8 Tips for British English Pronunciation

{“en”:”Hi, everyone. I’m Jade. What we’re talking about today is some pronunciation tips for British English. Some of them are tips; some of them are observations that you might be interested to know. We’ve got eight of them, so let’s get started. Pronunciation of-ed word endings. This is not specifically a British English issue. If your preference — I don’t know why I can’t speak suddenly in an English pronunciation video, but that’s how it is. If your preference is American English, this also applies to American English. So what I hear a lot at, sort of, around intermediate level — sometimes upper intermediate level if you haven’t had someone to correct you — -ed word endings sound like this.

I can’t even do it because it’s so unnatural for me. “Excite-ed shout-ed, remind-ed.” It’s so unnatural for me. But in fact, it’s not like that. It doesn’t sound like an -ed. It might sound like an /id/; it might sound like a /t/; or it might sound like a /d/. So I’ve got some examples here. This word, even though it’s spelled -ed, makes an /id/ sound. It becomes “excited”. “I’m really excited.” “Shouted.” “He shouted at me.” “Reminded.” “I reminded you to do your homework; didn’t I?” And — yeah.

So now, we can talk about the ones that finish with a t sound. “Finished. Dripped. Laughed.” They don’t have the-ed sound. So that’s an important thing to know about pronunciation. Even if it’s spelled-ed, it doesn’t mean it sounds like that. And what about the ones that end with a d sound, a “duh” sound. “Remembered.” “I remembered what you said to me.” “Called.” “I called you. Didn’t you hear your phone?” “Imagined.” “I imagined a better future for everyone.” So with those, it’s a D sound. How do you know for each one? Go with what feels most natural when you’re saying the word.

The main thing is don’t force the -ed sound at the end of the word because it’s that that gives you an unnatural rhythm when you’re speaking English. So moving on to — this one’s an observation, really. British English pronunciation. We have so many different accents in England. But one of the biggest divisions in our accents is — it’s between the north of the country and the south, and it’s our pronunciation of these words: “bath” and “laugh”, as I say them. I say them in the southern pronunciation. But if I were from the north — if I were from the north of the country, I’d say “bath” and “laugh” because they have a different accent up there. Well, they’ve got loads of different accents, but they don’t speak in the same way as me. So let’s break it down into the actual sound. So if you’re from the North, you say, “a”. But we, in the South, say “au”. So you say “bath”, we say “bauth”. And you say “laf”; we say “laugh”. And you can also hear it in these two words. It doesn’t have to be the first or only a vowel in the word.

In the southern pronunciation, this is “commaund”. But in the northern pronunciation, it’s “command”. And the southern pronunciation of this word is “caust”. The northern pronunciation is “cast”. The cast of Brookside came to London.” “Brookside” was an old soap that’s not on TV anymore, and it was people from Liverpool. And I was just doing the accent. Probably that’s really irrelevant to you.

You will never see that show, but anyway. You know, now. Next tip. I don’t hear this that often, but when I do, it sounds really, really, really wrong. And I think this tip generally — generally a good example of how — just because we write something one way doesn’t mean we say it that way. So in English — American English, too — W sounding words are the same as the “wh” sound in words for spelling. It actually sounds the same. So we’ve got two words here, “wine” and “whine”.

One is spelled with WH, and one is just spelled with I. “Whine” is a kind of moan or a kind of cry. Sometimes, young children whine. Sometimes, women who are upset about something are said to be “whiny”. So we don’t really say that men whine. That’s probably a bit sexist. But, yeah. The point is they sound the same but are spelled differently. So I’ve sometimes heard people try to make the “wh” sound like “hwhine” or something like that or in these words, “which” and “witch” are the same. Some people might say “hwhich”. And that used to be a feature of British English. If you listen to some speakers of British English from a long time ago, like around the 1920s — T.

S. Eliot, although he wasn’t British, he did acquire a really strange British accent. And when he spoke English, he would make the “hwhich” sound. And that was a standard feature of the accent then. But if you say it now, it just sounds a bit weird. So don’t be making the “hwh” sound. And here, two commonly spoken words with that “hwh” sound that you shouldn’t say — so you should say “what” without “hwhat, hwhat, hwhat do you want?” That would be awful.

And “hwhere” — don’t say that. Just say it without the H sound. Let’s take a look at the pronunciation of -ing word endings. So in just relaxed, informal speech, I feel that a lot of dialects don’t pronounce the G. So it would be like this. “I was listening to some music.” You don’t hear the G there. But if we’re making an effort to speak properly and with very good enunciation, you would hear the G slightly. It would sound like this, “I was listening to a wonderful lecture yesterday.” And you hear my G. It’s very soft, but it’s there. Something to say about British English pronunciation is — again, this is a north-south difference — is that they, up there, some of the accents ring the G, so it’s, like, “listening, speaking.

I was speaking to him.” And if that’s a feature of your accent, that’s a feature of your accent. But in standard English, you don’t ring it. You don’t make an extra “guh” or “juh” sound at the end. So the standard way to make the G sound, “reading.” But I’m just letting you know that in relaxed and informal speech, many times, we don’t hear the G. So when we come back we’ll look at the other four rules or tips — tips, really. Tips and observations about pronunciation. Tip No. 5, when we’re saying a word with two or more syllables, very often, the second syllable is not stressed, and it’s what we call a “schwa”. So even though all these words have a different spelling for the second syllable, they become a schwa.

So what some people do is they’ll say the word. And a good example is this word. They will say “En-gland”. But actually, it sounds like this “England”. So the vowel changes to a schwa, and then, it’s — another way to look at it is it becomes a softer sound. So let’s say some of the words. “London”, not “Lon-don”. “London, England, together”, not “togeth-er”. “Together”. “Button”, not “butt-on”. “Button”. “Cousin”. So that’s the schwa, and supposedly the most common sound in the English language, and it’s a pretty confusing sound as well because it’s always spelled in different ways, and it doesn’t actually sound exactly the same when it moves around into different words. So not an easy one to get familiar with. So the main thing to take away from it is that don’t put that very big stress on all your syllables in the word. It won’t sound right.

No. 6, tip No. 6, British English is a non-rhotic accent. This is the sound /r/. In your language, maybe you do that thing where you roll your tongue which I can’t do. I just — I so can’t do it. So like how I can’t do that sound, you might find it really hard to make that sound without rolling your tongue. Okay. It’s hard. Pronunciation is not easy. But you can always work at something and train yourself. So when we make the R sound, the position of the tongue is quite far back in the throat. R, R, R. And it doesn’t have that rhotic sound. And in some dialects, for example, in Scottish, you do hear it. So I’m going to say this sentence in a Scottish accent, “The murderer wore red.” Sorry, Scottish people. But they put the R sound in. I kind of did it then. Maybe I can do it after all. But in my accent, I would say, “the murderer wore red.” So we don’t roll our tongues. And that’s something — if you want to speak standard British English, you could work on that R if you do it.

So if you’re Arabic or if you’re Spanish, Italian as well, you could work on that sound. No. 7, now. So this is a hard sound. I’m going to have to be honest with you. It’s a hard sound for me because I’m a Londoner, and I’m from South London, and we’re not very — we don’t like this sound very much. We like to replace it with an F sound. I’m not too bad making this sound at the beginning of a word, “three”, “thought”, “think”. But sometimes, it’s quite hard for me, like in this word. I want to say “birfday” with an F, but it should be “birthday”. It’s really hard for me. But it’s not just hard for me; it’s hard for people all over the world.

Maybe we should just get rid of this sound. We don’t need it anymore. Some people replace it with D. I’ve got an Italian student who replaces it with D. So he would say “dirty dree”. That’s not an Italian restaurant, but — restaurant? Italian restaurant? Why am I thinking about food? It’s not an Italian accent. Because he can’t say “th”, he replaces it with /d/. But other people might replace it with /v/ as well. So a tip for making the “th” sound, you put your tongue between your teeth. And it’s a kind of whisly sound without the /f/. Your lip is more pursed at the top. So you don’t want to do that when you’re making the “th”. Just try it. I’ll say the words for you. “Three”, “thumbs” — thumbs up if you can make that sound — “birthday”, “thought”, “think”, “bath”. It’s hard for me. I’m trying. I’m trying with you.

We’re learning together today. And rule No. 8, “can’t”. Oh, that’s meant to have that there. A lot of people get confused because sometimes they think, “Did you say a negative there, or did you say the positive?” They get really confused. In British English, we don’t always say the T. We don’t always pronounce the T in this word “can’t”. So it might sound like this, “I can’t understand you.” But it might also sound like this, “I can understand you.” And when I said it the second way, you didn’t hear the T. And the reason that happens is speech just become as little bit more fluid, a little bit more easy to say without the T.

But you don’t need to be confused because, actually, the opposite of “can’t” is “can”. And /caen/ is a different vowel. It’s /ae/, whereas this vowel is /a/. So they would sound completely different. It would be, “I can’t understand you.” Very different to “I can’t understand you” or “I can understand you.” So when you’re listening out for that negative sometimes, know that we might say it with or without a T.

So thank you everybody for watching today. You can do a little bit of extra practice on the EngVid site for this lesson. And if you do like my lesson, please do subscribe because I make lots of different lessons, not just about pronunciation but all other things about learning English as well that I think will be very education and very useful for you in your general development as a learner of English or someone who’s just trying to improve your English. And I’m finished now, so I’m going to go. I’m going to go now, okay? I’ll see you later.. “}

As found on Youtube

Neuro Linguistic Programming in Brighton

Improve your English the CRAZY way!!!

{“en”:”Hi, there. Are you having problems or difficulties, or do you find it difficult to practice speaking English? Maybe you live in a country where nobody around you speaks English, or you’re the only person you know that speaks English. I’ve got some advice for you. So, how to help you improve your speaking or your talking in English. Goin’ crazy. Usually in English, we never say: “going” or “trying”. We say: “goin'”. So, any time in English you see this, we’re actually missing the “g”. So, probably you should say: “Going crazy trying to speak or practice English”.

But, in slang when regular speech, we say: “Goin’ crazy tryin’ to speak or practice English”. So, I want you to think about one thing. Crazy people, there’s one right here. I’m crazy, little bit. But when I say “crazy people”, I mean people who are mentally disturbed or have something really wrong with their brain. And we like to categorize people as being crazy, but they really are not insane. They just make crazy noises. So if someone is considered crazy, what do they do? Crazy people usually talk to themselves, they hear voices, especially if they’re psychotic, and they will take to anyone or everyone that will listen to them. So, my advice to you, secret number 42 of how to speak English, is act like you’re crazy, or just go crazy learning English.

The first one: crazy people talk to themselves. You are going to talk to yourself. If you want to really put… Bring this off and do it well, you could go on the bus [giggles] or on any kind of trans… Public transportation, go on the street in your city and just talk to yourself on the street. I don’t really recommend that. If you want to do that, you can. But talk to yourself, but record it. So when you do this, you’re actually listening to your English so you can catch your mistakes and you can listen to your pronunciation. And, really, what do you sound like in English? So, rule number one: you’re going to talk to yourself, but you’re going to record it so you can check your mistakes and you can see just how well you do speak. Because I bet you, you speak better than you think. Next one: crazy people talk about hearing voices. Now, I know you inside have a voice. You, like I, have an inner being, a voice inside your head.

Crazy people are known to have more than one voice. If you have this, you might want to seek some help. But when you hear voices, I want you to talk to yourself inside your head in English. When I lived in Japan, I learned to speak Japanese. I didn’t take a course. I don’t like studying. But my inner voice spoke to me in Japanese. So I would come back to Canada or I would go travelling, and I would actually speak to people who spoke English, they would ask me a question, I would answer them in Japanese because my inner voice was still talking to me in Japanese.

So, one really, really important and great thing that you can do is make your inside voice speak to you in English. This sounds crazy, but I guarantee you that it’s one of the ways that you know if you are coming actually bilingual (means you can speak two languages) or trilingual. So, if your inside voice can talk to you in two different languages, this is really amazing, and it means that your English is improving. Everyone has a different timeline. Some people can do this within a year, some people within months, some people it takes three or four years to do this, but once you have achieved this, woohoo, you’re almost there. And the last one: you’ll notice that if you see crazy people on the subway or you see crazy people in your city, they’re going to talk to any or… This means “or”, by the way. Everyone. They don’t care who it is. They’re not going to be picky and go: “I don’t want to talk to that person. I want to talk to everyone.” So, the more people that you can speak to in English, the better.

You don’t have to be picky. That means you don’t have to choose. Is it a beautiful girl? A handsome boy? Young people, old people, babies, children. Anyone that you know that speaks English, try and talk to them. Even in your country, you think: “Ronnie, there’s no one in my country that speaks English”, you might be surprised. You can find people on websites, and you can find other English speakers to talk to. So, go crazy, speak as much as you can, and learn English with me. I’m Ronnie, and I’m crazy. Good bye.. “}

As found on Youtube

Study English in London

English – Parent Teacher Interviews (Elementary School)

{“en”:”Going to school, it’s an exciting time. Yes, free field trip. What about a fraction? There’s so much to do… Who can give me an example of a… So much to learn. Richard. So much for a child to try and cope with in a new country. This video is about one of the important ways that parents can help their child succeed in school. Okay, so, boys and girls, I have a letter here that I’d like you to take home to your parents please. It invites your parents to come to our next parent teacher interview, okay? And it’s really important and I’d like to see each and every one of them, all right? Now, parent teacher interviews… Once or twice a year you will be asked to come to your child’s school to talk with the teacher.

The letter will suggest the time but it can be changed if it isn’t convenient for you. Watch for the invitation to what is called the parent teacher interview. Mom, dad, well, the teachers u2013 I don’t know but there’s a letter he gave me. What is it we’re going to? Parent teacher interview. What’s that? What’s wrong? It might be u2013 it might be a teacher wants to meet with us. Okay. What date? Okay, December 2nd. Oh, let me write it down. December 2nd. Hello, welcome to Clark School. It’s nice that you could come tonight. We’ll just check the list. Oh, yes, you’re with our interpreter and you’re down in room four. Thank you. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you. I am Melissa. Thank you. Meeting the teacher to talk about how your child is progressing may be a new experience for you but it is very important for your child’s success. Most parents are glad to come and hear how they’re child is getting along. And you’re in room ten. Okay. Down this way. Thank you. Thank you. Jennifer will reread words and her sentences… The interview only takes a few minutes and you can bring a friend to help with English if you wish.

Your next step should be… does it sound, right? Some schools can even provide an interpreter. Jennifer [foreign language] Mm-hmm. Welcome to the parent teacher interview. I just wanted to say that I’m very glad that you can make it here this evening. Now, Richard is a very strong student. You must be encouraging him quite a bit at home. That’s okay. Thank you very much. Just to give you an idea of what he’s been doing. Here’s an example of some of his earlier work. And if you take a look at what he’s been writing just recently you can see that he’s progressed quite a reasonable amount. Now, as you can see his sentences are fair but longer. His spelling and grammar are much improved too. Mm. In China, Richard loved to write stories.

Yeah. It’s funny that you mentioned that because actually when he first came here I asked him to write something in his first language. He put some English words there. Yeah. That’s interesting. No, but that’s good… Yeah. …you know, I mean he put in what he knew and then everything else that he didn’t he worked on, you know. The teacher will tell you about your child’s progress and explain how you can help at home. That’s great. That’s good. And we’re happy to hear that but we have a concern about the homework. Oh, okay. So, uh, compared being back in China we didn’t see Richard bring home a lot of homework. Right. Right, that is understandable.

What we normally like to do here is we’ll… …start something off in class. That gives the students a chance to basically if they have any questions that they wish to ask, you know, they can ask myself… Teachers also want to know about your child’s first language skills and the things he likes to do at home. The teacher will also answer your questions about school work, homework and relationships with other students. We are worried about that if Richard is making new friends here. You know, I understand that’s a great concern to a lot of parents especially, you know, when u2013 since Richard’s new to the school but I guarantee you have nothing to worry about.

Richard’s a great sociable child. He’s very involved in the school community. Mm-hmm. Now, do you have any other questions or concerns about Richard at school? Uh, are there any, uh, program for Richard after school? Definitely, there are lots of after school programs, you know, that you can take advantage of. There’s the soccer program, you know, I know that you said… Mm-hmm. Yeah. …Richard likes soccer. Meeting the teacher like this is a good opportunity to learn how well your child is doing. As a parent, it’s always wonderful to hear of your child’s progress but you should also listen carefully for suggestions on how your child can improve and how you can help at home. Okay, as you can see from Richard’s reading mark it would benefit Richard to read a little bit more at home. Do you read… Mm-hmm. …with him often? Yes, we u2013 we read with Richard every evening but sometimes we read in Chinese. Yeah. You know what? That’s u2013 that’s all right. That’s actually a great thing, you know, if… Mm-hmm. …if that’s something that Richard’s more comfortable by all means let him read in Chinese, you know, and then we can gradually get him, you know, um, into exploring, you know…

…certain English language books, you know, but that’s great. So… The teacher may also review their report card and explain how well your child is learning to speak, write and read in English. Can I ask a question? Please, by all means. No, I u2013 I think I understand about this part. Okay. But I have a question here. So, I understand that you grade the students according to different subjects but here, what does… Okay. …this part mean? What the learning skills are is actually u2013 it’s an area where we comment on u2013 not specifically on grading students on academics. More about some of the work habits or study habits that we’d like to see students… Mm-hmm. develop. These are more areas of personal growth that we want to encourage. Well. Thank you very much for coming both of you tonight.

It’s been a pleasure having you here. You know, um, if you have any further questions, comments or concerns, you know, about Richard or anything else that you’d like to ask please feel free to contact me. Many parents do. Mm-hmm. Okay. Meeting once or twice a year like this, you and the teacher can discuss any difficulties before they even begin. Thanks. Good evening. Good evening. How are you doing? Oh, I’m great. How are you doing? Not bad at all. Please come on in. Thank you. I’ve returned grandma. I’m back home. It was great to meet your teacher. What did the teacher say? The teacher said that you did very well in your school. The teacher also said you have made a lot of friends at school… So, the parent teacher interview has many benefits. You get to know the teacher. You see how your child is doing. You learn how you can help your child do even better but one of the greatest benefits is the support your child feels when you come to the school because meeting the teacher connects the most important people in his or her life.

We are very proud of you. So, find out about your child’s parent teacher interviews. Look for the letter that invites you to come. There’s no better way to help your child do well in school.. “}

As found on Youtube

Study English in London

IELTS Speaking Task 1 – How to get a high score

Hi, there. My name is Emma, and in today’s lesson, we will be looking at how to do well on the speaking part of the IELTS. So the speaking part of the IELTS is divided up into three sections. Today, we’re just going to be looking at section No. 1. So first of all, I will explain how to do well — oh, sorry. First, I’ll explain what happens in Part 1 of the IELTS. And from there, we’ll look at some things you should do to do well and some things you shouldn’t do, okay? So let’s get started. So what happens in Part 1 of the IELTS? Well, first of all, the speaking Part 1 of the IELTS is for both those taking the General IELTS exam and the Academic. So whether you’re taking the Academic or the General IELTS, it’s the same test with the same questions. Okay. It lasts between four to five minutes.

It’s made up of first an introduction. So the examiner is going to introduce himself or herself. Then, you will introduce yourself. So for example, “Hi. My name is Emma. Nice to meet you.” Okay, so there’s an introduction. And then, the examiner is going to ask you some questions about yourself. So these questions aren’t that difficult. Usually, they’re about where you’re from. So for example what city you were born in, where you grew up. They might be about work. They might be about what you study, about your friends, about your hobbies, food, sports, and another thing I don’t have up here, family. Family is also common on this part of the IELTS. Okay? So usually, the examiner, after introducing himself or herself, they will talk to you about two of these topics.

Okay?” Now, the way they mark this part of the IELTS is they’re looking specifically for pronunciation, okay? So can they understand what you’re saying? Do you pronounce things well? They’re going to be looking at fluency. So what’s “fluency”? Well, do you go, “Uh, um, uh, uh” a lot during the test? Or do you speak very clearly, in a very nice rhythmic way? Do you use organizers or transitions? “First of all, secondly, finally.” Do you use words like this? “Another reason.” Or do you have problems speaking at a normal rate? So they look at that in fluency.” Then, they mark you also on vocabulary. Do you use words like “good, bad” a lot? Those are very low-level words. Or do you use high level words that really show off your vocabulary?” The final thing you’re marked on is grammar and accuracy. So for example, do you only use the present test for the whole test or are you able to correctly use the present tense, the past tense, present perfect, future? How well is your grammar? Okay? So don’t panic.

Maybe you’re weak in grammar. Maybe you make some mistakes in grammar. But you’re marked equally on these four components, okay? So now, let’s look at some tips on how to do well on Part 1 of the speaking part of the IELTS. Okay. So what are some of the things we should do to get a good mark in Part 1 of the IELTS for speaking? Well, we have a list here of dos. Okay? So these are things you want to do. So the first thing that’s very important is when you first meet the examiner, okay? If you’re very nervous, and you don’t make eye-contact, and you look at the floor the whole time, you’re not going to do well on the IELTS even if your English is pretty good.

So it’s very important to present yourself with confidence, okay? You want to go into that test and know you’re going to do well. If you think you’re going to do well, you’re going to do a lot better. Okay? If you think you’re going to do badly, you’re probably going to do badly. So think you’re going to do well, and be confident. Okay? Another important thing is be friendly. Okay. You want to smile. Body language is actually very important in the IELTS. You want to make eye-contact, okay? So don’t look at your feet. Don’t look at your hands. Look at the examiner. But you don’t have to stare at them, okay? Just look at them when you talk. Another thing a lot of students forget is they don’t act excited when they’re answering questions. So what do I mean by this? Well, they talk with a monotone. So for example, “Do you like playing sports?” This is a common question on the IELTS.

A student might respond, “I really like playing basketball. Basketball is a good sport.” Okay. If the examiner hears that, you’re probably not going to get a good mark. You should act excited about what you’re saying. Okay? “Yes. I love sports. Basketball is my favorite. It’s, you know — I love watching basketball. It’s a lot of fun to play.” If you seem excited, you will do better. Okay. The next thing that’s very important is the vocabulary you use, okay? So remember, you’re getting marked on four different things. One of these things is vocabulary. So how do you improve your vocabulary mark? Well, don’t use simple, easy, boring, low-level words like, “I like basketball because it’s good. I don’t like soccer because it’s bad.” Okay? These words, “bad, good “, they’re too easy. You need to try to find vocabulary that is higher level and practice before you do the IELTS. So for example, a good thing to do is look at the list of topics you will probably be asked about.

Food is a very common thing they will ask you about. So try to come up with vocabulary in advance and practice this vocabulary about the different topics. So for example, I know they may ask me a question about food. So I might learn some words that have to do with food. Maybe I don’t know the word “cuisine”. Well, if they ask me a question about food, I can say, “My favorite type of food — I love Indian cuisine.” Okay? And there you go. They’ve just noticed you used a higher level word. Same with friends. A common word we use when we talk about friends, we talk about “acquaintances”. Okay? So this is another good word to use. So again, try to come up with vocabulary for each of the different topics, and practice. Okay.

Now, in this part of the IELTS, the examiner may ask you about what you like. “Do you like to play sports? What hobbies do you like? What are your favorite foods?” Now, one thing a lot of students do is they overuse “I like”. “I like this. I like that. I like this. I like that.” This is not going to help you with your vocabulary mark.

So instead of using “I like” a lot, try something different. “I enjoy playing basketball. I enjoy hanging out with my friends. I really love yoga. I really love bowling.” Okay? “I prefer playing sports to doing other activities.” So “I enjoy, I really love, I prefer” — I’m sure you can come up with more, but it’s good to practice these types of expressions before you do the IELTS, okay?” Another key tip: Expand your answers. So what does this mean? Well, maybe the examiner asked you a question, “What is your favorite food?” Or — sorry. Let me think of a good example. “Do you like to play sports?” Okay? The examiner might ask you that. Some students might just say, “No.” And that’s their answer. “Do you like to play sports? Do you like to cook?” “No.” Well, the examiner is not going to be able to judge your English if you answer questions yes or no.

You have to give bigger, longer answers. So this is what I mean by expand. Don’t just say “yes” or “no”. Even if you don’t know what to say, make something up. So for example, a common question they ask, “Where are you from?” Now, I could just say, “I’m from Toronto.” Or, “Toronto.” This isn’t going to help my IELTS mark. It’s better if I expand this answer. “I’m from Toronto. It’s actually the biggest city in Canada. It’s also considered one of the most multicultural cities in the world.” I don’t have to talk too long about Toronto. I don’t want to say the whole history of Toronto. I don’t want to keep talking and talking and talking. But I don’t want a very short answer. So you need to find an answer that is not too short and not too long. You want something in the middle. Okay? So that’s what I mean by “expand”.

One way to expand your answers is by giving examples. So I asked this question earlier. You know, “What’s your favorite food?” “Oh, I love Indian cuisine.” How can I add to this? I can give examples. “My favorite dish is palak paneer. It’s made from spinach, a type of cheese they use in India, spices. You know, we often eat it at my house.” So there. Instead of just saying, “I like Indian food”, I’ve given a lot of examples. And that’s what you want to do, okay? Finally, most importantly, practice. Okay? So you know the types of questions you’re going to get. A lot about what you do for work, what do you study, how many people are in your family — these types of questions. Now, it’s important to practice your answers. Okay? Practice with your friends. Practice with a mirror. Practice, practice, practice. It’s very important that you practice answering these types of questions before you do the IELTS. Okay, so now, let’s look at some of the “don’ts”, some things you shouldn’t do in the IELTS.

Okay. So what are things you shouldn’t do? Okay, now, we’re going to look at a list of what you shouldn’t do. So “don’ts”. Okay. Don’t do this. Don’t speak with a monotone. So I already mentioned this. Don’t speak where your voice flat, okay? Don’t speak like, “I have a mother and a father.” Don’t say things like that. Speak with enthusiasm, okay? Not monotone. Okay. Don’t give yes/no answers. “Do you have a family?” “Yes.” That’s a horrible answer.” Okay? It’s more — “Have you traveled to China?” “No.” Okay.

These types of answers are not the ones you want to give. Expand. Make your answer longer, even if you have to lie. It’s okay to lie on the IELTS as long as you speak. That’s the most important thing. Okay. Do not repeat the question. Okay. So if they say, “Do you like sports?” “Yes, I like sports.” You’re wasting a sentence. Instead of repeating the question back to them, find a better way to say it.

“Do you like sports in” “Yes. There are many sports that I find very fun and interesting.” Okay, so don’t repeat the question. “Do you have a family?” “Yes, I have a family.” It’s not a good thing to do.” Don’t go off topic. So sometimes, students — they’re really actually excited, and they want to talk. And they want to show off their language skills. And so they think, “Oh, yes. I need to expand my answers.” But instead of expanding, they go and they talk about so many different things that don’t have to do with the topic. So for example, if they ask me a question on my hometown, if I start talking about Toronto, and then I start talking about education, and then I start talking about technology, this is going off on too many different topics.

Stick to what they ask you. Okay? You can give examples, but they should be about — they should refer to the question they asked you. Okay. Don’t answer, “I don’t know.” So in the first part of the IELTS, this would actually be a difficult — I can’t imagine you actually using this answer because the point of Part 1 of the IELTS is to make you feel comfortable. So the examiner asks you questions about yourself. So you should know these answers. “What are your favorite hobbies? What types of foods do you like to eat? How many members are there in your family?” You shouldn’t answer, “I don’t know” to any of these questions.

They’re about you. And if — maybe you don’t know. Maybe you’ve never thought about what’s your favorite food. Just make it up. Okay? Even if you hate sushi, even if you hate West Indian food or Canadian food. That’s okay. Just make it up. “I love West Indian food. I love Canadian food.” If you don’t know, make up your answer. Don’t speak too quickly, and don’t speak too slowly. Okay? So this is a little bit about fluency.

What often happens with students is when they get nervous, they start to talk really, really, really fast, and they go a mile a minute. They just go so fast. So if you’re the type of person that does this, practice is speaking in environments where you get nervous. So this way, you can practice maybe ways to deal with stress, ways to deal with nervousness. Try not to speak too quickly. Also, don’t speak very slowly, okay? I’ve had some students who have used a lot of “uh’s” and “ah’s”, and this is a problem. So don’t speak too slowly. Okay? Another thing: Don’t speak quietly. Okay? A lot of students, they’re nervous, and they’re shy, so they talk like this. And the examiner has to really listen. They can’t hear what they’re saying, and so you’re not going to do as well if you talk quietly.

Talk with confidence. Talk loudly so they can hear what you’re saying. Okay. Finally, the most important point: Don’t worry about being perfect. You do not have to speak perfect English to do well on the IELTS. Even if you’re aiming for a mark of nine on the IELTS, a bandwidth of 9 — sorry. If you’re looking for the mark of nine, you do not need perfect English, okay? You can make mistakes. So if you make a mistake, that’s okay. If you can correct it easily, do so. If you try to correct it and you’re going to make more mistakes or you’re going to take a lot of time, it’s okay; just leave it. If you make a mistake, continue to talk. Move on. There’s a chance that the examiner didn’t even hear that mistake.

And they expect you to make mistakes. So if you make a mistake between using “a” or “the”, if you make a mistake in terms of grammar, it’s okay. Native speakers make mistakes, too. People are used to hearing native speakers, ESL students make mistakes. So you do not have to be perfect. I can’t say that enough. Don’t worry about being perfect. Okay? So if you’re wondering the types of questions you may see on the IELTS, and if you want to practice with a friend or even in front of the mirror, I strongly recommend you visit the website www.goodluckielts.com.

On this website, there are more tips, as well as practice questions for Part 1 of the IELTS. And information, too, on the writing section, listening section, and reading section, okay? So I also invite you to come and do our quiz at www.engvid.com where you can practice some of these tips that we’ve talked about today. So until next time, take care..

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