1.11.14

YES magazine - An entertaining way to prepare Cambridge exams (B2, C1, C2)

This year I have started CAE preparation (Certificate of Advanced English, level C1) for my 14 year-old genius of a student.

At the beginning of September I was snooping around the bookshop to see if I could find some material which would be appropriate or him, because, even though he's brilliant, he is still only 14, and let's face it, the books on offer for CAE preparation are not exactly what I would call entertaining. 

Of course, I was quickly starting to realise there weren't any decent options to choose from, at least not among course books, when, all of a sudden, it appeared!
Right next to the cash register, with a headline screaming SPORTS… I knew it was the one! So I bought it, right after taking a quick peek inside.

"YES" is halfway between a magazine and an English supplement for people with a good level of English.

According to the people at Cambridge the most effective way to prepare for the reading test is, (what a surprise!) to read a wide range of texts. This should include magazines, articles from newspapers, and online materials on a wide range of topics. So what could be better than reading and answering questions about an article or two, especially since people generally don't like reading so much?

Inside each issue of "YES" you'll find section about current affairs, sports news, language news, science, technology and politics, as well as a dossier about the main topic and an entire section specifically designed to introduce grammar and new vocabulary.

Once you buy "YES", you have the option of downloading a folder full of audio files whose transcriptions are included in the magazine. In my opinion, they really help with preparation for the listening part of the CAE exam thanks to the variety of English accents you'll hear. As we all know, even though English is just one language, there are quite a few differences in the way people pronounce it. But not only that; there are also differences in the spelling and in the vocabulary, depending on which country the speakers come from: a variety that a candidate will definitely have to deal with during the exam.

In addition, throughout  the whole magazine, there are footnotes which explain difficult vocabulary, giving definitions in English or using pictures and, in the section at the back,  you'll find 20 pages of exercises and games to test and consolidate what you've been studying.

So, if you are looking for something a bit different to your typical course book, don't miss "YES"! Here you can find all the information you could possibly need.


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Lucy dedicates a lot of time and love to thinking about and writing the posts she shares with all of you. Because she believes that a better teaching is the key for a better future. If you find any help, value or joy in this blog, please consider becoming a supporting reader. A donation, in any amount, will be gratefully accepted.