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IELTS Speaking Tips: The Long Turn

This is the second of three articles about the IELTS speaking Exam. You can find tips here for IELTS Speaking Part 2: The Long Turn. Look out for the final part coming soon about Part 3 of the Speaking section. Part 1: The Interview is here.  

Firstly, some general tips about the speaking section:

  • Don't stop speaking until you are told to stop! Do NOT just answer the question and stop. You get NO marks for silence.
  • IELTS Speaking questions get used more than once. Look at the numerous questions that you can find online and practice saying your own answers in the correct time limit. If you don't get exactly the same question, you have a good chance of getting the same subject in your exam.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! Lots of IELTS candidates have a great level of reading and listening in English, but they haven't done enough work on speaking. Speak out loud in English as much as possible. Read an article from a newspaper out loud. Read your practice essays out loud. Pretend you are in an exam and get a friend to ask you Part 1: Interview questions and answer them out loud. Practice makes perfect!

IELTS Speaking Exam Summary – PART 2: Long Turn

Time: About 3 - 4 minutes (including 1 min for preparation)

What happens: The examiner will give you a card with a subject written on it. You will have 1 minute to prepare your answer. BEWARE - 1 minute is NOT a long time! Then you will have to speak for around 2 minutes about your subject without any help from the examiner.

Possible Subjects: Anything! Here are just a few examples:

  • People - someone who has influenced you (teacher, family, friend, sportsman, celebrity, author etc), someone you would like to meet, your favourite person from history
  • Technology - something that you couldn't live without, does technology make our live easier? Would you like to live without emails?
  • Places - your favourite place in the world, somewhere that you dream about going to,  a place that brings back fond memories, best place for a holiday, describe your hometown, what recommendations would you have for a tourist visiting your country, a place that has had a major impact on you
  • Personal - what is your favourite film genre, song, book, something that would you like to achieve in life, a diificult time in your life and how you got through it, healthy lifestyle: Do you have one?; How could you be healthier? What are the disadvantages of not being healthy?
  • And many more subjects!!!

Example Question and Answer:

1) What is the favourite thing that you own?

MY (1 min prep) NOTES: 

Laptop: sth fav shouldn't be shouldn't be technological - explain when + why did i get it / uses?  friends, work, family, music, / why is it so important  

How do you think this answer could be made better? Leave your ideas in the comments section below.

PROBLEMS

1) If you don't know anything about the subject you have to talk about. If this is true, then tell the examiner and he can give you another question. However, if you get a topic like 'films', but you would rather talk about music, do NOT say you don't know anything about film: the next topic you get might be about a subject that is even worse for you. (It would be better to talk about films and mention how the incredible soundtrack affected you.)

SAY: I'm sorry, but I really don't know anything about .... Is it possible to have another subject, please?

2) If you get lost in your answer and forget what you want to say. Look at your notes that you made in the 1 minute preparation time.

SAY: Now, what did I want to say about that. Oh yes, (now you can remember) so, as I was saying...

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Academic English

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