Class 02 - Speaking Practise
IELTS Speaking 8.5 tips & tricks
This master plan is simple. Follow it, and you will increase your speaking band score. In this book, you have the tools you need to increase your speaking score to 8.5 by improving your vocabulary, grammar and coherence.
The IELTS speaking test is exactly the same for both IELTS Academic and for IELTS general. It lasts for 11 to 14 minutes and consists of three parts,
Part one of the IELTS speaking test is basically an introduction for you as the candidate and for the examiner. It gives you both an opportunity to get comfortable and gives the examiner an initial general idea of your level of English. There's no need to feel nervous here. I know that it's very difficult not to feel a little bit nervous but try to think of this as a friendly informal chat with a friend or an acquaintance. The examiner wants you to succeed in the IELTS test, and if you can show your personality and feel relaxed enough to show the examiner your level of English you will succeed.
Voice, Posture and Eye Contact in the IELTS Test
Voice projection, posture and eye contact do not appear in the criteria for the exam, but they are vital if you want to give the best possible impression.
Think about it for a second, if the examiner is struggling to hear you, he or she is getting very little eye contact from you and you are slouching over your chair looking at the floor, they are going to have serious problems understanding what you’re saying. This will definitely affect your band score. On the other hand, if you have great posture, great eye contact and great voice projection, your English speaking skills will be better and you’ll get a higher score in the test. The examiner will be able to connect with you, and you’ll be more fluent because you’ll be providing him or her with essential information through body language, voice and eye contact. It will be easier for you to explain things and you’ll instantly feel more comfortable and confident.
Confidence in the IELTS Speaking Test
As I mentioned above, if you focus on maintaining great posture, great eye contact and great voice projection, you’ll instantly be more fluent, and it will be easier for you to explain your ideas. This will make you feel more comfortable and confident straight away.
Communicating with confidence in English is a skill anyone can develop. It just takes patience and a willingness to learn from mistakes. It comes down to practice, practice and more practice. No magic.
IELTS SPEAKING PART 1 SECRETS
The examiner will introduce himself or herself at the start of the test and then ask you for your name and ID before you start.
Open body language
Warning: the examiner will probably interrupt you during the test
Don't take this personally, it's perfectly normal. The reason why they do this is because they have to manage time. They only have 11 to 14 minutes and they're not assessing your ideas. So they're not there to listen to your ideas and decide whether you're right or wrong . They are only there to assess your language. So once they realize that you have understood the question and you're able to answer it correctly with correct grammar, vocabulary, structures, organization and pronunciation, they move to the next question. So don't take it personally, everybody gets interrupted during the test.
Talking about things you like and dislike
If the examiner asks you about something you like or dislike, instead of saying
'I like football' or 'I don't like golf ' you could say something like
'football appeals to me because...' or 'golf doesn't appeal to me because'....
This will instantly give a better impression because you're still keeping it semi-formal and you're still using natural language, but you're showing that you know expressions that native speakers use all the time.
Another way of talking about things that you like or don't like is to say something like
'I get a lot of pleasure out of watching football'
or 'I get a lot of pleasure out of playing football'
In the negative
'I don't get much pleasure out of playing golf'
or 'I don't get much pleasure out of watching golf'
If you're talking about a routine that you like for example, you could say something like
'I'm fond of'.. 'I'm fond of' just means 'I like' basically, and 'I'm not fond of' is 'I don't like'.
So for example, you could say
'I am quite fond of walking in the park on sunny days'
If you are talking about something that you have enjoyed for a long period of time you can talk about something that you 'have grown fond of'.
So you could say for example,
'I've grown fond of my car and I don't want to change it' or
'I've grown fond of my phone and I don't want to upgrade it'.
What to say when you don't understand
If you say 'what?', that comes across as a little bit rude in a semi-formal situation, and if you say 'I didn't understand. Can you repeat please?' it sounds unnatural, as it's not something that a native speaker or somebody who has a high level of English would normally say in a conversation.
When you don't understand what the examiner has just said, it's better to say something like
'Sorry, I didn't quite catch that'
'Sorry, could you say that again please?'
'Could you explain what you mean by...?
If the examiner asks you a question and you don't understand one of the words, you could say
'Sorry could you explain what you mean by redundancy?'
By asking him or her with this phrase, you’re proving that you have a high level of English.
The examiner will not mark you down for speaking slowly, the only time when they might penalise you is if you stop or pause constantly because you don't know the word that you want to say. So, focus on speaking freely and slowly, staying calm and keeping a constant level of interaction with the examiner.
Remember that some people speak quickly, and some people speak slowly. The examiner does not know if you normally speak very quickly or if you normally speak very slowly, so take advantage of this and take your time.
EXAMPLE PART 1 with Notes and Sample Answer
Let’s talk about your outdoor hobbies.
Do you prefer indoor hobbies or outdoor hobbies? Why?
In this question they're just asking for an introduction to your daily activities or your hobbies. You don't need to expand too much on the answer. You just need to give a reasonably complete answer.
So, for example, you could say something like,
Well, that's an interesting question. I actually enjoy both indoor hobbies and outdoor hobbies. I think
that it's very important to have a balance of both, so that you can spend some time in the fresh air, do some exercise and stay healthy. For example, I to play football once a week. I also think it's important to spend some time indoors and be able to relax and read, or maybe pursue some sort of learning. For instance, I like to learn English and Spanish.'
What kind of outdoor hobbies do you enjoy? Why do you enjoy them?
In this question they're asking you to expand a little bit further. What you need to do here is choose perhaps one, two or maybe a maximum of three hobbies to talk about and you need to give them a substantial reason why you like each one of them without talking for too long.
You could say something like;
'Wow, I enjoy a lot of different things, but two hobbies that spring to mind are watching football and practicing scuba diving. I like to watch football every week with my friends. We all meet up in a bar or a cafe and we sit there and watch the football and catch up. It's a really important part of my week because it's the only chance I get to see my friends and share a few laughs. It really helps me unwind.
Another hobby I really enjoy is scuba diving. Unfortunately, I live quite far from the beach! So, it's not always possible to go diving every week, but I do try to get to the beach once or twice a month. I really like scuba diving because it's almost like a different world when you're down there. It's unlike any other sport I've ever tried. It takes you to a place where you can just look at the fish, listen to the sounds of the water and completely forget about your problems. It's a completely alien landscape and it's just mesmerizing. It's just marvellous to unwind under the water like that.'
What outdoor activities do you want to try in the future? Why?
Are there any hobbies that you'd like to try in the future? This is typical style of question for this part of the exam. What they want to know here is whether you can use modal verbs correctly and whether you can speculate about things that you have thought about doing.
'Actually, it's funny you should ask me that, .. I have been itching to try something like paragliding because I've always been drawn to extreme sports, but I've never had the opportunity to try one. I am a little bit scared of trying but I think I would be brave enough to do it if I went with friends.'
I’m itching to try = I really want to try
I've always been drawn to = I’ve always been attracted to
Let’s move on to talk about hobbies in general.
Why do people say that it’s important to have hobbies?
As the examiner asks you more questions in part 1 you might find yourself repeating some of the same answers in different ways, but don't let this distract you. Continue to focus on being natural, relaxed and chatty.
Why do people say that it's important to have hobbies? You could say something like:
'I think people say it's important to have hobbies because nowadays many people work long hours and in many cases they struggle to switch off when they get home, partly due to communication devices like mobile phones. I believe it's essential to be able to unwind and find things that distract you from your daily routine, as it can prevent burnout and other stress related issues. It's also crucial to have some physical as well as intellectual hobbies, as it provides balance and stimulation, and enables people to maintain good physical and mental health.'
Tell me about your favourite hobby. What’s the most interesting thing about it in your opinion?
Tell me about your favourite hobby. What's the most interesting thing about it in your opinion? You probably answered this already in the first question. If this was a real exam the examiner might skip this one and go to the next question instead.
But if they do ask you, you could say something like:
'Well, if I had to choose, I'd probably say that my favourite hobby is scuba diving. As I mentioned earlier, I don't always have the opportunity to go every week. It's usually once a month or twice a month maximum, but I find it really therapeutic. I always manage to de-stress every time I go, and I always really look forward to it. It allows me to clear my head and be in real contact with nature. I always get my best ideas after I've been scuba diving!
Is it easy to find time to practise your hobbies? (Why-Why not?)
Is it easy to find time to practice your hobbies? You can say yes, or you can say no, it doesn't really matter. There are no wrong right or wrong answers in the speaking test. You do need to provide a natural response and you need to show that you can express your ideas clearly.
‘It depends on the time of the year because sometimes I have more work than others (obviously like everyone) and sometimes I have more exams than others. If I don't have any exams and I'm just going to class and working, I get to practice my hobbies. As I said, I go scuba diving once or twice a month and I watch football with friends. I also play a little bit of tennis sometimes and I also like to go to concerts and live gigs. However, when I have exams It's impossible for me to pursue any of my hobbies, as
I’m WAY too busy!’
8.5 Level Speaking Phrases for IELTS Part 1
Please don’t try to learn all these, just read through the list and choose a few that you like and that you feel comfortable using. Make a note of these and use them in your practice answers.
As far as I’m concerned,
As I see it,
From my point of view,
In my humble opinion,
I’d say that...
Speaking from personal experience,...
For me personally,..
This is a topic that is particularly close to my heart...
It’s funny I was just thinking about this the other day.
My gut/initial reaction is...
I’m a keen/avid (surfer)
I’m keen on/fond of (surfing)
I (go surfing) to unwind, to escape the stresses and strains of my day to
I like nothing more than (to go surfing)
I’m itching to try/go.... (I really want to)
We see eye to eye.
Yeah, I’d go along with that.
You took the words right out of my mouth.
I couldn’t agree more.
You have a point there.
I’m with you 100% on this one.
Disagree (*try not to argue or disagree with the examiner!)
I tend to disagree with that.
That’s not always the case
Isn’t it more a case of...
Impressive structures (don’t overuse these)
Another point I’d like to add about ... is...
It’s also worth bearing in mind that...
I’d also like to point out that...
I think it’s important not to forget that...
The vast majority of people tend to think that...
At the end of the day...
When all’s said and done...