Free IELTS course

10 ways to speak more fluently in your IELTS Speaking test

How to improve your spoken fluency for IELTS

Answering IELTS Speaking questions more easily is one way to improve your IELTS Speaking band score. That’s easy for me to say, of course, but may not be so easy for you to do.

So, I’d like to show you ten ways to answer IELTS Speaking questions more easily, i.e. speak more fluently in your IELTS Speaking test.

You can read about all ten ways below or hear me talk about some of them in the following IELTS video.

1. Get more IELTS Speaking practice

IELTS Speaking practiceThe more speaking practice you get on common IELTS Speaking topics like friends or your home town, the easier you’ll find it to answer questions on these topics in your test.

For advice about how to get more practice, see my post ‘Get more speaking practice and improve your IELTS Speaking band score‘.

2. Learn more vocabulary related to common IELTS Speaking topics

If you don’t know the right word(s) to use to answer a question in your IELTS Speaking test, you’ll probably hesitate while you try to think of what to say, and this will make you sound less fluent.

To learn more vocabulary on topics you may get in your test, I recommend the books ‘Vocabulary for IELTS‘ and ‘Vocabulary for IELTS Advanced‘.

3. Learn some phrases to use when you need some thinking time

You’re almost certainly going to be asked some questions in your IELTS Speaking test that you’ll find difficult to answer immediately.

So now’s the time to learn and practice saying some of the following phrases. If you use them in your test when you get a difficult question, your hesitation will be less noticeable.

  • That’s a difficult question
  • Let me think…
  • I haven’t thought about that before

For some more phrases, check out the download on Dominic Cole’s post ‘Vocabulary to help you with pausing in IELTS Speaking‘.

4. Learn how to ask the examiner to repeat a question

Another way to avoid hesitating (and sound more fluent) in your Speaking test is to ask the examiner to repeat a question if you need some time to think about what to say.

Even if you understand the question, using one of the examples below will give you some extra time to think about your answer.

  • Could you repeat the question please?
  • Sorry, I didn’t catch that
  • Can you say that again please?
5. Learn to use words together in phrases

You’ll make fewer hesitations between words (and sound more fluent) if you learn to use natural combinations of words, i.e. collocations. Collocations are two or more words that native speakers of English often use together.

Here are some collocations on the common IELTS topic of friends that Hanbin could have used when answering my questions in the video above:

  • a close friend
  • an old friend
  • a small/wide circle of friends
  • make new friends

For more examples of words that are often used together, have a look at my post ‘IELTS Speaking collocations’.

6. Only correct mistakes that you know how to correct

If you notice that you make a mistake when you’re speaking but don’t know how to correct your mistake, it would be better not to try and just keep on speaking.

If you stop speaking and try to correct your mistake, you may hesitate a lot as you try to find the right word or grammar.

Have a look at this post for five common grammar mistakes to avoid in your IELTS Speaking test.

7. Use contractions like I’m or I’d

Use contractions like I’m or I’d in your IELTS Speaking test and you’ll sound more fluent.

So…

  • say I’m not I am
  • say I’d not I would
  • say I’ve not I have
  • say isn’t not is not
  • say wouldn’t not would not
  • say haven’t not have not
8. Practice explaining the meaning of words

Because you may forget a word or phrase that you need to use when answering a question in your test, it would be a good idea to practice explaining the meaning of words before your test.

You can start right now by explaining the meaning of the following words/phrases on the common IELTS topic of friends? (I’ve given you an example of how you could explain the first one.)

  • a classmate (e.g. a boy/girl in my class)
  • a close friend
  • an old friend
  • a small/wide circle of friends
  • make new friends
  • keep in contact with friends
9. Talk about ideas that you can explain easily

Getting a lot of practice answering IELTS Speaking questions before your test will help you find out what you’re able to explain in English and what kind of ideas are too difficult to explain.

You’ll sound more fluent in your IELTS Speaking test if you avoid ideas that you would find difficult to explain.

10. Find a way to relax before your IELTS Speaking test

Whether it’s exercise, watching a movie or talking with friends (in English), do something that will help you relax before your IELTS Speaking test.

The more relaxed you are, the easier you’ll find it to answer the examiner’s questions.

Have you tried any of the ten suggestions to help you speak more fluently in the IELTS Speaking test? Let me know in the comments section below.

Pete

For more IELTS tips and advice, subscribe via email or RSS or try my free IELTS course.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *