THE FCE BLOG by Claudia Ceraso

Saturday, May 26, 2007


The Students' English Corpus

The FCE Blog expands into a wikispace to enable new learning experiences.

In previous posts we have featured some of my student's best sample answers to illustrate parts of the exam.

I thought it would be a good idea to provide a collection of sample answers by sharing everything my students are doing in class.

Our learning formula derives from Einstein's
E = mc²
English is energy which requires a mass of practice at the speed of creativity.


What is this wiki about?

In a nutshell, lots of practice!

For a more detailed intro, find the section of your interest (whether you are a student or a teacher) directly from our wiki: About this Project.

Why would you be interested in reading it?

Because we will be building a guide, a corpus, of authentic Sample Answers. Mind you, not just examples of finished letters and compositions. Oh no! We believe writing is a process. We want to share the process of writing, our debates and the learning we have been gaining all along.

Wikis are learning gardens
A wiki is a kind of web page that allows for multiple users to upload and edit pages. Although it is similar to a blog, there are some differences.

Every wiki page has a Discussion tab and a History tab. That is precisely where the learning process is registered.

Huh? I do not get it...
Let me explain with an example.
Here is a sample letter of application written by Lucas.
  1. Lucas wrote his sample answer following FCE rubrics for the task.
  2. A group of five peer reviewers (i.e. classmates) produced a collaborative report on his work in class and posted it to the Discussion.
  3. Lucas edited his first draft several times taking into account the report and the mistakes I had underlined.
If you click on the History tab, you will be able to choose two versions to compare. Here is Lucas first draft compared to the final version. The contrasting colours highlight the deleted mistakes (in red) and the corrections inserted (in green).

It might sound complex at first, but believe me working in a wiki is easy and fast. This Corpus wiki is a garden full of flowers. I think it will be difficult for us to pick out the nominees for the Awards!

Sample Answers Awards
The best samples produced will be published in The FCE Blog either as featured examples or as part of the Sample Answers Awards. Winners will be chosen by the whole FCE class, who will scrutinize their own work under Cambridge assessment rubrics. Tough job.

Can I take part in this?
Yes, you can. Your sample composition could be published in the wiki or the fceblog. Email me to ask for the participation rules.
fceblog (AT)

The Corpus Wiki Editors
The edition of the wiki pages is only for wiki members -namely, my students. Of course you can always leave us a comment at the fceblog and let us know what you think.

Hope you enjoy digging into our learning ground.

Claudia Ceraso
Blog Editor
Wiki Gardener

Image source
via Desde Murcia

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 14, 2007

The FCE Blog: A Tutor Blog

What is this blog anyway?
Am I teaching here? Is this a teachers' blog? I am certainly not giving any homework. That is for sure. If you ask me, I would just say this is a blog for students -which teachers may like of course. Some of them have commented they have found inspiration here.

I believe blogs are meant to foster reflection and create conversations; therefore, it is the target reader that defines them. Yet, the best teachers are lifelong learners who can always remain learners. So, to be more precise, this blog is from a learner to learners. Wherever you are.

We are pleased to announce to our readers that The FCE Blog has been included as the Tutor blog example in the book How to Teach English with Technology. The book is part of the 'How to...' series directed by Jeremy Harmer and was published by Longman Pearson on 30 April 2007.

Teachers who read the book will probably need concrete examples of what blogs can do in ELT. You will read there about Carla and Dennis with their fantastic International Exchange blog.

This is how we are introduced:
'A blog set up and maintained by a teacher is known as a tutor blog. The teacher may decide to allow their learners to write comments in the blog. The one on page 89 (top) is an example of a tutor blog set up by a teacher in Argentina for her Cambridge First Certificate Examination preparation class. In the blog she provides study tips, reviews class work and provides extra links on specific topics such as pronunciation.'

From: Chapter 7 'Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts' page 87.

A Reflection
I started this blog on my own in March 2006. I gradually got to know I am part of a lively and ever growing community of ELT bloggers. Here are some of my teachers.

The FCE Blog...A tutor blog...

Hmmm. What do you learners think?

I would like to thank the Authors Gavin Dudeney and Nicky Hockly for their positive revision of our work. A special thanks to Katy Wright, Pearson Publisher, for her kindness in our email exchanges.

Longman Pearson has offered to make a donation to a charity of my choice in acknowledgment of the permission to reproduce a screenshot of the fceblog. The money donated will benefit the intensive care unit at Hospital de Rehabilitación Respiratoria 'María Ferrer' in Buenos Aires. For all they have done for Daniel -to whom this blog is dedicated.


Labels: , , , ,