Aptis for Teachers: Speaking Practice Test 1 with Advice & B2 Answers
This is the supplementary version of Aptis for Teachers Test 1. This version contains advice and B2 answers. All our videos are recorded by native speakers. One video has English advice, and the other has the same in Spanish. The ideas are all in English, of course!
Remember that the Aptis for Teachers Test relates specifically to teachers, so the questions are set in an educational context. They deal with themes and scenarios that teachers come across every day.
We strongly recommend that you start by reading the tips in Aptis for Teachers: Speaking Practice Test 1. Think about what answers you’re going to give to the questions. Then watch the original mock-exam video to give you practice in answering the test questions within the time-limits. Make some notes about what you think you did well, and which questions you found more difficult.
How this video can help you improve
It can be hard to think of what to say, and hesitation is often a problem. So these accompanying versions of the original video are to give you some advice and B2 answers, plus ideas to get you started. Useful vocabulary and expressions are highlighted in bold in the text below. They’re all relevant to teaching and education.
It’s a good idea to write these down in your notebook, as you’ll find that they come up frequently in the speaking tests. They’ll also be useful in the other components of the test. Writing down new vocabulary helps you to memorise it.
We also try to include as many different grammatical structures as possible. In any oral language exam or test you need to show the examiner how much you know by using a variety of language. (However, it’s important that your language use sounds natural too. As examiners, we know when students are just trying to use pre-learned structures that sound strange in the context.) Appropriate structures are also highlighted in bold.
Aptis for Teachers Speaking Practice 1 with Advice and B2 Answers
This is the script for the video. The language level is B2.
Tell me about your favourite teacher.
Think about what made that teacher special, and explain why you liked her or him. Say how she or he made you feel. Try to use a variety of structures and vocabulary. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- The best teacher I’ve ever had was … (my English teacher). She loved her job, and she’d always try to get the best out of her students
- What I liked about her was … (her enthusiasm for her subject, how approachable she was, the way she made lessons fun …)
- She made me feel … (like my opinions mattered, that I could do well in class, that I wanted to study and pass my exams …)
What kind of lessons do students like?
Not all students are the same, so consider different groups. Think about your own classes, or your experience as a student. Try to include vocabulary specific to classes. For example:
- Well, it depends on … (the age-group, how motivated the students are, whether they need to pass an exam …)
- My own students love … (being active in class, learning through doing, having fun while studying, doing interactive exercises using technology, playing games …)
- In general, I’d say what they like most is … (having a good variety of activities, working in pairs and groups with their friends as well as individually …)
Please tell me about your first experience of teaching
If you haven’t taught yet, talk about your experience as a trainee teacher. Try to include a range of tenses as well as expressions and vocabulary to do with education. For example:
- I’ll never forget my first experience. It was with … (young learners, children, teenagers, adults … in a nursery/infants/primary/secondary school, college …)
- I had to give a class on … (maths, PE, science etc … ), and I’d prepared every detail of my lesson plan …
- There was one particular moment when … (I went completely blank, the technology wouldn’t work, I went bright red, the students started talking …)
Describe this picture.
You have to describe the people, what they’re doing, what they’re wearing (if it’s useful – for example, it could tell you something about the weather), but more importantly (especially at B2+), speculate as to where they are and how they might feel. Give reasons to support your ideas. Focus on the useful language of speculation & deduction. In this part we’re giving you sample B2 answers.
This is a children’s classroom. It looks as though it’s in an Asian country – it could be Japan – because all the children have black hair. They look about four or five years old, and they seem happy. They’re wearing school overalls, and they’re dancing, or maybe playing a game. The teacher looks European, so it’s probably a language school. In the background some women – maybe the mothers – are filming the activity, so it might be an end-of-course show.
How are foreign languages normally taught in your country?
This is your chance to use a lot of language-teaching vocabulary. Try to include some passive forms too.
Language classes in Spain follow quite a modern methodology now. There used to be more grammar and writing than speaking and listening, but nowadays there’s a lot of emphasis on communication and teachers aren’t so worried about students making mistakes. Younger learners are often taught through songs and games, and technology is used a lot with older children and teenagers. Students use tablets in class for interactive exercises.
Do you think that all students should be taught foreign languages? Why? Why not?
Here the examiner is asking for your opinion – try to give it in a variety of ways. Give reasons to support your opinion. Try to include modal verbs. Remember to use the gerund (‘ing’ form of the verb) if you want to use a verb as the subject.
I think students ought to learn at least one foreign language, because we all travel a lot (in normal times!) and being able to communicate is so important. I know we’ve got Google Translate now, but in my opinion that’s not the same! People respond better when you try to speak their language, so we should all make more effort. I believe that studying a foreign language opens students’ minds, and language teachers must try to encourage this.
Tell me what you see in these two pictures
Here the examiner is asking you to compare and contrast two pictures. You need to make sure you cover both photos, so don’t spend too long on the first one. It’s often a better idea to compare as you go, using words like while and whereas:
The first picture shows a very old-fashioned, formal classroom, while the second photo was taken in a modern classroom with new technology. In the first picture all the desks are in rows, and the students are separated from each other, whereas in the second the desks are pushed together in a semi-circle. In the first room the teacher’s desk is on a raised platform, while in the more informal class the teacher’s on a level with the students.
How has teaching/learning changed over time?
Make sure you use the present perfect to describe the changes. Contrast the present and the past – for example, by using ‘used to’ or ‘would’.
Well, I’d say the biggest change has got to be the use of technology in the classroom. We used to spend hours in the library looking things up in encyclopaedias, but that’s all changed now. Most of us have instant access to all the information we need, and that’s made a real difference in teaching and learning of every subject. Students have much more autonomy now. And having multimedia classrooms gives teachers far more choice.
How do you think that classes will change in the future?
This question gives you the chance to use future forms and conditionals as well as the language of opinion. Take that chance!
It’s often said that with all the new technology, teachers will probably disappear from the classroom. If that happened, I think we’d lose a lot. There’s already been a lot of online teaching because of the pandemic, but most teachers and students have really missed being at school. I imagine there’ll be more hybrid classes in the future – a mix of face-to-face and distance learning. But students will always want that personal touch, if you ask me.
Use the minute they give you to take notes on what you’re going to say. Don’t try to write full sentences. Divide your paper into three columns, to make sure you include each of the three points. Your answers don’t have to be equal in length – for example, how you felt will probably be the shortest part. But you must answer all the questions, so make sure you have something in each column. (Remember, the photo here is only decorative – do not describe it!)
Tell me about a special occasion in your childhood.
This part gives you the chance to use a variety of narrative tenses and forms (past simple, used to, would, past perfect). Here are some ideas to get you started:
I’ll always remember the time when … (my sister was born, I got a bike for my birthday, I saw the sea for the first time, I was in the school play, I got my first pet …)
I must have been about four years old …
The most memorable occasion was when …
I remember spending hours playing with my friends …
We would meet every day/play in the park …
How did you feel about it?
Try to include imaginative, colourful adjectives and expressions:
I’d never felt so excited/surprised/delighted! I was over the moon! I couldn’t believe my eyes! It was the best day of my life! I thought I was the luckiest child alive!
Do you think children have enough time to play?
Try to use different ways of giving your opinion this time. Here’s another sample B2 answer:
As I see it, children today don’t have as much free time to play as we used to have. There are so many extra-curricular activities, not to mention all the private classes so many kids have to do if they fail their exams. It makes me wonder if parents place too much importance on school, and not enough on having time to play. That could have something to do with the fact that in so many families, both parents have to work, and it’s often cheaper to enrol your children in an after-school class than to pay for a babysitter. But play is so important in a child’s development. We should all play more, in fact!
Listen to the native speaker again and try to copy her pronunciation and intonation. Note down some of the expressions you find useful for your own personal answers (don’t just try to remember everything the speaker said). Now go back to the mock-exam version of the video and try again. We’re sure you’ll notice an improvement!
Don’t miss the next video in the series: Aptis for Teachers: Speaking Practice Test 2.
If you want to practise your grammar, try Aptis for Teachers: Grammar Practice Test 1.
And to practise your vocabulary, try Aptis for Teachers: Vocabulary Practice Test 1.
And this post will give you more ideas: Top tips for your Aptis test.