“I am planning to take the IELTS examination; however, I really feel anxious with my speaking skills. I am not a good English speaker to be honest and I am afraid that my regional accent has a very strong influence with my pronunciation. What should I do?”
Filipinos have their own regional accents. These accents are a pride of their culture; however, since it has been part of their growth, their accents in speaking are strongly affected by it. This may come as a problem when you are someone taking the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination. The IELTS has a speaking examination wherein one should be prepared in answering questions face-to-face an examiner. People who have taken the IELTS have always considered this as very difficult and intimidating. However, for some, with the right confidence and preparation, say that getting a high score for the exam is a piece of cake. How can one prepare for the IELTS speaking?
• Understand the three tasks of the examination. Know the objective of these tasks. Once you know them generally, giving responses will come out naturally.
• Find out the usual questions asked in the first task. Since it is more about personal information, giving responses will not be a problem. However, make sure that the responses are related to the question asked. Remember to use the right verb tenses: when asked about past activities, make sure to have the verb tenses in the simple past form.
• Follow the guide questions in the second task. There are a lot of free questions online. When giving a response, all of these questions should be answered. Use the guide questions as your outline to have a smooth transition in your answer.
• Watch English movies and observe how these people talk. Take note on the way they deliver their lines and get an idea how you will carry yourself during the IELTS interview.
• Practice pronunciation. Use tongue twisters as starters to warm up your speaking skill. Read articles aloud and check the dictionary on how certain words are pronounced. The more you are exposed to the English language, the lesser regional accent present in your speaking.
• Find a speaking partner. Have this someone rate your speaking skills. Someone who can assess your improvement during your review.
Speaking English may be difficult but through practice, learning the skill is easy. Expose yourself in situations where you can speak English and overcome the fear from taking the IELTS speaking test.