An excellent way to improve your speaking is to talk about the same thing in different ways and that’s the idea behind this lesson. The goal is to show you a way to practice your speaking skills and help you extend answers by talking about:
likes and dislikes
I give a series of simple IELTS speaking practice exercises where you should just concentrate on saying a bit more in specific ways without worrying about having to answer a question. Then at the end of the lesson you’ll find some practice questions to see how you can apply those skills.
Please do speak
This exercise only really works if you start speaking! So if you have a practice partner go through all the questions together and listen to each other and share ideas. Don’t worry if you start to repeat yourself a bit – that’s good for you! If you’re by yourself then you should still talk. It can help to record yourself.
I’ve used communication as the theme/topic of the lesson but you should see that you could easily use the same practice exercises to help you talk about other topics such as transport/entertainment/clothes/sport etc.
1. What do you like?
What different types of communication can you think of? Below are some ideas – you can add more. Try and put them in order of preference and then say why you chose that order. This is an important step as loads of IELTS speaking questions ask you about your likes and dislikes. One very simple way to say more is just to say why you like or dislike something.
face to face conversation
Try not to use the same language all the time. It helps to have variety and some language to help you could be
The reason I like it is
I enjoy using it because
My personal favourite is
I prefer x to y
I’m most keen on
I quite enjoy
I don’t actually like
You’ll find more help with language and examples showing you how this skill works in this lesson on talking about likes and dislikes.
2. Talk about habits – be specific
A lot of part 1 questions ask you about your habits. If you want to say more it really helps to be able to be specific about your habits. For example, if you say you do something fairly often then you can go on to say why it is fairly often and exactly when.
Talk about each of the means of communication and say how often you do each of them. To say more
Be specific about your habit
Say why that often
Say exactly when
These words and phrases may help you:
all the time
once a day
three times a week
once in a blue moon
Again, you’ll find more help with this skill and with language in this lesson on talking about habits.
3. Talk about occasions – be specific again
Talking about a time when you did something is another way to say more. It’s a great way of giving an example of your habits or why you like something. Go through each of the means of communication again and talk about the last time you used each one. To make this work be specific again and think about
the person involved
4. Make some comparisons
You can also say more by making comparisons. There are different ways you can do this. You can compare:
how convenient they are
times when you use them
how you use them now compared to the past and perhaps the future
how different people you know use them
The key word to use here is almost certainly but and you also need some standard comparison language too.
Now try some practice questions
These are some typical IELTS questions on a similar theme to this lesson. See how you could answer them by using some of the skills you have been practising. Remember that you can combine different ways of extending answers so for example you can talk about what you like in a question about your habits
How do you communicate with your friends?
Do you send emails very often?
How often do you write letters?
Do you prefer to write letters or send emails?
Do you write your letters by hand or type them?
When do you use a mobile phone?
Have you ever made a video call?
More lessons and resources to help you
This lesson shows you a way to practise some of the skills I discuss in this lesson on