Different Types of Spoken Language


Your teacher will set and mark your assessment. It is not a compulsory part of the course; however, speaking and listening is a useful skill. There are many occasions when you will have to provide an extended spoken response in life. If you choose to apply for and attend an English University, you may be expected to:

  1. Have an interview with a college professor
  2. Debate a topic with fellow students
  3. Discuss an issue in a study group.

Speaking and listening is a useful skill that can be overlooked. It is important to always be clear, specific and concise. No matter which type of assessment your teacher chooses, there are several key steps to forming a successful spoken language piece:

  1. Research

It is vital that you research your topic. You must have an understanding of the facts, before you form your opinion. You may think your opinion is set beforehand; however, as you delve deeper into the topic, this may change. Be very careful which websites that you use. Wikipedia can be extremely unreliable. You are allowed to research in any language that you choose.

  1. Planning and Writing

You must allow yourself plenty of time to plan. All your ideas will need organising. You will also need to ensure that you are including all the language and structural devices that you have been taught to adhere to purpose.

  1. Finalising your work

You are going to need to memorise your spoken language piece, so writing it to suit your memory is important. Clumsy or overly complicated sentence structure will be hard to remember. You do not need to make your life harder!

  1. Memorising and Practising

There are lots of different ways to memorise your spoken language piece:

  1. Record yourself on your phone and listen to the piece at any possible opportunities, even the bus ride home from school!
  2. Use post-it notes and cue cards. These are great for putting on your walls and around your house/apartment
  3. Ask the family to be an audience. They will probably love to be involved in your school project. It does not matter how well they speak English!
  4. Performing

Remember that it does not matter if it is a word perfect match to your original written piece. Exude confidence; stand still; do not fidget and look directly at your audience.


A specific question will be asked to the group that will generally be relatively controversial or require an emotive reaction. You will be fully prepared for the debate and you will have the opportunity to pre-plan your responses. Half of the class will inevitably have one view, whilst the other will have the opposing opinion. You will reach a conclusion at the end of the debate with a vote.


This is a less prepared and informal debate. Sitting in small groups, your teacher will ask you a set of questions, which you will need to answer. It will require you responding to other people. There may not be a clear outcome.


After your speech, debate or discussion, your teacher might ask you a set a questions. Try to plan a set of possible questions prior to your assessment. They will be based on the topic.

There are two types of question:

  1. Open-ended questions

Questions are usually stemmed from ‘how’ and ‘why’. These do not require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer and they can be extended. It is easy to stumble over an answer. You need to consider your response, before replying. Try to plan,

  1. Closed questions

Questions are usually stemmed from an ‘is’ or ‘what’. They require a ‘yes, ‘no’ or one word answer. However, the trick is not to provide such a straightforward response. You must extend, even if it feels as though there is no further information that you can provide.

What are the different forms of spoken language?
How do you plan for a spoken language assessment?
How should you answer a question?