Exam Preparation - Classroom Activities

Euroexam Level B2

SPEAKING (Task 3) – Transactional Dialogues

Classroom activities to help prepare students for this task-type:

The ideas below are very brief and basic, so think carefully about each stage of the activity, and how you’re going to set it up.

Note that many of these activities can be done with extracts from the coursebooks you use!

  • Teacher gives one prompt (e.g. sample exam task card): students come up with as many possible responses as possible. 
  • Rewrite a mini conversation as if between different people, e.g. boss + employer; 2 neighbours; 2 friends, etc. (focus on formality, style etc.). First, define situation, then brainstorm functional language, and then build dialogue around phrases.
  • Handout 3x3-line dialogues, jumbled. Students group, & order them.
  • Students read a 3-line dialogue, and underline the stressed / important words. Practice the dialogue in pairs, exaggerating the stressed words.
  • Students brainstorm and write down every day transactional situations and places (e.g. asking a co-traveller in the city the best route to …; trying to find a specific book in a shop; checking the ingredients of a meal in a restaurant), & then improvise dialogues. (Weaker students could write notes, then role-play.)
  • Audio text: Who are the speakers? Where are they? Second listening: Sts take notes. 3rd listening (or read): focus on functional language.
  • Students work in pairs, choose a picture with 2 people, and write a 5-line dialogue; then swap / mix up / match / compare / the dialogues, etc. with other pairs. 
  • Give just one side of a dialogue; students write other side.

SPEAKING (Task 2) – Picture Story

Classroom activities to help prepare students for this task-type:

The ideas below are very brief and basic, so think carefully about each stage of the activity, and how you’re going to set it up.

Note that many of these activities can be done with extracts from the course books you use!

  • Use any (series of) pictures; encourage students to invent a story
  • Before / after stories (based on 1 picture): Students work in pairs to write what happened before, and what happened after the picture; they then compare their story with another pair.
  • Give the beginning and end of story with a sentence: students write down what happened between them.
  • Give students, in pairs, 5 words (useful for vocab. revision): they make up a story: (Remind students to think of a clear beginning and ending!). Sts re-pair, and tell each other.
  • Round-the-class stories: teacher starts; a student volunteers the next line, and so on. Encourage use of linking words.
  • Groups get a set of linking words and a situation (e.g. a [series of] pictures / photo from a newspaper): in turn, each person adds to the story & uses their linking word.
  • Linking word competition: Brainstorm categories of linking words, with one examples (e.g. addition – as well as). Sts work in groups to write down as many examples as possible (for 1, or all categories). Elicit and compare. Then give sts a situation / picture, and ask them to use the linking words.
  • ‘Emotions competition’ as above, but with words & phrases for expressing, e.g. sadness, happiness, shock, surprise, etc.  
  • ‘Consequences’: group stories, line by line (The ‘rules’ for this classic writing game can be found here: www.onestopenglish.com/teenagers/skills/writing/teenagers-writing-conseq...)
  • Re-order jumbled stories.
  • Gossiping: teacher says a person (e.g. your sibling, your best friend, one of your teachers etc.) and students try to improvise a real or fictitious story about each one (using past tenses).  

Euroexam Level B1

LISTENING (Task 2) – Making Notes

Classroom activities to help prepare students for this task-type:

The ideas below are very brief and basic, so think carefully about each stage of the activity, and how you’re going to set it up.

Note that many of these activities can be done with extracts from the course books you use!

  • Hand out text title +/or picture: students predict content
  • Sts guess missing information (gaps); listen to check
  •  ‘Dictagloss’: Two rounds of listening and note-taking: sts write down key words in chronological order, then try to reconstruct the whole text. (NB: Focus on meaning, not exact reproduction.)
  • Sts work with short complete text and decide which 1-2-3-word chunks could be removed for a ‘Making Notes’ listening task.
  • Discuss frequent words and their abbreviations, e.g. information – info, including – inc., etc. Get sts to come up with their own. Then give sts practice by playing an Audio text, or reading a short text: sts make notes, using abbreviations.
  • Handout a tapescript (e.g. one you have used recently). Sts underline words which are probably stressed in text; listen to compare.
  • Hand out complete text: sts underline key info; compare with which words are gapped.