A2 Key for Schools

This basic-level qualification is a great exam to take if you’re new to learning English, or if you are a young student. The exam tests all four English language skills

A2 Key, formerly known as Cambridge English: Key (KET), is one of  Cambridge English Qualifications. This basic-level qualification is a great exam to take if you’re new to learning English, or if you are a young student. The exam tests all four English language skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking.

An A2 Key certificate shows that you can:

  • understand and use basic phrases and expressions
  • understand simple written English
  • introduce yourself and answer basic questions about yourself
  • interact with English speakers at a basic level.

A2 Key and A2 Key for Schools overview of changes Download

Video resources

Taking the A2 Key for Schools Speaking exam. See what happens in each part of the exam.

A2 KEY for Schools sample papers. Download a sample Test

Free activities for children gif - image

Vocabulary Challenge

Vocabulary Challenge. A fun way to support research and UNICEF!

British Council Vocabulary Challenge is still open and a really worthwhile activity to encourage students, family members and friends to do as we get ready for the holidays.

The research project aims to find out which of 7,000 of the most common English words Spanish, German or Chinese learners of the English language know.

For every word attempted the British Council will make a donation to UNICEF.

¡Animo! and take the challenge here

¿Te has preguntado alguna vez cuántas palabras conoces en inglés? ¿Si eres un estudiante, estás aprendiendo inglés tambien en tu tiempo libre o usas el inglés como parte de tu diversión y aprendizaje? Si es así, ¡puedes intentar el Vocabulary Challenge del British Council para probar tu conocimiento de palabras en inglés!

Realiza el Vocabulary Challenge y ser parte de este proyecto internacional.

¡Prueba el VOCABULARY CHALLENGE ahora!

https://www.vocabularychallenge.org/

Cambridge English Qualifications tailored to young learners

Children between the ages of 6 and 12 can take the Pre A1 Starters, A1 Movers and A2 Flyers exams to develop their language skills in a fun, practical and progressive way.  A boy holding his Cambridge English: starters certificate

Pre A1 Starters, formerly known as Cambridge English: Starters (YLE Starters), is one of  Cambridge English Qualifications. It is the start of a child’s language learning journey.

Pre A1 Starters test format (2018 update)

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A1 Movers is the next step in a child’s English language learning. A1 Movers can help the student: understand basic instructions or take part in simple conversations and complete basic forms and write notes, including times, dates and places.

A1 Movers test format (2018 update)

A2 Flyers is the third of these fun activity-based English tests for children. The tests are written around familiar topics and focus on the skills needed to communicate effectively in English through listening, speaking, reading and writing. With the A2 Flyers tests, the student will be able to: understand simple written English, communicate in familiar situations and use basic phrases and expressions and interact with English speakers who talk slowly and clearly.

A2 Flyers test format (2018 update)

A girl holding her Cambridge English: Flyers certificate

Acquiring Vocabulary for Young Learners

Free vocabulary picture books and lists. Learning tips for young learners. Playing fun games

If learning English seems very challenging, break it down into smaller tasks. For example, your child/student shouldn’t try to learn lots of new words in one go. Instead, they should focus on learning a few new words every week. They will be much more likely to remember them!

Here are some ideas you can try at home or at school.

Free vocabulary picture books and lists

Use these books and lists to encourage young learners to speak, read and write in English

Download Cambridge English Assessment free Pre A1 StartersA1 Movers and A2 Flyers Word List Picture Books.
Download Cambridge English Assessment free vocabulary lists for A2 Key for Schools and B1 Preliminary for Schools.

Learning tips for young learners

Playing fun games

Try learning vocabulary and playing fun games at the same time! For example, you could use the words in the free picture books and vocabulary lists to play Charades or Pictionary.
Look at the vocabulary pictures together. For example, here’s a picture called At the doctor’s. Try using a mixture of closed questions, which assess quick factual knowledge (e.g. Where is the doctor?), and open questions, which assess reasoning (e.g. Why do you think the doctor is looking surprised?).

A busy doctor's waiting room.

Talk about the pictures.

If you are a parent or a teacher, find time to sit with your children and look at the book. Talk together about what you see. The ‘Let’s talk!’ questions on the picture pages give ideas of what you can talk about. Try and help your children to move from one-word answers to longer answers.

Find words in the pictures.

There is lots of action in the pictures. Ask your children to talk about what they see. Can they tell stories about the people in the pictures? They can then begin to use the words for a real purpose.
See if the children want to test your English too! What can they ask you to find in the pictures?

Always use the words in context and help young learners develop short responses into longer phrases and sentences

For more information about Pre A1 Starters, A1 Movers and A2 Flyers and for preparation materials, visit:
cambridgeenglish.org/starters
cambridgeenglish.org/movers
cambridgeenglish.org/flyers

Cooperative Learning: Kagan Structures for English Language Learners.

Cooperative learning is the perfect teaching methodology to teach students strategies and skills. It also a great model to show students how to apply those skills to study content.

The teacher no longer is the “sage on the stage” but rather a model and facilitator of learning

Why use this method of teaching?
The 21st century learning skills* require students to build reading, writing, problem-solving and application competencies. The teacher is supposed to teach less content and more skills. Cooperative learning is the perfect teaching methodology to teach students strategies and skills. It also a great model to show students how to apply those skills to study content.

*The 21st century learning skills are often called the 4 C’s: critical thinking, creative thinking, communicating, and collaborating. These skills help students learn, and so they are vital to success in school and beyond.

If you teach your students skills, they will become proficient, adaptable and life-long learners. And this works for ALL SUBJECTS. No matter the content, students who are skilled learners can study any subject, at any time and at any place. Cooperative learning also fosters a student’s ability to work in a team and to regularly reflect on his/her learning.

Groupings
The teacher* assigns students in groups with specific roles and jobs. After team members are organized into these small groups, usually of four people, and receive instruction from their teacher, students within the team cooperate with one another and work through the assignment until each team member successfully understands and completes it. Ultimately the shared goals are accomplished individually by each team member, and collectively by the group as a whole.
Teacher-selected groups have been proven time and again to be the best method of forming teams because it ensures a good mix and avoids friends from working together, which neglects to achieve the goal of improvement of social interactions among students who do not know each other as well.kaganpresentation

Team members.

Team members are responsible for their own individual learning as well as for their teammates learning. Members benefit from the contributions of the individual team members. Groups are heterogeneous are made up of high, medium and low academic achieving students. Team members acquire new skills and knowledge. Rewards are oriented towards individual and group.
Classroom Management
If cooperative learning is not accompanied with an effective classroom management system, serious problems are likely to occur. (Spencer Kagan)

Teachers usually provide verbal information along with worksheets, outlines and study guides during a cooperative learning lesson.
Students who are unfamiliar with the cooperative learning model will need to be taught about the model and be clear on their roles as well as the teacher’s expectations during this type of lesson
Reflection (group processing) is an essential part of the cooperative learning process. By clarifying and describing which actions and decisions were helpful and unhelpful the group continues the learning process and improves each members effectiveness when contributing to a collaborative group.
Researchers
The leading researchers of cooperative learning include Robert Slavin, Roger & David Johnson and Spencer Kagan, all of whom have slightly different approaches and emphases

The research of David and Roger Johnson, provides the foundation for how cooperative learning is structured in most of today’s classrooms. Their research shows that merely because students work in small groups does not mean they are cooperating to ensure their own learning and the learning of all others in the group.
Dr. Slavin suggests that cooperative learning is doubtlessly a great tool for handicapped and disabled students. Cooperative learning encourages these students and molds them to work in a professional environment. Cooperative learning of disabled and normal students is another great way of encourage disabled students. According to Slavin, when disabled and handicapped students work in mainstream and heterogeneous environments, they learn in a more productive and skillful manner.

Spencer Kagan has developed more than 100 structures to incorporate the basic principles of cooperative learning. “We are very clear with teachers that they should make cooperative learning part of any lesson,” Kagan says. “Ours is an integrated approach rather than a replacement approach.”

Kagan Structures
Kagan Structures are easy-to-learn and easy-to-use instructional strategies, ideal for promoting second language learning. In classrooms in which the Kagan Structures are used regularly, students for whom English is a second language learn both English and academic content far more quickly and far more thoroughly than when traditional instructional strategies are used. The Kagan Structures also promote language and content learning far more than does group work.

All of the Kagan Structures are very carefully designed. They are carefully structured to implement four basic principles of cooperative learning, PIESPIES

P  = Positive Interdependence
I  = Individual Accountability
E  = Equal Participation
S  = Simultaneous Interaction

For example, Kagan instructs teachers to use a “Timed Pair Share” structure. In this exercise, the teacher divides the class into pairs of students and poses a question. Within each pair, Student A talks about his or her answer for one minute, then Student B does the same.

The following examples illustrate a few of these instructional methods used:

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“Which Kagan Structures should I learn and use first?”, and “Where do I begin?”

Inside-Outside Circle: In concentric circles, students rotate to face new partners and then answer or discuss teacher questions.
Rally Table: In pairs, students alternate generating written responses or solving problems.
One Stray: On each team, one teammate “strays” from his or her team to a new team to share information.
Rally Robin: In pairs, students alternate generating oral responses.
Rally Coach: Partners take turns, one solving a problem while the other coaches.
Showdown: One teammate reads a question or problem aloud. Students work independently to solve the problem, then show their answers when a teammate calls, “Showdown!” They then celebrate the correct answer or coach to get the correct answer (Kagan 1994).

For more details about Cooperative Learning

On Kagan Institutes, workshops and conferences go to www.T2TUK.co.uk and www.Kaganonline.com

The “Round robin” technique

What is cooperative learning? SlideShare

Cooperative Learning Lessons Starter Kit

The Essential 5: A Starting Point for Kagan Cooperative Learning

FIVE COOPERATIVE LEARNING ACTIVITIES TO DO ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Kagan Structures for English Language Learners

Young Learners English (YLE)

Cambridge English: Young Learners, also known as Young  Learners English (YLE), is a series of fun, activity-based English  language tests specially designed for children. Schools all over  the world use these tests to motivate children to learn English and show the progress they are making.

Specially designed for 7–12 year-olds to increase their motivation to learn English. Tests children’s reading, writing, listening and speaking  based on realistic everyday situations.

There are three levels – Starters, Movers and Flyers. All Cambridge English tests are aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

YLE scale

The Flyers Test is roughly equivalent to the Cambridge English Test: Key (KET), in terms of difficulty but the lexis and contexts covered are suitable for young children.

There are different parts of YLE Starters:

  • Listening 4 parts: 20 questions, approx. 20 minutes
  • Reading and Writing 5 parts: 25 questions,  20 minutes
  • Speaking 5 parts: 3–5 minutes

The overall lenght for Starters Test is about 45 minutes.

If you want to find more informatian about this exam, try this link:

http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/24619-starters-information-for-candidates-en-.pdf

Exam Materials

All materials which relate to this exam:

Exam Handbook

Sample papers for Starters

Sample papers for Flyers and Movers:

Games

Encourage your learners with fun vocabulary practice using these interactive games.

Activities

Extend and consolidate your lessons with this selection of interactive activities.

 

“¿Por qué somos torpes con el inglés y lo hablamos tan mal?” o “Per què som maldestres amb l’anglès i en parlem tan malament?”

images

He llegit un article a la xarxa i he estat reflexionant tota la setmana sobre ell, l’expose:

L’article és: “Por qué somos torpes con el inglés y lo hablamos tan mal” amb el subtítol de ”LA CULPA NO ES NUESTRA, ES DE LA TELE” podeu trobar-lo clicant ací: http://www.elconfidencial.com/alma-corazon-vida/2013/02/14/por-que-somos-torpes-con-el-ingles-y-lo-hablamos-tan-mal-114883/

Este article es fonamenta en un estudi: “En el Estudio Europeo de Competencia Lingüística (EECL)” ,

do you speak

Diu així…..

“Els espanyols vivim estigmatitzats amb el nostre deficient control de la llengua anglesa, però no és tan greu com sembla, sinó que un conjunt de factors ens han “impedit” aprendre-la de debò”.

En els últims anys comptem amb multitud de recursos per integrar, la llengua “estrangera” con la denominàvem abans, en la nostra societat plurilingüe a la que aspirem. I li diguem “estrangera” perquè no la teníem a casa … La cosa canvia gràcies a les Noves Tecnologies, que ens obri la porta a llocs i cultures que abans eren quasi inabastables .

A veure, anem a analitzar la situació i la raó que ens ha portat a la situació de  “complexe amb el nostre deficient control de la llengua anglesa”:

  • El doblatge es va entendre en el Franquisme com una forma de censura i de enaltiment de la nació espanyola…”. El resultat és que ens hem acostumat al doblatge durant generacions. .. Heu sentit la veu de Homer Simpson, Will Smith o Angelina Jolie?  per exemple, o la veu dels seus “dobladors castellans”? Encara que ja podem conèixer la veu del Bill Gates, del Barack Obama o de l’Oscar Pistorius, en els informatius nacionals la sentim només que a l’inici, ja que després la tradueixen per sobre ….  Conclusió: no entenem anglès perquè sempre hem escoltat la televisió doblada a l’espanyol”. Ara ja no tenim eixa excusa, ja tenim un botonet en el nostre comandament que ens lleva el doblatge i ens col·loca la versió original, fins i tot amb subtítols. Per cert, este botonet deuria de ser més gran i accessible, junt al de volum de veu i  canvi de canal. A propòsit, “si es té un nivell baix d’anglès és millor començar amb subtítols en espanyol, però com s’aprèn de veritat és amb els subtítols en anglès”.
  • El sistema educatiu i l’aprenentatge de llengües …. Els espanyols érem els que més sabíem de gramàtica d’Europa inclús més que molts britànics, però no és el cas de l’ús de la llengua, el qui la parla és el qui la domina, i parlava més ací un adolescent que treballava en l’hostaleria en un estiu en Dènia, Xàbia o Benidorm que durant les classes de “lengua y literatura extrajera” en tota l’etapa de secundaria, per aquell temps: el BUP i COU . Deuríem dedicar-li un Blog sencer a este tema, però no és el moment. Les noves metodologies en el tractament i en l’aprenentatge de llengües, l’ús vehicular de la llengua “estrangera” en àrees no lingüístiques i el tractament integrat de llengua i contingut han desterrat la didàctica desfasada de les llengües que tractaven d’ensenyar un idioma utilitzant de manera vehicular un altre: ensenyar el valencià parlant castellà, per exemple.  Ara s’ensenya i aprèn l’anglès com un llenguatge més juntament amb el castellà o el valencià. Entre estos mètodes està l’anomenat CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) que tracta d’aplicar un aprenentatge més natural de l’idioma, integrant al mateix temps la seva llengua materna a través dels continguts. Els resultats es veuran d’ací a uns anys.

Per a saber més sobre el tractament de llengües,  vos recomane el llibre del nostre amic i pobletà (de la Pobla Llarga)  Vicent Pasqual i Granell “El tractament de les llengües en un model d’educació plurilingüe per al sistema educatiu valencià”. 

  •  Un altre aspecte social que afegir a la nostra carència: “fins ara els espanyols no hem gaudit de grans referents que parlen anglès”: els nostres polítics no dominen idiomes (es dediquen a retallar, a tirar-se les culpes, al tu més i al “sobre” que acaba en les divises a Suïssa), ni els esportistes (heu vist la felicitació nadalenca de Sergio Ramos?) i els nostres pares tampoc …Les noves generacions canviaran tot el panorama lingüístic, social i espere que també el polític, falta ens fa ja …..
  •  Les TIC: Internet permet accedir a gairebé tot: hi ha accés a la premsa estrangera, a escoltar música, a veure videoclips, a realitzar cursos fins i tot gratuïts, a jugar en anglès, a xatejar, a traduir, a llegir, a escriure (aquest blog és una prova..)   … Els canals TDT deixen posar el so en la versió original i afegir subtítols, de vegades fins i tot en anglès. Ràdio Vaughan emet 24h en anglès a diversos nivells des de l’inicial fins avançat. En les capitals ja hi ha “pubs” on s’aprèn l’anglès parlant amb els anglòfils, o els estudiants d’anglès (que som tots), que hi assisteixen a estos llocs no sols per a fer-se un cafè, sinó amb l’objectiu de posar en pràctica l’expressió i comprensió oral.
  • És a dir, que hui en dia ja gaire bé no cap l’excusa que “no ensenyaven bé a l’institut”, o “a la meua època no es sentia l’anglès”. Per descomptat no serà el cas del nostres fills que, “si amb la que esta caient i si no para de caure, i els brots verds no es transformen prompte en fruits” deuran d’eixir a “l’estranger” com els nostres pares i avis, però a diferencia d’ells eixiran formats i sense complexes a l’hora d’utilitzar l’anglès com qualsevol ciutadà  europeu educat i ben format.

“The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it”

Frank Tudela 2013