« IELTS Speaking Part 2: at home and in the test | Main | IELTS Advice: don't just test yourself »

March 01, 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hi Simon,

Thanks for your sharing. You are a great teacher!~

Thanks, Simon
I've been practicing speaking at home, but I've never known to transcribe after recording.

Transcription is incredibly important for many reasons including:

1. Identifying level 7 vocabulary (or normally lack of it) and simple words you repeat too much
2. Picking up simple errors (although getting a native speaker to correct it is far more preferable)
3. Getting an idea of 'how much' language you are providing. Very slow speaking can produce very little language to grade (and also affect FC and P)
4. Seeing how you 'link' your ideas. Are you using 'native-like' linking, such as 'well' 'you know' 'actually' 'personally' etc, or are you, like most candidates, saying nothing?

This is how examiners grade the LR and GR boxes - by simply looking at (really, listening to) the language and seeing if it fulfils the level 7 criteria (or higher).

Finally, remember that this is only around half the test score. The other half is related to how you deliver the language (FC and P).

dear simon and everyone here
why i cannot find the link of the video lesson T^T......

hello I am learning english so what do you think how much months can I be the best communecator how much time do I need ? I must take the IELTS may I catch up ? please help me

Great advice sjm. Thanks again.

Hi everyone! I just took my speaking exam 2 days ago. I was so frustrated with my performance that all I did after that speaking exam was mope in bed. To tell you honestly, I am quite confident with my English speaking skills. Most Australians I met here are impressed with my accent and fluency that sometimes they think I was born in America! I am in no way bragging here. I just wanted you to see where I'm coming from.

So part 1 was easy. I talked to the examiner casually. Now, this examiner just seemed to laugh all the time but it's obvious that it's just a polite laugh or should I say a fake one. I know he was doing that to calm my nerves because I really looked nervous and tense.

Come part 2 and boy, i was a mess! Really a mess! I mean, I was able to answer the questions but I noticed that words just spontaneously rolled out my mouth. I felt like I had no control with my words and that I don't make any sense. There were lots of fillers in between words too and there was even a time when I said "I'm sorry" because I ran out of ideas. And yeah, my ideas were quite repetitive. I was able to consume the whole 2 minutes.

But what worried me was I really spoke too fast in that interview. Really fast. I recorded my voice in the same speed I spoke back in the interview and I sounded unintelligible.

Do you think I'll fail to get a 7 because of that? I know that IELTS claim that their standard is the same for all countries but do you think taking an exam in an English-speaking country will somehow affect their scoring? They might think that I live in australia so I must have more practice than others who live in their native countries.

I know this is quite long which is typical of me. I have problems with being conscise. For instance, when the examiner asked me: "Do you think real estate will be a good business?" I answered like this: "Yes, I definitely agree that real estate has a good prospect in business. That's what my mom told me also : to invest in buying lands and properties because they get more expensive through time. I am actually planning to have a little apartment business back home but I'm still young. I have to save more." Assessing myself, I think that all the time I tend to personalize questions and associate it with myself. Is that alright to do in an exam?

I am trying to move on from my frustrating performance in that speaking exam because I still have 3 more components to take. Your insight on this matter is greatly appreciated.

Great Simon. Thanks!

@ Brave T,
You don't need to worry about anything at all. Because you certainly have the TALENT to tell very good stories with examples and a proper Background.

Dear Simon,
I really appreciate your work of posting video lesson on youtube and vimeo. However , in china , youtube is not accessible and more frustrating, now vimeo is blocked and do not work here anymore.(i really hate it!!!) So could you find another viable way for those students like me to have access to your video lessons? Thanks a million.


Actually, there has some other ways to see videos on Youtube and Vimeo in China. You can google the methods and I believe it would be not very difficult for you.

just try "google agent", there are many online articles which teach you how to install it.
I am using it every day and it work just fine!
youtube,twitter,facebook,you name it.

Thanks Simon,
Why I cannot see the vedio lessons?

Thank You Very Much Indeed Simon......

Dear Simon,
I cannot watch the video either. :(

Could you possibly post a link?
Thank you!

Hi Simon!
What do u think of this technique?
For speaking, my tutor gives me just "ready answers" for all parts on a particular topic and then i just learn it by heart and retell her i nthe next class. Is it a good technique or u think that creating your own answers is more beneficial?

The comments to this entry are closed.