English Language SS1
Oral English: Public Speaking
Grammatical Structures: Phrasal Verbs
A. Oral English: Public Speaking
Although there is not an examination in Oral English in which you are required to give a talk or take part in an interview, Oral English remains very important for several reasons:
a. Paper 3 of WASSCE tests oral English with a written paper of multiple choice questions worth 60 marks.
b. A great deal of communication in the modern world requires a command of Oral English. Within Nigeria it is often necessary to use English but internationally, it is essential.
Skills Focus: How to Speak in Public
When speaking English, it is good to bear in mind the following points.
1. Your voice should be of the right volume. Do not speak too loudly or too softly. If you are speaking to a group of people in quite a large room- for example, in a debate, – make sure that your voice can be heard in any part of the room. Generally, talk quietly and convincingly and people will want to listen to you.
2. Do not speak too fast or mumble your words. Many people speak too fast and can not be heard clearly.
3. Try not to feel nervous – relax. Feel confident that your listeners will be interested in hearing what you have to say. Try to smile from time to time.
4. Point 3 is particularly important if you are having a job interview – don’t try to be a know-it-all! Indicate clearly that you are willing to learn.
5. Try to read your audience psychologically in order to know if they are following or not. Get their attention if they are not.
6. If you are called on to give a public speech of some kind, it is a good idea to jot down points, and generally prepare as you would for a written examination. Never just read out your speech.
Read a novel and relate in your own words the story of an interesting novel you have read to a friend of yours who suddenly comes visiting your house.
B. Grammatical Structures: Phrasal Verbs
A phrasal verb is a verb that is combined with a preposition (at, on, over, etc.) or adverb (back, down, off, etc.), and together has its own special meaning. For example, get away means escape; and speak up means speak louder.
Some phrasal verbs retain the meaning of the original verb while some others have meaning completely different to the original verb.
Examples of Phrasal Verbs:
- I asked them to come in.
(The phrasal verb come in means enter which is easily understood as we are familiar with the meaning of the words: come, in.)
- The deal fell through at the last minute.
(The phrasal verb fell through means not completed successfully which is different in meaning to the verb fell.)
Every text you read is almost bound to contain a phrasal verb. For example: Mabel Segun wrote in her essay
‘As I passed by, I wondered…’
Pass by is a phrasal verb.
You need to take some care when using phrasal verbs. Our advice is for you to consult a dictionary whenever you are in doubt of the meaning of a phrasal verb. We will be discussing two sets of phrasal verbs, one with get and the other with give.
Phrasal verbs with Give
|Give back||To return||Give me back my pen – please I need it!|
|Give off||To produce||The chemical gave off a strange smell when heated|
|Give up||a) To stop doing something
b) To spend time
c) To hand over
d) To lose emotional control
Phrasal verbs with Get
|Get across||To communicate||I will get across to you as regards the wedding later today|
|Get away||To escape||The police allowed the thieves to get away|
|Get by||To have enough||We have enough food to get by till the end of the month|
|Get in||To enter/arrive||The train got in at 8pm. They got in the train|
Complete the sentences below with suitable phrasal verbs from the tables. Remember to use the correct tense forms.
1. Hooray! Our team has ……… to the finals!
2. The smell in the chemistry lab was so strong that we ……….. as soon as we could.
3. The relay team …… to a good start.
4. Do you know who is going to …… the prizes this afternoon?
5. The police surrounded the bank, but the armed robbers refused to ………
6. They tried to …….. at the back, but the police caught them.
7. Haruna said he wanted to ……. science next term, but the teacher persuaded him not to.
8. Generators always seem to ….. when they are most needed.
9. We should all …… some of our spare time to working for the community.
10. Some very religious people decide to …… all their material possessions.
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sss two English for first term