FCE Speaking Part Three language learning tasks and useful phrases

Discuss something together for about three minutes:

People often have different priorities in their language learning. Here are some ideas for what your priorities could be:

  1.  Grammar
  2. Listening
  3. Pronunciation
  4. Reading
  5. Speaking
  6. Vocabulary
  7. Writing

First talk to each other about how much of a priority each of the things are to you. Then choose the two which should be the greatest priority in this class. 

Follow the stages below, using phrases like those given:

Start by choosing one and discussing how much of a priority it is or isn’t 

Useful phrases for starting the task

“Shall we start with this one?”

“Which one do you want to start with?” “It doesn’t really matter which one we start with, so how about this one/ the first one?”

Move onto others

Useful phrases for quickly agreeing or disagreeing/ moving the discussion on

“I don’t feel the same way, but I see what you mean. Anyway,…”

“I don’t think we’ll ever agree on that, so…”

“I feel (basically) the same way, so…”

“We seem to agree on that one, so…”

 

“Have we discussed…?”

“How about…?”

“Let’s skip that one then.”

“Shall we move onto…?” “We still need to discuss…”

“What about…?”

“Which one should we discuss next?”

Bring that stage to a close and move onto the deciding stage

Useful phrases for moving onto the deciding stage

“We seem to be running out of time, so…”

“Shall we rush through the last few?”

“I don’t think we have time to discuss (all) the rest, so…”

“What was the second question we had to discuss?”

“What else do we have to discuss?”

“I think we’re ready to decide.”

Starting the deciding stage

Useful phrases for starting the deciding stage

“From what you said, I guess you’d choose…”

“I’d like to nominate…”

“I think we can eliminate/ ignore…”

“Definitely not…”

Continuing the deciding stage

Useful phrases for continuing/ managing the deciding stage

“We still need one more.”

“What about the second one?”

“It doesn’t seem we can agree on that one, so…”

“Maybe we should move onto another one.”

“If not that one, how do you feel about…?”

Ending/ summarizing the deciding stage

Useful phrases for ending/ summarizing the deciding stage

“So, we’ve decided on…”

“I think that means we agree on…”

“To recap,…”

“What was the first one we decided on again?”

Reporting what you decided (or not)

Useful phrases for reporting back to the teacher/ class

“We have only decided on one, which is…”

“We chose… because…”

“We haven’t agreed yet, but…”

“We couldn’t agree. I thought… but…”

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FCE Speaking Part Three language learning tasks and useful phrases

Useful language for FCE Speaking Part Three

Try to remember or think of at least two phrases for each of the functions below, using language which is complex but natural if you can.

Useful phrases for starting the task

 

 

 

 

Useful phrases for quickly agreeing or disagreeing/ moving the discussion on

 

 

 

 

Useful phrases for moving onto the deciding stage

 

 

 

 

Useful phrases for starting the deciding stage

 

 

 

 

Useful phrases for continuing/ managing the deciding stage

 

 

 

 

Useful phrases for ending/ summarizing the deciding stage

 

 

 

 

Useful phrases for reporting back to the teacher/ class


—————————–

Key words for FCE Speaking Part Three

Use these key words to help you with the last task.

Useful phrases for starting the task

shall

which

matter

Useful phrases for quickly agreeing or disagreeing/ moving the discussion on

anyway

ever

the same

so

 

discussed

how

skip

move       

need

what

next

Useful phrases for moving onto the deciding stage

run out

rush

time

second

else

ready

Useful phrases for starting the deciding stage

you’d

nominate

eliminate/ ignore

definitely

Useful phrases for continuing/ managing the deciding stage

still

second

doesn’t seem

another

feel

Useful phrases for ending/ summarizing the deciding stage

decided

agree

recap

first

Useful phrases for reporting back to the teacher/ class

only

because

yet

couldn’t

Compare with the first sheet with suggested sentences on it, then test each other in groups of three:

  1. Read out sentences with the key words missing, giving hints if need to help them remember
  2. Give key words and help your partners come up with suitable sentences

Sentences which aren’t on the original list may also be okay – please check with your teacher.

Do the same thing as you did above with the real exam tasks that you are given, using just the key words and then just the categories to help you. Then, do the last exam task with no help at all, moving straight onto Speaking Part Four discussion questions on the same topic.

Do the same things with these other useful functions for FCE Speaking Part Three:

Comparing and contrasting pictures

 

Speculating (e.g. on what pictures represent or what might be suitable)

 

Strong agreement

 

Weak agreement

 

Strong disagreement

 

Weak disagreement

 

Strong opinions

 

Weak opinions

 

Negotiating/ Suggesting compromise

 

Interrupting

 

Inviting the other person to speak

 

Mentioning which picture you are talking about

 

Talking around unknown vocabulary

 

————————–

Self-study for FCE discussion

How can you improve your FCE score and English level more generally outside class? Discuss the things that you decided were priorities above first.

Discuss the usefulness of the things below and decide on a top two for each section, starting with your priorities. After finishing that exam-style task, also mention any of your own ideas.

Pronunciation/ Speaking

  1. Answering FCE Speaking exam questions on your own out loud
  2. Free conversation, e.g. with an online conversation exchange partner
  3. Learning vocabulary to talk about typical FCE Speaking topics (e.g. accommodation and food)
  4. Practising the FCE speaking exam together (without a teacher)
  5. Recording yourself, e.g. doing the FCE Speaking Part Two comparing photos task
  6. Shadow reading
  7. Watching YouTube videos of students taking FCE speaking exams
  8. Writing your answers to real FCE speaking questions

Reading

  1. Doing an FCE reading exam again, e.g. one month later
  2. Reading children’s fiction
  3. Reading for pleasure, e.g. fiction written for native English speakers
  4. Reading graded readers
  5. Reading magazines
  6. Reading newspapers
  7. Reading online
  8. Reading with a dictionary
  9. Timed reading exam practice

Writing

  1. Analysing FCE writing model answers for strengths and weaknesses
  2. Doing timed exam practice of FCE Writing (even when you might not have a chance to have it marked)
  3. Doing further work on your writing work (with a dictionary, model answer, etc) after finishing an FCE Writing timed task
  4. Keeping a list of your typical mistakes
  5. Learning phrases from model answers
  6. Learning spelling rules
  7. Looking back on an old piece of writing and trying to remember what corrections and feedback your teacher gave
  8. Memorising entire FCE writing model answers
  9. Studying typical mistakes by FCE candidates
  10. Studying typical spelling mistakes by native speakers

Listening

  1. Doing an FCE listening test again, e.g. one month later
  2. Doing pronunciation work on changes in fast natural speech, e.g. linking between words (elision)
  3. Learning vocabulary from FCE Listening texts
  4. Listening again and again to FCE exam listenings
  5. Reading FCE exam listening transcripts
  6. Reading and listening to FCE exam listening transcripts (reading and listening at the same time)
  7. Shadow reading with FCE exam listening transcripts
  8. Watching TV and movies with English subtitles
  9. Watching TV and movies with no subtitles

Use of English (grammar and vocabulary)

  1. Do a FCE Use of English paper again, e.g. two weeks later
  2. General self-study grammar books, e.g. Murphy’s English Grammar in Use
  3. Learning vocabulary from FCE Reading texts
  4. Learning vocabulary from FCE Listening texts
  5. Lots of timed FCE Use of English practice
  6. Reading for pleasure
  7. Self-study FCE grammar and vocabulary books
  8. Self-study FCE grammar books
  9. Self-study FCE vocabulary books

Ask the whole class and your teacher about any skills and methods above which you aren’t sure about, especially your priorities.

The morning of the exam

What should you do on the morning of the exam?

Rank the things to do on the morning of the exam below:

  1. Doing FCE exam practice
  2. Getting together with someone  (or using Skype or the phone) to just chat in English
  3. Getting together with someone (or using Skype or the phone) to do FCE Speaking exam practice
  4. Going through a list of your typical mistakes
  5. Listening to a radio station with an English speaking DJ
  6. Listening to an FCE Listening again
  7. Listening to English language music
  8. Looking back on some of your old corrected written work
  9. Reading for pleasure
  10. Revising some language, e.g. grammar, that typically comes up in the exam

Discuss your ideas as a class.

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PDF version for easy saving and printing: FCE Speaking Part Three language learning tasks and useful phrases

More FCE Speaking Part Three and Four games/ worksheets here.

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