Teaching ESL

CPE Writing
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Author:  Liana [ Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:43 am ]
Post subject:  CPE Writing


My "problem" focuses on my CPE private lesson. CPE stands for Certificate of Proficiency in English and it's a University of Cambridge paper.
Background: my student is 15 years old. At school he has about 8 hours of English every week. Of course we are talking about EFL. He is a good student but he gets distracted very easily and has unexpected highs and lows as far as his academic performance is concerned. He does his best and tries very hard to keep up to the high standards of his school but I can't say he has the high level of language skills that the CPE exam asks for. He wants to take the exam in December 2011 or hopefully (for me), June 2012. His parents talk about June 2011 but I hope they will change their mind soon...
We meet twice a week and have one-hour sessions. My greatest problem is writing. My student has great difficulty in thinking and elaborating. He is a good boy but is just ... a boy. His way of thinking is, let's say, somehow immature and he simply doesn't have any ideas. Or, if he has something to say, this is usually something he has learned at school and is expressed in a flat and uninteresting way. Of course, writing is connected to reading and speaking; we do have problems there as well. But when it comes to writing even the simplest form of summary, I feel desperate. He's a grade C FCE level. Please, do not misunderstand me. I like the boy but I don't know how to get organised and get started with writing. Any ideas?

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