Hi, there. My name is Emma, and in today’s
lesson, we will be looking at how to do well on the speaking part of the IELTS. So the
speaking part of the IELTS is divided up into three sections. Today, we’re just going to
be looking at section No. 1. So first of all, I will explain how to do well — oh, sorry.
First, I’ll explain what happens in Part 1 of the IELTS. And from there, we’ll look at
some things you should do to do well and some things you shouldn’t do, okay? So let’s get
started. So what happens in Part 1 of the IELTS? Well,
first of all, the speaking Part 1 of the IELTS is for both those taking the General IELTS
exam and the Academic. So whether you’re taking the Academic or the General IELTS, it’s the
same test with the same questions. Okay. It lasts between four to five minutes.
It’s made up of first an introduction. So the examiner is going to introduce himself
or herself. Then, you will introduce yourself. So for example, “Hi. My name is Emma. Nice
to meet you.” Okay, so there’s an introduction. And then, the examiner is going to ask you
some questions about yourself. So these questions aren’t that difficult. Usually, they’re about
where you’re from. So for example what city you were born in, where you grew up. They
might be about work. They might be about what you study, about your friends, about your
hobbies, food, sports, and another thing I don’t have up here, family. Family is also
common on this part of the IELTS. Okay? So usually, the examiner, after introducing himself
or herself, they will talk to you about two of these topics. Okay?” Now, the way they mark this part of the IELTS
is they’re looking specifically for pronunciation, okay? So can they understand what you’re saying?
Do you pronounce things well? They’re going to be looking at fluency. So what’s “fluency”?
Well, do you go, “Uh, um, uh, uh” a lot during the test? Or do you speak very clearly, in
a very nice rhythmic way? Do you use organizers or transitions? “First of all, secondly, finally.”
Do you use words like this? “Another reason.” Or do you have problems speaking at a normal
rate? So they look at that in fluency.” Then, they mark you also on vocabulary. Do
you use words like “good, bad” a lot? Those are very low-level words. Or do you use high
level words that really show off your vocabulary?” The final thing you’re marked on is grammar
and accuracy. So for example, do you only use the present test for the whole test or
are you able to correctly use the present tense, the past tense, present perfect, future?
How well is your grammar? Okay? So don’t panic. Maybe you’re weak in grammar.
Maybe you make some mistakes in grammar. But you’re marked equally on these four components,
okay? So now, let’s look at some tips on how to do well on Part 1 of the speaking part
of the IELTS. Okay. So what are some of the things we should
do to get a good mark in Part 1 of the IELTS for speaking? Well, we have a list here of
dos. Okay? So these are things you want to do. So the first thing that’s very important
is when you first meet the examiner, okay? If you’re very nervous, and you don’t make
eye-contact, and you look at the floor the whole time, you’re not going to do well on
the IELTS even if your English is pretty good. So it’s very important to present yourself
with confidence, okay? You want to go into that test and know you’re going to do well.
If you think you’re going to do well, you’re going to do a lot better. Okay? If you think
you’re going to do badly, you’re probably going to do badly. So think you’re going to
do well, and be confident. Okay? Another important thing is be friendly. Okay.
You want to smile. Body language is actually very important in the IELTS. You want to make eye-contact, okay? So don’t
look at your feet. Don’t look at your hands. Look at the examiner. But you don’t have to
stare at them, okay? Just look at them when you talk. Another thing a lot of students forget is
they don’t act excited when they’re answering questions. So what do I mean by this? Well,
they talk with a monotone. So for example, “Do you like playing sports?” This is a common
question on the IELTS. A student might respond, “I really like playing basketball. Basketball
is a good sport.” Okay. If the examiner hears that, you’re probably not going to get a good
mark. You should act excited about what you’re saying. Okay? “Yes. I love sports. Basketball
is my favorite. It’s, you know — I love watching basketball. It’s a lot of fun to play.” If
you seem excited, you will do better. Okay. The next thing that’s very important
is the vocabulary you use, okay? So remember, you’re getting marked on four different things.
One of these things is vocabulary. So how do you improve your vocabulary mark? Well,
don’t use simple, easy, boring, low-level words like, “I like basketball because it’s
good. I don’t like soccer because it’s bad.” Okay? These words, “bad, good “, they’re too
easy. You need to try to find vocabulary that is higher level and practice before you do
the IELTS. So for example, a good thing to do is look at the list of topics you will
probably be asked about. Food is a very common thing they will ask you about. So try to come
up with vocabulary in advance and practice this vocabulary about the different topics.
So for example, I know they may ask me a question about food. So I might learn some words that
have to do with food. Maybe I don’t know the word “cuisine”. Well, if they ask me a question
about food, I can say, “My favorite type of food — I love Indian cuisine.” Okay? And
there you go. They’ve just noticed you used a higher level word. Same with friends. A
common word we use when we talk about friends, we talk about “acquaintances”. Okay? So this
is another good word to use. So again, try to come up with vocabulary for each of the
different topics, and practice. Okay. Now, in this part of the IELTS, the
examiner may ask you about what you like. “Do you like to play sports? What hobbies
do you like? What are your favorite foods?” Now, one thing a lot of students do is they
overuse “I like”. “I like this. I like that. I like this. I like that.” This is not going
to help you with your vocabulary mark. So instead of using “I like” a lot, try something
different. “I enjoy playing basketball. I enjoy hanging out with my friends. I really
love yoga. I really love bowling.” Okay? “I prefer playing sports to doing other activities.”
So “I enjoy, I really love, I prefer” — I’m sure you can come up with more, but it’s good
to practice these types of expressions before you do the IELTS, okay?” Another key tip: Expand your answers. So what
does this mean? Well, maybe the examiner asked you a question, “What is your favorite food?”
Or — sorry. Let me think of a good example. “Do you like to play sports?” Okay? The examiner
might ask you that. Some students might just say, “No.” And that’s their answer. “Do you
like to play sports? Do you like to cook?” “No.” Well, the examiner is not going to be
able to judge your English if you answer questions yes or no. You have to give bigger, longer
answers. So this is what I mean by expand. Don’t just say “yes” or “no”. Even if you
don’t know what to say, make something up. So for example, a common question they ask,
“Where are you from?” Now, I could just say, “I’m from Toronto.” Or, “Toronto.” This isn’t
going to help my IELTS mark. It’s better if I expand this answer. “I’m from Toronto. It’s
actually the biggest city in Canada. It’s also considered one of the most multicultural
cities in the world.” I don’t have to talk too long about Toronto. I don’t want to say
the whole history of Toronto. I don’t want to keep talking and talking and talking. But
I don’t want a very short answer. So you need to find an answer that is not too short and
not too long. You want something in the middle. Okay? So that’s what I mean by “expand”. One way to expand your answers is by giving
examples. So I asked this question earlier. You know, “What’s your favorite food?” “Oh,
I love Indian cuisine.” How can I add to this? I can give examples. “My favorite dish is
palak paneer. It’s made from spinach, a type of cheese they use in India, spices. You know,
we often eat it at my house.” So there. Instead of just saying, “I like Indian food”, I’ve
given a lot of examples. And that’s what you want to do, okay? Finally, most importantly, practice. Okay?
So you know the types of questions you’re going to get. A lot about what you do for
work, what do you study, how many people are in your family — these types of questions.
Now, it’s important to practice your answers. Okay? Practice with your friends. Practice
with a mirror. Practice, practice, practice. It’s very important that you practice answering
these types of questions before you do the IELTS. Okay, so now, let’s look at some of
the “don’ts”, some things you shouldn’t do in the IELTS. Okay. So what are things you shouldn’t do?
Okay, now, we’re going to look at a list of what you shouldn’t do. So “don’ts”. Okay.
Don’t do this. Don’t speak with a monotone. So I already mentioned this. Don’t speak where
your voice flat, okay? Don’t speak like, “I have a mother and a father.” Don’t say things
like that. Speak with enthusiasm, okay? Not monotone. Okay. Don’t give yes/no answers. “Do you have
a family?” “Yes.” That’s a horrible answer.” Okay? It’s more — “Have you traveled to China?”
“No.” Okay. These types of answers are not the ones you want to give. Expand. Make your
answer longer, even if you have to lie. It’s okay to lie on the IELTS as long as you speak.
That’s the most important thing. Okay. Do not repeat the question. Okay. So
if they say, “Do you like sports?” “Yes, I like sports.” You’re wasting a sentence. Instead
of repeating the question back to them, find a better way to say it. “Do you like sports
in” “Yes. There are many sports that I find very fun and interesting.” Okay, so don’t
repeat the question. “Do you have a family?” “Yes, I have a family.” It’s not a good thing
to do.” Don’t go off topic. So sometimes, students
— they’re really actually excited, and they want to talk. And they want to show off their
language skills. And so they think, “Oh, yes. I need to expand my answers.” But instead
of expanding, they go and they talk about so many different things that don’t have to
do with the topic. So for example, if they ask me a question on my hometown, if I start
talking about Toronto, and then I start talking about education, and then I start talking
about technology, this is going off on too many different topics. Stick to what they
ask you. Okay? You can give examples, but they should be about — they should refer
to the question they asked you. Okay. Don’t answer, “I don’t know.” So in
the first part of the IELTS, this would actually be a difficult — I can’t imagine you actually
using this answer because the point of Part 1 of the IELTS is to make you feel comfortable.
So the examiner asks you questions about yourself. So you should know these answers. “What are
your favorite hobbies? What types of foods do you like to eat? How many members are there
in your family?” You shouldn’t answer, “I don’t know” to any of these questions. They’re
about you. And if — maybe you don’t know. Maybe you’ve
never thought about what’s your favorite food. Just make it up. Okay? Even if you hate sushi,
even if you hate West Indian food or Canadian food. That’s okay. Just make it up. “I love
West Indian food. I love Canadian food.” If you don’t know, make up your answer. Don’t speak too quickly, and don’t speak too
slowly. Okay? So this is a little bit about fluency. What often happens with students
is when they get nervous, they start to talk really, really, really fast, and they go a
mile a minute. They just go so fast. So if you’re the type of person that does this,
practice is speaking in environments where you get nervous. So this way, you can practice
maybe ways to deal with stress, ways to deal with nervousness. Try not to speak too quickly.
Also, don’t speak very slowly, okay? I’ve had some students who have used a lot of “uh’s”
and “ah’s”, and this is a problem. So don’t speak too slowly. Okay? Another thing: Don’t speak quietly. Okay?
A lot of students, they’re nervous, and they’re shy, so they talk like this. And the examiner
has to really listen. They can’t hear what they’re saying, and so you’re not going to
do as well if you talk quietly. Talk with confidence. Talk loudly so they can hear what
you’re saying. Okay. Finally, the most important point: Don’t
worry about being perfect. You do not have to speak perfect English to do well on the
IELTS. Even if you’re aiming for a mark of nine on the IELTS, a bandwidth of 9 — sorry.
If you’re looking for the mark of nine, you do not need perfect English, okay? You can
make mistakes. So if you make a mistake, that’s okay. If you can correct it easily, do so.
If you try to correct it and you’re going to make more mistakes or you’re going to take
a lot of time, it’s okay; just leave it. If you make a mistake, continue to talk. Move
on. There’s a chance that the examiner didn’t even hear that mistake. And they expect you
to make mistakes. So if you make a mistake between using “a” or “the”, if you make a
mistake in terms of grammar, it’s okay. Native speakers make mistakes, too. People are used
to hearing native speakers, ESL students make mistakes. So you do not have to be perfect.
I can’t say that enough. Don’t worry about being perfect. Okay? So if you’re wondering the types of questions
you may see on the IELTS, and if you want to practice with a friend or even in front
of the mirror, I strongly recommend you visit the website www.goodluckielts.com. On this
website, there are more tips, as well as practice questions for Part 1 of the IELTS. And information,
too, on the writing section, listening section, and reading section, okay? So I also invite you to come and do our quiz
at www.engvid.com where you can practice some of these tips that we’ve talked about today.
So until next time, take care.