French Proficiency Test

TEF Canada- How to Succeed in the Speaking Test?

How to Prepare for the TEF Canada Speaking Exam? What to Study? How to Succeed in the Test?

In this blog post, I’ll explain everything you need to know to succeed in the TEF Canada Speaking exam, from its structure to study topics and my personal tips.

Start by Understanding the Exam

The objective of the speaking test is to show your ability to discuss various topics in French.

Think of this as an interview with an examiner that takes around 15 minutes.

There are two parts to this exam : sections A and B. 

Section A

In the first section (5 minutes), you will be given a document (an announcement or an advertisement) and expected to ask 10-12 questions about it. It’s like a formal phone call where you gather information about the document. You have one minute to read it and come up with questions. 

Section B

The second section takes longer (10 minutes) and is a bit more difficult since you need to convince the examiner, who plays your friend, to participate in the event you are inviting them to. Again, you only have a minute to read the document before starting the conversation.

*You need to present the event in the document clearly and interestingly and find some arguments and examples to convince the examiner.

Think of this as a casual conversation.

What to Study?

For the section A:

1. First, you need to understand small announcements in French, such as job offers, event ads and real estate announcements. Practice your reading skills by reading short texts and developing your vocabulary around topics like work, activities, accommodation, etc.

2. Second, you need to know how to ask formal and polite questions in French.

Your questions need to be diversified and grammatically correct. Learn different ways to ask questions in French (est-ce que, inversion, interrogative adjectives, etc.)

3. Third, you need to know how to converse naturally. 

This section isn’t about asking and answering questions but more like having a conversation. Learn filler words to show you are listening, such as "je comprends", "ah bon?" etc.

For the section B:

1. First, you need to know how to present a document in an interesting, short and structured way.

Practice on your own by learning useful expressions such as introductory sentences (j’aimerais te parler d’une annonce”), or connecting words (“premierement”, “de plus”, “par ailleurs”, etc.) to present your ideas clearly in order.

2. Second, you need to know how to find arguments and examples to convince the examiner. Learn useful verbs to give advice and arguments such as “je te conseille de” or “je te recommande de”, “ça serait bien de” …  and learn some counter- argument expressions like “je ne suis pas tout à fait d’accord” or “j’ai du mal à te suivre”.

3. Third, make sure to articulate your arguments. Study expressions such as “à condition que”, “bien que”, “contrairement à”.

Tips to succeed in TEF Canada

  1. Make sure to read the documents correctly and use all the information provided in them.
  2. Don’t use the words exactly as you see in the documents; rephrase them nicely and use synonyms for some words.
  3. Pay attention to the informal and formal language. Section A is formal, so use “vous”, while section B is informal, so use “tu” and familiar expressions. 
  4. Make sure that it’s a conversion. React to the responses of the examiner, and use follow up questions based on the answers you receive to go into details.
  5. To get a good score, you need to articulate your ideas clearly. For this, try reformulating your ideas, emphasizing key points by varying your tone and being concise by avoiding unnecessary details and staying focused on your main points.

My Preparation Course

If this feels overwhelming, I have a preparation course that you can sign up for. With the content of this course, I’ve helped hundreds of people succeed in the TEF Canada Speaking Test.

I cover all these topics and include plenty of exercises to practice. I also share strategies to help you succeed. Click the image below to discover more about the course. 

TEF Canada Online Course Toronto

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