Tips for speaking tests (EEOOII Aragón) (B2-C1)

If you’re going to take the speaking test at any of the Official Schools of Languages in Aragón, you can watch this video with tips for the exam. Good luck!

Inversions after negative or restricting adverbs and for conditional clauses- examples in real language use

If you want to know how to use these expressions-typically used for emphasis-you can watch the video below:

  • No sooner had I …than
  • Seldom have I seen…
  • Little did she know…
  • Should you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact me again.
  • Had I known …I wouldn’t have…

You can find examples of these inversions in such TV shows as The Crown, The Big Bang Theory, or Friends:

Not only will I drive you there

Nowhere is it specified that…

Under no circumstance will you give her that engagement ring.


  • You can also find plenty of examples in the news:

Not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind. 

Only when the capsule has survived that (…) will people talk about success. 

Only then will they be able to agree to an extension. 

Never before has the Security State of Army, Police, intelligence and militias been forced to concede to the will of the people. 

Scientists (…) were prepared to cool the brains, should they show (=in case they showed) any signs of consciousness. Had they done, it would have been hugely significant. (=If they had done, …)

Rarely (in one night) can both main parties have suffered such a grim set of results. [Both the Conservatives and Labour have just lost a significant amount of votes in the recent local elections, in all likelihood as a consequence of the Brexit deadlock].

(On Theresa May standing down as Prime Minister) Perhaps, had she sought compromise much, much earlier (=if she had sought/ looked for compromise…), then Mrs May’s time in Downing Street need not have ended in such disarray and failure. 

(Published 10.02.2019, updated 25.05.2019)

Cleft sentences to emphasise part of the sentence

Sometimes, you need to give special emphasis to a specific part of the sentence, either because you want to make a contrast, or because it is new information you want to highlight. The so-called cleft and pseudo-cleft sentences, or it cleft and wh-cleft sentences can help you achieve those ends.

Watch this video to see some examples of how to use them and to what effect:

“Me dejas sin palabras”- estrategias para la prueba de producción y coproducción oral

En este enlace podéis encontrar la presentación que preparé para la sesión “Me dejas sin palabras”- estrategias para la prueba de producción y coproducción oral, realizada en la EOI nº1 de Zaragoza el 11 de Abril de 2019.

En este video está la grabación de audio de la sesión:

Otras charlas impartidas anteriormente en la EOI nº1:

ideas to prepare your (C1) topic presentation

In this handout there are some ideas to help you prepare your ISE III (C1) topic presentation (Structure, useful language, relevant aspects…). They can also be helpful to students at some EEOOII in Spain who are required to prepare a presentation as part of their C1 English test.

Click on the picture to access the document

In this video I explain these ideas, as well as provide you with useful language for your presentation:

In this Trinity College London video you can see a sample Speaking & Listening exam. The first part is the topic presentation. It might be useful to watch it to help you get an idea of what the exam is like, so you can get acquainted with it. You can start watching 28 seconds into the video.

sentential relative clauses- referring to the whole of the previous sentence

Some relative clauses refer to a whole clause, a whole sentence, or a longer stretch of language. We always use which to introduce these clauses.

They stayed for the weekend, (and) it was great. – It is grammatically correct, accurate…but something like this would sound better, especially in writing: 

They stayed for the weekend, which was great.

Something similar would happen with these sentences:

Some users do not think twice about the comments they post on social media, and this may have dreadful consequences.

Some users do not think twice about the comments they post on social media, which may have dreadful consequences.

Interactions between people who are near to each other are reduced and it could be dangerous for true relationships.

Interactions between people who are near to each other are reduced, which could be dangerous for true relationships.

Watch this video for further explanation:


vocabulary to talk about charts, graphs and diagrams

If you need to describe charts or graphs, for example, from an infographic, or relay information as part of a mediation activity, it might be useful for you to know some of the language related to this field. You can watch the video to get some more expressions to indicate “increase” or “decrease”, paying special attention to pronunciation, and the differences between some of these expressions.


You can view the slides here.

Some examples of how data can be relayed in real contexts (news):

A government report says a sharp rise in the use of crack cocaine in England is being fuelled by aggressive marketing by drug dealers and shrinking police numbers. The Home Office and Public Health England examined what lay behind the increase, which has been blamed for a surge in knife crime and serious violence. Our home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw has been looking at the findings