Hello, welcome to the first installment of our free mini-course, How to start: IELTS Speaking Part 2.
Please read each section carefully, especially in section 3.
I’d love to hear you use this method. You can send me a sample of you using it by joining our Facebook group or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Section 1: About
To say it simply, almost every IELTS candidate starts speaking in Part 2 the same way.
I can’t even begin to explain to you how often I hear the following:
- “I’m gonna talk about…”
- “Today, I’d like to tell you about…”
- “This topic reminds me of…”
There is nothing wrong with using these ‘introductions’ in your exam.
I’m sure that if you’ve seen any videos on YouTube of IELTS Speaking mock tests, then you’ll have noticed these introductions being used by the candidate. Maybe the books you’ve read taught you to say this, or even worse, your trainer/tutor!
So why is what I’m going to show you important?
Well, that’s a good question, really.
Imagine you need to interview 10 people who want to work for your company, and each of the applicants starts speaking about the question you asked them in the exact same way. You’d ignore it over time, right?
Now imagine that you need to assess/evaluate every word that the applicant says during the interview, and judge their ability to speak. You’d also ignore that too, right?
Something to keep in mind during your Speaking Section is that every word you use is being evaluated, even if you need to ask the examiner to repeat or paraphrase a question, your use of the language is always being assessed.
So, Jim, how can I change the way I start speaking in Part 2?
It’s simple, trust me 🙂
Section 2: Video
Please watch the full video here: (skip to section 3 if you prefer reading)
We have recently bought a bunch of studio equipment so we’re going to be making new videos every week. I know, I know… I’m camera shy right now, but this isn’t something I usually do. I think over time I’ll get used to it.
If you liked the video, please like the video 😛 If you’d like to see more, please subscribe to see more.
Section 3: How to start IELTS Speaking Part 2
Like with everything we do here at IELTS 123, our methods are always broken down into 3 steps.
- Contrast & Conditional
What do I mean when I say multiples? Well, to put it simply, more than one.
Try to start your first sentence in Part 2 by saying that there is more than one thing you could talk about.
There are plenty of ways you can do this, but I prefer to keep it short and simple for bands 5 to 7. Even if there is only one thing you could talk about, just say that there is more than one 🙂
I always recommend bands 6-7 to paraphrase any key language used in the topic in this step, too.
Let’s have a look at this in action:
I have underlined the key language to show my use of paraphrase.
- Describe a time when you felt bored.
I’ve felt fed up a few times before…
- Describe a time when you needed to use your imagination.
I’ve needed to rely on my creativity plenty of times throughout my life…
- Describe a polite person you know.
I know so many well-mannered people…
- Describe an expensive activity that you enjoy doing occasionally.
I absolutely love doing some pricey things from time to time…
- Describe a conversation topic that you were not interested in.
I’ve talked about some really dull things before…
- Describe a place you go to when you want to read or write.
I usually go to a couple of spots around town whenever I wanna read or work on my website.
Contrast & Conditional:
Due to saying that there is more than one thing you could talk about, you now need to introduce the specific thing you’re going to talk about.
In my honest opinion, there is no better way to do this than to say the following:
“but” or “however” + “if I need to talk about one today, it’ll have to be…”
There are many reasons why using this exact conditional clause is more valuable than others.
I’m going to try and explain it as simply as possible because you shouldn’t feel like this is difficult to do after some practice.
- Just say “one” – Try not to add anything else to it, some of my students add “a particular one” or “a certain one” but it always sounds unnatural.- By using “one” as a pronoun to refer to a single thing out of the multiple things previously mentioned can show good control over pronouns.
- Use “it’ll” or “it’d” – Try not to say “it will” or “it would” because your use of contraction is important in the speaking section.- By using the pronoun “it” to refer to the “one”, you will once again show good control over pronouns.- Note that even if you are talking about a person, using “one” and “it” is fine, in other situations this would be considered rude. (Never refer to a person as “it”.
- Sentence stress– You can stress certain words in this sentence intentionally, that way you’ll be showing good control over higher-band pronunciation features.- I always recommend stressing the words: “need” + “one” + “have“
- Intonation and inflection– Try to control your intonation when you say the word “today“, the pitch/tone of your voice should naturally rise.- Try to show your use of inflection when you say “but” or “however“, ideally you should stretch the sound of the words, for example, “buuuut” or “howeverrrrr“
If you’re unsure still, check section 4 and 5 for more.
This is when you directly say to the examiner what you’re going to talk about.
For storytelling topics (a time/when/occasion/situation/event) you could say something like:
When I… + went shopping… graduated… was on my way home from work… went to Korea… got lost in Istanbul…
For presentation topics (a person/place/object/thing) you might say:
my best friend Alex… Cong Cafe… my coffee machine… Alibaba…
It really is that simple…
Move on to section 4 in order to see this applied in full examples. Also, if you haven’t already, check the video above to listen to me using this method.