14th May 2020
As usual, I use bold font to highlight words, expressions and idioms that students can learn and then use in their everyday speech. Remember, some expressions are only used in some situations, but an IELTS instructor will always notice an attempt to use a wider variety of English.
Next week, one of my IELTS classes has their speaking test therefore this blog will help, I sincerely hope, to prepare them, and enable them to achieve a commendable result.
With that in mind, tonight’s class will just be practice, practice and … more practice.
I try to relax my students by telling them that passing IELTS is easy (that normally gets their attention). I have to elaborate; IELTS is easy because they
TELL YOU WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR
Namely, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and para linguistics (body language, eye contact, stress, intonation, rhythm) and fluency (the ability to speak without overlong pauses) as well as answering the question relevantly.
Let’s break that down:
Vocabulary: low-frequency words // idioms // expressions //
Structure: complex sentences employing discourse markers and clauses
Let’s kick off with complex sentences. Here’s a link to a previous blog regarding just that subject; there are a number of exercises for students to practise:
Now some tips on using various expressions and phrases to introduce and close your speech. Again, this is from a previous blog (IELTS 12th May 2020):
The above blog gives an example of answering a question about laptops, then allows students to compose their own response on subjects of their choice.
Finally, here are some expressions that can be used to ‘spice up’ a student’s talk as they are all everyday phrases though some will be UK-specific as they are part of the common culture:
Not my cup of tea = a polite way of saying you don’t like something.
I can take it or leave it = have no strong feelings about something.
I’m really into it = like or love something very much.
It does what it says on the tin = something that does the job, no more, no less (this is from a UK TV commercial).
To pracise using low-frequency words, put students in teams, giving each team a set of IELTS words (or phrases, idioms). They have a set time, maybe a minute, to use as many as they can, speaking about any subject they choose.
Some students may prefer to be given a set topic, so choose typical general subjects such as shopping, food, their city or country, free time etc.
Words and expressions are:
ubiquitous // somewhat // not my cup of tea // significant or significantly // I can take it or leave it // exhausting // challenging // miserable // having said that // I’m keen on // all in all // consequently // allow me to explain // eventually // thrilling // put up with
Find low-frequency words for these adjectives:
boring // repetitive // tiring // interesting // relaxing