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Teachers' Newsletter - October 2023

Welcome to your Teachers’ Newsletter for October

This month, we look at:

  • the launch of Cambridge English Qualifications Digital
  • our fully updated Handbooks for teachers
  • technology-themed teaching activities
  • how we’re making big changes to reduce our carbon emissions
  • building independent reading skills with our new digital tool.

Plus, find out about our November webinars for teachers – and more!

Introducing Cambridge English Qualifications Digital

From February 2024, we are moving away from our current computer-based exam offering to a new enhanced digital experience: Cambridge English Qualifications Digital.


It’s the same quality test you know and trust, but benefits now include faster results, the ability to register candidates for the exam at shorter notice and more choice when it comes to picking an exam date. Learn more about the new format and hear what candidates and teachers think.

Updated Handbooks for teachers are now available 

The exam Handbooks have always been a firm favourite with teachers and students. To coincide with the launch of Cambridge English Qualifications Digital, new versions of the Handbooks have just been published with a fresh look and feel. They are fully updated with hints and tips for exam preparation and feature screenshots of the digital exams with advice on how to prepare for them.


Use the button below to select the exam level and find your updated Handbook under ‘Teacher essentials’.

Technology-themed teaching activities

From everyday machines to robots to artificial intelligence, this month our English activities focus on the fascinating topic of technology.


Students from Pre A1 Starters to C1 Advanced can have fun while improving their English!

Our promise to the planet

We’re making big changes to reduce our carbon emissions, from how we create our English exams and coursebooks, to how we get them to you. Watch our video about our journey so far.


We know our teachers care about sustainability as much as we do. Our practical sustainability resources, activities and inspiration can help support different ages and stages of learning.

Encourage self-learning with our new digital tool

Build independent learning with our innovative B2 reading skills activities.


In class, at home or anywhere in between, students can use their own device whenever and wherever it suits them.


Each activity takes a few minutes and students get immediate results on their answers.

Small changes that can make a big impact in the classroom

Classroom dynamics play a significant role in learner outcomes. For many of you, it’s the start of a new academic year so you may be wondering how to create a successful learning environment for your students.


This excerpt from Sarah Mercer and Herbert Puchta’s new book contains some useful advice based on their studies of the psychology of language acquisition and teaching. So, whether you’re starting a new school year or coming to the end of one, it offers helpful suggestions for everyone.


Sarah Mercer and Herbert Puchta’s 101 Psychological Tips is now available.

Our November webinars

Getting the most from your coursebook: bringing learning and assessment together for young learners (Pre A1–A2)


Suitable for teachers preparing young learners for Pre A1 Starters, A1 Movers or A2 Flyers, we’ll look at practical ways to use your course resources and maximise students’ learning and assessment opportunities.


Tuesday 7 November 2023, 10:00 (GMT)

Thursday 9 November 2023, 16:00 (GMT)

Introducing Cambridge English Qualifications Digital 



Aimed at teachers preparing learners for A2 Key to C1 Advanced, discover the benefits of taking Cambridge English Qualifications digitally as well as the new support and resources we offer to help students succeed in their digital exams.


Tuesday 21 November 2023, 10:00 (GMT)

Thursday 23 November 2023, 16:00 (GMT)

Reminder: removal of set text questions in B2 First for Schools and C2 Proficiency Writing


From January 2024, we are removing the optional set text questions in the B2 First for Schools and C2 Proficiency Writing papers. We have made this decision because very few candidates choose these questions and often do not perform to the best of their ability.

We hope you found this newsletter useful. For resources and support, visit our website.

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* Te recordamos que Enseñamos Juntos es un boletín en inglés para profesores de academias y colegios.

Supporting you at the start of the school year

The start of the academic year is the perfect time to explain the benefits of Cambridge English Qualifications to both students and parents.

Whilst your sc

hool may have already decided to offer Cambridge English Qualifications, some parents will need more information to understand the value of learning and assessing English.

Our level-based exams provide a clear path for developing English language skills, step by step. This clear path for progression inspires learners to go further, opening doors to exciting higher education and workplace opportunities.

Helpful timeline

Don’t forget to use our helpful timeline to plan your school year!

It includes useful tips and links to resources for teachers preparing students for Cambridge English Qualifications.

Teaching activities

Autumn has just started and in Cambridge Assessment English we want to celebrate this new season with activities for students, from Pre-A1 Starters up to C1 Advanced.

Happy teaching!

New! Fun poster activities help prepare school students for the revised exams

Our updated A2 Key, A2 Key for Schools, B1 Preliminary and B1 Preliminary for Schools exams will be going live in January 2020.

To help you prepare students, we’ve created colourful classroom posters that include words from the updated wordlists. They encourage students to develop their speaking, listening, pronunciation and vocabulary. Each set of posters also includes a range of classroom activities.

Here are some examples of the classroom activities you can try – they’re fun and require no preparation!

20 questions
Put students in groups of three or four. One student chooses a word from one of the posters but doesn’t tell anyone what it is. The other group members take it in turns to ask questions to guess the word. Example questions for the food poster: Is it a feeling? ‘No.’ Is it a place? ‘No.’ Do you eat it? ‘Yes.’ Is it sweet? ‘Yes.’ Is it healthy? ‘No.’ Is it ice cream? ‘YES!’

Quick stories
Challenge your students to write a story in 35 words using as many words from the poster as possible. You could adapt this and ask students to make a dialogue instead – they could then act them out!

Student-created memory cards
Students cut up paper to make 20 squares (this could be more or fewer). In pairs, students choose ten words from the poster to draw as pictures on different squares. They then write the vocabulary to match the pictures on the other 10 squares. Once they have finished, they can play Pelmanism together by turning the squares over so the pictures and words are not visible. Each person takes it in turns to choose two squares. They must find the word that matches the picture. If they find a pair, they keep it. This can be adapted depending on the level of the class – students could make a complete sentence using the word when they find the matching pair.

Download the posters and classroom activities for:

Teaching resources

A4 Flyers in English and Spanish

We have A4 Flyers that include all the benefitsfacts and resources schools and PLSs will get from working with us once they start preparing for our exams. Take them with you to schools and language centres. We have them in two languages, in English or Spanish, choose the one you want!

The perfect hook to convince schools and PLSs!