How can I improve my Speaking skills for the IELTS exam?
Sadly, there’s no short cut to improving your level of English. Your English is at a certain level now and will only improve over time depending on how often you practise. However, there are some very important things you can do to make sure you prepare effectively for the IELTS exam.
Think about your habits when speaking English. For example, do you worry about making mistakes and therefore speak slowly and deliberately? Do you wait to be asked for your opinion before saying anything during a discussion? Do you find yourself hesitating when speaking at length?
Habits like these mean you’re not making the most of your opportunities to speak English. Try the task below to identify areas you can work on for personal improvement.
Read the statements below. Grade yourself from 1 to 5 on each one. (1 = Often, 5 = Never)
- Do you focus too much on speaking accurately at the expense of your fluency skills?
- Do you speak very quickly and don’t worry too much about accuracy?
- Do you often give short answers to questions with very little detail?
- Do you find it difficult to deal with comments or questions you don’t understand?
- Do you wait to be asked questions rather than asking questions yourself?
- Do you spend most of the time talking during conversations and rarely ask other people questions?
- Do you often repeat the same words and expressions instead of using a variety of vocabulary?
- Do you find it difficult to find the words or grammar to explain what you mean?
- Do you run out of things to say when making a long turn before the time’s up?
- Do your long turns ramble rather than have structure?
- Do you hesitate a lot during long turns?
- Do you find it difficult to vary your intonation?
- Do you find it difficult pronouncing certain sounds such as vowels, dipthongs or consonant clusters?
Did you score too many 1s and 2s? Each week prior to your IELTS Speaking exam, focus on one of the areas you’d like to see an improvement in. If you can lose the habits that slow down the development of your spoken English you’ll be closer to getting that top grade you’re after!
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