General Conversation

Aus ZUM-Unterrichten

This is part I of the Speaking Test and lasts 3:00 minutes.

Good morning! I'd like you to pretend that you don't know each other. Ask questions to find out as much information as possible about each other.

In this section the examiner invites the candidates to ask each other questions in order to get information about personal details, home town, school, jobs, family etc. At an appropriate point, candidates should be asked to spell something (e. g. name, hometown, e-mail address).


Show that you are able to keep the conversation going:

  • Initiate (start the conversation)
  • Respond (answer)
  • Turn-taking (Hold a ping pong ball in your hand - imagine it's a hot potato and give it to your partner and vice versa!)

"What's your name?"

... und immer auf die Antworten reagieren:

"Oh, really? A good friend has got the same name"


"I like that name. It sounds beautiful!"

"Have you got a pet?"

"Oh, a dog! What kind of dog?"

- "It's a golden retriever."

- "What's its name?"

- "No, not its - he's called Timmy!"

- "How old is he?"

- "He's 7 months."

- "Oh, that must be fun to have a puppy … and a lot of work!"

Ihr werdet sehen, die Zeit vergeht wie im Flug!

Open-ended questions

If you want to keep the conversation going, start with a close-ended question:

  • Have you got a brother or a sister?
  • Do you like dogs?
  • What is your favourite subject.

Better still are open-ended questions!

  • What are you planning to buy today at the supermarket?
  • What is your favorite memory from childhood?
  • What do you plan to do following graduation?
  • What types of decorations do you plan to have for your friend's birthday party?
  • How did you and your best friend meet?
  • Why is it that every time I talk with you, you seem irritated?
  • How could I present myself better?
  • What is the matter with the people in that class?

Your partner can't just say "Yes" or "No". He or she has to answer in detail and you'll get more points in "discourse management"!