On your horizon lies an Afrikaans speaking test, an oral exam, an interview or an important meeting. It is vitally important for you to enter any one of these scenarios well prepared and feeling confident of a positive outcome.

While a candidate knows that he or she may have to take a written exam, there are also oral exams, like Afrikaans oral assessments, which have to be taken to show proficiency in Afrikaans. In this article, we outline a number of tips which help you get ready for and do your best at speaking in Afrikaans.

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Why Will I Have an Afrikaans Oral Comprehension Test?

If you are learning Afrikaans, at school, university, or with a language school, you will need to demonstrate how capable or competent you are in the use of the language. To do this, you will need to show your ability to speak in Afrikaans by answering a set of questions, as in a comprehension, or by discussing or presenting a particular topic.

Perfection is not what your teacher or examiner is looking for.

She or he will, however, expect you to enter the classroom or test locale well prepared, and ready to do your best. Your best will be defined by how well you have understood and practised what you have been exposed to during the course of your lessons.

The perfect end result at the end of an oral exam, is for you to have shown an understanding of Afrikaans and how to use it, as opposed to you merely repeating what it is that you have heard or learnt in a class. You would make a greater impression on your examiner if you answer questions in a creative way, showing understanding of Afrikaans, rather than repeating a set of stock-standard answers.

How to Prepare for an Afrikaans Comprehension Test

How you prepare for any task is vital to you achieving success at that task. A runner preparing for a 04:30-run on a Saturday morning, has to lay out his shoes, clothing, and plan his running snacks and beverages the evening before. To do that he or she has to visualise everything that is going to be required for every phase of the run and recheck everything before heading off to bed. Half the battle is done, as our runner will not be left scrambling for things and trying to remember what he or she needs whilst heading out of the door.

In much the same way, you have to put steps in place to ensure that you have covered all aspects of the work, related to the subject and topic at hand, and that you have practised speaking Afrikaans daily. You, as the student, also must pay careful attention when sitting in a classroom.

These two actions, along with daily revision, will definitely put you on the front foot when facing any test. Good preparation is an unspoken rule and you won’t, like our runner, be trying to cram anything into your head as you’re headed to your classroom or exam locale.

students and teacher seated listening to a speaker
If you are learning Afrikaans, there will come a time where you will have to speak in front of your peers. - Source: Pexels

How to Prepare an Excellent Afrikaans Presentation

As you prepare for your talk in Afrikaans, clarify exactly what is required of you and how long your speech, presentation or argument has to be.

  1. Enquire from your tutor about previous exams so that you can acquaint yourself with the format.
  2. To help you prepare, speak Afrikaans as often as you can, daily if possible. This is where working with a native speaker is extremely helpful.
  3. Regularly revise concepts that you are learning, so that you can use the language in as natural a way as possible.
  4. Remember that there may be more than one way of expressing an idea.
  5. Identify aspects you are strong at and those you struggle with. Spend time strengthening the weak ones.
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Ariane
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5 (9 review/s)
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R190
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1st lesson free!
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Ilonka
R190
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Tips to Help You Understand Spoken Afrikaans

In the modern age that we live in, there are scores of technological aids available which can help you advance in the learning of almost any subject. Below follow tips which can assist your comprehension (understanding) of Afrikaans.

  1. Listen to the Afrikaans language as often as you can.
  2. Make a point of listening to different kinds of information in Afrikaans on different websites.
  3. Listen to Afrikaans music. Download and print the lyrics of any songs that appeal to you and sing along, later researching the meaning of the lyrics.
  4. Certain sites offer audio-books which you can read for a free trial period or are totally free.
  5. Watch Afrikaans series and movies, initially with sub-titles.

Listening to the animated conversations between native speakers, can bring a smile to your face, especially when the language is as lyrical as Afrikaans. This listening activity will also greatly influence the rate at which you learn the pronunciation of words, intonation, grammar, vocabulary and interesting, often-repeated phrases or idioms. This way of learning Afrikaans may prove to be engaging and fun, especially is you try to join in the banter.

A great idea would be for you to record, in a note book, any new Afrikaans vocabulary which will help to boost your speaking skills. Preparing for an Afrikaans test takes place over a period of several months. Get your studies off to an early start and continue working every day!

woman using white headphones
Listen to Afrikaans music, radio and podcasts to improve your pronunciation. - Source: Pexels

A Template for Preparing for an Afrikaans Oral Exam

Here is a sample plan that works brilliantly! You must, of course, adapt it to suit your particular needs and circumstances.

  • Greeting: Goeie môre/middag. My onderwerp vandag is …

Good morning/afternoon. My topic today is …

  • Introduction

○    Outline your idea

○    Connect your idea to the topic

  • Section 1

○   Delve a bit deeper into your idea

  • Section 2

○   Discuss the link to the topic more explicitly

  • Closure (Conclusion):

○   Your aim here is to review the two main sections of your topic and to state your opinion.

Presentation Day Tips

  1. Speak clearly and articulately when you present your Afrikaans talk.
  2. Do not rush. Although you will be allocated a certain amount of time, speaking to fast may work against you, as your words start to run into one another.
  3. Stay calm. If you discover that you have very little time left, breathe and do the best you can in the time that’s left to you.
  4. Practise at home. This will help to keep you on track and help you time the length of your presentation.

If you want to raise your Afrikaans proficiency up to the level of your home language, you will have to be practising it daily, at every opportunity you get!

girl doing homework
Planning is crucial. Make notes of the main points you wish to discuss. - Source: Pexels

Acquire the Confidence to Ace Any Afrikaans Oral Test

The Afrikaans oral exams will differ between schools and other learning institutions. However, the tips reflected here can assist you anywhere.

You can start off, by making yourself study cards, which you can group by theme. Your themes could include verbs, nouns, adjectives, phrases or vocabulary. You could also have themes related to sport, adventure, professional fields and entertainment.

Write out outlines (synopses) of Afrikaans articles gleaned from magazines, books or newspapers. Read aloud these summaries which have been reduced to essential elements (main points) or a summary.

You should use every chance you can to practise speaking Afrikaans. Link up with others in a little Afrikaans second language group and try out your skills on one another. This group should serve as a great barometer as to how far or quickly you have progressed. The group will provide you with wonderful support as you continue your Afrikaans oral preparation.

The summaries which you created can serve as reading material, but more as a basis from which discussion of a particular topic takes place. Listening to spoken Afrikaans and reading will form the groundwork for your exam preparedness.

Listening and reading have to be essential elements of your preparation. These are great ways in which to expand your vocabulary, but also ways in which you correct any misconceptions or misunderstandings. Watch interesting TV shows which may grow your vocabulary, but also expand your use of the language and its idiom, in particular. Popular shows TV shows, such as Binnelanders, Getroud met Rugby, Jan Braai vir Erfenis (for foodies) and Suid-ooster may interest you.

If literature is you forte, you may want to delve into the works of Uys Krige, Dalene Matthee, Antjie Krog, Es’kia Mphahlele and Ronelda Kamfer among the many, talented and acclaimed Afrikaans novelists, poets and playwrights. These and many other writers will definitely help grow your knowledge of the Afrikaans language.

Tips for Successfully Negotiating an Afrikaans Oral Exam

On the day of your test, arrive early and be respectful. As you enter, acknowledge the examiner. Ask if you may sit down and, as is good form, thank him or her as you are about to leave. Stand erect and try not to make unnecessary hand gestures which may be distracting and betray your nervousness.

Have cue cards which simply display key words. This will prevent you from looking at them for any length of time, enabling you to maintain eye contact with the examiner. Speak clearly and audibly, without haste. Make sure that words are clearly enunciated and stressed.

Continue your presentation if Afrikaans, even when the examiner appears to be elsewhere or distracted …  don’t you be. Remain focused and on task.

You’ve come this far in your journey. Remain calm, breathe and start your speech! Remember you’re the only one who knows what the topic is about! Go on, show them what you're capable of!

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Trevor

Career teacher turned writer. Passionate about family, running, and the great outdoors.