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Speaking Lab 1
Part 1: Analysis

Why this answer would score well...

The Basics: The candidate's voice is loud and clear enough to be understood. Pronunciation is clear and the candidate's vocabulary is appropriate in relation to the questions asked. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.
Presentation: The candidate sounds very relaxed and friendly! At the very beginning, the candidate's personality comes through – good use of humour ('The most beautiful place on earth').
Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. The answers are well structured: the question is answered and additional, related details are given. The rhetorical question, 'Do you know anyone who doesn't?' involves the examiner and demonstrates the candidate's confidence.
Content: The responses answer the questions the examiner asks in detail (no one or two word answers!). He demonstrates a good, 'conversational' style. The candidate's personality shines through right from the very beginning making the experience an enjoyable one for both candidate and examiner.
This is a good, confident start!





Speaking Lab 1
Part 2: Analysis


Why this answer would score well...
The Basics: The candidate's voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate's use of words/vocabulary shows he can communicate on the topic effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.
Presentation: The candidate sounds quite relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate comes through by good use of vocal variety which made the topic more interesting.
Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked on the Candidate Card. The first three questions are answered quite quickly leaving most of the time to expand upon question 4 (explain why it was such a good holiday). A point is made and then additional, related details are given.

Content: Remember the question required the candidate to discuss:

1. where you went 
2. when you went there 
3. what you did there and; 
4. explain why it was such a great holiday.


All of these aspects of the question were answered. One of the interesting things about the presentation is that the candidate ran out of things to say - he had talked about the past and present and then he introduced ideas related to the future as a way of ending his presentation – which gave it a good ending. He used 'P-P-F' (See Speaking Lesson 3).
This is a good, confident continuation of the test!

Speaking Lab 1
Part 3: Analysis


Why this answer would score well...
The Basics: The candidate's voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate's use of words/vocabulary shows he can communicate on each topic raised by the examiner effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.
Presentation: The candidate continues to sound relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate continues to come through and builds upon the rapport established through Parts 1 & 2.
Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. Firstly, he answers the question then conversationally, he expands upon the topic. In other words, a point is made and then additional, related details are given.
Content: The information presented in the conversation clearly answers the questions. Through use of idiomatic and colloquial expressions (‘a change is as good as a holiday’, 'let their hair down', ‘party mode’), the speaker demonstrates a very advanced knowledge of the language. Some good, academic words are used (eg negative impact, consequences, the offenders)
This is a good, confident conclusion!


Speaking Lab 1
Part 1: Transcript


 Q1 Can we talk about an aspect of your home town? How easy is it to travel around where you're from?


A1
Ah, yes. I'm from Mitchford. The most beautiful place on earth!  It's quite a small coastal city.  There's about 230,000 people who live there and we have quite a good transportation system there.  I'd say most people travel by car – our roads are pretty modern and well sealed but people who don't have a car usually catch a bus.  The bus travels to most parts of the city and it's quite cheap.  For example, to travel by bus from one end of the city to the other it costs about £2 and that's pretty cheap compared to what I pay here in England.


Q2
Ok.  Which kinds of public transport do you use most and why?


A2
Actually, that's a difficult question to answer because back home, I have my own car...I sure do miss that.  When I was younger I used to catch the bus to school.  In my city all students under 16 who lived more than four...maybe it was 3....anyway about 3 or 4 kilometres from the nearest public high school were given a bus pass which allowed them to catch the bus to school for free.  The problem was there was never enough seats to allow for all the students so usually most students had to stand up in the bus all the way until they arrived at school...but it was much better than having to walk I can assure you of that! Occasionally, I caught the taxi but it was a very rare thing...taxis are about 4 or 5 times more expensive than regular bus fares so taxis were only used if there was no other option.


Q3 But what about here? Do you use public transport here in England?


A3
Oh yes, here I mostly use the underground. It's totally different from back home. At Mitchford we don’t have enough people to warrant an underground rail system...at least I think that’s the reason we don’t have one. That’s been a really interesting part about living here, getting used to the rail system.


Q4 How do you compare public transport here in England with public transport back home?


A4
Well, actually, back home public transport is always late. It’s not unusual for the bus to be...like 15-20 minutes late. We have a saying, “If you want to arrive on time and you’re catching the bus, prepare for one hour of travel”. Well, here the underground is always on time. It's been interesting in that it's always on time and extremely reliable.


Q5 Ok, let’s move on to the topic of movies. Do you enjoy watching movies?


A5
Yes, I do enjoy movies...do you know anyone who doesn’t like movies? I don't! I must say that I’m a bit of an action person. I love action movies...I like it when the tough bad guy gets beaten. I love happy endings...the hero’s always got to win!


Q6 How often do you watch movies?


A6
Well, it's actually been quite a while since I've been to the cinema to watch a movie. I think the last movie I saw was Action Force - a real action movie which I enjoyed immensely. It's actually too expensive to go to the movies these days...and besides, if I wait for a while...I can watch it at home...besides I'm too busy studying at the moment...there's really not enough time to watch movies!


Q7
Ok. Let's talk about what you like to do in your free time. What sorts of activities do you like to do in your free time?


A7
Free time...we’ll I don’t have too much of that nowadays...but when I do...I enjoy reading. I mostly enjoy reading business books and magazines...my father has a business back home and once I finish my studies, I'm going to return home and help him with the running of it...I enjoy studying about business and learning about new ideas and ways of making a business more successful and effective.


Speaking Lab 1
Part 2: Transcript  

Q1
Ok, good.  I'm now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say. I want you to talk about the best holiday you have ever had.


Ok.  You have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?


A1
The best holiday I have ever been on is a very difficult question to answer because I’ve been on so many excellent holidays...I guess I’ve been very lucky. In the summer time back home, when I was young, my family used to go to the beach and we’d camp under the stars...that has always been an excellent memory for me.  But, I'd have to say that the most wonderful holiday I've ever had was when I was 19, when I went to Minnesota in the United States for a summer camp experience.  It was just so much fun!  I met over 200 teenagers and we participated in some excellent camp activities! 
Let me see...we had swimming in the lake, where the camp was situated.  We also had water skiing, which was excellent fun...it was really difficult to hold on to the rope while the boat pulled us around the lake!  Another fun activity was camping.  We...our dorm...went on a 3-day canoe trip...I think there were about 10 of us in our group...which took us to the Canadian boundary waters.  There I saw some of the most beautiful alpine scenery I've ever seen in my life!  The lakes were so clear and we could drink the water from them by dipping our cups as we canoed along...it was just amazing.  I wish everyone could witness the incredible beauty we saw on that trip. Let’s see, what else?  Ahh yes, there was basketball and volleyball which we played in the big indoor gymnasium.  Some of the Americans were really good basketball players...they even had cheerleaders at some of the games!  I got to know so many people, in fact I still write to some of the people I met there...you know, isn’t email a great way to keep in touch?  There were other things but I can’t think of them at the moment...I will say this: I would love to go back there again in the future.  Now, of course I’m too old to be a camper but it would be excellent to be a staff member, they are always looking for volunteers.  If you volunteer at the camp they pay for your food and accommodation for the whole summer - and that’s around 3 months in America.


Speaking Lab 1
Part 3: Transcript
Q1 We've been talking about the best holiday you've ever had and I'd like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this. Firstly, let's consider the effect of holidays. What effect do holidays have on people?


A1
I believe holidays have a big, positive effect on people.  For many, I know that holidays are the highlight of the year.  People wait all year - especially those who don’t like their job - they wait for the holiday periods...they plan and prepare for what they will do and they get excited by what they're going to do on their holidays.  Typically people are in a good mood when they are on holiday. They're smiling and alert, they show interest in their new environment.  I believe that for most people, holiday time is the best time of their year.


Q2
Many people refer to their holidays as 'highlights' of the year.  Why do you think holidays are highlights for people?


A2
Yes..um..well, I think holidays are highlights for people because if a person doesn't like his or her work, a holiday represents a break in what they would otherwise normally do.   You know, it gives people a chance to go in a different direction, to do something they want to do...instead of being a slave to their job. Holidays allow people to re-create, to refresh their mind and body.  I read somewhere recently that it's actually a very healthy thing for a person to take a complete break from what he or she normally does and then to do something different.  I guess what I'm saying is, a holiday is a change.  It's a change in location and activity.  That reminds me of the expression, 'A change is as good as a holiday' - it's a good one, and I think it's true.


Q3
Good.  Let's talk about a related issue, the issue of tourism.  Do you see any negative aspects with regard to tourism?


A3
Yes, absolutely.  I come from a coastal town and there is a constant, steady stream of people who pour through it.  These people often cause problems in the accommodation industry which is obviously related to tourism.  They come in and kind of 'let their hair down' they show no respect for the facilities.  Often there is damage to the places where they stay.  I've heard of broken lamps and chairs, dirty marks on walls and carpets...you know, those kinds of things.  They drink heavily and make a lot of noise, constantly in a 'party mode'.  This has had a very negative impact upon our town and gives tourists a bad name in the minds of some of the local people.


Q4 What could be done to stop the negative aspects of tourism from happening?


A4
I guess stricter laws could be introduced. If people don't obey the laws, then the consequences might be a financial penalty.  You know, an expensive fine, or perhaps throw the offenders into prison for a day or two.  That would certainly...I imagine.. have a big effect upon the bad behavior of people visiting a city while on holiday.

Speaking Test




Speaking Lab 1
Part 1: Analysis

Why this answer would score well...

The Basics: The candidate's voice is loud and clear enough to be understood. Pronunciation is clear and the candidate's vocabulary is appropriate in relation to the questions asked. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.
Presentation: The candidate sounds very relaxed and friendly! At the very beginning, the candidate's personality comes through – good use of humour ('The most beautiful place on earth').
Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. The answers are well structured: the question is answered and additional, related details are given. The rhetorical question, 'Do you know anyone who doesn't?' involves the examiner and demonstrates the candidate's confidence.
Content: The responses answer the questions the examiner asks in detail (no one or two word answers!). He demonstrates a good, 'conversational' style. The candidate's personality shines through right from the very beginning making the experience an enjoyable one for both candidate and examiner.
This is a good, confident start!





Speaking Lab 1
Part 2: Analysis


Why this answer would score well...
The Basics: The candidate's voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate's use of words/vocabulary shows he can communicate on the topic effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.
Presentation: The candidate sounds quite relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate comes through by good use of vocal variety which made the topic more interesting.
Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked on the Candidate Card. The first three questions are answered quite quickly leaving most of the time to expand upon question 4 (explain why it was such a good holiday). A point is made and then additional, related details are given.

Content: Remember the question required the candidate to discuss:

1. where you went 
2. when you went there 
3. what you did there and; 
4. explain why it was such a great holiday.


All of these aspects of the question were answered. One of the interesting things about the presentation is that the candidate ran out of things to say - he had talked about the past and present and then he introduced ideas related to the future as a way of ending his presentation – which gave it a good ending. He used 'P-P-F' (See Speaking Lesson 3).
This is a good, confident continuation of the test!

Speaking Lab 1
Part 3: Analysis


Why this answer would score well...
The Basics: The candidate's voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate's use of words/vocabulary shows he can communicate on each topic raised by the examiner effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.
Presentation: The candidate continues to sound relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate continues to come through and builds upon the rapport established through Parts 1 & 2.
Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. Firstly, he answers the question then conversationally, he expands upon the topic. In other words, a point is made and then additional, related details are given.
Content: The information presented in the conversation clearly answers the questions. Through use of idiomatic and colloquial expressions (‘a change is as good as a holiday’, 'let their hair down', ‘party mode’), the speaker demonstrates a very advanced knowledge of the language. Some good, academic words are used (eg negative impact, consequences, the offenders)
This is a good, confident conclusion!


Speaking Lab 1
Part 1: Transcript


 Q1 Can we talk about an aspect of your home town? How easy is it to travel around where you're from?


A1
Ah, yes. I'm from Mitchford. The most beautiful place on earth!  It's quite a small coastal city.  There's about 230,000 people who live there and we have quite a good transportation system there.  I'd say most people travel by car – our roads are pretty modern and well sealed but people who don't have a car usually catch a bus.  The bus travels to most parts of the city and it's quite cheap.  For example, to travel by bus from one end of the city to the other it costs about £2 and that's pretty cheap compared to what I pay here in England.


Q2
Ok.  Which kinds of public transport do you use most and why?


A2
Actually, that's a difficult question to answer because back home, I have my own car...I sure do miss that.  When I was younger I used to catch the bus to school.  In my city all students under 16 who lived more than four...maybe it was 3....anyway about 3 or 4 kilometres from the nearest public high school were given a bus pass which allowed them to catch the bus to school for free.  The problem was there was never enough seats to allow for all the students so usually most students had to stand up in the bus all the way until they arrived at school...but it was much better than having to walk I can assure you of that! Occasionally, I caught the taxi but it was a very rare thing...taxis are about 4 or 5 times more expensive than regular bus fares so taxis were only used if there was no other option.


Q3 But what about here? Do you use public transport here in England?


A3
Oh yes, here I mostly use the underground. It's totally different from back home. At Mitchford we don’t have enough people to warrant an underground rail system...at least I think that’s the reason we don’t have one. That’s been a really interesting part about living here, getting used to the rail system.


Q4 How do you compare public transport here in England with public transport back home?


A4
Well, actually, back home public transport is always late. It’s not unusual for the bus to be...like 15-20 minutes late. We have a saying, “If you want to arrive on time and you’re catching the bus, prepare for one hour of travel”. Well, here the underground is always on time. It's been interesting in that it's always on time and extremely reliable.


Q5 Ok, let’s move on to the topic of movies. Do you enjoy watching movies?


A5
Yes, I do enjoy movies...do you know anyone who doesn’t like movies? I don't! I must say that I’m a bit of an action person. I love action movies...I like it when the tough bad guy gets beaten. I love happy endings...the hero’s always got to win!


Q6 How often do you watch movies?


A6
Well, it's actually been quite a while since I've been to the cinema to watch a movie. I think the last movie I saw was Action Force - a real action movie which I enjoyed immensely. It's actually too expensive to go to the movies these days...and besides, if I wait for a while...I can watch it at home...besides I'm too busy studying at the moment...there's really not enough time to watch movies!


Q7
Ok. Let's talk about what you like to do in your free time. What sorts of activities do you like to do in your free time?


A7
Free time...we’ll I don’t have too much of that nowadays...but when I do...I enjoy reading. I mostly enjoy reading business books and magazines...my father has a business back home and once I finish my studies, I'm going to return home and help him with the running of it...I enjoy studying about business and learning about new ideas and ways of making a business more successful and effective.


Speaking Lab 1
Part 2: Transcript  

Q1
Ok, good.  I'm now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say. I want you to talk about the best holiday you have ever had.


Ok.  You have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?


A1
The best holiday I have ever been on is a very difficult question to answer because I’ve been on so many excellent holidays...I guess I’ve been very lucky. In the summer time back home, when I was young, my family used to go to the beach and we’d camp under the stars...that has always been an excellent memory for me.  But, I'd have to say that the most wonderful holiday I've ever had was when I was 19, when I went to Minnesota in the United States for a summer camp experience.  It was just so much fun!  I met over 200 teenagers and we participated in some excellent camp activities! 
Let me see...we had swimming in the lake, where the camp was situated.  We also had water skiing, which was excellent fun...it was really difficult to hold on to the rope while the boat pulled us around the lake!  Another fun activity was camping.  We...our dorm...went on a 3-day canoe trip...I think there were about 10 of us in our group...which took us to the Canadian boundary waters.  There I saw some of the most beautiful alpine scenery I've ever seen in my life!  The lakes were so clear and we could drink the water from them by dipping our cups as we canoed along...it was just amazing.  I wish everyone could witness the incredible beauty we saw on that trip. Let’s see, what else?  Ahh yes, there was basketball and volleyball which we played in the big indoor gymnasium.  Some of the Americans were really good basketball players...they even had cheerleaders at some of the games!  I got to know so many people, in fact I still write to some of the people I met there...you know, isn’t email a great way to keep in touch?  There were other things but I can’t think of them at the moment...I will say this: I would love to go back there again in the future.  Now, of course I’m too old to be a camper but it would be excellent to be a staff member, they are always looking for volunteers.  If you volunteer at the camp they pay for your food and accommodation for the whole summer - and that’s around 3 months in America.


Speaking Lab 1
Part 3: Transcript
Q1 We've been talking about the best holiday you've ever had and I'd like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this. Firstly, let's consider the effect of holidays. What effect do holidays have on people?


A1
I believe holidays have a big, positive effect on people.  For many, I know that holidays are the highlight of the year.  People wait all year - especially those who don’t like their job - they wait for the holiday periods...they plan and prepare for what they will do and they get excited by what they're going to do on their holidays.  Typically people are in a good mood when they are on holiday. They're smiling and alert, they show interest in their new environment.  I believe that for most people, holiday time is the best time of their year.


Q2
Many people refer to their holidays as 'highlights' of the year.  Why do you think holidays are highlights for people?


A2
Yes..um..well, I think holidays are highlights for people because if a person doesn't like his or her work, a holiday represents a break in what they would otherwise normally do.   You know, it gives people a chance to go in a different direction, to do something they want to do...instead of being a slave to their job. Holidays allow people to re-create, to refresh their mind and body.  I read somewhere recently that it's actually a very healthy thing for a person to take a complete break from what he or she normally does and then to do something different.  I guess what I'm saying is, a holiday is a change.  It's a change in location and activity.  That reminds me of the expression, 'A change is as good as a holiday' - it's a good one, and I think it's true.


Q3
Good.  Let's talk about a related issue, the issue of tourism.  Do you see any negative aspects with regard to tourism?


A3
Yes, absolutely.  I come from a coastal town and there is a constant, steady stream of people who pour through it.  These people often cause problems in the accommodation industry which is obviously related to tourism.  They come in and kind of 'let their hair down' they show no respect for the facilities.  Often there is damage to the places where they stay.  I've heard of broken lamps and chairs, dirty marks on walls and carpets...you know, those kinds of things.  They drink heavily and make a lot of noise, constantly in a 'party mode'.  This has had a very negative impact upon our town and gives tourists a bad name in the minds of some of the local people.


Q4 What could be done to stop the negative aspects of tourism from happening?


A4
I guess stricter laws could be introduced. If people don't obey the laws, then the consequences might be a financial penalty.  You know, an expensive fine, or perhaps throw the offenders into prison for a day or two.  That would certainly...I imagine.. have a big effect upon the bad behavior of people visiting a city while on holiday.
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