IELTS – Module 4 Speaking

The IELTS speaking test takes the form of one-to-one interview with an examiner while the interview is being recorded. There are three parts to the speaking test.

  • PART 01 – Introduction and Interview
  • PART 02 – Monologue
  • PART 03 – Two way discussion

The purpose of the three parts is to assess your spoken English skills. The whole interview takes between 11 and 14 minutes.

Let’s have an over-view of the speaking test;

PART 01 – 4-5 minutes
INTRODUCTION AND INTERVIEW You will be tested on familiar topics. The examiner will ask you a number of questions about yourself and about day to day topics. You will find these questions are relatively easier to answer. This section of the test helps you to settle down and overcome your nerves and prepare for the rest of the exam.
PART 02 – 3-4 minutes
SHORT TALK. You will be given a topic on which you have to talk about 1-2 minutes. You are usually given one minute to prepare and then you have to speak on the topic. The topic will be based on our personal experiences and feelings. Therefore, you should be able to make your talk interesting to your audience, the examiner.
PART 03 – 4-5 minutes
TWO-WAY DISCUSSION This is also called an opinion stage. It is very important that you are fully aware of the types of questions you will be asked and the way to give the answers. The questions are mostly abstract in nature and directly linked to the topic you are given in part 2. This part expects you to demonstrate how you control you language when it comes to abstract ideas and to support your opinions in an appropriate way. The examiner normally expects longer answers than the answers you gave in part 1.

Since this is an one-to- one interview, knowing both the examiner’s and your role at the examination may also have a direct bearing on your performance.

THE EXAMINER’S ROLE

IELTS examiners are professional teachers who have specially been trained to rate spoken English on the IELTS scale. Do not forget in the first place that they are humans and they in fact are there to encourage you so that you can do your best on the day of the exam. They are fully aware that you are nervous but they can only assess what they hear. So they will expect you to speak up and to produce plenty of language.

Your language is rated on a scale of 1-9 in four broad areas; Fluency, Vocabulary and Grammar and Accuracy and Pronunciation.

THE CANDIDATE’S ROLE

It is important that you listen carefully to what you are asked and provide full and extended answers to the questions. However, you must stick to the topic.

SKILLS ASSESSED

A wide range of skills is assessed, including the ability to communicate opinions and information on everyday topics and common experiences and situations by answering a range of questions; the ability to speak at length on a given topic using appropriate language and organizing ideas coherently; and the ability to express and justify opinions and to analyze, discuss and speculate about issues.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

In the speaking module, the examiner will assess your performance on the basis of;

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical recourses
  • Grammatical range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation

The examiner will be applying theses four criteria at all times in all three parts of the speaking module.

FLUENCY AND COHERENCE

This refers to how much and how quickly you speak, and how you organize what you say. If you pause a lot or repeat yourself, you do not communicate well. If you talk reasonably and continuously, and present what you say in a logical and organized way, you communicate well.

LEXICAL RESOURCE

This refers to the vocabulary you use. If you understand what you are asked, you will be able to answer the examiner’s question effectively. If you are able to use a variety of words and expressions to say what you want, you will keep your examiner interested in what you say.

GRAMMATICAL RANGE AND ACCURACY

This refers to the grammar you use. If you only use simple structures and do not vary them, you will not be very interesting to listen to. But if you do not make a large number of mistakes, and you also use different structures, then you will be able to communicate what you want to say effectively.

PRONOUNCIATION

This refers to the way you pronounce individual sounds, words, phrases and complete sections of talk. For example, if you do not pronounce certain sounds distinctly, or if you do not use the intonation patterns of the English language, it can be difficult for the examiner to understand what you are saying. If all aspects of you pronunciation are clear and correct, the examiner will be able to understand what you want to say easily.

 

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