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Grammar is currently such a central pillar of English Language teaching that it's maybe hard to realise things

have not always been like this and that there are cultural, social and political reasons for the current state of
affairs. A brief look at the history of our professions shows clearly how different things once were.
The earliest books for those learning English were made around five hundred years ago for Huguenot
refugees arriving in England and were based very much on the colloquial vernacular. Conversations,
expressions and phrases formed the bulk of the material, which was full of great sentences such as:
John hath spitted upon my paper
and
She's a pretty wench.
Interestingly, this was also the golden age of Elizabethan drama, rich in the rhythms and raucousness of the
spoken language.
By the time of The Enlightenment (the 18th century), learning the dead languages Latin and Ancient Greek
had become compulsory for society types and the intense grammaticality of these languages started shaping
attitudes towards the analysis and teaching of English. I should point out here that, comparatively speaking,
English is not actually very grammatical. Indeed, it's not even the most grammatical language in Britain! Take
a quick glance at Gaelic and you'll see what I mean.
In Gaelic, nouns are all gendered masculine or feminine.
There are seven forms of the definite article.
There are four cases nominative, dative, genitive and vocative.
Definite articles, adjectives and nouns all change according to gender, case AND number.
Gaelic has prepositional nouns. There's a form of pronoun with no equivalent in English for expressing ideas
like FOR ME, FROM THEM, etc. You don't say MY or YOUR for inanimate objects, so you can't say MY
BOOK. You have to say THE BOOK AT ME, and there's one word for AT ME: agam.
Most simple prepositions have fourteen prepositional pronoun forms, seven of which are used for emphasis.
Where English uses stress for emphasis, Gaelic has different words.
There are no words for YES or NO. These ideas are expressed using positive or negative forms of the verb,
which are different in each tense.
Apart from the verb BE, no verb has present tense.
BE + a verbal noun expresses most present ideas.
There are only ten irregular verbs, but some are regular in some tenses and irregular in others.
The basic verb form is the gerund, so I LIVE translates literally as I AM A-LIVING.
The form for the future is also used for habitual actions.
The notion of plurality starts at three, not two.
Counting is in twenties, so the word for forty is TWO TWENTIES.
All multiples of forty are singular.
There are different numbering systems for people, animals and objects and finally, there are two different
words for Sunday, depending on whether you're Protestant or Catholic.

English, in contrast, has two basic verbs forms the present simple form and the past simple form. It also has
fairly simple aspects the perfect and the continuous. There are no inflected adjectives, no gendered nouns,
no subjunctives. It is relatively straightforward and simple.
Nevertheless, influenced by the mood of the times, infused as it was with science and mathematics, attempts
were made to FIX English and to impose onto it the tools of analysis that had been used for looking at Latin.
Early scholars were far more interested in rules and defining systems than it everyday usage and often took
liberties, ignoring usage and 'exceptions'.
England only got its school system in 1870, by which point this way of looking at language was already the
dominant model: grammar as skeleton, vocabulary as flesh. As modern languages filtered in to the new
schools and universities, they earned their place by being 'intellectual', which meant a firm focus on the
grammar system. Teachers and fledgling linguists looked at language and made generalisations much like the
botanists of the era looking at flora and fauna and drawing up theories. Grammar was what made English an
academic subject, rather than a set of skills. It provided a knowledge base to the filed.
One further factor in the establishment of grammar's dominance was the fact that teacher training is only a
very recent thing. You didn't need a PGSE in Britain until the 1970s, whilst Spain had no teacher training in
English teaching until the 80s. Therefore, for most of the twentieth century, language teachers taught the way
that they had been taught. Genetic conservatism rules the roost!
One final reason that grammar has remained dominant is a belief that grammar can be tested easily. As we
shall go on to see, however, this is not necessarily a view held by exams boards such as Cambridge, who in
many ways seem to be one step ahead of a still very conservative market.
So, grammar still dominates and coursebooks and are full of the atomistic building approach to accuracy.
However, the last twenty years have seen a groundswell of support for the notion that the status quo is awry!
While English is relatively simple grammatically, it has one of the largest lexicons around. Fluent speakers
know tens hundreds of thousands of words and multi-word units. Waves of immigration into the British
Isles have resulted in a complex, overlapping web of Latinate, Saxon and French synonyms, all with different
collocates and usages.
There's a vast mass of scientific, technological and financial language in English too.
Corpora research shows that much day-to-day language is pre-fabricated blocks / fixed and semi-fixed
phrases and that we don't put language together word-by-word using grammar plus vocabulary. Instead, we
remember and re-use wholes. WE all have thousands in our repertoire:
I'd rather not
How should I know?
Better late than never
I've been meaning to for ages, but I just haven't got round to it yet.
I'll get onto it this afternoon.
I was going to, but I just didn't have time.
You'll just have to wait and see
and so on, forever!
To reflect the true nature of language, such phrases need to play a far more central role in our teaching than
they have done thus far.

Just as much lexis we use every day comes with its own grammar in-built, remembered and reproduced
whole, so much grammar we use is more limited by the real world than 'generative grammar' folk perhaps like
to admit.
To give just one example: because of the nature of the kinds of arrangements available to us to make, when
using the present continuous to talk about future arrangements, we generally use just three or four main verbs:
I'm meeting . . .
an old friend of mine from college who I haven't seen for ages
a friend of mine for a drink tonight
some friends from work. We're going out for dinner later.
I'm having . . .
dinner with my wife later on.
a party tomorrow night
I'm going . . .
round to a friend's place later.
out for dinner with my brother tomorrow night.
These three verbs cover the vast majority of usages of this tense. Sure, it's possible to say 'I can't come out
tonight. I'm washing my elephant' or 'Can't come to class tomorrow. I'm painting the Queen's portrait', but by
and large we don't! Much grammar is similarly limited. The rarer the frequency with which each item is used,
the more likely it is to become fixed.
The form and meaning of the vast majority of tense usage present simple, past simple, present perfect
simple, etc. is covered very early on in most students' learning career. Of course, this doesn't mean accuracy
ensues immediately interlanguage studies suggest full accuracy is something of a myth. Most students retain
errors, usually a result of L1 interference. My wife speaks great English, having lived here for over fifteen
years now, and yet still gets HE and SHE mixed up on occasion and has been known to say DID YOU WENT
THERE? Studying further pages of English Grammar IN Use would clearly not prevent further recurrences of
this problem. Interestingly, though, she uses third conditionals perfectly, and has picked up the ways it's
frequently, used, meaning she's highly adept at using the common frames such as:
IF THAT'D HAPPENED TO ME, I WOULD'VE . . .
IF IT HADN'T BEEN FOR HIM / HER, I WOULD NEVER HAVE . . .
IF YOU HADN'T, WE WOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO . . .
IF I HADN'T, WE WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO . . .
and so on.
My point here is really that Advanced English is different from what coursebooks present to us as advanced
grammar. Students are conned into believing that if they learn how to say things like HAD I NOT ARRIVED
IN TIME, THE KITCHEN WOULD HAVE CAUGHT FIRE or WERE I RICHER, I WOULD DEFINITELY
PURCHASE ONE make them sound more advanced. In reality, they don't. They simply make them sound
more pompous!
Actually, learners who can communicate complicated ideas possess a wide range of multi-word phrases. True
advanced speakers access under pressure a vast array of phrases such as adverbials (sometime in the not-too
distant future, going back to what you were saying earlier about . . . ), noun phrases (It's the re-emergence of a
perennial problem, the introduction of tighter laws) and so on.

Another problem is that if we deny students access to collocations and fixed expressions, which are often the
most concise and condensed ways of saying things, then they need to do more grammaticalisation and thus
run the risk of making more grammar mistakes. So, for example, if you don't know how to say IT BOOSTED
TEAM MORALE, you end up saying what one of my Swedish students once said instead: IT WENT TO
MAKE THE FEELING OF THE TEAM GO UP. Similarly, if you don't know how to say A REVISED
EDITION, you might come up with A BOOK WHICH IS SIMILAR WITH OLD BOOK, BUT HAD BEEN
CHANGED TO IMPORVE AND UP-TO-DATED.
We help no-one if we see these kinds of utterances as grammatical in origin. They're clearly not, they result
instead from a lexical deficiency and the best way to tackle them is to give more lexical input.
So, to sum up thus far: 50% of grammar in coursebooks is hardly used at all in our day-to-ay lives; much of
what we do use is constrained by lexis and the real world; much spoken language is blocks of pre-fabricated
grammaticalised lexis; accuracy comes in fits and spurts and is at often more connected to the acquisition of
frequently re-usable chunks than it is to revisiting rules and repeating structure-manipulation activities.
Given all of this, you may by now be wondering why we still continue to fill our classes with a focus on form,
revision of rules, and endless revision of structures already met and digested at low levels. Why not expose
our students to a wider range of lexis during the precious classroom time instead?
Well, the cry goes up it's because of the exams!
Over the years and during all my travels, I've found most people basically agree with the vision of language
I've outlined above, and yet there remain plenty who insist the status quo must remain the same because that's
what exams test. Now, obviously, school exams in many parts of the world may well still be based almost
exclusively on grammar, but I'd like to move on to explore to what degree the Cambridge exams actually tests
grammar and to look at what else they test as well.
In the Cambridge suite of exams (PET, KET, FCE, CAE, CPE), there are five papers: reading, Writing, Use of
English, Listening and Speaking.
The marks for all five papers total 200, with each paper being weighted to 40. The overall score is based on
your performance in all five papers, so you don't actually have to pass all five, so long as your average scores
come out OK. The minimum pass is a C, meaning 60%.
On the surface, what would seem to be tested is the four skills plus language, which many might assume to
mean grammar plus words, but lets' see if this is really true, starting with a look at reading.
There's a variety of ways that reading is dealt with: read and answer some multi-choice questions; add in
missing sentences; summarise paragraphs but one thing is clear, the vast majority of questions are lexical.
Look at the extract below, taken from a CPE exam, and you'll see what I mean:
VANCOUVER
In the least ten years or so, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have (1) .. up
residence in Vancouver, in western Canada. To relax in the evening, residents (2) down the city streets
and, if you join them, you are likely to overhear a different language at almost every step. People come to
Vancouver for its mild climate, its wonderful setting between the ocean and the mountains, its clean and safe
environment and its educational and job opportunities. And (3) .. some may grumble about the speed at
which new buildings have (4) .., there's no doubt that the new arrivals and (5) .. tourism industry
have helped fuel an urban renaissance. Locals once referred to Vancouver as 'Terminal; City' because of the
city's role as a terminus or gateway to other places. Though the name has fallen slightly out of (6) ..,
Vancouver is more of a gateway than ever.

1
A taken
B put
C made
D built
2
A prowl
B stumble
C trudge
D stroll
3
A conversely
B nevertheless
C much as
D even so
4
A sprung up
B gathered up
C piled up
D moved up
5
A progressing
B blooming
C flourishing
D swelling
6
A approval
B favour
C opinion
D support
This is clearly not so much a test of 'reading skills', but a very demanding test of students' lexicon. To score
well, they need to know that you TAKE UP residence, rather than PUT it UP or BUILD it UP; they need to
know that you STROLL down city streets when you want to relax and they presumably also have to know
that you neither PROWL, STUMBLE or TRUDGE. They need to know that new buildings SPRING UP and
so on. There is basically no grammar here!
Also, interestingly, learning to how to guess or ignore words is really not going to help you here either. The
only way to score here is to have already learned the language!
Let's now look at Part 4 of an FCE Reading paper. The students read about five women who've started
businesses from home and have to choose which woman each of 22-35 is discussing.
PART 4
You are going to read some information about five women who have started businesses from their homes in
the countryside. For questions 22-35, choose from the women (A-E). The women may be chosen more than

once. When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order. There is an example at the
beginning (0).
Mark your answers on the separate answer sheet.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Which woman or women . . .
has international contacts?
(0) D
don't employ anyone?
(22) ..
(23) ..
were initially short of money?
(24) ..
(25) ..
needs to be available outside office hours?
(26) ..
has found a separate workplace?
(27) ..
has suffered setbacks in her business?
(28) ..
have changed their roles in their companies?
(29) ..
(20) ..
charge less to be able to compete more easily?
(31) ..
(32) ..
depends only on personal recommendations?
(33) ..
has had to make an unpleasant decision?
(34) ..
produces work mostly for local people?
(35) ..
Running a business in the countryside
Five women talk about their experiences setting up a business in the countryside.
A
'My customers are friends', says CHRISTINE HOGAN, who runs a computer-aided design business
with a turnover of over 200,000 a year and four full-time employees. 'My husband and I moved out of
London to the country when our children were small, and I wanted work I could do at home. I had worked

with computers before I was married, so my husband suggested I set up a computer-aided design business. IT
needed a huge amount of money and things were very difficult in the beginning, but I have been very careful,
making sure that I told the bank manager if I was likely to overspend. Being in the house is a big saving, and I
can carry on working in the evening if I want. It has remained a small business. We hardly ever deliver work
people from the area tend to collect it from us.'
B
'I enjoy being independent,' says MAGGY SASANOW, who works from home as a designer of
greetings cards. 'I trained in art at university, and wanted to work in a museum, but when I married, we went
to live in the countryside, where there wasn't that sort of work. So I decided to set up my own business and I
produce a range of 50 greetings cards which I sell to museums. I work in a big room upstairs. The
disadvantage of working from home is that there is always something that needs doing like mowing the
lawn. My business comes completely by word of mouth I don't advertise at all. People send work down
from London, as I am cheaper than other artists. Working alone, I don't get to exchange ideas with other
people any more, but generally there are more advantages than disadvantages.'
C
'It has been hard at times,' says DELIA TURNER, whose curtain-making business has seen good
times and bad. 'I started my business eight years ago. Then this type of business was expanding, and in two
years my turnover went from 24,000 to 80,,,. I used to manage six full-time curtain-makers, but I had to
sack them because of the decline in the economy, which was painful because it is not easy to find other jobs
in this area. I am right back almost to where I started, making the curtains at home myself, with my husband's
help, and using women who work from their homes. I have to be prepared to cut prices when it's necessary
and to look at different opportunities.'
D
TESSA STRICKLAND runs the editorial and production side of her children's book publishing
business from her farmhouse. 'I moved to the countryside three years ago for two reasons. The first was
financial, because London was so expensive, and the second was because I love the country. I enjoy being
able to work when I want to. Eighty per cent of my income comes from deals with Australia, the Far East and
North America, so I have to take calls at odd hours. The disadvantage is that it requires discipline to shut the
office door. I publish children's books from cultures around the world, working with authors and artists. All
my professional experiences had been in London, so I used to feel very alone at first.'
E
MEG RIVERS runs a cakes-by-post business and a shop with a turnover of 250,000a year and
employs six people, some part-time. 'I started ten years ago at home. I am very interested in health, so I
started making fruit cakes, using good quality flour and eggs. Then I started getting requests from friends and
relatives, and soon I was sending cakes all over the country. Seven years ago, I rented a small building and
everything is made there- we have a baker and assistant, and a professional cake-icer. I don't cook at all now,
as I run the commercial side. My greatest problem has been the financial side of the business, which has been
difficult simply because we didn't have an enormous amount of money to set up with.'
To do this successfully, students need to recognise, for instance, that it is Tessa Strickland who 'needs to be
available outside office hours' as she is the person who has to TAKE CALLS AT ODD HOURS. In the same
way, if they are to work out the answer to 28 is Delia Turner, they need to first understand what SUFFER
SETBACKS means, then see that having to SACK SIX WORKERS BECAUSE OF A DECLINE IN THE
ECONOMY is an example of this.
Clearly, this is demanding stuff, but again, it really isn't grammar! Instead, it's rather a heavy vocabulary load
and the students who do best here will be those with the largest, most developed lexicons.
Fro the teachers' point of view, the real issue is that we can't really predict what lexis will be looked at in
these sections. Going through past papers doesn't really help, as there's no guarantee anything will recur again
in subsequent tests. Success in these exams is basically down to whether or not students have been exposed to

enough lexis in enough meaningful, memorable ways. This, surely, is where the main responsibility of any
teacher doing an exam class lies!
The LISTENING sections in the exams are basically quite similar: there are usually four parts, and the
listenings will be followed by multi-choices, taking notes, matching and completing sentences, and so on. The
multi-choice sections in particular rely on a keen grasp of synonyms, but also on processing gist and on the
ability to grasp specific phrases, nuances and subtleties tough, but at the risk of repeating myself NOT
grammatical.
Let's move on to consider the WRITING sections. In FCE exams, students get verbal / visual prompts in part
One, from which they then have to write a letter of their own, as shown in the extract below:
1
You help t organise meetings at your local sorts club. You have written to an international sports star
who is going to visit your area, inviting him to give a talk at your club. He has agreed and he has written to
you asking for more information.
Read his letter, on which you have made some notes, and write a reply to him.
Of course, I'd like to give a talk. My possible dates are 10 th or 15th June, in the evening. Which would you
prefer? Where will the talk take place, and how many people do you think will come? Could you tell me a
little bit about the club members their ages, and the sports they are interested in? What do you think they
would like me to talk about?
On the exam paper itself, there are then hand-written notes connected to various bits of the latter above, so
there's a circle round 15th and a note saying 7.30pm; there's a line drawn to the question about where the event
will take place, saying Hotel Bristol; next to how many people, a note says 60?; by their ages, another note
says 12-76; under the sports they are interested in is a note saying tell him and right at the end of the letter is a
note saying give him some ideas.
To do this writing well, students take these individual prompts and ideas like the 15 th and questions like
WHERE WILL THE TALK TAKE PLAXE AND HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU THINK WILL COME?
and out of this, they then produce something like the following:
We'd like you to talk on the 15th of June at half past seven in the evening, if that's OK.
and
The talk will take lace in the Hotel Bristol and we are expecting around sixty people to attend / turn up.
The second part of the writing paper is more open: students choose from, four possible options and write
either an article, a report, a composition or a letter. Accuracy obviously plays a part in the grading here the
examiner's criteria says as much. However, nowhere is GRAMMATICAL accuracy explicitly stated just
accuracy in its broadest sense. As I've already said, the workings of the most common grammar in the
language are pretty simple. The workings of the lexicon, however the way words collocate, the way they
recur in fixed and semi-fixed expressions are a far broader beast, one in which accuracy becomes more
important in freer, more productive areas of the exam.
Let's now look at a sample from a CPE WRITING paper, Part 1:
Part 1
You must answer this question. Write your answer in 300-350 words in an appropriate style.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1
The extract below comes from an article which you have read in a magazine called SOCIETY
TODAY. You have strong feelings about the content of this article, and decide to write a letter to the editor in
which you respond to the points made and express your own views.
Popular culture which includes the media, sport and the fashion industry laces great emphasis on the
importance of image and appearance. This influence is producing a generation of people who are superficial,
self-centred and materialistic.
Write your letter. Do not write any postal addresses.
Now, before you can even start to answer this question, you need to understand what PLACE GREAT
EMPHASIS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF IMAGE AND APPEAREANCE means and also what
SUPERFICIAL, SELF-CENTRED AND MATERIALISTIC mean, and that's before you have an outside
chance of doing well here. Quite some task!
The SPEAKING paper is usually three or four parts, and is generally interactive, as there's another candidate
in there with you. As such, a whole raft of social, interactional language comes into play even before the
actual questions you get asked. At FCE, there's an interview where you may have to, for example, discuss
your hometown, your interests, plans, etc. You also have to discuss some photos and maybe do a problemsolving task, which you could get pushed slightly on. Obviously, grammar will come into this; indeed, we can
even predict some of the structures / sentence frames we need THEY LOOK LIKE THEY'RE . . . / I
THINK HE MUST BE SOMETHING LIKE . . . / I THINK IT'D BE BETTER TO . . . and so on, but far more
problematic is the fact that these structures are just bare bones, bones which need fleshing out. THIS is what
we can't predict or pre-teach, but it must surely mean we make sure our students are possessed of as much
lexis as possible, lexis which will help them flesh out the frames in a whole variety of different possible ways.
This brings us to the four sections of the USE OF ENGLISH paper a multiple-choice cloze, an open cloze, a
transformation exercise and finally key word transformations.
Let's have a look at how the first part works, the multiple-choice cloze:

PartOne
Multiplechoicecloze
Forquestions115,readthetextanddecidewhichanswerA,B,CorDbestfitseach
space.Example(0)C
TWINS
NewScientistmagazine(0)........C.......publishedareportbyresearchersatSheffield
University. The researchers studied identical twins who had been separated at
(1).................andhadbeentaken(2)............ofbydifferentfamilies.Theresults
showedthatthetwinswereoftenverysimilar,notonlyin(3).................butalsoin
intelligenceandpersonality.
More(4) ......................,however, were theother coincidences which were almost
(5)................toexplain.Forexample,onesetoffemaletwinsmetagainforthefirst
timewhentheywere39.Theyboth(6)................thesamedress,hadsevenringson
their fingers, and the same bracelets. There were also some male twins who
(7)....................partinthestudy.Theytoo(8)................agreatdealincommon.
Both of them worked in the police force, and (9) ..................... their holidays in
Majorca. They drove the same kind of car and had a dog called Toy.
(10)......................ofthemhadmarriedanddivorcedwomencalledLinda,andtheir
secondwiveswerecalledElizabeth.

Theresearchersintendto(11)........outmorestudiesinthefuture.Thisisbecause
thesecoincidencesaresoremarkableandhaveoccurredsooftenwithtwinsthatthey
have almost (12) ............. count. The coincidences are so extraordinary that it is
(13)......................tosimplysaythattheyhappenbecauseof(14)................... .It
seemsthattheremustbeamore(15)....................explanation,butsofarnobodyhas
foundoutwhatitis.

0
Anewly
Blately
Crecently
Dfreshly

1
Afirst
Bbeginning
Cstart
Dbirth

2
Acare
Bresponsibility
Cconcern
Dworry
3
Alook
Bsight
Cappearance
Dform

4
Adisgraceful
Bshocking
Cinsulting
Dsurprising
5
Aimpossible
Bincredible
Cunlikely
Ddissimilar
6
Acarried
Bwore
Cput
Ddressed
7
Aheld
Bcame
Ctook
Dplayed

8
Adid
Bwere
Chad
Dmade
9
Apassed
Bspent
Cstayed
Dwent
10
AAll
BEach
CTwo
DEvery
11
Abring
Bfollow
Cdo
Dcarry
12
Adropped
Bfallen
Cmissed
Dlost
13
Ailliterate
Billegal
Cillegible
Dillogical
14
Aopportunity
Bchance
Cpossibility
Doccasion
15
Acorrect
Blogical
Cintelligent
Dproper

Essentially, this is all lexical, based particularly on an awareness of collocation and chunks: separated at birth,
almost impossible to explain, took part in a study, had a great deal in common, carry out studies, etc. You
could possibly argue than number 10 EACH is grammar of a sort, if you really wanted to, but what's clear
is that there's no tense grammar here whatsoever.
Part Two, the open close test, is more of the same:

PartTwo
Readthetextbelowandthinkofthewordwhichbestfitseachspace.Useonlyone
wordineachspace.
EDINBURGH
Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, (0) .....is..... regarded by many people
(16)................themostbeautifulcityinEurope.Whetheror(17)............thatistrue,
no visitor can fail to (18) ................ impressed by its dramatic surroundings, its
magnificentbuildings,oritsdarkstonechurches.
EdinburghCastledominates(19)..............citycentre.Builtintheeleventhcentury,
(20)..............sitshighonarock.Theoldtowndevelopedfromthispoint,stretching
downtheslopetoformwhatis(21)................astheRoyalMile.Thisstreetremains
(22)...................ofthecity'smaintouristattractions,withHolyroodHouse(aroyal
palace)atthelowerend,andthecastleatthetop.
The new town (23) ................. built in the eighteenth century in order to cope
(24).................theincreasingpopulationofthecity.Itislocatedintheflatlandtothe
north(25)................thecastle.Beforeitwasdeveloped,(26).................competition
wasarrangedforthebestdesign.TheScottisharchitect,JamesCraig,wonwitha
simplegridpatternofstreetsandsquares.
ButperhapsEdinburghismostfamous(27)...............itsannualInternationalFestival
ofMusicandDrama. Thismassivethreeweek event hasbeenheldevery August
(28)................1947.Itattractsthousandsoftheatreandmusiclovers,andhundredsof
artists,from(29)..............overtheworld.Notsurprisingly,manyEdinburghlocals
taketheirholidaysatthistimeandgoin(30)...............ofsomepeaceandquiet!

Admittedly, there is grammar of a kind here: (19) requires a definite article


THE and (26) an indefinite one - A; (20) requires IT; (23) WAS as a part of
passive construction, but many of the answers are really those strange
interzones between grammar and vocabulary that so often get neglected in our
teaching simply because we aren't trained or encouraged to regard them as
important: regarded AS the most beautiful city in Europe; whether or not; noone can fail to be . . . ; be famous for something; all over the world, and so on.
Still, yet again, there's basically no testing of tenses or of the kind of grammar
coursebooks insist we spend so much time teaching!
Maybe we'll find it in Part Three? Let's have a look:

PartThree
Completethesecondsentencesothatithasasimilarmeaningtothefirstsentence.
Usethewordinboldandotherwords.Usebetweentwoandfivewords.
31Smokinginthelibraryisforbidden.
allowed
You____________________________________________________inthe
library.
32Itismuchtoocoldtogotothelaketoday.
warm
It_________________________________togotothelaketoday.
33MagdasawEllaasshewasgoingtowork.
way
MagdasawElla___________________________________work.
34Iregretnottakingyouradvice.
followed

Ifonly___________________________________youradvice.
35Youmightgetthirsty,soIputaflaskofteainyourbag.
case
Iputaflaskofteainyourbag_________________________________thirsty.
36Joannalikesswimmingmorethanjogging.
prefers
Joanna___________________________________________jog.
37Hervoicewassoquietthatwecouldhardlyhearher.
such
She__________________________thatwecouldhardlyhearher.
38GoingtopartieswasnotsomethingIdidveryoften.
use
I____________________________________________topartiesveryoften.
39"I'llstartsavingmoneyeverymonth,Ipromise,"Haniasaid.
putting
Haniapromised______________________________everymonth.
40NobodyknowswhyDonataquitherjob.
made
Nobodyknows_________________________________________herjob.

Well, 32 requires IT ISN'T WARM ENOUGH, which is marginally grammar, I


suppose and 34 requires a variation on a third conditional IF ONLY I'D
FOLLOWED YOUR ADVICE! There's no explanation of form / structure or
meaning needed though, nor any test of rules. The rest are basically very
lexical WHAT MADE HER QUIT HER JOB; PROMISED TO START
PUTTING SOME MONEY ASIDE; JUST IN CASE YOU GET THIRSTY,
and so on.
Finally, Part 4, the key word transformation:

PartFour
Usethewordgivenincapitalsattheendofeachlinetoformawordthatfitsinthe
spaceinthesameline.Thereisanexampleatthebeginning(0).
AVISITTOABOOKSHOP
Onhearingthatmyfavourite(0)novelistwasgoingtovisit
NOVEL
alocalbookshop,Imadethe(56)________________togoalongand
DECIDE
meethiminperson.Ihavealwayshadthegreatest(57)____________
ADMIRE
forhim.Hisnovels,whicharebasically(58)_____________havebeen
HISTORY
ofgreat(59)______________benefittomethroughouttheyears.Not
EDUCATE
surprisingly,hisworkhasreceivedpopular(60)________________.
RECOGNISE

Onarriving,Isawhimwitha(61)__________________ofhisbooksin
SELECT
frontofhim.(62)__________________,hewasalone.Iapproachedhimand
FORTUNATE

(63)________________askedhimtoautographmybook.Hishandwriting
POLITE
was(64)__________________andthereforeIhadtroublereadingthe
LEGIBLE
dedication.Nevertheless,itwasa(65)__________________experience.
MEMORY

Now, to do well here, you need to know that the noun of DECIDE is
DECISION and that the adjective of EDUCATE is EDUCATIONAL and so
on, all of which is quite demanding, but which most certainly IS NOT
grammar.
Which brings me to my point here, and it's a very simple one: the Cambridge
exams really DON'T test much grammar. The structures that littler high level
coursebooks dramatic inversion, cleft sentences, future perfect, mixed
conditionals, etc. may occur ONCE as ONE item in CAE or CPE. In short,
they are no more important than any single idiom or phrasal verb or
collocation and we really shouldn't be treating them as such.
Students who do well in the reading and listening papers don't simply possess
better skills they've met more language and taken more notice of it. Students
who do well in the writing paper don't simply have better grammar; they're
more aware of texts in general and of how grammar and lexis combine in
them. They know a range of relatively fixed expressions for opening, closing,
combining, inviting, complaining, etc. and they're more aware of genre. They
get to be like this by seeing good models and working with them, looking at
how they work, breaking them down, reconstructing them.
They DON'T get to be like this by endless work on grammar rules and
meanings, endless single words and endless lessons whose primary focus is to
teach skills.
If we really want our students to do well in exams, we need to make classroom
linguistically rich places. Even 'skills' lessons need to end up coming back to
language. And we as teachers need a broader sense of language than many
coursebooks offer us. We also need good materials to facilitate this.
Being a coursebook writer, I'm bound to tell you that my series OUTCOMES
and INNOVATIONS will do half of this work for you, but I'll leave that up to
you to decide on!