Say It Better! Series. Introduction

The term TOPIC vocabulary is familiar to you, isn’t it? It is used when writing about and discussing specific topics or subjects. Today we will start working on widening your English language range in both written and speaking expression. 

Besides, not only will enriching your topic lexical range help you get the highest score, up to 25%, in Grammar and Vocabulary, which is one of the four speaking assessment criteria in the Cambridge Speaking paper, and in Language, as one of the four writing assessment criteria in the Writing paper, it will also be useful in the listening and reading sections of the Cambridge examinations, since the language from the texts and audio tracks is well and carefully adapted to the lexical resource a Cambridge exam candidate is supposed to know when taking a specific exam. This means that knowing the meaning of a certain collocation, phrasal verb, idiom, phrase or a single word in a written text or audio file will be just the ticket so that you identify the correct answer. Of course, the context is always there for you, and it helps you understand any unknown expression. But it takes much more time and concentration. So, why not start working with topic vocabulary?

To help Cambridge exam candidates sound more natural and acquire more fluency, to broaden their comfort zone and help them raise the score in any part of the exam, today we will start our Say It Better! series. 

How have I come up with this name, Say It Better?

It was during a meet-up I had with my dearest colleagues. Our target matter was to identify how we, teachers, can help English learners use the beautiful expressions learnt in class in all kinds of spoken activities, like debates, role-plays, peer talk, etc. Our target learners were those who have been preparing for almost a year and a half for a specific Cambridge exam, and still, when being asked a certain question belonging to one of the 4 parts of the Speaking paper, our learners were showing a pretty poor topic vocabulary range. It doesn’t sound like music to a teacher’s or speaking examiner’s ears, does it?

So, leaving aside all my teaching material from my personal physical and online library that I have been creating, recreating and enriching during my beautiful teaching career, I’ve come up with the idea of bringing something completely new to all our English community of learners and teachers. The main purpose of Say It Better is to empower you, our smart English learners, to become the master of the English language and not worry, ever again, about your language range. I assure you, it will go far beyond the everyday vocabulary.

What will each episode include?

Each entry will contain the following:

  • One topic vocabulary list. It will incorporate expressions, set phrases, phrasal verbs and catchy words.  Last-minute change! To encourage a stronger relationship between the learner and the dictionary, which is part of the territory when learning a foreign language, no explanations will be given. It’s the learner’s job to do so. Worries away, it pays off!
  • A word formation table. Learners must fill it in with the missing parts of speech.
  • Speaking paper related-questions, mainly part 1 and part 4. There will be answers provided as well. The thing is that learners will need to make changes to the given answers, since, in terms of vocabulary, a lot of repetition and everyday vocabulary will be used. Next, students should answer to these questions on their own by using the topic language provided. Too much use of such will sound unnatural though, so, an answer full of such sophisticated language must be avoided.
  • Reading and Use of English quiz. Its questions will have the format of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th parts of the Reading and Use of English paper.
  • A PDF file with the topic word cloud. It is downloadable. 

One last thing before we start, there will be two target levels, B2 First and C1 Advanced. This means that there will be two seasons, B2 First and C1 Advanced. If you find it useful, a B1 Preliminary season won’t be ruled out. Last but not least, from time to time, upon consideration and need, there will be other entries which will not be part of the series. All along the way!

Let the series commence!

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