As promised my blogabout the Speaking Exam!
Try these tips out when you are next in class and encourage others to use them, and consider how you can go even further and improve your speaking skills, then let me know what youdid!
Even at the start with the simple introductory questions...GIVE MORE THAN THE MINIMUM...
I come from Salamanca (But don't stop here!) Continue to give extra detail...where is that in Spain? What type of city is it? What type of neighbourhood/area do you live in? What type of house do you live in?
-Avoid short yes and no answers-provide more information
-Offer examples from your own life and experiences to help explain statements you make (In the introduction and with the pictures) ...For example
'The two people in picture three look like they're enjoying themselves but personally, I think I'd prefer to spend my study time in a lecture theatre where I'd be able to concentrate on learning more'.
And with the pictures...
Play the game!
Try to speak at length coherently, using language to DESCRIBE, COMPARE and CONTRAST, HYPOTHESISE and COMMENT upon a topic.
By Hypothesise I mean make lots of inferences!
Doing this is the next stop on from describing and is SO IMPORTANT
Try to see things the picture does not tell you...
With this picture...
The people are celebrating but why?
Is it a birthday?
Passing an exam?
Getting a new job?
Learn as many synonyms as possible! This give will give you great variety and flexibility with your use of English...and may help with nerves in the exam!
Many people also worry about timing in the exam, a good way to prepare for this is to practice making short talks on various topics on your own, or with each other!
In the exam when you and your partner are given a set of images and have discuss and make decisions remember to...
Use language to discuss and interpret, to agree, disagree or agree to disagree, negotiate and work together (Get the best out of each other, regardless of the ability)
Be prepared to ask your partner for his or her opinion rather than simply stating your own.
Listen 'actively' to what your partner says, focus on what they say you can respond and look like a coherent team. Use expressions like...
"That's an interesting point."
"I was interested in what you said about ..."
"So, when you say ........, do you mean ........?"
"Could you explain what you mean by .......?"
-And if you are struggling to say what you want to...relax, complete the simple parts first...describe...tick that box first and then the comparison should be easier! But also if you need to...
'That's a good question.' 'considering your question' etc.
ALWAYS bring your answers to a constructive conclusion, the last part of what you say is often most important...it is the time to gather all the information, summarise it and concluding...while LINKING TO THE QUESTION
I hope this was useful and I hope you will read my Wonderful and Dangerous World of English Slang post in the coming week!
See you there!