Do people often misunderstand what you said? Are you asked to repeat yourself a lot? This could be because of lack of clarity in your speech and not because of lack of knowledge.
Indians are exposed to so many languages right from childhood that once they start learning English, it messes with their knowledge of their native or mother language. Plus it is a proven fact that language acquisition happens till the age of 5. But the English language learning for Indians begins post that. Therefore the learning and acquisition doesn’t happen naturally.
This is a major reasons Indians struggle in IELTS speaking. Over and above this, there are other factors (related to this only)
The problem areas:
The accent and dialect
India is a country of varied religions and almost each religion has its own language too. WIthin each language too the dialects change as per the region for example a person residing in Mumbai would speak Hindi differently than a person who lives in Delhi. This becomes a hindrance in the way the English language is spoken too. Their regional accent and dialect reflects in their spoken English too which makes it unclear and sometimes incomprehensible.
Indians have an issue with the fluency in their English speaking as well. Because of so many other languages being spoken around them and a multitude of other reasons, the fluency factor affects the spoken English skills of almost every Indian, irrespective of his knowledge.
Unlike children in the USA, UK or any other English speaking nation, Indians are not exposed to English as much. The primary language of communication here is the mother tongue or the regional language. They are so comfortable using this, that they lack knowledge and even if they have the knowledge, they avoid using the English language in their everyday conversations.
Use of idioms
Idioms and their use in day to day conversations comes only with knowledge and ease of using the language. Even an Indian who has good knowledge of the language and is fluent in it, is not able to use idioms because he/she is not habituated to using these idioms in everyday conversations. This becomes a major hindrance in the IELTS speaking task because use of idioms is an important parameter for scoring in this skill.
Influence of mother tongue
The children in India grow up listening to their mother tongue. It becomes their first language naturally because it is the first language they hear. This interferes with them even they start learning English or have a good hold over the English language because their thought process happens in their mother tongue and even when they are reading, writing, listening or speaking in English, they will always try to translate it to their mother tongue and then understand or analyze it.
Because of the lack of exposure and limited knowledge, the vocabulary range of Indians in the English language is limited too. The kind of words used and the range of vocabulary used in the IELTS speaking plays a major
Indians have a habit of writing a language in the way that it is spoken and vice versa. The English language in particular has a different context and meaning with each tense and punctuation mark. This can only be mastered with practice and ease of usage. As Indians are not exposed to the language they lack the grammatical know how too. This too, therefore becomes a struggle area for them in the IELTS speaking.
Now that we have seen the problems let us also learn how to get rid of these problems via the following solutions:
How to overcome these struggles:
Think in English
When you think in English you will be able to construct your sentences better and your fluency will improve too. So make this a habit and your fluency issues are sure to get curbed.
Use English as much as possible in your everyday conversations
Talk in English to everyone and anyone possible. You can even ask them to give you feedback and correct your mistakes. This will help increase your confidence and will make you habituated to speaking in English language as well.
Read as much as possible
Reading will not only help improve your knowledge but it will improve your vocabulary and fluency as well. Your fluency will improve because you will read the text in English in your mind and your vocabulary will improve because you will come across a lot of new words and phrases.
Increase your vocabulary range
Take up activities like ‘word of the day’, phrase of the day’ and o on.Try to use these in your conversations. This will help you amass knowledge on the same and will also help you recall these appropriate words and phrase when you actually sit for the IELTS speaking task
5. Teach someone what you learn
Teaching others will not only help increase your confidence but will also ensure that it remains in your memory. So do this activity regularly too.
English is a global language. It is highly unlikely that the situation will change in a globalised economy in the future. Being proficient in English must therefore be looked upon as a necessary skill not only for achieving a good IELTS band and creating a good career path for yourself, but also as a skill which will help you progress in the future as well.