The Speaking Test

The Speaking Test

Characters

Examiner
Candidate

Examiner: Hello, come in. Sit down please. Close the door. (Cand. Looks blank) The door! (Business with door). Take a seat. (Cand looks blank)

Candidate: A seat? Ah, a seat of paper.

Examiner: Hey! Those are the questions! No, I mean a chair. (Cand. Takes chair and walks away) No, no! I mean sit down – look, like this. (Cand. sits – in Ex’s chair …)

Examiner: Right. Now, my name is David and this is my colleague, George. He’s just going to be listening to us. Could I have your mark sheet, please? Thank you. So your name is Kostas.

Candidate: Your name is Kostas.

Examiner: No, my name is David. What is your name?

Candidate: Your name – My name is …George

Examiner: Now, I’m going to ask you some questions about yourself. OK?

Candidate: I am very OK thank you, and you?

Examiner: Well, where are you from?

Candidate: I am Greece.

Examiner: Good, now we’re getting somewhere. What is the weather like in Greece?

Candidate: It is fine thank you, and you?

Examiner: Let’s move on. I am going to show you two pictures. I’d like you to compare and contrast the two pictures and tell me what you think the people in them are doing. Are you ready? (pause) You can begin now.

(silence)

Examiner: What can you see in the first picture?

Candidate: Picture?

Examiner: Yes – in the picture.

Candidate: The picture?

Examiner: Yes – can you see any people?

Candidate: People?

Examiner: Yes.

Candidate: Any people?

Examiner: Yes.

Candidate: See any people?

Examiner: Yes? Yes?

Candidate: You see any people?

Examiner: Yes …?

Candidate: Can you see any people?

Examiner: Well?

Candidate: I’m very well thank you, and you?

Examiner: I’m fine thanks – but what about the woman in the picture?

Candidate: The woman?

Examiner: Yes – there, look. What can you tell me about her?

Candidate: She is very well thank you, and you?

Examiner: I see, I see.

Candidate: I see a woman in the picture.

Examiner. All right. That is the end of the test – you can go now. Thank you.

Candidate: You are welcome.

Examiner: Goodbye.

Candidate: Hello!

A YEAR LATER

Examiner: Good morning. Come in and sit down please.

Candidate: Hello David!

Examiner: (groans – or whimpers) Ahem. Right, I’m going to show you some pictures and then we’re going to –

Candidate: (pointing without looking) This is a woman.

Examiner: Well, it’s a bicycle actually. OK. Let me ask some questions about yourself. First, where were you born?

Candidate: (looking at picture) Under a tree.

Examiner: No, we’re talking about you, not the bicycle. Where were you born.

Candidate: Into my house.

Examiner: I see. Are you from Greece?

Candidate: Greece? She is hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

Examiner: Ah, yes, indeed. And how old are you?

Candidate: How? I am good. Very good. And you?

Examiner: And Greece. How are things in Greece now?

Candidate: How? In Greece. She is good. Very good. Greece she is beautiful. The sun she is shining the sky he is blue Very hot. I love my country, I love my village. I love my mother. My mother is good cook, and I am dying for the basket…

Examiner: Well, that is the end of the test. Goodbye.

Candidate: I pass?

Examiner: I’m sorry?

Candidate: How do I go?

Examiner: You go that way – out of the door.

Candidate: That is a door. This is a door. Is it a door? Yes it is. Is the door open? No it isn’t.

Examiner: Thank you. Goodbye.

Candidate: Hello! See you again! (exits and returns). David, you say goodbye I say hello. Is false! Goodbye!

MANY YEARS LATER

Examiner: Hello – come in please.

Candidate: Hello, good evening, and welcome!

Examiner: … er … Hello, take a seat – I mean, please sit down.

Candidate: No thanks. I prefer to stand if it’s all the same to you. Well, let’s begin. The first question, please.

Examiner: Er, yes … First, I would like you to look at these pictures. Now tell me – IS THIS A WOMAN OR IS IT A BICYCLE?

Candidate: It’s a woman, of course. Now, who was it said, “Frailty thy name is woman …”?

Examiner: Yes, yes, quite. Now I’m going to ask you some questions about yourself. HOW OLD ARE …

Candidate: Was it (a) Dominique Strauss-Kahn (b) Silvio Berlusconi (c) George Clooney (d) William Shakespeare?

Examiner: (appeal to audience) Easy, It’s (d). It was Shakespeare. In “Hamlet”.

Candidate: Is that your final answer?

Examiner: Yes, it is.

Candidate: Well done! You have won 100 euros. Do you want to go on?

Examiner: Yes, please. This is a test. Now – HOW OLD ARE YOU?

Candidate: How old? How old? “I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.” T.S. Eliot.

Examiner: Shall we go on to the next question?

Candidate: Yes, David. For 200 euros – How do you spell ‘accommodate’? Is it (a) a-c-o-m-m-o-d-a-t-e (b) a-c-o-m-o-d-a-t-e (c) a-c-c-o-m-m-o-d-a-t-e (d) a-c-c-o-m-o-d-a-t-e?

Examiner: Hmm. A tough one. I’m not sure. Can I have 50-50?

Candidate: If you must. How do you spell ‘accommodate’? Is it (b) or (d)?

Examiner: Mmm … I’m still not sure …

Candidate: Would you like to ask the audience?

Examiner: Yes, please.

Candidate: What does the audience say? You have 20 seconds. Is it (b) or (d)?

(Audience gets it right)

Candidate: Is that your final answer. And….accommodate is the correct answer! You now have 200 euros! Would you like to go on?

Examiner: Yes, please.

Candidate; And now for 500,000 euros! What is the most misspelt word in English? Is it (a) broccoli (b) definitely (c) consensus (d) supersede?

Examiner: Can I call a friend?

Candidate: Yes, if you have any

Examiner: I’d like to ask (another member of the audience) Can you tell me the most misspelt word in English? Is it (a) broccoli (b) definitely (c) consensus (d) supersede)?

(Audience member: “(b) definitely” – and all the other business with ‘definitely’)

Candidate: Is that your final answer?

Examiner: Yes, it is.

Candidate: That is correct! Do you want to go on – for one million euros?

Examiner: Yes, I do.

Candidate: Can you spell the most commonly misspelt words in English? First – broccoli.

Examiner: b-r-o-c-c-o-l-i

Candidate: Correct! Consensus?

Examiner: c-o-n-s-e-n-s-u-s

Candidate: Correct! Supersede?

Examiner: s-u-p-e-r-s-e-d-e

Candidate: Correct! And now – for one million euros – can you spell the single most commonly misspelt word in English? Definitely!

Examiner: Can I ask an expert?

Candidate: Yes, if there any. Let’s see. Teachers, experts in English: can you help? If you can, say ‘definitely’!

(Audience: Definitely!)

Candidate: And now – all together – let’s spell ‘definitely’.

(All: d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y)

Candidate: Congratulations! You have won one million euros!

Examiner: Oh, wonderful marvellous, thank you so much! Now I won’t have to do this job any more.

Candidate: But the bad news is – we don’t have a million euros.

Examiner: You don’t have a million euros? But why ever not?

Candidate: These are hard times. But … we do have another prize for you. With your knowledge of the English language and your excellent spelling you can be – AN ENGLISH TEACHER!

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