If you've seen our fancy new CPE Speaking Test Guide you'll know that we included some audio examples of Long Turn speeches.

In this article we focus on four of them, with feedback and analysis from certified Cambridge Oral Examiner Helen Ingram.

Listen to the audio, make some notes about the strengths and weaknesses of the speakers, then read Helen's notes.


1. What makes people work more effectively?
o rules
o rewards
o other people

Grammatical
Resource
- Range of structures used largely accurately (e.g. modals, relative clauses, pseudo-clefting, gerunds/infinitives, etc.)

- Occasional minor grammatical slips
- Could do with a greater variety of advanced structures (just 1 or 2 examples would suffice)
Lexical
Resource
- A good range of appropriate vocabulary and collocations used (co-workers, colleagues, competent, suggest solutions, co-exist, co-operate)
- Uses vocabulary to offer opinions on the topic in an abstract way
- Could vary language more to give opinions
- Would be nice to hear a couple of idioms or expressions
Discourse
Management
- Answers question clearly straightaway
- Overall a clear structure with some nice links between ideas (e.g.. 'and for rules ....')
- Repeats Q and options at the beginning to introduce topic (and 'buy time!' - a perfectly acceptable strategy)
- Produced extended speech without difficulty or much hesitation
- All content is relevant to the task and coherent
- Could do with a greater variety of linking words
- Some potentially unnatural pauses (although this is actually very similar to how she speaks in real life, so not necessarily a problem!)

Pronunciation
- Intelligible and consistent throughout
- Good use of intonation to enhance meaning (e.g. lists, rhetorical questions)
- Clarity of phonological features
- Accurate word and sentence stress throughout
- Reduced forms and connected speech clearly evident and appropriately used

Helen says:

Forms of inversion starting with 'rarely' or 'not only' are fairly simple and great to slip in (e.g. 'not only can this motivate people to work harder, but it can also ....' or 'rarely are people motivated by financial rewards alone').


2. What are some common problems that people can encounter while travelling?
o documents
o transport
o accommodation

Grammatical
Resource
- Range of structures used largely accurately (e.g. past and present modals, relative clauses, basic conditionals, gerunds/infinitives, etc.) - Could make better use of ellipsis in parts to avoid repetition of words like "country" or "staff"
- Could do with a greater variety of advanced structures (just 1 or 2 examples would suffice)
Lexical
Resource
- Great use of a range of vocabulary - phrasal verbs, expressions, collocations etc. that is both CPE-level and specific to the topic (e.g. 'bureaucratic / valid passport / diplomatic issues / home country / delayed flights / break down in the middle of nowhere / get a ride / get a lift / frustration / noisy neighbours,etc.)
- Uses vocabulary to offer opinions on the topic in an abstract way
- An idiom or expression wouldn't go amiss!
Discourse
Management
- Clear,opening setting out topic and structure
- Produced,extended speech without any difficulty or much hesitation
- Uses natural-sounding fillers to enhance overall effect of speech (things like 'you know' and 'like')
- Overall,a clear structure with some nice links between ideas (e.g. 'about transport ...' / 'also ...' / 'to finish ...')
- A nice conclusion at the end to wrap up
- All content is relevant to the task and coherent
- Repetition of 'about ...' as a linking device - it would be better to use different, and more complex, words/phrases

Pronunciation
- Intelligible and consistent throughout
- Good use of intonation to enhance meaning (e.g. lists, rhetorical questions)
- Clarity of phonological features
- Accurate word and sentence stress throughout
- Reduced forms and connected speech clearly evident and appropriately used

Helen Says:

A good trick here would be using different forms of the 2nd/3rd conditionals instead of only the 1st (e.g. problems that 'could happen, were you to book your hotel online', or things that 'wouldn't have happened had you not booked online).


3. What do people gain from travel?
o personal
o culture
o personality

Grammatical
Resource
- Mostly shows good control of standard structures (e.g.. conditionals, relative clauses, modals etc.)
- Needs to improve control of basic features to eliminate 'fossilised' errors
- Requires a wider range of structures, both basic and advanced/complex
Lexical
Resource
- A fantastic range of wonderful, rich vocabulary being used (e.g.. thought-provoking / builds confidence / get out of your comfort zone / cultural sensitivity / globalised world / norms and values / get off the beaten track / blend in with / understand your limits / prejudice / diminish)
- Variety of vocab used to present opinions (e.g.. 'in my opinion' / 'from my
perspective')
- Uses vocabulary to offer opinions appropriately on the topic in an abstract way


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Discourse
Management
- Clear opening setting out topic and structure
- Produced extended speech without too much difficulty or much hesitation
- Overall a really clear structure with great links between ideas (one of the aspects I'd like to mention / also / another thing that I believe is that ... / another thing that I think is important is ... / for example / just to conclude, I'd like to ...)
- A lovely conclusion at the end to wrap up
- All content is relevant to the task and coherent


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Pronunciation
- Intelligible and consistent throughout
- Uses intonation to assist with meaning
- Largely clear production of phonological features
- Largely accurate word and sentence stress throughout
- Some good use of connected speech and reduced forms
- Occasional issues (e.g.. 'live' x 'leave' [minimal pairs], 'globalised' [-ed endings], 'infinite' [word stress])
- Some words get 'tongue-tied', but not overly problematic

4. How can city transport be made to work better?
o investment
o staffing
o organisation


Grammatical
Resource
- Good range of structures used accurately, appropriately and flexibly throughout (e.g. modals, relative clauses, passives, ellipsis, past subjunctive, conditionals, gerunds/infinitives, etc.)

- As always, the more complex forms you use (correctly!) the higher your grade

Lexical
Resource
- A great range of appropriate vocabulary and collocations used flexibly and confidently (e.g. inefficient / unsafe / wide investment / investing in / protect from / excessive sun / wi-fi hotspot / city dwellers / huge lack of)

- An idiom/expression or 2 would push this mark up even further

Discourse
Management
- Some nice links between ideas (e.g.. ‘I think it's a good idea to ...' / 'The other issue that caught my attention [...] was ...' / 'on top of all that ...' )
- Repeats Q at the beginning to introduce topic (and 'buys time!', a perfectly acceptable strategy)
- Produced extended speech without difficulty or much hesitation
- All content is relevant to the task,
- Structure of answer not always completely crystal clear - feels a little disorganised
at times, despite the linkers
- By dealing with the system only in Natal, rather than including it as an
example/short anecdote, she risks not answering the question in a way that is
abstract enough

Pronunciation
- Intelligible and consistent throughout
- Good use of intonation to enhance meaning (e.g. genuinely sounds p*ssed off by public transport in Natal - don't go monotone, let your feelings show!)
- Clarity of phonological features
- Accurate word and sentence stress throughout
- Reduced forms and connected speech clearly evident and appropriately used

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