there is an exciting introduction from
the middle of a climb. After the gap, he states that he was back climbing after a gap of many
years.
Elicit ideas from the students and write to the board or, if the students are unable to think of
what might come in the gap, try to help them with ideas.
There could be an explanation of where he is (which mountains). There could be an idea of how
he was feeling (exhilaration, fear). We would certainly expect some sort of further detail of what
he was doing.
Now look at the correct extract H (Session 2 Text Insertion Worksheet 2). There is the further
explanation of what he was doing. An implied indication of how he was feeling
(surprise/astonishment at where he was and what he had just said) and more detail of where he
was (Snowdonia)
This is another possible approach to this task, using the students ability to predict likely content
of the missing extracts and then looking for the extract that most closely resembles what they
predicted. They can then double check by using the questioning approach in part (b).

Why do it?
This activity is another method of increasing the students awareness of how a text holds
together and therefore helps them to predict likely content of missing information.
In the exam the students should read the whole text quickly to get an overall
understanding and then attempt to place the individual sentences, making sure that all
referents link logically to the text around the gap and that once they have been inserted,
the text flows coherently and cohesively.

2.4 FCE Paper 1 Part 4, CAE Paper 1 parts 1 and 4:

Multiple Matching

This is not a difficult task but requires good scanning skills and a logical approach by the
students so that they are not wasting time unnecessarily

What can we do and why?


2.4 A
2.4 B
2.4 C

Predict tasks from the individual section headings


Find synonyms
Summarise texts for important information

2.4A

Predicting from headings


How to do it
In this example, give the students the introductory paragraph at the top of Session 2 Multiple
Matching Worksheet 1 and get them to predict five words they would expect to find in the text.
Feedback from the students to the board and see what different words were chosen and why.
Then give them the text (Session 2 Multiple Matching Worksheet 2) and ask them simply to
find as many of their words as possible within a very limited time period (1 minute).

Why do it?
Students need to build their scanning skills and one way of doing this is to give them a text
heading and get them to predict five or so key words that they think may appear in the text.
They then have a very limited time to see how many of these words they can find. This not only
builds scanning skills, but also encourages students to predict content before carrying out a
reading task.

2.4B

Finding synonyms
How to do it.
With the students, look at the first question on Session 2 Multiple Matching Worksheet 1.
Which person developed sporting skills?
With the students, brainstorm what they might expect to find in the relevant text. These could be
direct synonyms of key words:
Fitness, training, ability, control (for sporting skills)
Or they could be, as in (a) above, words that they predict on the topic of sport.
Specific sports (football,cricket etc), Equipment (ball, pads, nets, goals, pitch) etc
Once the students have made a comprehensive list, they look at the texts and find, as quickly
as possible, which section(s) referred to sporting skills and also which of their ideas were
mentioned.
Looking at Session 2 Multiple Matching Worksheet 2, we find that it is Peter who played a
sport (football)
and learned how to control, dribble and kick the ball
Now, with the other 12 questions, split the class into groups and give each group 3 or 4 different
questions. Dont let them see any of the other questions. The students do the same as above,
writing synonyms or predicted words. These are passed to a second group who still dont know
what the original question was that elicited these ideas. They try to work out what the question
asked. If it is easy to guess, the choice of words was obviously clear and well made. If not,
perhaps the group need to think a bit more about their prediction skills.
The students now carry out the reading task for their own four questions and feedback on how
close their predictions were.

Why do it?

Whilst some of the words that students need may be exactly as written in the questions, there
will often be times when the same information is given but using an alternative word or phrase.
Therefore, it is not just a case of scanning for specific vocabulary but also working out, in
advance, what items of vocabulary may be used in the text to give the same information as that
asked for in the questions.
The more students do this, the easier and quicker it will be for them to find information in the
text and the more time they will have to read around the relevant section to make sure that it
does indeed refer to the question they are trying to answer.

2.4C

Summarising texts
How to do it
Instead of giving the task as normal, give each student or group of students a different part of
the text from Session 2 Multiple Matching Worksheet 2 and a very limited time in which to
read and understand it. They then turn their paper over so they cant refer back to it. The
questions are then drawn out of a hat one by one and, if the students have memorised and
understood their section, for each question at least one student should be able to provide the
answer.
Once the students have got used to this sort of activity, you can extend it by getting them all to
read the whole thing, again without having seen the questions. You then read the questions and
the students try to remember which section each appears in and, if possible, what synonyms or
other information was given and what the text actually said in answer to each question. What
youre building up here is the ability to remember large amounts of information from a text
without necessarily having questions in advance in order to focus their attention on specific
aspects of the text.

Why do it?
This is a vital skill here as the students will be able to read each extract quickly and should then
be able to memorise large chunks of each so that they will remember approximately where the
necessary information can be found when they look at the questions. It is far more time
consuming to look at each question and have to trawl through all the texts until you find the
relevant section than to read quickly through the whole thing and be able to remember roughly
what each section is about and so go directly to that information on reading the question. This
exercise will help students to improve their skimming skills
In the exam the students should read all the texts before referring to the questions. By
remembering where much of the information is, they will save themselves a lot of time.
The least efficient way of doing this is to go through each question one by one as this
requires re-reading the texts time and time again. Students should also remember to
read around the key word once they have found it as, occasionally, it can be misleading.

10

Session 2
Matching Paragraphs With Headings
Worksheet 1
For use with activities in Section 2.1

The FCE exam is an upper intermediate level exam in which students take 5 papers;
Reading, Writing, Use of English, Listening and Speaking. Students dont need to
achieve a pass mark in every section, it is the overall mark that is important. Each
section carries an equal share of the overall mark, i.e. 20%. The CAE exam has the
same 5 papers and the same allocation of marks and is very similar in task type to the
FCE, the difference being that the students need to show a far greater degree of
accuracy and range at CAE. The reading paper requires different reading skills.
Skimming and scanning for gist or to find specific items of vocabulary, intensive
reading in order to answer multiple choice questions or to insert removed sections
back into the text. Although seemingly straightforward, there can be problems for
students, especially in the multiple choice section where the wrong choices are often
deliberately written to confuse and mislead. The writing paper involves a compulsory
letter writing task in which the student has to carry out the task set in an appropriate,
logical style using both writing conventions as well as showing their own linguistic
ability both in terms of grammatical accuracy and range of vocabulary. The second
section involves a choice from a range of writing types including articles, reports,
stories and informal letters. There is also a question on a set book and students need
to realise that they shouldnt answer this question unless they have read the book in
question. Vague waffle will not be enough to obtain a pass. In fact this is true of all
parts straying from the point and writing a memorised script will not fool the
examiners and will fail. Task completion is vital. Section 5 is the speaking paper.
Generally there are two students who are interviewed by one interlocutor, whilst a
second examiner simply listens and makes most of the decisions on what grades to
award. Speaking is not simply a matter of how well the students speak English but
also involves timing, sticking to the point and turn taking skills which dont always
come naturally even in the students own language. Whilst passing Cambridge Exams
is, in a large part, down to ability in English alone, exam technique can make a big
difference in deciding how well the student performs and, in borderline cases, can
mean the difference between a pass and a fail.

11

Session 2
Matching Paragraphs With Headings
Worksheet 2

Rock the Boat


0
It was windy when I arrived in Largs. Not
much sun but perfect for sailing, I thought.
As I fought the gale to shut my car door, I
noticed there were lots of people around but
no sailing boats in the choppy grey water. It
was race day, so what was going on?

1
The boats, or 'Oppies' as they are
affectionately called, were lying bottom-up
on the beach, their sails tightly wrapped
beside them. There's been a delay,' the
race organiser said, pointing at two flags
waving in the breeze. He said the red-andwhite-striped one meant that there was a
delay, while the red, white and blue one
meant it would be for three hours.
2
No one looks disappointed, probably
because they are accustomed to being ruled
by the weather. Competitors casually
dressed in baggy shorts, T-shirts, deck
shoes and an assortment of anoraks and
baseball caps played on bikes or
skateboards or just chatted to kill the time.
Spectators sat in groups in the clubhouse,
eating rolls and drinking tea.
3
I suddenly felt very pale and 'indoorsy' as I
sat down with some of the tanned, blond
champs. Nicky Barnes, 15, Elliot Willis, 14,
Eddie Huntley, 13, and Paul CampbellJones, 14, have been sailing for years, and
certainly have the sea in their blood. Paul's
dad sailed in the Olympics and Nicky started
sailing because her dad dragged her along.
'I was terrified at first,' she confesses.
Recently they successfully competed at the
world championships.

4
Varying degrees of hard work go into their
preparation, but Nicky does the most. She trains
in winter and says it is hard, 'especially when all
your friends are out partying'. Then she
practises techniques, boat handling and wind
strategy. Meanwhile, Elliot had learned how the
shape of clouds and hills affects the wind. Eddie
is more relaxed and a bit more confident about
it: 'I don't like training. I've got better things to
do.'
5
They all get on well, joking and teasing each
other, but out on the water, competition is fierce.
Paul doesn't hesitate to say the best thing about
sailing is winning. They've all had nasty
moments, but no one will admit to falling in. The
boys happily told me of Micky's fear of fish, and
Elliot tells a good tale about his boat being hit by
a shark.
6
Other sports, they stressed, tend to take second
place: Elliot could play cricket for his area but
doesn't, and Nicky plays hockey, 'but I'm not
allowed to do it before big events'. The
comments of their non-sailing friends about their
boatie lifestyles ranged from a bit weird' to
'really cool'. Elliot thinks that only people who
are jealous want to make fun of them.
7
With the three-hour delay nearly up, the
excitement was building. People struggled into
their wetsuits and started preparing their boats.
The wind was still strong and the black clouds
racing, but they couldn't wait to get out. It might
just have been the weather, but I had to agree
that the Oppie sailing scene was 'really cool'.

12

Session 2
Worksheet 3

Matching Paragraphs With Headings

You are going to read a newspaper article about sailing in single-handed boats known as
Oppies. Choose the most suitable heading from the list A-I for each part (1-7) of the article.
There is one extra heading which you do not need to use.
A

Sailing tends to run in families

Theres no hiding these sailors ambitions

Sailors are used to waiting around

Overcoming problems is part of the challenge of sailing

Enthusiasm about sailing was infectious

Theres always more you can learn about sailing

Some basics about sailing were explained

These sailors have other talents

The sailing conditions werent as good as I thought

13

Session 2

Multiple Choice

Worksheet 1

For use with activity 2.2A


You are going to read a magazine article about a radio presenter. For questions 1- 6, choose the answer
(A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text
A New Voice on the Radio

Line 25

Margherita Taylor talks to Sarah Edghill about what it's like being at Capital Radio
Margherita says that her own musical
Margherita Taylor is the only female
presenter at Capital Radio, one of London's top tastes are varied. But she doesn't pick her own
music radio stations. She got into radio while she music for her shows. The Capital computer
was a student in Birmingham. Along with selects the records in advance from a list
hundreds of other hopefuls, she and a friend approved by the station managers. 'The station
queued for hours in the rain to take part in a has a certain sound, and if we all picked our
'Search for a Star' competition held by a local own music, it wouldn't sound like Capital, she
radio station, BRMB. 'I had to read a travel script says. ' But for someone who likes music, this is a
and a weather script, talk about myself for a dream job. I get to go to concerts and meet the
minute, then introduce a record. After that, they bands you can hear on my show. It's great to
sent me back out into the rain, she says. But hear the "behind the scenes" gossip.
Most people would expect that a
within days the phone call came to say that her
voice had earned her a regular show on BRMB. presenter's most important qualities are a nice
Truly the stuff dreams are made of. After working voice and huge amounts of confidence, but
there for eighteen months, she was offered a job Margherita says that basic maths is handy as
well. 'You have to make sure that you've got an
with Capital.
Margherita is a London girl and arriving eye on everything that's going on in the studio,
at Capital was like coming home. I grew but you've got to be able to add and subtract
up listening to Capital Radio, she says. 'People and think in minutes and seconds, she says.
say, "Wasn't it frightening, joining such 'You're dealing with timed records, and with
well-known presenters?" But everyone here is so announcements and commercials that are also
down to earth. It would be off-putting if the timed precisely, and you have to be ready to
others had people doing their make-up, or star switch to the news at exactly the right second. If
signs on their office doors. But there's none of you're going over to a live event, you need to be
that Mick Brown, for instance, finishes his ready for that on time, not a second earlier or later.
This isn't the sort of girl to let the rock n
show and wanders off to get the bus home with
roll lifestyle go to her head. Even if she did, her
everyone else.
Margherita claims never to get nervous family would bring her down to earth. 'When I
before a show nerves are for the weak. 'You started at Capital the only thing my brothers
can't get nervous because then you make asked was whether they'd get free records, she
mistakes, she says. Of course, there has been remembers. 'And my mum couldn't even find the
the odd disaster. 'For instance, when I did my first station on her radio.'
Margherita Taylor is very nice and very
live concert show at BRMB, I'd only done one
programme. In front of a crowd of 50,000, I went easy-going, but very much in control. She is so
on stage to introduce a certain well-known much a 'Capital Radio girl' that you might
singer. I said: "Please welcome our next think she is just doing a good job for the
performer You know her best for hits like ..." Then station's publicity department, although you
I just went blank. There was this silence from the know what she's saying really comes from the
crowd, and for the life of me I couldn't think what heart. She smiles a lot, laughs a lot and is
she'd sung. That's one occasion that will stay generally a great advert for Capital.
with me for ever.'

14

Session 2
Worksheet 2

Multiple Choice

For use with activities 2.2A, 2.2B, 2.2C and 2.2D


1 What do we learn about Margherita in the first paragraph?
A
B
C
D

She became a radio presenter by chance.


She expected to win the competition.
She was keen to become a radio presenter.
She practised before the competition.

2 What does 'that' in line 25 refer to?


A
B
C
D

The fame of the other presenters


Margherita's fear of the other staff
Self-important behaviour by the other presenters
Bad treatment of Margherita by the other staff

3 What do we learn about Margherita's first live concert show?


A
B
C
D

It is the only time she has made a serious mistake.


Being nervous was not the cause of the problem.
People often remind her of what happened then.
She had not expected to have the problem she had.

4 One point Margherita makes about her job is that she


A
B
C

has changed her attitude to music.


is unhappy that the records she plays are chosen for her,
likes most of the music that she plays on her show.

enjoys talking to the people whose records she plays.

5 What does Margherita say about presenting a show?


A
B
C
D

It is essential to keep in mind what is going to happen next.


It is more complicated than she had previously thought.
The ability to add and subtract is the most important requirement.
The content of a show is sometimes changed suddenly.

6 How have Margherita's family reacted to her success?


A
B
C
D

With caution
Without interest
With surprise
Without excitement.

6 In the final paragraph, the writer says that Margherita


A
B
C
D

was different from what she had expected.


genuinely believes that Capital is a good radio station.
feels it necessary to talk about Capital Radio all the time.
has already changed her job at Capital Radio.

15

Session 2
Worksheet 3

Multiple Choice

Finding the answers to the multiple choice questions


For use with activities 2.2A, 2.2B, 2.2C and 2.2D

Line 25

Margherita Taylor is the only female


presenter at Capital Radio, one of London's
top music radio stations. She got into radio
while she was a student in Birmingham.
Along with hundreds of other hopefuls, she
and a friend queued for hours in the rain to
take part in a 'Search for a Star' competition
held by a local radio station, BRMB. 'I had to
read a travel script and a weather script, talk
about myself for a minute, then introduce a
record. After that, they sent me back out into
the rain, she says. But within days the phone
call came to say that her voice had earned
her a regular show on BRMB. Truly the stuff
dreams are made of. After working there for
eighteen months, she was offered a job with
Capital. (8)
Margherita is a London girl and arriving at
Capital was like coming home. I grew up listening
to Capital Radio, she says. 'People say, "Wasn't it
frightening, joining such well-known presenters?"
But everyone here is so down to earth. It would
be off-putting if the others had people doing
their make-up, or star signs on their office
doors. But there's none of that(9) Mick
Brown, for instance, finishes his show and
wanders off to get the bus home with everyone
else.
Margherita claims never to get nervous
before a show nerves are for the weak. 'You
can't get nervous because then you make
mistakes, she says. Of course, there has been
the odd disaster. 'For instance, when I did my
first live concert show at BRMB, I'd only
done one programme. In front of a crowd of
50,000, I went on stage to introduce a certain
well-known singer. I said: "Please welcome
our next performer You know her best for
hits like ..." Then I just went blank. There was
this silence from the crowd, and for the life of
me I couldn't think what she'd sung. That's
one occasion that will stay with me for ever.'
(10)

16

Margherita says that her own musical


tastes are varied. But she doesn't pick her
own music for her shows. The Capital
computer selects the records in advance
from a list approved by the station
managers. 'The station has a certain sound,
and if we all picked our own music, it
wouldn't sound like Capital, she says. ' But
for someone who likes music, this is a dream
job. I get to go to concerts and meet the bands
you can hear on my show. It's great to hear
the "behind the scenes" gossip. (11)
Most people would expect that a
presenter's most important qualities are a nice
voice and huge amounts of confidence, but
Margherita says that basic maths is handy as
well. 'You have to make sure that you've got an
eye on everything that's going on in the
studio, but you've got to be able to add and
subtract and think in minutes and
seconds, she says. 'You're dealing with
timed records, and with announcements
and commercials that are also timed
precisely, and you have to be ready to
switch to the news at exactly the right
second. If you're going over to a live event,
you need to be ready for that on time, not a
second earlier or later.(12)
This isn't the sort of girl to let the rock n
roll lifestyle go to her head. Even if she did, her
family would bring her down to earth. 'When I
started at Capital the only thing my
brothers asked was whether they'd get free
records, she remembers. 'And my mum
couldn't even find the station on her radio.'
(13)
Margherita Taylor is very nice and very
easy-going, but very much in control. She is
so much a 'Capital Radio girl' that you
might think she is just doing a good job
for the station's publicity department,
although you know what she's saying really
comes from the heart. She smiles a lot,
laughs a lot and is generally a great advert
for Capital.(14)

Session 2
Worksheet 1

Text Insertion

For use with activity 2.3A. Example of Paper 1, Part 3 text. From UCLES FCE Handbook, June
2001. Spaced and highlighted for cutting up and re-ordering task.
Welsh Mountains
'Taking in!' The words floated down from on high to be swiftly followed by the tightening of the
climbing rope by my feet. I shouted automatically, That's me!'
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------What was I saying and what was I doing standing on a thin rock ledge, tied to a spike of rock
with space below my feet and the mountains of Snowdonia spread out before me?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It all seemed very familiar, but for many years my climbing rope had hung frustratingly at the
foot of my stairs, and I was now sixty. John, my old climbing partner on so many climbs, had
suggested that we might climb again together.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I took no persuading, and so here I was. The legs didn't bend so easily now, but the spirit was
more than willing. The thrill of climbing was still the same, and conquering the next few feet of
rock was just as exciting as always.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------John and I had shared so many memorable climbs. My mind went back to the last long climb
that we had enjoyed together, which was on Lliwedd mountain during a June heatwave. The
streams had dried up and all the grasses were burnt yellow by the sun. As we neared the cliff
and stopped for a rest, John suddenly disappeared to return some considerable time later
clutching a small plastic bag filled with the coolest, clearest water that you could imagine.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It was heaven. I had wondered what was taking so long; he had found some trickling over
mosses and with great patience had captured half a cupful in the plastic bag. We took it in turns
to have a sip until it had gone and then plodded across the hillside to our chosen route.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------We climbed in the shadow of a great cliff. We finally arrived at the top of the climb on the west
summit. To our amazement, we saw that storm clouds were tumbling over the Nantile hills
like a huge waterfall, their progress slow, but threatening.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------We ignored their presence and relaxed in the evening sunlight, watching their relentless
progress out of the corner of our eyes for some considerable time, until the truth suddenly
dawned upon us: our heatwave was coming to a sudden end.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------We collected the rope and hurried down to our camp, racing against nature. John cooked
our dinner as the first rumbles of distant thunder sent us hurrying into the tent
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A storm in the hills is an experience not to be missed. We completed our meal, and crept into
our sleeping bags. Thunder echoed around the hills and lightning lit the landscape. Sleep would
not come and we lay there marvelling at the power of nature
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------We no longer needed a plastic bag to catch the water. The rain came down in sheets,
drumming on the tent, but we were dry in our man-made cavern, fascinated by the power
and the majesty of the storm around us.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Finally, it died away like the outgoing tide and, in the deepening silence, sleep drifted into the
tent. The next day would bring another adventure.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Then suddenly I felt a gentle tug on the rope, followed by a more urgent one, suggesting that I
make a move. 'Climbing!' I shouted, and started up the steep slab above. When I neared the
top, I could see John's feet dangling in space. He had obviously found somewhere
comfortable to sit and look at the view.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------As I got closer, he peered down, grinning from ear to ear. 'Daydreaming?' he enquired.
Nothing had changed. Time had marched on and my limbs were a little stiffer, but the hills were
the same.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I can still share the wild hills with the wind and the rain. They are my mountains of longing;
when I am not there my only wish is to return, for they have been my friends for so long.

17

Session 2

Text Insertion

Worksheet 2

For use with activities 2.3B and 2.3C


Look at the following paragraphs. Each of them has been extracted from the text on Worksheet Text
Insertion 3.

A Finally, it died away like the outgoing tide and, in the deepening silence, sleep drifted into
the tent. The next day would bring another adventure.
B I took no persuading, and so here I was. The legs didn't bend so easily now, but the spirit
was more than willing. The thrill of climbing was still the same, and conquering the next few feet
of rock was just as exciting as always.
C
As I got closer, he peered down, grinning from ear to ear. 'Daydreaming?' he enquired.
Nothing had changed. Time had marched on and my limbs were a little stiffer, but the hills were
the same.
D It was heaven. I had wondered what was taking so long; he had found some trickling over
mosses and with great patience had captured half a cupful in the plastic bag. We took it in turns
to have a sip until it had gone and then plodded across the hillside to our chosen route.
E
A storm in the hills is an experience not to be missed. We completed our meal, and crept
into our sleeping bags. Thunder echoed around the hills and lightning lit the landscape. Sleep
would not come and we lay there marvelling at the power of nature.
F
I needn't have worried: he was up in no time and it was all that I could do to take the rope
in fast enough. We set off down the mountains as fast as we dared in the conditions.
G
We ignored their presence and relaxed in the evening sunlight, watching their relentless
progress out of the corner of our eyes for some considerable time, until the truth suddenly
dawned upon us: our heatwave was coming to a sudden end.
H
What was I saying and what was I doing standing on a thin rock ledge, tied to a spike of
rock with space below my feet and the mountains of Snowdonia spread out before me?

18

Session 2

Text Insertion Worksheet 3

For use with activities 2.3b and 2.3c


You are going to read an extract from a book about a man's experiences of climbing in Wales.
Seven paragraphs have been removed from the extract. Choose from the paragraphs A-H the
one which fits each gap (15-20). There is one extra paragraph which you do not need to use.
There is an example at the beginning (0).

Welsh Mountains
Taking in!' The words floated down from on
high to be swiftly followed by the tightening of
the climbing rope by my feet. I shouted
automatically, That's me!'
0
H
It all seemed very familiar, but for many years
my climbing rope had hung frustratingly at the
foot of my stairs, and I was now sixty. John,
my old climbing partner on so many climbs,
had suggested that we might climb again
together.
15
John and I had shared so many memorable
climbs. My mind went back to the last long
climb that we had enjoyed together, which was
on Lliwedd mountain during a June heatwave.
The streams had dried up and all the grasses
were burnt yellow by the sun. As we neared
the cliff and stopped for a rest, John suddenly
disappeared to return some considerable time
later clutching a small plastic bag filled with
the coolest, clearest water that you could
imagine.
16
We climbed in the shadow of a great cliff. We
finally arrived at the top of the climb on the
west summit. To our amazement, we saw that
storm clouds were tumbling over the Nantile
hills like a huge waterfall, their progress slow,
but threatening.
17

19

We collected the rope and hurried down to our


camp, racing against nature. John cooked our
dinner as the first rumbles of distant thunder
sent us hurrying into the tent
18
We no longer needed a plastic bag to catch the
water. The rain came down in sheets,
drumming on the tent, but we were dry in our
man-made cavern, fascinated by the power
and the majesty of the storm around us,
19
Then suddenly I felt a gentle tug on the rope,
followed by a more urgent one, suggesting that
I make a move. 'Climbing!' I shouted, and
started up the steep slab above. When I
neared the top, I could see John's feet
dangling in space. He had obviously found
somewhere comfortable to sit and look at the
view.

20
I can still share the wild hills with the wind and
the rain. They are my mountains of longing;
when I am not there my only wish is to return,
for they have been my friends for so long.

Session 2

Multiple Matching

Worksheet 1

For use with activities 2.4A and 2.4B


You are going to read a newspaper article in which people talk about where they played as
children. Choose from the people (A-G), and choose which person's play area (H-N) is referred
to. The people and play areas may be chosen more than once. When more than one answer is
required, these may be given in any order.

Which person
A

developed sporting skills?

mentions not going straight home from school?

still retains a sense of wonder at something seen in childhood?

enjoyed a game that could only be played with a specially shaped object?

enjoyed both being alone and with friends?

played with a family member?

now realises how lucky they were?

Whose play area(s)


H

were neglected?

is no longer the same?

seemed similar to a jail?

are described as a contrast to the home environment?

were made to substitute for something else?

was in a forbidden area

20

Session 2

Multiple Matching Worksheet 2

For use with Section 2.4


Simon
The playground was quite small. The floor
was covered with flat bricks and there were
many that were cracked or broken or
missing, and a few weeds struggled through.
It was totally enclosed on one side by the
school and on the other by high brick walls. It
was more like a prison yard - on top of the
walls was a layer of cement into which
pieces of broken glass had been stuck. After
school was finished my friends and I would
climb a lamppost outside the school and sit
on top of the wall, slowly breaking off the bits
of glass. We never thought of ourselves as
vandals.
Peter
My favourite childhood play area was the
back garden. Back in the days when I was
growing up on a large housing estate, the
'goals' would be a pair of garage doors or
two jackets laid out in the garden. I would
spend hours kicking a ball about with my
dad, learning how to control, dribble or kick it.

Patricia
One of my earliest playground memories is
of the railed playground in front of the
school I attended. Our favourite game was
hopscotch, which was played by marking
out a rectangle divided into squares and
kicking a flat, rounded stone from square to
square. It was important to find a stone of
precisely the right size and weight. Our
playground at weekends was more
exciting: the banks and paths which
surrounded Ludlow Castle and the water
meadows that stretched down to the river. I
doubt whether I fully appreciated how
fortunate we were.
Nick
I was strictly banned from the obvious
playground, a long, overgrown ditch
running through waste ground, mainly built
to take away the rain. It was irresistible to
us local schoolchildren. Its charm,
compared with the surrounding tennis
courts, football pitches and farmland, was
purely because it was out of bounds. That
area was truly where I grew up, more than
in the rest or the little town's correct and
neat suburbia, where my house was.
Alan
Julie
I come from an area of terraced houses,
Until I was twelve I was brought up on
pavements and streets. There were no
airforce camps and each camp had a small
gardens. My first school was Prince's Street playground in the middle of the houses. It
Primary and the room in which I received my was always a great meeting place and I
first lessons had large, folding glass doors
remember sitting with my friends on the
that opened onto a small playground that had swings many evenings until dark. You
grass, bushes and flowers. My amazement
would often go out and swing for hours until
at seeing these items, which are normal to
someone else came out. I always liked
most of the world, has stayed with me all my swinging.
life.
Nigel
My favourite play area was - it still is - called
Roundhead Wood, although it has fewer
trees and more barbed wire now. Here four
or five of us roared around, building camps,
climbing trees and riding bikes around the
little chalk pit in the middle. It stood for every
woodland, every jungle and even the surface
of other planets.

21