Cambridge Speaking Exam – Cambridge Podcast EP 1

Cambridge Speaking Exam (Cambridge Exams EP 1)

Cambridge Speaking Exam

What the examiner is looking for in the Cambridge speaking exam:

C1 
Grammatical Resource 
Lexical Resource 
Discourse Management 
Pronunciation 
Interactive Communication 
Maintains control of a wide range of grammatical forms.  Uses a wide range of appropriate vocabulary to give and exchange views on familiar and unfamiliar topics.  Produces extended stretches of language with ease and with very little hesitation. Contributions are relevant, coherent and varied. 

Uses a wide range of cohesive devices and discourse markers. 

Is intelligible. Phonological features are used effectively to convey and enhance meaning.  Interacts with ease, linking contributions to those of other speakers. Widens the scope of the interaction and negotiates towards an outcome. 
Performance shares features of Bands 3 and 5. 
Shows a good degree of control of a range of simple and some complex grammatical forms.  Uses a range of appropriate vocabulary to give and exchange views on familiar and unfamiliar topics.  Produces extended stretches of language with very little hesitation. Contributions are relevant and there is a clear organisation of ideas. 

Uses a range of cohesive devices and discourse markers. 

Is intelligible. Intonation is appropriate. 

Sentence and word stress is accurately placed. 

Individual sounds are articulated clearly. 

Initiates and responds appropriately, linking contributions to those of other speakers. Maintains and develops the interaction and negotiates towards an outcome. 
Performance shares features of Bands 1 and 3. 
Shows a good degree of control of simple grammatical forms, and attempts some complex grammatical forms.  Uses appropriate vocabulary to give and exchange views, but only when talking about familiar topics.  Produces extended stretches of language despite some hesitation. Contributions are relevant and there is very little repetition. 

Uses a range of cohesive devices. 

Is intelligible. Intonation is generally appropriate. 

Sentence and word stress is generally accurately placed. 

Individual sounds are generally articulated clearly. 

Initiates and responds appropriately. Maintains and develops the interaction and negotiates towards an outcome with very little support. 

 

Tips for the Cambridge speaking exam (Cambridge Advanced and First)

  1. Extend your answers wherever possible. No monosyllabic answers and no silence! 

Who is your favourite artist? 

“Picasso” v “I’m a huge fan of modernist and cubist art and particularly Picasso”

Fill the time with “thinking” expressions:

Em, to be honest I’m not sure, I’m not that into art really, but if I had to chose one artist I’d maybe say Picasso

  1. Even if the question is simple, the answer can use a range of grammatical features

What do you do?

I’m a teacher 

Well, I originally trained as an accountant but for the last few years I’ve been working as a teacher and have found it so interesting.

 

  1. Use lots of comparison language (especially for part 2)

- Comparative adjectives

-  Words like: On one hand / While / Whereas / Despite / Even though / Although / However / Nevertheless 

- Opposites: big/small, old/young

- Don’t forget similarities: both pic A and B are / similar to / the same as

 

  1. Make sure you can agree and disagree with a range of vocab for part 3

Yes, I see what you mean

I see your point but…

I don’t think I’d agree with you there

Yeah, that’s a good point

I’m not sure, wouldn’t you agree that…?

 

  1. Learn keywords and good vocabulary, don’t rote learn full answers

You may get asked about your hometown. Just learn a good phrase like “rural village” and you might say “Well, I’m from a place most people have never heard of. It’s a small, rural village in the west of Ireland”. 

Not [robotically] I am from a small, rural village in the west of Ireland

 

  1. Listen when the other candidate is speaking – in all the sections!

Don’t switch off and look bored, especially if you’re going to have to react afterwards (as in part 2)

Also, in Part 3 & 4, it is collaborative. Suggest that you move on to the next section. Ask each other questions, nod, interact, work together

What are your thought on this?

How do you feel about it?

I’m not sure about X. Would you agree?

…or maybe you feel differently / have a different opinion?

 

Other Vocabulary for the Cambridge Speaking Exam

To show off – to demonstrate that you’re good at something, to boast. 

to learn sth off / to learn something by heart

To hinder (Mistakes which hinder understanding)

A help or a hinderance (n.)

 

Grammar for the Cambridge Speaking Exam

Although / While / Whereas / Despite

Imagine you are comparing two photos. One is a supermarket, the other is a farmers’ market. You have to compare them

Although / While / Whereas most people like the convenience of a supermarket, I prefer shopping in markets. [contrast]

Although / While / Whereas farmers’ markets will often have organic food, they can be very expensive. [concession]

Despite being [they are] [the fact that they are] quite expensive, I think farmers’ markets still represent good value for money 

Despite + ing Despite of / In spite of

 

There is lots more information on the official Cambridge website.