Structure: Using linkers

In Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking test the examiner will ask you for your opinion and views about a general topic (e.g. health, tourism, hobbies etc). It is important that you try and give full answers which are easy for the examiner to understand. This means that you need to provide some structure to your answer. The structure of your answer should be similar to a written essay paragraph, this is:

  • Introduction (topic sentence)

  • First point (explanation and/or example)

  • Second point (explanation and/or example)

  • Conclusion

Use fillers at the start of your answer (if you need to) to give you a little bit of time to think about the content of your answer (i.e. what your main points are). Also, as you give your answer, use linkers (also called discourse markers) to signal to the examiner the structure of your speaking (e.g. 'Firstly', 'for example', 'Also', 'Furthermore', 'In addition', 'So')


Listen to the Part 3 answer to a question about job satisfaction and identify the three points the speaker makes.

Listen again and consider the following questions

  1. What fillers does the speaker use at the beginning of his answer to give himself time to prepare?

  2. What is the relative clause the speaker uses when talking about the civil service?

  3. What linker does the speaker use to introduce his second point?

  4. What conjunction does the speaker use to link his explanation about why a decent salary is important?

  5. What linker does the speaker use to introduce his third point?

  6. What phrase does the speaker use to introduce his explanation of 'right person, right job'?

  7. What linker/conjunction does the speaker use to indicate to the examiner that he is concluding his answer?

When you are ready, enter your answers in the test sheet below


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