Hi there! Welcome to the new audio lesson with ABC English Levels! I’m Valentine and today we’re moving on to the third part of the FCE Speaking paper. You will learn the structure of this part, how long it takes, some useful vocabulary for FCE Speaking part 3 and, as usual, some practical tips to feel more confident.
Well, let’s get started!
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Structure of Speaking Part 3
FCE Speaking Part 3 has 2 parts. The first one takes 2 minutes. During this time you discuss a question and 5 prompts with your partner, the other candidate. The question and the 5 options are on a page the examiner gives you, so you can see it. You are normally given 15 seconds to get familiarize yourself with the task before starting the discussion. You’re expected to speak about each option in turn.
The second part of FCE Speaking Part 3 takes 1 minute. You have to summarise what you’ve discussed before with the other candidate answering the examiner’s question. The examiner can ask you, e.g., to choose the best of the 5 prompts and explain your choice.
Tips for the 1st part
You’ll be given a kind of a diagram, a mind map with a question in the middle and 5 prompts around it and 15 seconds to think about them.
- Think about each option and how you can relate it to the question.
- To start a conversation, you can give your opinion on one of the options and then ask your partner about his/hers. Use phrases like «and what/how about you?», » do you agree?», «what’s your opinion?».
- As well, you can ask the other candidate if they want to start. Use the following phrases: Shall I start or do you prefer to start? Do you want me to start or do you prefer to start yourself? Can we start?
- When your partner says something, react to their ideas as if it were your natural chinwag (friendly talk). Remember that the best way to make a good impression on the examiner is to sound natural and fluent. So, fancy how you could discuss the topic with your real friends in your mother tongue.
- Try not to dominate the conversation. Moreover, if you see your partner is stuck, blocked and doesn’t know what to say, help him gently. You shouldn’t waste your time if your partner fails to participate appropriately. You may say: Do you mean…? Maybe… Doesn’t it seem …? Etc.
- Never stop talking! Keep the conversation going until the examiner says ‘thank you‘! You can say: Shall we move on to the next option? What do you think about this option? What about this one? Let’s see what we have in the next option, etc.
- Do not speak too long about any particular option. At the same time, do not worry about talking all of them. It will be quite enough to discuss at least 3 options but in a proper way: profoundly enough, applying the necessary vocabulary and showing your ability to communicate with the other candidate.
Tips for the 2nd part
When it comes to choosing the best option out of five,
- Do not discuss each one once again. Just start from the one that seems most suitable. You can say: In my opinion/if you ask me/I guess etc., this option is the best because… and give your reason.
- Try to reach an agreement with your partner, but do not worry if you can’t. It is not the purpose.
- As you have to discuss the topic for a minute, in case you agree with your partner’s first option try to speak about the rest until the examiner stops you. You can explain, for instance, why the other options aren’t sufficiently good.
General practical tips. Very important!
You may find yourself in the situation when your partner is either stronger or weaker than you, too shy or too talkative.
So, if he/she’s stronger and tends to speak non stop, interrupt them gently saying something like
- Sorry to interrupt you, but I would like to say that/could I say what I think?
- Sorry, may I say something?
- Oh, it’s really interesting what you’re saying but I’m afraid I have another opinion.
Remember that you have only 2+1 minutes to show your speaking skills, and the examiner won’t mark your silence. So defend your right to speak. If you do this linguistically correctly and in a polite manner, you’ll be given only good marks since this will prove your communication ability. Again, think about your everyday life. It’s normal to sometimes interrupt your interlocutor. Be natural!
Now, if the other candidate is timid and doesn’t say more than a couple of words in a discussion, help him, be a leader but never try to dominate! Again, it will showcase your excellent capacity of keeping the conversation going. How? Ask him/her questions, opinions, offer ideas. You can say:
- What is your opinion on this?
- Don’t you think it’s…
- Have you ever tried anything like this?
- Maybe, it’s because…?
Well, the rule is always the same – be natural and don’t stop speaking until the examiner’s ‘thank you’!
All right, that’s all for today. In the next lesson, I’ll give you some practice on Speaking Part 3.
This was ABC English Levels and your Valentine. Take care and have an easy week!
Till next week!