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Sometimes i feel nervous to talk clearly and fluently to the examiners,even i may have prepared for that for a long time,,so how can i improve my spoken English? And is there any better and more effective ways to enlarge my vocabulary?

Kishore:   It is natural to be nervous in this situation. You need to develop your confidence, and this confidence will come from practising your English speaking and communication. Preparation is important but it needs to be the right type of preparation. This also applies to enlarging your vocabulary - I'd suggest these steps: when you learn new vocabulary do not just learn a translation, thibk about all the other elements you need to be able to use this vocabulary (eg the pronunication, the grammar/part of speech, the collocation ie which words this goes with, any synonyms or antonyms etc); read/listen to English as widely as possible, this will help you pick up new vocabulary in context; regularly brainstorm vocabulary in themes or topics like travel, feelings etc - it is always easier to remember and use new vocabulary if you learn/remember this in relation to a subject or theme.


hi.Mr.Roy.Is it always neccesary to give reasons for you answers in speaking?

Kishore:   Good question. This depends on the part of the test, but in general it is useful to give reasons for your answers, it helps you extend your answers. This is less important in Part 1, more important in Part 3, and sometimes relevant in Part 2 (usually included in the bullet points if this is so). Doing this also allows you to demonstrate your signposting skills - these are very important for coherence - such as "I think this is due to the fact that ......."


I always can not finish reading test in the given time because I read all passage before answer questions.I make more mistakes if I read part of the passage. Shall I change my reading method?

Kishore:   I'd suggest you change your reading method, yes. It takes too much time to read the whole passage first before answering questions. it is better to identify and read the topic sentences first - this will give you an idea of the theme of each paragraph. The topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph (75% of time) or the last sentence in the paragraph. Then analyse the questions carefully, look for key words, and guess where you will find the answers. Do not start reading from the beginning of the passage. You should have an idea of which paragraph you will find the specific answer. Don’t worry if you do not understand all the words – you may not need to understand everything.


I felt too nervous to talk naturally and fluently as usual when I meet native speaker in speaking test because I am not confident.Could you give me advice?Thanks

Kishore:   This is understandable. It is not easy speaking in a foreign language. The best way to develop confidence is through practice. Remember you can practice speaking, even by yourself, on as many different topics as possible. Talk for one minute, then make it 2 minutes, then increase again and again. Also, make sure you learn the right aspects of speaking, see these videos to give you a comprehensive insight: http://www.chinaielts.org/guide/band_descriptors_speaking.shtml

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thank you for the reply, can you also advise when i should start to prepare the IELTS test? im a freshman who intend to take post graduate course in USA. thx. Patrick.

Kishore:   It is difficult to how long you need to spend to preparing - it depends on your current level, the target band score, the amount of time you can devote to practice etc. I would suggest a minimum of 3 months, and maybe more if you are more than 1 band away from your target. Use the resources at www.roadtoielts.com to give you an idea of your current level.


hi, kishoreroy, nice to meet you here, i have one question about speaking test, i understand ,for speaking, the fluency is one of the criteria that might affect my overall score. can you please explain further about how do we define the fluency? does it mean the ability of speaking english very quickly? since i speak English seems quite slower than others. and how can i improve it ? should i memorise all the words in advance? it seems quite unnatural...

Kishore:   Hi there. You are right, fluency is one of the 4 criteria used in IELTS speaking. You will get more info on fluency, and the other criteria, from this video I created: http://www.iqiyi.com/v_19rrh7grec.html - re improvement the main thing is to try to practice speaking and especially extending your answers - so wherever you can try to explain why you think something, perhaps give examples or mention your experience. I do not recommend memorising words in advance, as you say it is unnatural and often results in inaccurate or inappropriate use of vocabulary, it is better to be natural and focus on communicating your ideas. You can develop your ideas and your confidence through practice.


hi, i find it really difficult to make the improvement from 6 to 6.5, i cannot identify where the gap is. in terms of the four part, it seems quite flat.. advise please!

Kishore:   Hi. I'm sorry, its very difficult for me to give specific advice as i have never seen your performance. There could be many reasons possible for your lack of improvement so cannot guess what they are. All I can suggest is practice. Also, the tips which are specific to Chinese candidates in our new book might help too - see http://www.amazon.cn/3/dp/B00ME50QAI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411045519&sr=1-1&keywords=%E9%9B%85%E6%80%9D%E8%80%83%E8%AF%95%E5%AE%98%E6%96%B9%E6%8C%87%E5%8D%97 or http://item.jd.com/11505983.html


hi, kishore ,glad to talk to you here, i m wondering can you recommend some preparation materials for me ? i have already taken Cambridge IELTS series. and regularly practice my listening skill via VOA. but i think it could be great if you can suggest some materials for my writing practice. look forward to seeing your reply .many thanks.

Kishore:   Hi there. It sounds like you are using some good resources already. We have just published an official guide for IELTS, you can find info here http://item.jd.com/11505983.html or http://www.amazon.cn/3/dp/B00ME50QAI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411045519&sr=1-1&keywords=%E9%9B%85%E6%80%9D%E8%80%83%E8%AF%95%E5%AE%98%E6%96%B9%E6%8C%87%E5%8D%97 - this includes Writing practice activities, high level Writing samples from Chinese test-takers and also tips specific for Chinese test-takers.

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i will have the speaking exam this sunday and i am very afriad of being asked a difficult question in part2.help!TAT

Colin:   Just remember that the IELTS speaking test is about communicating. It’s okay to pause, hesitate, start again, make small mistakes… Just focus on communicating YOUR ideas to the examiner. Best of luck!


How can I improve my listening ability?

Colin:   If you can work with a good teacher the following might be easier…the different task types assess different listening skills such as listening for main ideas and listening for detail. Find out what you are already good at and what you need to improve in. There are a variety of different listening sub-skills so it’s good to find out which are your strengths and areas for development… oh of course you need to practice listening too! Visit learnEnglish.britishcouncil.org.cn for different listening activities.


Hi colin, m I late? Can you help me with my writing problem? I feel blank when dealing with writing task 2..it is really difficult for me to generate a 150 words...I don't know what to start ,how should I expand my answer? Help me please

Colin:   Hello! You need to spend some time brainstorming ideas. So the fact that you are thinking about generating ideas is good thing! First thing to do is read the topic and then understand it. Then on a piece of paper or the question paper, make notes about any ideas that come to mind. You can increase your ideas by looking at the question from different perspectives…what might an older or very young person say? What ideas are there from a(n) economic/environmental/political/society perspective etc.? When you have some ideas you need to organise them. You need to practise generating and organising your ideas. Practice is important. Look at our online prep course www.roadtoIELTS.com for more ideas on generating ideas.


Hi colin, from your opinion, what kind of key facts I need to be ware of for the preparation of IELTS listening test? I found i can easily get lost during the test...not easy to concentrate on the content for me....

Colin:   Hello! You need to remember that the test is designed with lots of places to start again (section 1, section 2 etc.). Also remember that the test is designed so that you can answer question 5 without knowing the answer to question 4, for example. Spend the silent time, reading the tasks and doing two things: predicting possible answers (and then listening to check or reconfirm your ideas); predicting possible paraphrases of the words in the question. If you are getting lost it helps to listen for paraphrases (similar words) that are used in the questions. And try to relax… if you are getting stressed or anxious, you won’t be able to listen as well as you can… keep breathing!

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