The oral expression and interaction test for the B2 level of the DELE is usually the one that causes the most nerves among candidates. Do you want to know how to get through it in the best possible way? Read on, we will reveal all its secrets.
DELE B2 Oral expression: Test structure
Twenty minutes before your test time, you will be taken to the preparation room by a member of the support staff, where they’ll give you the instructions and materials for your test. Keep in mind that you CANNOT take the material with you to the exam room, but don’t worry, you’ll be given a copy when you’re in there. The only thing you’ll be able to take with you will be a blank sheet you’ll be given in the preparation room to make your notes. You can use it to check what you’ve prepared them during the test.
You’ll have to prepare two tasks out of a total of three that make up the test:
For Task 1 you’ll need to choose one of the topics you’ll be offered. You’ll have a sheet in which you’ll find a difficult situation with 5-7 proposals to resolve or improve it. You have to prepare a 6-7 minutes monologue.
Tip: I recommend you touch on ALL the points on the sheet in your presentation, showing agreement or disagreement with each one and explaining why. You need to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages and offer opinions on the topic.
For Task 2 you’ll choose a sheet from between two options that has a photograph on it. You’ll again need to give a monologue explaining the situation depicted and briefly talk about experiences and opinions regarding this topic for 5-6 minutes. Remember, to organize your ideas you can make an outline on the blank sheet and during the exam you can LOOK AT your notes, but NOT READ them directly.
In the exam room you’ll meet your interviewer and your evaluator. You’ll sit in front of the interviewer, who is the person you’ll talk to throughout the test. The evaluator won’t speak. The interviewer will certainly greet you, ask how you are, perhaps your name and country, etc. This introduction is NOT yet the exam. To start Task 1 you’ll again be given the sheet you had in the preparation room and will now be able to start your presentation. When you’re done, you will move on to Task 2 and then task 3. You have NOT prepared for this task. The interviewer will give you a choice between two sheets to comment on data from a survey (survey results, news on current trends, etc.). Once you’ve chosen, you’ll have a few seconds to look at the information before you begin speaking. The task is to have an informal conversation about the topic for about 3 or 4 minutes. Tip: As you can see, for Task 3 you’ll need to comment on data, results, numbers, etc. You should prepare carefully before the exam by practicing commenting on graphs, percentages, tables, etc. You’ll certainly use it!
Examiner’s point of view
It is now time to take notes, because we’re getting to the interesting part. We’re about to explain you what the oral interaction and expression test is like from the point of view of the interviewer and evaluator, what we expect from a B2 candidate and what points we will focus on.
The interviewer will give you an overall grade for the entire test. The evaluator will assess Tasks 1, 2, and 3 independently. The grade can be fail with 0 or 1, pass for the level at 2, or a 3, pass and above the level applied for. What will they look for to give you a passing grade?
The interviewer will give you a score of 2 if, in general on the test, you express your opinions and describe clearly the situations posed. You’ll also have to meet the communicative goal of the tasks. That is, do what you are asked to do in each one: talk about the advantages and disadvantages, analyze data, explain your ideas and assessments, etc. You will need to show that you have a linguistic repertoire that allows you to express yourself clearly, showing few signs that you feel limited in what you want to say. Likewise, you should transmit grammatical control and relatively high lexicon, corresponding to level B2.
The evaluator will score you based on four criteria:
In this first section, the evaluator will make sure you produce clear and coherent discourse, with correct use of cohesion mechanisms (speech connectors) to make it structured.
In this case, the evaluator will focus on whether you can speak continuously and understandably, with a fairly consistent pace and few pauses, even if you hesitate while looking for appropriate structures or expressions. Likewise, they will confirm that your pronunciation is understandable.
Tip: Don’t worry if you have a pronounced foreign accent or if you make an occasional error, it won’t negatively affect your rating.
We’ve come to the section where one of the most feared aspects for students, and also the most studied, is evaluated: grammar. The evaluator will ensure that you display relatively high grammatical control.
Tip: Don’t get nervous if you realize you’ve made a mistake with the grammar, such as when using the subjunctive. If you realize in time to correct it, do so; if not, you can try to use it correctly in a later sentence to show you have command of its use. A single mistake is not important, the examiners will evaluate the entirety of your discourse.
In the last section, the evaluator will look at your linguistic repertoire and whether it is broad enough to make clear descriptions and express views on general topics without it being obvious you’re searching for words and by using complex sentences to achieve this.
Tip: If for some reason you can’t find the word you’re looking for during the exam, describe it, look for a synonym, express it in another way. You should show you have tools to make yourself understood, even if you don’t have the right word.
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Now you know how the test will be structured step by step, what tasks you’ll need to perform, what grade you can get, and what you need for the examiners to give you a passing grade. We hope this helps you prepare for your exam and that you’ll be able to take it feeling more relaxed.
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