IELTS Grammar >> Test 8
Practice Test 8
In this episode we’re to going to listen to Amy who tried Practice Test 8 on the subject of ‘health’.
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Welcome to the IELTS Language Lab, brought to you by Peter Travis from ieltsspeaking.co.uk. In this episode we’re going to listen to Amy who tried one of the free Part 2 practice tests we’ve published on the ieltsspeaking website. The task was Speaking Practice 8:
Describe a time when you were ill. You should say
- what this was
- what your symptoms were
- how long the illness lasted
and say how it affected your life at the time.
The first time you listen decide if Amy answers the question appropriately.
I’d like to talk about when I had tonsillitis … it was more than 20 years ago … I was 17 years old and it was during the summer holiday … well the symptoms were very bad … I had a severe headache … and a high temperature up to 40 degrees … of course I had a sore throat … and I couldn’t eat anything or it was very difficult to swallow even water … I did this … illness three times in a row during this summer holiday … once I got this illness the symptoms lasted for up to one week so I had to stay on the bed … around three weeks in the summer holiday … so it affected my life in a great deal … in Japan our summer holiday is supposed to be the best time in a year … as … we have great weather and people catch up with their friends or families to have a barbecue together or going on the beach … and there are so many exciting events during this time like … fireworks festivals or music festivals and I missed out all the fun in this summer holiday so I still remember that I was very sad and upset.
Amy gave a full answer to the question, kept to the subject and related the events in an interesting way. By giving us an idea of what life is like in Japan during the summer holiday, she was able to emphasise how her life had been affected by having to miss out on all the fun.
Now listen a second time. How well do you think Amy did using the IELTS assessment criteria?
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy
- Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)
- Fluency and Coherence
Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Amy’s use of English was very good. The task requires the speaker to relate a past situation and Amy’s use of the past simple was accurate throughout. She managed to slip into the present tense when relating events during the summer and then back to the past tense to explain how she felt about missing the fun. There weren’t too many mistakes in her talk but can you spot anything wrong in these extracts?
- ‘so I had to stay on the bed’
- ‘so it affected my life in a great deal’
- ‘our summer holiday is supposed to be the best time in a year’
- ‘I did this … illness three times in a row’
- ‘to have a barbecue together or going on the beach’
The first three extracts contain the same kind or mistake, namely the use prepositions and articles. These should be expressed as:
- ‘I had to stay in bed’
- ‘so it affected my life a great deal’
- ‘our summer holiday is supposed to be the best time of the year’
We say ‘to have an illness’ so the forth extract should be:
- ‘I had this illness …’
Amy needs to be consistent with her verb forms in the final extract and say:
- ‘to have a barbecue together or go on the beach’
Amy had a good range of topic vocabulary, using words or expressions such as: tonsillitis
- severe headache
- high temperature
- sore throat
She also used some good general vocabulary or set expressions such as:
- three times in a row
- is supposed to be
- catch up with friends
There was one mistake worth commenting on. Amy said she ‘missed out all the fun’. This would be better as ‘missed out ON all the fun’.
Fluency and Coherence
Amy’s fluency was good. If you follow her talk using the transcript you’ll see she manages to utter speech units (clauses) without undue hesitation between words. Pauses tend to appear between rather than inside clauses, which is a sign of growing fluency.
Amy’s pronunciation was very clear and listeners should have little difficulty understanding her. She used a rising intonation when listing the things Japanese people do during the summer holiday and emphasised the words ‘and I missed out all the fun’ well to show her disappointment. Japanese is a syllable rather than a stress-timed language and as is typical of many Japanese speakers of English, Amy gives roughly equal emphasis to each syllable in a word and to each word in a statement. If she would like to work on one area for future pronunciation practice she could focus on word and sentence stress.
That’s the end of this lesson. Why not try this task yourself using Practice Test 8 on the ieltsspeaking website.