Speaking and Listening

Content – What Do You Want to Say?

Content – What Do You Want to Say?


This is what you will talk about for your GCSE English Language Speaking and Listening tasks. If you are allowed to choose your own subject for one of the tasks, choose one that interests you and one which you will have a lot of information on. This will make it easier to for you to answer surprising questions other people may ask.



CaptureIt is always best to know more about your subject than you plan to present. This means that you will have additional information to use in your responses. Remember that every point you make in your assessment must be supported with evidence. Research allows you to gather this evidence.

Research is the key to a great Speaking and Listening assessment. For presentations, if you know your subject well, you will be able to use body language more effectively and give a better overall impression. Who is the better speaker – the one who looks the audience in the eye and uses hand gestures or the one who stands completely still and simply reads out what they have written? Remember, this is about speaking a text effectively, not writing one.

The same goes for your Discussing and Speaking task. Thorough research will allow you to deliver your parts of the conversation with confidence and will also give you the edge when it comes to responding to questions given to you.

In the role-playing task, research is equally as essential. The teacher will be looking for signs that you have taken on the persona of the character, meaning that they want you to be this character. This does not mean you have to dress up as them. It means knowing your character inside out. Think about their use of language, movements, idiosyncrasies etc.



Think about PEA (Point, Evidence, Analysis). What points are you going to make during your assessment? You will be given a topic to write a presentation on, discuss or role-play about. In each case, you should research as if you are doing a written assessment. Plan what you are going to say by identifying the key points of your assignment, constructing an argument around them, finding evidence to support them and analysing their overall effect


Structure and order

As with your written exam and assessments, structure is important when preparing and delivering speaking and listening assessments. The structure of your speaking will generally follow that of an essay, especially if you are making a presentation:

  • Introduction – introduce your topic (very briefly)
  • First point (The most important point to grab the audience’s attention)
  • Second point
  • Third point
  • Conclusion (Sum up concisely exactly what you have said. However, if you are repeating your words, state that you are using phrases like “As I have said…”, “Remember…” and “I cannot stress strongly enough that…” As well as this, you could finish with a strong statistic or piece of evidence.)

As stated, after you introduce your topic, you should present the most important point you wish to make so that your argument starts strongly. If you do run out of time, this also means that you do not miss out on saying that point. The order of points you make should be a hierarchy, with the most important point first and then other points following to support it.