Discourse Analysis, Advanced
Learners and the CPE Exam by Alex Case
Outline: Students practice Part Two of the speaking
paper by guessing what book various extracts might have come
from. Before the task, the language of hypothesising and talking
about fiction are presented and practiced. If possible, students
are given the chance to take the books home.
Extracts from CPE exam- Speaking Part Two; extracts from a
different novels and the novels themselves - one per student;
1. Intro to speaking exam part 2 - Introduce aim of lesson
and relevance to exam
a) Re-cap on format of Speaking Part One (describing/ discussing
b) Elicit what part 2 consists of (talking about where a text
might have come from)
c) Give out one example, to illustrate/continue elicitation
'What do you think the question could be?'
2. Brainstorm language of hypothesising - Input of necessary
language for this (and all other) part of spoken exam and
later stages of lesson
a) Write up. 'It's from a 1970's horror story'. Ask if this
is an OK sentence for this part of the exam. Elicit idea that
stds can only form hypotheses. Elicit one adverb, modal verb
and sentence stem and write on board.
b) Students brainstorm adverbs/ modal verbs/ sentence stems
for hypothesising in pairs. Feedback as whole class.
c) Ask stds how expressions could be combined to be expressions
vaguer. Class try to make longest, vaguest sentence possible.
Drill round class.
3. Exam task - Controlled practice of input
a) stds perform task in pairs or threes. Monitor for use of
language/ general achievement of task.
b) Feedback on task achievement only
4. Class brainstorm - Input of vocab needed for task below
and later in course to discuss set textAlso provides a model
for talking about other genres
a) Introduce next task, 'we'll be looking at pieces of fiction
only today' and brainstorm as class vocab to describe fiction
5. Pages from fiction - Free, extended practice of language
in 2 above. Students tackle a more difficult task than in
the exam to stretch their language use. Change of dynamic
a) Introduce the task- read this page extracted from a piece
of fiction thinking about where it might have been taken from
- tch takes language of hypothesis off board
b) stds read quickly. Teacher monitors that stds skimming
c) In pairs stds discuss and find similarities and differences
between their extracts/ supposed books
d) In same pairs, stds look at a book cover given to them
by T and discuss if it could be either of theirs. T moves
table to centre of class.
e) T takes back all books and whole class look at book covers
(no opening books!) and try to find theirs.
f) Still standing, students discuss which they think it is
g) Open book and check
6. Error correction
a) tch writes up incorrect uses of language collected during
lesson on board, esp. misuse of input language.
7. Discussion - Encouragement and guidance of student reading
a) Class discuss which of these books they might like to read/
would recommend. Tell stds all the books used in lesson can
be taken home if they want to. Discussion expands and continues
after observed period.
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