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CENTRE FOR LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Cambridge CELTA
Pre-Interview Task

CELTA applicants need to complete this Pre-Interview Task and return it to the Centre for
Language and Culture, the University of Wollongong in Dubai, together with the complete
CELTA application. After receiving and processing your application, the Centre for
Language and Culture UOWD, will contact you to schedule an interview. The Pre-Interview
Task is designed to assess your current level of English language awareness and provides
an introduction to some of the terminology that is used in teaching English as a second or
foreign language. It is also referred to in the interview. Please write your answers on a
separate piece of paper with your name and contact details and attach it to your application
form.

SECTION A
People use language to express many different social meanings, i.e. functions.

From the list of functions provided, indicate which function being expresssed in the
numbered phrases in the following dialogue. Some functions may be realised by more than
one expression.

Functions a) – k)
a) expressing a deduction f) asking for an opinion
b) expressing a promise h) apologising politely
c) accepting an invitation politely i) making an offer
d) expressing advice j) requesting a favour
e) expressing a suggestion k) expressing an invitation
(1)
Leila Can I borrow your car this afternoon? The driver is taking my brother to
Al-Ain and won’t be back until very late.
(2)
Fouzia Sure. You’d better check the petrol though. (3)It must be fairly low by now.
(4) (5)
Leila I’ll stop at a petrol station the first chance I get. Would you like to have
supper with me this evening after I get back?
(6)
Fouzia I’d love to, but I’m due at my grandmother’s at 7:30.
Leila What a shame! Well (7), how about we do it tomorrow night?
Fouzia All right then. (8) Do you think you could pick me up– my brother will want the
car?

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SECTION B
Functions (continued)
1. What communicative function is fulfilled by the following:
‘‘I’d rather have the chicken biryani.”
2. How would you introduce and practise this with a class of learners that had not previously
met or did not know how to use the expression….. I d rather

SECTION C
Vocabulary
Choose any four of the following words/expressions and for each of them,
a. Describe a context or situation a teacher could use to illustrate its meaning and usage.
b. Write an example sentence.
c. What would a learner need to know about the word/expression in order to use it
appropriately in your given context? e.g. Verb / noun, formal / informal, etc.
news look something up excellent
manage sheep while

SECTION D
Grammar / Appropriacy

Pairs of Sentences
In the following pairs of sentences, the underlined item has a different meaning in each
sentence, i.e. the speaker is using it for different purposes. For each pair, explain the
differences and how you would show the meaning with a group of learners.
Example
a) I could be late for golf tomorrow.
b) I could swim by the time I was three.

E.g. In a) the speaker uses could to indicate the possibility that he/she will arrive late.
In b) the speaker uses could to indicate an ability he/she had in the past.
To illustrate the meaning of a), I would show pictures of two friends talking on the phone, a
golf course, an office and two clock faces, one showing 3pm and the other showing 4pm. By
asking appropriate questions and feeding in information, I would establish that they had
previously organised a game of golf for four o’clock, but that one of them now has a meeting
at three o’clock and does not know how long it will last. Therefore “I could be late for golf
tomorrow depending on when the meeting finishes.”

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To illustrate the meaning of b) I would show the learners a drawing of me swimming in the
pool. I would establish that I was two at the time and that my parents had started putting me
in the pool when I was only one year old. By asking appropriate questions, I would establish
that swimming is a skill that takes time to learn and develop, e.g. “Can all children swim?”
When did I start to learn?

For each pair, explain the differences and how you would show the meaning with a group of
learners.
1) a) Marwan lived in Beirut for twenty years.
b) Ali has lived in Sydney for twenty years.

2) a) They left at eight. They should be home by now.


b) You should change your eating habits if you want to lose weight.

3) a) I used to get up early when the kids were young.


b) I’m used to getting up early – my kids are young.

SECTION E
Errors
Each of the sentences below contains an error or inappropriate use of language. How would
you explain these mistakes to an adult language learner? Keep the explanation simple but it
is not necessary to avoid grammar terminology altogether e.g. noun, verb, tense, preposition.

1) “I like to invite you to my birthday party.”


2) “I have visited Washington two years ago.”
3) “I was very upset when the other car hardly missed me.”
4) “Who went you with to the cinema last night?”
5) (Husband to wife): “Take a note please darling. For starters, I’ll have some vegetable
soup and for main course I’ll have a steak – medium – rare if you don’t mind.”

SECTION F

Sentence Stress
In the following group of words, one word carries the major stress, and it is on this word that
changes of pitch, a key element of intonation, are most evident.
e.g. “Where are you going for the summer holiday?”
“Not sure, I’ve never been to Turkey…..I’d love to go there…..”

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Now look at the following sentence:
“Would you like to cook dinner on Thursday evening?”
The major stress could conceivably be on any word in the sentence (depending on the
speaker’s intention). The speaker could give different meanings to the sentence by stressing
different words e.g. ‘Thursday’ or ‘dinner’.

1. Say the sentence aloud to yourself several times, putting the stress on three different
words. What changes of meaning occur? It is easier if you think of a context or situation
which would demand that the emphasis be given to the specific word you have in mind.

2. Write a brief explanation of these changes of meaning for three of the words in the
sentence.
“Would you like to cook dinner on Thursday evening?”

SECTION G
Sentence Stress (continued)
Now look again at the dialogue we used before. Mark the word in each sentence which
carries the major stress.
(1)
Leila Can I borrow your car this afternoon? The driver is taking my brother to
Al-Ain and won’t be back until very late.
(2)
Fouzia Sure. You’d better check the petrol though. (3)It must be fairly low by now.
(4) (5)
Leila I’ll stop at a petrol station the first chance I get. Would you like to have
supper with me this evening after I get back?
(6)
Fouzia I’d love to, but I’m due at my grandmother’s at 7:30.
Leila What a shame! Well (7), how about we do it tomorrow night?
Fouzia All right then. (8) Do you think you could pick me up– my brother will want the
car?

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