If this is your case, and you want to keep improving your English during the summer, you may find some resources here:

To improve your communicative achievement: 

if you are a student of mine, you can have a look at all the speaking tasks we have done throughout the year, both presentations and interactions. They are available on the Google sites for each unit. Alternatively, you can also have a look at some sample tasks here.

Then, if you are practising for your presentation, give yourself the same preparation time as in the exam and practise taking USEFUL notes. You can organise your handwritten notes using this graphic organiser:

Click on the screenshot to download a pdf file

Watch on YouTube

To improve your organisation: 

  1. Use your think time wisely: organise your thoughts (don’t just speak randomly, simply following the questions as they appear on the task card). If you are training for your individual presentation, please prepare notes in such a way they will help you be organised (introduction; body of the presentation with 2 3-4 arguments, depending on how long you have to speak for; and a conclusion).
  2. Remember to use linking words and discourse markers accurately.

To improve the range of language shown:

Please, do make an effort to “show off”: try to use relevant, sophisticated vocabulary and grammar structures that show performance at the level you are being assessed on. For example, if you are taking a C1 exam, if you simply deliver a “good B2” presentation, that will not be enough to prove mastery of the language at C1 level. You can see the descriptors for each level in Spanish here, or in English here.

To improve your accuracy:

  • Having some minor slips when you’re speaking is not the end of the world. (You won’t get top marks, but it’s not terrible).
  • Making a mistake and self-correcting immediately is OK (if you’re doing it all the time, though, your communicative achievement will not be as effective).
  • Making mistakes will give a negative impression, not just in the exam, but in real life, and it will make it harder for people to understand you.
  • But (and this is the big “but”) some mistakes and errors will prevent people from understanding what you mean to say. These are the worst kind of mistakes.

This list contains some really “scary” mistakes: grammar structures associated with levels well below C1/C2, and, therefore, should not be happening either in writing or speaking at C1/C2 levels at all.

Please make sure your grammar structures are clear in your head, and that you are not translating from Spanish. If you need to revise grammar from previous levels, please do so. Besides the materials you can have from previous years, you can find plenty of resources and tutorials here and here.

Together with that, are you using vocabulary accurately? You have some tools that might help you use vocabulary precisely and accurately here.

Last but certainly not least: PRONUNCIATION and STRESS. In this day and age, the study of new vocabulary (or the revision of vocabulary you already know) NEEDS to include the use of an online dictionary, paying special attention to the pronunciation and stress of words. it is mandatory to listen to any new words or expressions you come across. Make a note of them in such a way that those notes will be meaningful to you (or better still, create your own digital notebook including the link to the pronunciation of the word). You can use standard online dictionaries (recommendations here) or pronouncing dictionaries (recommendations here).

Artificial intelligence tools:

Small Talk: This tool is aimed at helping students prepare for IELTS, an international test. But you can use it as well. It offers some free sample tasks based on that exam: you will be asked questions, the platform will allow you to record your answers and will later give you detailed feedback on your performance (what level you have been performing at, a detailed analysis of your mistakes and the percentage of vocabulary you’ve used for each level…

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Speak and Improve: A Cambridge English tool which analyses your level. Not very reliable yet, but still worth a try.

Self-assess your performance:

Please, record yourself. Listen to yourself, however off-putting it might be. As you listen to yourself, self-assess your performance using this checklist. Have you met the criteria?

  • If all of this was not enough, you have plenty of other related resources here. Please feel free to check them out.
  • You may also like this post (“Cuál es mi nivel de idioma“).