Speaking 101

speaking task format

part one-introduction and interview

Task type and format

In this part, the examiner introduces him/herself and checks the test takers' identity. They then ask the test takers general questions on some familiar topics such as home, family, work, studies and interests. To ensure consistency, questions are taken from a script.

Part 1 lasts for 4–5 minutes.

Task focus: This part of the test focuses on the ability to communicate opinions and information on everyday topics and common experiences or situations by answering a range of questions.

No. of questions: variable

part two- long turn

Task type and format

Part 2 is the individual long turn. The examiner gives the test takers a task card which asks the test takers to talk about a particular topic, includes points to cover in their talk and instructs the test takers to explain one aspect of the topic. Test takers are given one minute to prepare their talk, and are given a pencil and paper to make notes. The examiner asks the test takers to talk for 1 to 2 minutes, stops the test takers after 2 minutes, and asks one or two questions on the same topic.

Using the points on the task card effectively, and making notes during the preparation time, will help the test takers think of appropriate things to say, structure their talk, and keep talking for 2 minutes.

Part 2 lasts 3–4 minutes, including the preparation time.

Task focus: This part of the test focuses on the ability to speak at length on a given topic (without further prompts from the examiner), using appropriate language and organising ideas coherently. It is likely that the test takers will need to draw on their own experience to complete the long turn.

No. of questions: Variable

part three-discussion

Task type and format

In Part 3, the examiner and the test takers discuss issues related to the topic in Part 2 in a more general and abstract way and, where appropriate, in greater depth.

Part 3 lasts 4–5 minutes.

Task focus: This part of the test focuses on the ability to express and justify opinions and to analyse, discuss and speculate about issues.

No. of questions: Variable

speaking descriptors

fluency and coherence

Take note while watching the video and answer the questions below


What does fluency and coherence focus on?

What can students do to improve their fluency and coherence?

Take TV watching for example, how can you develop your answer? And what should be included?

What does signposting mean in Fluency and Coherence? Give some examples in Part 3.