Spoken Language Interview Essay Examples

Unit 4: Task 1 – The Study of Spoken Language

How many pieces must students listen to in their study of Spoken Language?

The task requires students to respond on a least two pieces to allow them to show their understanding of variations and changes. They may listen and respond on many more than two pieces.

Do students need to compare and contrast the two types of talk or is it acceptable to look at each separately as long as consideration is given to how the language used in each varies?

Students are required to discuss two different types of talk. As the task is requiring candidates to say why language varies they will need to discuss how one example varies from the other and why it varies due to e.g. audience, context, purpose, etc.

Is there a suggested duration for the talk the students listen to for their task?

No, there is no suggested time length for each stimulus. As they will be listening to and writing about two pieces, it needs to have enough content to allow them to write appropriately to access the top mark bands for the task.

Does this task require students to listen to and evaluate speeches?

This may be one approach to the task. The word ‘talk’ however has been chosen to allow a broader range of stimuli to be used, such as dialogue, interviews, broadcasts.

Can we use speeches and dialogue from texts studied for English Literature?

You can use this as your stimulus as long as the focus is listening to the type of talk in a realised version of the text. This assessment is based on the students’ response to their listening to talk rather than reading a text.

Can you clarify what is meant by ‘Evaluate the impact of language choices on your own and others’ use’ (Appendix 2: Task 1 p.28).

This means students should include a reflective comment on what they found effective in the types of talk they listened to and how they would use this in their own talk.

If on the other hand, they are using a recording of themselves as one of the pieces then they are going to be evaluating their own language choices as part of their comparison with other talk.

What notes or research material from the preparation phase can the students bring in to the Controlled Assessment?

Students can bring in a transcript of each piece of talk as an aide memoire. Having listened to and discussed the pieces in the preparation phase this is purely to allow them to refer to specific examples when developing their response. It can have some brief annotation e.g. single words at certain points describing the tone or pace. Detailed annotation, underlining or highlighting is not permitted. All materials brought it to the Controlled Assessment must be submitted with the piece for assessment.

Can candidates write about speeches they have been taught in class as long as they don’t go in with an essay plan or any teacher led notes?

Yes. This is the way this task should be delivered. The planning and preparation phase allows students to listen to their stimulus materials, discuss them and analyse them. Following this teaching phase candidates will then individually write up their responses to the task under controlled conditions. During the write-up phase they are allowed to bring in a transcript of the talks but they are not allowed access to any notes and the use of writing frames/essay plans are not allowed.

It says in the Hodder textbook for the specification that students can listen to a speech read out by your teacher. Is this acceptable to do for the Spoken Language task?

Any source is acceptable for the type of talk; the key feature of this task is that the starting point is hearing the stimulus. Think of this task as the teaching of an aural text and deliver this the same way as the preparation and planning for any text. Sources of talk can come from podcasts, recordings, readings, presentations at school prize giving, broadcasts, realised versions of a text being studied, etc.

What is the focus of the Spoken Language task? Is it what makes the speeches motivational or is it a piece emphasising context, purpose and audience, and highlighting how these influence the language of the speaker?

The aim of the spoken language task is for the students to show their awareness of how the two types of talk vary and why. If they are looking at two motivational speeches it will be fine to discuss initially what techniques are used to make them motivationally successful. As the task requires evidence of the understanding of variations, candidates will need to be able to show why these different techniques were chosen in each instance e.g. because of different audiences, eras, purposes or any other reason for language choice.

How should students respond to the Spoken Language task? Should they respond to a new recording after looking at a few similar examples?

Students will produce a written response to their analysis of two types of talk. We would expect as with the study of literature task that candidates are writing under controlled conditions about recordings they have already listened to and analysed as part of their preparation.

Does body language have to be analysed when studying the sources of talk?

Body language is not a part of the study of spoken language. The focus of this task is the study of the spoken word in an aural stimulus ie why have these words been chosen, what impact is wanted on the hearer. The assessment criteria highlight the skills of analysis which may be exhibited in this study.

Does the study of Political talk mean politicians?

You can use any source of talk in which the speaker is making a statement about an aspect of society. This could be politicians speaking in parliament, giving interviews or making statements but it does not have to be.

Can hearing impaired candidates access the study of spoken language?

So you’re looking for a job.

Searching for jobs is already stressful.

It’s even more nerve-wracking (stressful) when they finally call you up for an interview.

And once you’ve got the job interview, congratulations…

…but now you’ve got something else to worry about.

The job interview is English!

Time to panic!

How do I answer this?

What are they going to ask?

What do I say to really impress them and make them choose me?

OK, actually, it’s time to calm down and relax.

Don’t worry.

Almost everybody who ever goes for a job interview is a little bit afraid… after all, this opportunity could really change your life, forever!

Here are 8 questions that they will likely ask, along with answers to help you rock (do well on) your interview.

Instead of saying “goodbye” to your dream job, you can say “hello.”

8 Common English Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them Well

There is some great news when it comes to job interviews. It’s not all doom and gloom (bad). Most recruiters these days ask the interviewees (you) the same basic questions. So with a little preparation, you can speak very well at your interview.

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1. Tell me about yourself

After greeting, shaking hands and introducing yourself, the next thing that interviewers are probably going to ask you to do is to talk about yourself.

Now, this might seem easy for you – you’ve practiced it in your English class so much, but they don’t want to hear every single detail. Avoid saying something like: I was born in Beijing. I love playing the computer and surfing the net. or I have two sisters. They don’t want to know everything about you. They want to know about you and your career growth; they want to know about you related to the job you’re applying for.

Also, make sure you don’t use any informal slang or make any basic grammar mistakes.

For example:

I’ve been working as a junior chef at a small Italian restaurant for 2 years and my duties included assisting the head chef and preparing salads. I have always been interested in food and cooking which was why I chose to follow this career path. I studied at ******* college, where I gained my first level cooking diploma.

2. What are your strengths?

When your interviewer asks you this question, they want to know all your positive qualities. These positive qualities need to relate to what they want and are looking for.

So before you head into your interview, make sure you do your research as to what kind of person suits this job, especially if you’re a newbie (new) and entering the workforce for the first time. Treat this question as a chance to advertise yourself – you are the product, now market yourself. The thing to remember here is not to just list a number of adjectives (anyone can do this). Instead, use examples to support your point.

For example, you could answer with any of the following:

To be punctual – to be on time.

I’m a punctual person. I always arrive early and complete my work on time. My previous job had a lot of deadlines (time when you must finish something by) and I made sure that I was organized and adhered to (respected) all my jobs.

To be a team-player – to work well with others.I consider myself to be a team-player. I like to work with other people and I find that it’s much easier to achieve something when everyone works together and communicates well.

To be ambitious – to have goals.I’m ambitious. I have always set myself goals and it motivates me to work hard. I have achieved my goals so far with my training, education and work experience and now I am looking for ways to improve myself and grow.

To take initiative – to do something without having to be told to do it.When I work, I always take initiative. If I see something that needs doing, I don’t wait for instruction, I do it. I believe that to be get anywhere in life, you need this quality.

To be proactive – To do things and make them happen.I’m proactive. When I think about things, I do them. I like to see results and it’s important in this industry to be proactive and responsible for your own actions.

To keep your cool – To stay calm in all kinds of situations.I think it’s really important to be able to stay calm when you’re working as a reporter. It can get really stressful, but one of my greatest qualities is that I can keep my cool and I don’t allow the pressure to get to me, which helps me achieve all my goals and remain focused. Here are a number of other words that can help you answer this question:

Focused (Adj)To concentrate wellConfident (adj)Not shy
Problem-solver (N)Can find answers to problems easilyTeam building skills (N)You’re able to take the lead and be the leader of the group.
Negotiate (V)To be able to get a better deal that is favorable to youTo have a good work ethic (V)To work hard, follow the rules and respect your duties of the job.

REMEMBER: It’s really important that you give good, solid answers and back them up with evidence otherwise it’s just going to sound like you’ve memorized what you’re saying. Some companies won’t directly ask you what your strengths are, they could ask the same thing, but using different words, such as:

  • Why do you think we should hire you?
  • Why do you think you’re the best person for this job?
  • What can you offer us?
  • What makes you a good fit for our company?

3. What are your weaknesses?

What? I don’t have any weaknesses! Of course you do – no one’s perfect. Everyone has weaknesses, but what they’re checking for here is how you try to fix your weaknesses and they also want to know how self-aware (how much you know about yourself) you are.

Another trick here is to turn those weaker qualities into positive qualities. For example, your weakness is that you spend too much time on projects which makes you work slower. Turn that into a positive by saying: I sometimes am slower in completing my tasks compared to others because I really want to get things right. I will double or sometimes triple-check documents and files to make sure everything is accurate (correct).  

Another great trick is to talk about a weakness (like being disorganized) and mention some methods that you are using to help overcome this: e.g. I have created a time-management system, which allows me to list all my duties and organize my deadlines so I have a clearer idea of what I need to do. 

4. Why did you leave your last job?

If you’re applying for your first job, this question is not for you.

However, if you’ve worked before, the interviewer wants to find out why you left your old job. Did you leave because you were fired? (Your old boss asked you to leave for doing something wrong). Did you quit? (Resign – Did you choose to stop working?) Or were you laid off? (Made redundant – no longer needed because the job is no longer available?)

If you chose to leave your old job, avoid saying anything negative about your old workplace or boss (even if this is true). The person or people interviewing you will just look at you in a negative way. You can say the following:

  • I’m looking for new challenges.
  • I feel I wasn’t able to show my talents.
  • I’m looking for a job that suits my qualifications.
  • I’m looking for a job where I can grow with the company.

5. Tell us about your education

Here they want to know everything you’ve studied related to the job. For example your training and further education (e.g. university, polytechnic, college). You don’t need to tell them everything you’ve done since elementary school, just the important things.

Your: Degrees – 3-4 year qualification from university/college.

Diploma – A short-term qualification (e.g. 1 year) from college/university/polytechnic.

Certificate – A piece of paper showing your participation in a course. NB: Make sure you take all the necessary documents with you, as they may need proof!

If they ask you the question: tell us about your scholastic record, they want to know what kind of grades you received.

6. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Here, they are asking about your goals. Again, it’s related to your career, not your personal life. So if having a family is on the list, don’t mention it. Be careful what you say here, you need to be ambitious, but NOT too ambitious as those interviewing you may see you as a threat (competition). You can mention: By then I will have…I would have liked to…

  • Improved my skills
  • Created more of a name for myself in the industry (become more known for what you do).
  • Become more independent in what I do and productive (doing more).
  • Enhanced (improved) my knowledge.
  • Achieved a higher position.
  • Become a team leader…

7. What kind of salary do you expect?

Here, they are asking you about how much money you would expect to earn from the job. Be reasonable. Make sure you do your research on the internet about what the average salary is. Do not say I don’t know, it makes you sound unsure. Be confident and name your price without selling yourself too short (going for less) or going too high. The truth of the matter is, they already have a salary in mind, but this is their way of checking if you know the industry and if you’re aware of your own skills.

8. Do you have any questions for me/us?

Yes, you do! This is how an interviewer will usually finish the interview. They are not just being polite – they want you to speak.

Remember, they’re still judging you as you answer this question. So don’t ask anything that will make you sound silly, such as what kind of work does your company do? Or how much vacation time do I get each year? You want to find out more, and if you don’t ask any questions, then they may view this as you being not very interested in the job. Ask questions like:

  • Do you have any examples of projects that I would be working on if I were to be offered the job? This shows that you’re interested in the actual job and not just being employed.
  • What is the typical day for this position (job)? Find out what kind of duties are involved and what kind of things you would be expected to do on a day-to-day basis.
  • Does the company offer in-house training to staff? This shows your interest in not only getting the job, but also wanting to improve and grow.
  • What is the next step? Here, this is a way of asking what is next in the interview process. They will tell you how many days it will take to make their decision and will inform you if you need to come back for a second interview.

Job interviews don’t have to be scary. Remember first impressions count, think before you speak, and show your great English skills and give awesome answers to win that job. GOOD LUCK!

Oh, and One More Thing…

If you like learning real-world English, you should also check out the FluentU app. Like the website, the FluentU app lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:

If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it.

The FluentU app makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.

FluentU lets you learn engaging content with world famous celebrities.

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