How Can I Improve My Speaking Part 2
by Mark Feeley
Hi everyone, and welcome to the instructor blog! I hope your studies at AGOS are going well.
I’m Mark, and in my previous blog, I discussed the importance of using a wider range of tenses, and how this can help you to achieve higher scores in the IELTS speaking tests. In this blog, I provided an example of a good Speaking Part 2 answer. The reason why this answer was better is that the speaker has added more background details to the talk, which has given them an opportunity to use a wider range of grammar (marked in bold in the example). This includes:
–‘which is my smartphone’.
–‘listen to the latest tunes I’ve downloaded’.
――’I’d wanted to buy…’.
–‘I’d sat down…’.
Past Perfect Continuous
–‘I’d been standing…’.
Past Modal Verbs
–If I didn’t have a smartphone, I wouldn’t know what I’d do to pass the time.’
When you are taking the IELTS speaking test, therefore, try to use a wider range of tenses. A lot of students however, ask me how they can improve their speaking. In this blog, I will give you some ideas of activities that you can do outside of the classroom to help you improve the range and accuracy of the tenses you use when you are speaking:
To help improve your ability to use different tenses, practice writing sentences using verb tenses such as the Past Continuous, Past Perfect and Conditionals. This will help you to become more confident when you use these tenses.
In addition, try to write a regular diary about your daily life. When you are writing your diary, try to use a variety of tenses.
–Recording your speaking
In addition, try recording your speaking when you are answering questions, and try to use some of the verb tenses. After you have finished, listen to your speaking and make a note of the tenses that you have used. Then, record yourself speaking again and try to improve.
When you listen to the recording of your speaking, you can also write down exactly what you said. This will give you extra listening practice, and provide an opportunity for you to examine more closely the accuracy of the grammar that you have used. In particular Develop a bank of answers so you can detect your common errors such as `missing articles, prepositions’ or the` s’on plural nouns’.
–Ask a classmate or friend to help you
You can also ask a classmate or a friend to listen to the recordings, as they may be able to notice mistakes that you can’t.
Alternatively, try to describe a picture to your friend and see if they recreate it. Tell a story to your classmate and see how many details they can remember!
–Don’t be afraid to take risks
One final piece of advice is to come out of your comfort zone, and don’t be afraid to take risks. Even if you do make mistakes, simply trying to use a wider range of grammar can help you to achieve a higher score.
I hope you find this useful. Good luck with your studies at AGOS!