How to Start a Speech at GCSE

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GCSEs can be tough. There is no hiding from this fact. Not only do you have to do written exams, but you also have to do oral exams too! You may already know that you are required to complete an oral exam in modern foreign languages. However, many students are not aware that GCSE English language also requires you to complete a spoken assessment. Don’t worry though! Writing a speech can be easy, if you know how.

To start a speech, you need to be aware of your audience. If they want to be amused, then it’s great to start off with a joke! However, if the topic is quite poignant or upsetting, a heartfelt quote may be the way to go. There is no set way to start a speech. It really depends on the individual. However, your teacher will hopefully give you tips and tricks, depending on the topic you do.

Speeches can definitely seem daunting. However, once you start writing, it can be so easy. Carry on reading if you want to see how you can start a speech and soon you will be writing the full thing in no time.

How do you start your speech at GCSE?

Different schools decide different topics on what your speech should be on. For example, you may be asked to write a speech about what you want to be when you grow up or talk about your favourite role models.

Regardless, it is important that you start your speech in the best way possible. Your opening needs to be impactful and memorable. This will help you receive a better mark overall because your teacher is more likely to remember your speech.

The best way to begin any speech is to introduce yourself. You will be doing the oral assessment in front of your teacher and possibly some of your classmates, so they do already know who you are.

However, introducing yourself is more professional and signifies to the teacher that you are taking the assignment seriously. Then, lead with an impactful statement about your topic.

Make it sharp and poignant, possibly allowing your audience to sympathise or identify. Alternatively, you could begin with a quote. This shows how you are well researched and have found speeches or ideas from other people about your chosen topic.

However, remember that it is up to you how you start your speech. Some people even start with a joke!

Speeches can actually be very similar to essays. Check out this article from Think Student about how to write an essay. It could give you some good ideas.

How do you write a speech for GCSE English language?

Writing the speech can seem like a very daunting task. Not only do you have to talk for at least ten minutes in front of your teacher and classmates, but you also have to write a speech by yourself!

Therefore, this assessment also assesses your writing abilities. On the surface, it may seem like only your spoken English is assessed. However, don’t be fooled!

This makes it even more important that your speech is memorable. For a comprehensive guide on how to write a speech for GCSE English language, check out this link from Assignment Geek.

In your introduction, you should give an overview of the topic you will be discussing. The introduction should also be used to engage the audience, so make sure you spark their curiosity.

To write the main body of the speech, you just need to remember how you have been taught. Make your point, give an example or evidence to support it and make sure that you express your own opinion.

It can also be good to have a power point presentation to use when performing your speech. This can keep your audience engaged. Check out this article from Think Student to discover how to do a great presentation.

How do you structure your speech for GCSE English language?

Ideally, your speech should be split into three main sections. These are the introduction, the main body of the speech and the conclusion.

As already stated, the introduction should be used to engage your audience and make them want to know about your topic. The main body of the speech should answer all of their questions in detail.

You should be talking about two to three points. Always making sure that your own opinion is expressed.

Finally, your conclusion should summarise your whole speech into a single paragraph. You should give your final opinion and tie up any loose ends. Hopefully, all of your audience’s questions will be answered.

However, as part of the assessment, your classmates or teachers can ask you questions. Therefore, make sure you are prepared for any questions you may be asked!

This article from Think Student gives some tips on how to write and perform a speech. It describes a different situation, but the principles are the same.

What percentage of your GCSE English language grade is a speech assessment?

If you are not very good at speeches, don’t worry! The speech assessment you do does not actually contribute to your overall GCSE English language grade!

Instead, it is a separate qualification. The reason for this can be found on page 39 of the Ofqual GCSE guide if you click here to find it on the National Archives website.

Put simply, the speech assessment is a separate qualification due to time constraints. Teachers may also be biased and give certain students better grades than others. They may also feel pressure from the school to give good grades.

Therefore, not including the speech assessment in the overall grade allows standardisation. This means that all students can be assessed fairly.

However, the grade from your speech assessment will be printed onto your GCSE certificates. Only your written exams for GCSE English language will contribute to your grade.

Check out this article from Think Student if you want to learn all about the GCSE English language qualification.

How is your GCSE English language speech marked?

You can receive, a distinction, merit, pass or fail on your GCSE English language speech assessment. Distinction is the best mark you are able to get.

A fail is the lowest and if you receive this grade, it will be referred to as ‘not classified’. However, it is unlikely that you will receive a fail. As long as you speak well, there is no reason to not pass.

The assessment will be marked by your teachers. However, to standardise this procedure, all students should be recorded. This allows external examiners to check that the teacher is assessing their students correctly.

 They are then able to revise the grades as they see fit. Check out this page on the government website for a more detailed overview about the assessment.

Do you have to do a speech for GCSE English?

The government website states that you must do a speech for GCSE English language. This is because it is seen as an important aspect of the English language qualification.

This makes sense, as English language exams only assess your memory and how good you are at identifying language features. The oral exam allows your spoken English language to be assessed. This is just as important, if not more so!

This is because being able to speak fluent, well-spoken English means you will be an ideal candidate for jobs. Getting this qualification shows potential employers that you can easily interact with anyone and be easily understood.

The reasons this speech qualification has been introduced can be discovered in more detail on the government website, if you click here.

However, certain students can be exempt from the assessment. For example, if they have a disability.

Just remember to be confident when you give your speech. Preparation is also key! As long as you are prepared and confident, you are certain to get a distinction.

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