The Cambridge Program

The Cambridge Program at IES Halmstad 2020-2021

 

Time: Thursdays 15:45-16:45 for all Cambridge students, plus additional feedback time and peer study groups based on students' individual schedules.

Location: Online

In the 2020-2021 academic year, students in years 7-9 are welcome to participate in the Cambridge IGCSE program, if they so choose. 

In Year 7 

Students may join the course preparing for the Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language Exam.

Class will be held every Thursday 15:45-16:45, with opportunities for individual feedback from the teacher before and after the lesson depending on each student’s academic schedule.There will be approximately 2.5 hours of homework each week. 

In Year 8

Students may join the course preparing for the Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language Exam. Students who participated in the Cambridge program last academic year may make a request to study for the First Language English exam if they choose. The Cambridge teacher, Ms. Zarzana, will discuss it with them and make a recommendation on which is the most appropriate exam level for the student. 

Class will be held every Thursday 15:45-16:45, with opportunities for individual feedback from the teacher before and after the lesson depending on each student’s academic schedule.There will be approximately 2.5 hours of homework each week. 

In Year 9

Students may join the course preparing for the Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language Exam OR the Cambridge IGCSE First Language English Exam. The student and parents may request which exam they would like to choose, and the Cambridge teacher, Ms. Zarzana, will discuss it with them and make a recommendation on which is most appropriate for the student. 

Class will be held every Thursday 15:45-16:45, with opportunities for individual feedback from the teacher before and after the lesson depending on each student’s academic schedule. There will be approximately 2.5 hours of homework each week for the ESL course, and approximately 3 hours of homework each week for the First Language English Course. 

Students in Year 9 also have the option of taking the English as a Second Language Exam without attending the course throughout the year if they so choose. 

About the Teacher

Ms. Zarzana has 12 years of classroom experience. This is her sixth year as an English teacher at IES Halmstad. She holds a degree in English from the University of Notre Dame, as well as a Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language for Southwest Minnesota State University. This is her second year teaching the Cambridge program at IES Halmstad.  

About the English as a Second Language Exam

The ESL Exam is approximately 1 or 2 grade levels tougher than the Y9 National test and tests reading, writing, speaking and listening.

About the First Language English Exam

The English as a First Language test is a more advanced test that requires essay writing, analytical and reading in depth skills.

About the English AS Level Exam

In previous years, IES Halmstad has offered this exam. This test is equivalent to a  high school course in the UK or North America. It can be used as a credit towards university programs. Students must complete the First Language English Exam before being offered the AS Level Exam. 

Unfortunately, as Cambridge cancelled all its exams in the June 2020 series due to COVID-19, no students at IES Halmstad this year have completed the First Language English Exam and therefore, none are able to take the AS Level Exam this year. 

Those in Year 7 or Year 8 who wish to complete this exam can prepare by enrolling in the English as a Second Language or First Language English programs respectively, as we plan to offer the AS Level English Exam next year and going forward.

Only the most dedicated students stand a chance of excelling in the AS level. This course goes beyond learning English and into analysing it, breaking it down and learning the true depth of expression in written and oral work.

Other Cambridge Exams

Other subjects in Cambridge may be available to highly dedicated students through self-study only, including:

Modern Language for YEAR 9’s : French, German & Spanish

Math (Y8-9) & Cambridge International Math (Y9 only) 

Mother Tongue (First Language Arabic, FL Chinese, FL Czech, FL Dutch, FL French, FL German, FL Japanese, FL Korean, FL Portuguese, FL Russian, FL Spanish, FL Thai, FL Turkish, Bengali (o), Urdu (o), Nepali (o), Sinhala (o), Swahili (o), Tamil (o)

How much is it?

As of June 2020, the cost for the exam was SEK 830. This may change for the June 2021 exams. The class is free and students are welcome to attend the class while choosing not to take the exam. 

Cambridge is an internationally recognized certificate to help further studies

Can be used to apply for college level courses in most English speaking countries (not university level, unless combined with other Cambridge courses for certain schools).

Excellent preparation for IB, AP or A level courses.

Equivalent to British GCSE (also known as the leaving cert)

Can be used as an English Language Requirement for Universities (English fluency), like IELTS, TOFEL or TOIEC (but not as a CREDIT course, that’s Cambridge A level)

What it is not...

University Entry Grade (unless you are taking the AS level)

Acceptable for Immigration purposes (to an English speaking nation).

What the test will look like...

First Language English 

Paper 1: Reading Passage (Core) 1 hour 45 minutes Candidates answer two questions on one passage of 700–800 words. Eligible for Grades C–G. 50% of total marks.

Paper 2: Directed Writing and Composition 2 hours Candidates answer one question on a passage or passages totalling 700–800 words. Candidates also answer one composition task from a choice of 6 titles. Eligible for Grades A–G on this component.* 50% of total marks.

English as a Second Language

Reading Comprehension and Writing skills Test 1h 45min

Listening Test 45min

Speaking test - National test- style conversation with examiner (teacher) 10min

What we expect...

Cambridge programmes and qualifications are designed to support learners in becoming:

confident in working with information and ideas – their own and those of others

responsible for themselves, responsive to and respectful of others

reflective as learners, developing their ability to learn

innovative and equipped for new and future challenges

engaged intellectually and socially, ready to make a difference

This is a course for young adults who are serious about achieving a high level of academic English. As it’s not a regular class, we can be tougher. If you hand in three late assignments or miss more than three classes (unless there is a remarkable circumstance) you will not be asked to continue studying with us. Foolish behaviour is not tolerated. We are expecting a mature attitude towards studying.

The websites listed below are useful resources to help you study for your IGCSE. The recommended sites below are useful for practising the main skills that you will need to do well in the examinations.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/

Useful for news articles, interactive listening activities, an updated daily grammar exercise, and word quizzes.

http://www.learnenglish.org.uk

The British Council’s main site for learning English as a Second, or Foreign Language. Lots of activities, designed to suit the different levels of language ability. It also has particularly useful grammar exercises, as well as tips for exam listening and speaking.

http://www.cambridge.org/gb/elt

Follow the link to the Student Zone for interactive exercises, listening articles and vocabulary building.

/Ms. Zarzana
elaine.zarzana.halmstad@engelska.se