A COMPLETE GUIDE TO DOING SPEAKING AT HOME.
5 SIMPLE STEPS TO PRACTICE iTEP SPEAKING AT HOME.
During your iTEP preparation, you will have a certain period when you do not have access to a teacher but when you need to practice. In that case you will have to practice alone including all the skills that would ideally require a teacher such as Speaking and Writing.
In this article, we are going to explore a step by step guide on how to practice iTEP Speaking at home on your own.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED.
1.A list of questions for both part 1 and 2. If you do not have access to those questions, I have provided you with a sample which can be used.
2.A notebook and pen to make notes before speaking.
3.A cellphone for timing and recording your answers.
STEPS TO FOLLOW
1.Get a list of questions ready on your table.
2.Prepare your answer
3.Record your answer
4.Listen and evaluate your response
5.Repeat the process with a new set of questions.
Have a list of questions from both Speaking Part 1 and Part 2 of the Speaking Test. The best source of questions is always the iTEP Preparation guide but if you do not have it, you can use our list of questions here
Or better yet you can use questions from other exams like IELTS Speaking Part 1. A quick googling can give you an unlimited list of these questions.
The questions from Part 1 should range from hobbies, education, work and life. Education, health, Global warming, science and technology and the commonest topics in Speaking Part 2.
Prepare your answer as you would in an official exam. You need to read the question and think of ideas to use in responding to the question. I can’t stress it enough that you don’t have to write the whole answer but rather the ideas to use in coming up with an answer to the question
For Part 1, you need to use 30 seconds to think of a direct response to the question and add a relevant detail to give the answer context.
For Part 2, there is much more work you have to do in only 45 seconds. While listening, you need to write down:
Think of an introduction,
Your position on the topic,
Reasons to support your answer,
An example to strengthen your point more
Finally, a conclusion. You should note these down just as ideas as during the exam due to the nervousness and stress, you may forget while in the middle of giving your response so it is always better to jot down these ideas.
Record your answer. Using a cellphone or any voice recording device you can find, record your answer clearly. Remember to remain within the time limit. For Part 1 keep it at 45 seconds while for Part 2, 60 seconds is enough.
Evaluate your response.This is the most critical step in this practice exercise. After recording your answer, you need to evaluate it using the Marking Criteria used by iTEP examiners. With reference to the iTEP practice guide, there are basically 4 parameters used to assess your answer.
1.Accuracy and appropriateness.
This is where you need to check whether you have answered the question correctly. You can be amazed by how many students respond but actually never answer the question. After listening to that you need to check for appropriateness. This assesses the suitability of your answer to the question that is asked using the right register of words( formal or informal language) as the question requires.
You have to listen and be cautious of the grammatical mistakes you are committing if any. You also have to check for the range of grammatical structures you have used in your answer. The more grammatical structures the better although this may not necessarily mean that you have to keep on mixing tenses to get a good score. You just have to have what is enough.
Under vocabulary, as a candidate, you have to listen to the topic specific words you have used while responding to the question. Watch out for multiple repetitions as it is a clear sign of limited lexical resource.Paraphrasing is also another important thing at this stage.To get a higher mark in vocabulary you have to use high level C1 or C2 words, you just have to use a range of words that are specific to the topic in question..
4.Development of the idea.
The final item on the check list is how well your idea(s) are developed. In this criterion,you have to listen and verify if the response has an answer and the answer is backed with reasons for Part 1. In part 2, you need to check for a clear introduction, a clear position,reason(s) and example(s) and a conclusion. The candidate must come to a conclusion because this is a discussion question.
Other details you may check in the response may also include :
Clarity of speech – Whether the person speaking is audible and clear.
Pronunciation – Ability to utter words correctly.
Fluency – Giving an answer without a lot of hesitation. In addition to that, listen to whether the length of the answer is satisfactory. Not too short and not too long.
Keep on practising and hitting the record button again until you feel that you have improved. At the start this will feel awkward to record and listen to your voice but as time goes on you will get used to it.
Not having a teacher should not stop you from practising and improving your speaking at home. With these few steps you can improve your speaking and get the grade that you want in your iTEP test.