Most of us get tongue tied when asked unexpected questions.Some of us have difficulty answering even those questions to which we have answered more than once. The problem here might not be lack of knowledge. It might be anything from being nervous or not knowing what else to say.
Let us first understand the causes of the problem and then we will learn how to solve it.
This is the most common reason for students not able to talk more than 2-3 sentences. Although such short responses are not a problem in the first task of the speaking test, it might not give out a good impression about fluency and coherence in the task 2 and task 3.
2. Insufficient knowledge
It might happen that you would be questioned on something you have very little knowledge about the question you have been asked.
3. Not being able to identify when to add detail
Another reason students fail to talk more is when they don’t know whether the question that they have been asked requires a detailed answer rather than just a single sentence.
Now that we have looked at the reasons, let’s learn the tricks to resolve them.
Usually you will be asked very basic questions in the task 1 of the speaking test. However, giving one word or one sentence response will not allow the exminer to assess your fluency or coherence. So, try giving at least a two sentence response to questions like “Tell me about your family” or “Describe your childhood” in the task 1. The examiner is trying to make you feel comfortale in this task and the more you speak in this task itself, the better your chances of speaking fluently, confidently and with details in the task 2 and task 3.
It is majorly in the task 2 and task 3 that you will be asked questions to which you need to answer in details. Therefore, be prepared to talk more and talk longer in these.
Tips and tricks
The other two problems we identified can be resolved by simple tips and tricks. And these can be done in your regular routine too!
a. getting rid of nervousness
– The best way to get rid of nervousness is involving and engaging in conversations (preferably in English) with as many people as you come across in your everyday routine.
– Ask your friends, family, colleagues to correct you whenever you make a mistake in speaking.
– Familiarize yourself with the formal environment and setting that you are going to face in the speaking test. You can do this by asking your family or friends to become the examiner and take your speaking test. This will help you get over your basic nervousness on unepxected settings and questions.
b. building up on the knowledge
– This can be done by reading as much as and whatever possible. You should not only keep yourself updated on the recent events but also with the most recent speaking prompts asked in the IELTS speaking test. Don’t restrict yourself to reading on recent events though. You should read on various and as many topics as possible, right from hobbies and activities, to family values and laws in your country and even the TV/radio shows popular in your area.
The more you read on various topics, the more knowledge you will build up on and thus your confidence will rise too.
The trick about scoring well on the IELTS speaking test is that you should know what to talk about and how much to talk. Of course it also matters how you speak or present it, but that can be worked upon if you have the content ready! So, start working on your knowledge and confidence and the fluency will automatically improve.