The speaking test contains 1 part. You will be on your own with two examiners. You will begin with a presentation based on a short written document and it will be followed by a discussion with the examiners.
You will be given 30 minutes for preparation and the oral exam will last for 20 minutes (10 minutes of presentation and 10 minutes of discussion). This part is worth 25 marks.
LE MONOLOGUE SUIVI: DEFENSE D’UN POINT DE VUE ARGUMENTE
The oral presentation requires thorough preparation. You will not only be assessed on your speaking skills but also on your ability to raise important points from the document and express your opinion.
30 minutes is a very short time to complete this task. That is why it is necessary that you train effectively before the exam and acquire good reflexes.
Stage 1: General approach and Brainstorming
• On the first reading, identify the nature of the text,
the sources, the type and the common theme (most of the time a title is given for the document providing a hint).
• On the second reading, bring out the theme and select the
main points on which you will work out your plan.
• Afterwards, think of as many ideas, points and examples as possible to use in
You will be expected to express your opinion by referring to examples from foreign or French current affairs and from your own experiences. Once you have noted your main ideas, work out how to convey your key points effectively.
Stage 2: Making a plan
Different types of plans may be considered:
• The argumentative plan: you introduce a false assertion then you disprove this argument and you propose a different one.
• The question plan: you introduce and illustrate a premise then you analyse the causes of the problem and you suggest solutions and their feasibility based on your analysis.
• The balanced discussion plan: at first you give the points in favour of the statement, then you make the points against the statement and you conclude with your own opinion.
• The thematic plan: you present a topic from different angles and you give your opinion.
You will choose a plan after reading the document. This is why it is important to understand their type (comparative, informative or argumentative) from scratch.
Stage 3: Introduction
The way you introduce your presentation is essential and you must take into account the following steps.
Firstly, you present the document which was handed in to you by citing their sources (the magazine or newspaper’s title, the author and the date).
Secondly, you bring out the issue with a direct or indirect question.
Finally, you outline your plan. Although this outline should not be too artificial, the examiner must be able to follow the logic of your presentation.You may use for instance:
• Dans un premier temps…
When you introduce your plan, do not forget to use the future tense.
Even though you may think that such an introduction is too fastidious, it is nonetheless the best way to give the examiners a good impression and consequently a good mark.
Although it is out of the question to draft all the talk, I suggest you to write some or all the introduction as we can be easily put off by stress at the beginning of the presentation.
Stage 4: Development
The speaking part includes elements which are inseparable from the act of communication. Obviously you will pay attention to your pronunciation and your intonation but you will also use a specific metalanguage associated with speech.
First of all, the examiners must feel concerned by and I dare say engaged in what you are presenting. Therefore, it is good to use the imperative with “nous” :
• Examinons maintenant les causes de…
• Notons que…
• Prenons l’exemple de…
The examiners should not have to make an effort to follow your train of thought and arguments. What’s more, the use of logical connectors is essential throughout your presentation and you should learn 3 or 4 connectors for each function.
As I said before you must not draft all the presentation and that is why you should write what is the most important to remember.
• First give a title to your different parts
• Then in each of them you write your key words, arguments and examples.
• and write an explicit transition when you go from one part to another:
Abordons maintenant dans une deuxième partie les raisons de…
Moreover, you should pay particular attention to your ideas when you will express your opinion. As I said before, you need to articulate your ideas using precise examples and not generalities unless you want the examiners to get bored! When you can connect your ideas to the French news, it is even better. Find a way of surprising the examiners.
Stage 5: conclusion
To finish with a good presentation, the conclusion must be short and effective. You may write it down if you do not feel confident enough.
• At first, summarize briefly the content of your presentation in a few lines. You can introduce them with the following:
Par conséquent, nous avons constaté que…
En résumé je me permettrai de rappeler que…
• Then, it is worth broadening the issue with a new question.
• Thirdly, you thank the audience for their attention and invite the examiners to ask questions:
Je vous remercie de votre attention et je suis désormais disposé à répondre à vos questions.
Do not say : Voilà, c’est fini. J’ai fini.
EXERCICE EN INTERACTION:DEBAT
After Stating your opinion based on the document, the examiner will ask you questions or present opposing arguments. You will need to respond and defend or moderate your ideas. Whatever you opinion is, the examiner will not judge it. It is the way you say it that is important. This part is worth 6 points.
THE EXAMINATION GRID
You will find the grid the examiners use in order to correct your writing.