Welcome to the show! Thanks for listening! My name’s Peter Travis and this is the first in our series of podcasts which aim to help you ACE the CAE or Cambridge C1: Advanced Speaking Paper. In this episode I’ll tell you more about the podcast and give you some helpful tips to practise speaking!
Yes, once again, thanks for listening in. This podcast will support our ebook, ‘Roadmap to CAE Speaking Success’. If you haven’t yet signed up for this free 33-page resource, don’t worry. It’s still freely available. Just pop over to the Splendid Speaking website and you’ll find a link to sign up from any of the CAE podcast posts.
I appreciate that you’re probably quite busy and don’t have hours to listen to podcasts so I intend to keep this quite brief – hopefully no longer than 5 minutes. That being the case, let’s get started!
Did that statistic in the ebook surprise you? The one about having no more than around 3 minutes speaking time if you’re lucky enough to be studying in a class? Of course this will differ from one person to the next but the point is you need to practise outside the classroom as you won’t get enough time in class to make big improvements.
In Step 1 of Roadmap to CAE Speaking Success I suggest setting times in the week you can spend speaking English – not necessarily with someone else but maybe on your own, talking to yourself in the comfort of your own room! Deciding when this will be and then sticking to it is important. The more often you turn up and do it, the sooner it will become a habit.
So what can you talk about if you’re on your own? Well, here are two things you can do to practise:
- Try keeping a daily diary. At the beginning of the day record yourself talking about the day ahead. What your plans are, what you’re looking forward to or dreading and why. This is a perfect opportunity to practise future tenses and speculating. You could also record yourself at the end of the day, looking back and reflecting on the day’s events. Keep these recordings short, one or two minutes at most. And keep them safe as we’ll use these when we look at fluency and accuracy in later podcasts.
- As you probably know, in Part 2 of the CAE Speaking paper you have to make a long turn. To practise for this, collect some photos from newspapers or magazines showing scenes where something has happened or where someone is in the process of doing something. With each one, start by describing what you can see and then speculate about what might have happened or how the person featured might be feeling etc. This speculative element is important as you’ll need to do this in the exam. You could try doing this twice. The first time do your best with the vocabulary you have available. When you’ve finished, you could then look up any words or expressions you didn’t know, and try the activity again using this new vocabulary.
Give these ideas a try. I know you don’t have anyone to listen to your recording and give you feedback but that’s not really the point of the exercise. The point is to get used to speaking at length, to develop your fluency skills and by listening to the recordings, to give yourself the chance to reflect on your progress as you develop your speaking skills.
That’s the end of this podcast. In the next episode we’ll turn our attention to the exam format. In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up for the Roadmap to CAE Speaking Success. And if you’re looking for additional support, look into our popular ‘CAE Speaking Success’. This online, 12-unit course will guarantee you face the exam with the strategies you need to shine on the day. More information on the Splendid Speaking website at splendid-speaking.com