Dos and Donts and Some Useful Expression
I would like to share a number of Dos and Don'ts that I believe are helpful for your speaking performance.
Dos and Don'ts in the speaking exam
1. Show the examiner you are confident by smiling and looking at him or her in the eye.
2. Make sure you understand the stage 2 topic task. If you don’t ask!
3. Tell the examiner if you need to think for a brief moment.
4. Answer the questions clearly and in detail, but not in speeches. The emphasis should be on quality, not quantity. Your answers should get longer as the interview progresses.
5. Make sure you have prepared by thinking of your past, present and future.
6. Show that you are in control by talking freely about yourself and your past.
7. Keep your speaking speed consistent and smooth.
8. Make sure you have practiced enough before the test so that the past, present and future tenses you use are accurately formed and appropriate.
9. Pause and try to string together sentences rather than push language ahead
1. Don’t tell the interviewer your English is poor.
2. Don’t pretend you understand the question. You’ll ultimately lose face.
3. Don’t rush to give an answer out of fear of making the interviewer wait.
4. Don’t talk too much in the beginning when you are most nervous. On the other hand, don’t talk too briefly, giving many “one-word” answers and letting the interviewer do all the work.
5. Don’t give word for word, memorized answers, “playing roulette” by gambling one of them will come up.
6. Don’t let the interviewer take complete control by waiting for prompts.
7. Don’t use stuttering and repetitions to stall for time.
8. Don’t neglect the issue of grammar. Even though fluency and vocabulary is important, you still must try to form accurate sentences.
9. Don’t be stubborn and try to discuss thoughts that you cannot support. Simplify your thoughts.
The following expressions can be helpful for certain questions
Current Personal Information
Recently, I've been studying at Langara College.
I've been studying English now for one year at the New Oriental School.
At the moment I'm studying/working at a private college/a restaurant.
I am currently working/studying/preparing for my father/the IELTS exam/my finals.
Asking for Background Information Before that I studied/worked at Fudan University/ a multinational company.
After I graduated, I went on to work for my father.
About three years ago, I was working at a factory.
As soon as I graduated, I then went on to be trained as a teacher.
How to Hesitate (Note that hesitation is a natural part of using a language. Please do not over-rely on any one of these and try to use a variety)
Let me think about this for a second and I will get back to you.
That’s an interesting question I’ve never thought about.
Let me see if I can gather my thoughts for a moment.
Just give me a second to collect my thoughts.
Well, that’s an interesting question, let me think.
Actually, that’s a good point. Well I suppose that may be the case in many instances.
In fact, that’s a perspective that I have not thought about for a while.
You see, my mother is perhaps a difficult person to describe, so where can I begin?
You know, a lot of people have asked me that very same question and I suppose the best way to describe it would be to tell you about its history.
How shall I put it, things are not as easy as what you might think.
It's like this, you see.
Giving Opinions on simple issues
Personally, I think I will achieve my goal.
As I see it, this is not very difficult.
Frankly, I think the problem is much deeper.
Well, to tell you the truth I am not really sure what I’ll do when I first arrive.
Stating Your Intention
I'm preparing right now to go to university, so my short-term plan is to get high marks for my courses.
I've already found out a lot about the schedule, for instance, the first train leaves at 6 am.
I plan to go for a trip around Europe, before I start my studies in England.
I think I'll contact my friends once I am in Canada.
I’ve thought about changing majors.
I'll be seeing my wife soon.
I'll do all I can do to find a job, just try again and again.
I'll make an effort to come and see her.
I'll see if I can't change my husband’s mind.
I'm going to visit my mother.
I'm planning to go for a vacation for three months.
I've decided to go to study French in Montreal.
I expect I'll be under a lot of pressure looking for work.
I'm hoping to find a job in the first month.
I'm thinking of going on to study for my masters.
I intend to stay here for good.
My intention is to help the class.
Perhaps I'll even buy a car.
Stating hypothetical situations
If I'm successful, I'll probably rich so, in the long term, I hope to buy more properties.
If I'm not successful, that is if something goes wrong, I think I'll probably go back to school.
I probably won't fail, but if I do I'll retake my exam.
Sometimes I wonder whether I'll make the right decision.
I might even go to the Disneyland.
Of course, I could always ask for help, if I run out of time.
It's always possible that I will come back to Beijing.
I don't know if I'll pass, but I might be able to do sometime else.
Expressing Probability of 100%
I'm certain I'll get the job.
I’ll definitely come to the wedding before I leave.
Without a doubt I’ll be the top of the class.
I am sure that I will be accepted.
Expressing Probability of 80 –88%
There's a good chance I’ll be living with my friends.
Chances are I’ll be living in an apartment.
I'm almost certain I'll find a job quickly.
I’ll almost definitely come back in no time
In all likelihood I’ll not be coming back for three years.
I’ll very likely be late for work again.
Expressing Probability of 50-80%
I’ll probably study at a language school.
I’ll likely go on a vacation before I start looking for work.
I’ll possibly go shopping in my first week there.
I might drop off for a visit.
I may try to look for my friends in Auckland.
Perhaps I’ll study engineering.
I possibly won't attend my graduation ceremony.
Maybe I won't go for a driving class.
I may/ might not go to the movies much while I am there.
Perhaps I won't cook for myself..
I probably won't find a job so quickly.
There's not much chance I will get there on time.
I doubt very much that I will get the scholarship.
I definitely will not join my girlfriend this year.
I'm sure I won’t be missing out much.
Asking Somebody to Repeat Something
Could you just repeat that, please?
Could you say that again, please?
I'm sorry, could I ask you to repeat that word, please?
I'm sorry, could you mind repeating that, please?
I'm sorry, would you mind saying it again?
Sorry, I didn't catch that.
Sorry, I didn't quite catch what you were saying.
Sorry, what did you say?
Sorry, what was that you said?
Sorry, what was his name again?
Sorry, when did you say?
Would you repeat what you said, please?
I beg your pardon?
Nevin Blumer (MA Applied Linguistics, B.Ed, B.Mgt, TESL Diploma) is the Director of TPS and is experienced with IELTS since 1999). He is the author of 14 IELTS books and is a former examiner.
Extending Stage 2 Topics in an event