First certificate

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Experts in Language Assessment

First Certificatein English
Handbook for teachers
for examinations from December 2008

© UCLES 2007
EMC/4483/7Y09

The First Certificate in English is at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment published by the Council of Europe

FCE content and overview
Part/timing Content Part 1 A textfollowed by eight multiple-choice questions. A text from which seven sentences have been removed and placed in a jumbled order, together with an additional sentence, after the text. A text or several short texts preceded by 15 multiplematching questions. One compulsory question. Candidates choose one task from a choice of five questions (including the set text options). Candidates are expected to beable to write nonspecialised text types such as an article, an essay, a letter, an email, a report, a review, or a short story, with a focus on advising, apologising, comparing, describing, explaining, expressing opinions, justifying, persuading, recommending, suggesting. Candidates are expected to demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge of the language system by completing a number oftasks. Test focus Candidates are expected to show understanding of specific information, text organisation features, tone, and text structure.

1
READING 1 hour

Part 2

Part 3

Part 1

2
WRITING 1 hour 20 minutes

Part 2

Part 1

A modified cloze test containing 12 gaps and followed by 12 multiple-choice items. A modified open cloze test containing 12 gaps. A text containing 10gaps. Each gap corresponds to a word. The stems of the missing words are given beside the text and must be changed to form the missing word. Eight separate questions, each with a lead-in sentence and a gapped second sentence to be completed in two to five words, one of which is a given ‘key word’. A series of eight short unrelated extracts from monologues or exchanges between interacting speakers.There is one multiple-choice question per extract. A monologue or text involving interacting speakers, with a sentence completion task which has 10 questions. Five short related monologues, with five multiplematching questions. A monologue or text involving interacting speakers, with seven multiple-choice questions. A conversation between the interlocutor and each candidate (spoken questions). Anindividual ‘long turn’ for each candidate, with a brief response from the second candidate (visual and written stimuli, with spoken instructions). A two-way conversation between the candidates (visual and written stimuli, with spoken instructions). A discussion on topics related to Part 3 (spoken questions).

Part 2

3
USE OF ENGLISH 45 minutes

Part 3

Part 4

Part 1

4
LISTENINGApproximately 40 minutes

Part 2

Candidates are expected to be able to show understanding of attitude, detail, function, genre, gist, main idea, opinion, place, purpose, situation, specific information, relationship, topic, agreement etc.

Part 3

Part 4

Part 1

Candidates are expected to be able to respond to questions and to interact in conversational English.

Part 2

5
SPEAKING14 minutes

Part 3

Part 4

Preface
This handbook is for anyone who is preparing candidates for the Cambridge ESOL First Certificate in English examination (FCE). The introduction gives an overview of FCE and its place within Cambridge ESOL. This is followed by a focus on each paper and includes content, advice on preparation and example papers. Further information on the examination willbe issued in the form of: • regular update bulletins • an extensive programme of seminars and conference presentations. If you require additional CDs or further copies of this booklet, please email ESOLinfo@CambridgeESOL.org

Contents
Inside front cover 2 University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations FCE content and overview 2 Key features of Cambridge ESOL examinations

OVERVIEW OF FCE...
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