In 2020, changes will be made to the A2 Key and A2 Key for Schools exams.
I’m planning to write a series of posts to focus on the new and revised tasks, as I’ve been preparing training sessions on them and have some suggestions as to how to prepare students to do well in them.
In this first post, I’m going to break down Part 2 of the Speaking Test. This part has changed, and no longer involves asking and answering questions to share factual information about a place or an event.
From 2020, this part of the Speaking Test will have two phases.
In the Phase 1, candidates are given some pictures on a topic and asked to discuss them. The pictures could be of activities, places or things.
Let’s look at the instructions and the pictures from the 2020 A2 Key for Schools Handbook, available here.
The interlocutor, who conducts the interview, will start by giving the candidates the pictures they will talk about.
In this example, the candidates look at pictures of different hobbies.
They have to say if they like or don’t like the hobbies in the pictures and also say why they like or don’t like each hobby.
Tip: They should keep talking till the interlocutor stops them. (between 1 and 2 minutes).
Next, the interlocutor will ask each candidate one or more questions related to the theme (in this case, hobbies).
At the end of Phase 1, the interlocutor will ask which hobby/place/thing each candidate likes best.
After Phase 1 has finished, the interlocutor will take back the booklet with the pictures.
Next, in Phase 2, which lasts up to 2 minutes, the interlocutor asks each candidate two more questions on the same theme.
Possible topics include activities and places relating to daily life (school, free time, transport, towns and cities, holidays).
Tip: For ideas and lexis that your students should be familiar with, download the A2 Key Vocabulary List, also available from the 2020 website.
Topics on the List include Clothes, Education and Media, Food and Drink, Hobbies and Leisure, House and Home and others.
Tip: Make sure your students are familiar with the wordlist, as these words will be tested on the different parts of the A2 Key and A2 Key for Schools exams.