KET & PET on Saturday
Last Saturday I was a supervisor and an invigilator for the Cambridge ESOL KET and PET examinations which we organized for our pre-intermediate and intermediate level students. The exams were held at the Aizuwakamatsu Chamber of Commerce, which is not too far from the Windmill English Centre in Nakajima Machi.
I always feel very pleased and proud to offer our students and other candidates the chance to take examinations in English which are truly of an international standard even though there is a lot of administration work for us to do in order to hold the exams.
When I asked a couple of students after the exams about them, they commented that the listening paper was hard because the speakers they had to listen to on the test CD spoke so “quickly”. However, when I was invigilating during the listening paper, I thought the native English speakers on the CD were talking clearly and naturally. The students’ comments reminded me of the importance of exposing them to the rhythm and intonation of natural, authentic spoken English along with its hesitations, repetitions, weak forms, contractions (i.e. “I’m” not “I am”), ellipses (missing out words when considered unnecessary) etc..
At the school we use some of the best quality teaching materials available which, generally, use language as it is spoken naturally by fluent English speakers. It is clear that, in order to pass Cambridge exams, students must get this type of listening practice in the classroom and/or at home.