Our new 4-hour online Specialised Workshop in Teaching Cambridge Exam Classes is just the ticket if you are looking to get to grips with the basics of preparing students for B1 Preliminary, B2 First and C1 Advanced exams. Following the success of our Teaching Young Learners and Teaching Business English workshops, and by popular demand, we are very excited to announce this new training opportunity! Read on to find out more about who the workshop is for, what’s covered, and how to sign up…
What are the Cambridge Exams?
If this workshop is of interest to you, perhaps you already know a little about the exams. Nevertheless, here’s a whistlestop tour just in case…
Since 1939, Cambridge English Assessment has offered a range of English proficiency exams. These allow students to demonstrate their level of English. Employers, educational institutions, immigration authorities and others may requires these certificates. The most popular exams today are the Cambridge English Qualifications. This is a series of five separate examinations which show English levels A2 – C2. Within this suite of exams, the most in-demand is the B2 First exam. Next come C1 Advanced and B1 Preliminary. As a newly-qualified teacher, it’s most likely that you will be teaching at one of these three levels. For this reason, they are the ones focused on in the new Specialised Workshop.
All Cambridge Exams test the key skills of Reading, Speaking, Writing and Listening. They each have a fixed format and strict time limit. In addition, there’s the option to take either paper-based or computer-based tests. Preliminary and First exams also offer a ‘For Schools’ version. These require exactly the same level of English, but – as the name suggests – include content more suitable for teenagers.
As we said, the above just touches on some of the fundamentals of what the exams involve and require. If you’d like to find out more about them, sign up for the new workshop now! But who else might benefit?
Who is the workshop for?
The early days of teaching Cambridge Exam classes can be daunting. Firstly, expectations are often higher from students and managers alike. Next, the teacher is aware that passing or failing the exam can make a real difference in the life of the learner. Not only this, but they may question whether they are sufficiently well-equipped to provide the classes students deserve. That’s where we come in! We’d recommend this workshop if you:
- Recently finished your CELTA course and would like to make yourself stand out from the crowd in the job market.
- Are currently working as a General English teacher and will soon begin teaching Cambridge Exam classes for the first time.
- Have been teaching Cambridge Exam classes for a short while but are finding it challenging or lack support.
- Are returning to TEFL teaching after a long break, and would like to re-familiarise yourself with this type of lesson.
Anyone who considers themselves a novice Cambridge Exam preparation teacher is likely to find the session beneficial. As well as the high-quality training on offer (more about this below), it’s also a great way to network and meet other teachers who are in a similar situation to you.
What exactly is covered?
As we have seen, we have designed this workshop with inexperienced Cambridge Exam teachers firmly in mind. We have listened to our trainees and graduates to develop a syllabus which covers as much of the essential content as possible within the four hours available. You can expect to study:
- Exam structure – an overview of the papers and tasks candidates have to complete, with practical tips about the most effective strategies and techniques.
- Exam content – what topics the exams contain, and how best to approach them in class.
- Lesson planning – devising engaging lessons that give students what they need.
- Gamification – how to practice exam material in a way that maintains and boosts student motivation.
- For Schools Exams (Teens) – how B1 Preliminary and B2 First for Schools differ from the main exam.
As well as the material you will explore during the workshop itself, you will also gain access to a wide range of useful links. These will provide you with exam practice activities, lesson plans, gamification websites, blog posts and much more. You can expect to leave the session having learnt a great deal about teaching this type of class, and feeling that you know where to search if you encounter challenges in the future.
What’s the format of the workshop?
If the content looks like what you’re after, hopefully you’re feeling curious about how exactly the workshop works! We are introducing this third specialised workshop in response to the huge popularity of the Teaching Young Learners and Teaching Business English sessions currently on offer. Like them, Teaching Cambridge Exam classes will use a mixture of teacher input, group work in break out rooms, and whole class discussion. This ensures that the session is as dynamic and engaging as it is worthwhile. Don’t just take our word for it though! Check out some of the feedback we have received about our current specialised workshops:
“It was impressive how much content the tutor managed to fit into a four-hour session. She covered all the most important material in detail, but also shared lots of links to other resources which we could check out after the workshop was finished. I also found the session very dynamic and engaging – there were a variety of activities and I had lots of opportunities to talk to other teachers from all over the world. Highly recommended!”– Sophie Wilmot, Specialised Workshop Participant
“The workshop had a clear, logical structure, and the tutor made a great effort to ensure that we were all involved and participating. The break out room activities were a nice way to share ideas with other participants, and I left the sessions full of new ideas. Overall, I really enjoyed the workshop and I’m glad I attended.”– Natalia Correa, Specialised Workshop Participant
Who’s the tutor?
Your tutor on the course will be Damian Szerszen. Damian has been teaching English for seven years, and has worked in Colombia, the Netherlands, the UK and Spain. His studies for the DipTESOL helped him to focus on his key areas of interest – Cambridge Exam Preparation, Gamification, and Pronunciation. Having taught dozens of Cambridge classes at all levels, Damian is in the ideal position to prepare our trainees for the demands and rewards of this specialist area.
If you are a member of our online teaching community, Oxford TEFL Connect, you may well have attended one of Damian’s workshops or webinars. He has also been one of our most active coaches on the programme. This means that he has plenty of experience guiding inexperienced teachers as they move towards specialisation.
Damian tells us:
“I know from experience that making the transition from General English to Cambridge Exam classes is sometimes intimidating. The structure of the different exams can be difficult to get to grips with, and it’s hard to know how to plan lessons that will be both beneficial to the students and engaging. In designing this workshop, I have taken various aspects into consideration. Firstly, I’ve included material that I wish I’d had access to when I first started out with Cambridge preparation. Secondly, I have taken into consideration comments and requests I have received during workshops and coaching sessions. Finally, I aimed to create a dynamic session that people would be happy to attend on a Saturday morning. Overall, I’m really pleased with the outcome, and I look forward to getting started with the first group of trainees!”
How do I sign up?
You can read more about the Specialised Workshop in Teaching Cambridge Exam Classes and sign up here. You will see that we offer a discount for trainees who choose to register for more than one workshop at a time:
1 workshop – €50
2 workshops – €95
3 workshops – €140
So, if you’d also like to explore Teaching Young Learners and/ or Teaching Business English, why not make a saving and double or triple the boost to your employability?!
How can I demonstrate that I’ve attended the session?
We will provide a high-quality digital certificate including your full name, the date, and a brief outline of the workshop content. Your tutor will send this to you by email as soon as the session is finished. As we saw earlier, being able to demonstrate to potential employers that you have undertaken professional development activities is something that really puts you head and shoulders above other inexperienced teachers. If your TEFL CV is looking rather light, this may be just the ticket to give your career a boost! Indeed, the Oxford TEFL Careers Advisor, Justin McCarty, tells us:
“Recent CELTA graduates and other inexperienced teachers often worry that their CV lacks depth. A great way of addressing this is to take a Specialised Workshop. This demonstrates to potential employers that a) you are taking professional development seriously and b) you are beginning to develop an area of specialism. This certainly makes you stand out, and might well be the deciding factor if you’re competing with an otherwise similar candidate. Cambridge Exam teachers are in-demand all around the world, and many schools will offer a premium for this type of class.”
How can I keep developing after the workshop?
Once you’ve finished the workshop, we’re sure you’ll be brimming with enthusiasm and ready to put into practice all that you have learnt. However, in the weeks or months that follow, you may feel that the time is right to further develop your skills in this area. That’s where our Certificate in Teaching Cambridge Exam Classes comes in! This 30-hour course includes a mixture of one-on-one tutor attention and self-study. Being a longer course, it provides a more in-depth look at Cambridge preparation. The course is ideal for those looking to take their knowledge to the next level.
If your objective is to develop your teaching more generally, the DipTESOL may be for you. This course is for those with two or more years’ TEFL experience. DipTESOL is a world-renowned qualification that will open the doors in teacher training, academic management, and beyond!
As you can see then, the Specialised Workshop in Teaching Cambridge Exam Classes is an excellent way to begin working on your professional development and give your career a pick-me-up! We run one specialised workshop per month. Find out the next date for your chosen session(s) here.