Hi there. My name is Emma and in today’s video
we will be looking at the IELTS, which is a test that ESL students take when they want
to immigrate to certain countries such as Canada, Australia, England. It’s also a test
some universities require students take. So if you want to study at an overseas university,
you may have to take this test. So we will be looking at specifically the speaking section
of this test, part three. So the speaking task has three different parts to it; part
one, part two, part three. We will be looking at part three. Okay, so first I will explain
what happens in part three of the IELTS speaking test, and then I will look at some tips on
how to do well, and also things you should not do. So let’s get started.
First of all, it’s important to know how long this test, this part of the test will take.
It takes between four to five minutes. Okay? And it’s different than part two.
In part two, the student is expected to speak for about two minutes and there’s
no interruption. In this part of the IELTS, it’s more like an interview. The examiner
asks you some sort of question, you respond. They ask you another question or they might
ask you to go deeper into the first question. Okay? What types of questions are there?
Well, sometimes they’ll ask you to predict something, to analyze
something, to compare. They might ask you to give your opinion. Often times, you’re
looking at the future as well. So for example: what sports do you think will be played in the future?
Okay? So often –future questions. Part three is based on a theme. In part two,
you’re given something to describe often — it might be a historical building, it might be
a teacher you really liked, it might be an object precious to you. Part three continues
from part two, so whatever you talked about in part two, you’re going to talk about in
part three, but at a more abstract level. So what do I mean by this? Well, if in part
two you talked about your favourite teacher, in part three you might be talking about education.
You might talk about how it is different today than it used to be. Okay? So you
might be looking at education. Some of the topics you may look at in part
three: technology is very common, education, environment, TV influence, leisure activities,
shopping, sports, transportation. So these are all very common topics, and so you’ll
be asked between four to six questions on these types of topics. So an example
you may be asked: “How are education priorities different from those in the past?” Okay?
So again, you have to state your opinion for this question. All right, so let’s look
at some of the “Dos” and “Don’ts” for this part of the IELTS. Okay, so let’s
look at some of the things you should do. Okay? So there’s our smiley
face, this is a good idea. The first one is: listen for keywords in the question. Okay?
Sometimes you may not understand what the question is… try to listen for the keywords of the question.
Do you hear the word “education”, “school”? Listen and this will help you to
understand the question better. If you still don’t understand the question: ask. Okay?
This is very important. It’s okay to ask the examiner to repeat the question. If you don’t
understand, you can also ask for clarification. It’s better to ask if you don’t understand
than to answer something completely different and wrong. Okay? So it’s
always better to ask. When you do answer the question, make sure,
again, you don’t give these short yes/no answers. Expand, give detail. Okay? Give examples, give reasons.
It’s very important to support your points. For example: maybe they ask you if
girls and boys should go to separate schools. Okay? If you’re asked that, you might say: “I
think girls and boys should go to separate schools for three reasons. First of all, girls
learn better when they’re separated from boys. In my own experience, when I was a student, I
was always distracted by boys.” So you see what I mean? Give details, give examples.
Stick to the topic. This is very important. If you’re asked about education, talk about education.
Don’t talk about your pets, don’t talk about your hair; stick to education. I
think this is actually the most important point out of all of them: think you’re…
Think you will do well. What do I mean by that? I think the IELTS isn’t only testing
you on your English, it’s also testing you psychologically. Okay? You need to think positively.
You need to think you will do well. If you think you will do well, you
will definitely do better. Okay, another point: it’s important to build
vocabulary before you do the IELTS. So you’re being marked on four things. You’re being
marked on pronunciation, you’re being marked on grammar, you’re being marked on vocabulary, and
you’re being marked on fluency and coherence. So that last one is together. So, these are
the four different areas you’re being marked in. It’s good if you focus partially on building
your vocabulary beforehand; this is a good way to prepare. You know you’re going to be
marked on this, so why not think about words that have to do with technology? Practice
these words in conversation. For example: “technophobe”, “cutting-edge”, “state-of-the-art”.
All of these words will help you increase your vocabulary score if you’re asked about technology.
Find words that have to do with education, with leisure activities, transportation.
So this is a very important thing to do as well. Okay, another thing
you should do: relate the question you’re asked to your own life.
So if they ask you about technology, bring examples of technology you use. Use examples
of technologies you use, I mean. Use your own experiences. And if you don’t have a lot
of experiences in terms of what they’re asking — if they’re talking about sports, you hate
sports, you don’t have anything to say about sports — again, you can make it up. Use your
friend’s experiences, use what you know from the news. It’s good to use real-life examples.
Okay, this is another important point: it’s good to divide up your answer. Okay? So when
they ask you a question, instead of just getting right into it, you can say: “There are three
ways that such and such works.”, “There are three problems with transportation in Toronto.”,
“There are several points I’d like to talk about.” Okay? So it’s good to divide up what
you’re going to say by giving a number for your answer. Another good thing to do is…
This part of the IELTS often requires you to use modals.
So what are modals again? “Can”, “could”, “may”, “might”, “should” — these are modals.
You’re going to be using them in this part of the IELTS. So brush up on that. Okay, practice using them.
For example, maybe they’re asking you: “Who makes the best teachers?” You could
say: “Parents may make the best teachers.” Okay? So use modals. Also learn
opinion expressions. So don’t just keep saying: “I think”, “I think”, “I think”.
Use something else. “If you ask me”, “In my opinion”, “It seems to me that”, “It appears
to me that”, these are all good expressions to use. “I think” is a
little bit boring. Okay? So now let’s look at some of the “Don’ts”,
things you should not do for this part of the IELTS. Okay, so what shouldn’t you do in
this section of the IELTS? Okay, so I have “Don’ts” and an angry face.
This is what you should not do. So first of all, don’t memorize answers. This
is not the way to do well on the IELTS. Okay? If you memorize answers, and if the examiner
notices that you’re sort of speaking funny and thinks you’ve memorized an answer, they’re
going to change the subject. So it’s good not to memorize answers because you’ll probably
have a lot more difficulty if you do. It’s better, again, to spend your time learning
vocabulary, practicing speaking with your friends, practicing answering these types of
questions, giving your opinion, but don’t memorize answers. Don’t worry
if you make mistakes. Okay? If you make a mistake, if you can correct it and
it won’t take a lot of time – just quickly correct it. If it’s one of those mistakes
that if you try to correct it, it’s going to cause a lot of problems, confusion – just leave it.
It’s okay if you make mistakes, just keep going. Okay? Don’t go off topic.
So if you’re talking about education, don’t start talking about sports.
Stick to what they’re asking you. Don’t change the question either; if they ask you
a question, answer that question. Don’t use too many “umms” and “ahhs”. Okay?
Some “umms” and “ahhs” are okay, but if every question you’re saying: “Umm, I think, uhh,
ehh that umm, uhh really that uhh”, it’s not going to get you a good mark. So if you’re one
of those people who use “umms” and “ahhs” a lot, try to focus before the IELTS on using them less.
What you can always do is tape record yourself speaking — this is something I
really recommend for the IELTS — tape record yourself, listen to your strengths: what are you good at?
And what are your weaknesses? Be honest — everyone has weaknesses. So listen
and try to practice beforehand to fix those weaknesses. Okay? Don’t use “I
think” too much. “I think” gets very boring. This is another
thing ESL students often love to do: they want to get more time and have
more time to think of an answer so they use these types of sentences in order to give
themselves more time, they might say: “Oh, that’s a good question.” It’s okay to say
that, but don’t say it for every question. Okay? If you need to buy that much time, don’t
just keep saying: “Oh, that’s a good question. Yeah, that’s an interesting question. That’s a
good question.” It’s not going to help your mark. If you use that, use it once. Okay,
don’t worry if you have an accent. We all have accents. It’s okay if you have an accent.
In terms of your pronunciation mark, the main thing they’re looking for is that
you speak clearly and they can understand what you’re saying. Okay? Oh, I think
I said this twice, yes. So this is a very important point; I’ve wrote it here twice.
Don’t worry if you make mistakes. Okay? Treat this almost like a conversation. You
know, it’s good to support what you’re saying, it’s good to make clear arguments. And so
don’t get too worried about this section of the IELTS. Practice is the most important thing.
Practice giving your opinion to your friends, to your family, to anyone who
will listen to you. Practice in English. And if you want to see some of the questions
you may get, come visit www.goodluckielts.com. This site is wonderful, it has many good tips
on how to do well on the IELTS and it also has good practice questions. So maybe do some
of those practice questions, and tape record yourself while you do them. Okay? Another
thing you can do is you can come visit us at www.engvid.com. We will have a quiz
there that will check to make sure you know how to do your best on the IELTS. Okay, so
until next time, good luck on the IELTS. I know you’re going to do great. Just practice,
take a deep breath, and you’re going to do fine. So take care, and until next time.