When you are preparing for the Speaking test, it’s really important to improve your fluency. Here’s an idea that might help.
In IELTS Speaking Part II, you have to talk for two minutes on a topic given to you by the examiner. Do you understand how you will be graded?
According to the IELTS Speaking assessment criteria, your speaking will be marked on the following five points:
- Fluency and coherence: how well your response flows and how well connected your ideas are
- Lexical resource: how well you use vocabulary to express what you mean
- Grammatical range and accuracy: how well you use English grammar, the variety of grammatical structures you use and how you use grammar to aid understanding
- Pronunciation: how easy it is for the examiner to understand what you are saying
- Relevance: you must, of course, stick to the topic on the card
This is not difficult to understand in theory, but are you confident you know what it means in practice?
Have you ever thought that the IELTS Speaking test is about more than just speaking? In this post we will look at the psychological aspects of the test, and think about how you can exploit them to improve your score.
Changing the outcome
‘Don’t leave that situation feeling, like, oh I didn’t show them who I am. Leave that situation feeling like, I really got to say who I am and show who I am.’ — Amy Cuddy
In the TED talk Your body language shapes who you are, Amy Cuddy explains how just two minutes of ‘power posing’ before an ‘evaluative situation’, such as the IELTS Speaking test, really can change the outcome.
‘I have no experience of the subject, so how can I respond?’
I often get this question from candidates. They worry they do not have knowledge of some of the topics that examiners might ask them about, for example a favourite building, an eye-catching advertisement or a memorable trip. Maybe you feel the same way?
A very important part of the fluency and coherence assessed in the IELTS speaking test are words and phrases called discourse markers. The term may sound complicated but the idea is simple: discourse markers are words and phrases we use to move through conversations, going from one idea to the next, to introduce new topics or return to old ones.
Many learners know it’s important to use discourse markers but don’t realize that most of these markers also reveal different underlying attitudes toward the new idea. Let’s look at four common discourse markers used to introduce opinions and try to clarify the attitudes behind them.
An IELTS test taker asked me this question: “In the Speaking test, I know I will be marked on how correct my grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are. But I don’t understand what this means. Do I have to speak in the same way I would write an essay?”