Speaking Test Strategies 17 Using alternative structures

Frank Gehry building at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Your structure can be typical or creative.

This lesson will focus on structuring your answer in a way that is more conversational, like a story. 


Let's start with a review of the basic argument structure. What is it? When is it most useful?

Warm Up: 

Examine the following sample answer. Where is the claim? How about the evidence?  

Question:What is the most dangerous area of your neighborhood? What makes it dangerous?


The most dangerous area? Well, in general, my town is pretty safe. It's a small town without a lot of crime. And my neighborhood is very quiet. But there is an area of town that I don't go in unless I absolutely have to. It's a low-income neighborhood with drugs and gangs. Every now and then, there's a shooting. The town is trying to improve the neighborhood, but it's still pretty bad. So that is definitely the most dangerous area in my town.


A. The sample answer in the Warm Up follows four basic steps. What are they? Discuss them with your instructor. 


B. Now your teacher has another question for you. Try answering it using the claim-last structure. 


Use this pattern to answer the following questions: 

  1. Is your company environmentally friendly? 
  2. What do you think about your country's relationship with its neighboring countries?
  3. What's the biggest challenge of working with a big team?