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CELPIP Lesson 2 - Tips and Questions

Updated: May 15

Tips for CELPIP Speaking Test:

also available: introduction to CELPIP

Practice Regularly:

  • Regular practice is essential to improve fluency and confidence in speaking English. Engage in conversations, practice with sample questions, and consider partnering with a language exchange or tutor.

  • Expand Vocabulary: Enhance your vocabulary to express ideas more precisely. Use a variety of words and phrases to avoid repetition and showcase a broader range of language skills. Focus on Pronunciation:

  • Pay attention to your pronunciation. Practice speaking clearly and enunciating words. Record yourself and listen for areas where you can improve. Manage Time Effectively: Practice managing your time during the test. Each task has a specific time limit for preparation and response. Develop a strategy to use your time wisely. Organize Thoughts:

  • Structure your responses logically. Organize your thoughts before speaking, ensuring a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. This will help you deliver coherent and well-structured answers. Be Mindful of Tone and Pace:

  • Be mindful of your tone and pace. Speak at a moderate pace, and vary your tone to convey enthusiasm, confidence, and engagement. Stay Calm and Confident:

  • Nervousness is normal, but try to remain calm and confident during the test. Take a deep breath before responding to each task. Remember that the examiner is there to evaluate your language skills, not judge you personally. Listen Actively:

  • Pay attention to the instructions and questions. Listening actively will help you respond appropriately and address the specific requirements of each task.

Verified CELPIP Speaking Component Overview

As you may already know, there are two types of CELPIP tests – the CELPIP-General Test and the CELPIP-General LS Test. While the CELPIP-General Test has four components — Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, the CELPIP-General LS Test has two components — Listening and Speaking. In this blog, we will discuss tips for acing the speaking part of the CELPIP test.

The time allotted for the speaking component is 15-20 minutes and includes eight tasks in total. These tasks are as follows:

  1. Giving AdviceYou will be asked to advise someone. You will have 30 seconds to prepare your answer and 90 seconds to record your answer. The only other task that gives you 90 seconds to record your response is Task 7. All other tasks allow 60 seconds to record. Example Question: Your friend has been missing school and hasn’t been attending classes for over a month. If this continues, he might be suspended. Give your friend advice on what he should or should not do if he wants to stay in school. Tip: Treat it as a real-life situation. Empathize with the friend, provide two or three pieces of advice, explain your reasoning, and conclude with supportive words.

  2. Talking about a Personal ExperienceHere, you need to talk about a personal experience. Engage the listener by adding details and making the story interesting. Tip: Use specific details to make your story engaging.

  3. Describing a SceneDescribe a given photo or picture in detail. Your goal is to create a vivid image for someone who cannot see the scene. Tip: Mention what the people are doing, objects present, their positions, and other details to demonstrate your observational skills and vocabulary.

  4. Making PredictionsYou will be shown a picture and asked to predict what might happen next. Use speculative language like "likely" or "I think." Tip: Provide reasons for your predictions to show logical thinking.

  5. Comparing and PersuadingYou must choose between two options and persuade someone to agree with your choice. If you don't select, the computer will decide for you. Tip: Use logical arguments and enthusiastic intonation to be persuasive.

  6. Dealing with a Difficult SituationExplain how you would handle a challenging scenario, such as negotiating between differing viewpoints. Tip: Clearly state your choice and reasons, demonstrating problem-solving and communication skills.

  7. Expressing OpinionsThis task also allows 30 seconds to prepare and 90 seconds to respond. It tests your ability to clearly express an opinion. Tip: Explain the reasons for your opinion, focusing on clarity and coherence.

  8. Describing an Unusual SituationDescribe a strange or unique picture to someone over the phone, aiming to provide a clear and detailed description. Tip: Focus on describing every detail accurately to ensure the listener can visualize the object or scene.

Additional Tips:

  • Practice Regularly: Use a mirror or record yourself to evaluate pronunciation, intonation, and speech pace.

  • Neutralize Your Accent: Aim for clarity in your speech rather than adopting a different accent.

  • Engage with Real-life Scenarios: Practicing in real or simulated environments can help improve your spontaneous speaking skills.

These tips and details should provide a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the CELPIP Speaking Component.

Sample Questions and Answers:

Here are sample questions for each of the eight tasks in the CELPIP Speaking Component:

Task 1: Giving Advice

Sample Question:Your friend is feeling very stressed about their upcoming final exams and is considering dropping out of a couple of courses to lighten their load. Give your friend advice on how to manage their stress without dropping any courses.

Sample Answer:"Hi there! I can see that you're really stressed about your final exams, and I completely understand how overwhelming it can be. However, dropping courses might not be the best solution. Instead, I suggest creating a study schedule that breaks down your tasks into manageable chunks. This way, you can focus on one thing at a time without feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, try incorporating some relaxation techniques into your daily routine, like deep breathing exercises or a short walk to clear your mind. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to your professors; they might provide some helpful resources or advice. Remember, you've worked hard to get this far, and I believe you can handle this with a bit of planning and self-care."

Task 2: Talking about a Personal Experience

Sample Question:Describe a memorable vacation you took. Include details about where you went, what you did, and why it was memorable for you.

Sample Answer:"One of the most memorable vacations I took was a trip to Japan last spring. I spent two weeks exploring various cities, starting with Tokyo, where I visited the bustling Shibuya Crossing and the serene Meiji Shrine. The highlight of my trip was definitely Kyoto, with its beautiful temples and traditional tea houses. I particularly loved the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove; walking through those towering bamboo stalks felt like stepping into another world. This vacation was memorable because I got to experience a unique culture, try delicious food, and meet incredibly friendly people. It was a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, making it an unforgettable experience."

Task 3: Describing a Scene

Sample Question:Look at the picture provided. Describe the scene in detail, including what the people are doing, the objects in the scene, and the overall atmosphere.

Sample Answer:"In the picture, I see a bustling market scene. There are numerous stalls lined up along a narrow street, each covered with colorful awnings. Vendors are selling a variety of goods, from fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts and clothes. People are walking through the market, some stopping to inspect the items on sale. I notice a young woman haggling with a vendor over the price of a scarf, while an elderly man examines a basket of ripe tomatoes. Children are running around, adding to the lively atmosphere. The overall scene is vibrant and energetic, with the sounds of chatter and laughter filling the air."

Task 4: Making Predictions

Sample Question:You are shown a picture of a group of people standing in front of a broken-down car on a busy highway. Predict what will happen next and explain why you think so.

Sample Answer:"Looking at the picture of the broken-down car on the busy highway, it’s likely that the group of people will try to get help soon. They might call a roadside assistance service to come and fix the car or tow it to the nearest garage. Judging by their concerned expressions, they seem to be discussing their next steps. I also notice that one of them is on their phone, probably contacting the service. Additionally, since it's a busy highway, I think they will try to move the car to the side of the road to avoid obstructing traffic and ensure everyone's safety. This prediction is based on their body language and the situation's urgency."

Task 5: Comparing and Persuading

Sample Question:You and your friend are planning a weekend getaway. You prefer going to the mountains for hiking, while your friend prefers a beach resort. Persuade your friend to choose the mountains.

Sample Answer:"Hey, I know you love the beach, but I really think we should consider going to the mountains for our weekend getaway. Hiking in the mountains offers a unique experience that we don't get to enjoy often. Imagine breathing in the fresh, crisp air and taking in the breathtaking views from the summit. It's a perfect way to disconnect from our busy lives and immerse ourselves in nature. Plus, hiking is great exercise and a fun way to challenge ourselves physically. We can still relax by a mountain stream or have a picnic with amazing views. I think it would be an adventurous and refreshing change from the usual beach trips."

Task 6: Dealing with a Difficult Situation

Sample Question:Your colleague has been consistently late to work, which is affecting the team's performance. As the team leader, explain how you would address this issue with your colleague.

Sample Answer:"Hi [Colleague's Name], I wanted to have a quick chat with you about something that’s been affecting the team. I’ve noticed that you’ve been arriving late to work quite frequently. I understand that sometimes unforeseen circumstances can cause delays, but it’s starting to impact our team's performance and project timelines. I wanted to see if there’s anything going on that you’d like to talk about or if there’s a way we can support you to ensure you can get here on time. Perhaps we can discuss adjusting your start time slightly or look into other solutions that can help. It’s important for us to work together to maintain our productivity and ensure we meet our deadlines."

Task 7: Expressing Opinions

Sample Question:At what age do you think children should be given their first mobile phone? Explain your opinion and provide reasons for your answer.

Sample Answer:"I believe children should be given their first mobile phone at around 12 years old. By this age, they are usually in middle school and start to become more independent. Having a mobile phone can be a useful tool for staying in touch with parents and ensuring their safety, especially if they are involved in after-school activities. Additionally, it can help them learn to manage responsibility and understand the importance of using technology appropriately. However, it's crucial that parents set clear guidelines and monitor their usage to prevent any negative effects such as excessive screen time or exposure to inappropriate content."

Task 8: Describing an Unusual Situation

Sample Question:Describe to your friend on the phone a very unusual piece of artwork you saw at a gallery. It looks like a giant, abstract sculpture made of metal and plastic, shaped like a swirling vortex.

Sample Answer:"Hey, I just saw the most unusual piece of artwork at the gallery. It's a giant sculpture, probably about 10 feet tall, made entirely of metal and plastic. The sculpture is shaped like a swirling vortex, with layers upon layers of twisting and turning pieces that seem to defy gravity. The metal parts are polished and shiny, reflecting light in different directions, while the plastic sections are colorful and translucent, creating a mesmerizing blend of colors. It feels like the sculpture is in constant motion, even though it's completely still. The overall effect is both chaotic and beautiful, and it's definitely the highlight of the exhibit. You have to see it to believe it!"

These sample answers should help you understand how to approach each task and provide detailed, coherent responses.


Other sample questions:

Task 1 - Giving Advice:

Question: Imagine your friend is planning a vacation. What advice would you give them?

Answer: I would suggest researching the destination, considering the weather, and planning activities in advance to make the most of the trip. Additionally, it's essential to budget wisely and be open to trying local cuisine.

Task 3 - Describing a Scene:

Question: Describe the image you see.

Answer: In the picture, I can see a serene beach with golden sand and crystal-clear blue water. There are palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze, and a few people are enjoying the sun. The overall scene exudes tranquility and relaxation.

Task 6 - Dealing with a Difficult Situation:

Question: How would you handle a situation where you have a disagreement with a colleague at work?

Answer: In such a situation, I would strive to maintain open communication. I would express my perspective calmly, listen to their viewpoint, and seek a compromise. If needed, involving a supervisor or mediator could help resolve the disagreement constructively.

Task 8 - Providing Information:

Question: Provide information about the advantages and disadvantages of working from home.

Answer: Working from home offers flexibility and eliminates commuting stress. However, it may lead to isolation and difficulty in separating work and personal life. Balancing these aspects is crucial for a successful work-from-home experience.

Task 2 - Talking about a Personal Experience:

  1. Question: Describe a memorable trip you've taken in the past.

  • Answer: One of the most memorable trips I took was to Paris last year. The city's iconic landmarks, delicious cuisine, and rich history made it an unforgettable experience.

  1. Question: Share a personal achievement or accomplishment that you are proud of.

  • Answer: One achievement I'm proud of is completing a marathon. It required months of training and discipline, and crossing the finish line was a moment of great personal triumph.

Task 4 - Making Predictions:

  1. Question: Predict how technology will impact education in the future.

  • Answer: In the future, I believe technology will revolutionize education by providing personalized learning experiences, virtual classrooms, and easy access to information, making education more accessible globally.

  1. Question: Speculate on the future of transportation in urban areas.

  • Answer: I predict that urban transportation will shift towards sustainable options such as electric vehicles, efficient public transit systems, and the integration of smart technologies to reduce traffic congestion.

Task 5 - Comparing and Persuading:

  1. Question: Compare the advantages of living in a city versus living in a rural area.

  • Answer: While city living offers diverse opportunities and amenities, rural areas provide a peaceful environment and a closer connection to nature. It ultimately depends on individual preferences and lifestyle.

  1. Question: Persuade someone to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

  • Answer: Adopting a healthier lifestyle can lead to increased energy, improved mood, and overall well-being. Incorporating regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep can significantly enhance one's quality of life.

Task 7 - Expressing an Opinion:

  1. Question: Share your opinion on the impact of social media on society.

  • Answer: In my opinion, social media has both positive and negative impacts. While it facilitates communication and connection, it also raises concerns about privacy, mental health, and the spread of misinformation.

  1. Question: What is your view on the importance of cultural diversity in the workplace?

  • Answer: Cultural diversity in the workplace is crucial for fostering creativity, innovation, and a more inclusive environment. It brings different perspectives and experiences, contributing to a richer and more dynamic work culture.

Task 1 - Giving Advice:

  1. Question: Your friend is planning to start a small business. What advice would you give them?

  • Answer: I would advise your friend to conduct thorough market research, create a solid business plan, and focus on building a strong online presence. Additionally, networking with other entrepreneurs and seeking mentorship can be valuable.

  1. Question: Someone is preparing for a job interview. What advice would you offer to help them succeed?

  • Answer: I would suggest researching the company, practicing common interview questions, and preparing specific examples to showcase skills and experiences. Dressing professionally and maintaining good body language are also essential.

Task 3 - Describing a Scene:

  1. Question: Describe a bustling city street during rush hour.

  • Answer: Picture a city street filled with people rushing to and from work. Cars honking, pedestrians navigating crowded sidewalks, and the vibrant energy of the city create a lively scene during rush hour.

  1. Question: Explain a peaceful scene from nature, like a forest or a beach at sunset.

  • Answer: Imagine a serene forest with tall trees, chirping birds, and a gentle breeze rustling the leaves. The golden hues of the setting sun cast a warm glow, creating a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere.

Task 6 - Dealing with a Difficult Situation:

  1. Question: How would you handle a disagreement with a friend or family member?

  • Answer: I believe open communication is key. I would express my feelings calmly, actively listen to their perspective, and work together to find a compromise. Maintaining mutual respect is crucial in resolving conflicts.

  1. Question: Describe a challenging project or task you've worked on and how you successfully managed it.

  • Answer: I once had a complex project at work with tight deadlines. I organized tasks, prioritized activities, and delegated responsibilities effectively. Regular communication with the team ensured a successful outcome.

Task 8 - Providing Information:

  1. Question: Provide information on the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy sources.

  • Answer: Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, offer environmental benefits by reducing carbon emissions. However, their intermittent nature and initial setup costs are challenges that need consideration.

  1. Question: Share information about the impact of technology on communication.

  • Answer: Technology has revolutionized communication, enabling instant connections globally. However, concerns about over-reliance on digital communication and potential loss of face-to-face interactions should be considered.

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