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methoden_meister:meister_englisch:communicationexam

How to prepare for your communication exam

In your communication exam, you will be asked to prepare a topic for 15 minutes, then to speak 5 minutes on your own and to lead a dialogue for about 10 minutes with your partner. Here are some tips how you can prepare for this important date.

Overall advice

  • No matter whether you take the exam on your own or with a partner - find somebody to learn with. It will be a lot easier if you can prepare your exam with somebody who’s in the same situation as you.
  • We believe that the ability to speak proper English is crucial in today’s world. If you are well prepared for your communication exam, you are well prepared for life. Nowadays, nobody can get away with an only rudimentary knowledge of English. I’m pretty certain that one day you will face a situation in which you need to be able to express yourself in English.

And last but not least: Don’t forget that speaking English should be fun!

How to improve your language

Fluency and communication

One of the key factors for your communication exam is fluency. You will have to express your thoughts instantly and ”to the point“. This is why it is really important to speak a lot of English in our lessons and in your freetime. Together with your partner or another candidate, set up regular hours in which you meet and discuss your private life as well as the news in English. Get in touch with people from the USA or the UK over Skype. Get to know English-speaking groups in your town through www.meetup.com. Another good concept is the platform www.busuu.com, which is free of charge and connects you with speakers of different languages all around the world. Why not spend some time abroad - in your holidays, for example? Together or on your own - it doesn’t matter. It even doesn’t matter where you go - as long as you are bound to speak English only.

Pronunciation

Another important aspect is your pronunciation. If you don’t know how to pronounce a word, consult your monolingual dictionary and look up its pronunciation - or use an online dictionary with audiofiles (e.g. www.oald8.com). Native speakers or your teachers can help you as well. Another interesting idea is the online platform www.babbel.com. With the help of your computer, you can record yourself and have your pronunciation tested. There is an iPhone- App for it as well.

Vocabulary

It doesn’t hurt to improve your range of vocabulary on different topics. Here’s a method that can help you develop your knowledge of English vocabulary.

  1. Before you read an English article, think about the topic and write down English words that you expect in that article in a mind map.
  2. As you go along, note down words from the article and arrange the items in your mind map according to bigger concepts or ideas.
  3. Use your mind map - in a conversation, by making up new sentences, et cetera. Try to make them your own.

Another method is www.visualthesaurus.com - enter a word and see the connections this topic has got with other words and topics.

Methodology

The following methods are important when dealing with tasks in the communication exam:

  1. Analysing pictures
  2. Analysing charts and graphs
  3. Analysing cartoons

Your typical textbook can offer some good advice on these methods. Especially, learn all the phrases necessary to deal with these kind of materials!

Getting to know your topics

Most likely, your exam is going to be based on a current controversial topic. So how can you find topics to speak about with your communication partner?

  1. There are great English-speaking websites like www.debate.org, www.procon.org, www.idebate.org etc. They all offer topics that are widely discussed and give you a perfect basis on which you can discuss - with arguments for and against certain controversial questions.
  2. There are numerous websites that offer news in English: www.bbc.co.uk, www.guardian.co.uk, www.cnn.com, www.nytimes.com, www.reddit.com/r/news, … Which one is your favourite? Find out and visit this site regularly. Not only will you learn about a lot of things, you will also get a good feeling for the English language. Have a look for comments or essays that you can agree or disagree with and discuss about them with your partner.
  3. Simulate communication exams together with a partner. You can follow the strict setup as described in the table below:

Single exam

Phase Process
1. Preparation [15 MIN] In this phase, prepare your topic. Try not to speak to your partner.
2. Monologue [5 MIN] Speak for 5 minutes on your own about your topic.
3. Dialogue [10 MIN] Discussion with your ’examiner’ based on this topic and further topics emanating from this topic.

Partner exam

Phase Process
1. Preparation [15 MIN] In this phase, prepare your topic. Try not to speak to your partner.
2a. Monologue A [5 MIN] Partner A speaks for 5 minutes in a monologue own about the topic.
2b. Monologue B [5 MIN] Partner B speaks for 5 minutes in a monologue own about another aspect of or the counter-arguments towards this topic.
3. Dialogue [10 MIN] Discussion with your partner based on this topic and further topics emanating from this topic.

Feedback

When you simulate communication exams, give each other feedback on the following criteria:

Content: Fulfillment of task and appropriateness of the answer
structure and coherence
clarity / precision and logic of your thoughts
Strategy: dialogue control
ability to interact
ability to lead a discourse
Language: correctness
register / range of words
fluency
pronunciation and intonation

Good luck with your preparations and have fun speaking English!

methoden_meister/meister_englisch/communicationexam.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2019/05/16 08:37 von herr-stritt