This class will focus on ways to prepare students for the long turn part of the proficiency speaking exam.
Here you can download my class handout for the long turn:
Here you can download a powerpoint of example long turn questions:
In this part students are required to speak for 2 minutes about a given subject. They will be given a card with a question and 3 bullet points of suggested areas to focus on. Students are required to stay on topic for the 2 minutes but they DO NOT have to cover the bullet points, they are just a guide.
There are 10 examples of genuine long turn questions taken from various handbooks and passed papers on the powerpoint above. What I like to do is set “ambush” long turns; have the powerpoint set up and after finishing a different class activity suddenly put up a question and instruct students to begin talking immediately.
For these practices you should have students sit in pairs. Each pair should have a timer of some kind. Remind students that they need to talk for 2 minutes without interruptions. Ensure that the student who is not taking their long turn hides the timer from the view of the speaking student; in the exam they will not know how long they’ve been speaking for and they must get used to structuring their turn to last the allotted time.
Before starting the practices go through the class handout. The handout is just a guide with some ideas about how to structure a long turn. My main focus in writing the handout was to encourage my students to personalise the question and also to link it to current affairs. After each practice turn encourage students to share the ways in which they personalised each question and any links to current affairs they found.
Here is the handout:
Speaking Long Turn
Talk for 2 minutes without interruption about a subject with 3 pointers to guide you.
How important is sport in today’s society?
- Different stages of life
You will only have a few seconds to gather your thoughts before you start talking. Try to think of your turn as introduction, body, and conclusion.
Start with a time buyer:
- It’s funny you should ask that…………..
- That’s weird I was just talking about this the other day…………….
- Hhhmmmm that’s a tough one………….
- That’s an interesting question………………
- Now let me see…………………..
Immediately personalise the topic
Generally people find it easiest to talk about themselves and their own experiences rather than speak objectively about something. Speaking about personal experience is also more engaging for the listener.
- For me personally sport isn’t that important.
- As far as I’m concerned sport is a big part of my life.
- Speaking from personal experience I’d say
Using your experience as a starting point you can then link into more general discussion of the topic. Think of it like the exciting first paragraph of an article.
Link the topic to current affairs
Normally there’s a link between the topic and something happening in the world at the current time.
- Take Barça for example, the loss to Madrid clearly affected the whole city.
- We only have to look at the doping scandals involving Lance Armstrong……
Try and recap everything you’ve said and tie it all together
- So as I was saying……
- To sum up……..