How to gain confidence for your speaking test in IELTS or OET? Many of us re nervous about our speaking test. It is always about improving your communication skills. IELTS/OET speaking test is always a communication test. While speaking test in IELTS a formal interview, OET speaking is a test of clinical communication. Of course, they are different in pattern and entirely different language tests. However, in essence, they are both checking and grading your language proficiency. So your fluency in English language would be vital in improving and gaining confidence for your speaking test. Your English language fluency will have a direct impact on scores in the speaking test. Your fluency would mean your “ability to speak or write a particular foreign language easily and accurately”. Hence it is clear that improving your fluency would greatly help you to gain confidence in your speaking test in IELTS or OET.
Here are a few steps with which one can improve our fluency in English
Read aloud in English for 15 minutes a day. What does ‘read aloud’ mean? This means reading from your book and speaking the words out at the same time. This will help your English improve in a big way! Reading aloud from a book will help improve your pronunciation, your understanding of grammar and sentence structure, it will build your vocabulary and most importantly, it will give you CONFIDENCE with your speaking.
Important points: To get the best results from this exercise, you should follow these steps;
Start very slowly:
When you read and speak aloud, do it slowly. Think about what you are saying and how you should form the sounds and say the words. (later you can get faster!)
Use the BIG MOUTH technique:
This is my special technique for improving your pronunciation. While you are speaking out the text, open your mouth very wide with each word. Really exaggerate the sounds. This practice will help you gain confidence in speaking test as well as in your day to day operational English.
Listen to audio. Listening is the best way to become a fluent English speaker. Why? Because listening is the most natural way that we learn a language. As children, this is how we learnt our native language – by listening to the adults around us, our parents, teachers, grandparents and so on. We listened and copied the sounds and started to make sentences. Since this is natural to us, why not use it when learning English? Listening to audio books is not only an effective way to ‘pick up’ (acquire / gain / learn) the language but it’s also convenient because you can do it anywhere (listening on your headphones while travelling and walking etc). It’s also interesting and educational.
My tips for listening to audio books.
- Start with short stories (you don’t want to get overwhelmed!)
- Find the transcript or text and read as you listen.
- Then listen again while you are doing an activity (such as cleaning, walking, working out at the gym)
- SHADOWING – Listen again and pause the audio. Repeat the sentences. Try to ‘mimic’ – copy – the speech patterns as accurately as possible. You might need to do this a few times. This is great for your pronunciation.
Thinking In English
Learn how to think in English to boost your fluency
How do we do this? Take 30 minutes (or an hour) of your day to name everything you see in English. So when you are walking around, sitting at your office desk, doing your work etc, look around you. What do you see? Think about exactly what you see, but don’t think of the objects in your native language. Think ONLY in English. Start simply by just thinking in words first. Then you can move to sentences.
Talk To Yourself
Talking to yourself is a great way to improve your English fluency.
This is strange. But actually, it’s healthy to talk to yourself. To speak your thoughts out aloud. It helps you to get your thoughts clear and make decisions. But try to do this in English! This is similar to the thinking in English activity but you are speaking your thoughts. When you are at home (you might need to be alone!), try to speak your thoughts out aloud. You can do this while you are doing some house chores (housework) such as cleaning or cooking. This may be difficult at first, but don’t worry about speaking perfect English. Just try! The more you do this, the better you will get.
Write In A Journal
A journal is a private notebook where you can write all your thoughts, feelings and ideas. This means you simply write about anything that comes into your mind. So, again, this is similar to the thinking and speaking exercises, but you do this in writing. Set your timer for 10 or 15 minutes. Put your pen to the paper and just write! Don’t stop! Even if you just write words, or parts of sentences. This is a time when you can forget about grammar and spelling. The purpose of this exercise is just to help you think more freely in English. So just keep writing and trying to put your thoughts and feelings down on the paper.
At least for some of you these steps may sound unfocused on practicing for OET/IELTS tests. But when we have such wise thoughts, we need to think how come those who are fluent in English clear these examinations at the first attempt. So we, at Lizz Academy, are no doubt, but result oriented. Mind you………….