Preparation Tips for Cambridge English Advanced Speaking
- It is essential that your students are given plenty of practice in class in participating in group and pair activities. This will help them interact effectively with their partners by initiating discussion and responding appropriately to their partner’s and the interlocutor’s comments and questions. Pair and group activities should, therefore, be a regular part of classroom learning.
- Your students should be made aware that they need to listen carefully to the interlocutor’s questions and instructions and refer to the written prompts on the visuals page to remind them of what they have to do in the tasks.
- Your students should be encouraged to react to visuals they are given to support the tasks, and relate the visuals to the tasks rather than simply describe them.
- Your students should be familiar with the test format and be fully aware of what is expected of them in each part. They should also be equipped with the right kind of language for each part of the test, e.g. giving personal information, exchanging information and opinions, giving reasons, speculating, agreeing and disagreeing politely, justifying opinions and negotiating. This will ensure that they are in a good position to show the examiners what they are capable of.
- Encourage your students to speak clearly so that they can be heard by both the interlocutor and the assessor.
- It is essential that students do not pause for too long before they begin speaking. A short pause to gather their thoughts is acceptable, but anything longer than this will give them less time to produce a sample of language. Being able to paraphrase if they do not know or cannot remember a word, and extending their responses rather than giving a one-word answer, will help your students participate more effectively in the Speaking test.
- Give your students a ‘mock’ Speaking test so that they experience taking part in an interaction of this length and understand how they have to move between different types of interaction and task focus.
- To ensure that all candidates are treated in the same way, the interlocutor keeps to a scripted frame (as shown in the sample papers). However, you can remind your students that they can ask the examiner to repeat the instructions or a question.
N.B. In some centres candidates from the same school are paired together. However, where candidates from a number of different schools are entered at the same centre, some candidates may find that they are paired with a candidate from another school. Students may check with the centre through which they are entering for the local procedure, if they wish