Monday, September 14, 2009

IELTS speaking

A client who worked with me 6 months ago and was successful in getting employment has returned for a quick IELTS fix. Naturally he has fallen in love with Australia and a young woman here so needs to sit for IELTS to be able to gain permanent residency. His English is already very good but doing a test is not a natural speaking situation. He feels that his English is a lot worse than it actually is. All he needs to do is ( my old mantra) practise, practise, practise the required texts of Part 1 speaking - answering questions, part 2 - an extended description and the daunting part 3 which involves extended discussion. As soon as we bring out a glass of wine at the end of a lesson ( he has become a family friend) he can converse with me about anything but as soon as we go into 'practice mode" he hesitates and feels intimidated. Perhaps IELTS examiners need to offer test takers a nice cold Sauvignon blanc before the speaking test! Alternatively test takers need to relax and pretend they are having a chat with someone at a dinner party.