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.

Transcript

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

and develop your IELTS speaking at home so many
students

tell me that they cannot improved their
English

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
for

speaking part 1 speaking part 2

and speaking part 3 if you cannot find a
list

please go to my IELTS blog www.ieltsliz.com

and you will find a
list

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
example

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
that

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
vocabulary

for that topic so for example

hot weather hot is a very low band
score

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
speaking

get the topic weather

choose probably about let’s say 6

questions for that topic take

your telephone and answered the
questions

recording your voice it’s very important
that you

do the recording rather than writing the
answer

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
vocabulary

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
answer

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

for each one fluency what does that
mean

well the first thing that you need to
check

is the length

of your answer did you give a very short
answer

or could you develop it a little bit
more

when you develop your answer a little bit
more

that is a higher band score you’re
offering

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
answer

so you need to check how many um how
many

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
more

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
answer

for your fluency now the next thing
is vocabulary

what do we need to check in the
vocabulary

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
looking

at band score 7and band score 8

another thing you can look at with
vocabulary

of course are

mistakes

now one way that you can check your
mistakes

is by when you listen to to you answer

listen and write down the words that you
say

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
have

so check that in your answer

another thing to look at of course
grammar

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
simple

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
answer

another thing you can look at is

sentence structure

and that means how complex are your
sentences

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
are

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

pronunciation

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
correct

another thing is individual

sounds so for example sh

s ch are you pronouncing these sounds
correctly

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
intonation

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
them

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
using

check your fluency vocabulary grammar
and pronunciation

and then after that

practice practice and practice

find your weakness get rid of your
weakness

improve your strength so you practice

and record again don’t forget to keep

recording your voice keep recording your
answers

get used to that I know

it can feel uncomfortable to sit in a
room

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
home

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
in

another IELTS lesson

IELTS Listening: Predicting answers

One key to success in the IELTS listening test is to be able to predict what kind of answer you must listen for. When you know what to listen for, you have a good chance of getting the answer right.

Learn how to predict the answers using prepositions.

 

 

 

IELTS Reading: Choosing a title

A lesson on choosing a title for IELTS reading. Remember you need to think of the whole aim for the passage for this IELTS lesson. Useful for both GT and academic students – the level isn’t too hard.

Here are some tips to help you with how to choose the best title for the reading passage below.

Tips for Choosing a Title

  • This question type is usually the last question of the passage
  • By the time you come to this question, you will already have read skim read the passage
  • You should find the main aim of the passage
  • Analyse all the options for the title
  • Common trap – there will probably be information about all options in the passage – you need to find the main aim / message
  • Always look at the introduction sentence and concluding sentence to see if there is a similar message

Reading

Coffee is one of the most popular hot drinks in the world. Almost a third of the world’s population drinks coffee. People often meet at cafes or coffee shops for a coffee break during the middle of the morning or stop work in the afternoon to drink coffee.
About 7 million tons of coffee is produced every year. Brazil is, by far, the world’s largest coffee producer. About a third of the world’s production comes from this South American country. Other coffee producing countries include Vietnam, Indonesia and Colombia.
The United States is the biggest coffee consumer in the world. About 1.2 billion kilograms of coffee are consumed there every year. Drinking coffee is extremely popular in European countries, like Italy, France and Germany, as well as in Brazil.

Question

Choose the correct letter A – C

Which is the best title for the passage below?

A.  Coffee – a popular hot drink
B.  Coffee – the main consumers
C.  Coffee – the main producers

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers.

Answers
A is the correct answer
The first sentence of the passage and the last sentence of the passage both give the same aim – popularity.
It is not B because information about consumers is only given in two sentences.
It is not C because only the middle paragraph gives information about producers. It is not mentioned in the opening paragraph or closing paragraph.

All reading exercises on ieltsliz.com have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test.   

Liz

 

IELTS Writing Task 2: How to write an introduction

Learn how to write an introduction for IELTS writing task 2 essay in this free video tutorial. The introduction in this lesson is for an opinion essay however the general content of the introduction is the same for all types of essays in IELTS.

This lesson will teach you:

  • The content of an IELTS introduction
  • How to write the background statement
  • How to write the thesis statement
  • How to paraphrase effectively
  • How long your introduction should be

The same technique is used for a band score 6 as for a band score 9. So, this lesson is for students of all band scores. The only difference will be that a band score 9 student will use richer and more complex English language.

Video Transcript

Introduction Lesson

Hello in this lesson I’m gonna show you how to write an introduction paragraph for your IELTS writing task to essay. Now this is the essay title we’re going to look at. “The best way to improve health is to do regular exercise. To what extent do you agree?” Well let’s first look at the statement. Now IELTS have given us this which is the best way, it’s a method, it’s a solution and it’s a solution to improving health. So our essay is all about improving health and their solution, their best solution, is to do regular exercise. That is what IELTS have said. That’s the statement and we have to give our opinion, to what extent do you agree. What does this mean “to what extent”? Well that means how much do you agree. You don’t need to agree or disagree. You need to think about it and think do you agree with all the sentence, is there something that you don’t agree with? Do you agree with most of it? So that’s how you analyze it.

1. Introduction Hooks

Right well, let’s have a look at what information we need to put in our introduction. Now for many academic essays there are three parts to the introduction. There’s the hook, there’s a background statement and there’s a thesis statement. So let’s look at each part of this. The first one the hook now a hook is sentence that has lots of interest in it so that immediately the reader wants to continue reading. We use that in many essays but …. Do we use it for IELTS essays? The answer is no. We don’t need it. Let me explain why. Firstly, the examiner is not looking for interesting ideas. Interest is not assessed in your IELTS essay so if your introduction is interesting or boring it makes no difference. Secondly, another reason that you don’t need the hook and that is you don’t have much time. You have a total of forty minutes and in those forty minutes you need to analyze the statement plan your essay and the at the end of your essay when you finish you need to check it. So really you only have about 35 minutes to write that essay there is not enough time to worry about having a hook that the examiner doesn’t want anyway so forget the hook.

2. Introduction Background Statements

The next thing is the background statement. What is the background statement? The background statement is…. read more.

Recommended Lessons

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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.

Transcript
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
minh
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
names
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

 

IELTS Listening: English Names

In IELTS Listening Section 1, it is common to be asked to listen for English names.

This lesson will test you on your ability to listen and write down English names. After the answers, I’ll give you a list of tips to help you understand how to listen for names in IELTS Listening Section 1.

UPDATE 2017:  Capital letters are not marked in IELTS listening or reading so don’t worry about them. See this page for more info: http://ieltsliz.com/ielts-listening-25-essential-top-tips/

Are you good at spelling? Do you know your English names? Let’s see…

Listening for English Names

Recommended

Click below for more useful listening practice for IELTS:

 

 

 

IELTS Writing Task 2 Model Essay

Below is an example of a band score 9 IELTS writing task 2 model essay. The task is a direct questions essay which is quite common in IELTS. Read it carefully and pay attention to the structure of the essay, the linkers and the sentence structures.

Essay Question

Art is considered an important part of a society  as well as an expression of its culture. Do you think it is important for children to be taught art? Do you think children should be encouraged to focus on art rather than other subjects?

Model Answer

It is commonly believed that art plays a fundamental role in society as artists are able to express their thoughts and their culture in their work. In my opinion, children should definitely learn art because they can develop creativity and learn to express themselves in their art work but it should not be taught to the detriment of other subjects.

Firstly, art is an essential subject which children, especially young children, should learn in order to help promote their creativity and imagination. Without the development of imagination and creative thinking, children will struggle to grow into dynamic, individual thinkers when they reach adulthood. Furthermore, some children are particularly gifted in their creative abilities and studying art can help them nurture their talents.

Another important advantage for children when practicing art is that it provides a medium through which they can express their emotions and feelings. In other words, young children do not have the linguistic capabilities to put their ideas into language and thus communicate directly. Therefore, by using art, they are able to convey meaning through pictures and symbols. For this reason, many child psychologists often study the art work of children to gain an insight into what they think and feel.

Finally, however, regardless of how useful the study of art is for children, this should not result in more focus being placed on art rather than other subjects. Children need to have a balance of all subjects so as to facilitate a healthy development both mentally and physically. Thus, ensuring that there is a healthy balance of art, sciences, languages and physical education in the school syllabus is essential.

In conclusion, while art certainly helps a child develop creativity as well as express their thoughts, it should be taught equally alongside all other subjects. A school curriculum should offer a balance of subjects.

Recommended

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Common English Tenses

Below is a list of common tenses that we use in English  as well as sentences in different tenses. Can you match the tenses with the sentences?

Tenses

  1. Present Simple
  2. Past Continuous
  3. Present Perfect
  4. Present Perfect Continuous
  5. Passive Voice
  6. First Conditional
  7. Second Conditional
  8. Third Conditional

Sentences

A.  If I had known there was going to be a storm, I would have stayed at home.

B.  The book was written by an unknown author.

C.  My favourite time of the year is summer.

D.  I’ve been learning English for over 10 years.

E.  If schools have more sports lessons, children will become healthier as a result of the exercise.

F.  The government has spent a lot of money on improving traffic safety.

G.  He was teaching a lesson on the language acquisition of children.

H.  If people ate a healthier diet, their health would improve as a result.

IELTS Tips

For a band score 6 and above, you should try to use at least 5 different tenses in both your IELTS speaking test and your IELTS writing test.

Answers (click below for answers)

[Read more…]