“You should never walk alone”, Speaking CAE Part 3 and 4

In other words, to rely on your partner would certainly be a useful piece of advice when facing the last 2 parts of the Cambridge CAE Speaking Exam.
Apart from testing your grammatical and lexical resource, pronunciation and discourse management (coherence and development of your ideas); examiners expect candidates to prove that are able to exchange information, take turns and do not monopolise the dialogue in order to get a good score in the interactive communication criteria.


CAE Speaking Part 3

The examiner will ask you two questions/tasks.

Task 1: Now I´d like you to talk about something together for about 2 minutes. ( 3 minutes for groups of three).
Here are some different ways in which people communicate and a question for you to discuss. First you have some time to look at the task. (15 seconds), talk about the advantages and disadvantages of communicating in these different ways.  Thank you. (When the time is over no matter if the task have been accomplished successfully or not).

Task 2: Now you have about a minute (2 minutes for groups of three) to decide which two ways of communicating are the least effective. ( In this part there is no need to reach an agreement.However, some attempt at negotiating/persuasion or reasoned argument should be aimed for).

Needless to say that it is vital to be aware of the timing. Realising that it´s not necessary to talk about all the written stimuli individually and trying to combine some of them focusing on comparisons or differences could be a strategic approach at this point. Unfortunately giving feedback and extending your partner’s answer is often forgotten so we must stress that students who echo their partner´s answer before moving to the next prompt and use synonyms rather than repeating have more chances of success…

For instance:
• Paraphrase the question and use” crucial”, “essential”, “vital”… if your partner said something was “very important”
• Refer back to what your partner mentioned before “As X argued before…”, “I´d go along with you there…”, or” I´d agreed with you until certain extent…”
• Echo and develop giving extended answers
• Combine some of the prompts, so that you are able to talk about 2 or 3 of them more in depth analysing similarities, differences, preferences, and so on could be extremely helpful when you are running out of time.

CAE Speaking Part 4

The examiner asks questions which are aimed to broaden the topic explored in Part 3. These questions become increasingly more abstract and complex. There are two possibilities; either asking a question to both candidates, or directing the question to one of the examinees. In both cases, it is expected to offer their views and to discuss the question together. Therefore once again the key factor is to encourage and support each other.
All in all students shouldn´t be afraid of asking, trying to persuade their partner, exploring possibilities, speculating, interrupting politely or just simply state that you haven´t formed an opinion about that yet.

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