Tuesday, February 11, 2014
In fact, there’s no specific penalty if test takers who are confused by a question ask the examiner to explain it or say it again.
In conversations between people who are native speakers of the same language, it’s always possible that one person won’t hear another person properly, or needs a word or question to be clarified.
Given that the IELTS speaking test involves a lengthy discussion between a native speaker and a non-native speaker of English, it’s even more likely that either of these situations will happen.
Asking for clarification or repetition during a speaking test allows the communication between the candidate and the examiner to keep going. This is most appropriate.
After all, the test is designed to assess candidates’ ability to use spoken English to answer questions, to speak at length and to talk with the examiner.
Test takers who know how to handle confusion caused by not hearing or not understanding questions will be able to show their speaking abilities all the more.
Friday, January 3, 2014
Cristina, a nurse in the Philippines, needs to get band score 7 in speaking with an overall score of at least 6.5 in IELTS (International English Language Testing System). She wrote this:
“I took IELTS twice in the last few weeks, and I managed to improve my writing score from 6.5 to 7.0. Sadly, however, I got 6.5 for speaking both times.
“Can the test centre give me feedback on specific aspects in the ielts speaking test?”
Here’s my reply: There’s no doubt that you need well-developed English skills to get band 7 in any skill area (listening, reading, writing and speaking).
However, as you’ve found, it’s particularly challenging to get a high band score in the ielts speaking test. That’s partly because it’s a productive skill and not a receptive skill.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Van Anh, a teacher in Vietnam, asked me this question:
“In a recent article, you said that test takers might get a lower mark for fluency if they correct themselves. Can you please explain why correcting oneself risks lowering the mark for fluency? How much self-correction is acceptable in the ielts speaking test? How much is too much?”
Here’s my reply:
The term “fluency” refers to a speaker’s ability to talk readily, smoothly and effortlessly. The rate, or speed, at which the person talks is also a factor in fluency.
A person is said to be very fluent in a language if he or she can speak at a normal pace with few (or no) pauses, very little repetition and very few corrections.
Fluency in any language is important. Listeners can find it difficult to understand or follow the ideas a speaker wants to communicate if the speaker has problems with fluency. For this reason, fluency is assessed in IELTS.
Posted by Paradigm Languge Institute at 3:18 PM