We are going to continue to look at the third part of the FCE Speaking paper. As mentioned in our previous post in this series, you will have a two-way conversation with an other candidate for about three minutes.
Most likely you have never met the other candidate before, so you don’t know how he or she will perform. One of the worst things for you would be if the other candidate
- never stops talking or
- doesn’t talk at all.
So, what do you do? The whole point of this part of the exam is that you can show the examiner that you can “sustain an interaction”. This means that you have to be able to show that know how to interact with someone else in any situation. Therefore, you need to have a couple of strategies ready.
The One That Never Stops Talking
You need to take control of the situation. Don’t let the other person keep talking, interrupt him or her. However, you MUST be polite when doing so. You could for instance say:
- Sorry to interrupt you, but I don’t agree with what you are saying …
- Could I just interrupt you for a minute? I do agree with you to a point, however …
- Sorry to butt in, but even though I agree with you, I also feel that …
Even though the other person may not give you much time to say what you want, what is important is that you show the examiner that you know how to interact with someone else.
The One That Never Talks
Again, you need to take control of the situation. However, in this situation you need to try and help the other candidate. You can do this by asking him or her questions:
- What is your opinion?
- Would you agree with me on this?
- How do you feel about my suggestion?
Hopefully, this will encourage the other candidate to talk. If not, keep trying. Once again, by trying these techniques you are showing the examiner that you know how to interact with someone else.
As you can see, you need to know a number of phrases that you can use in many different situations.
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Over the next few weeks, we will continue to look at how to prepare for the FCE Speaking paper, so subscribe to our free email notification service and avoid missing any of our tips and advice.