Character references for Advanced students preparing for CAE
1. Lead-in: Adjecves rock mp3. Students listen and try to write down all the adjecves
that they hear. There are 16 in total (stubborn, generous, paent, polite, honest,
talkave, grumpy, upght, moody, phony, clumsy, glum, stylish, sensive, eccentric,
dumb). In pairs, students check that they have all of them and try to decide if they are
posive or negave characteriscs. Teacher tries to elicit meaning of potenally new
vocab – ‘glum’, ‘grumpy’ and ‘upght’ or pre-teaches these.
2. Brainstorming – students add other personality adjecves to the whiteboard under
the heading s of ‘desirable’ / ‘undesirable’.
3. Teacher introduces idea of a character reference and why you might be asked to write
Student task: If the purpose is that someone you know has applied for a job, which of the
following would be relevant:
how you know the person
we get along really well
she speaks English well
children like her
what kind of food she likes
honest and hardworking
Students jusfy the reasons for their choices.
4. Ask students what they think are good qualies for a language teacher to have.
Introduce the authenc text which I wrote for a former teacher here. Task: Read
through and see if there are any of the qualies they thought were important. Then
decide if you were the director at ih, if you would employ her as a teacher. Jusfy
opinion in groups.
5. Closer examinaon of the text. Students look through and complete the following
circle all the adjecves used
How does a character reference begin?
How does it end?
What kind of linking words are used?
9nd examples of a parciple clause and the passive
underline any new vocabulary
highlight any phrases or expressions that you might like to use in your own wring
6. Students read the exam task (from New Advanced Expert, Pearson, p20) which
follows, underlining the key points:
A family in Britain is looking for someone to take care of two young children and to do some
light domesc work during the summer. A friend of yours has applied, and the family has
asked you to write a reference. Your reference should indicate your relaonship with the
applicant and how long you have known him/her, and include relevant informaon about
a>tude to children
relevant skills and experience
Write your reference in 220 – 260 words.