How to develop fluency for an oral examination?

The speaking examination for the IGCSEs can be a stressful experience for our students as they are having to speak in the target language for 15 minutes and they are being recorded. It is therefore best to practice this experience often during class time. In the past I have used Audioboo so that my students could practice and review the general questions (which are a series of linked questions on two or three topics which students have covered in grade 9 and 10). Have a look at my older post to get more details on how I proceeded.

I would brainstorm questions they could be asked and I would then give a list of questions at the end of a unit covering that specific topic. I would go through the questions with the students checking for comprehension and I would also ask them to highlight the questions which are in the past and future tenses since students are to be able to convey past, present and future information.

Now that I am becoming familiar with TPRS®, I would practice these questions by doing PQA (Personalized Question-Answer) at the start of each lesson. For example, I would start by asking a question which requires a Yes or No answer such as “¿Te llevas bien con tu familia?”. I would then repeat the student’s answer by saying “Clase, Aimee se lleva bien con su familia.“. I would then add a detail to my question to Aimee which would remain a YES or No answer: “¿Aimee, te llevas bien con familia porque tus padres no son estrictos?”. I would then turn to the class and ask more questions: “¿Clase, los padres de Aimee son estrictos?“, “¿Los padres de Aimee no son estrictos?“, “¿Aimee se lleva bien con su familia porque sus padres no son estrictos?. Therefore the students would get a model answer to a question as well as loads of repetitions on the key structure “llevarse bien/mal con…“.

After students have been doing PQA and I am confident that they have acquired the key structures and tenses, I would make them work in pairs by giving them a set of questions on laminated cards so that they can practice answering questions for 5 to 10 minutes. It would also give me a chance to assess if they are prepared or if I have to do more PQA with certain questions.

I have compiled a list of questions in Spanish on different topics such as family, house, free time and holidays, and I have included some ideas on how to use this list. You can download the document for free on Teachers pay Teachers.

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