Exams >> Speaking Assessment in English Exams

How well you do in your English Speaking exam will depend on your proficiency in English. To measure this the examiner will use certain criteria to carry out the assessment of your speaking skills. Many exams such as CAE, CPE, BEC Higher, BULATS, IELTS, ICFE and ILEC will include the following assessment criteria:

Grammar and Vocabulary
Discourse Management
Pronunciation

Interactive Communication (in paired exams)

Assessment Criteria Quiz

1. Make sure you understand what the various assessment criteria mean. Complete the gaps in each section using the words in the Word Bank. Answers below.

 

Speaking Assessment: Grammar and Vocabulary

Word Bank: accurate, appropriate, effective, range

A) Grammar and vocabulary refers to how well you are able to use a ........ of grammatical structures and vocabulary when expressing yourself.

B) It also describes how ........ your use of English is.

C) The language you use also has to be ........ to the tasks you are asked to do.

D) With all this taken into consideration, you will be assessed on how ........ your use of English is.

Answers: A range, B accurate, C appropriate, D effective


Speaking Assessment: Discourse Management

Word Bank: relevant, extent, complexity, coherently

A) This section describes how well you are able to express thoughts and ideas ......... or clearly, linking your contributions logically during monologues or dialogues.

B) Your utterances, or things you say should be expressed with a level of ........ and fluency appropriate for the level of your exam.

C) This criteria also describes the ........ of your contributions, which means you say enough, but not too little or too much when appropriate.

D) During a conversation or discussion your contributions should be ........ or to the point.

Answers: A coherently, B complexity, C extent, D relevant

 

Speaking Assessment: Pronunciation

Word Bank: intonation, rhythm, sounds, stress

A) Pronunciation describes how well your utterances are comprehensible to the listener. You will be assessed on things such as ........, which means how well you pronounce strong and weak syllables within individual words.

B) It also relates to ........, which is your ability to connect words together naturally with stress on appropriate words.

C) Your use of ........ should be possible to express a range of attitudes and meanings.

D) You should also be able to pronounce individual ........ (for example consonant clusters, vowels and dipthongs) effectively.

Answers: A stress, B rhythm C intonation, D sounds

 

Speaking Assessment: Interactive Communication

Word Bank: hesitation, initiate, repair, turn taking

A) This criteria relates to your ability to get dialogues started that is ........ communication.

B) It also describes how well you respond appropriately to utterances without too much .........

C) It covers how good you are at ........ during conversations or discussions.

D) Finally, it relates to your ability to ........ conversation when the unexpected happen such as interrupting, gaining control or .....

Answers: A initiate, B hesitation, C turn taking, D repair

 

2. Read the following statements made about different speakers and decide which of the criteria they relate to:

 

A) The speaker answered questions very briefly when longer, more detailed responses would have been better.

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B) The speaker found it difficult to deal with a comment or question they didn't understand.

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C) The speaker repeated the same words and expressions rather too often.

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D) The speaker focused too much on speaking accurately so their speech was very hesitant.

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E) The speaker had very flat delivery with little use of intonation to express feelings or opinions.

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F) The speaker talked too much and rarely asked their partner questions.

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G) The speaker had difficultly pronouncing certain vowels and consonant clusters.

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H) The speaker found it difficult to use language to express their ideas and opinions effectively.

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3. How do these criteria relate to your exam? Download your exam handbook and check how Speaking assessment works for you.