There are many ways to improve your IELTS speaking skills (and score) by yourself.
This is a 28-day Speaking Part 2 Challenge that I did with my students in the Members Academy, but you can do it by yourself or with a friend.
Record yourself speaking for 2 minutes each day. Listen to your recording and make notes
The challenge will:
- help you get used to speaking for 2 minutes non-stop so that you get used to the time limit and plan accordingly
- give you plenty of ideas and preparation for when you do the real exam
- help you notice some things about your speaking that you could improve
- build your confidence and fluency
- increase your vocabulary
- improve your grammar
- Print off my Speaking Part 1 and Part 2 Challenge Planner here (or find some recent Task 2 questions online)
- Use an App for recording on your phone. In the Members Academy we use an app called ‘Flip’ so that all the recordings are in one place and I can give you feedback
- Cross off the days/tasks as you go through them, so that you can feel a sense of progress.
- Listen to your recording and write down one good collocation/ expression/ idiom you used and one area that you need to work on.
- Check any words that you wanted to use but couldn’t remember- this will help build your active vocabulary
- Ask someone to listen and give you feedback if you can.
What to listen for
It’s not easy to listen for your own mistakes but here are a few things that are easy to spot and improve:
- Hesitation – how can you fill the gaps when you’re thinking? (Use fillers like ‘well’ ‘you know’ ‘anyway!’ ‘so’…)
- Grammar – check Past Tenses, 3rd person ‘s’, plural ‘s’
- Contractions – using these will make you sound more natural and fluent e.g. ‘I’m’ rather than ‘I am’
- Vocabulary – could you choose more interesting adjectives e.g. ‘freezing’ rather than ‘cold’?
- Linking words – are you just using ‘but’ and ‘so’? Could you try ‘even though’ or ‘Anyway…’?
- Pronunciation – are there any sounds you have difficulty with? (Use the caption generator on the app to see if there are any sounds that it didn’t pick up)
- Speed – many students speak fast to increase their fluency score. It is much better to slow down and pause at the end of each sentence.
- Intonation – are you emphasising important words, and using ‘chunks’ of language?
- Repetition – how can you develop your story without going back over the same information?
- Storytelling – are you just describing things, or are you setting up a story to keep the listener’s attention?
- Formal vs informal – are you using formal words when an informal expression or phrasal verbs would be better?
These are all the features of Speaking that I examine when I give feedback in the Members Academy (we also have weekly small-group Speaking Classes).
Need more help with Speaking?
My Speaking Course focuses on the fundamentals of performing well in the IELTS Speaking Test.
It has a strong focus on pronunciation (25% of the overall Speaking Score), which most courses are afraid to tackle.
You’ll also get an individual Speaking and Pronunciation analysis from me.