Cambridge English PET Reading Exam – Part 1.

A menudo los alumnos que hacen los exámenes de Cambridge se les preocupa el examen de reading. Piensan que va a ser complicado, lleno de lenguaje y vocabulario que desconocen e incluso piensan que los exámenes contienen trampas. La realidad es que nada de eso importa. Lo que importa es el alumno, sus conocimientos y su capacidad de controlar los nervios, ver las cosas como son y responder a las preguntas de forma lógica y sistemática. Aquí os dejo unos “tips” de como aprobar el primer parte.

  1. Dejar o no dejar en blanco una respuesta?

Pues NO, en los exámenes de Cambridge NO restan puntos si te equivocas, entonces porque dejarlo en blanco? Lea las preguntas, si no conoces la respuesta elige la que te resulta más probable. Si te aciertas perfecto, si no también ya que no has perdido ni un solo punto!

2. Lee las preguntas!

Parece tonto mencionarlo pero la cantidad de veces que he visto un alumno “dar por hecho” que conoce a ciencia cierta la respuesta, lo rellena sin mas y zasca, esta mal. No por no entender pero por no leer con atención la pregunta! Un gran fallo de alumnos en los exámenes de Cambridge es ver que  una pregunta contiene una palabra y que en una de las opciones también la usa y “suponer” que eso automáticamente es la respuesta correcta, a veces funciona, muchas veces NO!

3. Identificar las imágenes.

En la primera parte del reading verás cinco imágenes y tienes que elegir una respuesta A,B o C. En primer lugar intenta identificar si el imagen es un “note”, “email”, “postcard” etcétera. Eso le ayudará averiguar la respuesta correcta.

Ademas, subraya las palabras claves o información importante como, días, fechas, horas o horarios. También busca si hay marcadores temporales tales como “next week”, “tomorrow” o “after/before”. Con toda esa información será más fácil acertar.

#Cambridge #PET #Exam #part1

 

What is the best language strategy for bilingual children?

The great bilingual language paradigm! The correct way to raise a bilingual child? How should we do this? These are all problems, fears and questions about raising a child in a bilingual environment. Here l want to have a look at one main approach.

One parent one language approach (OPOL): This has been the dominant approach for bilingual learning at home since the early 1900s. It was first mentioned by Maurice Grammont. It is simple in its application yet it requires a high level of consistency on behalf of the parents. This method requires that each parent selects a language and will only speak to their child in their chosen target language. This is probably the best choice for families where there is no clear common target language between the parents. Using my family as an example: we have chosen the OPOL approach, l am from the UK and my wife is Spanish. We live in Spain and my wife does not dominate English. Therefore the logical choice is the OPOL approach, l will speak only in English to my daughter and my wife will speak only in Spanish.

Annick De Houwer  has suggested that OPOL can help with an early development of metalinguistic awareness. In this metalinguistic awareness the child develops the ability to note that language is much more than just symbols, an awareness that words are can be separable from their referents (for example l am “dad” but if someone calls me John, l will still be dad to my daughter, meaning resides in the mind not in the words themselves). The metalinguistic awareness that language is a living being, it can evolve, change and be manipulated by the user to fit their requirements and aid in communication.

So far all of the areas seem positive, however, it is not so. There are various disadvantages to OPOL. The intention of OPOL is to enable simultaneous bilingualism converting both languages into L1, however, if (as in my case) l am the only source of English there is a severe risk of language attrition. Also if (as it is in my case) one of the parents is monolingual then l have to communicate with my wife in her selected language, my daughter could understand this as a hierarchy of languages and she could downgrade English almost to the level of L2.

Spain’s Homwork strike makes the pages of the BBC.

The Spanish national parents association has called a strike against homework in public schools. Their plea has gained the attention of the BBC. They are calling for parents to stop their children doing homework each weekend during the month of November. Although Spain ranks at number 11 in the world for hours of homework per week it does not convert into academic success, Spain frequently ranks as mediocre in the PISA scores. To have a read of the BBC report click here.

Brexit and our universities.

What does brexit mean for UK universities? For one the dreaded brain-drain, no longer will our universities be filled with the best minds from across Europe. Having Europe’s best in the U.K. means that innovation has flourished, our society has benefited from having our continental friends with us. It has given our universities an international and global focus, a purpose and reason to reach for the stars and strive to aim big in research, now under threat by being confined to the U.K. 

Secondly, our universities are going to suffer financially. No longer will we be able to obtain massive grants from the EU. Our research will not only be confined to the U.K. but it will also be restricted to small scale research. How do we overcome this financial shortfall? Welcome to US style education in the U.K., ASTRONOMICAL university fees.

Read The Guardian’s article about brexit and U.K. universities here.

The Joy of Writing.


The Huffington Post has published an article (Here) about the importance of writing, not just for academic purposes, but for fun. Children in this modern technological age have so many advantages over our generation, yet writing is not one of them. Every year fewer students write for pleasure. Writing for fun promotes creativity and is a source of inspiration. As mentioned in the Huffington Post, students who write for fun obtain higher grades at school, yet parents and educators ignore this key aspect of learning.