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Day 8: How to get feedback on your speaking skills

Welcome to Day 8 of 'Your Roadmap to Speaking Exam Success'. The more time you spend practising your English independently the more you'll want feedback on your progress and today we'll look at how to go about getting this.

They may not be an expert, but your partner will still be able to tell you whether they followed your talk clearly, whether they had any problems understanding anything you said and whether they felt you took part enough during a discussion. To help you give structured feedback to each other you could use our grading sheet on Splendid Speaking and discuss the various categories at the end of your meeting.

Agree with your partner to focus on particular functions such as agreeing and disagreeing, dealing with interruptions or asking for clarification. You may decide to focus on one or more of the personal actions you listed in Day 4 such as practising fluency, initiating discussion or structuring a long turn. Doing this will mean you'll have something focussed to talk about with your partner at the end of your talk when you give feedback to each other on how well it went.

When speaking online, Skype and other online communication tools will allow you to work in groups of three and gives you the chance to use a third person in the role of assessor. This person should not take part in the speaking activity but simply listen and make notes about you and your partner's performance. Again, you can use our grading sheet for guidance or ask the 'assessor' to give you feedback on any of the personal actions you identified in Day 4.

If you're looking for expert feedback from a teacher new technology can offer opportunities for this too. One solution is to post an audio file online for others to listen to. The simplest way to do this is to record yourself on one of the many services like Podomatic, Voicethread, Springdoo or Voki. You could even video yourself doing a long turn and upload this to Youtube. Once your audio or video file is live you can email someone a link to your recording for feedback. This could be a teacher who has agreed to listen or you could invite listeners to leave feedback in the comments area of the service.

TIP! Some services will allow you to keep your file secret from casual browsers and only allow named people to listen. Also, before posting the final audio or video file, make sure the service allows you to delete anything you create and try uploading and deleting a file first so you can learn how to do it.

Task

1) Download our grading sheet for guidelines on giving and receiving feedback:
http://www.splendid-speaking.com/products/task_sheets/grade.html
2) To post your audio file online try any of these sites:
Audioboo
Voicethread
Voki
Youtube

Tomorrow

One lesson to go - tomorrow we'll explain how you can get the confidence you need for your exam day



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