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Part 3: Two-way discussion
• Listen carefully to the Examiner’s questions.
• Try to be fluent and only correct yourself if it is easy to do so. Don’t focus on your mistakes.
• Concentrate on the organization and being coherent.
• Remember the Examiner asks you a range of questions to encourage you to speak.
• You need to go into greater depth to explain your opinion, give reasons and speculate about the future
• To stop yourself from panicking about Part 3, think how long it lasts; how many
questions the Examiner can ask you (six to eight); and the nature of the questions.
• The questions will be open questions, for example:
– What kind(s)/sort(s)/type(s)/benefit(s)/effect(s) of… are there?
– What kinds of things…?
– what changes/advantages/disadvantages/differences/ways…?
– Why do you think …?
– How important/useful/beneficial/essential…?
– How does …?
– (A statement) Why do you think this is?
– What will happen in the future?
– Can you give me some examples?
– Do you think …? Why?
– What is the role of…?
• The Examiner can invite you to comment by asking: What about…. ?
• Keep to the topic. Think of your answer as the Examiner is speaking.
Prompts to help you begin and develop your answers
• If you don’t understand the Examiner’s question, tell him/her or ask him/her to repeat it. There is no point answering a question you do not understand.
• Make sure that your answer fits the Examiner’s question.
• A memorized response to something similar you have learnt is not suitable. However, prepare some prompts for yourself so that you can get yourself talking. These prompts
give you a few seconds to think and organize what you want to say.
• Remember that the Examiners are not checking whether you are telling the truth, but your ability to speak English.
• The Examiner introduces a general topic and then asks you a question about a specific aspect.
• When the Examiner asks you a question, listen for words you can build your answer around: What do you think the benefits of being able to speak more than one language are? Obviously, you need to speak about the benefits. When you answer, use a paraphrase: advantages/positive aspects or… is beneficial.
• Put your list into an order: The main advantage. I think, is and give one or more reasons:… because… and it…
• You are taking part in a two-way conversation. Allow space for the Examiner to ask you questions. Don’t talk over the Examiner. However, if the Examiner doesn’t interrupt you, continue speaking.
• Don’t speak fast or slowly, but clearly.
• Organize what you are saying. Don’t make just the beginning relevant, but also your supporting evidence. Bear in mind the principles of writing a paragraph.
• Concentrate on the message and the organization rather than your grammar and it will help you to be fluent.
• The Examiner might ask a question that changes direction slightly. Follow his/her lead.
• When you state something, try to qualify it and expand to support your opinion/reason:
– The main way/step/measure I think, is to …
– … because this wHI/can lead to … and also…
– For example, …
– And another way is … I also think/feel/believe …In my opinion/From my point of view ..
• Use, but don’t overuse, adding words: Moreover/What is more
• If you have time, draw a conclusion:… and therefore…
• You can vary the response in any way you like as long as it fits and is relevant.
• The Examiner might ask an unexpected question for you to comment on: What about… ? Agree or disagree: That is possible, but I think... and give your reasons.
• Use words and phrases to state different sides of an argument:
– To some people … is a downside/drawback/disadvantage, but on balance I think …
– … but/however/nevertheless I…
• Talk about possible results or consequences:… and so/therefore …
• When you are asked to speculate about the future, use: will/going to/might/could/ should…
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