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English Speaking Board assesses local students

The 15 students chosen as representatives of their schools for the 2009 ESB 'Young Speaker of the Year' award.

The 15 students chosen as representatives of their schools for the 2009 ESB 'Young Speaker of the Year' award.

Six assessors from the English Speaking Board (ESB) examined the standand of spoken English of hundreds of local children during their annual visit to Malta which was held last March. This year the assessments were held at St Aloysius' College, Birkirkara, the Archbishop's Seminary, Rabat, St Dorothy's Junior School, Zebbug, Sacred Heart Convent Junior School, Sliema, Thi Lakin School, Attard, Little Angels School, Birkirkara, and Chiswick House School, San Gwann.

The ESB was set up in England in 1953 with the aim of giving young people the chance to develop two important life skills - speaking and listening - which help improve self-confidence. Without such confidence, children cannot learn properly.

The ESB promotes and assesses spoken English in the UK and abroad based on its wide-ranging syllabi which cater for all standards of spoken English, from beginners to those who are already fluent in the language. The assessments are held in the students' own environment with classmates as an audience, and there is no written work required during the whole assessment. Since there is a relaxed and friendly atmosphere throughout the ESB assessment sessions the students look forward to them as they are like no other examination they have ever experienced.

There are four sections in an ESB assessment. Firstly, students are asked to give an oral presentation based on their personal experience, vocational or other interests, appropriately illustrated with visual aids, whereby students shows language skills they have acquired through knowledge and understanding.

In the second section, students recite, without a script, a piece of prose or poetry of their choice.

The third part involves reading out loud an extract from a book of the student's choice, while the last part is a listening and responding section which encourages the audience to react to whatever is said.

For enquiries regarding ESB syllabi and assessments, contact regional co-ordinator for Malta Pat Gauci on Tel. 2145 4446 or e-mail patgauci@waldonet.net.mt.

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