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Hi, Oleks. Another compelling series of texts by you! I...

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Oleks you are very committed to learning English and I...

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How should I prepare for the IELTS exam's writing/speaking sections?

I've been thinking about taking an English certification exam for quite some time as I have wanted some proof that I am objectively fluent in English. I know this is a really condescending thing to say, but I was complimented for speaking good English when I was living in the United States for a brief moment, although they might have said good things as I am Asian and people tend to have a lower standard for Asian fluency... but I digress. Naturally, I searched on Google with keywords like "IELTS speaking band 9" and "IELTS writing band 9."

However, what I found was pretty depressing. The videos and articles I had found showed me real examples of IELTS testees who had got band 9. The moment that I saw and heard the sentences coming out of their mouths and read the sentences on those webpages what came to my mind was that I had never been able to write such articulate sentences even in my own languages in a complex way. Even the vocabulary requirements to get band 9 seemed to be too much. (I understood them all but using them in my sentences is another story.)

What should I do to improve my oral fluency and agility? I would probably say "uhh"s and "umm"s a bunch if I were to take English fluency exams right now. I am less frigntened by the idea of taking a writing exam as I would be given a more amount of time, but as I mentioined the lexical level seems to be an insurmountable mountain.

Actually, there was a time when I was able to speak fluently without stopping for a long time in the past, but my IELTS speaking score was disappointing 6.5. Since then I have been extremely cautious about speaking something ungrammatical. (My sentences above might say otherwise.)

Every time I see or hear foreigners speak excellent English or use words that I do not know I become a green-eyed monster to the point that I cannot continue reading or listening the material that I have been consuming any more. How should I deal with the jealousy that seems to stem from my lack of self-esteem? Is it natural to be envious?

I look forward to hearing from all of you language learners out there, who might face problems like me in the near future or have already encountered such problems.

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Grammatical Accuracy

The learners ability to use nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. correctly in sentences, using verb tenses accurately, and having the correct agreement between subjects and predicates. For instance, one would say "they were" instead of "they was."

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Punctuation

The learner's ability to use certain marks to clarify meaning of their writing by grouping words grammatically into sentences and clauses and phrases.

There are 3-4 errors in capitalization and punctuation.
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Spelling

The learners' ability to form words with the correct letters in the correct order

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Style

The learner's ability to tailor the written work to fit the specific context, purpose, or audience

Mostly understandable. However, there are a few errors which cause confusion.
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Easy to understand. Writing flows and keeps reader engaged.
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edhutchins88's picture
I learn : Chinese (Beginner) French (Beginner) German (Beginner) Portuguese (Beginner) Spanish (Beginner) Arabic (Beginner)
5415

Hello bananap1,

You should definitely take these IELTS exams. Like you say, they prove you are fluent in speaking and writing English.

You are already a very advanced English learner, so it is very hard (as I've told you before) for me to find things to help you improve. That said, in order to increase your self-esteem and confidence (especially when it comes to speaking English) you really need to fully immerse yourself in an English-speaking environment. I would recommend a homestay with an English family.

When I was 16, I did a homestay with a Spanish family who lived in a town near Madrid.I noticed that my Spanish vastly improved in such a short space of time. This was because I was constantly speaking Spanish from the very moment I woke up. (The family spoke no English, so I was forced to haha)

I became much more confident when speaking the language and learnt so many new words and phrases. I spent 6 months there, and when I returned to the UK and took Spanish exams (both oral and written ones), I noticed my grades were much better. I was so pleased with my progress, as  you can imagine. If you do have the time and the resources to do a homestay, I would recommend you visit a site like Lingoo: https://www.lingoo.com/en/homestay where you can find an English-speaking family to stay with. I am thinking of doing another one when I have some spare time later on this year.

What do you think? Let me know if you have any questions.

:-)

 

 

 

 
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Ros Watson's picture
I learn : Italian (Beginner) French (Beginner)
5164

Hi Bananap1

Firstly, if you speak anywhere close to the way you write you should have absolutely no problem with IELTS.  The average English person would not be able to write as well as you do!!

Secondly, band 9 is the highest and usually a 7 or possibly a 7.5 would be sufficient for a professional job in the UK.

Have you thought of taking one of the advanced Cambridge exams?  For example, CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) or CPE (Certificate in Proficiency in English).  You can find out more about these exams and try some of the sample practice tests through the website "English Revealed" https://www.englishrevealed.co.uk/ .  There's another website "Flo-Joe" which gives you the option to subscribe to syllabuses for these exams.  

In the meantime we're here to help as much as we can.  I'd wish you good luck but I don't think you need it ;)

 

Ros

 

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BeckyGreenBeans's picture
I learn : Spanish (Beginner)
4094

Hi!

My advice for speaking would be to record yourself speaking and maybe do some presentation or practice sessions with family and friends. This will help you to gain confidence with your English and eliminate the dreaded 'uhhhms' and 'uhhms' :p These fillers are part of natural speech but in an exam, just try to relax and search for the word you're looking for before pronouncing hesitation markers. I know that's easier said than done!

Thanks,

Becky :)

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Aliakbar Majidi's picture
I learn : French (Beginner) Persian (Expert) Spanish (Beginner)
5998

Hi Bananap. Your writing skills seems fabulous to me! Regarding IELTS, unless you are pursuing the English language proficiency professionally (as an English teacher, for instance), you do not need IELTS band 9, lower scores will satisfy your needs, I believe. The thing is that you should not be obsessed with the score you get on IELTS because it does not guarantee your success unless you define success as getting IELTS band 9!

I think if you can express yourself, you know enough English to succeed in your career or any other path you are pursuing.

I am not discouraging you from trying or improving your English skills, I am just saying that if you know you have tried your best, then it is good enough for your satisfaction.

One good way to improve your English skills is to watch movies and take notes of the useful phrases and idioms you hear during the screening. Then you can use them in real situations and post them here so that we can tell you whether or not you have got it right.

Good luck!

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lifetime's picture
I learn : Azerbaijani (Expert)
105

I always get my essays and other writing assignments done by livepaperhelp. I have hired a few services before but I must say that they are the best essay writing expert ever.

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