Język angielski, Rady

Angielski przed egzaminem...

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Words don't come easy...

Words don't come easy...

     Przed każdym egzaminem mamy tremę. Przed egzaminem ustnym z języka angielskiego - tremę szczególną. Trzeba przecież wyjść przed komisję i MÓWIĆ! Po ANGIELSKU! Czy faktycznie diabeł jest taki straszny, jak go malują?

     It's true that the oral part is perhaps the most difficult part of a language exam. Firstly, the person to be examined has to perform in front of people who know the language very well, or should do. In some ways he or she has to behave like an actor on stage. Also, whilst speaking, unlike reading and listening, the language has to be produced instantaneously. This makes the task even more difficult. However, there are advantages with this type of examination. You don't have to speak too loudly and if you think you've made a mistake then you can always go back and change it. When it's a written test, Heaven forbid a mistake, it stays there on the paper in black and white.

     Of course the best way to improve your English is by speaking to a native speaker before the exam. Unfortunately most examinees do not have English speaking friends in Poland. So what can you do? One thing. Try speaking to yourself out loud - it may feel strange - before the oral exam! Alright, a person behaving in this way could be considered, well, intelligently challenged, that's putting it politely. Speaking to yourself out loud does work. If you are nervous of speaking in front of the examining committee, speak to yourself first. You're not afraid of yourself, are you?

     Language contains a vast number of words and structures. Of course that number being so large no one can remember or even know everything. Understandably the language you use is only a part of the whole lexicon of words that are available to you. But you can make it as interesting and correct as your knowledge of the language lets you. Here's a tip. Prepare a few expressions and words that will make you sound more "intelligent" in front of the examining committee. (Don't overdo it though). They will remember that you have used a more sophisticated vocabulary once or twice even though you only picked it up five minutes before the exam.

     Know what you are going to say before the exam. The number of topics are subject to limits. Be sure to know a few sentences about your hometown, latest films, favourite books or bands. During the exam the chances aregreat that you will discuss the charms of Krakow or the originality of "Cast Away", the Tom Hanks film, rather than the dangers of nuclear power plants in Belarus or let's say the parliamentary system in Kenya.

     Speaking about studying just before the exam - many advice columns suggest the best thing to do before an exam is to think about something else, go for a walk, in general just try and relax. That piece of advice works in the case of extremely hardworking students, and there are not many of them. In fact those who are not that familiar with vocabulary and grammar structure can pick up some tips even a few minutes before the exam. The fact is that students working under pressure before exams remember material more easily than those studying in a more relaxed atmosphere at home. The closer the examination gets, the more efficient the student becomes in absorbing information.

     A final word - alcohol. A delicate subject for some. There are those who believe that they will perform better during the oral exam if they take a shot of liquor before going in. It doesn't work. What they get is a false impression of their ability. They might as well believe in Santa Claus. Have you ever met people claiming they can speak French/German/Spanish fluently (though they've only had a couple lessons in these languages) when they've had a few drinks? Can you believe that? (Cemeteries are full of people - dead ones - who were certain they were excellent drivers when they were drunk).

     Unlike the written exam that needs time to be corrected, the results of oral performances are known the same day the exam is taken. It saves on nerves - few things can be worse for students than waiting for uncertain results. Still, exams aren't the only thing that decide your future. (Life is an ongoing exam). You have to put them into the larger world perspective. They're just a part of our lives.

The article was taken from Anglorama - a magazine for the Polish learners of English

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