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Preparing your Young Learners for the Cambridge A1 Movers Speaking Test
Preparing your students or children for Cambridge exams can be a great way to help them set goals and keep motivated in their English language journey. What’s more, Cambridge exams for young learners doesn’t give students a pass/fail grade which helps take the pressure off.
We believe that the Cambridge learning path is one of the most well thought-out and robust ESL curriculums out there. That’s why all our ESL music resources have been designed to align with Cambridge’s curriculum.
Today we’re going to be looking at the A1 Movers Speaking test in particular: what’s new in 2021 and how can you best prepare your students for success.
How is the A1 Movers test graded?
First of all, it’s important to know that the Cambridge English Movers test is divided up into three sections:
- Reading & Writing: these two skills are tested together in the test
- Listening: students listen to a recording and answer questions about what they have heard
- Speaking: students are asked some questions from the examiner, then they do some speaking activities involving pictures.
What’s nice about the Movers test is that every child gets a certificate and there is no pass/fail grade.
Instead of the traditional grading model, Cambridge uses a system of shields for each part of the exam.
The maximum number of shields that any student can get is five, so getting five shields is a bit like getting an A.
However, if a student gets 1 or 2 shields in a specific part of the exam, it means that there is room for a lot of improvement in that particular skill.
As of 1 September 2020, Cambridge will also include a ”Statement of Results” which says not only how many shields the student got on each section of the test, but also how they can improve and where their strengths lie.
Okay, so now you’re clear on how the exam is structured and graded.
Let’s dive right into the types of activities your student or child will be asked to do during the exam.
Cambridge Movers Speaking Activities
The Movers speaking exam lasts around 5-7 minutes and is made up of four individual speaking tasks.
Cambridge A1 Movers Speaking Tasks
- Answer some personal questions about themselves
- Tell a story with picture prompts
- Find four differences between two similar pictures
- Identify the odd one out in a sequence of pictures and give a good reason
Let’s look at each activity in more detail.
Movers Speaking Activity #1: Answer some personal questions in English
Before officially starting the exam, the examiner will ask the student how old they are and what they’re called. This is really just an ice breaker to help them feel more relaxed.
At the end of the exam, they’ll be asked some more questions like their favourite subject in school, what hobbies they have, who their best friend is and what they like to do at the weekend.
Movers Speaking Activity #2: Describing a story shown in pictures
The examiner will have four pictures that tell a complete story. The examiner will start off by talking about the first picture and then the student has to continue the story and describe the other three pictures.
They’ll be given the names of the characters in the story and be expected to talk about what they’re doing in the story and use the proper third-person conjugations.
Movers Speaking Activity #3: Describe a picture & find differences between two pictures
The examiner will show the student two pictures that are very similar, however there will be four differences between them.
Students have to describe the differences between the two pictures. For this reason, it’s important to teach your students connectors like “but” and what prepositions they need to use to reference the pictures (“in this picture the man has a puppy, but in that picture he has a cat”).
Movers Speaking Activity #4: find the odd one out
The examiner will show students four sets of four pictures. There will be a common theme between three of the pictures, like sports or fruit, and one picture that won’t fit into the theme.
Look at the picture below. As you can see, the first three images are fruit and the last image is a football.
So students would have to tell the examiner; “Number four is different because the other three pictures are fruit.”
If you’d like to get a better feel for the exam, Cambridge has uploaded several YouTube videos like this one.
How to prepare for the Cambridge Movers A1 Speaking Test
Now it’s time for our top tips forgetting children to speak in English so they can ace their Cambridge exams.
Getting your students Movers ready!
- Make sure they’re practicing the exam speaking activities that we mentioned above. You can find lots of mock exam materials to use in your class on the Cambridge English website.
- Make speaking less intimidating by incorporating more song and dance into your classes. You’ve probably noticed how easy it is for your students to learn the lyrics of the latest English pop song, so try using more songs in class to get them singing.
- Get your students to practice exam activities on each other. They can take turns asking questions and being the examiner/student
- Make sure you’re covering the
grammar and vocabulary needed for the exam.
How has Covid-19 affected the A1 Movers test?
Covid-19 has had an enormous impact on the education industry.
Between moving to online zoom classes to socially distanced classrooms, you might not even want to prepare your students for the Movers speaking test, for fear of the examination centre closing.
Cambridge has said that exams are still going ahead but that it’s important to check with your local examination centre as restrictions can change depending on the country.
Here’s their official statement:
Cambridge English Qualifications are now being run in many locations around the world. The health and safety of our candidates and their families, and of the staff in our exam centres is our key priority. All of our centres are required to adhere strictly to national and local regulations and guidelines, and Cambridge Assessment English provides additional guidance to help them to conduct the examinations in accordance with international best practice.
To A1 Movers and Beyond!
Above all, remind your students that the Movers speaking test is just an opportunity for them to show off their English. It can help them stay motivated and focus their energy into a concrete goal.
Preparing students for an exam doesn’t have to only involve textbooks and exam papers. You can start creating ESL lesson plans with catchy songs that are actually designed to help prepare your students for their Cambridge exams.
The ELT Songs video learning resources are structured around the grammar and vocabulary of the Cambridge English curriculum. Each unit builds upon the last to help children not only have fun singing and dancing in English , but ace their Cambridge English exams.