Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Writing assignment 5: an article

You have been doing a class project on crime. Your teacher has asked you to write a contribution for the school's English language magazine with the following title:

What can ordinary people do to help in the fight against crime?

Write your article (120 - 180 words), giving other students practical suggestions for beating crime.

Things to think about:

Who is the target reader?
Should the style be formal, neutral or informal?

Organization and ideas
Introductory paragraph:
Why is it important for ordinary people to help in the fight against crime?
Can they do very much to help?
Paragraphs 2 & 3:
Think about what you discussed with your classmates in recent activities.
To finish your article you could:
Encourage readers to take action
give them advice on what they should do
ask them to consider the consequences of not doing anything.


Continuing on the topic of crime today we are going to do a jigsaw reading/speaking activity.

  1. You need to find a partner.
  2. One person will read this text: Abdul Shanwaz and the other person will read this text: Patrick Kinlin.
  3. Once you've finished reading go on to do the ChoiceQz & vocabQuiz above the text.
  4. When you both are ready retell the stories without looking back at the text. While you are listening, ask any questions if you need clarification.
  5. Then have a look at the ideas for conversation and discuss them with your partner.

During the lab class today, I will continue to meet with individuals to talk about your progress.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Passive Voice

After going over the mid-term exam, I think we all agree that we need to do some work on the FCE Use of English exercises. The language focus in the beginning of Unit 10 is Passive Voice. So here is a link for an explanation of the usage and some links for some exercises, some of which include active/passive sentence transformations.

Also, here are some phrasal verb exercises connected to the topic of crime.

I also found a really nice interactive piece on British youth crime. Open the book and have a go at the various activities. I'd really like to know what you think about it. If that one doesn't work here's another one about violence and guns.

I would also like to give individual feedback to everyone during the lab class to talk about your progress this semester.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Unit 10 Crime and Punishment

We are finally finished with all the exams and tests! In class today we will go over the mid-term and test.

Today in the lab class we will start looking at the topic of crime and punishment. Here are some links to some activities on the topic:

Listening about home security
crime vocabulary games
An interactive investigation game

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mid-term writing task

Part 1
1. You must answer the above question.

Part 2
Write an answer to one of the questions 2 - 6 in this part. Write your answer in 120 - 180 words in an appropriate style.

2. Your college magazine has invited you to write an article about a member of your family who helped you in some way. Describe the person and explain what they did that was helpful to you.

3. You have decided to enter a short story competition. The competition rules say that the story must begin or end with the following words:
They were sad to leave, but they had no choice.

4. You have had a class discussion on the following statement:
It should be illegal for parent to hit their children.
Your teacher has asked you to write a composition giving your views on the statement.

5. You have a part-time job in a games centre, where people can go to play computer games. The owner would like to buy some new software and he has asked you to write a report, suggesting two games for the centre. You should briefly describe each game and explain why you think the customers would enjoy both games.

6. You recently visited a place which you had not been to for a long time. Your cousin, who now lives abroad, also knew this place very well. Write a letter to your cousin, describing the changes and your feeling about them. Do not write any addresses.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Writing preparation

Today we are going to focus on the FCE writing paper.

Here are links with tips:
FCE writing guidelines check out the dos and don'ts as well as the hints and samples for each type of writing

Flo-joe has some great exercises:
authentic writing with examiner comments there are a variety of tasks from discursive essays to informal letters.
linking expressions
formal expressions in writing