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Cambridge English: First for Schools

Lesson Plan: Speaking


This lesson plan accompanies Cambridge English: First for Schools 2 Speaking Test 8, Parts 1 and 2.

This lesson is suitable for students towards the end of their Cambridge English: First for Schools
course.

Lesson Goals
1. To familiarise students with question types and possible topics of the Cambridge English:
First for Schools Speaking Test Part 1
2. To help students feel more confident when answering questions about themselves in Part
1 of the Speaking Test
3. To provide useful language for students to develop and extend their answers in Part 2 of
the Speaking Test
4. To provide timed exam-style speaking practice for Part 2 of the Speaking Test
5. To familiarize students with aspects of Speaking assessment

Activity (see brackets for resources required) Time Interaction


needed
Warmer (Computer with internet connection and projector, Resource 1 5-10 mins
for teacher)

Introduction and Listening to the examiner’s questions


• Students should be familiar with the Speaking Test, so elicit what 2 mins S-T
they have to do in Parts 1 and 2. Ask these questions, if and T-S
necessary:
o Are short, one-word answers enough in Part 1? (No,
although students should not extend their answers
beyond three sentences)
o How long does each candidate have to talk about the
photographs in Part 2? (1 min for speaking candidate
and 30 seconds for listening candidate)
o Will you lose marks if you ask the examiner to repeat the
question? (No, as long as you ask before you start
speaking then this is not penalised)
o Is it a problem if the interlocutor interrupts you? (No, it is
just a sign that your time has finished. Don’t feel
offended!)
• Explain the importance of listening to the interlocutor’s 1 min T-S
instructions and questions in order to give an appropriate
answer.
• Tell students they are going to watch two students doing a First 3 mins T-S
for Schools Speaking Exam. Ask them to write down the then S

Cambridge English: First for Schools 2 Speaking Test 8 Lesson Plan


© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2017
questions the interlocutor asks the candidates in Part 1. Stop the
video at min. 2:36. You can find the video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmdSqVyNrLk
• Write the questions up on the board for students to check (see 2 mins T-S
Resource 1) and answer any questions the students may have
about the format of the exam. For example, who is the person
sitting behind the interlocutor and what do they do? (The
assessor just listens to you) or What is a marksheet? (The piece
of paper the assessor completes with your marks at the end of
your Speaking Exam).
• Put students in pairs and ask them to interview their partner 2 mins S-S
using the questions. Each candidate should answer two or three
questions in approximately 1 minute.

Main activities (Resource 2 Interview cards (cut up), individual copies 30-35 mins
of Resource 3 and Resource 4 for each student, Test 8 Speaking Part 2
speaking material for each pair, clocks/watches with a stop-clock
function)

Part 1 (General questions about themselves)


• Tell the students that in Part 1 of the Speaking Test they will be 3 mins T-S
asked two or three questions about their everyday life by the
interlocutor. Elicit from the students why they should not give
one-word or minimal answers, but try to think of two or three
things to say. Give a model answer to a question, for example:
Do you like to be busy every day?
Well, no, I can’t say I really like being busy, but from Monday
to Friday I have to be because I have a lot of studying to do
and I also train regularly in a swimming team. However, at
the weekend I prefer not to be busy and I enjoy spending
time relaxing with friends.
• Give each student one of the interview cards in Resource 2. Each 7 mins Ss-Ss
card has six questions based on the same topic. Ask students to
move round the class asking their questions to different
students, and answering a question from the other student’s
card in return. Students must not read the questions they are
being asked, but should listen carefully to what the speaker is
saying before answering appropriately.

Part 2 (Long turn – compare two photographs and answer a question)


• Remind students that the interlocutor will ask the speaking 1 min T-S
candidate to do two things in this part: compare (not describe)
the photographs and answer a question about them in 1 minute.
It’s important to do both tasks and speak for a full minute.
• Give students practice speaking for 1 minute. In pairs, one 7 mins S-S
student is the candidate and the other is the interlocutor. Give
each pair a copy of Resource 3. Tell the interlocutor to choose

Cambridge English: First for Schools 2 Speaking Test 8 Lesson Plan


© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2017
three topics on the list and ask the candidate to talk about each
of them in turn for 1 minute, timing them with a clock/watch
and indicating when the minute is over. Students then exchange
roles and repeat using different topics. By repeating the activity
three times the students should learn to judge how long they
need to speak for.
• Comparing photographs. Give each student a copy of Resource 4 2 mins T-S
with useful language for comparing/contrasting and making
speculations. Check through the vocabulary and language.
• Draw an inverted triangle on the board and label as below: 2 mins T-S

Similarities Differences

• Tell students to try to use this triangle to help them to structure 1 min T-S
their answers to Part 2 by thinking first of a similarity between
the two images, then looking for something different, and then
answering the question, making a speculation and giving your
opinion, if appropriate.
• Then, in pairs, ask students to look at the EXAM FOCUS 4 mins T-S
photographs A and B in Resource 4 and use the words and then S-S
expressions to structure an answer to the question. Model an
example first, based on the triangle above:
Both pictures show people doing outdoor activities in the forest.
Whereas in Picture A there are two people, in Picture B there is a
group of people, maybe friends. I imagine the couple in Picture A
are enjoying spending some time together away from their work
and stressful city life, whilst it seems the group of friends are
enjoying celebrating a special occasion together outdoors.
• Organise the students into pairs and give each pair Test 8 4 mins S-S
Speaking Part 2 photographs (8A-8D). Tell them to take turns to then T-S
be the interlocutor and the candidate. The interlocutor should
read the instructions and time the candidate, stopping them
after 1 minute. Listen carefully to the candidate’s answers and
give feedback at the end.
• To finish, ask some students the short question about the 3 mins T-S
photographs, based on the interlocutor’s question to the
listening candidate: Which of these activities would you prefer to
do (and why)?

Cambridge English: First for Schools 2 Speaking Test 8 Lesson Plan


© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2017
Extension activity (p118-119 and Test 8 Speaking Part 1 and 2 speaking 15 mins
material for each group)

Speaking Assessment: Role Play


• Hand out pages 118 (Speaking Assessment criteria) and 119 2 mins T-S
(Global Achievement scale) to each student. Explain that these
are the aspects that the interlocutor and the assessor consider
when they are assessing your Speaking Test. Make sure students
understand each aspect.
• Organise the class into groups of four students. Tell students that 2 mins T-S
they should assign an interlocutor, an assessor and two
candidates in the group and that the candidates need to sit
opposite the interlocutor and the assessor behind the
interlocutor. Give them time to re-organise tables and chairs
accordingly.
• Hand out Exam speaking material for Parts 1 and 2. Tell students 5 mins Ss-Ss
to role play Parts 1 and 2 of the Speaking Exam, timing the
candidates carefully. When two candidates have completed their
turn, the assessor and interlocutor give a mark from 0 – 5 for
each aspect on their Assessment tables.
• Change roles and repeat until each student has had a chance to 6 mins Ss-Ss
play each role. Observe the students and deal with any issues
that arise.

Cambridge English: First for Schools 2 Speaking Test 8 Lesson Plan


© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2017
Resource 1
Teacher’s notes

Part 1 questions from the video:

1. And your names are?

2. Can I have your marksheets, please?

3. Where are you from, Victoria?

4. And Edward, where are you from?

5. Victoria, how do you like to spend your evenings?

6. And Edward, tell us about a festival or celebration in Peru.

7. Victoria, do you use the Internet very much?

8. Edward, tell us about a film you really like

Cambridge English: First for Schools 2 Speaking Test 8 Lesson Plan


© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2017
Resource 2
Interview cards

CARD 1: Area where you live or used to live

1. Is there anything you would like to learn about your country?


2. Which area of your country would you like to get to know better?
3. What’s the most interesting place you’ve visited near where you live?
4. Could you tell me something about the area where you grew up?
5. Describe your family home

CARD 2: Sports

1. Are you interested in sport?


2. Is there a sport you’d really like to try?
3. What sports do people play most in your country?
4. How much exercise do you take each week?
5. Do you like to be physically active or do you prefer relaxing?

CARD 3: Leisure

1. How much TV do you watch in a week?


2. Tell us about a TV programme you’ve seen recently
3. Do you have a favourite newspaper or magazine?
4. What sort of books do you read?
5. Does anyone you know have an interesting hobby?
6. Do you prefer to be outside or inside when you have free time?

CARD 4: Work and study

1. Do you use the internet to learn new things?


2. Do you prefer working on your own or with other people?
3. What kind of work would you really like to do in the future?
4. Are you happier doing mental or physical work?
5. What do you think were the most important things you learned at
primary school?
6. Would you prefer to work for a big or small company?

Cambridge English: First for Schools 2 Speaking Test 8 Lesson Plan


© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2017
Resource 2 Continued

CARD 5: Family and friends

1. Who do you spend your free time with?


2. Who are the most important people in your life?
3. Do you and your friends share the same ideas?
4. Tell me about your best friend?
5. Do you normally go out with family or friends?

CARD 6: Travel and holidays

1. Have you ever used your English on holiday?


2. Where would you really like to go on holiday in the future?
3. Do you like to plan your holidays carefully or do you prefer to just go?
4. How do you prefer to travel? By train or by plane?
5. What’s public transport like in your country?

CARD 7: Entertainment

1. Do you ever go to concerts?


2. Where do you like listening to music?
3. Do you like going to the cinema?
4. Do you enjoy playing computer games?
5. Do you enjoy shopping?
6. Do you like going to parties?

CARD 8: Daily life

1. How much time do you spend at home?


2. Tell us about a day you’ve really enjoyed recently
3. Do you like cooking?
4. Have you got any plans for this weekend?
5. What’s your favourite day of the week?
6. What’s your favourite part of the day?

Cambridge English: First for Schools 2 Speaking Test 8 Lesson Plan


© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2017
Resource 3
Topic lists for 1 minute talks

Choose 3 topics you are going to ask your partner to talk about

My best friend
Flowers
Bad weather
Spicy food
Chocolate
Summer holidays
Dogs
Chewing Gum
Wild animals
Photography
Camping trips
Vegetarians
Flags
My favourite hobby
How to make the perfect cup of tea
Clouds
Things that make me angry
Brothers and sisters
Music festivals
Pocket money

Cambridge English: First for Schools 2 Speaking Test 8 Lesson Plan


© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2017
Resource 4
Useful language for comparing/contrasting and speculating

Describing similarities and differences:

• Both pictures show …

• In the first picture …, whereas in the second picture …

• This picture shows …, but that one…

• In both pictures there’s …, though in this one …

• One difference between the pictures is that …

• In one respect the pictures are quite similar because …

• The two situations are completely different because …

• They are similar in that they both show …

• The biggest difference between them is that this one shows … but the other one.

Other expressions to compare photos:

• This looks far more … than that.

• The … in this picture look much more … than those

• What’s happening in this picture is just as … as what’s going on there.

• Doing … like that isn’t so … as …

• These people are … a lot more … than those are.

Cambridge English: First for Schools 2 Speaking Test 8 Lesson Plan


© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2017
Resource 4 Continued
Speculative language

• I get the impression …

• I expect …

• He / She probably …

• I doubt that …

• Perhaps …

• He/ She might/may …

• I guess…

• They look as if …

• I imagine ….

EXAM FOCUS:

Now use these words and expressions to compare these photographs and say what the people are
enjoying about doing these outdoor activities

Getty_824617130: Ascent/PKS Media Inc./The Image Bank/Getty Images Getty_508066351: Hero Images/Getty Images

Cambridge English: First for Schools 2 Speaking Test 8 Lesson Plan


© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2017
Test 8

SPEAKING (14 minutes)


You take the Speaking test with another candidate (possibly two candidates), referred to here as
your partner. There are two examiners. One will speak to you and your partner and the other will
be listening. Both examiners will award marks.

Part 1 (2 minutes (3 minutes for groups of three))


The examiner asks you and your partner questions about yourselves. You may be asked about
things like ‘your home town’, ‘your interests’, ‘your career plans’, etc.

Part 2 (4 minutes (6 minutes for groups of three))


The examiner gives you two photographs and asks you to talk about them for one minute.
The examiner then asks your partner a question about your photographs and your partner
responds briefly.

Then the examiner gives your partner two different photographs. Your partner talks about these
photographs for one minute. This time the examiner asks you a question about your partner’s
photographs and you respond briefly.

Part 3 (4 minutes (5 minutes for groups of three))


The examiner asks you and your partner to talk together. They give you a task to look at so you
can think about and discuss an idea, giving reasons for your opinion. For example, you may be
asked to think about some changes in the world, or about spending free time with your family.
After you have discussed the task for about two minutes with your partner, the examiner will ask
you a follow-up question, which you should discuss for a further minute.

Part 4 (4 minutes (6 minutes for groups of three))


The examiner asks some further questions, which leads to a more general discussion of what
you have talked about in Part 3. You may comment on your partner’s answers if you wish.

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Visual materials for the Speaking test

Why have the people decided to eat together in these situations?

8A

8B

C10

© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2016


Visual materials for the Speaking test

What might the people find difficult about working hard in these situations?

8C

8D

C11

© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2016


Visual materials for the Speaking test

8E

good friends school rules

How important are these


if students want to feel
happy at school?

after school friendly


activities teachers

subjects they
enjoy

C12

© Cambridge University Press and UCLES 2016


Frames for the Speaking test

Test 8
Note: In the examination, there will be both an assessor and an interlocutor in the room.
The visual material for Test 8 appears on pages C10 and C11 (Part 2), and C12 (Part 3).

Part 1  2 minutes (3 minutes for groups of three)


Interlocutor: Good morning/afternoon/evening. My name is ………… and
this is my colleague ………… .
And your names are?
Can I have your mark sheets, please? Thank you.
First of all, we’d like to know something about you.

• Where are you from, (Candidate A)?


• And you, (Candidate B)?
• What do you like about living (here / name of candidate’s
home town)?
• And what about you, (Candidate A/B)?

Select one or more questions from any of the following


categories, as appropriate.
Habits and routines
• Do you like to be busy every day? (Why? / Why not?)
• What sport do you enjoy playing? (Why do you like doing that?)
• Do you enjoy watching TV? (What’s your favourite
programme?) (Why do you like it?)
• Do you ever meet your friends in the evenings after school?
(What do you do together?)
The Weekend
• Do you prefer to spend time with your family or with your
friends at the weekend? (Why?)
• Are there a lot of interesting things to do in your town at the
weekend? (What do you do there?)
• Do you often have to do homework at the weekend?
(How do you feel about that?)
• Can you tell us something about what you’re planning to do
next weekend?
The Future
• What are you going to do after school today? (Why?)
• What would you like to do for your next birthday? (Why?)
• Is there something you’d like to learn in the future?
(What would you like to learn?) (Why?)
• What would you like to do when you leave school? (Why?)

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Frames for the Speaking test

Part 2  4 minutes (6 minutes for groups of three)


Eating together
Working hard
Interlocutor: In this part of the test, I’m going to give each of you two
photographs. I’d like you to talk about your photographs
on your own for about a minute, and also to answer a short
question about your partner’s photographs.
(Candidate A), it’s your turn first. Here are your photographs.
They show people eating together in different places.
Indicate pictures 8A and 8B on page C10 to Candidate A.
I’d like you to compare the photographs, and say why the people
have decided to eat together in these places.
All right?
Candidate A: [1 minute]
Interlocutor: Thank you.
(Candidate B), do you often eat out with friends? (Why? /
Why not?)
Candidate B: [Approximately 30 seconds]
Interlocutor: Thank you.
Now, (Candidate B), here are your photographs. They show
people working hard in different situations.
Indicate pictures 8C and 8D on page C11 to Candidate B.
I’d like you to compare the photographs, and say what you
think they might find difficult about working hard in these
situations. All right?
Candidate B: [1 minute]
Interlocutor: Thank you.
(Candidate A), do you ever go to a library to work? (Why? /
Why not?)
Candidate A: [Approximately 30 seconds]
Interlocutor: Thank you.

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Frames for the Speaking test

Parts 3 and 4
Feeling happy at school

Part 3  4 minutes (5 minutes for groups of three)

Interlocutor: Now, I’d like you to talk about something together for about
two minutes.
[3 minutes for groups of three]
Here are some things that many people believe are important if
students want to feel happy at school, and a question for you to
discuss. First you have some time to look at the task.
Indicate the visual 8E on page C12 to the candidates.
Allow 15 seconds.
Now, talk to each other about how important these things are if
students want to feel happy at school.
Candidates: [2 minutes / 3 minutes for groups of three]
Interlocutor: Thank you. Now you have about a minute to decide which is the
most important thing that makes students feel happy at school.
Candidates: [1 minute]
Interlocutor: Thank you.

Part 4  4 minutes (6 minutes for groups of three)

Interlocutor: Use the following questions, in order, as


appropriate: Select any of the following
prompts, as appropriate:
• Do
 you think most students in
(candidate’s country) feel happy about • What do you think?
going to school every day? (Why? / • Do you agree?
Why not?) • And you?
• Do
 you think it’s true that it takes a long
time to feel happy when you start a new school?
(Why? / Why not?)
• Some
 people say that students should be allowed to choose
what they want to study. What do you think?
• Should
 schools give students longer breaks during the day?
(Why? / Why not?)
• Do
 you think it’s a good idea for schools to organise trips to
interesting places during the school day? (Why? / Why not?)
• Should
 schools give prizes to good students at the end of the
year? (Why? / Why not?)
Thank you. That is the end of the test.

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Marks and results

Listening
One mark is given for each correct answer. The total mark is converted into a score on the
Cambridge English Scale for the paper. In Part 2, minor spelling errors are allowed, provided
that the candidate’s intention is clear.
For security reasons, several versions of the Listening paper are used at each administration
of the examination. Before grading, the performance of the candidates in each of the versions is
compared and marks adjusted to compensate for any imbalance in levels of difficulty.

Speaking
Throughout the test candidates are assessed on their own individual performance and not
in relation to the other candidate. They are assessed on their language skills, not on their
personality, intelligence or knowledge of the world. Candidates must, however, be prepared to
develop the conversation and respond to the tasks in an appropriate way.
Candidates are awarded marks by two examiners: the assessor and the interlocutor. The
assessor awards marks by applying performance descriptors from the Analytical Assessment
scales for the following criteria:

Grammar and Vocabulary


This refers to the accurate use of grammatical forms and appropriate use of vocabulary. It also
includes the range of language.

Discourse Management
This refers to the extent, relevance and coherence of each candidate’s contributions. Candidates
should be able to construct clear stretches of speech which are easy to follow. The length of
their contributions should be appropriate to the task, and what they say should be related to
the topic and the conversation in general.

Pronunciation
This refers to the intelligibility of contributions at word and sentence levels. Candidates should
be able to produce utterances that can easily be understood, and which show control of
intonation, stress and individual sounds.

Interactive Communication
This refers to the ability to use language to achieve meaningful communication. Candidates
should be able to initiate and respond appropriately according to the task and conversation,
and also to use interactive strategies to maintain and develop the communication whilst
negotiating towards an outcome.

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Marks and results

Grammar and Interactive


B2 Vocabulary Discourse Management Pronunciation Communication

5 • Shows
  a good degree • Produces extended • Is intelligible. • Initiates
  and responds
of control of a range stretches of language • Intonation is appropriately, linking
of simple and some with very little appropriate. contributions to those
complex grammatical hesitation. •  Sentence and word of other speakers.
forms. • Contributions are stress is accurately •  Maintains and develops
•  Uses a range of relevant and there is a placed. the interaction and
appropriate vocabulary clear organisation of •  Individual sounds are negotiates towards an
to give and exchange ideas. articulated clearly. outcome.
views on a wide range •  Uses a range of cohesive
of familiar topics. devices and discourse
markers.

4 Performance shares features of Bands 3 and 5.

3 • Shows
  a good degree • Produces extended • Is intelligible. • Initiates
  and responds
of control of simple stretches of language •  Intonation is generally appropriately.
grammatical forms, and despite some hesitation. appropriate. •  Maintains and develops
attempts some complex • Contributions are •  Sentence and word the interaction and
grammatical forms. relevant and there is stress is generally negotiates towards an
•  Uses a range of very little repetition. accurately placed. outcome with very little
appropriate vocabulary •  Uses a range of cohesive •  Individual sounds are support.
to give and exchange devices. generally articulated
views on a range of clearly.
familiar topics.

2 Performance shares features of Bands 1 and 3.

1 • Shows
  a good degree • Produces responses • Is
  mostly intelligible, • Initiates
  and responds
of control of simple which are extended and has some control of appropriately.
grammatical forms. beyond short phrases, phonological features •  Keeps the interaction
•  Uses a range of despite hesitation. at both utterance and going with very little
appropriate vocabulary • Contributions are word levels. prompting and support.
when talking about mostly relevant, despite
everyday situations. some repetition.
•  Uses basic cohesive
devices.

0 Performance below Band 1.

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Marks and results

The interlocutor awards a mark for overall performance using a Global Achievement scale.

B2 Global Achievement

5 • Handles
  communication on a range of familiar topics, with very little hesitation.
•  Uses accurate and appropriate linguistic resources to express ideas and produce extended discourse that is
generally coherent.

4 Performance shares features of Bands 3 and 5.

3 • Handles
  communication on familiar topics, despite some hesitation.
•  Organises extended discourse but occasionally produces utterances that lack coherence, and some inaccuracies
and inappropriate usage occur.

2 Performance shares features of Bands 1 and 3.

1 •  Handles communication in everyday situations, despite hesitation.


•  Constructs longer utterances but is not able to use complex language except in well-rehearsed utterances.

0 Performance below Band 1.

Assessment for Cambridge English: First for Schools is based on performance across all parts
of the test, and is achieved by applying the relevant descriptors in the assessment scales.

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