In this episode of PASS FCE I’d like you to meet two FCE students who are studying with me at the moment, Miguel and Pau.
Welcome to PASS FCE, a Mansion Ingles podcast specifically created to help you pass the Cambridge First Certificate in English Exam.
I’m Craig, I’m a teacher at the British Council in Valencia, Spain, a Cambridge Oral examiner with over 20 years of teaching experience.
Learn English free at mansioningles.com and take your English to the next level with our audio podcasts at inglespodcast.com
This isn’t a full FCE Speaking test, but I do ask some questions that are similar to those you may hear in Part 1 of the test.
So let’s start straight away. Let me introduce you to Miguel.
Miguel spoke very well, he didn’t seem to be nervous and he was very clear and easy to understand.
I liked his first answer when he used the present perfect continuous very well, he said “I’ve been studying English for 10 years, more or less”.
Teachers love to hear the verb tenses used correctly and with the correct time references, like “for 10 years” or “since 2005”
He also used the present continuous correctly when he spoke about a future plan. He said, “I’m taking the exam in June.” – wonderful!
Miguel said “you have to practise the way to do the exam” which is fine. He could also have said “You have to learn how to do the exam.”
I like the expression he used, “I don’t like to spend my time…” but when this expression is followed with a verb, you need a gerund. So it’s “I don’t like to spend my time STUDYING grammar.”
Miguel remembered that after some adjectives like ‘easy’ ‘difficult’ etc you need a pronoun and then the infinitive with ‘to’. He said, It’s easy FOR ME TO PASS this part of the exam. Very good!
It wasn’t clear to me exactly what Miguel’s job title is. I understood manager, but the first word wasn’t clear. However, I did understand that he works for a cosmetics company.
It’s very important to know how to talk about your job, studies in English, so check the translation in English and learn some key words so that you can talk about it easily and clearly.
Miguel loves horses, but he said
“I like to riding horses”. After verbs ‘like’, ‘love’, ‘hate’ etc we can use a gerund or an infinitive, but not both. The easiest is to use the gerund. I like riding horses, I love going skiing, I hate doing exercise, etc.
Miguel made a small mistake with a tense when he said “I went to my…village..”, but he quickly corrected himself and said “I normally GO to my village every weekend” This is exactly what you should do in the exam. Correct yourself immediately if you make a mistake so that the examiners see that you know the correct grammar or expression.
Miguel said “I have more leisure time” (nice expession) “I have to do what I want”. ‘Have to’ is for obligation, I think it’s better to say “I CAN do what I want.”
Miguel uses the internet
“for read the newspaper”. after prepositions, the verb is a gerund. He should have said “I use the Internet FOR reading newspapers.” or “for checking Facebook”, “for sending emails”
But Miguel does correct himself at the end when he says “for working”
I liked Miguel’s expression “It’s freezing cold today.”
He said “I will go to a birthday party”, but to me, it sounded like a plan, an arrangement, so it’s better to use the present continuous “I’m going to a birthday party today”
Now let me introduce you to Pau. If you listen to our other podcast for Spanish speakers Aprender Ingles con Reza y Craig at inglespodcast.con, you may have heard me speak about Pau and answer some of his questions on the podcast. Pau is the question king, and I love getting Pau’s questions and answering them with Reza on the podcast.
Teachers love getting questions from students who are thinking about the language, so if you are studying with a teacher at the moment, ask a lot of questions. Anyway, let me introduce you now to Pau.
I think you can hear that Pau is really working hard on improving his pronunciation, and it’s working! He sounds clear and he’s concentrating on his vowel sounds and he’s trying to speak English with correct and accurate pronunciation. He speaks quite fluently and with confidence.
Pau says that he’s “working as a manager to a company of hypermarkets” I’m pleased he said working AS a manager, because it’s a common mistake to say working
like a manager. That’s not correct. Working AS a manager. However, Pau uses the preposition ‘TO’. but it should be ‘FOR’
He’s working FOR a company. I work FOR the British Council. Maybe you work FOR yourself, which means you are self employed, but the correct preposition is FOR.
“I’m looks like my father” and “my friends told me that I’m looks like my mother” I’m pleased that Pau used “told me” and not “said me”, which is a common mistake, so well done Pau! But I think he’s confusing “I’m like my mother” and “I look like my mother”
Both mean to be similar to. To look like” is appearance and physical features. To be like (I’m like my sister, for example) can be personality or physical appearance.
Pau said that he “used to
make sports”. He uses ‘used to’ correctly here because he’s speaking about the past, but the collocation with sports is DO, not make. So, “I used to do sports” is correct.
I was pleased to hear Pau say I’ve got a long weekend to enjoy MYSELF. It’s a common mistake to forget that enjoy needs an object, enjoy the party, enjoy the film, enjoy life, enjoy it or, in this case, a reflexive pronoun enjoy myself.
Pau tries to use the second conditional, which we haven’t practiced in class yet, so I thought that was very adventurous. He says “If I have more time,
I’ll like to learn French” Because it’s a hypothetical situation (Pau DOESN’T have time), he should have used the past simple – “If I had more time” and the conditional ‘would’ “I would like to learn French. So, “If I had more time, I would (or I’d) like to learn French. Don’t worry Pau. we’re going to study conditional ‘if’ sentences before the exam.
Pau speaks about visiting the USA quite well, He’s attracted to the way of life and New York is the biggest, most important city he could visit. He says it’s a ‘mix of cultures’. With these questions, you are expected to give reasons and justify what you say. Explain your choice and speak about how you feel.
If you have any questions about this part, or any part of the FCE exam, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or record a voice message on our website at inglespodcast.com.
Thanks for listening and we’ll be back very soon with another episode of PassFCE.
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