How to be more effective in IELTS speaking
Let’s face it. Many students are terrified of IELTS speaking. They believe that it is the hardest test in IELTS. Some aren’t very comfortable with speaking in English. How do you then conquer your fear of speaking? There are several ways on how to do this. Let’s list them one by one:
1. Get a tutor.
It’s hard to practice on your own. You can’t be very objective when you assess your own speech. You need another person, an expert who can point out to you your mistakes especially in grammar and pronunciation. There are online IELTS teachers out there who can help you address your weaknesses.
2. Watch videos.
In Youtube, there are many IELTS speaking videos which you can use to pattern your speech. Take note of their answers especially the language that they use. Note also how they give examples and expand their speech.
3. Expand your vocabulary.
Have a vocabulary list which you can use when delivering your speech. Make a list of words on common IELTS topics such as environment, technology, education, leisure, work and travel.
4. Divide your answers.
Some students have a tendency to become circular in their speech. It’s not about the length of your answers. It’s about the quality of your answers that matters. Make sure that you always think of top two main points such as the top two advantages, causes, problems, etc. Structuring your answers will help you focus on your speech.
5. Build rapport with the examiner.
Don’t think of the speaking test as a job interview. Think of it as having a conversation with a friend. It doesn’t have to be very formal. Imagine the examiner as the most comfortable person you’re talking to. When you do that, you become more at ease and it will help you build rapport with the examiner. Be friendly and interact with the examiner.
6. Establish eye contact.
Some people are intimidated with the examiner so they don’t make eye contact. If you’re intimidated by the examiner, you can look on his/her forehead. He/she wouldn’t notice that you’re not looking through his/her eyes.
7. Use personal experience.
Some examiners get bored with hearing the same answers. When it’s your own experience, it’s more interesting. Moreover, when you share your personal experience, it’s easier to draw from your long term memory. If it’s hypothetical, that’s when you grasp for words and get dead air.
8. Use language of comparisons.
There are some questions that ask you to compare people or compare past and present. In these kinds of questions, try to use the language of comparisons such as better, more or less. For instance, you might be asked to compare males and females in terms of work. You can say that males have strong physique compared to females.
9. Use concrete descriptions.
In the IELTS speaking, you’ll be asked to describe things, people, places and events. Make sure that you exhaust all senses such as size, color, shape, and material. For example, you are asked to describe your favorite object. You can talk about your mobile phone. You can describe it by mentioning the model, the style, the color of your phone.
10. Extend your answers.
There is no such thing as a Yes or No question. Always extend your answers. Avoid one-liner answers. Provide reasons why you answered yes or no. For example, in the question “Do you cook?” You can answer, “Yes, I cook and my favorite dish is lasagna.”
If you follow these tips, you can very well get a high score in IELTS.