If you know how the IELTS speaking test is scored, you will understand that pronunciation is one of the four marking criteria, and it counts for 25% of your speaking score. It is of course important to work on your pronunciation for the test.
You may be asking: how can I improve my pronunciation?
There is no quick fix on improving pronunciation and a lot of teachers may answer ‘Speak more.’ However, this is not a very good answer because you need to know the best tactics to practise in order to get maximum results.
This article will help you:
Learn HOW to improve your pronunciation
EASY TRICKS to speak better instantly
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TIP NUMBER 1 – Get Everything Prepared
When we talk about preparation, it is not just about trying to prepare for possible answers. It is important to know a few other things.
First, understand the structure of the speaking test. How much time does the test 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 all count for 25% of the score.
Finally, yes, you will never know what questions you will be asked in the speaking test, but there are some common topics that you can prepare for, such as family, work, and travel.
Remember, do NOT memorise your prepared answers for the test. Why not? When the examiner finds out you are not actually speaking naturally, you may not get a high score or you may even lose marks.
And, believe me, they will know!
What can I do to avoid having to memorise answers then? You may ask yourself.
Well, you can still learn more vocabulary and phrases of commonly asked topics by simply practising more frequently. This will allow you to get better at using the vocabulary! But speak naturally!
Another simple way to improve your speaking is to arrive early and not get stressed out.
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 only.
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 be mentally prepared.
TIP NUMBER 2 – Speak Naturally
Learn how not to feel nervous 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. By speaking naturally, you will be able to show your emotions when you speak and improve the rhythm of your speech.
TIP NUMBER 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. So it sounds like they pause after every word which affects their pronunciation score.
To help improve the intonation of speech and sentence stresses, try to use the ‘Chunking’ technique. Chunking is talking in rhythm by grouping the words, with short silences in between or 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 of words with better pronunciation and intonation. This will help the examiner understand your messages much better and clearer.
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