Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class, Proficiency

C2 Proficiency: DIY Speaking Long Turn Topics

C2 Proficiency de Inglés (CPE) del Cambridge: Cómo Aprobarlo | TURBOLANGS

This is a lesson plan for students preparing to take the Cambridge C2 Proficiency exam. Students create their own topic cards for part 3 of the speaking exam; the dreaded long turn! Download the handout and examples below:

Procedure

You could use this lesson plan to introduce the long turn, give students a chance to practice and go over some useful language before they make their own topic cards.

Print and cut out the example cards, these examples were created by my C2 group. As you can see they came up with some thought provoking topics that are definitely more engaging than some of the run-of-the-mill topics from most text books.

Put students in pairs and have them complete a timed long turn each to get them warmed up to the task.

Then give them a set of blank cards each (candidate A & B) and have them work together to create two topic cards with a main question and three bullet points. Tell them that their classmates are going to use their topic cards so they should choose engaging, open topics. Give them 3-5 minutes to do this. In the exam, after candidate A has finished their long turn, candidate B is asked a shorter question in response to what candidate A has just said, so you could have your students write a question for candidate B on the back of A’s card and vice versa for candidate B.

Have them pass their newly created cards to another pair so that everyone has a set created by another group. Instruct them to keep practicing two-minute long turns using the new cards. Then encourage students to give feedback to the group who wrote the topic card; was it easy to talk about for two minutes? Did the bullet points help? Could anything be clarified?

Students then pass the cards to another group, rinse and repeat. Students will get lots of practice for this part of the exam on topics chosen by their peers.

I was really impressed by the questions my group came up with, there weren’t too many softballs in there. Comment below with some of the topics and bullet points your students come up with and I’ll add them to the example doc, that we can create a big list of topic cards for future use.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class

CPE Speaking Long Turn Practice Class

speaking exam

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:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!330&authkey=!AAo9zXade0WcDyw

Here you can download a powerpoint of example long turn questions:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!329&authkey=!ACkj6f61lAOrNls

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?

  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Different stages of life

Tips

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……

Wrap up

Try and recap everything you’ve said and tie it all together

  • So as I was saying……
  • To sum up……..

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