Key English Test Part 3a Activities

Vocab Activity

Part 3 of the Key English Test (KET) focuses on communicative interaction, students need to choose the correct responses in a dialogue.  This sounds easier than it is, as it’s not just a straight forward question-answer match, but requires students to know a range of conversational phrases, as well as having good analytical abilities to discern between grammar.  Students can struggle with this part if they don’t have enough exposure to authentic language, so here are some ideas to help.

Part 3 is split into two parts. The first part (Part 3a) is composed of 5 questions which give the students a prompt and then offer a choice of 3 multiple choice response options to select the best answer from.  Part 3b, instead, is a dialogue which requires the student to match 5 correct response from a list of 8 and to insert them into the correct point in the dialogue.

To help students with this part, try to introduce as much natural language as you can through role-plays and dialogue analysis. Make sure they understand more colloquial phrases, such as ‘What a pity’ and ‘I’m afraid not’ both in terms of meaning and usage.  There are lots of games that you can use in the classroom to help students naturalise some of this language and to use it appropriately in their own conversations.  Here are a few you might enjoy:

Phrase Bingo – Give each student a phrase bingo board (or ask them to compile their own) featuring three or five phrases,  including things such as “That’s great!”, “Why not!”, “I don’t know how to”, “So did I” and so on.  Once each student has their own personal bingo board give some prompts, the students must shout out a phrase from their own board if they feel they have an appropriate response, monitor, discuss as a class and continue the game until someone has completed their board.  When someone offers an inappropriate response, discuss together why it’s wrong, what it would be better used as a response for,  and how you could change the answer in order to make it the correct response. By working and re-working the language, the students should get a broad understanding of how to use them in context.

Statement Pictionary – This is a fun activity that will produce lots of language and lots of laughs.  Split the class into teams and ask one person of each team to come up to the board to be the artist. Give them a secret phrase that they need to draw on the board. It could be something like, “What time does the train leave? ” or “I hate Tottenham Hotspur FC”, absolutely anything that you think is interesting, relevant or that might play to their interests.  The artist then has to try and draw the phrase without saying anything to their team and without writing any words on the board.  The first team to correctly guess the phrase wins the point.  For bonus points, the team can then try to suggest an appropriate response to the phrase.

Picture Dialogues – One of the most obvious ways of helping students to get to grips with the language is by using it in their own dialogues.  Using roleplays to construct dialogues on any given topic is a fantastic way to consolidate language learning and particularly useful to practice this part of the Key English Test.  To add a slight twist to the activity and make it more fun you can ask students to role-play a particular topic but distribute flashcards to the students which they must not look at.  At key points, instruct students to uncover a flashcard and try and incorporate whatever is pictured into their dialogues. Depending on the flashcards you distribute this can have hilarious results, especially if they are role-playing an exchange in a train station and the flashcard they uncover is of a gorilla!

Here is a worksheet including some of those phrases which will give your students some good practice for part 3a.



Download the PDF version of KET Part 3a practice worksheet here


Do you have any other ideas for practising this part? Let me know in the comments below.

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