GESE Grades 4–6 (A2.2–B1.2 CEFR) Elementary Stage
This includes B1 Speaking and Listening GESE Grade 5 ESOL Entry level 3 /B1 test level on the CEFR which is approved by the Home Office for use in Settlement/ILR and Naturalisation applications made on or after 28th October 2013.
Introduction to the Speaking and Listening GESE Elementary stage
By the end of the Elementary stage, the candidate can:
● understand the main points of clear speech on familiar matters
● enter into conversation, express personal opinions and exchange information on familiar
subjects of personal interest or related to everyday life
● demonstrate a sufficient range of language to describe experiences and events and give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
This profile is based on the level Independent User, B1 test level, in the Common European Framework of Reference.
Trinity College B1 Speaking and Listening Test GESE Exam format
The exam at each grade consists of the following:
● greetings and setting at ease
● discussion of a prepared topic
● conversation on two subject areas
● end of conversation and leave taking.
B1 Speaking and Listening Test GESE Exam procedure
● The examiner begins by greeting the candidate, trying to set him or her at ease and asking to see the candidate’s identification (for Grade 5 and above).
● The examiner asks the candidate for the Topic form and the candidate tells the examiner what he or she is going to talk about.
● During the Topic phase, the examiner randomly selects one of the discussion points on the Topic form and asks the candidate questions and makes comments to facilitate a spontaneous discussion about the prepared topic. This continues until at least four points on the Topic form have been covered. During the Topic phase, the candidate asks the examiner at least one question related to the topic. This phase lasts up to five minutes.
● The examiner then closes this phase of the exam and moves on to the conversation.
● During the Conversation phase, the examiner selects one of the subject areas listed for the grade and engages the candidate in genuine conversation. This is repeated with a second subject area chosen by the examiner. During the conversation the candidate gives information, makes statements and responds as appropriate.
In addition, at Grade 5 the candidate must ask the examiner at least one question related to the subject areas being discussed and at Grade 6 the candidate must ask at least two questions. This phase lasts up to five minutes.
● The examiner brings the conversation and the exam to an end.
Sample exams at the Elementary stage GESE Grade 4, Grade 5 and Grade 6 can be found here on the Trinity College website.
If you are taking the B1 Speaking and Listening Test/GESE grade 5 exam then for practice you should take a particular look at the videos for GESE Grade 5 candidate Serafim and Srija and see their marks noting how these were arrived at.
B1 Speaking and Listening Test GESE Elementary Stage Guidance
Discussion of a prepared topic
The purpose of the Topic phase is to give candidates the opportunity to display their command of the language of the grade while talking about self-selected and personally relevant topics.
● When choosing the topic for discussion, candidates should prepare the topic on a subject they are personally interested in, knowledgeable about and able to discuss with the examiner.
● Please note the topic should not be chosen directly from the list of subject areas for the Conversation phase. Instead, candidates should be strongly encouraged to prepare a personalised topic. This is to enable candidates to show a wide range of language throughout the exam.
● The personal aspect is an important feature of all Trinity exams. Therefore, candidates should be discouraged from selecting the same topic as their peers. Teachers should ensure that if groups of learners do decide to use the same topic, e.g. football, every effort is made to personalise the content.
● The topic should provide candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate the language requirements of the grade. Therefore, candidates should be encouraged to incorporate language items of the grade into their contributions.
●When preparing the topic candidates are advised to think carefully about the amount of material necessary for their topic, bearing in mind the time available. They should prepare enough material to sustain a discussion of the topic for up to five minutes, but not more.
● Candidates must not prepare their topic as a written script, as this will inevitably lead to a memorised recitation and result in the candidate not being prepared to use spontaneous spoken English. Recitation will have a negative effect on the assessment of this phase.
● In preparing their topic, candidates are advised to anticipate questions the examiner might ask. They should be prepared to give further examples, explanations and clarifications as requested by the examiner.
● Before the exam, the candidate must complete the Topic form and bring it to the exam room. The Topic form is designed to help promote a spontaneous discussion which must not include or rely on a memorised recitation.
● The candidate must complete the Topic form with the required number of points for discussion (four discussion points for Grade 4, five for Grade 5, six for Grade 6). One short sentence or phrase will suffice for each point. The candidate should prepare enough material about these points to sustain a discussion of up to five minutes, but no more.
● At all Elementary grades, the examiner will ask the candidate to talk about at least four of the discussion points on the Topic form.
● The examiner will refer to the discussion points on the Topic form in no particular order. Therefore, all of the points should be thematic and provide an opportunity for discussing different aspects of the topic. Topic forms must not include such general points as ‘Introduction’, or ‘What I did next…’.
● The Topic form can be written by a person other than the candidate as written skills in English are not being assessed in these exams. However, the content of the form should have originated from the candidate.
● As the Topic form is crucial for the execution of this phase, the phase will not take place if the information contained on the form is not made available to the examiner.
● It is a requirement of the exam that candidates ask the examiner relevant and appropriate questions throughout the Topic phase.
● At all Elementary grades, the candidate must ask the examiner at least one question about the topic.
● Candidates may bring pictures, photos, diagrams or other useful objects into the exam room to illustrate the topic and aid the discussion with the examiner. However, live animals or dangerous objects such as knives must not be brought into the exam room.
● Please note a candidate who fails to prepare a topic for discussion cannot be assessed for Task fulfilment for this phase. The phase will be voided and this will result in a fail being awarded for the exam as a whole.
The Conversation phase
The purpose of the Conversation phase is to give candidates the opportunity to participate in a genuine and interesting exchange of information, ideas and opinions, while demonstrating their ability to use the language of the grade.
● The Conversation phase consists of a discussion of two of the subject areas listed for the relevant grade. Although the examiner will only select two of the subject areas listed, candidates need to be prepared to talk about all of them.
● Candidates are encouraged to contribute as much as they can to the conversation and make every effort to show the examiner the range and quality of the language required for the particular grade.
● Candidates must not memorise or recite responses to the examiner’s questions as this will lead to the candidate being unable to take part in a genuine conversation with the examiner.
● At each grade, candidates are expected to use the communicative skills, language functions and language items listed for the grade and for the previous grades. Therefore, those responsible for preparing candidates for the exams should ensure that candidates are completely familiar with the
language items, understand their meaning and can use them accurately and appropriately.
● At GESE Grade 5, for the B1 Speaking and Listening Test, candidates are required to ask the examiner at least one question related to the subject areas in this phase.
● At GESE Grade 6, candidates are required to ask the examiner at least two questions related to the subject areas in this phase.
GESE Grade 4, 5 and 6 Assessment
At the Elementary stage, the examiner assesses the candidate’s performance by awarding a letter grade A, B, C or D for Task fulfilment for the Topic and Conversation phases. In simple terms, these
levels can be classified as follows:
● A — Distinction (reflects an excellent performance)
● B — Merit (reflects a good performance)
● C — Pass (reflects a satisfactory performance)
● D — Fail (reflects an unsatisfactory performance).
The combination of the two letter grades, i.e. the one awarded for the topic and the one awarded for the conversation provides the overall level of achievement.
The Trinity College examiner completes an individual Exam report form immediately after the exam. The Exam report form provides an indication of the result of the exam and identifies key areas for improvement. The final result is confirmed by the issue of a certificate (or otherwise) by Trinity within a specified period after the GESE exam.
At our ESOL test centre we offer the UKBA accepted, Speaking & Listening exam at B1 entry 3 level which you need when you make an application for UK Citizenship. You will also need the Life in the UK test. This is the Trinity College London GESE grade 5 Speaking & Listening exam/B1 test.