IELTS Speaking Part 1: What’s your favourite…?

Learn some useful tips for improving and developing your answer to one of the most common questions in IELTS speaking part 1.

In this lesson you will find out what mistake many students make when they answer this question as well as how to create a higher band score answer by adding more information to your answer.




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IELTS Video Lesson Speaking Part 3 Question: Urban vs Rural Life

Ideas and vocabulary for a common type of question in IELTS speaking part 3 – How to compare urban and rural life. The ideas and language can also be used in your IELTS writing task 2 essay.

Recommended IELTS Speaking Video Lessons:

How to improve your speaking at home
What’s your favourite…? Part 1 question tips


hello welcome to another IELTS

lesson in this lesson we’re going
to look at a very common topic

for IELTS for the speaking test and that is
the topic of

can you guess it’s the topic of homes and
today I’m standing outside a beautiful

old English country home it’s
really lovely here

now my question for you is from speaking
part 3

so that means it’s going to be more
difficult are you ready for your


do you think it is better to live

in the countryside or in

a city I would like you to answer that

I want you to take your telephone record
your answer and then

check your answer and see how you
can improve that and please do this

before you continue with the video

because now I’m gonna go to the white

and I’m gonna give you some vocabulary
and ideas to improve your

answer so record your answer and I’ll see

in a minute here is your question

do you think it’s better to live

in the countryside or in a city

have you recorded your answer I hope so

now let me give you some

ideas for the countryside and

for the city and you need to think of

to living in one up those places let’s

at the countryside and see what

there are the first one is

of lower pace of life

and this means that life

in the countryside often moves more

than in the city it’s often

more relaxed less stressful

and some people believe pleasanter

so that’s one benefit to country

another advantage is less

pollution and also less noise

the pollution is generally air pollution

now less air pollution and less noise in the

is because there is less industry

there’s less traffic less building work

than in a city and therefore

it is considered healthier to live

in the countryside so that really is a

a big positive point another

plus point to life in the countryside

and that is stronger communities

now what does that mean exactly

well in the countryside people often

live in a town for their whole life

and families live

in the town generation after generation

and that means that they know each other
very well

and therefore the community is quite

and neighbours have a good relationship
with each other

this means that the countryside

often gives people a good support

because the community is so close

so that is definitely a plus point

the next advantage now that depends

on which country you live in but

in England for example in the

houses are cheaper than in a city

so that means that they can have bigger

bigger gardens there’s more space you
remember the beautiful house

from the beginning of the video that was
an English

country house over 150 years old

so the owner of that house couldn’t

have the same building if they lived

in a city so those are four

plus points four advantages to

country life now let’s look at cities

maybe you prefer living in the city
now one

definite advantage about that the city has

over country life is

there are more amenities

in a city what are amentities

well another word for amenities is

facility now the facilities and

that we’re talking about are things like
better restaurants

better sports facilities more leisure
centres for example

also the transport is better a

the roads are better there are so many

more things that you can do

their cinemas shopping malls opera houses

many many more amenities and

in a city than living in the countryside

in a small town or village

now let’s check the pronunciation of these

the first word is amenity

so that four syllables

A Men I Ty

this is ah ah

sound amenity

here is the stress amenity:

amenities so

singular amenity and plural

amenities the next one

facilities Fa

Cil I Ties

this also is ah fa

and the stress of is here

in the second syllable facilities

so the city has more facilities

and amenities to offer than the

the next positive point

to city life and that is in the city there
are often

better prospects do you know that word

well prospects often mean opportunities

there are more opportunities for people
in the city

the word prospects we often use with

employment and this means that when

are better prospects it means

that it’s easier to get a good job

so there are more jobs available in the

more prospects and more opportunities
to do what you want to do

and advance get promotion

and improve your life

the next advantage is very clear

better public transport there are more buses

trains and undergrounds in

cities and of course in the countryside

there’s often very little public

people need their own transport to get

but in the cities if you don’t have
your own transportation

you can still get around and you can
travel using

public transport and the last

advantage again this depends on which
country you live in

but in many countries there is better

in the cities than in the countryside

nearly all universities are in

cities often the facilities

at school in the city

they are better than in the countryside

so for example city schools have better

more laptops and computers and high
technology for their students

and the standard of education is often

better teachers so

there are 4 clear positive points to

city life now before we finish

there’s something I want to tell you about
this question

obviously you need to choose

living in the country or living in

city and when you choose one

you really need to compare it with

the other because when you use

a language of comparison when you give a

sentence it will help your IELTS

speaking results the examiner does need to

a range up different grammar

so we say less and

more well better

say for example there is less pollution
and noise

in the countryside than in

a city there are often better

prospects for work in a city

compared to the countryside

so remember when you give some ideas that
you need to compare them

now these are only 4 ideas for each one

maybe you’ve got some more ideas if you

let me know it’s always good to share

for IELTS well that’s all for this lesson
I hope that was useful and I will see
you again

in another IELTS lesson

here are some more useful IELTS lessons

to help you prepare for your IELTS test

or connect with me through Facebook

Google+ or Twitter


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IELTS Speaking Part 1: Dictionaries

A new topic in IELTS speaking part 1 this year. Learn some useful vocabulary and ideas for the topic of Dictionaries by watching this lesson.




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How to develop your IELTS speaking for free

This lesson gives useful advice on how to develop and improve your IELTS speaking at home for free. The tips run through what the examiner will assess you on in your test and what you can do to improve on your own without a teacher. Learn to analyse your answers for IELTS speaking, find your weaknesses and build your strengths.


hello in this lesson I’m gonna show you
how to improve

and develop your IELTS speaking at home so many

tell me that they cannot improved their

because they don’t have a foreigner to
talk to so I want to show you that

it is possible

to improve your speaking at home

on your own for free now the first thing
I want you to do

is to get a list of topics the common topics

speaking part 1 speaking part 2

and speaking part 3 if you cannot find a

please go to my IELTS blog

and you will find a

of common topics difficult topics and

the questions as well so you need to get
a list of these topics and develop

ideas I don’t want you to write down
your answers I want you

only to develop the ideas so for

if the topic is the topic weather

you can develop ideas about the kind of
weather you like

what you do when the weather is like

also how the weather makes you feel

different kinds of weather or maybe the
transportation problems

that come because of that weather so just
develop ideas that you can use

for that topic the next thing number two

is a word list so vocabulary if you have
the topic of

weather you need to have arrange a

for that topic so for example

hot weather hot is a very low band

but you could use boiling

scorching sweltering

there’s a whole range a vocabulary

you can build to impress the examiner

for that topic so you need to get that
list of vocabulary

and learn it number three

your next step to developing your

get the topic weather

choose probably about let’s say 6

questions for that topic take

your telephone and answered the

recording your voice it’s very important
that you

do the recording rather than writing the

when you write answers usually

you think more about the grammar you
think more about the vocabulary

and often you make less mistakes when
you speak

it’s direct so when you record your

answer this gives you a chance to find

your weaknesses finding your weaknesses

very important so that you can improve
so you need to

record your answers to those questions
on your phone

after that I want you to listen to

to your answers listen and

check now there are four things that I
want you to check for

I want you to check for fluency

grammar and pronunciation this is what
the examiner

will check you on now each one

in the exam the is 25 percent

of your marks with so their

all equal they are all very important

and the examiner is going to check your

for each one now let’s have a look at
what you need to check

for each one fluency what does that

well the first thing that you need to

is the length

of your answer did you give a very short

or could you develop it a little bit

when you develop your answer a little bit

that is a higher band score you’re

the examiner more language but you’re
showing the ability

to speak fluently so

develop your answer more higher band score

another thing that you can check for
your fluency

is how many times you say um

ah these are hesitations

and we don’t want hesitations in our

so you need to check how many um how

ah that you have if

you have a lot that’s a problem I’m afraid

and you need to find a way to practice

so that you get rid of the ums and ahs

so we’ve got the length

of answer and the ums and ahs

another thing that you can check for
fluency how many times

you are silent

often when students start speaking

they can’t remember what they want to say
and suddenly they stopped

it is not good to stop and be silent

in the middle of your answer you need
to fill it

you need to keep speaking naturally with
a good flow

and that will give you a good band score
so those are

three things that you can check in your

for your fluency now the next thing
is vocabulary

what do we need to check in the

for your answer well obviously the first
thing is

the range and the range means how many

different words are you using I’ll give
you an example

so paraphrasing

are you repeating the same word again
and again

or are you using different words

to describe same thing so again we use
the example of

hot you could say boiling scorching

sweltering those a three different words
that we can use

for the meaning of hot so you need to show
a good range

vocabulary that’s from your word list

and you need to paraphrase and show the
ability to use

different words for the same meaning

when you paraphrase as well you are

at band score 7and band score 8

another thing you can look at with

of course are


now one way that you can check your

is by when you listen to to you answer

listen and write down the words that you

that way you can check more carefully

if you’re making any mistakes with words

are you using the wrong word are you using
the wrong

noun with the verb what problems do you

so check that in your answer

another thing to look at of course

and with grammar you need to check again

the range so for example the range

of tenses are you

giving only present simple

now I know maybe the six questions that
you have are

all present simple questions but that
doesn’t mean

that you can’t give another tense

so for example what kind of weather do
you like

I just love hot weather scorching
weather last week

it was perfect so it was a present

question but I gave a little bit

of past simple in the answer

so you can practice doing that and
develop the technique

of putting different tenses into your

another thing you can look at is

sentence structure

and that means how complex are your

are you using a lot of short sentences

so don’t forget listen to your answer write
down the words that you’re using

and then check how complex the sentences

you can perhaps start using some linkers

and start extending the sentences

and of course another thing for grammar

again are

mistakes this is very important

more mistakes you make lower your band score

will be so remember that the examiner

is listening for mistakes with
vocabulary and grammar

so please check what mistakes you’re
making and correct them

and practice and of course the last one

is pronunciation so what is
the examiner looking for


well the first one of course is word

pronunciation are you pronouncing

those words correctly

if you are not sure about that you can
go online

there are free dictionaries online so
that you can

lesson to the pronunciation of the word

so check that and make sure your words are

another thing is individual

sounds so for example sh

s ch are you pronouncing these sounds

and again you can find practice
online for that

and one other thing for pronunciation

is intonation

intonation is if your voice is

going up and down or if you are speaking

like this if you’re speaking

very flat this is not good

for your band score you need to learn to use

intonation in your voice we often use

to make something more interesting or to
show when something is important

so you can practice that at home and try to
improve it

now the last part of the last thing once
you have

got your topics in your ideas you’ve got
your vocabulary for the topic

you have your questions and you record

you listen you check your answer

don’t forget you can write down the
answer to check

what you say write down the words you’re

check your fluency vocabulary grammar
and pronunciation

and then after that

practice practice and practice

find your weakness get rid of your

improve your strength so you practice

and record again don’t forget to keep

recording your voice keep recording your

get used to that I know

it can feel uncomfortable to sit in a

alone and record but really

it’s good practice you need to do it

right well that’s all for this lesson

I really hope that you practice this at

honestly the more you practice the
better you IELTS will be

particularly if you check

your answers correctly well

keep practicing good luck and I’ll see you

another IELTS lesson

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IELTS Speaking: Greeting the examiner

Watch my video lesson to learn about the greeting and ID check at the beginning of your IELTS speaking test.

Hello, in this lesson we going to look at
the beginning
of your IELTS speaking test
this is when you walk into
the IELTS speaking examination room
and you greet the examiner for the first time
this is before part 1 begins
you will need to greet the examiner and
do an identification check
we often call this part 0
there are 4 questions to part 0
and I’m going to give you the questions
and give you some useful tips
so that you can be confident in your answers
and give a good first impression
to the examiner
so lets start with the first question
in the first question
the examiner will introduce him or herself
and the examiner will give their name
so the examiner is going to say
good afternoon my name’s elizabeth
what’s your full name or maybe they might say
could you tell me your full name
please and you need to answer good afternoon
elizabeth you can give the examiner’s name or
not its your choice
and then you say my name’s bui minh trang
now it’s a simple question and simple answer
but I still have some tips for you
so the first tip
if you’re going to use the name of the
examiner and say
good afternoon elizabeth
please don’t give a title
this is incorrect in English
we don’t use titles
with first names so if you’re going
to use the name of the examiner
only say good afternoon elizabeth
but if you don’t feel comfortable
using the name of the examiner
it’s fine
its not a problem
you can just say good afternoon
now when you give your name
there are two tips
I want you to remember
the first tip is when you say my name’s biu minh trang
please don’t say my name is
bui minh trang
I want you to use
the contraction
my name’s
now the reason this is important
is because this is part of pronunciation
when you contract a word from is to my name’s
then is higher level pronunciation
so remember that for the rest of your exam
and try to use it
as much as you can
and the other tip is
when you give your name
please don’t speak quickly
don’t say ……………………..
I want you to say the name
clearly because sometimes it’s difficult
for the examiner to hear foreign names
so you need to say my name’s
bi min tang
and of course the point is to smile
don’t forget to smile
this is yur chance to greet the examiner
and be friendly and show confidence
so smile look at the examiner in the eyes
and relax
the second question is very easy the examiner will ask
you what can I call you
and there are 3 ways that you
could reply
you could say you can call me
or you could say
just call me minh
or please call me minh
so those are 3 possible answers
that you can give
now for some tips
my first tip is please don’t
explain why people call you this
this is really part of the test
this is only the greeting
so you’re going to give
the examiner simple clear answers
you don’t need to add more information
and I know some of you have English
and of course you can give the examiner you
English name you can say
you can call me by
my English name Mary
now this is fine but please remember
do not make a mistake with that sentence
you still need to say yo can call me
you need this preposition by you can call me by
my English name Mary
and if you don’t have an English name
please don’t worry it doesn’t matter
so lets have a look at the third question
the third question the examiner
will ask you where are you from
or the examiner might say
could you tell me where you come from
now let me give you
some possible answers
you cuold say
I’m from Hanoi
I’m from you could say
I come from Hong Kong
I come from
you could also add more information
if you want not too much
just a little bit more if you want
you culd say I’m from Calcutta
which is in the east of India
now it is good to add a little bit more information
it’s friendly
but also it’s shows the examiner good grammar
which is in the east
this is a clause
which means it is high band score grammar
so you’re already showing the exminer
that you have good English
now lets have a look at some tips
don’t expand any further
you can give the location and stop
don’t say any more
again these are simple questions
simple answers also don’t ask the examiner
any questions so for example
don’t say I come from Hanoi have you been there
don’t give the examiner recommendations
don’t say I come from Hanoi
I think you really should go there
so please don’t do that
just keep it simple
short and accurate
and the last tip for you
this is with the pronunciation for
the names of the cities where you come from
please try to use the English pronunciation
so for example Hanoi please don’t say
Ha Noi please say Hanoi or for example
Calcutta please don’t say Kolkatta
please Calcutta
the reason that we do this is
because you’re showing the examiner that
the English pronunciation is natural
for you right so lets move on to the
last question
question number 4
and the final question
question 4 the examiner
will ask you could I see your
identification please
or the examiner might say
can you show me your identification please
now for your answer of course you need to give
the examiner your identification
and you can also say
here you are
or sure here you are
or of course
here it is
so you can choose any
of those answers
now for some tips
identifcation is often called ID
so if the examiner asks you
for your ID it’s the same it means identification
keep your answer short
you can see here it’s just a very short answer
just a few words
don’t make it any longer
and the last tip it is possible
for you to actually
say nothing and give the examiner
the identification but I think it’s nice
just to say something these are all
very polite and perfectly normal
to say in that situation
so those are the 4 questions for part 0
for greeting the IELTS examiner
adn doing the identification check
please watch the video again
practice answering the questions
correctly and remember smile
relax be confident and start your test in
the right way
well that’s all I’ll
see you in my next IELTS lesson


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IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topic: A Place to Learn

Here is a topic card for speaking part 2. What place would you choose to talk about? Remember to choose a place that you know well and can easily talk about for 2 minutes. Make sure that the place you choose matches all prompts on the card.

a place to learn 2
Answers: click below to see some ideas of places you could choose

[Read more…]

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IELTS Speaking Part 2: A Friend you are Proud of

IELTS speaking part 3 topic about a friend you are proud of. I was recently asked by a student how to deal with this difficult topic in IELTS speaking part 2:

Describe a time that you felt proud of a friend.

Possible Answers

Below are some possible ways to answer this part 2 topic.

1. a friend who did well in their studies (for example, they did well in a test or project)
2. a friend who did well in work and received an award or was congratulated by their boss
3. a friend who had a difficult situation but dealt with it very well (for example, they were seriously sick or a parent was seriously ill)
4. a friend who experienced an unexpected event but fixed the situation (for example, they went on holiday and had their money stolen)
5. a friend who got a job they always wanted (for example, they did well in the interview and had worked hard to get the job)
6. a friend who defended you in a difficult situation
7. a friend who raised money for charity or did some volunteer work that made you feel proud

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Tip

It is often easier to talk about a family member that you were proud of because you know them better. So, if you get stuck, the best thing is to say “Although I have plenty of friends, I wouldn’t say that they’ve done anything to make me really proud but my cousin has. So I will tell you about him and what he has done that caused me to be so proud of him.” It is possible to adapt (not change) the topic as long as it still follows the prompts on the cue card.

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