Graded Examinations in Spoken English

Sample interactive prompts – Intermediate stage (Grades 7-9)

The Interactive phase – GESE Intermediate Stage (Grades 7-9)
The purpose of the Interactive phase is for candidates to demonstrate their ability to take control over and maintain the interaction while expressing the language functions of the grade. • In the Interactive phase, the emphasis is placed upon the candidate’s ability to use functional language rather than upon the accurate use of the grammatical structures listed for the grade. In addition to general functions such as requesting information, some of the language functions listed for the particular grade should arise naturally from each task prompt. Therefore, candidates must be able to understand and use the language functions of the grade to take a full part in the exchange. It is important that, once the examiner has set up the situation, the candidate takes responsibility for the interaction by asking questions and commenting on the examiner’s responses. The interaction will take the form of multiple turns, with the examiner’s turns being much shorter than those of the candidate. In some cases the interaction may involve role play but the examiner and candidate are free to ‘be themselves’ so as to create as authentic an exchange as possible. In the Interactive phase, the responsibility for maintaining the interaction is the candidate’s. If a candidate fails to maintain the interaction of this phase, the examiner will not intervene and take control. In such a case, the phase will not extend to the full four minutes and the candidate’s performance will not be rated highly. Candidates may ask the examiner to repeat the initial oral prompt if necessary. Those responsible for preparing candidates for the Interactive phase are strongly advised to help them practise: • question formations using the grammatical structures of the preceding grades • expressing the functions of the grade in a variety of ways • holding conversations which naturally result in the use of the language functions of the grade • strategies to maintain the flow of conversation • taking the initiative and controlling the direction of the conversation.

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On the following pages are some SAMPLE interactive prompts for the Intermediate stage. Please note these are samples and will NOT be used in an actual examination. At each Grade, the examiner will introduce this phase by saying: ‘For the next part, I'll tell you something. Then, you have to ask me questions to find out more information and make comments. You need to keep the conversation going. After four minutes, I'll end the conversation. Are you ready?’

making suggestions. I haven't heard from a friend of mine who lives in Australia and I'm beginning to get a bit worried. I don't know the best way to start. but I’m not sure which one to take. but then I was helped by one special teacher. My local college has a wonderful range of courses and I want to do something. making suggestions) 2. but then I saw something one day that made me feel differently. giving advice and highlighting advantages and disadvantages) 8. spends all his money going to football matches. (Possible functions: making suggestions. I used to enjoy visiting zoos. Now I'd like to find a new hobby which would help me to meet some different people. eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions. expressing possibility and uncertainty. eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions) . My nephew. expressing agreement and disagreement) 6. I'm not sure about it. giving advice and highlighting advantages and disadvantages. (Possible functions: giving advice and highlighting advantages and disadvantages. eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions. (Possible functions: describing past habits. I found something which might be quite valuable and I’m not sure what to do with it. I saw my neighbour’s daughter stealing from a shop recently. eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions. expressing agreement and disagreement. When I first started school I always used to be in trouble. eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions) 10. (Possible functions: eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions. giving advice and highlighting advantages and disadvantages. I used to do all kinds of hobbies. making suggestions) 4. When I was little. giving advice and highlighting advantages and disadvantages) 3. (Possible functions: describing past habits.Grade 7 – Sample Interactive Prompts 1. who loves football. eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions) 9. Now he's asking me for money and I'm not sure what to do. (Possible functions: eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions. (Possible functions: eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions. (Possible functions: describing past habits. Though I'd really like to feel healthier. It's my niece's/nephew's birthday soon and though I'd like to give her/him a pet. (Possible functions: giving advice and highlighting advantages and disadvantages. (Possible functions: making suggestions. I’m not sure what to do. expressing possibility and uncertainty) 7. expressing possibility and uncertainty. expressing possibility and uncertainty. While I was walking around yesterday evening. giving advice and highlighting advantages and disadvantages. eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions) 5. making suggestions.

reporting the conversation of others. persuading and discouraging) 7. but I'm not sure I agree. (Possible functions: giving advice and highlighting advantages and disadvantages. I don’t know what to do. speculating. making suggestions. I love my job. but says she needs my help. (Possible functions: expressing feelings and emotions. I received a really strange phone call yesterday. expressing impossibility. speculating. (Possible functions: giving advice and highlighting advantages and disadvantages. eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions) 15. (Possible functions: expressing feelings and emotions. I'm not sure about getting involved. My friend's invited me to go to America with his next year. speculating. (Possible functions: speculating. who is an actress. (Possible functions: reporting the conversation of others. though there are times when I think I'd like to do something completely different. (Possible functions: reporting the conversation of others. I’m not sure it would be possible for a number of reasons. I want to explore this area at the weekend but I don't know where to go exactly and which is the best way to travel. I don't know whether to accept. (Possible functions: expressing feelings and emotions. Even though there's a major prize to be won. making suggestions. Although I love [the candidate’s country] and would like to live here. persuading and discouraging) . I'm not sure I want to go. giving advice and highlighting advantages and disadvantages) 12. My friend wants to enter a competition. is getting married soon and it's going to be a very unusual wedding. expressing feelings and emotions) 2. expressing agreement and disagreement) Grade 8 – Sample Interactive prompts 1. persuading and discouraging) 5. One of my colleagues at work told me she saw our boss stealing something from the office. expressing feelings and emotions) 3. I was told something that I think might change my life! (Possible functions: speculating. speculating) 4. persuading and discouraging. but because of what happened the last time we went on holiday together.11. expressing feelings and emotions) 6. I was amazed when I looked in the box. (Possible functions: eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions. eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions. (Possible functions: giving advice and highlighting advantages and disadvantages. reporting the conversation of others. expressing possibility and uncertainty) 13. making suggestions. My friend. reporting the conversation of others. One of my friends told me that she overheard a very strange conversation on the bus the other day. It's often said that life was much better 100 years age. eliciting further information and expansion of ideas and opinions) 14. Before my neighbours moved away last week they gave me a box of books which they said they didn’t want. (Possible functions: describing past habits. I've seen a flat advertised in the newspaper and have been thinking of moving to a new area.

(Possible functions: reporting the conversation of others. hypothesising) . expressing assumptions. evaluating options. (Possible functions: expressing impossibility. I found it hard to believe. When I came back from holiday. evaluating options. (Possible functions: expressing feelings and emotions. expressing feelings and emotions. I don’t always believe what I read. They had lots of ideas and interesting reasons. (Possible functions: expressing impossibility. speculating) 15. expressing abstract ideas) 4. persuading and discouraging) 13. hypothesising) 3. speculating) 10. paraphrasing. hypothesising) 2. speculating) 12. My husband/wife has suddenly announced that when we retire s/he hopes we’ll sell our house and change our way of life completely. expressing assumptions. (Possible functions: expressing regrets. I'm not sure if I want to go. speculating. I remember talking to some children about whether they should be given weekly pocket money by their parents or have to earn it. speculating. Especially the story I read this morning. (Possible functions: expressing feelings and emotions. speculating) 11. I still can’t believe my good luck. expressing regrets. It makes me wonder if they make it all up. wishes and hopes. He wants me to go with him this year but I'm not sure if I want to go there. (Possible functions: evaluating past actions or course of events. speculating. Last week my friend told me about a strange experience she’d had recently. If I hadn’t met my best friend. my neighbour told me about some strange things that had happened in the street while I was away. reporting the conversation of others. expressing feelings and emotions. One of my old school-friends has been organising a party to meet up with all the people who were in our class at school. I would have spent the money in a very different way to how I’d spend it now. Sometimes I wonder what it might have been like to grow up with lots of brothers and sisters. expressing assumptions. If I’d won the lottery when I was younger. Even though I like to read newspapers. I wish I’d applied for it. persuading and discouraging) 14. (Possible functions: expressing feelings and emotions. My friend went to New York for a holiday last year and he said he loved it. reporting the conversation of others. (Possible functions: expressing impossibility. (Possible functions: expressing abstract ideas. wishes and hopes. I think my life would have been different in many ways. persuading and discouraging) Grade 9 – Sample Interactive prompts 1.8. (Possible functions: hypothesising. I was on the train the other day and got into conversation with the passenger opposite. I saw an amazing job advertised last year. (Possible functions: reporting the conversation of others. reporting the conversation of others) 9.

expressing assumptions) Disclaimer: The above materials have been provided to assist teachers with the preparation of learners for the Trinity Graded Examinations in Spoken English. paraphrasing. wishes and hopes) 6. She told me she made two bad decisions last year and wishes she could change them now. expressing regrets. hypothesising) 11. as well as language skills. paraphrasing. My friend and I both witnessed the same road accident a few weeks ago and remembered what had happened very clearly but we gave the police two very different versions of events. wishes and hopes. It was funny at first but now I'm getting concerned. wishes and hopes. but something happened the other day which couldn’t have been anything else. Other centuries seem to have been much more interesting. hypothesising. Learning a foreign language is supposed to give insights into a new culture. (Possible functions: evaluating options. expressing regrets. (Possible functions: expressing assumptions. (Possible functions: expressing regrets. (Possible functions: expressing assumptions. evaluating past actions or course of events) 7. wishes and hopes. I think I might have been quite a good musician. hypothesising) 14. (Possible functions: evaluating options. If I'd taken music more seriously when I was younger. expressing assumptions. I have very good reasons for disagreeing. wishes and hopes. evaluating past actions or course of events) 9. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t been born in the 20th century. (Possible functions: expressing regrets. expressing abstract ideas. evaluating options. hypothesising. He says he was given a very strange interview so doesn't know whether to take the job or not. My uncle's bought an old house and has told me all about how he's re-designed houses in the past. expressing assumptions) 10. My friend’s been feeling really upset. paraphrasing. wishes and hopes. (Possible functions: expressing abstract ideas. hypothesising. expressing assumptions. evaluating past actions or course of events. hypothesising. evaluating options) 12. evaluating options) 13. Please make sure you consult the syllabus fully for all requirements of the examinations. I complained to my boss the other week about my salary and now I'm beginning to wish I hadn't said anything. For the past few years. expressing abstract ideas. My cousin's been offered a new job. but I've no idea who might have sent them. hypothesising. Trinity will not accept appeals which cite the use of examination materials in support of the appeal. paraphrasing. (Possible functions: evaluating past actions or course of events. It is often said that your school days are the best days of your life. hypothesising) 8.5. expressing regrets. . I’ve never believed in telepathy. evaluating past actions and course of events) 15. (Possible functions: expressing regrets. He's asked me to help him with this one but I can imagine some problems. hypothesising. expressing assumptions. I wonder if this is true. evaluating past actions or course of events. (Possible functions: expressing assumptions. I've been sent a birthday card with a romantic message. (Possible functions: expressing abstract ideas.

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