This week we are having our speaking tests at school. How do I know, because I’m a teacher and my students are enduring them, and because everybody is speaking English everywhere, in the corridor, in the library, in the staircase, everywhere.
And I was wondering, why don’t we do it from September to June? Why do we have to wait for our exams to speak English? Imagine what would happen if you did it whenever you came to school, since you arrive till you go. If you arrived earlier to chat with your mates in English for 15 or 20 minutes twice a week? Wouldn’t it make significative changes in your speaking?
What do you think? Are you ready to start a change?
If you want to practise for your speaking test, here you are a tool you can use. Please read the tutorial carefully and leave your contribution following the instructions given.
Read the instructions here:
Do the activity here (click on the picture)
The activity for básico is between slides 1 and 6.
Most of you have taken your speaking test last week, but if you haven’t these are some last-minute tips for you. This is just a reminder of the things we’ve already told you in class.
-Arrive at school earlier and have a conversation in English with your partner. If your partner hasn’t arrived, you’ll find somebody to talk to in English around.
-Don’t panic, our teachers are really warming and are conscious of how you might be feeling, they will help you in every moment.
-Don’t feel depressed if you see teachers writing all the time, they do write both good and bad things.
-During the monologue you can look at your partner, you’ll feel less nervous.
-During the dialogue try to be gentle with your partner, trying to let him speak and opening the conversation if it’s sort of finishing before time. Try to participate in the conversation with long and elaborated sentences, don’t say just yes or no.
Both if you are taking your speaking test tomorrow or not, this is your song. Repeat its message to yourself.
Don’t give up, keep on trying.
Certificate exams are round the corner and this blog is full of recommendations for you. Let’s talk about all the possibilities we offer here once again. Don’t say you don’t know where to start from!!!
- Watch these videos of students taking their English exams, revise the teachers’ notes and try to improve your skills.
- Watch these videos by the British Council, they give you advice about what to do and what not to do during your speaking test.
- Saro Rosales, a teacher at EOI Las Palmas GC wrote an article for her students giving advice for the speaking test, don’t miss it.
- Would you like to do a language exchange? Here you have a list of sites where you can do them.
- Intercambio de idiomas, a website where you can find out about places to practise English with other learners and native speakers. People gather together to practise while having a drink.
- Finally, here you have a list I wrote for my students back in 2009, why don’t you take a look at it?
vocabulary and expressions
- Read this document written by my friend María Valdés, it contains expressions that can help you both with your writing and with your speaking.
- This post contains a slideshow presentation with a summary of the different types of texts you could find in your certificate exam.
- Guidelines for writing, a slideshow presentation with lots of tips.
- Try to follow the advice given in this article, where you can find tips to practise listening, writing and reading.
- Do you know ELLA? Here you can practise all skills.
- Busuu helps you with all skills, and you can even practise Engish with other students and native speakers. It’s a great community to learn different languages.
- Randall’s Cyber ESL Lab: Listening activities for all levels.
- Podcastsinenglish.com: Weekly podcast with video and activities. Good for all levels. Podcasts are free, but to download activities you need to pay for a subscription.
- BBC Learning English: Different podcasts with activities, video and a series.
- RepeatAfterUs.com: Plays, prose, poetry, fairy tales, etc.
- Everydayenglish.com: Videos with grammar explanations for all levels.
- English Listening Practice: Listening activities and other resources.
- Voa News: News with an American accent.
- mansioningles: listenings with differentiated tasks for all levels.
- EFL club movies: Activities with movie trailers and videoclips.
- EFL club songs: Activities with songs
- Free Audio Books: Download audio books in English in different formats (mp3, iPod, etc.).
- Arlyn Freed’s Listening Resources: List of links to assorted listening activities.
- The Internet TESL Journal: Assorted links for all levels.
- Learn English through movies
- Randall’s Cyber ESL Lab: Listening activities – do the activities for the easy level.
- Podcastsinenglish.com: Weekly podcast with video and activities. Do the activities for Level 1. Podcasts are free, but to download activities you need to pay for a subscription.
- mansioningles: listenings with differentiated tasks – do the activities for level ‘Básico’.
- ELLLO: Real life conversations with different accents. Good for Intermedio 1 and 2, y Avanzado 1
- Global English Salon: Artículos actuales que se pueden escuchar (con acento americano) y leer
- Breaking News English: news articles for reading or listening. Good for Intermedio 2 and above.
Avanzado 1 and 2:
- BBC Four Interviews: interviews with actors, composers, singers, politicians, athletes, etc.
- Cinema Activities: Online activities based on movie trailers.
- English as Second Language: Several activities for this level, it also includes some indications to improve your listening.
If you are taking your speaking test this week and you don’t know what you should be able to do, here’s a a list of videos that can help you with this issue. These videos have been designed to exemplify the levels according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. You can visit the Wikipedia if you don’t know what we are talking about.
The correspondence with our levels is as follows:
A1: BÁSICO 1
A2: BÁSICO 2
B1: INTERMEDIO 2
B2: AVANZADO 2
How this site works
- Click on this link
- Click on any of the names given, you’ll be shown several videos. You might be given a message saying that you need to use a plugin, say “yes”, it’s completely safe.
- Each pair of names represents a pair of students with certain level. You can try to guess their level or just go to the next step.
- If you click on LEVELS, you’ll be taken to a document with the level of each of the students shown on the videos.
- If you click on comments, you’ll see what teachers have said about their performance.
Now it’s your time to decide if you are prepared for your exam or not.
These videos have been taken from the Centre international d’etudes pédagogiques.
Saro Rosales, teacher at the EOI Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has published a superb article giving advice for the speaking exam. Besides, she includes a list of possible topics and another list with useful expressions.
You can also find examples in the post published yesterday, Pruebas de certificación.
I’m sure this information will help you with your speaking tests, that’s why you shouldn’t miss it.