Preparing to speak

Obviously, answering difficult questions is not easy and this is true for a native speaker as well as a English language learner. The main reason that answering a question can be difficult is that WE NEED TO THINK and often we don't have much time to do that.


We can not just be silent, while we think, so what we do it use FILLERS. These are words and phrases that FILL the silence with words. They as have the effect of making our answers longer.


Using fillers is GOOD use of English. Using fillers is NATURAL English. So, to improve your English speaking, you need to learn some fillers and you must use them again and again, so you are familiar and comfortable with them.


In the IELTS examination, you will use fillers in Part 3, when the examiner asks you about your opinion on general topics.


Listen to the answer to the following Part 3 question, 'What are the advantages of an adult having a hobby? and answer the question below.


What are the three advantages that the speaker mentions?

Listen again and note the 'fillers' that the speaker uses.


Also, pay attention to the pace of the speaking. At the beginning the speaker speaks slowly, this is because he is thinking. He is thinking about what he will say (the content) and how he will say it (the structure). This is very important, and you should do this too at the beginning of your answer.


If you are planning to sit the IELTS exam, then you need to do some preparation and practice for as many of the questions as you can. The more you prepare and practice before the exam, the less you will need to think about the content and structure of your answer in the exam.


There are many ways to prepare, and in Myanmar, students are very skillful at memorising answers. You can use this strategy. Write your answer to a question out in full and then practice saying it. When speaking try to imitate the pace and intonation in the video above.


But, very importantly, after you do this, you then need to stop using your full notes and start to practice speaking from basic keyword notes, like those on the right. This will make your speaking more natural.


Complete the test below to identify the fillers used by the speaker in the video.



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