What you will find here is a suggestion for IELTS speaking practice and are three sample IELTS speaking questions. The real aim is to share a link to a site where you can practise your speaking skills – Voxopop. The benefit of this site is not just that you can record yourself speaking, you can get the chance to listen to other people too.
What is Voxopop?
Voxopop is a website where you can record yourself and listen to other people speaking about the same question. I have a group there called “Dominic Cole’s IELTS Speaking Practice”. If you go along and have a visit, you will find a series of sample IELTS speaking questions that people have recorded answers to. You can just sit and listen to other people’s answers and/or record yourself.
step 1: find voxopop
step 2: register (it’s simple enough)
step 3: navigate to Explore Talk Groups
step 4: search DOMINIC COLE
step 5: find my group
step 6: do the speaking and listening practice
Different ways to practise
Here are some suggestions about different ways you can practise there. The general idea behind all of them is that listening and speaking go together.
1. Just do some listening
Just sit and listen to other people speak. This is I think is perfectly good exercise and I have had classes where my students have sat and listened for 30 minutes or more. There is a real benefit to hearing different people talk in different ways about the same topic. You will find that there are lots of different approaches that can work. You can learn from people of all levels: they don’t need to be native speakers. You can take this further of course and make notes of useful words and phrases.
2. Record and re-record
This is practice and not the exam, so why not try it more than once. If you don’t like the way you sound first time, record yourself again. It rally can help to listen to yourself.
3. Put yourself under pressure – one minute prep, two minutes speaking
Perhaps you have the exam this week and you want to get some “real” practice in. Try this. Give yourself one minute’s preparation time and two minutes speaking time and then press the save button. That means that your message will be available to other people to listen to. That’s pressure for you – just like the exam – and it can help to see how you preform under pressure.
4. Do not write it all out first
I feel quite strongly about this. I really don’t believe that this is very good practice. Speaking and writing are different skills and we use language in different ways when we write and speak. If you get into the habit of writing and then speaking what you have written, your speaking may not sound natural and you may actually find it harder in the exam when you can’t do that.
The practice questions
Talk about a website you frequently visit. You should say
- What the website is
- What the website contains
- How often you visit it
And say why you visit it
Talk about a course you would like to do. You should say
- What course it would be
- How long the course would last
- What skills or knowledge you would learn from it
And say why you would choose that course
Talk about a game you played as a child. You should say
- What the game was
- When and where you played the game
- Who you played the game with
And say why you enjoyed that game