THE FCE BLOG by Claudia Ceraso

Friday, August 25, 2006

Reading Interviews and Online Magazines

FCE Vocabulary: Natural English or Dictionary English?

After doing a few Use of English past paper tests, you probably wonder how much vocabulary you need to know to pass the FCE –with merit of course!

Let’s consult the FCE Handbook to clarify this point a little. The descriptor of the band 5 (maximum mark) of the FCE written assessment reads:

“Wide range of structure and vocabulary within the task set.”

What does this mean?

It is quality knowledge not quantity of words you should be after. That’s what it means.

Apart from knowing the structure of words; for example, what preposition follows certain verbs or adjectives, Paper 3 Use of English aims at testing set phrases and collocations rather than the meaning of individual words. You need to grasp the whole meaning of the phrase. To gain that knowledge it is important to come across words in context and then consult their dictionary meaning to check structural aspects.

Speak Up Magazine
http://www.speakuponline.it/
This is a magazine I have read and enjoyed a lot while studying English. I still keep my collection of tapes from it. Luckily there is an online version from this Italian site:
http://www.speakuponline.it/archivio.asp
It is probable the best starting point you can find to help you deal with different varieties of English in a number of contexts. Each recorded interview includes information about the nationality and accent of the speakers, which is essential to help you gain that spontaneous knowledge of the language when you haven't travelled much to English speaking countries.

Larry King Live
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/lkl.html
This site lists interviews shown since 2000. Finding out a bit about the interviewee will give you a clue as to their accent. If you are interested in other interviews from CNN go to:
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/

The Guardian
http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/
This section of the Guardian newspaper includes talks with celebs and film directors.

Inside the Actors Studio
Pity the official site does not include transcrips! Here is a transcript from Anthony Hopkins interview:
http://www.planethopkins.co.uk/pages/interviews.html.

If you would like to read interviews with your favourite actors, you are most likely to find them at:
BBC film interiews A-Z
http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/archive.shtml?interviews
Find an actor on the alphabetical list.

Last but not least....
Remember the purpose of your reading: you aim at collecting different contexts for words you probably know already.

Enjoy your reading!


Related Post Phrasal Verbs

6 Comments:

  • Hello Claudia,

    do you know some place (ie. videochat) where you can speak (practice) English online for free ?

    Thank you in advance.

    victor

    By Blogger Víctor, At 7:38 pm  

  • Hello Víctor,

    Why not try this?
    http://www.livemocha.com/

    I wonder whether you can use videochat, but it is free and worth trying.

    All best,

    Claudia

    By Blogger Claudia Ceraso, At 8:42 pm  

  • HELLO CLAUDIA,

    I'M SITTING FOR THE FCE IN DECEMBER. I NEED TO KNOW WHICH BOOKS I CAN READ FOR EXTENSIVE READING.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    NATALIA

    By Blogger naty, At 10:34 am  

  • Hello Naty,

    There'll be a post about set texts for the exam.

    Stay tuned!

    By Blogger Claudia Ceraso, At 8:50 pm  

  • Thanks for this wonderful post! I'm teaching FCE for the first time and this was very helpful. Thanks again.

    By Anonymous ITeach2Help, At 2:41 am  

  • Thank you! It's nice to read teachers find this useful, too.

    By Blogger Claudia Ceraso, At 9:14 pm  

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