Al igual que en el caso de la mediación escrita, al tratarse de una destreza/prueba relativamente reciente en el aprendizaje de inglés como segunda lengua, muchos alumnos encuentran dificultades a la hora de abordar esta parte del examen. Si la enfocas como una prueba de expresión oral, sin más, al estilo de un monólogo o conversación estándar, muy seguramente no te salga del todo bien.
Aquí te explico algunas cuestiones y te doy consejos para que tu examen de mediación sea “a walk in the park“. 😉
Doing well at oral mediation implies having a good command of reading comprehension (when we are facing written texts). listening skills (when we have to mediate videos, audios or information of an audio/visual type) and speaking. However, oral mediation has its own characteristics.
The kind of texts (administrative and bureaucratic information, infographics, charts, posters, rubrics, etc.) that we are likely to find involve a variety of microskills and strategies that need to be carried out in order to handle written mediation tasks successfully.
These strategies include linking the information found in the text with previous knowledge, adapting the language and cultural references, so that the receiver can relate to the relevant information and said references do not impair their understanding. The challenging language can be adapted by rephrasing, paraphrasing and explaining technical concepts or cultural references.
Other strategies are simplifying the text, leaving out unnecessary information which is irrelevant for the receiver, and highlighting key information, trying to synthesize the text and boiling it down to the essential message that needs to be relayed.
On the other hand, when we come across graphics, charts, and infographics, or information that is presented in a very succinct way, we may need to amplify the information in the text, by giving examples, explaining things more thoroughly, or relating the information to facts and data that the receiver already knows.
Regarding micro-skills, the most important ones are clarifying, summarizing, interpreting the information in the text, adapting cultural references, paraphrasing, rephrasing, and translating. The most common problem that I tend to see is that most students mistake mediating for translating, and try to translate the whole text from A to Z, often making many mistakes in the process, and rendering the task way too long and unnatural.
I suggest you check this video that Victoria Santa Cruz, from the website The Way Experience uploaded on YouTube. Here, mediation and the strategies and micro-skills it implies are analyzed.