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  • Hi.

  • Welcome to www.engvid.com.

  • I'm Adam.

  • In today's video I'm going to talk about IELTS speaking.

  • So, as normal, I'll speak a little bit faster.

  • For those of you taking the test, you get a little bit of listening practice as well.

  • Even if you're not taking the test, this is also very useful for you if you want to practice

  • your speaking skills in English.

  • Okay?

  • So, we're going to talk about IELTS speaking generally.

  • Okay?

  • I'm not going to talk about any of the three parts in specific.

  • I want to talk about fluency in specific.

  • Fluency is one of the categories that you will be graded on.

  • The interviewer is listening for your fluency skills when deciding to give you the band

  • out of nine.

  • Okay?

  • Now, first of all, what does it mean...?

  • What does "fluency" mean?

  • Okay?

  • Fluency has a few things to consider within it.

  • First, how quick you respond; a fast response.

  • So when the question is asked to you, when the interviewer asks you a question in part

  • one or part three, they're looking to find out...

  • They're paying attention to how quickly you answer back.

  • If you receive the question and you need to think about the question, try to translate

  • the question in your mind, then you need to try to build up an answer before you start

  • speaking - the more time you take to do this, the less fluent you are in English.

  • Okay?

  • The graders want to make sure you understood the question quickly, you're ready to start

  • speaking quickly; that's part of fluency.

  • Another thing: Connected sentences.

  • They want to make sure that your sentences flow from one to the next; you're not just

  • throwing out ideas.

  • "I like it.

  • It's good.

  • I did it five times."

  • Like, all of these sentences individually are not part of fluency.

  • That means you're just throwing out ideas, but fluency is also how...

  • The flow.

  • The flow of your speech.

  • And, again, especially in parts one and three when they're asking a question, but also in

  • parts two where you need to construct the answer completely.

  • They're listening for your thinking sounds, so: "Um...

  • Well, uh...

  • Um...

  • If I...

  • Um...

  • Mm...

  • " All of these thinking sounds means you're having trouble with the language, means: Your

  • fluency is not very high, your score is going down.

  • Okay?

  • Try to minimize or even completely eliminate thinking sounds from your speech; they don't

  • help you.

  • Now, if you need some time to think about what to say, you could say: "Well, when I

  • think about this situation, what I usually think about is..." and then get into your

  • answer.

  • You say: "Well, um...

  • Well, usually it's like this..."

  • Well, that doesn't work.

  • That's not fluency.

  • That means you're having problems with the language.

  • Okay?

  • So cut out the thinking sounds: "Ah, erm, er", etc.

  • Now, extend - this is probably the most important part of fluency.

  • Do not give one-word answers to any question.

  • -"Do you like swimming?"

  • -"Yes."

  • -"Okay.

  • Why do you like swimming?"

  • -"It's wet."

  • That doesn't work.

  • That's not an answer, even, right?

  • They want full sentences, they want a few sentences, and they want to have a few ideas

  • all strung together coherently and with nice flow.

  • Now, with all these things in mind, what do most students have the most problems with

  • when it comes to the actual speaking test of the IELTS?

  • The most common problem is what to talk about; they just don't have ideas.

  • Right?

  • So here is my major tip, my major piece of advice to you when it comes to preparing for

  • the speaking section of the IELTS test: Create an idea bank.

  • Okay?

  • This is what I call this exercise.

  • In...

  • Essentially, what this means is: Do your thinking before the test.

  • Don't be in the test room, don't be sitting in front of the interviewer and trying to

  • think about all these ideas that they're asking you about, because sometimes they're going

  • to ask you about things that you have...

  • You just don't think about; you don't really care about.

  • If they ask you about music and you're just not a music fan, you don't...

  • You don't listen to music, you don't have an iPod; you listen to the music when you're

  • with your friends, but generally you don't really know much, you don't know who the famous

  • bands are, who the famous singers are - you don't care about music.

  • How are you going to answer questions about music?

  • Now, keep in mind: You don't really have a choice in terms of what they're going to ask

  • you about.

  • If they ask you about music, you have to speak about music.

  • Okay?

  • So, make sure that you have some ideas about music before test day.

  • Here's what you can do.

  • I want you to make a list.

  • Grab a note...

  • Take a notebook and make a...

  • Start making a list.

  • I want you to write favourites.

  • Favourite anything.

  • Favourite food, favourite restaurant, favourite book, movie, band, music.

  • Okay?

  • Make a whole bunch of these lists.

  • And then make another list.

  • Talk...

  • Think about people; friend, relative, famous person.

  • Okay?

  • Or a hero, or somebody...

  • A bad person.

  • Make a list of people.

  • And then think: Hobby, activity, game, sport.

  • I can make a whole huge list here; I'm not going to do that now.

  • You can use your imagination.

  • Think of all the different topics they can ask you about.

  • Then once you find out...

  • Once you have your list, start thinking about ideas.

  • Food: What's your favourite food?

  • Now, you have to think about favourite food to eat; favourite food to prepare; and then

  • favourite food in terms of, like, ethnicity.

  • Whoops.

  • Ethnicity.

  • Like, do you like Chinese food?

  • Do you like Italian food?

  • Do you like Greek food?

  • Etc.

  • Think about all the different types of food.

  • Now, when you think about food...

  • When you come to the test and they ask you any question about food, you're going to think

  • and you're going to talk about this particular dish that you've already thought about at

  • home.

  • So, let's take a lasagna.

  • Your favourite food to eat is lasagna.

  • Great.

  • Guess what?

  • Your favourite food to prepare: Also lasagna.

  • Your favourite ethnicity of food: Italian.

  • Lasagna.

  • Don't think about all kinds of different foods.

  • One food.

  • Any question that comes up about food, you're going to talk about lasagna.

  • Okay?

  • Because why start confusing yourself by thinking about different types of food?

  • Have one ready to go for any question about food.

  • Now, if the question is about restaurant: -"What is your favourite restaurant?"

  • -"Oh, my favourite restaurant is Italian.

  • They make a...

  • I love the one near my house; makes the best lasagna.

  • The reason I like lasagna is..."

  • Again, food, restaurant: Lasagna.

  • It doesn't matter what the question is up, bring it back to lasagna because you already

  • thought about the ideas.

  • Now, once you have your topic, once you have your specific example of the topic, make sure

  • you make yourself a vocabulary list; a bit higher-end words so you're not stuck using

  • simple words.

  • Think: "culinary".

  • "I'm a culinary adventurist; I like to try all kinds of different foods.

  • My favourite, of course, is lasagna, because I love Italian cuisine.

  • Now, I've had some gourmet lasagnas, but my lasagna, I think, is the best.

  • The ingredients I use are...

  • I like to prepare it..."

  • Again: "I like to sautthe onions just so, so I can put them on the top layer of

  • my lasagna."

  • And, again, it's all about lasagna because your question is about food.

  • So when you come to the test and your interviewer asks you about: -"What's your favourite food

  • to eat that you don't eat very often?"

  • -"Oh, I don't eat very often...

  • Hmm.

  • Well, I don't eat curry very often.

  • Or I don't..."

  • Why?

  • Lasagna.

  • You eat lasagna every day, you eat lasagna once a year - it doesn't matter.

  • Talk about lasagna because you already have the ideas.

  • So, again, remember: The whole point is not to think.

  • You want to answer fast.

  • You want to have connected sentences, which means you have to have information.

  • You don't want thinking sounds, but you don't need to think; you already thought about this

  • at home.

  • And you want to extend your answer; you want to speak more, so...

  • Another thing about the extension, remember: The more you speak, the less the interviewer

  • speaks.

  • If you speak...

  • If you give long, good answers, they will have less time to ask you more questions.

  • Okay?

  • So speak at length.

  • Don't go off topic, but make sure you have full answers.

  • Okay?

  • Now, same thing for book and movie.

  • Why would you think about one book and one movie?

  • Think about a book that's been made into a movie.

  • Any question about book, you're going to talk about this one book you thought about at home.

  • Any questions about movies, you're going to think about this one movie that's also the

  • same as the book that you thought about at home.

  • So, for example: Shawshank Redemption, I think everybody has heard of this movie at least;

  • it's a great movie.

  • It's also a book.

  • It was written by Stephen King.

  • Read the book at home, make sure you know the story; be able to talk about it.

  • But any question about books: Shawshank Redemption; any question about movies: Shawshank Redemption.

  • You've killed two birds with one stone, essentially.

  • Band, music, all of these things.

  • As much as you can...

  • Who...?

  • A friend or a relative.

  • Who says that your best friend can't be your cousin?

  • Right?

  • Why not?

  • One person for two topics.

  • And do as much of this as you can for all kinds of different topics, so you think less,

  • speak more.

  • Now, very, very important and I know this is very hard for a lot of students, and I've

  • had experience with this with a lot of students: Do not be afraid to say: "I don't know."

  • It's okay not to know.

  • This is not a test of your knowledge of music; this is a test of your knowledge of English.

  • If somebody asks you a question about a topic that you just don't know anything about, say:

  • "To be honest with you, I don't really..."

  • Like, okay: -"What's your favourite...?

  • Who's your favourite musician?"

  • -"Well, to tell the truth, I don't really listen to music very much so I don't really

  • have a favourite musician, but I like to listen to, you know, whoever's popular on the radio

  • these days."

  • Say you don't know, but make sure that the interviewer understands that you understood

  • the question.

  • Say...

  • Show them you understood the question, you just don't really know about this topic so

  • you don't have much to say.

  • It's not an English problem; it's a topic problem.

  • Some interviewers will adjust their questions to make it easier for you to actually speak;

  • some won't, in which case, again, just say: "Well, you know, I don't really think about

  • this stuff very much, but if I had to imagine, I would say this, that, or the other."

  • The key is: Speak.

  • Don't panic, don't overthink it.

  • Speak.

  • Have all your ideas ready.

  • Now, another thing you can do: Once you have all of these things ready-you have your general

  • topic, you have your specific examples and your specific situations about this topic,

  • you have your vocabulary-practice part two of the speaking.

  • Create a one-and-a-half-minute speech...

  • Create one-and-a-half-minute speeches for each topic.