In IELTS Speaking, it is important for candidates to know that how you deliver your answers is just as essential as the other criteria in the IELTS Speaking assessment. Examiners will not only look for range and accuracy in your grammar and vocabulary, they will also be observing how well you convey your ideas, opinions, or stories. It […]Read more "The importance of intonation in IELTS Speaking"
When I listen to my IELTS students practise their speaking, I notice a particular pronunciation feature that is quite common, especially among Japanese speakers. There is an automatic tendency to place stress on the first syllable in words like: prefer event include become consist object (verb) hotel (pronounced ‘hot’ + ‘el’) This could be due […]Read more "A common pronunciation error in IELTS Speaking"
In a lesson the other day, one of my students was talking about her favourite pop group in Japan. This was what I thought I’d heard: Their music is a lot of fun. When I began giving feedback on her speaking techniques, she realised that I had misunderstood what she’d said. What she’d meant was: […]Read more "Pronouncing /ʌ/ and /æ/ in IELTS Speaking"
Although many IELTS candidates are good speakers, some may have problems pronouncing sounds to make themselves understood. Of course, examiners do not expect candidates to speak like the Queen (whose 89th birthday is today, by the way) or talk like James Bond! What you should aim for is to speak clearly so that a shop […]Read more "Pronouncing consonant clusters in IELTS Speaking"
One of the main difficulties my current students face is pronouncing /v/ correctly. For instance, instead of event, I would hear ebent in a sentence like I went to this event two weeks ago. or bery instead of very, as in I was very interested in dancing at that time. Sometimes, there is the occasional […]Read more "Pronouncing /b/, /v/, and /p/ correctly in IELTS Speaking"
It is important for IELTS candidates to be able to distinguish between sounds when listening to a recording. This can quite easily be achieved when you listen to words being used in the context of sentences. For instance, we know which word/sound (desert /ˈdez.ət/ or dessert /dɪˈzɜːt/) is produced for the following sentences: They were lost […]Read more "Sounds in IELTS Listening and Speaking"
One of the criteria in the IELTS interview is producing sounds clearly so that they can be understood. This is important if you are to score well in the Pronunciation section of the IELTS Speaking. If the sounds that you produce make the listener/examiner confused about what you are saying, then you will do badly […]Read more "How to pronounce /n/ in IELTS Speaking"
Quite often, learners are taught to pay attention to prominent words that are usually stressed in a sentence to help understand the importance of content words. However, when teaching students pronunciation, I have discovered that learners have not been given much focus on the significance of unstressed words within sentences. Consequently, when speaking, they tend […]Read more "Non-prominent words in IELTS Speaking"
One of the few problems that some students face when it comes to speaking is pronouncing the /ɜ:/ sounds clearly. Quite often, I hear /ɑ:/ instead, when words like girl are uttered or /ɔ:/ in words like work. In many instances, I’ve found my students saying I walk to walk when they mean I walk […]Read more "Producing clear sounds in IELTS Speaking"
One of the most important aspects of improving pronunciation is being aware of various sounds in a language. Although there are 26 alphabets in English, there are in fact 44 different sounds that learners have to use. Sometimes, it is not enough to just rely on electronic or digital translators to help you distinguish these […]Read more "Sounds of English in IELTS Speaking"