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Cambridge English: Advanced

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CAE Speaking

Part 3: Discussion (< Previous Next >)

Tests ability to: use language to discuss and interpret, to agree, disagree or agree to disagree, negotiate and collaborate, to rank or classify.

In Part 3 of the CAE Speaking test, which lasts about four minutes (six minutes for groups of three), the examiner will ask you and your partner to talk about another set of visual prompts together.

Example Task

Discussion Task: The examiner will say something on the lines of:

Now, I'd like you to talk about something together for about two minutes.
Here are some different ways in which people communicate and a question for you to discuss. First you have some time to look at the task.
Now, talk to each other about the advantages and disadvantages of communicating
in these different ways.

Decision Task: Now you have about a minute (2 minutes for groups of three) to decide which two ways of communicating are the least effective.

(Source Cambridge CAE Handbook)




It will help both yourself and your partner if you work together collaboratively on this task.

1. Be prepared to ask your partner for his or her opinion rather than simply stating your own.

2. Listen 'actively' to what your partner says, responding to comments he or she makes. Use expressions such as the following to comment on something:
"That's an interesting point."
"I was interested in what you said about ..."
"So, when you say ..., do you mean ...?"
"Could you explain what you mean by ...?"

3. Use expressions to allow yourself time to think. For example: 'That's a good question.', 'Well, let me think ...'

4. In order to bring the discussion to a constructive conclusion try using expressions such as the following:
"So, weighing up the pros and cons, do you think ...?"
"Are we generally in agreement that ...?"
"So, all in all do we feel ...?"
"Essentially, do we all agree that ...?"
"So, to sum up ..."
"So, in general ..."
"It seems we've reached the conclusion that ...;"

CAE Speaking Success!

Remember - you are not in competition with your speaking partner! CAE Speaking Success will teach you our strategies for working cooperatively in Part 3.

CAE Speaking Success!

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