Cambridge English Southern Europe

Experts in Language Assessment

Tip for First for Schools – Speaking Part 4

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When we open up the question activity to a guided whole class framework, everyone can learn from observing how other learners answer questions and from comments made about these answers.

A teacher – a bit like the conductor of an orchestra – can direct attention to different members of the group and with a look, a gesture or a follow-up prompt [just as an examiner would do in the exam] elicit responses to what has been said from actively listening to learners. To structure such activity even more tightly, the teacher can introduce a range of turn-linking prompts – placed either on the board, held up by the teacher or given to groups of learners – so that the task can come to focus on the strategy of expanding on and developing a partner’s answer.  For example, where one candidate is asked a question like:

Why  do some people prefer using the internet to shop?
and answers:   I think to save time. Someone sits at home and just chooses what they want on their screen  …
listening learners are then prompted to use/choose a prompt like …
but that’s not always true .. for example …

Using such classroom management techniques skilfully, a teacher can get a number of learners [making a different point each time] to practise connecting what they say to the initial comment with the prompt and the whole class gets to observe and comment on the effectiveness of the strategy in action.

Find out more about Cambridge English First for Schools, by visiting the relevant page on our local websites for:


Greece & Cyprus



English (Global) 

Written by Cambridge English Southern Europe

March 11, 2016 at 12:29 pm

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