IELTS Grammar >> Test 6
Practice Test 6
In this episode we’re to going to listen to Monica who tried Practice Test 6 on the subject of ‘education’.
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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 Monica who tried one of the Part 2 practice tests we’ve published on the ieltsspeaking website. The task was Speaking Practice 6:
Describe a time during your education that you really enjoyed. You should say
- when this period was
- where you were
- what you were studying at the time
and say why you were so happy.
The first time you listen decide if Monica answers the question appropriately.
The time where I really enjoyed my education was probably in 7th grade … having been my school for three years then … because I moved in the 4th grade … I finally had a permanent set of friends … and … I … definitely knew more people … and the topics were … on a different scale compared to the lower years … we had lessons in algebra and biology we even had investigatory projects … and it really made me happy because … I felt like I finally broke through the wall of the … general education and started finally learning specific lessons and subjects and basically … it made me feel … mature.
Monica responded to the task appropriately but her answer was rather too short and she could have spent another 30 seconds to a minute on the subject. She could have developed her answer by giving further examples of her 7th grade school and why she liked it. For example, was she treated any differently by the teachers at 7th grade? Was there one lesson in particular she really enjoyed? Now listen a second time. How well do you think Monica did using the IELTS assessment criteria?
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy
- Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)
- Fluency and Coherence
Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Monica’s use of English was good and throughout the talk her statements were generally well formed, which indicates she has a good level of English. There were a couple of grammatical errors. Can you find them in the following extracts?
- ‘The time where I really enjoyed my education’
- ‘having been my school’
- ‘I finally broke through’
These should be expressed as :
- ‘The time when I really enjoyed my education’
- ‘having been at my school’
- ‘I had finally broken through’
Monica showed she had a good range of topic vocabulary and was able to express herself clearly.
Fluency and Coherence
In addition to the length of her talk, the other issue with this long turn was Monica’s fluency. She tends to pronounce each word individually rather than in ‘chunks’ or ‘speech units’. She can also be quite hesitant, with lengthy gaps in between words. Fluent speakers will often connect words together in chunks with pauses in between clauses. For example, taking the first section of Monica’s talk as an example, a fluent speaker would probably deliver it like this:
The time when I really enjoyed my education / was probably in 7th grade / having been at my school for three years then / because I moved in the 4th grade / I finally had a permanent set of friends / and I definitely knew more people / and the topics were on a different scale / compared to the lower years /
Notice that the pauses appear at the end of clauses (/) and the clauses consist of connected, not individually pronounced words. Monica could practise increasing her ‘speech rate’ by measuring her ‘words per minute’ and trying to increase the number over time. She could keep an oral diary each day. Before bedtime she could record herself describing the main events of the day. This will mean:
- she’ll have something to talk about
- she’ll be able to listen back and count her ‘words per minute’.
- she can identify whether she’s delivering her talk in chunks rather than individual words.
It’s important when doing this that Monica allows herself to make mistakes. The focus of the activity is on improving fluency, so she should try to relax and focus on this, not on speaking accurately at all times.
Monica’s pronunciation was clear and listeners should have little trouble understanding her.
That’s the end of this lesson. If you are preparing for the IELTS Speaking exam sign up now for the IELTS Speaking Advanced course. You’ll listen to advance level speakers attempting IELTS-style practice tests and will look at the kind or errors that tend to occur at this level. We also offer grammar lessons for many of these problem areas plus exercises to help you master them. You will learn strategies to help you showcase your English and vocabulary and functional language exercises will give you the tools you’ll need to impress the examiner on the big day.