Tuesday, 15 July 2014

CPE RESTAURANT REVIEW

Take a look at this very well-written Restaurant Review sent to us by a CPE student from Chantilly, France. For more on Reviews, you can also visit our page How to write a Film Review.



TASK : 
Your local newspaper is asking its readers to write a review of a restaurant where you have eaten recently and would recommend to others.




The Open House Polo Restaurant

(Name/location)
The ‘Open House’ is a restaurant situated in the heart of a small village between three national forests and close to the horse´s capital city, Chantilly. It is the favourite hangout place for people from the polo, horse races, and golf world.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

CPE REPORT ON THE MUSIC FESTIVAL


Take a look at this excellent report sent to us by a CPE student. Then visit our page How to write a report.


EXAM TASK: 
You belong to a committee that helps to organise a yearly music festival in your hometown. This year’s event has just taken place and you have been asked by the event leader to write a short report highlighting its success and making recommendations for next year.


REPORT ON THE MUSIC FESTIVAL


INTRODUCTION
The aim of this report is to outline the great success of the very first Music Festival which took place in Chantilly last month. This report will also give recommendations for the organisation of next year’s event in Senlis, France.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

CPE ESSAY ON QUALITY OF LIFE

CPE Writing Paper model . In the Proficiency in English Cambridge Exam (Paper 2- Writing) you are given two pieces of text and are asked to write an essay based on the information given. 

Take a look at this essay sample. Then visit our pages How to write an essay and Tips to write an essay.

Quality of life

This comes from the Objective Proficiency Workbook by author Eirca HallWe all have dreams of having more and longer holidays, getting a better job, being fitter and living in a wealthier place. However, it is difficult to further our dreams for several reasons. Both texts deal with the concept of «quality of life» pointing out how it influences our health and how difficult it is for some to have access to it.

Monday, 30 June 2014

TIPS TO WRITE AN ESSAY

Writing an Essay at the CPE Cambridge exam:

-   Read both pieces of text.
-   Underline the 2 key points in each paragraph , points 1+2 and 3+4.
-   Decide how far you agree with these points.
-   List some relevant ideas.
-   Plan your answer in 4 or 5 paragraphs.


Layout of an essay :

-          Introduction ( short summary of both pieces of text)
-          Paragraph 1 summarising points 1 and 2
-          Paragraph 2 summarising points 3 and 4
-          Conclusion 


Sentence openers :
-          The first text suggests that…..
-         

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

IDIOMS FROM A TO Z

Using different English Idioms will help you to impress the examiner in the CPE Speaking Exam. You can also use idioms in your writings but take into consideration that idioms are informal. This means that it is a good idea to use them in a friendly letter or in a light-hearted article, but not in a formal document like an essay or a report. Click to see How to write a Report and How to write an Essay.

List of idioms from A to Z

A

A chink in sb´s armour.
Example: She is the best student in the class but her poor spelling is the chink in her armour.



B

Spill the beans.
Example: I know you have a secret. C´mon tell me. Spill the beans.
Spill the beans idiom




C

http://www.facebook.com/cpesamplewritingsLet the cat out of the bag.
Example: You are not good at keeping secrets. Tell us now. Let the cat out of the bag.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

MEDICAL VOCABULARY: PHYSICAL COMPLAINTS

Learning these medical vocabulary will help you when taking the CAE and CPE exams. Knowing this vocabulary will prove useful when dealing with the Reading and Use of English Papers.

A SLIPPED DISC
A slipped disc medical vocabulary











A splitting headache English vocabularyA SPLITTING HEADACHE


Example: Are you going to the party? 
No, sorry. I´ve got a splitting headache. 
I feel like going to bed early tonight.



Monday, 23 June 2014

IDIOMS: PARTS OF THE BODY

Improve your level of English. Learn these idioms with parts of the body.




Be a pain in the neck idiom


BE A PAIN IN THE NECK


Example: I can't stand those naughty children. They are a pain in the neck.




Break a leg idiom
BREAK A LEG

Example: Very good luck in the show. 
Break a leg !






COST AND ARM AND A LEG

Example: That new Bruno Mars CD was very expensive. It cost me an arm and a leg.



IN ONE EAR AND OUT THE OTHER

Example: I talked to him but he didn´t listen. I think my words went in one ear and out the other.

In one ear and out the other idiom


Itchy feet idiom
ITCHY FEET

Example: I´m getting itchy feet again. I´m bored with the city. I´m planning to travel again soon.



Tuesday, 17 June 2014

CAE/CPE Test yourself

You need to improve your English to be ready to take the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) and Certificate in Proficiency in English (CPE) University of Cambridge exams. 

Try doing these Idioms and Vocabulary exercises and then visit our pages to check your answers. Very good luck in successfully passing these English exams. 

Unrequited love vocabulary

unputdownable book vocabulary

born with a silver spoon in the mouth idiom

A chink in the armour idiom


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Father´s Day Post. Idioms and phrasal verbs

"Such father, such son" goes the saying. I´m not so sure about that. I reckon I´m not exactly a chip off the old block. I mean I don´t think I take after my dad a lot. But I learnt that´s not necessarily a bad thing, we are different but we appreciate each other a lot.

We are celebrating Father´s Day in this part of the world tomorrow (3rd Sunday of June) and I got mine a Bruno Mars CD (mind you it cost me an arm and a leg and I hope he likes it!). What did you get yours? :)


Sunday, 8 June 2014

CPE REPORT SAMPLE

CPE Exam. Write a report 280-320 words


You belong to an international film club and have been asked to write a report for the club members including information about the main events held over the last twelve months, the present plans for activities in the coming years and a summary of the current financial position of the club in respect of money received and payments made.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

A LETTER OF APPLICATION (CAE)

This is an example of how to write an application letter for the CAE exam. The useful language is in bald. Very good luck in the exam!

Dear Sir

I am writing to you regarding a job advertisement I saw on my college bulletin board two days ago. I am really interested in applying for the position of children carer in your summer camp in the United States.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

CAE: A CHARACTER REFERENCE LETTER

To whom it may concern.

Mariela Lopez

Mariela and I have been working at "Peru Travel" for about 15 years. She has proved to be a well-qualified travel agent during all the time she has rendered services to this company.

Monday, 2 June 2014

VOCABULARY: 5 IDIOMS TO DO WITH LOVE

First of all I want to apologise for not having posted anything in a while. I´m accommodating my best friend who lives in Dusseldorf -Germany while he is on holidays here in Lima, and that has kept me quite busy and apart from blogging. 

Todays´ post is inspired in a musical we went to see last night: "Sweet Charity". Have you seen it? Are love stories your cup of tea? I hope idioms are at least!

5 IDIOMS TO DO WITH LOVE

1 To find your better half
2 A match made in heaven
3 To be head over heels
4 To tie the knot 
5 To be the apple of someone´s eye

Monday, 26 May 2014

CAE/ CPE When is it OK to use contractions?

Contractions are regarded as informal and spoken. Therefore it is advisable not to use contractions in formal writing.
 
When doing the writing paper in the CAE or CPE exam, it is important to read the task carefully. The kind of text we have to write will determine whether we use a formal or informal style:
 

CAE Writing Paper 2014

What pieces of writing to expect in the CAE exam this year?

From the official Cambridge web page:

"Candidates are expected to write non-specialised text types, with a focus on advising, comparing, evaluating, expressing opinions, hypothesising, justifying and persuading. Candidates need to be prepared to write a variety of text types – they are not told the topics and text types in advance of the exam. Text types will include:

Friday, 23 May 2014

HOW TO WRITE A REPORT FOR CAE/ CPE

A report is a formal document you write to a figure of authority to describe an experience such as attending a conference or taking part in a project. Therefore it is expected to be a rather formal text, well-organised into sections and with proper language.
1. The organisation of a Report
A report should have a title and subtitles (or subheadings) and be divided into clear sections. There is usually an introduction and a conclusion. Click here to see example.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

ADVISE OR ADVICE?

In British English advise (with "s") is the verb; and advice (with "c") is the noun. Let´s check some examples:

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

DISCURSIVE ESSAY OR OPINION ESSAY?

A discursive ( or "for and against" ) essay is different from an opinion essay. In an opinion essay, the writer starts out stating his/her opinion; in a discursive essay, the writer gives a balanced view and in the conclusion can either state his/her opinion or give a summary of both sides of the argument.
 
Source: "Speak Out" by Eales Frances and Oakes S.

Monday, 19 May 2014

CPE ARTICLE

An international current affairs magazine has invited readers to contribute articles entitled ‘ Globalisation- good news or bad ?’ for its next issue. You decide to write an article explaining your personal views on this topic.

280_ 320 words

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Let’s go global

I disagree strongly with the idea that globalisation is a threat to traditional symbols, culture and identities. The way I see it, it is a reality which is provoking a sweeping change in our lifestyles.

AND WHAT IF MY MIND GOES BLANK?

Perhaps what I find more challenging in the CPE exam is writing an article. There is no magical formula for them, nor fixed phrases that you can memorise in order to use them in the exam (such as "the aim of this report is to..." or "dear Sir or Madam".)

Thursday, 15 May 2014

THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES VOCABULARY

One of the books you are advised to read before taking the CPE exam is Sue Monk Kidd's "The secret life of bees". The book is full of very useful vocabulary. This comes from chapter 1 of the book.

BRISTLE ROLLERS














PEACH ORCHARD (an area of land devoted to the cultivation of peaches)











USING TWO-PART PHRASES IN WRITINGS

Using two-part phrases will help you enhance your writing for an international exam such as CAE, CPE or IELTS.

Try using some of these two-part phrases the next time you write a letter/ essay/ article/ story...

LEAPS AND BOUNDS
                                                         PROS AND CONS
ROUGH AND READY
                                                        UPS AND DOWNS
THROUGH AND THROUGH
                                                        GIVE AND TAKE

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

CPE PHRASAL VERBS

SADDLE SOMEBODY WITH SOMETHING

This week´s phrasal verb is " saddle with."
 
Definition: To make someone have a job or problem that is difficult or boring and that they do not want.
 
Examples:
 
I´ve been saddled with organising the whole party.
 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

CPE VOCABULARY IN PICTURES

A HEAP OF STRAW


                              


MOULDY BREAD



Sunday, 11 May 2014

GRIN LIKE A CHESHIRE CAT


To be grinning like a cheshire cat means to be incredibly happy.
The Cheshire Cat is a fictional cat popularised by Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and known for its distinctive mischievous grin.


Example: "She fancied him. It was as clear as water to us. As he talked to her she couldn´t help grinning like a cheshire cat."

Friday, 9 May 2014

Today´s idiom: Red Tape

The idiom RED TAPE  refers to excessive rules and regulations, bureaucratic details and delays.











Example: I´m glad to announce I´ve made it through the red tape. The embassy has granted me a VISA so I´m going on holidays to Germany. ( = I have finally managed to get a VISA so I can travel.)





Visit our Facebook Fan Page for more Idioms.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

USING ADVERBS TO WRITE DESCRIPTIVELY

It´s vitally important to be able to use adverbs in the CAE/ CPE exams. When writing a book or film review, for example, it is fundamental to write descriptively. This will cause a very positive effect on the reader/ examiner



Saturday, 3 May 2014

CPE VOCABULARY FLOWERS










CAMOMILE                                                       DANDELION




SUNFLOWER












                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                          VIOLET


WATER LILY



Visit the FACEBOOK PAGE for more Vocabulary / Collocations / Idioms / and  Phrasal verbs.

Friday, 25 April 2014

CPE VOCABULARY IN PICTURES
















 Let´s put your vocabulary to the test. Can you name these? Give it a try.

Check your answers in our Pictionary Page.

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