International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a language proficiency test for non-native English language speakers. The test is conducted by IDP in India. It is designed to evaluate the writing, speaking, reading, and listening skills of applicants taking the test to migrate, work and study in countries like the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and others. IELTS Speaking is a formal discussion with the examiner, which happens face-to-face at the test center. IELTS Speaking is a compulsory section where the communication skills of the applicants are evaluated. Therefore, an aspirant also needs to know how to be confident while speaking when attempting this section.
The speaking section does not evaluate the ideas or information presented by the applicant, but his/her fluency, body language, communication skills, grammar, and vocabulary are assessed. This section tests the applicants’ ability to communicate and interact in an English-speaking country.
Along with all the obvious must-haves, one key communication skill that is judged by the examiner is the candidate’s confidence. Thus, speaking with confidence during the interview is of utmost importance and can’t be compensated with any other skill.
Let us know look at some tips to improve confidence while speaking:
- Converse in English every day: The more you practice the language, the more confident you will become. Being a non-native English speaker, one must practice speaking in English every day. Limit communication in any other language for some time if you aim to crack the IELTS examination.
- Don’t use unfamiliar words: Use simple words to ensure appropriate usage. When you are not sure of the right meaning or pronunciation, you tend to become nervous while speaking. Therefore, speak what you are completely sure of. Avoid difficult words if you are a beginner.
- Work on your vocabulary: Read magazines, newspapers, articles, and journals to learn the basics of English-speaking skills. The more you read, the more fluency you develop. When you know the basics and have a decent vocabulary, you will automatically feel confident. Weak vocabulary makes you pause, think, and stammer.
- Take an expert’s help: You learn better with someone who is more fluent than you. Get feedback on your English-speaking skills from an expert. This is how you can rectify your mistakes and learn to speak with confidence. It is always difficult to practice by yourself, especially when it comes to improving your speaking skills.
- Improve your grammar: Grammar helps in sentence construction and fluency. Grammatical errors while speaking will shake your confidence. To be confident while speaking, you need to understand tenses, pronouns, and connectors. Connectors will help you connect two sentences in an effective manner.
- Face the mirror and practice English speaking: Speak aloud and listen to it later. You will be able to spot mistakes, so repeat and rectify. Wrong English will not be pleasant to the ears and will motivate you to improve. Try to speak loudly, so that you can easily spot the mistakes. This is a great way of improving speaking skills while working on pronunciation and intonation.
- Watch English shows/movies/news: You will start speaking fluently and confidently if you dedicate a good amount of time watching English shows, movies, or news. Give 30 minutes every day to hear dialogues, English movies, or documentaries.
- Learn from your mistakes: It is okay to fumble and stammer while speaking out complicated and long words. You must learn from mistakes, and in this way, you will be able to gain more confidence. When you find it difficult to fluently speak long and complex words, break them. You will soon be able to use them easily.
- Spot your weaknesses: Being a non-native English speaker, you may have weak spots such as low vocabulary, grammar, fluency, pronunciation, accent, and tone among others. Identify the weak spots and try to work on them. It is important to focus more on the weak spots and rectify them.
- Be expressive: The speaking section is a formal, face-to-face interaction where the applicants must be open and expressive. The more open and expressive you are while speaking, the better your confidence level will be.
- Speak slowly: Speaking slower (and not too slow) makes you sound more confident. You cannot speak fast to bring in fluency. Fluency comes with good vocabulary and strong grammar. Don’t rush while speaking. Be slow, pronounce well, and make sure you structure your sentences correctly.
- Dress appropriately: Your body posture, outfit, and non-verbal communication skills play a huge role in making you a good speaker. Effective communication is the key to becoming a confident speaker.
Applicants appearing for the IELTS examination need to work on their pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary to communicate better and with confidence. The above-mentioned tips will surely help the aspirants in improving their English-speaking skills.