anne@teachingtogether.info

7 Feb 2019

Taking B1 Preliminary Listening Part 1 further

In this post, I’ll share some ideas for taking B1 Preliminary Listening Part 1 further.
Activities for integrating the topic, getting students to use the language in situations that should be meaningful for them.
And also, to take them ‘behind the scenes’ of the tasks used in the Cambridge B1 Preliminary Listening Test.
The Sample Paper I used for the activities is taken from the Cambridge Assessment English website. The file name is: 22781-preliminary-for-schools-sample-papers-5.zip and it’s available here (and includes the audio files in the zip.)

 

https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-tests/preliminary-for-schools/preparation/

1 Introduction to the whole task
What I suggest you do the first time you work on this Part is to play the start of the recording, without showing them the question paper.

Rubric:

Now open your question paper and look at part 1.

There are seven questions in this part. For each question there are three pictures and a short recording. For each question choose the correct answer, A, B or C.


Next, play the example.  Ask them to say what will be in the three pictures for the example.

Rubric: Before we start, here is an example.

Where is the girl’s hat?

Woman: Where’s your new hat Sally? I hope you haven’t left it on the school bus.

Girl: Don’t worry Mum. I put it in my school bag because I was too hot.

Woman: Are you sure? I can’t see it there. You probably dropped it in the road somewhere.

Girl: Oh, here it is – hanging in the hall. [sheepishly] I forgot to take it this morning.


The pictures will all have a hat.  One will show the hat on the school bus – ask students to say where the hat will probably be (on a seat). Another picture will show a hat in the hall – ask learners where it will be (on a coatstand or hanging from a hook). And the third picture will show a hat in a school bag – ask them what this might look like (e.g. a rucksack.)
2  Using the tapescript
Show students the tapescript and ask them to say what the question and the pictures could be.

GIRL  Did you go to Mick’s birthday party on Saturday, Kieran?

BOY  Yeah. His sixteenth. You couldn’t come, could you? He had about 40 guests, and a huge cake. It was brilliant.

GIRL  Cool! Did Mick get many presents?

BOY  Yeah, quite a few. I was going to get him a bike helmet but then he told me he was already getting one from his parents, so I just brought along a card. I’ll get him something another time. Anyway, he enjoyed his birthday, and that’s what counts.

GIRL  It’s a shame I couldn’t go.


Suggestions:
(Pictures: a cake, a bike helmet, a card)
Questions: What did Mick give Kieran for his birthday? / What did Mick’s parents give him for his birthday? / What was huge?
(Pictures: 1, 16, 40)
Question: How many people were at the party?

The exam question and pictures were:

 

3  Taking the task and theme further.

After listening to this conversation, we can reinforce the connection with real life by doing one or more of the following activities:
  1. They think of a reason why the girl couldn’t go to the party and write the message she sent to Mick and his reply.
  2. They could write the messages that Kieran and Mick exchanged about the helmet (or act out the conversation).
  3. They could write the thank you message that Mick sent his group of friends thanking him for coming, etc.
  4. They can continue the conversation, with Kieran telling the girl more things about the party. (e.g. the music, the food, what they talked about, etc)
  5. They can make a list of six presents for a 16-year-old boy and discuss which one to buy him (like B1 Preliminary Speaking Part 2)

4 Thinking about what you need to understand to get the right answer.

Show students the question, pictures and tapescript and ask them to tell you where they get the answer.

 


TEACHER

Right everybody, I’ve got a question for you, and I want you to concentrate. There’s a town. Here’s a picture of it in the north of Scotland, and it’s got these three famous buildings, which are shown here. Anyway, what is the average age of these buildings? The church was completed in 1580, the museum was built in 1921, and the bridge in 1794. Right, well let’s see if you can work that out. I’ll give you one minute. Discuss your answers in groups when you’re ready.


We have quite a long text, and the sentences which tell them which subject it is are Anyway, what is the average age of these buildings?  And Right, well, let’s see if you can work that out. 

The distraction is very strong here – The words town, north of Scotland, buildings would tend to make us think that this is a geography class, whereas the buildings and dates make you think it’s history.

Taking the task and theme further.

After listening, we could ask students to:
  1. Write down the years and work out the average age. (And then explain how they worked it out)
  2. Find out if the town really exists!
  3. Find buildings that were built in these years and what style they would be.
  4. Create their own problem using buildings from their town/country.

4  Which conversation will you hear these words in?

Show students ten words (or dictate the words to them) and ask them to decide which five words they expect to hear in each conversation.

What sport are the girls going to play?

Which picture shows Jake now?

Then, play the recordings and students listen to see if their predictions were right.  This is good for getting them to use the time before the audio starts to think about words that they might hear, which should help them when they actually listen.

Ask them to make sentences about each of the words on the slide about what they heard.

skateboard    The boy fell off his skateboard. He won’t use his skateboard for a while.
problem  The wet weather is not a problem because they can play indoors at the sports centre.
fancy   The girls fancy playing tennis.
ankle  Jake has broken his ankle.
game   The girls fancy a game of tennis this afternoon.
racket One of the girls has a new racket.
arm Jake’s arm was bleeding so he went to hospital.
court There’s a tennis court inside the sports centre.
walk   Jake can’t walk without sticks.
hospital   Jake went to hospital after he fell off his skateboard.

You could challenge them to make a sentence for each conversation using all five words.

e.g.  The girls fancy a game of tennis to try out Ann’s new racket and the weather is not a problem because there is a tennis court inside the sports centre.
Jake fell off his skateboard and hurt his arm and broke his ankle so he had to go to hospital and now he can’t walk without sticks.

ANN Do you fancy a game this afternoon? I want to try out my new racket.

MAY Well, I don’t think the nets are up yet. And it looks a bit wet outside, so I don’t know, it’s not really ideal weather, is it?

ANN That’s not a problem – we can play on the indoor court. It’s free if you’re a member of the sports club.

MAY Of course and you are, aren’t you? OK, can you make sure you remember the balls this time! Shall we meet on the court. Three o’clock?


Right at the start of the conversation, the word ‘racket’ eliminates hockey as an answer, but it isn’t till the end that we can choose tennis rather than badminton, when we hear ‘remember the balls this time!’

(And they might think that badminton is the right answer because of the indoor court!

A fun continuation could be to ask students to insert the five words from the other conversation!

e.g.        skateboard           ankle              arm            walk               hospital

ANN Do you fancy a game this afternoon? I want to try out my new racket.

MAY Well, I don’t think the nets are up yet. And it looks a bit wet outside, so I don’t know, we might break our arm or ankle and have to go to hospital. It’s not really ideal weather, is it?

ANN That’s not a problem – we can play on the indoor court. It’s free if you’re a member of the sports club.

MAY Of course and you are, aren’t you? OK, can you make sure you remember the balls this time! Shall we meet on the court. Three o’clock?

ANN    OK.  Are you going to walk or go there on your skateboard?

 

I hope you’ll find these activities useful – and use them in class, and apply them to other levels and texts.

 

 

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