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IELTS Speaking

There are three parts in the test

• Part 1: Familiar Topics (3-4 minutes): Home, Work, College, Hobbies,


Holidays, Sports, Free Time etc.

• Part 2: Long turn (1-2 minutes plus 1 minute preparation): Describe a


Person, Place, Thing, Picture, Movie, Book, Historical Figure, Friend,
etc.

• Part 3: Discussion (3-4 minutes): Advanced discussion, analysis,


prediction, description, evaluation, opinion, cause and effect,
possibilities

Use Modals
In the IELTS speaking test, Part 1 focuses on Present Tense, Part 2
on the Past, and Part 3 on the future and modals (can, could, might,
may, etc.) You are expected to predict, guess, analyse, relate, suggest
and evaluate (give your opinion) in this part.
Part 1: Introduction and Interview on Familiar Topics
Good morning/afternoon. My name is _____________. Can you tell me your full
name please?
Ans: My full name is ---------------------.

My name is ---------------------------.

Thank you.

Can I see your identification, please?

Ans: Yes here it is.

Would you like to see my passport.

Thank you, that’s fine

Now I’d like to ask you some questions about yourself.

Let’s talk about your home town or village.


 What kind of place is it?
 What’s the most interesting part of your
home area?
 What kind of jobs do the people in your
town/village do?Would you say it is a good
place to live? Why?

OR

Let’s talk about what you do. Do you work or are you a student?

Work
 What’s your job? Why did you choose that kind of work?
 How long have you been doing it?
 Are there things your don’t like about it? What are they?

Study
 What subjects are you studying?
 Why did you choose those subjects? How long have you been
studying them?
 Do you enjoy them? Why?
Family
Can we talk about your family?
Do you have a small or large family?
How much time do you spend with them?
What things do you do together?
Language Learning
Let’s talk about learning English.
How long have you been learning English?
Where did you learn? What is easy/difficult?
What opportunities do you have to speak? Is it important?
Accommodation
Let’s move on to talk about accommodation.
Where do you live?
How long have you lived there?
What kind of accommodation would you like?
Leisure
Let’s move on to what you do in your spare time.
Hobbies and interests?
When/how did you become interested?
How do you spend your holidays?
Is there anyplace you would like to visit? Why?
Daily Routine
I’d like to talk about your daily routine.
Are all your days the same? Typical day? Typical weekend?
What would you like to change?
What is the balance of work/study?
Festivals
Let’s talk a little about the festivals in your country
What are some festivals in UAE?
Any special food or activities?
What do you enjoy most?
Are festivals important?
Food
Moving on to talk about food…
What kind of food do you like?
What are typical UAE foods?
Is cooking a man’s or woman’s job?
How do you like foreign food?
Visitors
Now I’d like to talk about visitors to your country.
What should visitors to UAE see and do?
What kind of tourists visit UAE?
How has tourism changed the UAE?
This is Part 1 of the Speaking Test.

The topics are familiar. You are expected to talk fluently and easily for a total of 4
or 5 minutes.

Let’s talk about your home town or village. Let’s talk about what you do. Do you
work or are you a student?
• What kind of place is it?
• What’s the most interesting part of Work
your home area?
• What kind of jobs do the people in • What’s your job? Why did you
your town/village do? choose that kind of work?
• Is your home town changing? • How long have you been doing it?
• Would you say it is a good place to • What is a typical day like at your
live? Why? work?
• Are there things your don’t like
• What changes would you like to make or about it? What are they?
to your home town?
Study

• What subjects are you studying?


• Why did you choose those
subjects? How long have you been
studying them?
• Do you enjoy them? Why?
• Are there many job opportunities
for you?

• What is the best thing about


studying?
B

Let’s move on to talk about languages.

• What languages do people in your country usually speak? Do you think it is


important to speak more than one language? Why?
• What languages do you think will be most important in the future?

Now, let’s talk about physical activity.

• Do you play any sports? Which sports do you play?


• Which sports are most popular for watching in your country?
• Is this the same for men and women?
Part 2: Individual Long Turn 3-4
min
s
Now I’m going to give you a topic and I’d like you to talk about it for one or two
minutes. Before you talk, you will have one minute to think about what you will say.
You can make some notes.
Here is a paper and pencil for you to make some notes if you wish, and here is your
topic.

 Describe a teacher who has influenced you. Say where you met them, what
subjects they taught, why they were special and how they influenced you.

 Describe a family member who has influenced you. Say how long you have
known them them, why they were special, how they differ from the other family
members, and how they influenced you.

 Describe a story, book, or movie that had a big impact on you. Describe what it
was about, what effect it had and why it was so powerful.

 Describe a place you visited that had a big impact on you. Say when you went
and how long you stayed. Describe the impact the place had on you and why.

 Describe an event in your life that had a big impact on you. Say when it happened
and what the circumstances were. Describe how it affected you and why.

 Describe a friend in your life that had a big impact on you. Say how long you
have known him or her and how he or she affected you.

 Describe a person you would most like to meet. Describe this person and state
why you would most like to meet him or her. What effect would the meeting
have on you? What would you say.

 Describe a time in your life that was difficult. What was the problem? What were
some of the things that helped you to overcome this problem? What did you learn
from this experience, and what advice would you give others.

 Describe a time in your life when you helped someone else with a problem. What
was the problem? How did you help the other person? What did you learn from
this experience, and what advice would you give others? Would you help in the
same way?

This is Part 2 of the Speaking Test.

In Part 2, you have to speak for 1-2 minutes by yourself, without stopping, on a topic
the examiner will give you. You have one minute to get ready and make some notes.

Write some notes on the paper the examiner will give you
When the preparation time is up, or when you are ready, start talking.
You should talk for between 1 and 2 minutes.

Describe a favourite item of clothing:

You should say:

what it is
when and how you got it
when you wear it

and say why you like it more than your other clothes

.
Part 3: Two-Way Discussion 4-5
min
s
We’ve been talking about a teacher who influenced you and I’d like to discuss with
you one or two more general questions related to this

Development in Education
 Describe developments in education in your country
 Compare the experience of your parents
 What changes are coming?

National Education
 What are your countries aims for education
 What is the importance of extra-curricular activities

Styles of Teaching
 Describe different styles of teaching
 What is your preferred method of learning?
 Should learners be grouped by ability?

Other examples

Part 2 Part 3

Describe a parent What is the role of parents in today’s society


Describe a friend Is friendship the same in every country?
Describe a place Should we spend money on national parks?
Describe a book Are writers respected in your country?
Describe a movie Is censorship of movies a good idea?
Describe a problem Is modern life becoming easier or more complicated
Describe a happy event How can we increase the role of the family?

Part 3 (Discussion)

This is Part 3 of the Speaking Test.

In Part 3, you and the examiner discuss some topics related to the topic you spoke about in
Part 2. The time limit for Part 3 is about 3-4 minutes. The examiner will help you and move the
conversation along.

Examples
So if your Part 2 (Long Turn) topic was "Describe something you bought recently," Part 3
might be about buying habits in the UAE, consumers, materialism, shopping, consumer
protection, or differences between shops now and in the past, or a prediction about
shopping in the future.

If your Part 2 (Long Turn) topic was "Describe a teacher you had in school," Part 3 might
be about education, training, the internet and education, changes in education in the last
twenty years, the importance of training, etc.

More Possible Examples!

Possible Related Topic in


Topic in Part 2
Part 3

How does tourism affect a


Describe a place you country? Does it have some
visited recently advantages? Can cultures learn
from each other?
Is friendship important in your
culture? How many close
Describe a friend friends can you have? Are
friends more important than
family?
What is the role of parents
in raising children? Has the
Describe a child you
role changed in recent
know
years? Who is responsible
for discipline?
Do possessions make
people happy? Why do
Describe an object you
people buy things? Are
like
people in your country wise
consumers?
Are images important in your
culture? What is the role of
Describe a photograph advertising? Do films and
television influence our
decisions?
Who are the most influential
people in your society? Are
Describe an historical
there many heroes or role
figure
models today? What are the
qualities of a good leader?
How do different cultures
celebrate events? What is the
Describe an important importance of festivals? How
event in your culture have special occasions such as
weddings changed in your
culture?

Successful students:
• Comment on the question
• Relate the question to their own experience
• Divide up their answers
• Use modals (could, might, may) the past perfect, and
future tenses correctly

Comment on the question


• That's interesting. I was watching a program about
that last week
• That's a big problem today. I heard Sheikh
Mohammed talk about that in a speech in Dubai.
• Oh, that's very difficult to predict! I don't think
anybody really knows what is going to happen.
• Wow, that's a tough question. It depends on your
point of view.
• Yes, I've often thought about that.

Relate the question to their own experience

• That's very important because I am getting married


next month
• That's an interesting question because I work in
computers, so I often wonder what the future of
technology will be.
• That's a tough question because I am not an
economist.
• That's funny - the other day I was in Al-Ain and
someone asked me the same question.
• My kids often ask me the same question

Divide up your answer

• Basically, there are three ways to look at this


problem. One way is to imagine....
• I think there are several ways to solve this problem. I
think one way would be to...
• It depends on how you look at it. For example, if you
were a parent, you would have one opinion, and if
you were a student, you might have another
perspective.
• I think two very different things will happen. First of
all, there might be...
• There have been several effects. One effect is that
• I suppose you could break it up into two or three
areas. First...

IELTS Speaking – interview tips

Speak until they stop you,

don’t just answer the question and stop.

Display you best English.

Behave as if it was a driving test – keep going straight until told to turn right, left or
park.

It is quite possible that you have to speak about something you have never heard
of, or have no opinion of.
If you don’t know the subject – tell the examiner immediately, so he could ask you
another question.

If you don’t tell him and start trying to speak, he might think that it is not a
knowledge problem, but a language problem.

It might be of interest to you to reflect upon what involves in delivering a response


in a natural way, just as you would have answered in your mother-tongue, with ease
and least digression from the topic.

The key is consistency in our efforts, repeating utterances that sound intelligent and
sounds that we love to produce flawlessly.

One last word – be confident, we hardly ever see interviewees on the tely nervous
or losing their calm! So, go for it, good luck!

Energize you answers with thrilling content and passionate delivery.

The tutor will have sat through numerous responses on the day, many of which
may be very similar.

Answers that are relevant yet stand out offer them welcome respite, and the scope
for higher marks.For example, the question “why did you like that shop” may be
answered in both the following ways :
“The shop holds a wide array of books, which are reasonably priced. The owner is an
old friend, and his shop has a certain old-world charm about its musty corridors and
shelves. Sometimes, I can even find books that are over a hundred years old”.
I answered “The reason I am in love with the shop is because it is enchanted. There
is a vast treasure trove of books, and the musty corridors of the shop drip with the
honey of a good age, long gone and alive only in our precious memory. The owner
and I are close allies and conspirators, jealously guarding our Alladin’s cave of
knowledge from the unsympathetic glare of the modern sophisticated book-buyer.
When I visit this shop, I do not go to buy old books at sensible prices, but to
experience the transport to a world of magic”.

Further, in the final question (”what are the risks of online shopping”), I included the
obvious and main points (online fraud, loss of personal touch leading to a solitary
society etc), and I further commented on the three most important aspects affecting
our society :

- Cross-border online purchases offer criminals and terrorists a golden key to


launder ill-gotten gains, proliferate contraband items like narcotics, and acquire
sophisticated arms,

- The effortless ease of unbridled online shopping may lead to a rampant


consumerism to now spin out of control,

- Such profligacy in dealing with the earth’s resources will only add to environmental
misery.

OVERALL: It is important to be aware of the time.

I answered question 1 and 3 just within the prescribed time limit, but stepped in
question 2, and the examiner cut me short. I was concerned that this would affect
my marks, but the other aspects of my answers appear to have impressed her as
she awarded me grade 9.
In a nutshell, the “science” of communication is the conveyance of information in a
simple, user-friendly and memorable manner. The “art” of communication, however,
is making the listener feel better about himself and the world.

I would be interested to say a few things on how to get a better score for the
speaking test. I got band 9 in Speaking. I agree that living in an English-speaking
country is useful, but it is definitely not THE deciding factor for higher band scores.

It would be a great idea to improve speaking by attentively listening to how native


speakers articulate different sounds, and string those sounds into perfect-sounding
words. Stress on syllables within words and intonation in sentences being language-
specific characteristics, it is vital that one understands how these function for the
English language.

Secondly, television channels (national channels, wherever possible) are best in


terms of feeding us with appropriate and acceptable English, smart vocabulary,
phrasal verbs of everyday use and ‘not-too-indecent’ slang. These channels cover
plenty of personal interviews, counseling sessions, discussions on topics of interest
or abstract ideas or on issues of national/international importance which are
typically not very different from what we get for IELTS speaking test, both in terms
of question-patterns and subject-matter

It might be of interest to you to reflect upon what involves in delivering a response


in a natural way, just as you would have answered in your mother-tongue, with ease
and least digression from the topic. The key is consistency in our efforts, repeating
utterances that sound intelligent and sounds that we love to produce flawlessly.

One last word – be confident, we hardly ever see interviewees on the tely nervous
or losing their calm! So, go for it, good luck!

Tips for the IELTS Speaking test

Key points – A good vocabulary and content are important, but Presentation
precedes content, fluency precedes vocabulary for the speaking exam.

1. Possessing a good stock of words is important, even more so than the writing
exam (where you have the luxury of review and edit). However, fluency takes
precedence over vocabulary, and if you feel you have forgotten the words, it is
better to display a level of fluency with simple terms you know rather than struggle
with numerous pauses while searching for the perfect word.

2. Remember to adopt basic presentation skills.

- Freshen up before the speaking exam (there is usually a gap between the writing
and speaking exams).

- Please ensure your breath is fresh by chewing on a few mints. The marker is
unlikely to award high marks if he/she is semi-comatose from an examinee’s lethal
halitosis.

Maintain good eye contact with the marker, and adopt a friendly demeanor.
Remember that she is there to help you achieve high grades, not stall and obstruct
your progress.
- Speak at a reasonable pace, neither too fast or slow. You can practice this by
recording your normal speech and monitoring it, or foisting yourself on a good
English speaking person and asking for his feedback.

- Modulate your tone. Raise and lower your voice a few times. While I am not
advocating yodeling an entire cantata through your larynx, remember that the
synonym for boredom is monotony – mono tone.

- Use you hands in an expressive way, but don’t flay them about. Maintain a mild
smile, but don’t giggle frivolously.

3. There are many websites that offer a good selection of possible questions. Read
these and visualize your answers. This was the one area where I spent 6-7 hours
preparing, but the actual questions turned out to be completely different!! Further,
the link between the three questions was extremely tenuous, and I was asked to :

- Describe my favorite shop and discuss why I liked it.


- Discuss the shopping habits of my generation.
- Comment on the risks of online shopping.

As such, preparing beforehand will only confer limited benefits, and you need to rely
upon your personal skills to get good marks.

OR

Daily Routine
I’d like to talk
about your daily
routine.
Are all your days the
same? Typical day?
Typical weekend?
What would you liket
to change? What is
the balance of
work/study?