Pearson Test of English (PTE) Young Learners is designed for students aged between 6 and 13, and assesses their understanding and use of real-life, practical English. There are four different exam levels (Firstwords, Springboard, Quickmarch and Breakthrough) which integrate listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills, with an emphasis on completing fun, communicative tasks in age-appropriate contexts. The exams are aimed at checking learners’ communicative skills rather than their knowledge of specific items thus adopting hands-on approach to the exam-taking process.
PTE Young Learners range from pre-A1 to A2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference. The written test assesses listening, reading and writing. The spoken test focuses on the oral part of the test. Both parts of the test are taken separately.
The tasks have quite similar format with a varying degree of complexity through levels.
The format of the tasks and interactive fun preparation activities
Listening tasks may include 3 multiple-choice questions, listening and writing short answers, matching pictures with the words, etc. As a preparation for these type of activities teachers can organize group activities where some people have words, others have the pictures and they need to match them.
Reading tasks may include matching the question to the answer, matching utterances to the pictures describing familiar social functions (a shop, restaurant, classroom, home), matching a word to the picture, completing the dialogue by forming questions with own words to the given answers, gap filling, etc. For all these activities teachers can prepare pictures with different social functions, describe those pictures by getting as much target language as possible. For dialogue completion, teachers may encourage as many possible options in the form of questions as possible.
Writing tasks include writing narratives based on the set of given pictures, continuing the sentences about themselves. Prior to the writing task students may be asked to speak on the pictures, think of a continuation to the story, This type of preparation approach may indulge them into the process more. As for sentence completion, they may be asked to share the information in pairs and then voice up the most interesting pieces of information open-class.
Speaking part is held by two stages: question answer in the format of a board game, and mini-presentation based on topic cards. Teachers may have a lot of adapted or self-made board game activities during lessons, prepare different topic cards for sufficient practice. However, the topic cards may follow the official syllabus and language content information designed by PTE.
Here the links to the language content to all levels are given:
Coursebooks and Other useful Preparation Resources
As PTE Young Learners follows the CEFR levelling of language proficiency, so various books based on the CEFR format and aimed at young learners fit as preparation material.
The following site offers level- appropriate coursebooks which may come at handy while preparing for the exam.
This website is a fabulous tool for teachers to prepare the PTE learners for the big day in terms of the speaking exam. The site includes various board games, topic card discussions and easily adaptable materials.
As for some official resources, teachers may use Practice tests for all levels to provide students with realistic preparation opportunities.
No matter which preparation route the teacher chooses, learners need to be equipped with quite enough preparation time and relevant set of tasks to match the real exam.