Cambridge Examination CPE, Courses on CPE Exam since 2008

‘In a nutshell: an excellent teacher who genuinely likes what he does, great organisation and effective learning methods.’

Raul Ruiz (Spain)

Progress English is one of few providers of Cambridge Proficiency English courses in Bristol and is focused on people with a high level of English who work and just want to attend one lesson one evening a week.

Courses come with detailed course plans, access to an online platform for homework exercises and optional extra study, regular email contact and feedback between lessons and a course book.

Lessons first involve strategies for the speaking, listening, reading, writing and use of English parts of the exam, then move on in the second part of the course to consolidate language input and prepare students to deal with the exam’s timed conditions.

CPE and Where you can Improve

Compare the two paragraphs bellow:

  • They travelled overnight to Bristol and stayed in a hostel in the Harbourside. However, they finally went out to explore the city at midnight after they had caught up on their sleep.
  • They travelled overnight, staying in a bustling Harbourside hostel teeming with revellers and tourists alike, a renowned hub for both Bristol nightlife and local culture. However, only when they had caught up on their sleep, did they hit the town and search out its treasures

While the first paragraph basically explains the situation, the second encapsulates not just the type of language which needs to be used to pass a CPE writing exam, but also the desire of a typical student at this level to aspire to more than functional communication and really attempt to express themselves as precisely as possible.

In short, the second example brings in the necessary grammatical complexity (participle clauses and inversions), and precision, where the listener or reader gets a crystal clear rather than a vague picture of what is happening

Are there other people out there like me?

You get all sorts of people in a CPE class….spouses who have been in the UK for fifteen years whereas they only expected to stay for a year, university lecturers, engineers (Bristol is full of them), IT experts, English language graduates, and those who have found after negotiating a Masters in the medium of English, that spell check may have provided a short cut to accuracy but it made them lazy and in some way stunted in their language development.


How Progress English makes the difference!

People are often tired in the evening after a day in work so lessons need to be varied, dynamic and with clear objectives. Lessons are then followed up with homework to consolidate what has been focused on, homework emailed and feedback given.

The key thing is for the teacher and student to work together on a consistent basis to ensure that assimilation of strategies and language occurs.


Online lessons

It is possible to follow the same course over the same time period. Student numbers are restricted to three people per group to enable full participation.


After taking the CAE course with David last year and passing my exam, I joined him again for the CPE course last January. His courses and all the materials and lessons are well organised from the very first day, working every week on improving our skills for the exam. He’s got a particular method to improve writing skills that I found very effective.

I would also like to emphasise that, before going into lockdown, he quickly adapted his lessons so the course could keep going. We had Skype lessons, he was very quick at responding emails and correcting homework and always kept us updated about any update about Cambridge exams.

Raú Ruiz ( Spain )

Preparing the CPE exam during the lockdown would have never been possible without a teacher like David. Progress English was recommended to me by a friend who successfully passed the CPE exam, so I decided to give it a go. I can now say with confidence that it was a great decision.

Having experienced both face-to-face and online lessons, I can definitely say that there is little difference between them. David’s guidance and support, providing extra exercises and preparing material to focus on your weaknesses, together with his ability to keep you engaged, make the online experience as effective as if it was on site.

His energy and enthusiasm has allowed me not only to feel confident before the day of the exam, but also to learn useful expressions and correct my pronunciation mistakes, making a huge improvement in my communication skills. I definitely recommend David if you really want to learn English and prepare your English exam. Moreover, with online lessons, you don’t even need to be physically in Bristol.

Cristina Calero Calatayud (Spain)

Having taken part in the online preparation course for CPE, I can highly recommend David as a teacher. I can honestly say that I was a little bit reticent about taking part in an online course, however, after my first lesson with David, I have seen this course in a totally different perspective.

David engages his students in unique ways, he is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and will provide you with plenty of exercises and exams for practicing. David is continuously uploading extra exercises and tests on Moodle, which works perfectly. I would definitely highlight David´s knowledge of the Cambridge exams, providing specific and effective feedback.

Diego Pumar Losada (Spain)

Enrolling in an online course with Progress English Bristol was a great decision. Not only have I improved my grammar and vocabulary, also my confidence to use appropriate expressions when interrupting, argumenting or writing formal essays in English.

The course equipped me with the right skills to face the Certificate Proficiency in English test. Far from the boredom of the typical unididirectional courses, David makes the learning experience unique, interactive and tailored to your needs in an online environment. I would strongly recommend it to anyone looking for help to prepare (to pass!) an exam.




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