IELTS Speaking Vocabulary for Part One Hey! Nick and I talk a lot on the podcast about the importance of “topic-specific vocabulary” in speaking and writing. However, it can be difficult to give clear examples of what this “magical” lexis is, as it changes for each topic. So, today, we thought that would try something different. We have invited 3 native speakers to attempt 6 of the current reported IELTS Speaking Part One topics. We gave them zero preparation or advice – all we asked is that they answer the questions naturally. The result? Lots of natural IELTS speaking vocabulary, plus a chance to hear fantastic intonation and use of filler words. I tried to cover topics that are difficult or[…]
Speaking Part 2: The IELTS PPF method There is no doubt that Speaking Part Two can be challenging for many students. After all, talking continuously for 2 minutes is not something we do very often in every day life! However, is using the IELTS PPF method the best way to keep going until the examiner interrupts you? Nick and I think that it is definitely NOT for three reasons (that sounds like a To What Extent essay!) Listen to today’s episode to find out why we would never recommend this method and to find out our alternative suggestions. Below, you can find a summary of the episode, which includes all of the links to useful materials and the times of[…]
IELTS Speaking Part 3 In IELTS Speaking Part 3, the focus moves away from you to the world around you. This means that you will have to be able to speak about abstract topics, which is not easy even for high-level test takers. In the episode above, Nick and I explain how to approach these questions well by looking at the types of question you will be asked, the common topics covered, and the right and wrong way to answer the questions in this part of the test. Plus, if you scroll to the end of this blog post, you can find the second episode where we analyse 5 students attempts at Part 3 to say what they are doing[…]
IELTS Cue Card Feedback Hey! This week we have something different! Last week, I sent out a call on social media for our listeners to record themselves attempting three speaking part two questions. So today, Nick and I will be giving IELTS cue card feedback. This is a great opportunity for you to learn how your speaking performance will be judged by the examiner. Trust me – it is one thing to learn about the IELTS speaking band descriptors in theory, but it is quite another to hear a test-taker speaking and then an examiner’s feedback (well, two ex-examiners in our case!). So, sit back and enjoy today’s episode (and if you want to take part in the next event[…]
5 tips for practicing without an IELTS speaking partner! Hey! We all know that the best way to improve our speaking is to work with an experienced teacher who can guide you and target your practice to focus on each of the IELTS speaking band descriptors. But what if you can’t afford a teacher, or you want to practice more outside of class? Well, today I will give you five pieces of advice that you can use to improve your performance at home without an IELTS speaking partner or a teacher.
Understanding the IELTS Speaking Band Descriptors Hey! In your speaking test, the examiner will use the IELTS speaking band descriptors to give you a score in 4 areas: Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Pronunciation. But, what exactly is the examiner looking for in your speaking performance to give you a 6, 7, or 8 in each of these areas? Today, Nick and I use our experience as ex-speaking examiners to explain each of the marking criteria in detail and point out where many students “go wrong”. If you are new to IELTS and want an introduction to the test, then maybe listen to our IELTS Speaking 101 lesson first!
IELTS Speaking Part 1 – Six Common Mistakes Although the first part of the IELTS speaking test should be the easiest as you are asked questions all about yourself, you still want to make sure that you get off to a strong start. So, today, Nick and I look at six common errors that students make in IELTS Speaking Part 1 and how you can avoid them. Below, you can find a summary of the episode. This includes all of the links to useful materials and the times of each part of the discussion (so you can go directly to the part you want to listen to). You can also find every episode of the podcast here 🚀 Subscribe to My IELTS Classroom podcast[…]
The 9 Types of IELTS Cue Cards Hey! The IELTS cue cards change every 4 months, with 50% of topics being replaced every April, September, and December. This means that it is almost impossible for students to know and prepare for the 50 possible cards that could appear in their test. Honestly, I think that this is a good thing! Part 2 of the speaking test is supposed to test your ability to speak naturally about a topic, not to test your ability to memorise pre-prepared answers (plus, when you work as an examiner, it is obvious when students have done this). So, if you can’t predict what the topic of your cue card will be, does that mean that you[…]
Introduction to IELTS Speaking Welcome to the second lesson in our IELTS 101 series – an introduction to IELTS speaking. This should be a fantastic episode for anybody who is just starting their IELTS preparation as Nick and I describe what happens in each part of the test and what the examiner is looking for in your performance (remember, we are both ex-IDP examiners, so you can 100% trust everything we say!)
IELTS Speaking Tips: 5 Things No Examiner Wants to Hear Hey! Believe it or not, your IELTS speaking examiner is hoping that you will do well in the exam. Seriously, nothing is easier than assessing a student who performs well in the test. Unfortunately, not every student performs as well as they can on test day (often because they have been given some “IELTS Speaking Tips” that are just plain wrong!). In fact, there are some words that every examiner dreads hearing. What are they? Let’s find out!