Kids Get to FCE

Reading for pleasure is an activity that is commonly taken for granted. Although many readers are initially interested in developing their reading skills for very practical reasons, reading for pleasure provides an ideal opportunity to introduce them to a range of experiences that cannot be explained in words. If this skill is fostered as from a very early age, it may result in many advantages for the future of the students.

Inspired by this introduction, my FCE Adults´ students decided to develop a reading project with an ambitious aim in mind - letting the small ones experience the pleasure of enjoying a short story simplified and read for them.

From the range of different short stories proposed by our Area Coodinator, we pondered on the different options, eager to find the most appealing one for the kiddies, taking into account different aspects such as the level of cognitive complexity, the motivational interests of the stories and the degree of difficulty from a linguistic perspective.

Having evaluated all these aspects and after extensive discussions, we finally concluded that the most appealing story would be “The Shepherd’s Daughter” by William Saroyan. We developed a simplified version which we considered appropriate for the level of students attending 3rd and 4th Year Kids and prepared a Powerpoint Presentation to make the story more visual for them.

On November 14, we invited these two classes and offered this project as part of their End-of-the-Year Party. Our classroom was soon filled with smiling kids with anxious eyes and broad smiles ready to enjoy the performance. The story was vividly read by some of my FCE students while others were in charge of the slides and some follow up questions to check understanding, plus a final Hangman to consolidate the correct spelling of the new vocabulary.

Everything resulted in great success and the kids’ motivation and excitement left us all with the certainty that reading stories to the little ones is a pleasure that cannot be compared to many fun activities our present world can provide. Definitely, if a child can be motivated in learning, we are on the right track to get the best of our future world.
Teacher: Marina Trachitte
Class: FCE Adults C

Teen Voices

 “Which could be a meaningful topic, one which would motivate my students to engage in a heated discussion and collect data to write a report as a follow-up activity?” I wondered. And then, while watching the news on TV, it dawned on me that my students would very likely be casting ballots in 2013 Congressional elections and I thought about the Teen Suffrage Bill.

When I put forward the idea to my First Certificate classes in Cultural Centro and Cultural Norte, everybody responded enthusiastically and in no time at all they put pen to paper to design a set of questions to prepare a questionnaire. They decided they would visit other classes and find out how their peers thought about “being given a right they haven’t asked for”. Here I´m quoting Sofia Rossin, one of my students, who very solemnly established her position about the TSB.

A total of 47 students were interviewed – FCE “C”, FCE “E” and FCE “H” in Cultural Centro- and in Norte we visited Pre -First. We were warmly welcomed by the “host classes”, who willingly answered all the questions my students had so conscientiously prepared. They took down notes of ALL the opinions, arguments and viewpoints provided.

The next step was talling the information gathered and drawing conclusions. Finally, working in groups, they wrote a report considering the suitability and acceptance of the bill.

Although most of the students interviewed were familiar with the TSB and said they usually discussed politics with their friends, families and teachers, they vehemently opposed the bill. On which grounds ? Basically, it seems they do not feel responsible enough to vote and that being given voting rights at 16 would definitely not motivate them to participate in the democratic process of our country.

To sum up, I believe it was a truly fruitful, interactive activity. All the students, the interviewers and the interviewees felt they were being listened to, that they had a say on their future. In other words, they felt they had A VOICE.


Teacher: Laura Lupo
Class: FCE G and Norte