what to expect in part two of the IELTS speaking test (IELTS kiến thức )
how to get a ‘band 9' score in this part of the test..!
some great tips for IELTS speaking
The speaking test is the same for both IELTS academic and IELTS general training and it always involves a face-to-face interview with a certified IELTS examiner – regardless of whether you take the paper-based or computer-based version of the test.
Today, we're going to focus on the second part of the test, which lasts between three and four minutes. Part two is an ‘individual long turn'. We'll tell you everything you need for IELTS speaking part 2 - in Vietnamese, 'thi IELTS speaking part 2'
It's important to improve your knowledge (kiến thức) of IELTS format or procedure. Don't worry about understanding everything when the examiner is giving instructions - they always use the same phrases so if you have practiced, you will know what's coming next.
The examiner will say: ‘I'm going to give you a topic and I'd like you to talk about it for one to two minutes. Before you talk, you'll have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes if you wish. Do you understand?
(You should reply, "Yes".)
Then, the examiner will say, 'Here's some paper and a pencil for making notes – and here's your topic. Please don't write anything on the booklet. I'd like you to describe…' and will hand you the booklet open to your speaking topic page.
You should immediately begin making notes - you will have one minute to do that.
Describe a time when you gave advice to others.
You should say:
- who you gave advice to
- what the advice was
- why you gave this advice
and explain how you felt about the advice
There are lots of examples of speaking part 2 on IELTS Face-Off (VTV7) which you can watch on Youtube and it might be useful to read the subtitles to learn some great new English phrases.
I would like to talk about an experience I had when I was at university. When I was a student, I had a part-time job at a local florist's shop. The customers who came into the shop would often ask me for advice. At first, I was quite hesitant about making suggestions - I'm not exactly sure why. Partly I guess because I was only 19, but also because I didn't feel very sure of myself - I was certainly no expert.
However, I quickly came to realise that most of my customers really didn't have a clue about flowers! Soon I was giving tips about everything – from which types of flowers to choose at different times of year - so daffodils and tulips in the spring - or to how to put different colour schemes together. I was even making recommendations about which flowers or arrangements might be more suitable for different recipients or occasions.
On top of that, I started explaining how to look after cut flowers once you've bought them. I was shocked to find that most people didn't know that they should cut the stems at an angle to make the flowers last longer for example – or add a couple of teaspoons of sugar to the water. I thought everyone knew that!
Once I got the hang of it, I loved giving advice to the customers. They were very appreciative, and they used to come back into the shop to tell me how much their mother or girlfriend – or husband or boyfriend – had liked the flowers, and to thank me for my help. I hadn't expected a job in a flower shop to be so rewarding!
The candidate will be assessed on the following criteria: You spoke ‘fluently and coherently' and ‘developed the topic fully'. There was an excellent range of vocabulary, and you ‘used idiomatic language naturally and accurately', together with ‘a full range of grammatical structures'. Finally, you were ‘effortless to understand'.
Right. So that's all you need to do..! Whether you are really trying to get a ‘band 9' score – or you simply want to improve your score in the speaking section, here is some good advice:
First, when you look at the topic, don't panic. Sometimes you will get a topic which makes you think – ‘OK, great. This is a piece of cake!' – but on other occasions it can be very difficult to think of something to say.
Remember that you are not being tested on your honesty(!). The experience you talk about could be something that happened to a friend of yours, it could be from a movie, or you could even make the whole thing up..! Be careful though because you could “come a cropper” (fail badly). https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/come-a-cropper.html
Second, if you have several ideas, don't procrastinate. Don't spend too much time thinking about which one might be the best. Just make a decision and stick to it!
Then, once you have decided what you're going to talk about, get organised. One way to do this is to use the keywords from the question to help you make coherent notes. Some people prefer to do this as a list…
who – customers / florist's shop what – unsure to begin with / then everything – which flowers – different seasons - colours, occasions why – didn't have a clue / looking after cut flowers – stems, sugar how I felt – appreciated / It was very rewarding
… whereas others use a mind-map or a diagram. If you feel more comfortable jotting down random ideas, allow enough time to put them in order before you have to start speaking. You don't need to follow the order on the card, but do you need to arrange your ideas coherently.
Absolutely not! A lot of students are surprised by this, but as there is no task achievement score for IELTS speaking, there is no need to answer every part of the question, if you have a good story ready to go. The bullet points are there are a guideline, and to support lower level students who may struggle to think of something to say. If you are going for a high band score, it's fine to spend more time developing your story. In general, we would recommend that you focus on the main topic (the first line of the topic card) and the last thing (talking about how you felt, or explaining why something was important).
Many students answering part 2 questions find that they can speak for 90 seconds and then run out of things to say or start repeating themselves. A great tip for almost all IELTS speaking part 2 questions is to focus on grammar (ngữ pháp) and talk about the future and/or give advice.
In the future, I will probably study business management, so my experience in the flower shop will be very useful to me.
My advice to anyone in the same situation would be..... OR my advice to anyone feeling nervous about helping customers would be, just do your best and always keep a positive attitude!
(the advice should always be in the present simple tense).
Look at the speaking card below, and start making notes, remembering all the tips above about answering IELTS speaking part 2 questions. Record yourself speaking on your mobile phone and listen back for errors or hesitation. Then try to improve your vocabulary.
If you can, try the strategy of adding 'in the future...' and 'my advice to anyone in the same situation would be....'
It's impossible to predict what type of question you'll get in the IELTS speaking test but it's good to practice these common topics:
Describe a person (when you describe a person, you can have great phrases like 'she's a real original, such a diva, and drives me nuts but we've been best friends forever'). You can describe a person you've seen on TV or make one it - it doesn't have to be 100% true!!
Describe a teacher you once had who you enjoyed being taught by. You should say
who this person was
when they were your teacher
which subject they taught you
and describe what it was about their character that you liked.
Carolina: I’d like to describe my English teacher from school … Miss Thomas … this was a few years ago now and she was my teacher at a time when I was getting a little bored with being at school … unlike some of the other teachers Miss Thomas never lost her temper … she was very calm and easy-going … she was also very broad-minded … we were able to ask her questions about lots of subjects that some other teachers would refuse to discuss which made us respect her even more … she had a great sense of humour too … she’d laugh at our jokes as well as making us laugh … and she would also bend over backwards to help us with our work … she always put us first and often stayed around at the end of class to talk with anyone who needed help … apparently she was highly respected within her field but you would never know as she was the type that hid her light under a bushel … she was very modest and self-effacing … so yes … Miss Thomas was a teacher I have fond memories of …
Describe a place (when you describe a place, think about places that are meaningful to you, explain why, and use phrases like, 'it's a stones-throw away from the city centre, or it's in the middle of nowhere)
Example phrases to describe a place:
(Place description là một trong những chủ đề lớn của IELTS Speaking Part 2.
- temple, pagoda (chùa)
- church, cathedral (nhà thờ) - shopping mall (trung tâm mua sắm)
- supermarket (siêu thị)
- convenience store (cửa hàng tiện lợi)
- amusement park (công viên giải trí)
- cinema/ movie theater (rạp chiếu phim)
- sports center/ gym (trung tâm thể thao/ gym) - apartment complex (khu chung cư)
- detached house (nhà riêng, biệt lập)
- skyscraper (toà nhà chọc trời)
- historical site (khu di tích lịch sử)
Describe your favorite (food, clothes, place, movie star) and explain why you like it. With 'describe your favorite' questions, remember that there is a lot of flexibility!!
Topic “Describe a song you like” hay “Describe a piece of music you like” là một trong những chủ đề giải trí rất thường gặp trong IELTS speaking part 2.
I have always been a huge fan of music. I love listening to music because good music helps me recharge my battery and energy as well as uplift my spirit after a long day overloaded with work and study. I honestly don’t have my favorite genre as my playlist includes all kinds of music. But if you want me to pick a song that I like the most, it would definitely be “Happy” by Williams Pharrell.
“Happy” is a song with cheerful beat and exuberant vocal taken from the OST of the movie “Despicable Me 2” although it was first featured as the lead single taken from Pharrell’s second solo album entitled ‘G I R L’.
One thing that I really do enjoy about “Happy” is that it doesn’t fall under the classification of EDM. You can relegate “Happy” more to the “old school” category because you can clearly hear the influences of Motown Records throughout the song.
It does make sense, therefore, why Pharrell opted for a more classic and refined approach to the production of “Happy”. Pharrell certainly does an excellent job in helping provide mainstream listeners a “breath of fresh air” from all the EDM-laced influences. In addition, he delivers all his words with so much ease that it almost sounds effortless on his part. Plus, there is also that very distinctive soulful quality to his voice, which adds to the mass appeal and friendly warmth of this single.
The message is clear. It is all about maintaining a positive state of mind despite how gloomy and sometimes disheartening events can be. When you can have a cheerful disposition in life, everything will look brighter and way better than it really is.
In a way, “Happy” is a rare kind of song because it offers the listeners a hearty dose of innocent fun and makes them look at the inner child in themselves as opposed to being one of the hundred pop songs that are either about love or money.
Recharge one’s battery and energy: nạp lại năng lượng
To uplift one’s spirit (phrase) khiến ai cảm thấy hào hứng, vui vẻ
Be overloaded with: quá tải
Genre (n) thể loại
Exuberant (a) chứa chan (tình cảm)
Classification (n) sự phân loại
EDM = Electronic Dance Music: nhạc điện tử
Old school: nhạc Hip hop trường phái cũ
Refined (a) tao nhã, tế nhị
Mainstream (a)/(n) dòng nhạc mà đại chúng hay nghe
A breath of fresh air: luồng khí/làn gió tươi mát -> nghĩa là điều gì đó mới, khác lạ
Distinctive (adj) đặc biệt
Soulful (a) sâu lắng, làm xúc động sâu sắc
Inner child: đứa trẻ bên trong (là một khía cạnh trẻ thơ của một cá nhân)
In the speaking confidence course we have a tutorial about making mind maps, and numbering each point you will talk about, this makes for a more coherent presentation. It's a good idea to experiment with different ways of making notes so that you can find out what suits you best.
It's also important to learn and practise some key phrases to help you begin your talk more confidently, such as: ‘I'd like to talk about an experience I had… / which happened to me…'.
Now it's your turn. Have a look back at the task and take a minute to brainstorm some notes. Then see if you can speak about the topic for two minutes. You could also try recording yourself. When you listen, try to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
For lots more speaking tips to help you prepare for part two of the speaking course – including suggestions to help you expand your IELTS vocabulary, please check out our online course which includes a lot more examples of good answers to IELTS speaking part 2 questions.
You can download or listen to the audio version here:
How to give your opinion on the speaking exam
How to get band 9 in your IELTS speaking
IELTS Speaking vocabulary to help you prepare
Band 9 pronunciation for IELTS speaking
IELTS speaking cue card examples
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