How to prepare for the oral exam

The oral exam has two parts: a monologue and a dialogue. You will be able to prepare your parts for about 10 minutes in a preparation room. You can jot down some thoughts as well but remember you won’t be able to read your notes during the exam.We have done some samples during the year and I have already given you advice in this post but as it easy to panic about speaking another language I will give you a few more hints. You are not the only ones who have self doubts, check this video

You see, you speak English  as well as those guys, just be confident and well prepared.

For the monologue, plan some good lines of introduction to impress the examiners and set a relaxed atmosphere, humour is always a good ice breaker but don’ overdo it,  ie:

My job is to talk to you, and your job is to listen. If you finish first, please let me know. Harry Hershfield

You have by now been exposed to a lot of excellent structures to negotiate your way in an oral exam, tidy up your notes and come up with a list of good sentences to use:

I would like to point out …Let me start by stating the current state of affairs/status quo….If you don´t mind me saying so,……If I may interrupt …If I may change  the subject…If you can keep a secret…If you see what I mean…If I understand you correctly…Having said that, let’s move on to another side of the argument …

Do you remember these ones from last year`s blog?

The BBC has a great series called How to…? where they go through the language needed in different communicative situations:

How to …. discuss: making suggestions, making a point, disagreeing, expressing uncertainty, ….

How to … instructions, explanations & advice: asking for and giving directions, showing understanding when you are listening to explanations, ….

How to …. good news, bad news: congratulating someone on good news, responding to someone’s bad news, …

How to … conversation: extending a conversation, closing topics, talking about things you like, …

How to … requests, offers & invitations: asking for permission to do something, inviting someone in an informal context, making polite invitations, …

How to … complaints, apologies & excuses: making a complaint, saying sorry, accepting an apology, pointing out the positive …

How to … hello & goodbye : greeting friends, greeting people in more formal situations, introducing people, small talk and follow-up conversations, saying goodbye,…

And if you want to improve your pronunciation follow this advice and check out this good blog from a nice Spanish woman, Iciar, living in London who gives tips on how to get rid of the Spanish accent.

Let’s get talking!

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