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Want a powerful training technique for better conversational English that will also help you CRUSH the IELTS Part 1 Speaking exam?
Today we’re going to work on your conversation skills in English. Train your mind to think in English for easier, faster speaking, and we’re going to do that by looking at questions for the IELTS Speaking Test Part 1. Part one is all about you and it’s conversational. So even if you’re not planning on taking this test, it’s going to help you with your general conversation skills. This is part of our Think In English series where we get into your mind, we get it to switch to English, so you can stop translating in your head.
As always, if you like this video or you learn something new, please give me a thumbs up and subscribe with notifications. I’d love to see you back here next Tuesday.
Training your minds to think in English has several steps and levels. Today, we’re focusing on spontaneous conversation. I’m going to ask you a question, and I’m going to give you 15 seconds to answer. You can speak out loud or not. You can just think it, but use only English. If the answer has to be more simple than you want it to be in order to stick to English, that’s okay. Right now, this exercise isn’t about putting together really sophisticated, complicated sentences. It’s not even so much about expression yet it’s really about getting your mind to go to English and practicing that. So speak as simply as you need to. I’m going to ask you a question, and if you don’t feel like you can answer it in a sentence, then just start saying words that come to mind in English. I’ll go over how to get more sophisticated with this kind of exercise at the end of the video. The more you ask your mind to go to English first and you practice that, the better you’ll be able to express yourself in English, the more quickly and the less translating you’ll need to do. These questions are similar to those you might get in the IELTS speaking section Part 1 where you talk about yourself and your family. Let’s start today with just one question. You’ll have 15 seconds to think or say your answer in English. What kind of art do you like?
Does that feel like a long time to have to try to speak in English? And don’t worry about it, the more you do this, the easier it will be, and like I said, if you can’t think of a whole sentence, just start with a word. Maybe you just repeat one of the words, art, and then maybe this leads you to another word, sculpture, and then you go to a sentence. I love sculpture. Or something like that. Start simple and build. If you can’t, just take off starting in a full sentence. You don’t know the question ahead of time, you have to think on your feet and you have this timer going, which can feel stressful, just like a test or real conversation.
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers here. It’s just about you and expressing yourself and practicing expressing yourself in English. What kind of art do you like? You could have talked about painting, sculpture, or maybe your favorite museums, or maybe you create art, you like to sketch, you like to set up an easel and paint landscapes, or maybe you’re like me, you love the performing arts, opera, dance. I studied opera and i’ve done some performing. You can talk about your experience creating art, or maybe you really don’t care about art. You could say that artists never really interested me. I had to take an art class in college, and I found that I was always distracted staring out the window.
You’re going to have 12 questions in a row. If you find you have a bit more to say in response to a question, then pause the video, and keep going. There are all kinds of questions you would see in part one of the IELTS speaking exam. Even if the question is a yes/no question, don’t just answer with one word. Elaborate, explain why you gave your answer.
Could you tell me about your typical weekday?
What do you usually do on the weekends?
What kinds of books do you like?
Have you traveled to other places? Where?
What do you do when you first arrive in a new place?
What did you do on your last birthday?
Who are you closest to in your family?
What’s your favorite food?
Do you enjoy cooking?
What are you planning on doing in the next five years?
We covered a lot of different topics there, but all relating to you. Probably some questions were easier for you to answer than others. Now, we’re going to talk through how to get more sophisticated in your answers. Go back and pick three of the questions that were the hardest for you to answer. Answer them and write them down. There’s no time limit and you can and should use a dictionary to translate what you need, or put together phrases that express how you feel, or find a better way to express something. For example, let’s take the question ‘Do you enjoy cooking?’ Maybe your answer was no, and you had a hard time coming up with what else to say about that. Let’s think now, why don’t you like cooking? Maybe you think it’s boring. Well, you can use the word boring. Or maybe you can find a more interesting word or phrase to use. Do a little research, a thesaurus is a great place to go to get synonyms or words with the same or a similar meaning. So i’ve typed in the word boring here on thesaurus.com. You can then click on a word to see other synonyms for that word, or you can click over here to see the definition. So this is a way to improve your vocabulary and learn related words, maybe some more sophisticated words than the words you are planning on using now. Uninteresting. I also don’t love that word but another great thing to do is to go online and search for idioms for and then whatever word you’re looking for. Idioms for being tired or in this case, idioms for boring, and chances are you’re gonna find some resources. There are some idioms relating to the word or the expression you’re trying to find. Actually, mind numbing is what I had in mind when I was thinking of another way to say boring. So this can be a great way to make more sophisticated sentences by doing a little bit of research and looking up different ways to say something. Build a more sophisticated answer, write it down, research it, take your time, then practice that out loud. Study it. You probably won’t have this question again, but you will have learned more sophisticated language for expressing yourself. You will have gotten comfortable with a new word or idiom that will pay off then.
Watch the question section of this video again and answer your questions again. When you get to the question that you researched, don’t just read your answer. Speak it, or think it again on your feet and I guarantee what you put together will be better than what you did the first time. So little exercises like this, trying to say something, researching it, making it better, and then practicing that this new thing you created this can really increase your skill in expressing yourself. You know what? If you took the time to research an answer to write one out, put it in the comments below so that others can study it and learn from it. If you’d like more resources on training your mind to think in English, see this playlist. I make new videos to help you speak better English every Tuesday. Keep your learning going now with this video and be sure to subscribe with notifications to stay on top of new videos. I also run Rachel’s English academy where i help my students take their spoken English to the next level. Check it out at rachelsenglishacademy.com
That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.