In this episode of PASS FCE I’d like to introduce you to 2 FCE student who are studying with me at the moment, Aida and Marta.
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.
Today I want to introduce you to two of my wonderful students Marta and Aida. 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.
Let’s begin with our first FCE student. Allow me to introduce you to Aida, from Valencia.
Aida uses the present perfect continuous tense well at the beginning of the interview. She says “I’ve been studying English since I was in high school. For 10 years, more or less.” An excellent answer.
There was a name that Aida didn’t know how to say in English. I think it was the education authority, or the board of education.
If that happens to you, don’t speak in your mother tongue. Use simple English to describe what you mean.
Aida could have said, for example, the government, or the education committee or the organization for education or the people who are resposible for education, or the education bosses, or the important people in education. Always use English in the test.
Aida said, “We need to have a title of B2”. That’s a translation directly from the Spanish word ‘titulo’ which is qualification in English. “We need to have a B2 qualification” would be a better sentence.
The word “requirement” was the word Aida was trying to remember. It can be very difficult, while you’re speaking in the test, to say words that you may know, but don’t use very often, like requirement or qualification.
I suggest that you try to say the word, try to remember it and pronounce it, and if you’re having problems, describe the word in easy English.
She said that the listening is ‘tricky’ which is a nice adjective that means a bit difficult.
Aida said that she tries to study English after work, but “Not always is possible”. It would be better to say “It isn’t always possible.”
I liked Aida’s answer to my question “Do you have a busy life?”. She said, “I don’t think so.” A big mistake by many Spanish speakers is saying “I think no”. Aida answered correctly, “I don’t think so.”
She said she “Has a healthy and quiet lifestyle”, which is also very good English. But she said “She thinks that she lives very calm”. A better way to say this is “I think I have a calm way of life”
“I love going to the mountain or going trekking” was correct, but there is also a gerund after ENJOY. So instead of “I really enjoy spend time with her and my boyfriend”, it’s better to say “I really enjoy SPENDING time with her and my boyfriend.”
Aida said “When the clock start to sound, it’s very difficult for me.” There’s a phrasal verb that Aida could have used here. It’s “to go off”. We use go off to talk about alarm clocks, bells, fire alarms etc.
So, a better sentence would be, “It’s very difficult for me to wake up when the alarm clock goes off.”
Aida remembered to use the gerund after prepositions in reply to my Internet question. She said she uses the Internet “For checking my emails, for surfing the net etc.
She said she “sings very bad” Aida is describing the verb TO SING, she needs an adverb here. “I sing very badly” is correct, or, “I’m a bad singer”.
Aida is very obsessed with The Black Forest in Germany. She said that “She’s saving money for can travel there” To use “can” in the future, or the past, Aida could have used BE ABLE TO.
So, a better sentence is “I’m saving money to be able to travel to The Black Forest.”
Now I’d like to introduce you to my second guest for this episode, FCE student Marta.
Marta uses a nice comparative expression when she says “English is now the most important language in the world.”
Marta says she needs the B2 level “for find job” I would be better here to use the infinitive and say “I need the B2 level to find a job.”
She also says “I need practise speaking” Another infinitive is necessary here, “I need TO practise speaking.”
I like Marta’s correct use of present simple when she said, “I usually do English twice a week in the evening.” She could also have said “study English”, but “do English” is ok, and the sentence was perfect.
Another infinitive is necessary when she said “for do extra exercises” It’s better to say “to do extra exercises” This infinitive is called the Infinitive of Purpose and it’s used to explain WHY we do things.
We take a chair “TO SIT DOWN”, we open the door “TO GO OUT”, take the bus “TO GET TO WORK”. So, in Marta’s example, she bought the workbook TO DO extra exercises at home.”
Marta says that she’s like her mother because “the two are so little”. It’s better to say “the two of us”, or “both of us are so little.”
Marta “can’t play handball now because she has to study a lot, but she always played it when she was younger.” – Perfect! no mistakes or probelms there. Well done Marta!
Marta uses the conditional ‘would’ when I asked her which new skill she would like to learn, but it’s important to remember the infinitive.
She said, “I would like play the piano.” It’s better to say, “I would like TO play the piano”
If you remember my comment on Aida’s use of CAN for the future (BE ABLE TO), Marta could also have said, “I would like TO BE ABLE TO play the piano.”
Marta uses the conditional ‘would’ correctly at the end when she says, I would like to go to New York. I think it’s a beautiful city.”
Aida and Marta both spoke very well and very clearly. There are a few areas that they need to improve in their speaking, but they are both very motivated and they are working very hard. If they continue this way, I think they both have a very good chance of passing the speaking part of the exam in June this year.
Next episode: Another speaking test practice with 2 more FCE students, Pau and Miguel
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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Congratulations. Your podcasts are the best. Indeed. Before, I listened BBC everyday. Now I’m your fan number one. I live near Valencia I would like to make a seafood paella for you. I’m an absolute beginner but learning English is my personal challenge. ‘I’m 50 and unemployed. KInd regards.
Thanks Javier. Did you also send an email about studying in Belfast?