Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class

CAE/CPE Speaking Part 1: Talking About Yourself

This is a sheet of phrases for the CAE/CPE speaking part 1. In speaking part 1 you are required to answer some questions about yourself. These questions could be about a number of subjects. On the sheet there are nice phrases to use divided by category. Put students in pairs to go over the vocabulary, encourage them to choose their favourite expressions and then test each other on them. Tell students to come up with 1 question related to each category and ask them to their partner, then switch partners and repeat.

Download the handout here.

Phrase list:

Where you live

On the outskirts of the city

Just round the corner from…

A stone’s throw from…

Just off calle…

A ten-minute walk from…

A sleepy/peaceful neighbourhood…

An old apartment block where everyone knows everyone else.

A leafy street/avenue

Bang splat in the middle of…

It’s not much to write home about.

Our place can be a bit chaotic

Your aims for the future

I’ve got a burning ambition to…

It might sound silly but I’ve always wanted to…

I’ll probably follow in my Mum/Dad’s footsteps and become a…

Working in… kind of runs in our family.

With any luck/hopefully, in … year’s time I’ll be…

I haven’t got it all mapped out but I’d like to…

I have absolutely no clue what I wanna do, something to do with…

… is a field which interests me.

Provided I get the grades I’d like to be/study…

If all goes to plan I’m gonna…

… is on my bucket list.

Places you’ve travelled to

I’ve definitely got the travelling bug.

…(The Taj Mahal) blew me away.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

Awe-inspiring

Breath-taking

I couldn’t believe my eyes/ears.

The first place that springs to mind is…

I had the time of my life/a whale of a time.

I’ll never get bored of…

Soaking up the culture/atmosphere/sun

Catching some rays

Going for a dip in the pool/sea

Towering skyscrapers

Mind-blowing skyline

Snowy peaks

Rolling hills

Scorching heat

Miles of golden sands

Little secluded coves

Crystal clear water

Golden sands as far as the eye can see

Sleepy villages

Bustling towns/cities/marketplaces

Your occupation

I’m in the middle of my (2nd) year of batxillerat.

I’m in the (2nd) year of a 3-year (psychology) degree.

I’m juggling my studies at… with working at…

I’m completely snowed under with coursework.

I’m up to my eyeballs in assignments.

It’s nonstop at the moment.

It’s a steep learning curve.

I’m getting a lot out of the course.

It’s not really living up to my expectations.

I’m gonna take the selectividad in… I’m hoping to get into… to study..

I’m finding it pretty challenging but definitely worthwhile.

I take several extra-curricular subjects such as… and.. on top of my studies.

At the start it was tough but I’m getting the hang of it now.

I’m working every hour of the day.

Learning languages

I’ve been studying English for as long as I can remember.

I’ve always had a knack for learning languages.

I try to really immerse myself in the language.

Learning languages comes quite easily to me.

I’ve always had a curiosity for other cultures and languages.

I spent (a year) living in (England)

Preference in the arts

I’m squeamish so I don’t like horror films.

I’m easily (scared) so I don’t like…

I make an effort to see …’s films as soon as they come out.

I’m into big blockbusters/more obscure art-house films.

One artist I really look up to is…

I do my best to see (art/films) by … whenever I get the chance.

Spare time activities

I’m a keen/avid + personal noun (skier/surfer/skater/reader/swimmer etc.)

I dabble in…

I’m an amateur + personal noun

I like nothing more than to…

I’m really in to…

I’ve hardly got a spare minute these days but when I get the time I like to…

I can be a bit of a party animal…

I sometimes burn the candle at both ends.

I live for the weekend.

I like to go for a stroll around…

I hang out with friends.

My guilty pleasure is…

I’m a little ashamed to admit it but I’m a big fan of…

I’m doing evening classes in…

I’m a bit of a

·         film buff

·         geek

·         bookworm

·         foody

·         tech-head

·         rocker/metal head

·         culture vulture

Your Personality

I’m not the (superlative most sociable/tidiest) person in the world.

I’m easy-going/happy-go-lucky

I can be a bit (negative adjective)

My friends/family would probably say I was…

At times I can be the typical moody teenager.

Were you to ask my Mum, she’s probably say I was…

I’ve got a short attention span.

I procrastinate a lot.

I’m a bit of perfectionist/motor mouth

I’m a bit of a daydreamer.

I sometimes drift off into my own little world.

I tend to (worry about things)

Positive

Hard-working

Sociable

Open-minded

Optimistic

Active

Carefree

Talkative

Reliable

Ambitious

Well-organised

Thoughtful

Focused

Laid-back

Negative

Lazy

Unsociable/reserved

Closed-minded

Pessimistic

Sensitive

Moody

Absent-minded

Distracted

Uptight

Family

Chalk and cheese

Two peas in a pod

… runs in my family

I take after my Mum/Dad

We’re a close-knit family

We’re always having family get-togethers/gatherings

I’m the baby of the family/the middle child.

I’m the eldest so I get to boss my siblings around.

I’m the eldest so I was the guinea pig.

I’ve got a sprawling extended family.

I’ve got a kid brother/sister who really gets on my nerves/drives me up the wall at times.

I don’t know how my parents with us.

I really look up to my…

My family’s originally from… but my great-granddad settled her in …

We’re (Catalan) through and through.

My siblings are pretty competitive; we’re always trying to outdo each other.

My sister’s the brainy one, I’m the artistic one, my little brother is the sporty one.

Friends and social life

I prefer to keep myself to myself.

I’ve got a really close circle of friends.

I’ve got a great support network.

My social life is non-existent at the moment; I’m up to my eyeballs/here in coursework.

Me and my best friend are real kindred spirits.

I can really count on my friends; they’re always there for me.

If I’m feeling blue/down, they always know how to cheer me up/lift my spirits

We’ve been through a lot together.

We met in (primary school/kindergarten) and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

I confide in my best friend.

We hangout all the time.

We’re always taking the mickey out of each other.

Sometimes people drift apart.

I do my best to stay in touch with old friends.

If I’m not with them, I’m glued to my phone texting them most of the time.

I know he/she/they have got my back.

Media

I’m completely hooked on (series name) at the moment.

I can watch a whole boxed set in a weekend.

I don’t watch a lot of tele, I stream everything online nowadays.

I like to keep up-to-date with the news.

I have to admit I watch a lot of trashy tele, shows like… and… are my guilty pleasures.

I’m completely hooked on/addicted to facebook/twitter/instagram.

I can’t do anything without tweeting/posting it.

I’m trying to get into (video) blogging/photography.

I can waste hours bingeing on funny cat videos on you-tube.

 
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Author:

Barcelona based English Teacher, blogger and sometime actor and director.

One thought on “CAE/CPE Speaking Part 1: Talking About Yourself

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