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Four Key Questions:

Enhancing Your
English Speaking Skills

Timothy Hogan
Four Key Questions

 What do I say?
 How do I say that?
 Did you get that?
 How did I do?
Key Question 1

What do I say?
What do I say?
Needs analysis

 What language do I  What language features


need? do I need to improve?
– Language functions – Pronunciation
– Topics – Fluency
– Discourse management
– Interaction
What do I say?
Language functions

 Asking  Telling
– For help – Someone how to do
– For directions something
– For advice – Someone what they should
– How much something costs do
– How something works
– Someone the advantages
of something
– How often something
breaks
– Someone where something
is located
– What something is – Someone your opinion
– What is wrong with
something
– Someone how well they do
something
– What something is made of
What do I say?
Language functions

 Comparing  Clarifying
 Contrasting  Classifying
 Agreeing  Describing
 Disagreeing  Suggesting
 Apologizing  Congratulating
 Thanking  Generalizing
 Reporting  Complaining
 Summarizing  Praising
What do I say?
Topics

 Experiences  Weather
 Family members  Sports
 Needs and wants  Clothing
 Opinions and feelings  Food and drink
 Home and community  Traveling
 Job and career  Health
 Friends and colleagues  Media
 Ambitions and plans  Shopping
Key Question 2

How do I say that?


How do I say that?
Pronunciation -- Sounds

 Vowels  R
– got, home, come, look – air, or, ear, ire, err, are
– fall, fool, full, foal – robe, rent, rack, rule
– banana, dutiful, follow – roar, rubber, renter

 Clusters  L
– asked, urged, inches – lee, lay, low, lie
– speak, bread, threaten – Al, ale, ell, eel
– strength, blades, – Lyle, lull, label, level
dredged, trembling
How do I say that?
Pronunciation -- Stress

 One-syllable words  chief, bowl, sense

 Multi-syllable words  promise, alone


– Stressed syllables  discount, discount
 Louder
 Longer
 object, object
 Clearer vowels
– Unstressed syllables
 Softer
 Shorter
 Reduced vowels
How do I say that?
Pronunciation -- Rhythm

 3 syllables  5 syllables
– 12 3 – 123 45
– objective – volatility
– 123 – 12345
– plentiful – justification

 4 syllables
 6 syllables
– 123 4
– 1234 56
– operation
– authoritarian
– 1234
– 123456
– evaluate
– paleontology
How do I say that?
Fluency

 Minimize hesitations and fillers


Uh, eh, mmm, and uh,
 Eliminate restarts
Basically, I think that, uh, that uh, I think,
basically, I feel, in my opinion, uh…. What was
I saying?
How do I say that?
Fluency

 Stress content words


One of the things I like about Taipei are its back alleys.
 Content words
– Usually nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs
– Longer, louder, clearer
 Structure words
– Usually prepositions, articles, conjunctions
– Shorter, softer, reduced
One of the things I like about Taipei are its back alleys.
How do I say that?
Fluency

 Stress content words


One of the things I like about Taipei are its back alleys. You can be
walking along a busy street, turn into an alley, and all of a
sudden, you’re in a quiet part of town. You see shops you would never
find on one of the avenues, and little restaurants where you can get a
bowl of noodles. There are often walls along these alleys, and behind them

you catch glimpses of gardens, flowering vines climbing

the sides of buildings, or even ripe papayas waiting to be picked.


How do I say that?
Fluency

 Speak in phrases
One of the things / I like about Taipei / are its back
alleys. / You can be / walking along a busy street, /
turn into an alley, / and all of a sudden, / you’re in a /
quiet part of town. / You see shops / you would never
find / on one of the avenues, / little restaurants /
where you can / get a bowl of / noodles. / There are
often walls / along these alleys, / and behind them /
you catch glimpses / of gardens, / flowering vines /
climbing the sides / of buildings, / or even ripe papayas
/ waiting to be picked.
How do I say that?
Fluency

 Plan what you want to say


What do you like about Taipei?

3. Quiet back alleys


4. Convenient transportation
5. Vibrant urban atmosphere
Key Question 3

Did you get that?


Did you get that?
Discourse Management

 Take a clear stand


– What do you like about Taipei?
– Should casino gambling be allowed in Penghu?
 Frame your answer
– There are three things I like about Taipei.
– In my opinion, casino gambling should be allowed in
Penghu. I’ll give you two reasons why.
 Use transitions
– First of all, …
– More importantly, …
– In conclusion, …
Did you get that?
Interaction

 Initiate a dialogue
– I just came from a difficult meeting with some clients.
– You won’t believe what I saw on my way to work this
morning.
– I heard you just returned from an overseas trip.
– Have you been following the stock market?
– Would you like to hear what happened to me this morning?
– What did you think of the presentation we saw last night?
Did you get that?
Interaction

 Take your turn


I bought a new car yesterday.
Wonderful! What kind?
A Toyota Wish.
A Wish? Nice. What color is it?
Silver.
That’s my favorite color. When can I see it?
Right now. Come on. It’s parked outside.
Did you get that?
Interaction

 Take your turn


– I just came from a difficult meeting with some clients.
– You won’t believe what I saw on my way to work this
morning.
– I heard you just returned from an overseas trip.
– Have you been following the stock market?
– Would you like to hear what happened to me this morning?
– What did you think of the presentation we saw last night?
Key Question 4

How did I do?


Key Question 4
How did I do?

 Assessingyour English ability with BULATS


(Business Language Testing Service)
– BULATS Computer Test
– BULATS Standard Test
– BULATS Writing Test
 BULATS Speaking Test
BULATS Speaking Test
Preparation

 Familiarize yourself with the types of tasks in


the test.
 Examine the rating criteria and determine
what aspects of your English need
improvement.
 Practice speaking, specifically focusing on
the skills you need to improve.
BULATS Speaking Test

 Part 1 – Interview
 Part 2 – Presentation
 Part 3 – Information exchange

and discussion
BULATS Speaking Test: Part 1

 Answerexaminer’s questions for


approximately 4 minutes.
– Introduction
– Current work or studies
– Travel
– Language learning
– Future career prospects
– Personal interests
BULATS Speaking Test: Part 1

 Watch Part 1 Video


BULATS Speaking Test
Preparation for Part 1

 Practice talking about


– yourself
– your job or studies
– your career plans
– your interests
 Developcompensation strategies to use
when you are unsure how to answer.
BULATS Speaking Test: Part 2
 Select one topic from a list of three.
– Prepare your talk for 1 minute.
 Speak for 1 minute on that topic.
– Something your company is doing now, has done
in the past, or plans to do in the future
– Something you are doing now, have done in the
past, or plan to do in the future
 Include the information described in the
instructions.
BULATS Speaking Test: Part 2
Sample

Describe an important business meeting you


attended.
You should say:
where it was;
what is was about;
why it was important.

What were the most interesting moments?


BULATS Speaking Test: Part 2

 Watch Part 2 Video


BULATS Speaking Test
Preparation for Part 2

 Practice
– speaking on a topic for one minute
– organizing your talk so it is clear and logical
– delivering your talk smoothly
– answering questions about the content of your
talk
BULATS Speaking Test: Part 3

 Information Exchange
– Participate in a role-play.
 Find out 3 pieces of information.
 Discussion
– Discuss a question related to the role-play for 1 to
2 minutes.
BULATS Speaking Test: Part 3
Sample

Information Exchange
You are making the arrangements for a one-day conference at a local hotel.
The Examiner is the Conference Organizer for the hotel and is visiting you
to discuss the conference.

Find out this information:


the size of the largest conference room;
the cost for that room;
the equipment available.
Do you think the hotel is offering you a good service for the price it is
charging?

Discussion
Now, discuss this topic with the Examiner:
What makes a successful conference?
BULATS Speaking Test: Part 3

 Watch Part 3 Video


BULATS Speaking Test
Preparation for Part 3

 Practice participating actively in a role play


and a discussion.
– Initiating a dialogue
– Formulating questions
– Responding naturally
– Giving your opinion
Rating Criteria

 Scores from 0 to 5
 Accuracy of language
– Are you able to use the right vocabulary and grammar
without making mistakes?
 Range of language
– How large is your vocabulary?
– How much grammar you know?
 Pronunciation
– Can you pronounce words accurately?
– Do you use stress and intonation effectively?
Rating Criteria

 Discourse management
– How well do you speak when giving longer answers?
– How fluent are you?
– How well do you organize what you say?
 Interactive communication
– How easy is it for the examiner to speak with you?
– How much help do you need?
– How well do you join the conversation?
 Overall ability
Enhancing Your
English Speaking Skills

The 4 Key Questions

3. What do I say?  Identify language resources


4. How do I say that?  Develop your techniques
5. Did you get that?  Get constructive feedback
6. How did I do?  Measure your improvement

Thank You
On the Internet

www.tabf.org.tw

www.lttc.ntu.edu.tw

www.bulats.org

timothyhogan@hotmail.com