The Ultimate Guide to IELTS Speaking

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

the ultimate guide to IELTS Speaking

Do you want to score better in IELTS speaking test?

Then, it is no secret that you need to understand and use the official criteria of assessment.

A lot of sites talk about these IELTS speaking band descriptors, but not many actually go into any detail.

Today I’m going to take you behind the scenes of these band descriptors (assessment criteria); so you can learn how to use them to achieve a perfect band score.

I think you’ll be impressed. And if you can learn even one small insight, you can use it for the rest of your life.


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Downloading the pdf version would be great for you to use it again and again in future. But, if you like to read it for now, then keep reading this article.

You can consider this article the-

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Sound good?

Yeah, you read that right… you get to follow every single suggestion I make.

How well you do in speaking module will depend on the use the following criteria:

1. Fluency and coherence

  • Hesitation
  • Length of turn
  • Repetition
  • Self Correction
  • Cohesive Devices
  • Situational Appropriate Speech

2. Grammatical range and accuracy

  • Complexity
  • Rules of Thumb

3. Lexical resource

  • Lexical range & accuracy
  • Use of collocation
  • Ability to paraphrase
  • Use of idiomatic items

4. Pronunciation

  • Intelligibility
  • Chunking
  • Rhythm
  • Intonation
  • Stress
  • Speech Rate
  • Accent
However, you don’t need to be Stephen King to speak and score well in IELTS. But you do need to make sure that you cover all these four points.

Though they’re advanced, they aren’t that complicated to implement or use. I’m going to break them down step by step in this post, and I encourage you to start using as many of them as you find useful.

What You Will Learn

  • Understand these 4 marking criteria of IELTS speaking test
  • The sub-factors associated with these 4 criteria
  • Why these criteria are essential
  • How easily you can use these elements to top the band score
So, without further delay, let’s get started.


1. Fluency and coherence

What should be the first criteria of a good speaker in any language?

They need to be fluent. Isn’t it ?

Fluency can be described as the ability to talk without longer pause-without saying umm..omm.. when searching for words to express something.

For example, you do not make delay of 5 seconds between 2 sentences or between 2 words in a sentence when you speak in mother tongue.

So should you while speaking in English to prove your fluency.

However, IELTS examiner looks for specific clue in your speech to review the fluency. These factors or clues are:

  • Hesitation
  • Length of turn
  • Repetition
  • Self Correction
Now, let`s discuss these features one by one.

  • Hesitation
It is generally common for novice speakers to delay the speech while wondering for appropriate words to express their feelings. .

In fact, this hesitation can occur from stress or nervousness.

But it is also true that, if you are too much relaxed then you may not perform better and your ability to improve will drop away.

Look at the following curve that illustrated the “optimum” level of stress for maximum performance.


According to this curve, when your level of nerves is just right, it is called “Goldilocks” level of stress.

More specifically, the main cause of this hesitation is a particular mindset. These candidates think using right grammar & vocabulary is the only option they have to score better.

Good news is that this idea is not true for IELTS exam. When you speak to the examiner, your most important goal is to deliver understandable massage..

Do you really have to use the perfect grammar & vocabulary to make your speech understandable? Definitely not.

Does it mean that there is no need to learn them ?

Not at all.

Particularly , if you are opting for higher band score.

In fact, candidates who scores band 7 or higher are able to speak fluently while “only rarely to search for language”. At the same time the grammar and vocabulary of these candidate are almost “in nature” like native English speakers.

That means, you have to practice appropriate word or grammatical structure in specific context, hundred times to make it habitual.

Practicing this way will reduce hesitation and improve your fluency.

However, hesitation is ok to search for ideas as we do this in our native languages too.

You will need to find some phrases that can fill the ‘silence’, though.

For example, native speakers tend to say things like ‘Well, let me think…” or “That’s an interesting question.” You can use these fillers as well.

  • Length of Turn
If someone is fluent in any language, naturally their answer would be longer.

People won`t speak at length if they are week in English because they will find it difficult go in any detail by forming more words and sentences.

For example, research shows that in part 2 of the test, average talk (score 5.0) lasts only 39 seconds whereas candidates need to speak for 120 seconds (2 minutes).

You may think that can be happening for personal habit of speaking less.

But that is not true.

In fact, there is some evidence that candidate who scores higher usually delivers longer speech in answering any questions.

There is no doubt that longer speech will prove your fluency to impress the examiner. So, longer turn is directly linked with high IELTS band score.

But, when you speak at length, you have to organize your thoughts somehow. With a little practice and imagination, you can master these organization and able to give a fairly long answer.

Do you know that expert speakers inevitably use some structures when they speak at length.

Here is a good post about using these speaking structures.

  • Repetition
According to a report of Forbes; president Barack Obama master his public speaking by using three techniques among which repetition is one of them.

Repetition can be helpful to emphasize an argument in your IELTS speaking test.

However, repetition during the IELTS speaking exam can be counts as negative gesture where students can lose a vital 0 .5 band score on the 9 band scale.

Look at the Band 9 descriptor under "Fluency and Coherence" in IELTS speaking band descriptor where it says: "speaks fluently with only rare repetition or self correction."

Repetition occurs when IELTS candidates unnecessarily repeat the same words over and over again.

Like:

There are different reasons behind increasing air pollution in today`s world. Air pollution is happening for using more and more car. Therefore, to solve the air pollution, we should limit the use of car.

Notice the repetitive use of “Air Pollution” and “Car” in this statement. Using synonyms and pronouns can correct this statement.

For example, we can say :

There are different reasons behind increasing air pollution in today`s world. This (pronoun) is happening for using more and more car. Therefore, to solve this problem (synonym), we should limit the use of vehicles (synonyms).

  • Self Correction
If you look at the band 9 or 8 descriptor under "fluency and coherence"; you will see it says "speaks fluently with rare (occasional)..self correction".


It is natural to make mistakes while you speak. Native speakers also make mistakes.

Once you know a mistake happens with something you have said, don’t ignore it – stop, correct yourself and move on.

For example: ‘I has visited…sorry, I mean..I have visited Italy last year and it was a wonderful.. ’.

You don’t lose points for errors that you self correct.

Unfortunately a lot of candidate makes assumptions at this stage that start correcting things would not be wise here.

Accurately self-correcting mistakes is essential to recovering your speech.. which will eventually show the examiner that you have control over the language.

However, self correction could lead to lose points if the candidate is unsure of how to offer a correction.

The examiner may consider these as minor errors or slip of tongue but with unsuccessful correction a small mistake may become a much bigger one.

In that case, the best advice is to move on by not compromising with fluency.

Now come to COHESION.

You my not impressed with the idea that the fluency solely indicates a candidates proficiency in English?

What about, the examiner doesn’t understand you at all although you speak without hesitation, self-correction and repetition.

At this point of understanding, the feature "cohesion" comes in action.

It is almost universal that a good speech should contain well developed topics with a logical structure…that would be easy to follow and understand.

Let`s look at the example of a candidate answering in a IELTS speaking test.


The examiner scored her with band 8 because she "develops topics coherently and appropriately".

But, how the examiner knows that she develops the topic without losing coherence?

He used the following indicators to justify coherence:

The use of

  • Cohesive Features
  • Situational appropriate speech.
# Cohesive Features

Watch the IELTS speaking test of Anuradha from Malaysia who scored 9 by using fully appropriate cohesive features (example: if you’re talking about; other than that; I think it’s more; as you can see).


So, what are these cohesive device?

Cohesive devices can be described as the words or phrases that make connection and build relationship between ideas in a speech.

These devices are also known as discourse markers, linkers, connectors, or transition signals.

You surely have discourse markers in your native language which give space, rhythm and fluency to communication.

Native English speakers use discourse markers ALL THE TIME. They give us time to think, to flow, to fill the spaces, to change the subject, and to connect with the subjective feel of communication.

In IELTS speaking test, candidates must make sure that examiner can follow their speech.

To make this happen, candidates can offer some clues in their speech so that their ideas could be interpreted by the examiner.

For example, you can start sentences with following phrases:

  • First of all (I like to talk about my personal experiences)
  • Moreover (there are few incidents recorded in the last few years indicating rapid climate change)
  • In my view (rich countries who are mostly responsible for global warming should pay the debt to poorer nations)
  • On the other hand (poor countries should make innovation about how to cope with the changing climate)
  • I guess that (research should be carried out more extensively to protect total annihilation due to climatic change)
These clues in speech are used to signpost ideas and make to build a naturalistic spoken discourse.

The research of Applied Linguistic in University of California also suggests that “Negotiations for meaning are related to a lack of cohesive devices in non native speaker (NNS) speech”.

That means, the higher proficiency level of speaker, the more complicated types of cohesive devices they can apply in speaking.

Now, If you think of using these cohesive phrase go to this link to learn more or to understand with practical example.

Remember, you need to be using a range of these phrases with some flexibility to score a 6 or a 7 for fluency and coherence in the original IELTS speaking test.

But, using one markers again and again can lead you to lose points.

Sounds interesting? Look at this interview of Justin Bieber where he uses the device “like” several times which sounds so novice.


If you are doing the same, this is easy for examiners to spot, and it can have a negative impact on the Fluency and Coherence grade.

# Situational Appropriate Speech

How do we speak?

Generally, we arrange words following grammatical rules to make a sentence.

But, do you think this tactic always work while you speak with real people?

For example, you can never start a conversation with these sentences:

  • How many uncles and aunts do you have? or
  • What is the color of your hair?
Although, there is nothing wrong with these sentences, at least grammatically.

But, the problem is Speaking English is more than linking words by grammatical rules.

In fact, it`s all about using the right sentence in a given situation.

If that’s true – and it is – then your job is to ensure that situational appropriate speech stand out in all of your conversation.

Like you can say:

  • I guess you have come from a large family? (Instead of: How many uncles and aunts... )
  • Your hair looks shiny today; did you use something to color it? (Instead of: What is the color....)
Remember, using appropriate language structures in your IELTS speaking test is a tricky matter.

If you do not follow these situational discourse, you`ll be delivering relatively unconnected speech regardless of the context and loose marks.

Here is a good source where you’ll learn phrases and expressions that you can use in different context during IELTS speaking test.

2. Grammatical range and accuracy

Are you filmier with the following sentence?

“I’m worried about making grammatical mistakes while I speak.”

If you are a non-native speaker of English, it is very normal to make mistakes in grammar.

But, it does not mean that you are weak in grammar.

We usually make grammatical mistakes while we speak. This is because; we can only concentrate more on grammar while we write rather than speak.

On the other hand, many native speakers of English also make mistakes in grammar while speaking.

That`s why IELTS speaking band descriptor (band 7) says: “frequently produces error-free sentences, though some grammatical mistakes persist”.

But, if you want to score band 8 or higher, you should produce consistently accurate sentences apart from ‘slips’ characteristic of native speaker speech.

That`s the accuracy part of this speaking band indicator.

Notice, there are two parts of this indicator- accuracy and range.

It means, high scores will not be awarded if a candidate only doesn’t make any grammar mistakes. The score will also depend on the range of grammar.

The score in the "Range" section is based on a number of different factors including:

  • Complexity
  • Rules of Thumb
  • Complexity
I would like to use all simple sentences in my IELTS speaking exam.

Because I think it is the easiest way to prove my fluency in English.

If you`re thinking like me and want to get a high band score, then I am telling - you`re wrong.

When all sentences in your speech are short (simple sentences), you`ll be producing choppy rhythm which sounds very unnatural.

It will be causing auditory irritation to the examiner.

For instance:

Examiner: Tell me about the place where you are from?
Candidate: I was born in a village. It is very beautiful there. The size of this village is small. All people are friendly to each other.

What do you think? Doesn`t it sound choppy?

To get band score 7 or higher, you`re expected to produce more varied sentence structures.

In fact, you need to use mix of simple, complex and compound sentence without making lots of grammar mistakes.

Let`s give the answer of previous typical IELTS speaking question now.

1/Simple: I was born in a village.
2/Compound: The size of this village is small but it is very beautiful.
3/Complex: I like to live there because all villagers are friendly to each other.

As you can see, this process is so easy. There are 2 ways to do this:

1. Use conjunctions "and/but/or" to connect two sentences.

2. Use subordinate conjunctions like "when/where/though/because/if/since etc" to combine sentences.

  • Rules of thumb
How can you demonstrate a wider range of grammar in your speaking?

Actually I do believe that some rules of thumb can help a lot here.

These rules of thumbs include grammatical features, e.g. relative clauses, variety of tenses.

Indeed there are some difficulties in using these features.

However, I am presenting some guidelines which can make things a lot easier for you.

# Relative clauses

Expert level IELTS candidates do not give short answers, they speak MORE! That means they use to expand answers.

An easy way to do this is to make impressive complex sentence by using relative clauses.

You need to be comfortable with relative clauses to show your advanced grammar skill in speaking.

For instance, look at this typical answer using relative clauses:

I live in Sydney which is the most populous city in Australia. The city is packed with spectacular spot that attracts tourists from all over the world.

So, we use pronouns such as which, that, whom, whose, when, where, or who to make clear which person or thing we are talking about.

Have you ever wondered about how to use this pronouns (which, that, whom, whose, when, where, or who) to make these type of sentences?

There is a wonderful guide written by Dr. Murray and Anna to sort out this problem.

# Variety of Tenses

Using relative clauses is not the only way to show range of grammar.

For instance, A poor speaker can use only present simple tense.

If the examiner notices too many sentences with same tense, your score may drop down to 5.

So, Aim For Variety!



Let`s look at the example of a typical question where the candidate use various tenses.

Question: What is your favorite film?
Answer:
Present Simple: Titanic is my favorite film.
Past Simple: I first saw this movie when I was 13.
Present Perfect: I have seen it in our local cinema hall.
Present Perfect Continuous: Since then, I have been watching Titanic in my home for several times.

Talking like this would be an good indicator of the basic tenses can use in your speech. It will boost your marks.

3. Lexical resource

Most of the time, you cannot speak with a single word.

Do you?

In fact, you need to use multiple words to coveys your speech.

Now, the question is how efficiently you can use several words to give a full picture.

This is where the second installment of IELTS speaking grading criteria is justified- Lexical Resource.

More specifically, you should check the following grading criteria under Lexical Resources:

  • Lexical range & accuracy
  • Use of collocation
  • Ability to paraphrase
  • Use of idiomatic items

  • Lexical Range & Accuracy
Do you know there are 2,000 more frequently used words in English?

On the top of it, there are about 3000 words altogether specific to academic contexts.

Several research have suggested that advance speakers use less high frequency vocabulary in their speaking discourse. Instead, they use more academic words.

Saying that, it is now needless to say, this quantititative lexical range is used to spot expert level speakers in the IELTS test.

That means, the proficiency of using range of academic words indicate the lexical improvement of candidate`s speech.

In addition to range of vocabulary, lexical or linguistic accuracy also appears as criteria for assessing speaking.

Housen and Kuiken (2009) define accuracy simply as “error free” speech.

Any incorrect word selection in the language produced can lead to inaccuracy.

For example:

"I wish I can see them soon"
This is coded as lexically inaccurate: "wish" should be “hope”.

Technically, a lexical error could be intentional or unintentional (slip of tongue).

Whatever the reason may be…the less you make these, the better your score would be.

  • Use of collocation
Do you think the following words make sense?

  • sounds humor
  • sense exciting
Probably not!

Instead the following words make sense:

  • sense of humor
  • sounds exciting
Because, the word "sense" goes with "humor" & "sounds" goes with "exciting".

These are all collocations.

Native speakers use these collections to for fluent production of utterance.

Collocations are chunks of words usually kind of stick together.

Are you thinking about the use of collocation in IELTS speaking test?

The Speaking Public Band Descriptors says:



Here “with some inappropriate choices” means the candidate will make slight mistake in putting word combinations (collocations) together.

That means, using appropriate collocations are useful to get high band score.

But, where can you learn these useful collocations for widening your active ‘lexical resource.’

Go to this link to learn lots of lexical chunks useful for IELTS speaking.


  • Ability to paraphrase
Don’t you hate it when you cannot remember a word to explain a situation, while you would be speaking with the examiner?

One powerful way to handle these tricky communication situations is to rely on paraphrasing.

Paraphrasing means to restate information in different words when the speaker forget the word ( or you don't know the word in English).

It is normal that you will face this kind of problem in your IELTS speaking test when you can`t remember some words at all.

You cannot just mumble in this situation and lose your points. Use the tricks of paraphrasing here; you`ll boost the band score at 7 or 8 level.

You can follow the rules of Forget-Explain method to make effective paraphrasing.

1. First let the examiner know that you`ve forgotten the word; by saying:

  • Actually, can't seem to remember the word
  • Let me try to put it into plain words or Let me to explain what I mean here
2. Secondly, use the following sentences to explain your word:

  • Well what it is
  • It is a kind of
  • In some ways it's similar to
  • It's actually something like a
Let us use this technique to answer a typical IELTS speaking question.

Question: How can we reduce the traffic congestion in our cities?
Answer: I think, traffic congestion can be reduced by using public transport instead of private cars. — An additional problem with cars is that they produce a lot of….. err... I can't remember the word, but let me to explain what I mean here. It `s a kind of gas that the cars exhaust (carbon monoxide). One of the most unique features of this gas is that is responsible for air pollution.

In this example, the candidates’ vocabulary score is positively influenced by effective paraphrasing where he explains the forgotten word with examples that fit it best.

This example should be helpful if you stumble upon similar situation. Using this technique will directly affect your vocabulary score.

  • Use of idiomatic items
What happens when you are talking in IELTS exam, like you are in a daily life situation?

You will loose marks.

Why?

Because, you are giving an Academic (IELTS) exam.

That`s one of the reason, you should speak academically.

But,

How you can speak academically?

Using idioms is one of the ways to do this.

Incorporating idioms is considered an integral part of IELTS speaking test because they frequently occur in academic context. Such skills indicate advanced linguistic capability of candidate.

Thus, if you want to score band 7 or higher, you should put several idiomatic expression in your responses.

Idioms are so widespread in native English discourse; it would imply that proficient speakers must have knowledge of these expressions at some level.

For example:

Questions: What flowers do you like?
Answer: Well, My favorite flower is Rose. I guess that`s because I`m really into bright and bold colors like red. I also like Cynthia that blooms with blue reminds me the peaceful ocean.

This answer use idiomatic expression:"I`m really into". This means "to like something"; which can empress the examiner and prove you as a proficient speaker.

Important linguistic research also indicates the use of idiomatic expressions in academic English.

Erman and Warren (2000) has calculated in their research that 32.3% of the expressions are made of idiomatic expression in an expert academic spoken discourse.

In a nutshell, it is clear that idiomaticity must comprise a major chunk of any spoken discourse by expert level speakers in the IELTS test.

You can go to this source to learn some very useful idioms (with examples) to improve your speaking in IELTS.


4. Pronunciation

Using rich lexical resources and grammar is essential is IELTS speaking,

Meanwhile, being able to properly pronounce word is the last criteria of a proficient speaker.

Everyone who speaks English has an accent like in America, Canada, South Africa, England, Australia, or New Zealand.

But, do not mix the definition of pronunciation with accent.

While, pronunciation is the reproduction of sounds in such a way that the massage pass easily so that the native speaker can clearly understand it.

That`s why, when appearing for the IELTS, rather than worrying about your accent, you need to simply focus on speaking as clearly as you can and minimizing any obvious pronunciation errors.

The IELTS examiner looks for several factors to judge your pronunciation, like:

  • Intelligibility
  • Chunking
  • Rhythm
  • Intonation
  • Stress
  • Speech Rate
  • Accent
These are the areas you need to improve in for better pronunciation.

I am now discussing all these factors one by one to make them clear.

  • Intelligibility
Intelligibility means your speech is recognizable as English.

For example, you might say “Give me some water” as “Gimme some wa.ar”. This is unlikely to be intelligible because of inaccurate patterns.

Most of the IELTS candidate have non-native accent. Thus, your own native accent should not affect the way you project an image to the listener.

In fact, you should acquire an accent which is “intelligible”- audience can catch the meaning of your speech with ease.

But, should you worry with your no-native accent?

No.

Because, a strong foreign accent does not necessarily improve your intelligibility.

Empirical evidence shows that in North American Indian English is more readily understood than even the BBC or British varieties while more than 80 per cent of British people struggle to pronounce common words.

That`s why intelligibility does not improve with British or American accent. For this, here are some of the things you can do:

1. Use a good online dictionary and search for the word to pronounce.
The dictionary will give you phonetic transcription of how each letter of the word should be pronounced.

2. Identify the phonetics letters from the dictionary.

3. Use the phonetic chart and click on each symbol (I & ŋ) to hear how they sounds.

PS: Download the phonetic chart here. You'll need Adobe Flash Player to use it


4. Try to pronounce the word now and finally compare your pronunciation the previous online dictionary with audio examples.

  • Chunking
ChunkinghelpstheIELTSexaminertofollowandundertandyourspeecheasily.

What did I say?

What I say is:

Chunking helps/the IELTS examiner/to follow/and/understand/your speech/easily.

You know what I mean?

Chunking means to present each sentence of your speech piece by piece (which may be single words or groups of words) to make it understandable.

Beware that the examiner is listening for your skill in chunking. Without proper chunking you may overwhelm the examiner to follow your meaning and loose marks.

So, chunking is an important skill you need to develop before exam.


  • Rhythm
You love to talk : to recite poems, to pray aloud, to sing a song, to chat with a friend.

But, do you apply same force to pronounce each word?

Or, YOU like to TALK with a PULSE !

Notice this English nursery rhyme :

EEny MEEny MIny MO
CATCH a TIger BY the TOE

Here the capital letters are the area where you usually speak loudly to make a rhythm.

Rhythm is a natural element of every language. Speakers of all languages talk with an obvious rhythm.

It is important that you master the rhythm of English. Otherwise your speaking discourse will be difficult to understand.

You may wonder how to master the rhythm?

It is surprisingly difficult to decide good rhythm types of spoken English.

Just remember that expert IELTS speakers will avoid stressing every word in the sentence.

Poor speakers will do the opposite.

Simply, focus on the content words while you speak. Content words are the words that are important to express the main meaning of the sentence. These are usually nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns.

More specifically, just cut the articles, prepositions, conjunctions and auxiliary verbs (is, was, has, have) – you`ll find the content words.

Look at these examples:

  • I have never gone to Britain.
  • Motorcars can injure the pedestrian
  • Intonation
Intonation means the variation of pitch- making voice up and down- to express different context.

For example, note the differences in meaning (although both are same sentence):

1. The train left already. (means, it has left the station)
2. The train LEFT ALREADY? (here, someone is asking if it already left or not)

You may now understand the importance of intonation to covey meaning in English.

Listen to interesting programs in BBC Radio or the Voice of America to notice voice pitch changing to express different situations.


This will help you to attune with the intonation of English language.

Also, you can find here sixteen possible varieties of expressing emotion and attitude in English using intonation.

  • Stress
English speakers use to emphasis on a particular syllable or word during pronunciation.

Note the following sentences where words (in bold) are stressed more (pronounced louder and longer).

  • When are you coming to dinner?
  • I have never liked him.
It makes a rhythmic pattern of the language.

Expert level speakers use word stress to communicate accurately, even if the examiner does not hear a word clearly.

For instance, let`s say: You are speaking to fast the word like Photograph and photographer.

But, the examiner can only here the fist syllables "photo" but still understand which word you are saying because of stress you use here:

  • PHOto(graph)
  • phoTO(grapher).
On the contrary, the native language of the candidate can have stress different than English.

For example, Japanese or French pronounce each syllable with equal emphasis.

But, in many languages of Indian subcontinent stress is used in conjunct consonants.

Some of them can pronounce Diffi-cult as di-FF-i-cult (more stress while pronouncing "ff")

Like the same, Mandarin speaking Chinese will make strong nasal sound for stressing which is not a common practice in English.

Thus, when students use the native language stress pattern when speaking English, it can make it difficult to understand. On the contrary, the candidate will be losing marks for it.

  • Speech Rate
You may think when you speak English faster, you become fluent.

That`s simply not true.

As a matter of fact, when you speak slowly then you speak clearly.

But, how slow it should be?

Six minutes calculated the average speaking rate of world renowned speakers is 163 words per minutes in average.

As a matter of fact, research on applied linguistics also suggest the same configuration for a proficient English speaker.

Both of these results indicated the word per minute boundaries of a speaker to be rated as fluent.

How can you limit our utterance within this particular boundary?

The answer is simple- The best way to main the speech rate is to pause between ideas. This simple technique will help you speak with more clarity. Make sure to pause after every punctuation sign.

This is essential.

Distribution of these pauses during an uninterrupted speech will make you an expert level speaker.

For example, pause after each punctuation marks (/ . and ,) when speaking the following sentence. You`ll feel the difference.

  1. Climate change is a true phenomenon / in most parts of the world. However, we have to adapt with it/ to sustain in the long run.
  2. I didn’t mean that/ we can reverse the process of climate change, but rather, we can make a positive move/ to live with it.
  • Accent
You may have British, Australian or American accent but it may not help you in IELTS test.

The examiner will be OK with your as long as can be understood.

But, this understanding may be difficult if you mispronounce certain words.

So, all it matter how clear and accurate your accent is.

For example, look how the meaning is changed if you simply change the last consonant:

Good vs Goat
Sing vs. Sink
Seat vs. Seed

I mean, if you pronounce "t" instead of "d"; the meaning will change (He is a goat teacher instead of he is a good teacher)

IELTS students often leave off plural ‘s’ and passive "ed" at the ends of words and this affects their accent too.

As a matter of fact, your native language can have particular phonological patterns that may hinder you to pronounce certain words in English.

But it is also true that we all have the same speech apparatus (tongue, teeth, lips, and jaw) and, therefore, we are all able to produce the same sounds as native speakers.

If you want to improve your accent then follow this guideline:

  • Listen to a presentation in TED TALK.
  • Pay close attention to the presenter’s position of lips, tongue, teeth, and jaw. (When you hear a difficult word)
  • Speak it loud in front of a mirror.
  • Try to use tongue, teeth, lips, and jaw like the presenter to pronounce the word.
Follow this method every hence and thence to improve your accent immediately and significantly.
Do you want to speak like a Native in IELTS Speaking Test? : Click Here to Download Exclusive Free Guide to Speak Like a Native in IELTS

Conclusion

You’ve got to pay attention to the factors that official IELTS band descriptor is asking.

After all, at the end of the day, the examiner will assess you following these criteria.


I`ve go through these four main areas that directly affect your speaking band score.

If you understand these four concepts, you should be prepared to score high in your speaking test.

When you use these factors consistently, you’ll see a dramatic improvement in your English speaking skills.

I agree, some of these factors are more difficult to understand then others.

So, it`s your turn to ask me questions for any further clarification.

3 comments

  1. Thank you for a very detailed explanation!

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    Replies
    1. Sazzad ChowdhuryFebruary 13, 2016

      You’re welcome, Polovin. I try & this wasn’t easy to put together!

      Delete
  2. I got a lot of techniques in IELTS speaking. Thanks a lot

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