What is the Aptis Exam?

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Hello people from the English world!

Whether you are a teacher or a student you might have heard of the Aptis exam. Everyone seems to be talking about it at the moment here is Spain. But what is it?

Well, it is a new exam by the British council designed to help the students feel comfortable and relaxed (as relaxed as one can be during an exam…).

So today I am going to talk to you about 2 things: The advantages of this exam and it’s format.

Advantages

The first thing you need to know is that the exam is entirely computer based. Which means that all of you out there scared to interact with other human beings (I feel you, I am the same sometimes) will not have to mentally prepare themselves for that. Every single part is done on the computer…even the speaking!

This exam is by the British Council…not a private company. So the focus here is NOT on making money and therefore the exam is quite a lot cheaper than other exams…sometimes half the price.

New exams tend to be easier. Let’s face it, this is not a myth. When a new exam comes out it has to be easier, there is no other way. The exam is still in ‘trial’ mode for around two years (those of you familiar with the Trinity exam will have noticed how much more difficult it is to pass the ISE now that it’s been 2 years since the big change). During those two years, the people behind the exam work on improving the content. But the thing is…if the word spreads out that an exam is too difficult, nobody is going to go for that exam. And a new exam needs to attract as many candidates as possible and spread the word that they are out there. So go for it guys! Now is your moment to pass the Aptis exam.

The format

The exam is composed of 5 parts (reading, writing, speaking, listening and then grammar and vocabulary). The exam is exactly the same wether you are trying to get a B1 or C2, which means some exercises are more difficult than others.

aptis

Now for scoring. Aptis is not very clear regarding the score needed to pass the levels. All that we know is that they do an average of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Once they have the average, they add the results of Grammar and Vocabulary. The good thing is that Grammar and Vocabulary are only included if it helps your score. So all of you who failed the Cambridge exam by just a few points (I find that a bit unfair but that’s how it is…) will NOT have that problem with Aptis.

Let’s have a look at the parts in detail:

     1) Speaking

Like I said before the exam is entirely computer based. The answers that you give are recorded on the laptop.

-Part 1: You will have 3 questions about yourself (ex: Tell me about your family / Describe your favourite dish…) and 30 seconds to answer each one.

-Part 2: There is one photo and 3 questions. Each question is answered in 45 seconds. The first question is always to describe, the second one tends to deals with details and the third one opinion.

-Part 3: This is the same as task 2, the only difference is that you get 2 photos and have to describe AND compare them in the first question (still 45 seconds per question).

-Part 4: You will get 1 photo, but the photo is mainly decoration, just a way to indicate what the topic is about. Then you get 3 questions, 1 minute to prepare and finally you have to answer all three questions at once in 2 minutes.

     2) Reading

The reading is composed of 4 tasks and lasts 30 minutes. The tasks are given in different orders to the candidates to avoid cheating.

  • One of the tasks consists of a gapped text with a word bank (there are more words than necessary).
  • Then there is another gapped text but this time you get three options per gap (similar to use of English part 1 in Cambridge).
  • The third type of task is a text divided in paragraphs and you are given sentences that explain what each paragraph is about. You have to match the sentences to the paragraphs.
  • The last task is a little text (often a mini biography) that you have to put back in order.

     3) Writing

Writing is the part where you need to get as many points as possible. I tell my students to aim for the level above in writing because it is almost the same for every exam. You want to sign up for a website or a service, and then there is a change in the service provided and have to write about those changes.

-Part 1: Here, you basically fill in a box with information about yourself (ex: Username, address, things that you like…). You have 3 minutes.

-Part 2: You write a short text about you (20 to 30 words), usually a description of why you signed up for the services. This is basically setting up your profile. This lasts 7 minutes.

-Part 3: You are in the chatroom of the website and have to answer 3 questions asked by another user. Each question is 30 to 40 words and all 3 questions must be answered in 10 min.

-Part 4: There are actually 2 tasks here. Let’s call them A and B. In task A you are informed of a change in the services provided (usually some kind of fee increase and/or a cancellation of a meeting) and you have to write a letter to a friend (INFORMAL) expressing your feelings and possible alternatives. Task A is 10 minutes and you have to write 50 words. Then task B is basically the same but it is a formal letter usually addressed to the manager of the website. It lasts 20 minutes and you have to write between 120 and 150 words.

     4) Listening

You are going to like this type of listening. Each recording is roughly 30 seconds and you have around 28 questions to answer. Every question is multiple choice. The listening exam lasts between 20 and 40 minutes (depending on how fast you are).

     5) Grammar and vocabulary

The grammar and vocabulary task consists of 60 multiple choice questions that you have to answer in 30 minutes. Now remember, it is the same exam for every level, so DON’T panic if there are quite a few questions you don’t know, it is normal. The exam is designed to test people of different levels so some questions are more appropriate for A2 but others for C1.

Alright! Now you should know a bit more about the Aptis examination (hopefully). I will write more about it in the future and I’ll also make a few videos so stay posted if you are interested in this exam!

That’s it for today guys…Keep on learning! Xoxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

 


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Here is the link to my ko-fi account: Ko-fi My little English Page

Idiom in U – Upper Hand

Hello dear students! We are getting close to the end of this series with only 5 more weeks left.

And today we have a look at the letter U with Upper Hand.

What it means:

If you have the upper hand, you have the advantage.

How to use it:

  • One of the most common situations when this idiom is used is during a sporting even. If a team or player is in a winning position, they have the upper hand.
  • If a business has an advantage over another business, they also have the upper hand.

Other interesting idioms:

U-turn – It is when somebody changes their opinion on an issue radically, especially when they have promised not to do so.

Ugly duckling – An ugly duckling is a someone shows little promise, but who develops later into a real talent or beauty.

Under fire – If someone is being attacked and cricitised heavily, they are under fire.

Up for grabs – If something is up for grabs, it is available and whoever is first or is successful will get it.

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Desert vs Dessert | My Memory tricks

Hello everyone!

Today we are back with a few of my tips on how to memorise desert and dessert. They are similar yet have a different spelling and pronunciation.

Watch the video first to make sure you never confuse them again. Then download the worksheet and expand your vocabulary.

1. Watch this video

2. Check out the activity sheet

FREE download here! confusing words

And cherry on the cake, it is an interactive pdf! You don’t even need to print it. You are welcome 😉

confusing words

That’s it for today guys. I really hope you enjoyed the lesson. Let me know what words you struggle to memorise in the comment section down below!

Keep on learning! Xoxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

 


If you want to help me create more content more regularly, please consider helping me with just a coffee. Ko-fi is a website that gives you the possibility to power me with lots of energy by offering me a coffee. It’s easy, simple, no engagement is required…Just a bit of help, love and support from you to me.

Here is the link to my ko-fi account: Ko-fi My little English Page

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Halloween BRAINstorming!

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Happy Halloween everyone! Are you going to celebrate and put on a costume or just stay at home and watch a movie?

 

I tried to be a bit more original this year and teach you about expressions and idioms that include the word BRAIN. Don’t forget to check out the FREE worksheet after the video!

1. Watch this video

2. Check out the activity sheet

 

FREE download here! Brain expressions and Idioms

Brain expressions and idioms

That’s it for today guys. I really hope you enjoyed the lesson. Let me know what you are doing for Halloween in the comment section below!

Keep on learning! Xoxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

 


If you want to help me create more content more regularly, please consider helping me with just a coffee. Ko-fi is a website that gives you the possibility to power me with lots of energy by offering me a coffee. It’s easy, simple, no engagement is required…Just a bit of help, love and support from you to me.

Here is the link to my ko-fi account: Ko-fi My little English Page

It’s a dog’s life! (A2-B1)

Hello dear students!

I am back on the blog after a little while with a lesson on dogs! It is a vlog (video blog) with loads of vocabulary and the activity sheet that goes with it!

In this lesson you will learn some basic dog anatomy, some verbs you can use and a bit more general vocabulary on man’s best friend.

1. Watch this video

 

2. Check out the activity sheet

FREE download here! Dog vocabulary

 

Dog vocabulary

That’s it for today guys. I really hope you enjoyed the lesson. Keep on learning! Xoxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

 


If you want to help me create more content more regularly, please consider helping me with just a coffee. Ko-fi is a website that gives you the possibility to power me with lots of energy by offering me a coffee. It’s easy, simple, no engagement is required…Just a bit of help, love and support from you to me.

Here is the link to my ko-fi account: Ko-fi My little English Page

Funtastic English Mag | First Issue FREE

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Tired of learning the old fashioned way?  So are we!

Funtastic English Magazine is your all new interactive way of learning with fun articles, stories, puzzles and study tips but that is only the beginning! The magazine has clickable links to take you to websites, videos and audio.

We have everything you need all in one place, start your FUNTASTIC learning today!


Click HERE to download the very first issue for FREE and be one of the 5 to find the secret link.

>>>>>>>>>>   Back to Schoo | Issue 1 – Sept 2018   <<<<<<<<<<

Who knows…maybe you will get month’s issue for FREE too!

Make sure to have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat for the best experience possible. It is completely free and you won’t be able to use some of the magazine’s amazing features without it.

We sincely hope that you enjoy the magazine as much as we have loved making it. See you next month for the October issue.

Let the fun learning begin!

Test Your Knowledge on IDIOMS

Idiom Quiz

Hello English world! As you know, idioms and expressions in English are a big deal…

Now, before we get onto the exercise I’d like to clarify something first. What is the difference between an expression (often referred to as phrase) and an idiom? Most people confuse the two (I am guilty of that myself), which is not that big of a deal, but since we are on the topic, let’s make this clear once and for all!

Here is what the dictionary says:

  • Idiom – a group of words in a fixed order that have a particular meaning that is different from the meanings of each word on its own
  • Expression/phrase – a short group of words that are often used together and have a particular meaning

To put it simple, the phrase is a lot more simple to understand without the actual meaning. The idiom tends to be more metaphorical (ex: raining cats and dogs…that does not happen LITERALLY) while the expression of phrase is less colourful and figurative (ex: even if you don’t know the expression, you can always guess  what “to give a dirty look” means, or at least close).

So I have put together a little quiz with some common or very useful idioms and expressions, all levels mixed). Let’s see how many you get right!

QUIZ

  1. A penny _____ your thoughts.
  2. Drastic times call for drastic __________.
  3. The grass is always greener on the other side of the ________.
  4. Would you be so ______ as to forward the email once more, please.
  5. She looked so happy when I told her the news. She was smiling from _____ to ear.
  6. Why the long _______?
  7. I don’t feel ready for next week’s exam…I should really _______ the books today.
  8. At first, I thought Henry looked weird, but I guess you should never judge a book by its ______ because he turned out to be the nicest person I know.
  9. Not getting the promotion was actually a _______ in disguise as I was contacted by another company and they offered me a much more interesting position.
  10. A good carpenter will not cut _____ and buy cheap wood just to save a bit of money.
  11. I know Martha looks guilty but we should give her the _______ of the doubt.
  12. I am never sick. Maybe once in a blue _______ but that’s about it.
  13. Man, this exam was way too easy. It was a piece of ______.
  14. My brother and I don’t really see eye to _____. We disagree about just everything.
  15. How could you afford a Ferrari? They cost an _____ and a leg!

ANSWERS

  1. for
  2. measures
  3. fence
  4. kind
  5. ear
  6. face
  7. hit
  8. cover
  9. blessing
  10. corners
  11. benefit
  12. moon
  13. cake
  14. eye
  15. arm

 

So….How many did you answer correctly? It wasn’t that easy right?! I hope you enjoyed this post, I haven’t really posted quizzes like this before. Would you like more?

That’s it for today guys…Keep on learning! Xoxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

 


If you want to help me create more content more regularly, please consider helping me with just a coffee. Ko-fi is a website that gives you the possibility to power me with lots of energy by offering me a coffee. It’s easy, simple, no engagement is required…Just a bit of help, love and support from you to me.

Here is the link to my ko-fi account: Ko-fi My little English Page

Trinity ISE II Interactive Prompts

ise ii prompts

Hello English world!

I am back with some prompts for the Trinity examination ISE II. The last time I published materials for ISE II was more than over a year ago with the ISE II Conversation Phase Activity which was (and still is) my most popular post.

This time, I am giving you 10 prompts that you can use with your students to practice the interactive phase of the ISE II examination! Yay! Exciting!

In case you are not familiar with this activity, the examiner and the candidate role play a scenario. The candidate is the one in charge of keeping the conversation going. To do so, he/she has to ask as many questions as possible, assess the situation and try to give advice or a solution.

Let’s not waste time and get down to it!

Prompt 1

Your teacher has asked you to interview people with original hobbies. You friend’s sister is the perfect candidate. However she is very shy. Try to convince your friend to introduce you to her.

Prompt 2

Your friend has just lost her work phone but was expecting an extremely important phone call from a client. She doesn’t know what to do.

Prompt 3

You take your friend to the airport to get a flight home for Christmas but due to traffic they miss their plane. Help them find a solution.

Prompt 4

Your friend at university is having a change of heart regarding their study choice. She is considering dropping everything and having a go at a career in writing. She asks for advice.

Prompt 5

Your friend tells you that their partner is angry at them. They don’t know why nor what to do.

Prompt 6

Your friend’s sister is getting married this weekend. They have to write a speech but are terrified of speaking in public.

Prompt 7

Your friend wants to buy a new car but his wife prefers a different model.

Prompt 8

Your friend has been offered two jobs. One is boring and well paid, the other one is interesting yet badly paid.

Prompt 9

Your friend has been invited to a party by her mother-in-law but they don’t get along very well. She is not sure what to do.

Prompt 10

Your colleague has an important presentation in 30 minutes but has just spilled coffee all over their shirt.

I also recommend that you give your students prompts they can relate to. One easy way to do so, is to ask your students to actually make the prompts themselves. They can use their own experience to create the problems, which will make it easier when it comes to finding solutions to the problems and giving advice.

I hope you appreciate the prompts and feel free to write some more in the comment section!

That’s it for today guys…Keep on learning! Xoxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

 


If you want to help me create more content more regularly, please consider helping me with just a coffee. Ko-fi is a website that gives you the possibility to power me with lots of energy by offering me a coffee. It’s easy, simple, no engagement is required…Just a bit of help, love and support from you to me.

Here is the link to my ko-fi account: Ko-fi My little English Page

Idiom in Z | Zip it

 

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Hello dear students and welcome back!

Today is the last day of our Alphabet idiom series. Make sure you check the previous idiom Idiom in Y – Yellow Press (and the 25 other posts).

So today we cover just a few idioms that start with the letter Z. There aren’t many in English but they are quite cool and useful. Are you ready for a new vocabulary lesson? Let’s go!

What it means:

It means to be quiet, silent. It is colloquial and could be rude in certain situations.

When to use it:

As I mentioned before, this expression is colloquial so I would not recommend using it with someone of authority. You could perhaps use it with a good friend or a family member.

It is often used as an order and the longer version is “Zip your lip”.

Example: Martha is complaining about eating spinach for dinner? Well tell her to zip and  eat whatever I’ve made, otherwise she can make dinner for the family herself.

 Other interesting idioms:

zenith of your career/life – the highest point of a person’s career or life.

zoom away | zoom off – to be in a hurry, to drive away fast, to be leaving a place in a rush.

I’d love to start a new series for the blog soon, have you got any requests or suggestions?

 


 

If you want to help me create more content more regularly, please consider helping me with just a coffee. Ko-fi is a website that gives you the possibility to power me with lots of energy by offering me a coffee. It’s easy, simple, no engagement is required…Just a bit of help, love and support from you to me.

Here is the link to my ko-fi account: Ko-fi My little English Page

Thanks for everything and of course…Keep on learning!

XOxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Idiom in Y – Yellow Press

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Hello dear students and welcome back to My Little English Page. It’s been a while but I am back to finish the series…One more to go! This week I posted a series of slides with yellow expressions on Instagram and Facebook. So let’s follow on the colour yellow with the letter Y of the alphabet series.

Make sure to check the previous post in the alphabet series Idiom in X | X Marks the Spot

What it means:

The yellow press is a term for the popular and sensationalist newspapers. This type of newspaper uses big catchy titles and misleading information (often not accurate).

When to use it:

  • Yellow journalism/press is an American term so it’s probably best to use it in the US.

Example: I can’t believe you read that kind of newspaper. It’s all over exaggerated and full of lies. I really can’t stand the yellow press.

  • In the UK, the term red tops is much more commonly used (British Tabloids usually have a red title…that’s where the name comes from).

Example: What are you doing reading that red top? Don’t you know it’s full of crap?

Other interesting idioms:

Yesterday’s news – Someone or something that is yesterday’s news is something people already know about, no longer interesting.

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family – Some things you can choose, but others you cannot, so you make the best of what you have. It is often used to talk about people who don’t have a good relationship with their family.

You can’t unring a bell – This means that once something has been done, that’s how it is and you can’t change it. So, you have to live with the consequences.

You get what you pay for – When you get something really cheap you cannot complain about the low quality.

Your call – If something is your call, you make a decision.

 


 

Keep on learning!

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Idiom in X | X Marks the Spot

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So…As it seems, there aren’t many idioms that start with the letter X. I have only found 3 for this week´s idiom.

Don’t forget to check out last week´s Idiom in W – Water Under the Bridge

What it means:

It refers to the exact spot. Imagine a map on which someone has indicated a location with a cross, well X marks the spot!

When to use it:

  • When you point at something, whatever it is marks the spot.
  • If you see any type of landmark or use something you see as a way to indicate direction you can say also use that expression. Ex: Can you see that church on the hill over there? Well, X marks the spot!

Other interesting idioms:

X-factor – If someone has the X-factor they have an outstanding ability, or an ability that is so impressive that you ignore they bad qualities. The talent show (also called X-factor) was named that way in relation to the candidates´unique abilities.

X-rated – If something is x-rated, it is not suitable for children. Usually associated with sexual content.

 


 

Like I said guys, there aren’t many idioms in X that exist. Next week, we will cover more idioms…promise!

Keep on learning!

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.