As with all languages, it takes time for language learners to improve their general fluency.
Therefore, the longer you spend on practising your fluency in speaking, the better you will become.
Obviously, one way to improve fluency is to speak English with your friends and family, and native speakers as much as possible in your everyday life.
Another way to practise without other people’s help is to record your voice when you practise speaking, and listen to the recording to find out what, and how, you can improve. For example, you can look for things like, how many times do I hesitate?, do I repeat certain nouns/verbs? etc.
Now, you may ask, my IELTS test is only a few weeks or even a few days away. What should I do?
TIP NUMBER 1 – Be Ready For The Unexpected
You may have practised the commonly asked topics for the IELTS speaking test. However, students are often not ready for the unexpected in the speaking test.
So, think of a strategy you can use to deal with the questions that you are not familiar with and topics you don’t know much about, such as describing specific laws in your country, talking about art, architecture, wildlife, and so on.
During the speaking test, if indeed you are stuck and don’t know how to answer a question, don’t give up.
Of course, you are expected to answer the questions by going in the right direction to show you understand the questions and the language, but remember, the examiner ultimately evaluates your language and what you produce during the test. If you give up and don’t say anything, the examiner will have nothing to judge you on. So, DO answer the question as much as you can and DO NOT give up.
TIP NUMBER 2 – Hesitation Is OK
Think about when you communicate in your native language, do you speak with complete accuracy and fluency at all times? I would say no.
It is natural to hesitate when talking, even in the IELTS speaking test. Don’t just say ‘Ehh…. Ahh…’ when you hesitate. Use fillers when you need time to think. For example, ‘you know…’, ‘I mean…’, ‘what’s more…,’ ‘actually…’, ‘basically…’.
By using fillers, you can buy yourself some valuable moments to construct your next sentence and better organise your thoughts.
TIP NUMBER 3 – Do Not Try To Choose Clever Words
You may have practised and learnt some very good vocabulary for some commonly asked topics. But most people get nervous during the test and it is understandable that you may not be able to recall these words when you take the speaking test.
Slight hesitation is fine, but do not stop too much to try to think of clever words to say because it will affect your speaking fluency in the test.
If your mind goes blank, don’t worry too much.
Simply express yourself naturally with the grammar and vocabulary that you can use at the time.
If you are serious about taking your IELTS writing to the next level, sign up for your FREE 3 part IELTS writing video course that takes you through both task 1 and task 2. The video lessons are led by our highly experienced UK native IELTS teacher, Katherine. We also provide you with exercises to test your understanding!
Sign up your FREE IELTS writing video course by clicking here: https://swoosh-english.thinkific.com/courses/ielts-writing-video-course