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Guía para Triunfar en el Speaking del First FCE (B2) de Cambridge

Guía para triunfar en el Speaking del First B2 Cambridge English

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  1. Introducción a las tareas
  2. Parte 1
    Batería de preguntas tipo
    Consejos para afrontar la parte 1
  3. Parte 2
    Ejemplos de tareas y modelo de respuestas
    Consejos para afrontar la parte 2
    Expresiones útiles para emplear en la parte 2
  4. Parte 3
    Ejemplo de tarea
    Consejos para afrontar la parte 3
    Expresiones útiles para emplear en la parte 3
  5. Parte 4
    Ejemplos de preguntas
    Consejos para afrontar la parte 4
  6. Vocabulario clave

Lo primero que debemos hacer es familiarizarnos con las diferentes partes, el objetivo comunicativo de cada una de ellas, el tiempo del que disponemos para llevarlas a cabo y el formato de la tarea. Veamos muy brevemente una descripción de cada una de las partes:

Parte 1 (2 minutos)

El examinador realiza una serie de preguntas personalesprofesión, lugar de residencia, gustos y aficiones– a ambos candidatos como primera toma de contacto.

Parte 2 (1 minuto por candidato)

El examinador muestra al candidato A dos fotografías para comparar. Durante un minuto, el candidato debe contrastar las dos imágenes, describir brevemente las principales semejanzas y diferencias y responder de forma crítica a la pregunta que aparece en la parte de arriba.

Seguidamente, el examinador realiza al candidato B una pregunta relacionada con las fotografías del candidato A para que la responda en unos 30 segundos. Tras el turno del candidato A, el candidato B recibe sus fotografías y se procede de la misma manera.

Parte 3 (3 minutos de conversación + 1 de toma de decisiones)

Los candidatos conversan sobre un tema concreto proporcionado por el examinador. Para llevar a cabo la tarea, los candidatos deben intercambiar ideas, expresar y justificar sus opiniones, mostrar acuerdo y desacuerdo, realizar sugerencias, especular, evaluar y negociar para alcanzar una decisión final.

Parte 4 (4 minutos)

En esta parte, los candidatos responden a una serie de preguntas planteadas por el examinador y relacionadas con el tema de la tarea 3. Durante la tarea, se espera que los candidatos expresen y justifiquen opiniones, muestren acuerdo y desacuerdo y se realicen preguntas entre ellos.

Una vez hecha la introducción y descripción de cada uno de los apartados que conforman el examen oral, veamos, de manera más pormenorizada, cómo afrontar cada de una de las partes con ejemplos concretos.

PART 1 (SAMPLE QUESTIONS)

Typical Opening Questions

  • Where are you from? What do you like about living in…?
  • How long have you been studying English?
  • What do you like about studying English?

Personal Background

  • Can you describe your town?
  • Do you come from a big or a small family?
  • Would you like to live in the same place for a long time?

Work & Study

  • What do you do?
  • Do you work or are you a student at the moment?
  • What kind of skills do you need in your job?
  • How easy or difficult is it for young people to get a job where you live?
  • Would you like to do the same job for ever?

Food, Health & Sport

  • Do you think that people should take better care of themselves? Why?
  • What sports do young people like doing in your country?
  • Would you rather watch at home sports or take part? Why?
  • When was the last time you attended a live sports event in your city?
  • Do you support any team in particular?

Entertainment

  • How do you normally spend your free time?
  • Can you describe the last book you read? Was it good?
  • Do you like science fiction literature? Why (not)?
  • Do you prefer to read a book or to watch a movie?
  • How often do you go to the cinema and who do you go with?
  • Do you prefer to go out with your friends or with your family?

Travel and Holidays

  • How do you normally spend your holidays?
  • Do you prefer to spend your holidays with friends or with family?
  • What’s the last foreign country you visit it? Did you like it?
  • What’s the most interesting place you have visited? Why?
  • Do many tourists visit your city?

Además de practicar con un profesor que te proporcione feedback y herramientas para trabajar en tus puntos débiles y potenciar tus fortalezas, una buena idea puede ser contar con un study buddy, es decir, con algún compañero que esté preparando el mismo examen y que necesite practicar. Para obtener el feedback necesario para mejorar, podéis grabar vuestra práctica y entregarla al profesor para su posterior corrección.

PART 2 (ENVIRONMENT)

In this part of the test, you are going to talk on your own for about a minute. These are your photographs. Please, compare them and answer the question below.

Candidate A

What impact do these situations have on the environment?

Photo A

Guía para Triunfar en el Speaking del FCE (B2) de Cambridge. PART 2 PHOTO A

Photo B

Guía para Triunfar en el Speaking del FCE (B2) de Cambridge. PART 2 PHOTO B

Sample answer

Both photographs have a common topic: the environment. In the image above we can see a wind turbine, while in the picture below we can see an industrial complex with chimneys releasing fumes into the atmosphere. The picture of the wind generator surrounded by beautiful hills makes me feel that there is still hope for our mother nature, our home, thanks to the implementation of green energies. However, this type of construction has a considerable visual impact and it makes the natural environment and landscape lose its beauty.

Obviously, the ideal situation environmentally-wise is the one shown in the snapshot at the top, since it represents a renewable resource of energy and, therefore, the way forward. In contrast, the image below represents a scenario we don’t want for our environment: emissions, acid rain, deforestation, air pollution, water pollution and destruction of wildlife.

I believe that we should focus more on clean, environmentally-friendly energies that do not involve a depletion
of natural resources and, above all, that protect our home as well as our health.

Candidate B

What can we do to protect the environment?

There are many ways in which we can contribute to protect our planet. For instance, there is this new trend now called ‘plogging’. The word is a Swedish portmanteau made up of the words jogging and picking up rubbish. The idea is to work out while cleaning up the streets of rubbish. It’s become very popular and it’s spreading quickly among runners of all countries. It sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Besides, you do your bit and as the saying goes ‘every little counts’.

PART 2 (ENVIRONMENT)

In this part of the test, you are going to talk on your own for about a minute. These are your photographs. Please, compare them and answer the question below.

Candidate B

What impact do these situations have on the environment?

Photo A

Guía para Triunfar en el Speaking del FCE (B2) de Cambridge. PART 2 PHOTO A

Photo B

Guía para Triunfar en el Speaking del FCE (B2) de Cambridge. PART 2 PHOTO B

Sample answer

Both photographs show the consequences of the impact of human activity on nature.

On the one hand, photograph a, shows a very common practice: logging. Although this activity is beneficial for our economy, in the long term it could turn into a serious problem and a threat to our environment. For example, if trees are cut down indiscriminately, it can lead to desertification, asshown in the photograph below.

Desertification and drought are two pressing problemsthat are causing the earth’s temperatures to get out of control, causing very serious problems on a large scale, such as the melting of the ice caps, rising sea levels or climate change.

Everything is interconnected and our ecological footprint could take its toll in the not-too-distant future.

Candidate B

What can we do to protect the environment?

Although some people might not agree with me, especially those supporters of a capitalist economic system, a good idea would be to plant trees and limit extensive cultivation areas, as well as the use of pesticides, which are also devastating endangered species such as the Iberian lynx or bees. We should also focus on a more local economy, the controlled use of natural resources, such as water or land and, of course, raise awareness among the younger generations of the need to limit our ecological impact.

Algunos consejos generales para la parte 2

  • No describas las fotografías en detalle, pues el objetivo principal de esta parte es emplear expresiones para comparar, contrastar, realizar hipótesis y expresar opiniones.
  • Las fotografías deben compararse siempre teniendo en cuenta la pregunta planteada.
  • Asegúrate de que empleas tu minuto para realizar la tarea solicitada y de que no te vas por las ramas.
  • Si no te acuerdas de términos y expresiones concretas que te gustaría emplear para la tarea, parafrasea y busca la manera de decir lo mismo con expresiones más sencillas para no quedarte bloqueado.
  • Responde a la pregunta sobre las fotos de tu compañero de manera concisa y directa.
  • Antes del examen practica con tu profe y con tu study buddy todo lo que puedas con una amplia variedad de fotos. Recuerda grabar tus intervenciones y enviárselas a tu profesor para que te de feedback y te paute un plan de acción personalizado.

Expresiones generales para emplear en la parte 2

Saying which picture you are
talking about
GuessingContrastingComparing the
pictures
Saying which you’d
prefer to do
-The picture at the top shows…
-In the second photo, there are…
-In the one at the bottom …
-They both show …
-In both of them there are…
-He seems/ looks …
-He looks as if ….
-They look like …
-They might/may/could
be
-Perhaps/ Maybe …
It´s probably…
…………. While ……….
………whereas …….
-On the one hand,
on the other hand,
-In contrast….
-I personally feel that X
is much more… than
-X is far more… than
-To my mind, X is
probably not so… as…
-I prefer to ….
-I enjoy… more than…
-I’d rather ….
-I personally feel that…
for many reasons…

PART 3

Now, I’d like you to talk about something together for about two minutes.

Imagine you are helping to prepare a poster to raise environmental awareness in your area.

Here are some ideas for images that could be included, and a question for you to discuss. First you have some time to look at the task.

Now, talk to each other about which images on a poster would be useful to raise environmental awareness.

Now you have about a minute to decide which two photographs should be included.

Guía para Triunfar en el Speaking del FCE (B2) de Cambridge. PART 3

Algunos consejos generales para la parte 3

  • Asegúrate de que entiendes la tarea correctamente. Cíñete a lo que se te pide y no te vayas por las ramas. Una buena manera de controlar que no pierdes de vista el objetivo de la tarea es hablar de todas y cada una de las ideas propuestas en el diagrama.
  • Esta parte no es un partido de tenis, sino una tarea colaborativa en la que debes debatir con naturalidad y espontaneidad con tu compañero o compañeros -en el caso de que sea un trío-. Debate, opina, pregunta, sugiere, dialoga, conversa… No manipules el discurso ni te limites a dar respuestas cortas.
  • Si no te acuerdas de términos y expresiones concretas que te gustaría emplear para la tarea, parafrasea y busca la manera de decir lo mismo con expresiones más sencillas para no quedarte bloqueado.
  • Recuerda que ambos candidatos debéis ‘alcanzar un compromiso’ al final de la tarea y exponer vuestras razones, de manera argumentada, para elegir una u otra de las opciones proporcionadas.
  • Antes del examen practica con tu study buddy. Grabad todas vuestras intervenciones y enviádselas a vuestro profesor para que os proporcione feedback y os paute un plan de acción personalizado.

Expresiones generales para emplear en la parte 3

Buying time
– I never really thought about that, but…
– You made a very interesting point there…
– Well, I am not quite sure about that…
– Honestly, I wouldn’t know what to say about that…
Giving your opinion
– In my opinion, it is obvious that…
– As far as I’m concerned
– In my view
– To my mind
– To my way of thinking…
– I have no doubt that…
– Well, if you ask me…
Asking your partner
– What are your thoughts?
– What would you say?
– Are we on the same page here?
– Wouldn’t you agree?
– Do we see eye to eye on this matter?
– What do you reckon?
Giving reasons
– As well as that,
– Just as importantly, …
– There’s also the fact that…
– Another point I’d like to add…
Interrupting politely
– Do you mind if I add something?
– I’d like to comment on that
– If I could just make a point here…
– I’d like to put my two cents in
Trying to change an opinion
– But don’t you think that…
– Yes, but isn’t it true that…
– Okay, but on the other hand…
– Maybe there’s another way to think about it…
You’re partly right, but…

PART 4 (4 minutes)

  • Are there any pressing environmental issues in your country?
  • Do you think younger generations are truly concerned about environmental problems?
  • What can individuals do to help?
  • What’s your view on the eco-friendly exercise phenomenon known as ‘plogging’? Is it
    just a craze or do you think it is going to stay?
  • Do older people have as much awareness of environmental problems as the younger
    generations?

Algunos consejos generales para la parte 4

  • Proporciona respuestas completas y complejas, no te limites a dar respuestas cortas.
  • Invita a tu compañero a participar realizándole preguntas relacionadas con el tema en
    cuestión.
  • Recuerda que tu lenguaje corporal es casi tan importante como tu lenguaje hablado, por lo que debes asegurarte de que tienes en cuenta detalles como mirar a los ojos a tu interlocutor, de que sonríes, asientes con la cabeza, utilizas las manos para expresarte y mantienes el cuerpo ligeramente girado para mostrar interés en la conversación.
  • Emplea expresiones coloquiales e interjecciones.
  • ¡No te olvides de practicar con tu study buddy y grabar vuestras intervenciones!

USEFUL VOCABULARY ON ENVIRONMENT

  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Carbon / ecological footprint
  • Endangered species / become extinct
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Fumes and emissions / smoke
  • Clean / green energy
  • (un)sustainable tourism / development
  • Overpopulation
  • Renewable resources: solar energy, wind energy, hydro
    energy, tidal energy, geothermal energy, biomass energy.
  • Cut down / logging
  • (de) (re) forestation
  • Activist / protest
  • Fly-tipping / dump
  • Decarbonise vehicles
  • A source of greenhouse gas emission
  • Temperature rise
  • Ozone layer
  • Toxic waste
  • Wind turbine
  • Solar farm / panel
  • Organic
  • Biodegradable
  • Plogging
  • Electric / Hybrid cars
  • Zero emission journey
  • Zero-kilometre food
  • Low emission zones
  • Natural disasters
  • Drought and water shortage
  • Increase of global temperature
  • Gridlock
  • Halt/stop global warming
  • Depletion of natural resources
  • Rising sea levels

¿Quieres elaborar tus propias tarjetas de vocabulario para memorizar el léxico nuevo? Echa un
vistazo a este videotutorial en el que te contamos cómo hacerlo

Manuela Mena es Licenciada en Traducción e Interpretación, Máster en Neuropsicología, Qualified CELTA
Teacher y experta en docencia on-line. Actualmente trabaja como directora académica de la escuela de
idiomas The Language House y CEO de la consultora educativa www.feelthelanguage.com.
También ejerce como profesora en la Universidad Antonio de Nebrija y SDI de Múnich.

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