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IELTS Speaking - Test Overview

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Mark Moran

on 14 October 2010

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Transcript of IELTS Speaking - Test Overview

Speaking General Information Who is the examiner and where are they from? They can come from any country where English is spoken as a native language.

IELTS examiners are all professional teachers with advanced degrees. They understand the test is difficult. They will be patient with you, as far as time allows.

The examiner hopes you will do well. (It's much more interesting!)

They have received specific IELTS training to make sure they judge you fairly and honestly.

They might be tired on the day of the test, or they might be sick. Even though one examiner might seem unfriendly, your score should be the same in any case. What does the examiner listen for? This is only important if it gets in the way of communication. Speak clearly and you will be all right. Your Score To be Band 5, you can make mistakes and have hesitations, but you must make simple sentences easily and without mistakes. Strategies What is the format for the IELTS Speaking test? Exercises and Practice 1. Sentence Building
2. Connector Words
3. General to Specific
4. Paraphrasing
5. Speaking Tasks Week 2 An overview of the test The test has 3 parts 1. Familiar topics (3-4 minutes)

2. Long Turn (1-2 minutes + 1 minute preparation)

3. Discussion (3-4 minutes) Home, Work, College, Hobbies, Holidays, Sports, Free Time Describe a Person, Place, Thing, Picture, Movie, Book, Historical Figure, Friend, etc. Advanced discussion, analysis, prediction, description, evaluation, opinion, cause and effect, possibilities 1. Pronounciation 2. Vocabulary 3. Sentence Structure 4. Fluency and Coherence Some students try to improve their speaking score by using difficult words. However, using words incorrectly will LOWER your score! Avoid using difficult words or expressions unless you are sure of how to use them. Using better sentences is the best way to improve your speaking score in a short time, because using better sentences is how we COMMUNICATE. Of course fluency is very important but it is useless if you are not understood (if you are not "coherent"). You do NOT have to speak quickly, but too many hesitations are bad. Band 4

Band 5

Band 6

Band 7

Band 8 If you cannot make good sentences, if you hesitate too much, if your speaking is not clear or if you use words incorrectly, you will be Band 4 or below. To be Band 6, you must be able to use longer sentences with fewer hesitations. You need to use a variety of language. You can make some small mistakes if your meaning is still clear. Also, you should be able paraphrase. To be Band 7, you should be able to do Part 2 with no problem. You must use a variety of sentences and connect the sentences well. You must correctly use difficult vocabulary. You can make very small mistakes if your meaning is clear. You should be able to paraphrase very well. To be Band 8, you need a very wide vocabulary and the ability to speak fluently on any topic. You may make a few tiny errors, if those errors do not get in the way of communication. Part 1 Strategies The questions are easy, so the examiner cannot be sure of your level from only Part 1. You can give very easy answers, but this is a chance to make a good impression. If you give easy answers, the examiner will not know if you are Band 4 or maybe Band 5. If you give good, specific answers with explanations, the examiner will think you could be Band 6 or Band 7! You can use this time to practice making good sentences. If you wait until Part 2 and Part 3 to give longer answers, you might not do so well. Athletes and musicians always take time to warm up. You should too! Part 2 Strategies The biggest mistake students make is to not take notes. The examiner will give you a piece of paper and a pencil to take notes because speaking for two minutes without stopping is not easy. Even native English speakers will have trouble speaking for two minutes! Students who don't take notes often say, "Uh, I think maybe, um.... Um..., well... It seems to me...". "Uh" and "Um" are Band ZERO! Use notes to help you remember what you want to say. If not, you WILL get a low score. Use the P.R.E.P. method. once sentence about your main POINT 2 or 3 sentences to provide a REASON next, give an EXAMPLE re-phrase your main POINT Lets try it out! 1. take a yellow card

2. you have 1 minute to p.r.e.p. before speaking You must practice! Use a watch and give yourself one minute to take notes on a topic, then two minutes to make four or five sentences using the PREP method. You should practice one or two topics every day before the test. Part 3 Strategies Part 3 is the hardest part of the Speaking Test and it comes very fast. Most students aren't ready. When you hear the examiner say "And now I'd like to ask you some more GENERAL questions RELATED to your Part 2 topic", you know Part 3 is starting. Be ready! Do NOT take so much time. Two sentences for each answer is usually enough. If you have a long introduction, the examiner will think you don't know how to answer the question. Use the General-Specific technique. As soon as you hear the question, give a general opinion about the topic. Then give a specific reason or example in the next sentence or two. Before going into the room, take three DEEP breaths!

Do not worry about mistakes - everybody makes them! Instead, think about communicating well.

Do not worry about your accent. Just speak clearly.

Avoid slang or very informal language. We only use such language with our close friends.

Say NAMES slowly. If you say a name in your own language, you MUST explain it!

Do NOT use difficult words or expressions unless you are 100% sure you know how to use them right. If you use words at the wrong time, your score will be lower!

Make good, clear sentences to express your meaning.

Do not speak either too fast nor too slow.

You cannot ask questions on Part 1 or Part 2, but you SHOULD ask questions on Part 3 if you do not understand.

Do not change the topic. The examiner will think you cannot speak enough on that topic and will give you a lower score.

If you don't know much about a topic, talk about something related to that topic, then explain the connection.

Do not memorize answers to prepare for the test. The examiner will hear that you are not speaking naturally and will change the topic.

Practice speaking with a watch. You should use about 4 minutes for each part of the Speaking Test.

Practice speaking with a friend. Your friend can surprise you with all kinds of questions. Each week we will practice a different exercise We did this exercise/game in week 1 But first, I have some questions for you
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