Teaching exam classes can be a challenge for new and experienced teachers alike.
In an effort to help you prepare your students for their upcoming Cambridge English language exams, we’ve created a series of 6 webinars (plus one bonus episode). Our expert trainers will share everything you need to know about exam prep broken down into 6 simple steps. Between 20th February and 3rd April, you are invited to join 1 new webinar each week.
We’ll be discussing topics such as how to:
- help your students overcome common difficulties and typical mistakes in exams
- build strategies based on each student’s individual needs
- provide guidance and feedback as a language coach
- motivate your students
- practice mindfulness to combat pre-exam stress
Register to watch each webinar by following the link at the time which suits you best.
Step 1: Understand your exam
Any teacher helping students to prepare for an exam needs to understand the exam at hand. In this webinar, trainer Lindsay Warwick will take you through the key tasks in Cambridge exams. She’ll look at the theory behind them as well as common difficulties and what strategies learners can use to overcome them. She will also explain the changes to the Cambridge B1 Preliminary and A2 Key exams coming in 2020.
Lindsay Warwick is a teacher, trainer and materials writer. She’s been teaching general English and exam preparation courses for over twenty years. She is a CELTA trainer and has delivered various teacher development courses in the UK and abroad. She is a co-author of Gold Preliminary B1, Gold Experience B1 and B2+, Expert IELTS 6 and Pearson’s new general English series Roadmap (A2 and A2+).
Step 2: Balance your teaching
Some learners decide to take an exam course in order to develop their language skills so they can communicate better. For others, the main goal is passing the exam. In this webinar, Lindsay Warwick will look at ways to deliver lessons that cater to both student profiles by developing the learners’ language skills and preparing them for the exam at the same time. She will share with you techniques and activities that can help you find the right balance and meet every learner’s needs.
Step 3: Monitor progress
Students need to have a clear idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to passing exams. In order to do this, teachers need to have clear strategies for each skill tested. In this webinar, Philip Warwick will look at building exam strategies and identifying progress points. This will allow teachers to offer valid guidance and supervision whilst differentiating between the skills and parts of the exam so that they can review key concepts and track students’ progress.
Philip Warwick has been involved in ELT since 1988, working in a variety of countries such as Italy, China, Brazil and Czechia and teaching all types of students. He’s currently an academic manager for a UK-based summer school with centers in London, Brighton, Oxford, Cambridge and Canterbury and for an English project in Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. In between these commitments, Phil works as a teacher trainer for Pearson English and is never happier than when he can step back inside a classroom.
Step 4: Give feedback
When it comes to exam preparation, one of the most important roles that a teacher has to play is that of a language coach. In this webinar, trainer Philip Warwick will return to your screen to take an in-depth look at the coaching cycle and how teachers can utilize it to evaluate student performance so that they can provide different forms of feedback and give prompts and tips for improvement.
Step 5: Motivate students
No matter the length of the exam course, students can easily become demotivated. In this webinar, trainer Billie Jago will share strategies and tips on how to maintain student enthusiasm in a positive classroom environment. She will bring you techniques on how to avoid repetition and motivate students of mixed abilities and skill sets by adding variety to common task types and providing the opportunity for these activities to become more student-centered.
Billie Jago has been working in the ELT industry for 7 years, teaching in more than 7 countries, including China, Spain and Italy. She’s taught all types of students, from one-on-one classes to large groups of up to 70. She has spent the last few years focusing on teaching exams and creating course content, and now works as a teacher and teacher trainer in Cambridge. She is currently completing her DELTA qualification.
Step 6: Enjoy your course
Teaching exam courses puts a lot of pressure on teachers. But there are ways to make the experience enjoyable, not only for the learners but also for the teacher. In this webinar, trainer John Wolf will be sharing some strategies for teaching exams with enjoyment. These include: managing exam practice, readying your repertoire, delegating task creation and finally – deflating the pressure.
John Wolf is an MA graduate in Applied Linguistics and a DELTA graduate. For the first part of his teaching career, he worked in language schools, teaching mainly younger learners and teenagers, and eventually branched out into other areas of EFL instruction, including exam English, business English, and teacher training. He currently works as an international teacher trainer and university lecturer, which provides him with plenty of opportunities to create and search for new ideas for teachers and students.
Bonus: Mindfulness for exams
The reality of modern English teaching means exams hold higher stakes than ever: a new career, a spot in an institution of higher education, or even a new country of residence. In this webinar, Amy Malloy will look at how mindfulness, the practice of paying conscious awareness to the present moment, allows us to calm the effect of such stress-inducing situations on our thoughts and feelings by actively shifting our relationship with stress. The aim of the webinar is to demystify the mindfulness practice, take a straightforward look at the neuroscience behind stress in exam situations and explore practical mindfulness exercises you can carry out with your students.
Amy Malloy is a writer and editor. She is also the founder of No More Shoulds.com, teaching mindfulness for healthier, kinder minds. With 15 years’ experience in teaching, assessment and educational publishing, she now combines this first-hand understanding with certified training in wellbeing practices to help educators and students find inner calm in a stressful world.
Are there are any other exam related topics you’d like to learn about? Let us know in the comments.
You can also discover many more interesting webinars in the following posts: