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Speaking about sb you love, by Irene (NI2)- Students' Oral Performances with Teacher's feedback - Speaking
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Back Speak about someone you love, by Irene (Intermedio 2)

Listen! external link at the Talking People Podcast

Speaking Task: Speak about sb you love - two minutes

This exercise was done at the beginning of an Intermedio 2 course. Irene's rich language range is very good, as well as her textual structure, pronunciatoin and fluency. At the end of the course this should be sustainable in 3- or 4-minute monologues and in interactions that last 6-7 minutes. If she does a 3-4 minute version, she can improve a few things: include more clauses and modals, mainly, include more noun modifiers (e.g., -ing/-ed adjectives, so we can see she's good at that, and a Saxon Genitive!)

Irene's Oral Expression
List of Mistakes & List of Correct Uses!
List of mistakes (to avoid) and List of correct uses (of language items that usually get used incorrectly)
star Textual Structure star
Irene's structure is outstanding. She has organized the distribution of her content really well. The topic helps, but not everybody takes such good care of this.
Opening sentence: presentation of the topic. Well done*
The total structure of her Speaking Performance is really good. What's her outline, do you think? Send us your outline, Irene!
The beginning is logical. She mentions the person's name and what kind of relationship they share. Then there is a description of the person (notice how well organized that is, and its logical sequence: physical, personality including an improvable aspect, occupational, likes and dreams). Then she explains the We part: how they met, and how their relationship developed... And then, she wraps things up by sharing her personal assessment of their relationship. Notice this kind of ending because she does it really well in terms of topic development (what) and also in terms of structure (when what is said).
The Ending: To round things up, she signals the physical end of her performance. When she finishes her presentation, she says, And... that's all!
*Register: Speak / Talk
Opening sentence
: presentation of the topic. Good. "Speak" would be better, though. Why?: I'm going to talk about my partner Carlos is an informal way of introducing her performance. In exams we recommend people introduce their "monolog(ue)s" more formally, this is, using "speak" instead of "talk". A third option, which is also informal, but which indicates a good command over the language is "I'm going to tell you about my partner Carlos."

Really or Actually / In fact?
Irene says "Really" where she could more naturally say "Well, in fact," or "Actually," ...
Correct use of in fact in In fact, I met him during a diving course. You can also say "Actually, I met him..."

star Connectors. Adding points: introducing another topic
About + possessive adjective: About his character, - Well done! This is a very English-speaking way to introduce a topic!

Like / As
like me, not as me: we use "as" with clauses (subject + verb), as in "as I am." (Incidentally, "as in" is not the same "as" in "as I am" -- it's a way of introducing an example. And we can also use "like" to introduce examples! This is one of the reasons why "as" and "like" are so confusing! So, yes, we can say "as in 'as I am'" and "like in "as I am"!)

...and then "he's just 15 days younger than me" (also, "younger than I am") Well done! You've used comparison!

star Pronunciation
Generally speaking, Irene's pronunciation is good.

Mispronunciation of...
he is medium height /dium/
he has wavy brown hair /wéivi/
he is a bit bossy /bósi/ + using "a bit" as a mitigator!! Awesome!!
In fact I met him during a diving course /dáivin kórs/ (not /kurs/)

Omission of the -s's and -d's !!! (in 3rd person singular Present Simples and in regular Past Simples)
He always wants to do things his way (without "the" & "in")
He would have preferred to be a fire fighter
Word Order

Eek! The Object is more important for the verb than the degree (very much/a lot), There is a non-systematic mistake in the V + O + other things structure: He likes a lot mountain sports. It should be: because he likes WHAT a lot. This is, Because he likes mountain sports a lot.

Interrogatives & Negatives:
star Brilliant inversion of "Am I" in a question (really uncommon to hear among students)

Consolidated AUX+S+Verb...? structure
Consolidated word order with modifiers (adjectives, noun phrases)

Articles & Prepositions

Eek! Addition of "a" with Occupations
(in the singular)
He's an economist
He would have preferred to be a fire fighter

Omission of "the"
He always wantS to do things his way (without "the" & "in")

star Prepositions
No mistakes in this area! Well done!
during a diving course (ok) - also, in a diving course
at the end of the course: yes!, including the pronunciation /atdiénd/
A complex tense + correct choice of accompanying preposition: Nowadays we have been living together for 4 or 5 years and we are happy.
star The world of verbs

Tenses Irene uses in her 2-minute monlog: rich language range! star
In very little time she uses very varied tenses and all of them perfectly used!

Correct use of the present simple of BE and HAVE - person's description
Correct use of verbs of likes and dislikes!: He likes cooking and I hate cooking - I prefer doing other things
Correct use of the present simple
(except once = non-systematic mistake; she doesn't fix it -- that would be better -- but she doesn't make it again)
Correct use of the past simple (also with "ago", I met him seven years ago; we got on well); we didn't lose touch; and correct pronunciation of the -ed ending in all cases except this one (though it's not clear, perhaps she does pronounce the -d; anyway, mark its pronunciation so that we teachers do not have to wonder if you did! :D ): "he would have preferred", I couldn't hear the ending "d".
Correct use of the "going to" verbal phrase for plans and intentions
Perfect modal "would"! (see Complex structures)
Present perfect continuous (see Complex structures)

Infinitives and Gerunds
She also makes a good use of these, in the expression of likes and dislikes
There's a mistake in He really likes mountain sports, overall climbing - it's "climbing" because it follows a verb of likes/dislikes, this is, because it agrees with "he really likes + climbing"

Modals (the icon means: improve this!)
Improve this!! A bit poor (improvable) use of modals, though. You can all improve this.
For instance, Irene, you could have used a "can" expressing ability in "He likes cooking and I can't cook, so he does the cooking! Then, I don't mind doing housework"
Then the "am I" question would be better with a modal expressing ability (can). But at the Intermedio 2 level, considering "Am I going to...?" is a complex structure which students seldom use, this sentence would be seen as positive, meaning we would no take into account the non-use of the appropriate modal.
star Perfect modal "would"! (see Complex structures). Awesome!

Improve this!! Complex Sentences (coordinating) and Clauses (subordinating)

: only with "and"...?


  • Place: He makes friends wherever he goes
    Comparative: none. She uses the non-clause format!, see "Like / As" and "Comparisons"
    Reason clauses: because ...
star Complex structures
A complex sentence for the level is one usually full of mistakes among Spanish-speaking learners, and one that learners listening to English do not actually make that often: He makes friends wherever he goes - Well done! (with two -s ending present simple -- which include knowing that "friends" is said with the verb "to make" -- and a "wherever" time clause (subordinada de tiempo)!
A complex verbal phrase consisting of a perfect modal plus the full infinitive: Hypotheses that can't happen anymore: perfect modal "would" + a full infinitive here - He would have preferred to be a fire fighter! -- Wow! Awesome! And people, notice her fluency when using it!
A complex tense + correct choice of accompanying preposition: Nowadays we have been living together for 4 or 5 years and we are happy. Awesome!! (in terms of language and in terms of structure)
Hesitations & Fluency star
Some hesitation (it's inevitable when you improvise), but Irene was then fluent and fairly accurate, so hesitations did not indicate she was not resourceful. I mean, she solved things hesitating a bit but not too much.
Her fluency was good. Still, try to avoid hesitation, or try to "fill it in" with language, with a description of your "problem", so you gain time!), like "Oh, let me see... Mmm... I mean, ...", "Oh, I can't find the word - what was it? Mmm... Well, I meant..."

Communicative Strategies
star Politeness
/ Empathy (Communicative Skill) - Mitigating critiques
he is a bit bossy + using "a bit" as a mitigator!! Awesome!! Native speakers use this "a bit" mitigator very often. Also, "kind of" - he's kind of bossy
The use of this language resource indicates Irene probably listens to English.

Politeness & Self-correction
She did use it once, though she didn't use language to acknowledge it: One month later we come to... we began to go out together. Well done! But remember to say "sorry (I mean)" if you can! One month later we come to... sorry / sorry I mean ... we began to go out together

Language Functions

Ability / Lack of ability
When Irene, an Intermediate student, said "But what am I going to say?" that was awesome. However, there is a kind of mistake in terms of language choice and language functions (more for the Advanced level): "going to" usually expresses plans and intentions -- that's one of its language functions -- but this question does not do that. Native speakers would probably say: But what can I say?) He's my boyfriend!, or most probably: What can you expect me to say? I'm in love with him!

Expressing uncertainty - using not to remember well something, not being sure about something
I don't remember well but I think that one month later -- Well done! You can say "I don't remember", yes, but I think you mean here "I don't remember well."
We would also say "I can't remember well" and "I'm not a hundred per cent sure but I think we started going out together one month after that"

star Vocabulary
Her choice of words is appropriate and rich enough, yes!

My couple or partner, well-built, patient (not confused with "pacience")

Trikier combinations: Verbs collocating with nouns: (not) to lose touch, (not) to make friends
We didn't lose touch - Well done! (But remember it's: We didn't miss the flight!)
He makes friends wherever he goes - Wow! (with two -s ending present simple -- which include knowing that "friends" is said with the verb "to make" -- and a "wherever" time clause (subordinada de tiempo)! Well done!