Fun Cambridge Exam Activity (7)

Posted on July 26, 2010. Filed under: ABCI 2010, Activities, CAE, CPE, FCE | Tags: , , |

Adjective Game: Warmer Thread

AIM: To elicit as many adjectives from the students as possible

This is good which you have to write reports, letters of reference when more descriptive language is required, also when student have to speak about places, best friends for example. This should be played more than ones during the term so you seen how the learners really take risks and improve their vocabulary: This activity then becomes a ‘thread’ activity and students know what they have to do and produce without you introducing anything

Materials: Just the learners and a blackboard/a piece of paper so you have a record that n adjective hasn´t been repeated


  1. Choose a student to say one adjective (they usually say beautiful), if they say an adjective which ends in ‘-y’, for example easy, ask them for another which does NOT end in why.
  2. Write the adjective in the board (or on paper if you don´t have one) for example ‘beautiful’ Then ask the next student to give you another adjective ythat starts with the last letter of the adjective already written on the board, in this case it is ‘L’, for example ‘light’
  3. Now ask the ask the next student to say an new adjective which starts with the last letter of the previous adjective in this case ‘tall’

You should have written ‘beautifulightall’ on the board.

  1. Now continue with the same sequence

Classroom management alternatives

  • For FCE you can split a class into 2 groups, The group who cannot think of an adjective is out and the other team wins
  • With CAE you can go around the class asking individuals. When one student cannot think of an adjective they are out and you continue until there is only two students left competing together
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Fun Cambridge Activities (5)

Posted on July 26, 2010. Filed under: ABCI 2010, CAE, CPE, FCE | Tags: , , |

The Verb Dome: Warmer or Ending activity

This is a simple game that my learners gave it its name. It is very competitive and should be played at all times whenever you feel the need. Played regularly you can see the students pushing themselves to find new adjectives. They learn from each other. It´s fun!

AIM: to elicit as many verbs as possible in the shortest time using the alphabet

Materials: The students


Students are all seated.

  1. Tell them you want each one to say VERBS
  2. Ask the first student (or the one who came late lol) to say a verb that starts with ‘A’ for example ask, allow or answer.
  3. Now ask the next person to continue with another verb that starts with the letter ‘A’
  4. Go around to each learner requesting a different verb that begins with ‘A’.

When a student is OUT

There are two ways

  • The students say a verb previously said
  • When one student cannot think of a verb with ‘A’ they are out. Give them a countdown of 1 to 10, in order to let them know you are finishing and it puts them under pressure which they find strange at first but like as the game goes on.


Now change the verb to ‘B’ and do the same asking students to say verbs with ‘B’ until one person cannot think of one or repeats a verb previously mentioned

Now change to ‘C’, ‘D’ and so on until there are only two students left and you eventually have a winner.

NOTE: Always repeat the verbs the student has said so it is heard clearly by the class to make the game move quicker.


The art to this game is its repetition throughout the semester. You must do this activity many times as it pushes the students to work harder and produce more. They end up teaching each other.

Don´t worry if students cheat and those who go OUT help others, it is all part of the fun.

As the game is repeated don´t worry if student write the verbs they hear for another time. This is all part of the learning experience and helps them improve. Remember cheating can be fun too when everyone knows about it.

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Fun Cambridge Activities (4)

Posted on July 26, 2010. Filed under: ABCI 2010, Activities, CAE, CPE, FCE | Tags: , , |

In a Nutshell: Speaking Activity

This is great for CPE but can be used at any level. Why? … because the Cambridge exams use very similar speaking themes i.e. technology, learning, books, learning etc. Classroom management is everything so you must understand and give clear details for this activity to move smoothly.

AIM: This activity helps student familiarize with long term responses and helps improve their active listening and even vocabulary.

Materials: The small cards used for Part 3 of the CPE speaking text

Classroom Layout

Sit the learners in a circle (I can´t do a circle with the wordpress graphics) like the diagram below. The cards will be past round clockwise during the activity


B                        B

A                                          A

B                       B



Phase 1

Allocate students with the letters ‘A’ and ‘B’.

Give a different card to student ‘A’.

Tell them they are going to talk about the card to student ‘B’ for a set time. 30-1 minute for FCE, CAE 2 minutes and CPE 3 minutes. Note: this is longer than expected in the exams but the idea is to push the learners but be sensitive to this initially.

Then tell ‘B’ they will summarize what student “A’ said in 30 seconds or 1 minute depending on the exam you are doing. This you will signal with the words IN A NUTSHELL. Students may ask what this means and it is an excellent idiom for them to use in the exam so they will start their summary saying ‘In a nutshell..’

Phase 2

When ‘B is finished ask them to take the paper that was discusses

Now ask both ‘A’ and ‘B’ to turn the opposite way. Now they are facing a new partner.

Now ‘B’ becomes ‘A’ and will talk to a long time about the card they were listening too.

Now ‘A’ becomes ‘B’ and will say ‘In a Nutshell…’ and summarize what is being said

Phase 3

Continue to do this so the paper moves around the circle of students and each student either speaks or summarizes what is being said until the papers move back to their original place.

After these changes of partner has been understood by the group all the teacher has to say is “IN A NUTSHELL” and student will change and summarize without any difficulty.


Watch how the student gain confidence as they speak about something they have already heard and spoken about to a new partner.

By summarizing the student must take an active part in listening to their partner and you´ll find they even pick up the best expressions that are being described

Move around the room and listen to the student. Note down any problems they have and review these at the regular intervals.

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