English Video Lessons #2 - English Conversation Skills - CAE

English Video Lessons #2 Great Tips For Improving Your English Conversation Skills. Level: Intermediate

English Video LessonsLast week we published the first in a series of English video lessons produced by the Cambridge ESOL team, and today we are pleased to present to you the second video in that series.

This time, the presenter offers some great tips for performing well in the speaking part of the Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) test.

The CAE is the advanced general English examination provided by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations in England. You can read more about it here.

The CAE is actually more popular in Europe, but at Q Language we do occasionally help prepare students for this exam.

Whilst the tips offered by the presenter (Jessica) in this video are geared towards the CAE, it’s worth noting that the advice given can also be applied to most other English speaking exams and, indeed, conversational skills in general, whatever the language.

Here is the transcript of the video:

Hello, my name’s Jessica. Today we’re talking about the Dos and Dont’s of the Cambridge English Advanced Speaking Test, also knowns as CAE.

As always, preparation is key! If you attend English lessons, make sure you get plenty of speaking practice in class, participating in groups and in paired activities. This will help you to interact effectively in the test with your partneter, by initiating discussion and responding to their questions and statements, and with your interlocutor, who will ask questions and give instructions.

So, let’s move on to what you should do in a speaking test – the Dos – and what you shouldn’t do – the Don’ts – for the Cambridge English Advanced Speaking Test.

Here are the Dos:

  • Show that you can communicate effectively.
  • Give full and extended responses.
  • Raise the level of your language above the mundane.
  • Listen carefully to what your examiner has asked you to do and to what your partner says.ks set.
  • Remember the instructions and focus on the tasks set.
  • Involve your partner in conversation and create opportunities for them to speak.
  • Also, listen to what they say and react to their opinions and statements.

Now for the Dont’s:

  • Don’t panic if you cannot remember or don’t know a particular word; just keep going and paraphrase instead.
  • Don’t merely describe the visuals.
  • Don’t speak during your partner’s long turn.
  • Don’t let your partner always take the lead, you also must initiate Don’t waste your opportunities to show the examiners what you can do.
  • Don’t speak too quietly; remember, the examiners need to hear what you are saying.
  • You should be equiped with the right kind of language, for example:
  • Giving personal information.
  • Exchanging information and opinions.
  • Giving reasons.
  • Speculating.
  • Agreeing and disagreeing politely.
  • Justifying opinions.
  • Negotiating.

This will ensure you are in a good position to show the examiners what you are capable of.

Thank you for watching.

Find out more about Certificate in Advanced English here.

Reader Interactions


    • Q-Admin says

      Thank you for your comments

      CAE is the exam designed for those with an advanced level of English. It is more difficult that other exams as there is a minimum level for passing. Exams such as IELTS are graded from the absolute beginner to high-advanced so there is not a pass or fail grade. However, as a comparison, CAE would be equal to those at the IELTS level 7 or above.

      Hope this helps and happy studying !

    • Andre says

      Hello, I’ve been buckling down towards the CAE certificate, I might sit for it in Dec this year, anyhow, If you dont mind I would be glad to have some advice regarding the exam, I really want to pass, by the way I didnt know CAE was that difficult even for natives, I really thought CPE was the somewhat hard for natives,

      thank you

      • Q-Admin says

        Andre, as mentioned in this post, we do occasionally help students with preparation for the CAE exam, so please either email us or use the contact form on this page with your request and we will do our best to assist you.

        Meanwhile, here is a link to a good article that will help you with CAE Exam techniques.

        Both CAE and CPE can be quite challenging even for native English speakers. However, like most exams, how well you perform depends greatly on the amount of practice you put in and how well you learn the individual exam techniques; it is not purely down to your knowledge of the broader subject. Even native English speakers with a good command of the English language would need to put in a lot of practice as well as study the CAE Exam techniques rigorously in order to do well.

        Good luck to you! 🙂

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