Oracy and ESB assessment

Oracy – ESB assessment

We use ESB’s oracy assessments for our “Articulate” workshop. Currently we use the Speech to Inform syllabus for Year 9s but there are so many others to choose from. For primary children we use the graded ones which are very much like the music grades. Each English Speaking Board (ESB) syllabus has a similar format – give a talk, recite a poem or prose, read aloud and take questions from the audience.

We have been using the ESB oracy assessment for over 20 years in our teaching practice and once you have taught it once to get the hang of it, then you can really go for it with all your different age groups with a syllabus for every age and ability.

Oracy – Reasonable adjustments

Learners can have reasonable adjustments given for their oracy assessment as ESB are an inclusive organisation. Speak to them before you start your teaching to make sure that you have made them aware before the exam day.

Oracy – ESB assessment – full criteria

As a teacher of 25 years, one of the aspects that I like about each ESB syllabus is that for each section is clear and measured criteria – there are no hidden objectives. I share the criteria with the learners and this helps form the trust with the learner and they can judge for themselves what they are capable of. It also helps them to achieve the next ability easily. Here is an example below. Learners often start the week with no eye-contact with their audience and we help them to do it consciously at least a handful of times and they are then moving from a pass to good pass and so on.

Oracy – ESB Assessment Day

The students know from the beginning that they are going to be assessed which can cause some anxiety. However, by the time Friday comes they are super keen to get it done as they have worked so hard during the week. Speaking in front of their peers for the first time is often harder than the exam day and once they have overcome “peer fear” the rest is about building there talks and creating interesting tone of voice, and the others skills involved to become a good speaker.

The Assessors have a warm and friendly manner as they want everyone to relax and do their best. It is my favourite day of the week and I am often tearful when they speak with new found confidence and verve. The students are full of self-pride afterwards and the hard work is well worth it.

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