Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – IELTS Coaching: Episode 005 – Lexical Recourse & Correcting

Guys, welcome back to another IELTS Coaching podcast and Facebook live.  Last week was a success in terms of doing the joint podcast/live, so I decided to go through with it again this week.  Let’s dive into the good stuff!

Improving your Lexical Resource score

This is a criteria that you will be graded on.  You will score well only if you use a wide range of vocabulary and don’t limit yourself to basic words and phrases.  During the speaking test, try not to use the same words and use synonyms.  I’ve also told my students to use idiomatic expressions if you can.

A student recently asked me, “is it good to use idioms?” YES! The examiner doesn’t care about formality. That’s not “natural” English.

Here are some expressions.

  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • You can’t judge a book by its cover.
  • The best of both worlds.
  • My teacher was a bit of a slave driver.

Checking, correcting and assessing.

  1. Dealing with problems.
  2. Pronunciation and intonation
  3. Running words together (chunking, which I’ll have in my Advanced lesson next year)
  4. Assessing your level.

Always listen carefully to the examiner’s questions to make sure that you answer them fully and appropriately.  Also, some teachers say “don’t ask them to repeat the question,” because then you’ll lose marks, but I don’t think this is entirely true because other examiners who I’ve worked for have said the exact opposite.

Useful phrases for dealing with mistakes or problems in the test.

  • Sorry, I meant to say
  • I’ve never really thought about that before.

Fourth Criterion: Pronunciation

  • Pronouncing individual sounds clearly.
  • Using intonation and stress to help communicate your ideas.
  • ‘Chunking’ (running your words together naturally and clearly, not in a robotic way).

A great way to practice intonation and fluency is simply by copying NES speakers.  Again, I tell my students not to sound like them, but more just to mimic them.  Listen to some recordings or even my podcasts and you’ll understand.

Here are some random examiners comments on the four criteria.

  • Slow speech and frequent hesitation.
  • Discourse markers (well, so, it depends, actually, I think so)
  • Good vocabulary (architectural design, last two decades, cooperative and tolerant).
  • Limited flexibility is demonstrated by lack of range, repetition of certain items.
  • SLow speech interferes with chunking and rhythm and she has a problem with ‘th.’

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