The aim of this lesson is to give you different practice activities for the speaking test. While most of the activities are based on IELTS speaking questions, the idea is to improve your skills and not just practise answering questions. The reason for this is that practice tests are not enough by themselves; if you want to get better, you need to improve how you speak and that means thinking about speaking as a skill.
1. Record yourself and then write down your answer 自己录音再写下答案
This is something everyone should try. It is almost certainly a bad idea to write your answer first and then speak it. This is because we speak and write in very different ways and it is a mistake to try and train yourself to speak in the way you write. But you can learn a lot from recording what you say and then writing that down word for word.
Things you can learn are:
Do you say enough? Do you give very short answers? In parts 1 and 3, you should say at least a couple of sentences in answer to every question.
Is what you say organised? Can you see a structure to your answer? Is it possible to put in sentences and paragraph breaks? Do you have some organisation language like “The first point is..”
Do you speak too slowly or too quickly? Try counting the words in your part 2 answer. Most of my answers as a native speaker are about 240 words long. You should probably aim for around 200 or so. Less than that and you are speaking too slowly, but if you have more than that, it may be that you are speaking too quickly.
有没有说得过快或过慢？试着数一下Part2 你的答案的字数，一般native speaker能说到240字左右，烤鸭们一般要写到200字左右。如果字数少于这个值，那说明你讲话太慢，如果超过了，说明你讲话太快~~
How long are your pauses? You can pause, but your pauses should generally come between sentences/paragraphs and they shouldn’t be more than 2/3 of seconds
Did you answer the question?
Is your pronunciation okay? If you can’t immediately understand what you say, the examiner won’t either!
Are there some words you repeat a lot? You probably shouldn’t worry too much about content words such as “television” – native speakers will repeat those a lot when speaking. Rather you should look at more functional words/phrases such as “I think”. It’s very easy to repeat these a lot and it is also quite simple to train yourself to use more variety.
有没有重复很多词？不要担心重复实义词，即使是native speaker也会一直重复，因为你讲的就是这个东西~不过，你应该重点检查功能词汇，比如“I think” ，烤鸭们很容易老重复这些词，不过让自己练习用不同的词也不是难事。
2. Do it first in your own language 先用母语说
This is perhaps an unusual piece of advice. In the speaking, you should aim to be thinking and speaking in English as much as possible and not translating from your language to English. It can, however, sometimes help to practise the long turn part 2 in your own language first:
some people struggle to speak in their own language for 2 minutes: they prefer short/concise answers and not longer more discussion type answers. So before you try it in English, make sure you can do it in your first language.
It helps you understand how long 2 minutes is and how much you need to say to fill that time.
if you record and listen to yourself in your first language, you will probably find yourself using quite a lot of “structure” language such as “As I mentioned before”. This is a lot of the language you need for part 2.