Speaking well in English
Speaking English as a second language is never easy as it involves many skills.
Typically, when you begin learning it’s difficult to remember everything , the vocabulary, the grammar, the pronunciation. Usually new students also translate what they want to say from Spanish into English and then back into Spanish to see if it was correct. This means that students speak too slowly – but with practice and time, as students’ confidence improves, they translate less and less.
One thing you should always do is listen to yourself, to what you say and any mistakes you make. If you do this you can then self-correct any errors. This is very important when you do the speaking in the exam as when you self-correct a mistake that mistake is erased and doesn’t affect your grade.
So, try not to translate but do listen to yourself.
One of the easiest ways to sound more fluent when speaking is to use phrasal verbs and expressions (hot topic, come across, for example). This comes with practise.
The collaborative task is a conversation, you need to speak, listen and respond. You also need to try to be yourself and not sound like a robot. Having a genuine conversion in English with some mistakes is much better than a perfect but robotic and unnatural conversation.
The topic under discussion is usually a hypothetical situation, for example the affects of different technology on our lives. It requires good vocabulary, particularly abstract nouns – for example, teaching, education, learning.
You also need to use non specific vocabulary, for example linkers… However, despite, although, nevertheless etc.
Expressing your opinion in English
Here’s some specific ways of expressing your opinion in the collaborative speaking…. Particularly when it’s a current hot topic such as global warming/the environment, but also education etc.
…. concerns/worries me a lot
…. concerns/worries me greatly
…. strikes me as the most important issue of our time
I’ve struggled with this issue
I’ve thought about this often
I’ve thought about this a lot
I’ve often considered this
It’s a complex issue
There are many opinions on this
I find it difficult to express my opinion on this
What worries/concerns me is..
Disagreeing in English
I couldn’t disagree more
I can’t agree with/accept that
I don’t quite see your point
That’s not how I see it
That hasn’t been my experience
I think you’re mistaken
Agreeing in English
You’re absolutely right
I couldn’t agree more
That’s how I see it
Asking for clarification in English
I’m sorry I didn’t quite understand that
I’m not sure I understand you correctly
So what you’re saying is….
Are you saying that….
Could you explain that….
In what way is….
Spanish speakers often use the verb to be with agree, example I’m agree. This is absolutely not correct in English. I agree is the correct way of expressing yourself.