After a short break, I am finally back with a post that was anticipated by a few teachers. Up to now, my most popular post was Cambridge PET – Speaking Part 3, so the time has finally come for PET Speaking Part 4, which shows how to answer opinion-based questions using appropriate vocabulary.
It’s a long overdue lesson plan, and I’m happy to finally share it with the rest of you. I’ve been working on Cambridge exam preparation lesson plans for a while now and so far have got ten lesson plans available on my website. However, this particular post was made with the push of a few external factors, one of them being my best-performing blog post Cambridge PET – Speaking Part 3, which has managed to collect over 7200 views as of today. Let’s see if the same fate awaits this post!
This lesson is made of a worksheet + teacher’s notes and a presentation. Both of which are available to download at the end of this post.
Speaking Part 4 is an extension of Part 3, which means that any topic mentioned in Part 3 will be continued in this one. For example, if students discuss different school trip options in Part 3, they will have to talk about their opinions and preferences about travelling in Part 4. All the prompt questions used in this lesson plan can be found in Sample Papers for B1 Preliminary for Schools.
The class begins by looking at two pictures, of Alaska and Australia. Students describe what they can see in the photos and guess where they were taken. There is an obvious difference between the two pictures, but it isn’t easy to guess the exact locations. Put students into pairs or small groups and ask them to think of ten things they would take on a trip to each place. Share the answers and compare them with other groups.
This is where my second external inspiration comes from. A while ago, I saw a video posted by Charlie’s Lessons titled My Secret Site for FREE Listening Resources about a website called Audio Lingua. This website is a free tool where people from all over the world can upload short recordings talking about any topic they want. I have been paying close attention to this website and looking for ideal resources that I could use in my lessons. Even though some of the materials presented on this website are far from perfect, you can always find something useful. Listen to Charlie himself telling you about the website by watching the video below.
Almost all exam preparation resources use a speaking example before asking students to do the task themselves. That’s why, after writing ten things they could take on a trip to Alaska and Australia, students listen to Erica describing what she’s got in her suitcase for a trip to those countries (Erica: my suitcase for Australia / Alaska).
After the listening, students work in pairs and discuss if Erica’s things are a good idea to take with her to those places or not. This exercise introduces students to phrases used to ask and express opinions, such as Do you agree?, I (don’t) agree with you., In my opinion… Monitor the activity and provide students with speaking feedback at the end of the task.
Ask which of these two places they would rather visit and why. Students work in pairs and use new vocabulary to talk about likes/dislikes/preferences and justify their choices. With a show of hands, confirm how many students would prefer to go to Alaska and how many would prefer to go to Australia. Elicit some of the reasons behind their decisions.
In the next part, read two dialogues and guess what questions are answered. Elicit the answers and ask to explain how they knew what questions were asked. The questions are, What do you think is the best time of year to visit Alaska? and Which do you think is more interesting: visiting the countryside or a city? Why? Read the dialogues again, and fill in the gaps with phrases used to give yourself time to think about the answer and ask for opinions.
After all those tasks, point out that all the new phrases used in class are put in one place. Students work individually and write them under the correct categories shown below.
The final task is an accurate representation of the Cambridge PET Speaking Part 4. All the questions can also be found in Sample Papers for B1 Preliminary. Listen to students’ answers about relaxing, and make sure that all of them use the phrases learnt in the class. Finish the class with error corrections as needed and speaking feedback.
Of course, this lesson should be treated as either an introduction or revision of the Cambridge PET Speaking Part 4 as it gives a good overview of what students may expect to hear at an actual examination. If you enjoyed this lesson plan, you may also want to check out my post on Cambridge PET – Speaking Part 1. Click the links below to get the files needed to conduct the lesson.