For Spanish you need to constantly practice different oral skills to get used to it and to be able to reproduce the language yourself. Here are some general tips from Sahar Hussein, Spanish teacher in Dublin.
El examen oral – The Oral Exam
The oral exam considers 2 parts. The General Conversation (70 marks) and the Role Play (30marks). In total, the exam lasts about 15 minutes. Where 10 minutes are for general conversation and around 5 for the role play.
The conversation will most likely start with an introduction of the candidate, questions about themselves, their family, etc.
- Yo/Mi familia/Mis amigos
- Mi barrio/Mi casa/Quehaceres domésticos
- Mi colegio/instituto
- Pasatiempos (deportes/ música/ la tele/ el cine/ moda etc)
- Vacaciones (pasado y futuro)
- El fin de semana pasado
- El futuro (universidad, el verano, trabajo ideal)
- El español y la cultura española
- Trabajo y dinero
- Comida, ropa e ir de compras
- Noticias y temas contingentes
- Learn the question words! Qué,dónde, cuándo, quién, cómo, cuánto…
- Prepare 1 minute speech for each of these topics
- Start writing a short paragraph for each topic
- Try to cover other contents while talking about a specific topic (for example, talk about food when talking about Spain, talk about technology when talking about your friends)
- Try to use all the tenses even if you’re not talking about events in the past or the future!
- Try to have a wide vocabulary, go to the dictionary and find synonymous when writing about your topics.
- Try to learn as much vocabulary for each topic as you can, even if you are not talking about that on your written paragraph.
- Remember you control de conversation; you can drive the conversation to what you know if you are prepared to change from one topic to another before the examiner ask you new questions.
Some sample questions:
How much? / How many?
Which? / What?
Why? / For what purpose?
Useful phrases during the exam:
Bueno / Pues
Lo siento, no entiendo la pregunta
I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question
¿Puede repetir la pregunta por favor?
Can you repeat the question please?
¿Puede hablar más lento por favor?
Can you speak more slowly please?
La verdad es que…
The truth is that…
Para decir verdad…
To tell you the truth…
En mi opinión…
In my opinion…
Pues, es una pregunta díficil. Vamos a ver…
Well, it is a difficult question. Let’s see…
I think that…
Muchas gracias. Que tenga un buen día.
Thank you very much. Have a good day. (To finish the exam)
To practice, write five paragraphs on five different topics. For example: family, university, travel, work and the Spanish culture.
Now that you’ve chosen five topics, start writing down your own ideas.
Always give more information than what you are asked for. This way you can have the control of the conversation. That’s why it is important you prepare the different topics in advance.