This post will provide advice to be able to pass the conversation task of the B2 First. It evaluates the candidate’s Interactive Communication skills

For interactive communication “Initiates and responds appropriately, linking contributions to those of other speakers. Maintains and develops the interaction and negotiates towards an outcome”. This means that you can form questions well, you can continue a conversation and make it interesting, and you can link topics to other topics or to what your partner has said. And that you try to give a conclusion. I always tell candidates that you want to think of it as la patata caliente. You do not want to speak for too long (20 seconds maximum) and then you pass it to your partner with a question or a question tag. It is an informal conversation and you can interrupt and show disagreement. Try to be creative and give the activity a context, boring conversations usually get a bad mark/grade.

What does this part of the speaking involve?

Collaborative task (part 3) 3 minutes: In this part of the exam the candidates speak together about a situation for 2-3 minutes. In this part you need to look at the 5 options or topics and use the following skills to have a conversation. They will have two minutes to discuss the options and then one minute to come to a conclusion.

  • Suggest
  • Initiate and respond (questions)
  • Develop (maintain the conversation and make it interesting)
  • Link (relate your points to those of your partner)
  • Negotiate an outcome (conclusion)

 

An important part of this part of the exam is the use of ´question tags´, the conversation needs to be natural and easy to follow with little repetition or hesitation. Do not stop speaking until the examiner stops you.

 

How can I answer this task well?

You need to watch examples and also practice with your speaking partner. What the examiners want is an informal conversation, as if you were two friends chatting in a café. See this link for examples

 

Real exam task:

Now, I’d like you to talk about something together for about two minutes.

I’d like you to imagine that you are talking about Zoos. Here are some of the ideas they are thinking about and a question for you to discuss. First you have some time to look at the task.

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of keeping animals in zoos?
  • protect endangered species
  • help animals to reproduce
  • learn about animal behaviour
  • entertainment
  • take animals out of their natural habitat

 

Now, talk to each other about how keeping animals in a zoo can be a good or a bad thing.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Thank you. Now you have about a minute to decide which are the two worst reasons for having zoos.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Thank you.

 

Now, discuss these questions, in order, as appropriate:

  • Is it a good idea to still have zoos nowadays?
  • Some people say you can learn more from books and documentaries than from zoos, do you agree?
  • How can zoos teach us about wildlife?
  • Why are so many people against visiting the zoo?
  • How have zoos changed over the last 100 years?

 

DOWNLOAD THIS TASK IN PDF HERE

 

Real exam examples:

 

Now, I’d like you to talk about something together for about two minutes.

I’d like you to imagine that you are talking about phones. Here are some of the ideas they are thinking about and a question for you to discuss. First you have some time to look at the task.

 

How easy might it be to live without a mobile?
  • friendship
  • work
  • education
  • entertainment
  • travel

 

Now, talk to each other about if mobiles are really necessary nowadays.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Thank you. Now you have about a minute to decide which is the best use of mobiles.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Thank you.

 

Now, discuss these questions, in order, as appropriate:

  • Is it essential to own a phone?
  • Why do we spend an average of 4 hours a day using our phones?
  • What might be the appeal of not owning a phone?
  • What do people usually use their phones for?
  • Some people say that phones are ruining our lives. What do you think?

 

DOWNLOAD THIS TASK IN PDF HERE

 

Interlocutor

Now, I’d like you to talk about something together for about two minutes.

 

I’d like you to imagine that you are talking about entertainment. Here are some of the ideas they are thinking about and a question for you to discuss. First you have some time to look at the task.

Now, talk to each other about which you would prefer as a form of entertainment and why.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Thank you. Now you have about a minute to decide which is the best thing to do to disconnect.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Thank you.

 

Which is the best way to unwind after a long day at work?
  • listen to music
  • read a book
  • have a drink/beer
  • do sport
  • talk to friends/family

 

Now, discuss these questions, in order, as appropriate:

  • Is it important to have a lively social life?
  • What is the best way to keep busy in your spare time?
  • What are you fond of doing in order to relax?
  • Have you done anything interesting recently?
  • What is the nightlife like where you live?

 

DOWNLOAD MORE EXAMPLES IN PDF HERE

Interlocutor

Now, I’d like you to talk about something together for about two minutes.

 

I’d like you to imagine that you are talking about health and fitness. Here are some of the ideas they are thinking about and a question for you to discuss. First you have some time to look at the task.

Now, talk to each other about which ways you can stay in shape.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Thank you. Now you have about a minute to decide which is the best way to stay fit.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Thank you.

 

What is the best way to stay in shape?

 

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Join a gym
  • Read articles about fitness
  • Sleep for 8 hours a night
  • Do regular exercise outdoors

 

DOWNLOAD THIS EXERCISE IN PDF HERE

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