CAE Pioneers sit Computer-based Exam

We are proud to announce that a group of nine candidates, all of them students at Asociación Rosarina de Cultura Inglesa, sat CB CAE last 10 December. Today, 13 days later, we celebrate that they all passed their exam with flying colours. Our congratulations to the pioneering team:

Burlán, Florentina
Cristiani, Juan Pablo
Diez, Fernando
Evangelista, Ignacio
Grasso, Francisco
Leguina, Damián
Nuñez, Alejandro
Peñalva, Juan Ignacio
Perpiñá, Juan

Many thanks to Mariana De Biasi, Cristina Insinga, Laura Gieco and Analía Dobboletta for encouraging their students to try this new experience.

Most of the candidates pointed out that the most user friendly test screens are Writing and Reading. These are followed by Listening and Use of English.

Advantages of Writing
- Ease and speed of typing
- Editing versatility
- On screen word count

Advantages of Reading
- Drag and drop feature for Part 2
- Text and questions in parallel for Part 4
- Dynamic navigation menu

Advantages of Listening
- Headphones aid concentration
- Ease and speed of typing
- Part 4 layout

Advantages of Use of English
-In Parts 1, 2 and 5, it is much more meaningful to read the answers embedded in the context.

A word to candidates-to-be:
- You should give it a try! It may sound awkward because we are not used to the CB test but it was clearer. Francisco Grasso.
- It´s a very good experience. If you have the chance, give it a try. Juan Pablo Cristiani.
- Very practical. Juan Ignacio Peñalva
- Really enjoyable experience. You get your results soon. Ignacio Evangelista.
- It is better than the paper based test in every aspect. Alejandro Nuñez

A word to teachers:
- It is quicker to do than the paper test. Juan Pelayo Perpiñá
- Keep on recommending CB tests to students. Florentina Burlán
- Get your students to do the CB exam. Fernando Diez
-The strategies for reading from computer screens and reading from paper are different. Highlighting is not necessary for e-reading. Damián Leguina


Play Reading: Hills like White Elephants

At the end of one of the units in the coursebook, we did an activity the book brings to practise using future in the past forms within a past narrative.The activity was called “White Elephants”. It involved reading about some famous white elephants (things that are useless or no longer needed but which have cost a lot of money) and making sentences using future in the past. The following book unit introduced similes.

It was then that I remembered Ernest Hemingway’s short story, “Hills like White Elephants”. As we had not done any extensive reading, I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a work of literature.

I asked my students to read the short story and then we talked about it in class. We discussed the title, the setting, the themes and the symbols in it. Some of the students were amazed to discover the couple in the story was discussing “abortion” without making it explicit. We also noticed that the story is heavily dependent on dialogue and, thus can be easily adapted into a play.

At this point, I invited my students to stage the story. However, as learning lines by heart might have discouraged them, I suggested reading lines.
We talked about reader’s theatre and they agreed to adapt the story, perform it as a play and film it.

We distributed roles:
Characters (three)
The American: Fernando Diez
The waitress: Gala Casares Albarracín
Jig: Lucila Sanguedolce
Narrator: Regina Silvano
Sound operator (he mixed sounds of bars and trains): Juan Perpiñá
Props person (he brought glasses and bottles): Francisco Grasso
Camera operator (she filmed the performance): Ma. Belén Cristiani
Scenic designer (she made a powerpoint presentation of photos showing landscapes and important symbolic elements in the story -which was projected by means of a beamer at the back of the stage): Gala Casares Albarracín.

The performance was a success. The students were really proud of what they had been able to do. Some even joked about taking up acting!

The play was followed by an in-depth discussion in which interesting points were raised:

-how the dramatization had helped fully appreciate the story
-the number of questions the female character asks evinces her lack of confidence and her need for constant reassurance
-insight into the female character´s state of mind can be gained by looking at the landscape and other symbolic elements
-the time they spend drinking gives a clue to the nature of their relationship (they drink to fill in time)
-the characters talk, but fail to communicate with each other, which highlights the rift between the two.

Finally, we reflected on Henry Miller’s words:
 “The great work must inevitably be obscure, except to the very few, to those who like the author himself are initiated into the mysteries. Communication then is secondary: it is perpetuation which is important. For this only one good reader is necessary.”

Listen to these students´ voices:
Fernando Diez (mp3) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Francisco Grasso (mp3)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Franco Di Rino (mp3) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Juan Perpiñá (mp3) 

Magdalena O"Farroll (mp3) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Belén Cristinai & Lucila Sanguedolce (mp3)

Teacher: Mariana De Biassi             Artículo en Español
Class: CAE 'B'