Develop your English Speaking Skills and Ace the IELTS
As soon as they finish their graduations, many students desire to go abroad for higher education. Usually, students prefer to go to countries like the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and European countries like Ireland and so on. Notice that all these countries are English-speaking nations. One of the primary qualifications for gaining admission to universities and colleges in such countries is that the applicant should have basic knowledge of the English language. Aspiring students should have to clear specific English language tests.
The English language tests
There are three types of English language tests of which the students need to clear at least one. These tests are as follows.
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- International English Language Testing System – IELTS
- Test of English as a Foreign Language – TOEFL
- Pearson’s Test of English – PTE
Each of these tests awards scores or marks in various aspects of the English language such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The student has to achieve a specific minimum score in each of these categories while qualifying with a minimum overall band score. Each country specifies its qualification band. We shall concentrate on concentrate on the speaking aspect of the tests, especially the IELTS. The tests conducted by the other agencies are similar in many ways to the IELTS English speaking tests.
The IELTS English Speaking Test
Any student aspiring to go to countries like USA, Canada, the South American countries, and the Caribbean has to be proficient in American English. Similarly, students who wish to go to countries like the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and so on should show proficiency in British English. In short, the student should exhibit enough English speaking skills.
Why should the student be proficient in English?
The US is the largest English-speaking country in the world. Do you know which the second largest one is? Surprisingly, it is India. However, most of the Indians have their primary and secondary school education in vernacular languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and so on. These schools have English as a second or even third language. Even the schools teaching English as the first language fall short of the specified standards of the English speaking countries.
The medium of instruction in these countries is English. The students from India could face issues understanding the level of English taught in foreign universities. Hence, the students need to obtain the minimum qualification in the English language to compete on the same level as the native students. Secondly, the students going abroad should know how to communicate with people and carry on their daily activities in these countries.
The IELTS Academic Test has four categories such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Most of the countries require the student to have an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with not less than an individual score of 6 in each band. Here are some tips that can help you score well in the English speaking category in the IELTS.
Tips to help you ace the IELTS English Speaking tests
You must have heard this famous saying. “You can take the horse to the water, but cannot make it drink.” The same logic applies here as well. Unless you have the passion and commitment to do learn English, you will not do so. Yes, it is a minimum requirement, but the desire to learn English should come from within you. If it does so, you will succeed in your endeavor.
The IELTS English speaking test requires you to clear a face-to-face interview. The purpose of the interview is not to see whether you give the correct answers to the questions asked by the interviewer. It is how you answer the questions that prove critical. The interviewer judges your fluency in the language. Hence, you should prepare for the tests accordingly. A scientific approach to the tests will help you ace the interview.
Remember not to use words from your mother tongue or any other vernacular language while speaking to the interviewer. Use simple English so that you do not feel lost for words during the interview. Practice talking to a friend or an English instructor who can correct your mistakes. You cannot afford to commit silly errors during the interview.
Does it sound funny to you? It should not because you cannot speak in English fluently if you do not have clarity in your thoughts. Thinking in English helps you communicate with the interviewer better. Usually, the learners from non-English speaking countries feel comfortable thinking in their mother tongue and translating it into English. It is not the correct approach as the grammar in your mother tongue is different from English grammar.
It is natural for people to think and speak in their mother tongue. They are more comfortable in their mother tongue than any other language. However, it can prove to be a stumbling block in clearing your IELTS English speaking test. The best way to overcome this mother tongue bias is to try to speak as much as possible in English. Try to read the newspaper aloud. If possible, record your speech on your smartphone and listen to it. You can improve your English speaking skills in this manner.
Watching English TV channels, and news programs can help you pick up the subtle aspects of the pronunciation of English words. You will learn new words and understand the concept and usage of these words. It can help you a lot in your interview.
Institutions like Wizmantra conduct special classes to help you speak English better. Enroll in such English speaking courses and learn from professional instructors how to converse properly with people in English.
Remember that you will not become an expert English speaker overnight. It will take time. You should have the patience to grind it out. It requires a lot of practice and dedication on your part to master the art of speaking English.
The IELTS conducting agencies prescribe specific study materials that help you to score well in these tests. Stick to these tests. Do not try to learn English in your own The study materials prescribed by these agencies are handy and simple to understand. It helps you concentrate on the specific tests with ease.
You do not have to be perfect with your grammar, but it is always beneficial to have a good level of understanding about the use of tenses, verbs, and so on. These aspects count a lot during the interview. A good grasp over the English grammar is helpful. The ideal way to improve your English grammar is to speak in full English sentences. Practice speaking in English with a friend or a colleague.
Aim to learn one new word a day. Use your smartphone to look up the meanings of the difficult words you come across daily. Try to use the words you learn in sentences. You do not have to become a living dictionary to clear the IELTS English speaking tests, but a good vocabulary is always helpful to you in life. As you go abroad, you will realize the importance of learning these new words.
Your English speaking instructor is the right person to help you create English sentences. Use simple sentences to convey your Long sentences and idioms look trendy but can backfire if you do not know the exact meaning.
Your interviewer will not be more than three to four feet away from you across the table. Speak in such a way that the interviewer does not have to strain to listen to your voice. However, it is also not necessary to be very loud in your expressions. It can disturb the interviewer and affect your rating. Practice in front of a mirror and concentrate on your lip movements. If you find it a bit awkward, talk to your English instructor who will help you overcome these issues.
It is natural for you to feel tensed up. Therefore, you could end up speaking faster than you usually do. It can make you fumble and create a wrong You could lose valuable marks in the process. Learn to speak at the right pace. Your thinking and speech should coordinate. If you think faster than you speak, you will fumble for words. Speak slowly and pause at the right time.
Be precise in your answers. You will observe that the question itself will help you to start a response. Secondly, do not stretch your answer too long. Once you finish your answer, remain silent and wait for the next question. Some interviewers have the habit of delaying the subsequent question. Do not fall into the trap of elaborating what you have already said. You could end up contradicting your earlier views. Remember, the test is not whether you give the correct answer but about the language you use to answer the question.
You need not use them in the interview. However, learning to pronounce tongue twisters correctly can help your tongue movements. There are hundreds of tongue twisters available on the internet. Record some of them in your voice. Practice the pronunciation of these words until you get it right.
Complacency is the biggest enemy that can come in your way of acing the IELTS interviews. Be confident but remember not to cross the line. If you become complacent, it will show in your mannerisms. The interviewers study your body language while you speak to them. They can make out whether you are making a genuine attempt or not.
People who have studied in vernacular medium schools can face issues like pronunciation and use of correct grammar. Do not lose heart. It can take time to master any language. Remember a child takes more than a year or two to start speaking in its mother tongue. Hence, you cannot become a master of the English language within a week or two. It takes a lot of practice to become proficient in the language.
On the day of the test, be calm and composed. If you become tense, it will show in your language. Reach the venue of the test early and take someone along with you. It is beneficial because you will strike your rhythm faster than usual if you have a companion to talk to during your journey to the venue. It is a psychological ploy.
In spite of your preparations, there are chances that you can fare poorly in the interview. Does it mean the end of the world for you? No, it does not. You can always appear for the IELTS again.
We have discussed various ways that can help you clear and ace the IELTS interviews. The interview does not last more than half an hour. Use the study materials provided by the agencies. It can help you immensely in your preparations for the English speaking test. Your English language instructor also plays a crucial role in polishing your communication skills.
We reiterate that the test is not whether you give the right answers to the questions. The test is about how you present the answers in front of the interviewers. Concentrate on these aspects. Practice speaking in English at your home and with your friends. People can make fun of you. That should not hinder your preparations. Concentrate on the task on hand. Your objective is to ace the IELTS English speaking test. All your efforts should be in the right direction. Remember there is no substitute for hard work. Work hard and be sincere in your approach. Success will automatically follow you wherever you go.