27 Nov 2019

Having fun with 2020 A2 Key Reading and Writing Part 1

This post will share some fun (and hopefully useful!) ideas for working on the short texts and messages found in Part 1 of 2020 A2 Key Reading and Writing. It follows on from my previous post: ABOUT 2020 A2 KEY READING AND WRITING PART 1 – AND HOW TO DO WELL.

Where might you see this text?

In my previous post, I mentioned that a useful thing to do is to ask students to think about the different texts in Part 1.

Again, I’m going to use the Sample Test from the Cambridge Assessment English website, available here:


Ask them to look at each text and to answer four questions:

  1. Where might you see this?

  2. Who wrote it?

  3. Why might you read it?

  4. What could you do with the information?

For this text, the answers could be:

1  In a department shop/store

2   A shop employee or manager

3  To find out if you need/want to go to that floor

4  Go to that floor, or look at the information for the other floors for what you need to buy.

Look at the layout and the language

You can talk about the layout of the text (in short rows, sometimes with bullet points · – but not in this example) and the language (concise).

Let’s look at another text from 2020 A2 Key for Schools Reading and Writing Part 1:

This time, we have a message/email.  The layout is typical – with the names of the person who sent it and the person who received it.  

It starts with From:      To:

And the language/message is short and quite direct.

Make all the options right!

A fun activity is to ask students to rewrite the wrong options so that they are right for the text.

Right options for A and B could be:

A buy a tennis dress for a competition

C find a game for a child

Right options for A and B could be:

A buy a tennis dress for a competition

C find a game for a child

Write the sign for all the options!

Alternatively, you can ask them to change the sign/message so that all the options are right!

Add the details!

Students can add their own details to the texts by adding adjectives, times, places, etc.

Jazz concert tickets

Buy these for 10€ on the school website (www.thornschool.org) , then collect them from the secretary’s office 9-12.

Add adjectives

2020 Key Sample Paper RW Part 1 Q 3

Amazing Adventure Park

Special half-price tickets for

various groups of 12 or more

Ask at back entrance

Real-life skills

On a final note, I’d like to say that reading signs and talking about them is a very natural thing.

Look at this photo:

Street sign in Shanghai
  1. Where might you read it? On a street sign
  2. Who wrote it? Someone with magical powers!
  3. Why might you read it? If you just walk past, you might not, but I stopped and took a photo because I marvelled at someone having 25 hours in their day!
  4. What could you do with the information? I’ve shared the photos with friends and teachers – and with you in this post! Sharing a bit of fun and disbelief!

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