Hello Exam Seekers,
Last month I posted some general information about the Cambridge English YLE (Young Learners Exams). If you haven’t read my texts yet, make sure you check them out:
As for the past few weeks, I’ve written more specifically about these exams, focusing on the Reading and Writing. I wrote:
- YLE Pre A1: Starters – Reading and Writing Exam
- YLE A1: Movers – Reading and Writing Exam
- YLE A2: Flyers – Reading and Writing Exam
Now, I’m going to start talking about the Listening Exams for the Cambridge Young Learners. So stay tuned! Today I’m talking specifically about the YLE Pre A1 Starters Listening Exam to explain how the exam works and help you to guide your young learner to get the best score. And for the following weeks, I’ll be talking about the Movers and Flyers Listening Exams.
The Pre A1 Starters Listening exam has four parts. Each part begins with one or two examples. Since this is a listening exam, children will hear the recording for each part twice. For all parts, children must spell their answers correctly.
It is a very friendly exam, with colorful pictures, and they are all activity-based. There are 20 questions that must be answered in 20 minutes. The test has to be done in pencil. For the listening exam, learners are required to bring colored pencils for part 4 of the exam.
Here is an overview task table:
As you can see, learners get 1 mark for each correct answer. Now, let’s dig into the tasks:
Part 1 – Listen and draw lines
There is a big picture showing some people doing different things. Around the image, there are some names. Children must listen carefully to a conversation between an adult and a child and draw a line from each name to the correct person on the picture. Make sure learners pay close attention because there is an extra name.
This task requires young learners to listen for names and descriptions and match them. Here is a sample:
Practice tips: Do plenty of practice describing people in pictures: their hair, their clothes, and what they are doing. Also, make sure that the learners know which first names on the vocabulary lists are male and which are female. Note that Alex, Kim, Pat, and Sam may refer either to a boy or a girl. Tell students that they must draw clean straight lines and that the starting and finishing points of the lines are visible. It doesn’t matter if their lines cross over each other and cross other people in the picture as long as it is clear which person each line leads to.
Part 2 – Dialogues
There is a picture showing a child and an adult talking. Below the picture, there are some questions. Children have to listen to the recording and write the correct answer (a name or a number) after each question.
This task requires young learners to listen for names and numbers and spell them correctly in the right places. Here is a sample:
Practice tips: Make sure that the learners know what is expected of them in this task. They only need to write a name or a number to answer each question. Where a number is required, ask them to write the digit instead of spelling the numbers to avoid mistakes. Moreover, all the names and numbers (1-20) come from the Pre A1 Starters vocabulary list (check the pdf file below). Therefore, they need plenty of practice in the alphabet letters, paying particular attention to the vowels and the ‘difficult’ consonants, such as G and J.
Part 3 – Listen and tick the box
There are five questions and five sets of pictures (besides the example) with three pictures for each. Children will listen carefully to a short conversation for each set and choose the right answer (A, B, or C).
This task requires young learners to listen for specific information, choose the picture that represents this dialogue and tick the correct box. Here is a sample:
Practice tips: Learners are allowed time to look at the pictures before they hear the dialogues. Encourage them to look carefully at the pictures and to think about what they are illustrating.
Part 4 – Listen and color
There is a big black and white picture with seven examples of the same object (for example, seven balls or seven books). Children need to listen carefully to a conversation between an adult and a child and color each object using the color they say in the conversation. There is one colored example.
This task requires young learners to know lexis, particularly names of colors, and prepositions of place. Here is a sample:
Practice tips: Make sure that learners understand what is expected of them in this part of the test, besides, ensure that they bring colored pencils (red, yellow, pink, green, orange, purple, blue, black, brown, and grey) to the test and that they are familiar with the names of the colors that they are expected to know at this level. Remember that they have to identify which one of the seven similar objects in the picture is being described and color it correctly. They should not color anything else in the picture except the objects that they are told to color. Also, reassure them that this is an English test and not a coloring skill test. They should focus on what they hear rather than worrying about how well they are coloring.
As I told you before, I am leaving here a Pre A1 Starters Vocabulary list for you to help learners to practice for the exams:
This exam should be done in 20 minutes, as I mentioned. It is vital that you practice this exam with the young learners so that they get familiar with this format. Otherwise, they might not know how to complete the gaps. So make sure you practice it with them whenever possible. This will build students’ confidence, and if they get them all correct, they will earn 5 shields.
Please leave a comment with questions or general comments.
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Have a great week,
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