If you know how the IELTS Speaking test is scored, you already know that pronunciation is one of the four marking criteria and it counts for 25% of your speaking score. It is therefore important to work on your pronunciation before the test. You may be asking: how can I improve my pronunciation? Read on for our 3 IELTS Speaking tips!
There is no quick fix on improving pronunciation and a lot of teachers may advise to just ‘speak more.’ However, this is not ideal because you need to know the best tactics to practise in order to get the best results.
This article will:
Teach you HOW to improve your pronunciation
Share EASY TRICKS to speak better instantly
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IELTS Speaking Tips: How to Improve Your Pronunciation
IELTS Speaking Tip #1 – Get Everything Prepared
When we talk about preparation, it is not just about trying to prepare your answers for possible questions. It is essential to remember a few other things.
First, understand the structure of the speaking test. How much time does it take? How many parts are there to the speaking test? What is each part of the test about? Or do I have to give a speech, or have a discussion with the examiner?
Second, learn how the IELTS speaking exam is scored.
If you want to get a higher band score, you will need to know what the examiner wants! In short, pronunciation, fluency and coherence, grammar and vocabulary each count for 25% of the score.
Finally, yes, you can’t predict exactly what questions you will be asked in the speaking test. However, there are some common topics that you can prepare for, such as family, work and travel.
Do not memorise your answers!
Remember, do NOT memorise your prepared answers for the test. Why not? When the examiner finds out that you are not actually speaking naturally, you may get a low score or possibly even lose marks.
And, believe me, they will know!
What can you do to avoid having to memorise answers then? Well, you can still learn vocabulary and phrases useful for commonly asked topics by simply practising more frequently. You will become more comfortable with the vocabulary and start to use it naturally as you speak.
Another simple IELTS Speaking tip is to arrive early and give yourself the opportunity to relax. You will avoid unnecessary stress, which can really affect your speaking. Did you know that many speaking tests do not take place right after the other test components of the IELTS exam? You may even be asked to come on a separate day to take the speaking test.
If you are told that your speaking exam is on a separate day, it is very important that you arrive at the test venue at least 30 to 40 minutes before your speaking test appointment time.
In this way, you will have plenty of time to calm yourself down and feel mentally prepared.
IELTS Speaking Tip #2 – Speak Naturally
Learn how to minimise your nerves in front of the examiner. By being more relaxed, you can enjoy a normal conversation with the examiner and speak naturally.
Don’t rush; it is always better to speak clearly rather than rush through your speech. Also, by speaking naturally, you will be able to show your emotions when you speak and improve the rhythm of your speech.
IELTS Speaking Tip #3 – Think And Speak in Chunks
A common problem students have when taking the speaking test is they translate every word in their head before saying it out loud. This makes it sound like there is a pause after every word which affects your pronunciation score.
To help improve your intonation and sentence stress, try to use the “Chunking” technique.
Chunking is talking in rhythm by grouping certain words, with short silences in between or a change in tone.
For example, when you say this sentence, don’t say it like this:
“Last – year – was – the – best – year – of – my – life.”
Say it like this: “LAST year // was the BEST year // of my LIFE.”
Can you see the difference? So, think and speak in chunks.
You will speak more naturally in chunks with better pronunciation and intonation. This will help the examiner understand your speech much more clearly.
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