B2 Certificación: general info and tips

9 Junio 2020 por carmensp

  • TEMAS PROGRAMACIÓN INTERMEDIO B2 (Upper-Intermediate)

These are the broad TOPICS you must show competence in. You may be asked to write or speak about them, and readings, listenings and mediations will also be connected with them, since they are wide and involve a series of subtopics each. If you would like to see a more detailed description, go to our web or check Educastur documentation.

1. Identificación personal.

2. Vivienda, hogar y entorno.

3. Actividades de la vida diaria. Trabajo.

4. Tiempo libre y ocio.

5. Viajes y turismo. Transporte.

6. Relaciones humanas. Familia. Sociedad. Crimen y justicia.

7. Salud, alimentación y cuidados físicos.

8. Educación. Tradiciones y culturas. Globalización.

9. Lengua y comunicación. El inglés como lengua franca.

10. Bienes y servicios. Compras y actividades comerciales.

11. Clima, condiciones atmosféricas y medioambiente.

12. Ciencia y tecnología.

  • GUÍA DEL ASPIRANTE.

See Educastur ‘2020 Guía del aspirante’ as soon as it comes out so as to find out the specific information about next September sitting. The exam has changed compared to last year, and there may be more changes we still do not know about.

  • MODELOS PRUEBAS CERTIFICACIÓN ASTURIAS. 

Remember you can consult some exams from previous years. Useful for practice and to see what they were like. With answers and audios:

https://www.educastur.es/estudiantes/idiomas/pruebas-certificacion/modelos

  • B2.1 posts on this BLOG (’Open World’ units 1-6) and last year’s textbook. 

Don’t forget you can have a go at the past few months’ B21 posts on this blog for more practice on the skills and topics you wish to work on further.

‘Open World’ has lots of useful language to talk and write about most of the topics which we have not gone through this year, since we started in unit 8. Last year’s ‘File Upper-intermediate’ (or the textbook you studied) can also help you with vocabulary, both new and revisited. ‘File’ has good vocabulary sections at the back (crime, business, etc).

  • IELTS SPEAKING EXAM. TOPIC VOCABULARY.

Written samples of speaking productions on almost each of the topics you need to study. Highly recommendable for the Monologue and the Interaction parts of certificación. You can also use the ideas for writing tasks. (note that IELTS speaking paper is different from ours, the same as First is, but the language and topics you must show proficiency in are pretty much the same).

https://www.ieltsspeaking.co.uk/ielts-vocabulary/

  • ENGLISH VOCABULARY IN USE UPPER-INTERMEDIATE.

This Cambridge book is a vocabulary essential, since it covers most of the topics at the level

. Recommendable if you feel like widening your vocabulary through practical exercises. There may be free downloads available for a glance before considering buying it.

  • WEBTECA EOI OVIEDO.

An extensive bank of web links clasified into categories. See the sections you are more interested in for free online resources. The most popular ones are usually at the top of each category.

https://eoioviedo.org/webteca-ingles/

(By the way, don’t forget to have a look at the EOI Writing Bank section of this blog!)

  • EL PAÍS in English. 

Wonderful tool to keep updated on the latest Spanish news in English and get ready for the Mediation paper. As you know, very often the topics in the exam deal with current affairs, customs and celebrations, culture, health, and on most occasions they refer to Spanish or Asturian issues rather than international!

https://english.elpais.com/

Read also tourist leaflets or webpages in English about typical Asturian traditions, art, gastronomy, cultural events, etc.

  • REMINDER: more resources

On the post ‘B2.2 English for Summertime’, you will find a summary of expressions used in conversational language, mediation sample texts and  two sets of monologue and conversation tasks to practice.

Apart from exercises on different topics and online vocabulary resources, I have posted there several topic vocabulary banks which may be specially useful if you are studying for certificación. Some of them are closely linked to issues that are not in your textbook but are included in the exam.

Go to the same post for practice on other skills and recommended sections from ‘Open World’ Writing and Speaking Banks.

B2.2 English for Summertime

9 Junio 2020 por carmensp

Hello there! Here is a series of exercises and resources for B2.2 students (and B2.1 if interested or taking certificación exam this year). Note that, whether you are sitting the exam or not, writing, speaking and mediation in continuous assessment throughout the year usually follow certificación structure and tasks. Therefore, the more familiar you are with the types of tasks in certificación, the easier it will be to carry out those exercises successfully in class.

  • READING: extra practice

Can you feel the rhythm?     key   Multiple-choice reading exercise.

Student life and technology   Multiple-choice reading & vocabulary exercise + key

Homes of the future   Multiple-choice reading & use of English + key

  • LISTENING: extra practice

Health and fitness     audio     key     Multiple choice

An interview with a diver     audio     key    Multiple choice

The environment      audio       key   Multiple-choice listening + vocabulary

Listening test      audio 1     audio 2      audio 3      key

Three listening exercises: ‘Jobs in shops’ (matching), ‘Social networking sites’ (multiple choice) and ‘A photographer’ (gap-filling) + ‘Jobs in shops’ script

  • VOCABULARY

Here you will find vocabulary banks and exercises classified by topic. Part of the topics/subtopics were seen in B2.1 while others correspond to B2.2. All of them form part of B2 syllabus and may appear in certificación exam, both written and oral papers, and can be helpful to prepare these particular topics. Check out the post ‘B2.2 Certificación: info and tips’ or EOI’s web for the whole list of general topics.

FOOD AND EATING HABITS

A guide to meals in the UK  An informative text with ideas and vocabulary about meals in the UK.

Food  Core vocabulary and ideas for monologues on different aspects of the topic.

- FAMILY and RELATIONSHIPS   Vocabulary bank

- EDUCATION   Vocabulary bank

- ENGLISH TODAY   Vocabulary bank

- SHOPPING   Shopping and consumerism  Vocabulary bank and ideas to help you prepare the topic.

- ADVERTISING  The world of advertising  Vocabulary bank, exercises and ideas for monologues on the topic.

- TECHNOLOGY  Vocabulary bank

- WORK  Work and employment  Vocabulary bank and exercises.

- CRIME  This topic is part of B2 syllabus but is not in your textbook. Try to have a look at it and do the exercises. ‘File Upper-intermediate’ has a good vocabulary section that is worth doing as well.

Crime: vocabulary bank      exercises     key

   - SOCIAL ISSUES  Social issues

This is a fabulous online video resource to acquire new vocabulary and activate what you know. Most of B2 topics are dealt with!

skype-lessons.com/vocabulary-lessons

  • WRITING

- ‘Open World‘: Writing Bank pp.234-241. We have already seen the most significant parts of the appendix but, apart from revising the writings you did throughout the past few months, hese are the pages in the book that deserve attention:

An essay- revise p.234 and see the texts and exercises on p.235. They cover essays on different topics and are a rich source of ideas.

An email/ letter- VERY INTERESTING! This is a section I regret not having had time to work on. You can make the most of it now. It covers informal emails, formal letters of application and key language for different kinds of formal letters and emails.

To learn more about about informal letter writing watch this video:

https://youtu.be/Ll0K-LLxzY8

A review- we focused on book/film reviews mainly, but remember there are other kinds of reviews (websites, hotels, restaurants, holiday resorts, etc) that you may be required to produce in the form of email writing that may appear in reading and mediation texts. Pages 238-9 are well worth revising.

  • SPEAKING

- ‘Open World‘: Speaking Bank pp.244-253. Remember that First and certificación are different, but the examples, language and recordings are good practice for speaking, both individual speech and conversation.

Focus on Speaking parts 1, 3 and 4 (you can skip part 2, no picture description in certificación). Part 3 gives key information and a lot of ideas about what an interaction task should be like. Study it in depth!! As for Part 4, the students’ model excerpts can also serve as a guide on the kind of exchanges expected in conversations about a topic or when dealing with different aspects of a topic in a monologue.

CONVERSATIONAL LANGUAGE  Summary of expressions to cover different functions in spoken language (also useful in writing)

- SPEAKING EXAM TASKS  Info and tips.

a) MONOLOGUE:

Monologue task on the topic of Work  Example of what a certificación monologue task may be like. Keep in mind that in the actual exam the photos on the worksheet, if there are any, are not intended for description but their only purpose is to provide you with ideas. If a list of words or expressions appears, like in this example, it is also your choice to make use of them or not, as far as you develop and argument your speech correctly. If the teachers ask you to use them, it might be that your speech is not being as satisfactory as desired up to the moment and they need to check your understanding and ability to use the vocabulary in the context.

MONOLOGUE PRACTICE  Set of monologue tasks on B2 topics

b) INTERACTION:

INTERACTION PRACTICE  Set of interaction tasks on B2 topics  Candidates  A&B (and C) usually have the same or similar guidelines; in any case, the information needed to build up the conversation.

- MEDIATION

These are examples of oral mediation tasks following the general structure of certificación. The tasks in the actual exam may be turn out to be slightly different. (Note that it is still not known what exactly the exam is going to be like this year. Check 2020 Guía del aspirante for updated information).

Trabajar menos es más productivo

10 pasos para una vida sana

Consejos para mejorar tu salud

La vida no es sueño: ¿por qué dormimos mal?

Activa el hippie que llevas dentro

Los problemas actuales del sistema educativo español

Así muere la lectura a los 15

Riesgos de que los adolescentes utilicen los móviles

10 consejos para comprar en internet de forma segura

Semana Negra de Gijón

Festival de Cine de Gijón

Ventajas y desventajas del turismo

Comer en Londres

Líquidos en el equipaje de mano

Impacto emocional por COVID-19

B2.1 Time for English?

9 Junio 2020 por carmensp

Hi everybody! What are you up to these days? I hope everything is fine with you! Here you can find the exercises I have chosen for those of you who feel like giving your English a boost in the coming months.

  • UNIT 1 

LISTENING:  The healthy eating project     audio

READING and VOCABULARY:  How to embrace exercise as an adult

  • UNIT 2

GRAMMAR:  Passive revision    Used to/ be used to/ get used to

VOCABULARY:   Family    key    useful phrases

VIDEO activity:  Friends      video download      answer key      transcript

  • UNIT 3

GRAMMAR:  1st & 2nd conditional

VOCABULARY EXERCISES:  Education

LISTENING:  Education and study      audio      key & script

  • UNIT 4

GRAMMAR/ VOCABULARY:  Countable and uncountable nouns

LISTENING:  Holiday accommodation      audio      key & script

  • UNIT 5

GRAMMAR PRACTICE Units 1-5Key word transformations     answer key

VIDEO activity:  Giselle- introduction to activity

The Romance of Giselle       key

WRITING LESSON:  A review: Skyfall       answer key

  • UNIT 6

GRAMMAR:  Relative clauses: rules       exercises

LISTENING:  8 situations      audio     key & script

READING:  Emboldened wild animals       key

WRITING LESSON:  Opinion essay: Zoos

…………………….

- Don’t forget there is an appendix in ‘Open World‘ called ‘English for Spanish speakers’ that can be used as a kind of workbook to clarify and strengthen those language points which are usually difficult for Spanish learners.

- Our Webteca EOI may help you find online links to practise the skills you feel are weaker at: https://eoioviedo.org/webteca-ingles/

- If you wish to do further practice and strengthen your SPEAKING and MEDIATION skills, why not try some of the exercises and activities uploaded for B2.2? See B2.2 English for Summertime post for resources and Open World recommended sections. You will also find some exercises to practice the other skills.

Note that some of the topics and grammar points there will be seen next year. Choose preferably those whose topics match what you saw in units 1 to 6. Working by yourself as you are, you can spend as long as you need to make the most of it with a view to next year’s syllabus.

Please have a look at the contents of the B2.2 post mentioned, and also at the post B2 Certificación: general info and tips, if you are studying for Certificación exam. They might be of your interest and, hopefully, be of help.

B2.2 Key to Reading and Listening Exercises

26 Mayo 2020 por carmensp

  • READING

KEY The world’s strangest annual events?

  • LISTENING

KEY Cultures and customs

KEY Job interview

B2.1 Key to Reading and Listening exercises

26 Mayo 2020 por carmensp

  • READING

KEY The Sea Mammal Institute

  • LISTENING

KEY Eating habits

KEY Places and buildings

B2 Speaking and Mediation Test (both B2.1 and B2.2)

19 Mayo 2020 por carmensp

TASK FOR B2 STUDENTS WHO WISH TO TRY TO IMPROVE THEIR MARKS IN SPEAKING AND/ OR MEDIATION

Click on the link to open the oral task you need to prepare:

Speaking and mediation task

Record yourself and send the whole task, both parts together, in one file in mp3 format.

Make sure you check the pronunciation of the vocabulary you want to use before recording.

It shoudn’t take longer than 4- 4 minutes 30 seconds.

Please send it on Sunday 24th May at the latest.

B2.2 Classes A/B, May 17th-21st

17 Mayo 2020 por carmensp

Dear B2.2 students,

Here are the exercises I told you about. Try to do your best!

EXERCISES FOR ALL B2.2 STUDENTS WHO WISH TO TRY TO IMPROVE THEIR MARKS IN READING AND/ OR LISTENING.

Please send by Friday 22nd at the latest.

Check that your answers are properly labelled and numbered so that I can read them correctly.

  • READING:

The world’s strangest annual events?   Four people describe an event they once saw. Which person mentions what?

  • LISTENING:

Cultures and customs      audio   Multiple choice exercise

Job interview     audio   Gap-filling exercise (be aware that the audio file is  big and may take some time to load)

TASK ONLY FOR B2.2 STUDENTS WHO WISH TO TRY TO IMPROVE THEIR MARK IN WRITING and HAVE NOT SENT ANY WRITINGS YET.

Please send your writing by Friday 22nd at the latest.

Article:  A favourite place to visit

……………………..

I will soon get in touch again. Have a good Phase 1 second week and take loads of care!

B2.1 Classes C/D, May 17th-21st

16 Mayo 2020 por carmensp

Hello guys! How’s it going? Here is the work for the next few days.

EXERCISE FOR ALL B2.1 STUDENTS WHO WISH TO TRY TO IMPROVE THEIR MARKS IN READING AND/ OR LISTENING 

Please send me your answers by email no later than Thursday, 21st May.

Make sure your answers are clearly labelled and numbered, so that I can easily spot which exercise they belong to.

  • READING:   

The Sea Mammal Institute

Multiple choice reading exercise on the topic of unit 6 Open World, “Closer to Nature”.

  • LISTENING:  

Eating habits      audio       Multiple choice listening exercise.

Places and buildings      audio      Match speakers and items.

TASK ONLY FOR B2.1 STUDENTS WHO WISH TO TRY TO IMPROVE THEIR MARK IN WRITING and HAVE NOT SENT ANY WRITINGS YET.

Deadline: Thursday 21st May.

Email of complaint

My piece of advice is that, as we do not know what the future holds, it is worth making this little effort now. Anyway, it is your own decision.

Let’s see what our regional Education department has in store for EOIs. Time has almost run out! This week they will have to tell us about at least part of it, whatever it is. I will get in touch to let you know.

Keep on taking care!


B2.2 Classes A/B, Week 11-14 May

11 Mayo 2020 por carmensp

Hi everybody! One more week gone and a brand-new one to start. As I told you by email, still no information about the end-of-year dates and procedure or Certificación.  😭 So very sorry!

Here is what I have planned for this week, one of the few left ones in the school years, that’s for sure. It might be the last but one if the original end-of-year dates are maintained.

It is likely that you do not have much time to study now that we are gradually being released from confinement. Don’t worry, go at your own pace. You are not meant to do it all now within this week. Choose whatever you find more interesting or appealing.

In these last few weeks I will be posting more work than usual but, this way,  you will have the guidelines and resources here for when you need them or have more time for English. Okay?

  • Unit 14 OPEN WORLD: ‘Not just 9-5′ p.184

Lesson plan and exercises to do

Real World: Frankfurt. video script

  • VOCABULARY on the topic of WORK

This is a list of words and expressions in context that can help you to recall vocabulary you already know and learn new terms. Keep it as reference guide on the topic -and with a view to the speaking and writing papers in Certificación exam, if you plan to take it.

WORK: vocabulary bank

  • LISTENING practice

- ’Kidults’: Adults in their 20s and 30s who still live with their parents. Multiple choice.

exercise, key and script      audio

- ‘What clothes do you like to wear?’: Match speakers and ideas.

exercise, key and script     audio

  • READING practice

Dream Jobs & Key

  • RELATIVE pronouns and RELATIVE clauses

For those of you who wish to revise relatives, I have included here these exercises that I recommended to B2.1 students last week. It combines exercises from your textbook with other resources.

- Open World. Grammar reference Unit 6, p. 217. Read the brief explanation that reminds you of the difference between a defining and a non-defining relative clause, and then watch the *Grammar on the Move video on p.87, or the other way round, as you prefer, before doing the two exercises on p.217. Note that in ex.2 n°4, the pronouns who/that can be omitted, as they are the object of the clause (this option is not in the key).

*If for any reason you cannot read the Grammar on the move QR video, you can see it through this link: http://www.cambridge.org/OW_First_Vid18

Go back to Relative clauses p.87 and do the exercises there, 1 to 5. Notice the use of whom, which you might not have come across with till now. In ex.4, sentence 5, both who and whom can be used with exactly the same meaning, being whom the most formal option. In exercise 5 you will practise some expressions with which and whom; in these phrases only whom is correct, but not who.

- Check out these links if you need to learn more about whom

who vs whom: grammar rules       whom: exercise 1       whom: exercise 2

- Here is a useful video about relatives, which I guess will help you

Relatives: grammar lesson

- And these are some extra exercises to practise relatives more in depth Relative clauses: rules+online exercises with answers

Stonehenge: relatives who/which -exercise with answers

Relative pronoun: necessary or not? -exercise with answers

Relative clauses: online test with answers

Relatives: exercises+key (printable pdf)

  • Revision of FUTURE.

Have a look at the document below, where you will find a summary of the different ways of talking about the future in English and how the future tenses are formed . Then do the online practice and check your answers and overall understanding.

Future tenses

Online exercise with answers

Online exercises with answers

That’s it for this week, first of Phase 1!

Keep on taking care of yourself and the others! Cheers!

B2.1 Classes C/D, Week 11-14 May

11 Mayo 2020 por carmensp

Hiya! How are you all keeping?

Here is this week’s homework. I hope that you have some spare time to study and do at least part of it. If you are pushed for time, choose whatever you find more useful or more doable.

  • LISTENING practice and GRAMMAR work

- The music industry. Video activity. Listening practice combined with work on relatives and question formation. The link to the video is in the exercise, as well as the answers.

The music industry

- Relatives. More exercises on this grammar point + key. (pdf)

Practice on relatives

  • LISTENING COMPREHENSION 

- Animals. This is a true/false listening test on the topic of wild-life animal protection. Key included (no script)

Animals: exercise      audio

- Being a volunteer. Listen to five people talking about their experience of being a volunteer and match each speaker to the idea they express.

Being a volunteer: exercise       answer key      script      audio

  • PRONUNCIATION: -ed

The following are some resources on the pronunciation of -ed in regular past simple and past participles that I recommended doing at B2.2. If you feel that you are not sure about how to pronounce the ending -ed, save a little time to watch these videos and do the exercise.

Videos: Watch these three online videos, which clearly explain the rules of pronunciation and give examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh_DM7qJGWo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0nF-xNWd2A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWuS7rfZlDQ

Exercise: 

rules of -ed pronunciation      exercise      key

  • SPEAKING SKILLS practice

On the webpage British Council LearnEnglish Teens, there are loads of activities, many of which -though primarily intended for teens- can be of the interest of all ages. There are fabulous activities to practise Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing at different levels. B1 and B2 resources can also be helpful if you are studying for Certificación.

Why not start trying this level B2 listening and speaking interactive video:

Discussing exam results

Do the listening/use of English exercises following the instructions on the page, and then try taking up the role in the conversation yourself, as suggested. This is a good chance for you to develop your speaking skills in sort of ‘real’ informal contexts, and good practice for the Interaction paper in Certificación.

  • REAL WORLD, Open World: Going into the wild in… Florida

If you find the topic of this lesson appealing, give the exercises on pp.92-93 a try, while this way you kind of round off the unit and the contents seen in B2.1 throughout the year.

- Ex.1 & 2, p.92. Match the photos with the reading texts. Have you done any of these activities before? Would you like to? If none of them is appealing to you, why is it so?

- Ex.3 is a vocabulary exercise, while the task in ex.4 is similar to a kind of work you may be asked to do in Mediation: read through the texts and decide which place is more suitable for each family and why.

- Ex.4 & 5. Listening. There are two different tasks here. First complete the table and afterwards do the matching in ex.5 and check your answers paying attention to the expressions in A-F used in the conversation.

- Ex.7. This exercise is the most interesting one in the section. It contains very common expressions you need to know. Go through it and focus on the phrases and their exact words and structures.

- VIDEO: Florida. As usual, watch it several times and make notes about the  listed things. Possible answers:

Cities in Florida: Orlando- theme Park capital of the world;  Miami- one of the USA’s most visited cities

Land animals: butterflies, rattlesnakes and flamingos

Underwater animals: manatee (or sea-cow)- grow to around 3 metres long; alligators, turtles

Diving in Florida: divers can explore the wrecks and reefs and see the clownfish and the sea anemone

This is the full video script.

If you cannot read the video QR for any reason whatsoever, use this link

http://www.cambridge.org/OW_First_Vid19

I’ll be back soon. Move cautiously and safely into Phase 1 of deescalation! Are you able to explain in English what we will be allowed to do in this phase? Read EL PAÍS in English and find out!