Noelia Fernández: Communication Skills for Cambridge First


Patricia Dawn Severenuk

Chief Curriculum Coordinator

Hello! My name is Dawn, and I'm an English-language teaching professional who helps keep communication and processes on the move. Over the past fifteen years, I've worked with hundreds of students and companies to help them improve their communication and make their dreams come true. I've got extensive job experience working in various sectors in Canada and Europe, and I've been told by my clients that I am efficient, friendly, and I'm able to cut through the "extra stuff" to identify problems and give people the solutions that they really need.


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Greetings, Noelia! 

Students (like you) who have been studying English for a long time typically have have a strong base in English. Sometimes, however, our study skills are a little rusty, or maybe we just need a bit of help in making our grammar and vocabulary stronger. 

This course is designed for people who know that their language skills are strong enough to pass the Cambridge First Certificate, but they might have two or three specific problems (listening and vocabulary, or writing with grammar). Perhaps they used to speak really good English at one point in time, but don't feel confident now, and think that a goal could help them. Or maybe they've bought a lot of books on the Cambridge First, and they understand the theory of the questions, but they don't really understand why they're not getting the right answers.


In this course, you will learn to:
  • use different techniques to learn, practice and use the new words and expressions you learn
  • apply the grammar and vocabulary you've already learned to business and real-life situations, so you can "use it like a native". 
  • think about how to adapt your language to specific people and specific situations. Remember: In English, you can say just about anything to anybody...IF you know how to do it!
  • manage phrasal verbs and other "chunks" of language (and not just rely on individual pieces!)
  • think about information as IDEAS, not just as words - so that Use of English and Writing are easier.

Your course will include:
  • Class notes - everything you need to complete the course will be available online. (No need to buy any books!)
  • Online support - all of your questions answered in 24 hours or less!
  • YouTube videos which review the most important points in each module
  • A student-supported Wiki

It's worth noting that, even though the reading part of the Cambridge First is not a mandatory part, students who have done the reading have found that their reading and vocabulary skills have improved a lot. This year, we've got a GREAT book - one of my personal favourites: The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger. I know - the movie wasn't particularly good, but the book is much better because it gives a lot more detail into the lives of all the people's not just about a big, dangerous storm. If you want to improve your reading and vocabulary skills, I'd strongly suggest trying the book! 


  1. Don't forget to read and do the Terms and Conditions document (which explains things like payment and cancellation policies), if you haven't done so already. Every student must read and complete this form before starting class.
  2. PLAN: Think ahead to where you want to be, six months from now. It's not possible to speak "perfect" English in six months (what does that mean, anyway??). You will feel more relaxed and more satisfied if you set yourself realistic goals that you can achieve with regular practice. 
  3. PREPARE: Learning is easier if you use CREAM strategies - if you are creative, reflective, organized, active and motivated. What does all that mean? This presentation will help explain how to incorporate this into your learning.
  4. PURGE:  Go through your notebooks from your old English classes, your old textbooks, any extra paper that you've got - and throw out anything that you're not using. Get rid of it. If you haven't used it up until now, you'll probably never use it.
  5. Think about the ways that have helped you learn English in the past (or things that have NOT been helpful. What has worked? What hasn't worked? What are the things that you really enjoy when you learn and what are the topics (such as grammar or writing) that really need more attention? .

The class does not have any formal assessment criteria, although we can do pop quizzes and review materials, if you like.


Course content

  • Module 01: Working with New Words and Expressions

  • Module 02: Writing 1 - The Different Writing Tasks  on the Cambridge First

  • Module 03: Pronouncing words properly (and why that’s important for First Certificate)

  • Module 04: Use of English (and why it's fundamental)

  • Module 05: How Verbs Behave in English

  • Module 06: Developing Listening Skills and "hearing" English better

  • Module 07: What's the difference between formal and informal language?

  • Module 08: Speaking, Parts One and Two

  • Module 09: Surviving phrasal verbs

  • Module 10: Making peace with "false friends"

Interested? Enroll to this course right now.

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