Lesson idea/plan for FCE exam class

This is a very quick post about an enjoyable and interesting lesson I recently did with my teenage FCE class.

Google images

The lesson begins with a challenging authentic listening from the BBC about smart phone addiction based around part 4 of the listening exam.

The lesson then moves on to quite a long text about ‘Digital detox’ which is based around part 1 of the reading exam.

To finish, my esteemed colleague Matt Ellman (@mattellman) has contributed a Use of English exercise focusing on word transformation, taken from a Telegraph article on the effects of Ipad use by toddlers.

Here is a quick overview of what I did in my class, but feel free to use the worksheets provided however you wish.

We had been talking about shopping addiction in the previous classes so the lead in was a simple recap of that. I asked the class how much they used their smartphones, what they used them for, what did they download the most, apps or songs and so on. I asked how much time they spent on their phones and whether they thought it was too much or acceptable. Finally, I asked if it was possible to become addicted to a phone.

I introduced the listening and played the recording twice as per the exam. I made the questions a little bit easier as the listening itself is perhaps a little bit harder than the class were used to, so if you want to change the questions on the provided work sheet, feel free to do so. The class found the listening challenging and commented on how the different accents and the speed at which the speakers talked made it more difficult than the normal course book listening.

FCE exam class Listening pt 4 Smartphones – Worksheet

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22397932 – Link for audio

After the listening I asked the students what they would do if I took their phones away from them? They said they wouldn’t be happy but they could use their home computers. I asked them what would happen if they couldn’t use the internet? They responded by saying they would use their home phones. The questions continued along the same lines, until eventually the students had no way of communicating or receiving information. I told them that they were in effect going ‘cold turkey’. We discussed the meaning and I gave examples and then boarded ‘digital detox’ and asked the students to discuss its meaning. This lead nicely into the next reading exercise. Again, feel free to change the questions as well as the pre reading vocabulary.

FCE exam class Reading pt 1 Digital detox – Worksheet

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19283726 – Link to article

To finish the class, I gave the students an article to read for homework about Ipad addiction in toddlers as young as 4yrs old, taken from the Telegraph. Matt found the article and prepared a Use of English exercise as a follow-up for the next lesson, to revise some of the vocabulary and to provide further discussion on the topic.

FCE exam class U of E word transformation Ipads – Worksheet

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/10008707/Toddlers-becoming-so-addicted-to-iPads-they-require-therapy.html – Link to article

FCE answer sheet – Answers for all parts

I hope you enjoy the materials and it would be nice to get your feedback on how it goes down in class.


9 thoughts on “Lesson idea/plan for FCE exam class

  1. VERY useful. I’m not doing any FCE classes right now, but this is an excellent lesson plan for upper intermediate students. Thanks.

  2. I stumbled upon this and tested all the links,they work fine.
    It has given me ideas on how to introduce phrasals linked to “Get“ into this plan.
    Great job.


  3. Dear Adam,

    I love your lesson plan and already preped it for my FCE class tomorrow, when I realised last minute that the audio is no longer available, or else it does not work neither on my Apple laptop nor my android phone.

    If by a miracle you’re reading this before 14:00 tomorrow 27th Nov 2015 and have a link that you could share with me, I would be most grateful.

    Thanks a mill in advance,

    • Hi Bettina,

      I´m sorry that I saw this so late. I have just spent the last 30 minutes trying to track down the audio, but no luck. It seems that the audio has been archived and is no longer available on any format.

      I´m really sorry about that. I must admit the same thing has happened to me on several blogs. I think it might be a good idea to take the post down or to at least amend it.

      All the best,


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