In the CELBAN Speaking Test, examinees will engage in conversations, discussions, and role plays with a trained CELBAN examiner. The speaking prompts for the conversations and discussions progress in difficulty, beginning with concrete daily routine topics that are familiar to nurses and moving to more abstract, less predictable topics about health issues. Similarly, role plays begin with a basic nursing task and progress to more difficult interactions. The Speaking Test is evaluated based on standardized criteria from the Canadian Language Benchmarks.
The CELBAN Speaking Test is a virtual interview, and takes up to 35 minutes to complete. Examinees will interact with one trained CELBAN examiner who will conduct and record the interview. The recording will subsequently be assessed by an independent examiner, who will evaluate the examinee’s language ability. It is also necessary to record the Speaking Test for future reference to verify score, if needed, and for quality assurance purposes.
There are several different tasks within the Speaking Test. These tasks include the following types of spoken interactions:
- Small talk about familiar, everyday topics
- Role plays with nursing scenarios and nursing-related topics
- Discussions about health related concepts, ideas, and opinions
- Concluding remarks
During the role plays, the examiner will take on the role of a patient or a nurse, and the examinee will assume a nurse role. The examiner will provide instructions and the specific information that the examinee will need to ask for or explain during the interaction with the examiner. If the instructions are not understood, the examiner may be asked to repeat or clarify the instructions. Time will be provided to plan answers before having to begin speaking.
Test Taking Strategies
- Examines should listen carefully to the specific questions being asked and take the time to plan an organized response. It is not permitted to write out this plan, but planning your response before speaking is encouraged.
- Role play prompts should be read carefully and examinees should ensure to include all the sections or information included in the handout in their response.
- Examinees should consider the use of vocabulary, level of formality, and politeness that is appropriate depending on the purpose of each task, and the person being addressed (for example, a colleague or a patient).
Throughout the CELBAN Speaking Test, including the role plays, only an examinee’s language skills are being assessed, not their clinical skills. Examinees should communicate their intent and meaning in a clear and purposeful way. Correct and accurate non-technical, nursing-related vocabulary is required to get a high score.