Category Archives: Practice

Practice IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 – with Brian Mattison!

Practice IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 – with Brian Mattison!

How to Pass IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 – DO’s and DON’Ts

The aim of the IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 is to get your speaking test off to an easy start, with familiar questions about yourself and general topics, such as family, transport, and studying. Another of the aims is to help you get to know your examiner. 

Part 1 should last around 4-5 minutes. Practice the test with our resident English-language expert trainer Brian Mattison. Why not prepare by using our special IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 DO’s and DON’Ts guide, above. Find out more about IELTS here: https://www.ielts.org/

Firstly, here are some tips for getting the most out of this activity:

  • Click on the first play button below.
  • Say your answer out loud, then click the next one when you are ready. Try to give as full an answer as possible.
  • Replay the questions as many times as you need to.
  • Get a teacher or friend to listen to your ‘conversation’ and give you feedback.
  • Try to listen and answer all of the questions, before reading the transcript.
  • Practice as often as you like – wherever you are!
  • Please leave your comments below – and share this page if you like it!

Full Transcript #3 – Practice IELTS Speaking Test Part 1:

  1. Hello. Do come in. Please take a seat. (Pause.) Welcome to IELTS Speaking Test Part 1. My name is Brian Mattison. Could you tell me your full name, please?
  2. Thank you. Can I have a quick look at your ID, please? (Pause.) OK. That’s fine – thank you.
  3. OK. Let’s begin. (Pause.) I’m going to ask you a few general questions about yourself. Can you begin by telling me about your friends. Who is your best friend? Tell me about them.
  4. Where and when did you meet?
  5. Have you ever fallen out with them? What happened?
  6. OK. Thank you. What is the best way to make new friends?
  7. Do we really need friends? Why? / Why not?
  8. OK. Thank you very much. (Pause.) I’d like to ask you a few questions now about transport. What is your favourite mode of transport – and why?
  9. How did you get here, to this place? Why did you choose that particular method of transport?
  10. Would you like to be a bus driver or train driver? Why? / Why not? What do you think would be the challenges and rewards of such a profession?
  11. Mmm. I see. How many different modes of transport have you used in your life to date?
  12. Do you think there will be more cars on the roads in the future, or fewer? Give me a few reasons.
  13. Would you like to add a little more?
  14. OK. So, thank you very much for your answers, and, er, that is the end of Part 1 of the Speaking Test.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

This is a guest post by Chris Bargery from MicroEnglish.net. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to feature your product or service on PurlandTraining.com, please get in touch.

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

When you listen to native English speakers, do you understand everything, or just enough to survive?

Most students find listening extremely difficult. Native speakers talk very quickly, connect words together, speak in a wide range of accents, and use lots of difficult language like phrasal verbs and idioms. All of this can make understanding them difficult and stressful!

Most students get very good at what I call ‘survival listening’ – understanding just enough to survive. Maybe they only understand 20-30% of what they hear, but that is usually enough to get the message, especially if they understand the context.

For example, imagine one of your colleagues says to you on Monday morning:

“Blip blap blop blep weekend?”

You only understand one thing (the word ‘weekend’), but because it is Monday morning you can make a good guess that your friendly colleague wants to hear about your weekend! You’ve survived.

The site features a wide range of listening activities

The site features a wide range of useful listening activities

This kind of listening is a very useful skill, but it is also really important for students to get better at a different kind of listening – decoding the stream of speech into individual words and phrases which you then use to understand what is being said.

Using the previous example, you would understand that your colleague said:

“What did you do at the weekend?”

Being able to correctly identify individual words and phrases means that you don’t need to make so many guesses. You are no longer just surviving, you’re understanding!

So, how do you get better at this kind of listening? The key is intensive listening.

Listen very closely to this short sentence:

Try to understand and write down every word that you hear. Listen as many times as you need to (seriously – listen 100 times if you have to!) and then check your answer at the bottom of this post.

Try to think about your mistakes. Why did you miss or misunderstand a word? Did the speaker pronounce it strangely? Was it connected to other words?

I think of this kind of listening practice as like sending your ears to the gym. It’s not easy, but it will make you a much stronger listener over time.

An interactive activity on MicroEnglish.net

An interactive activity on MicroEnglish.net

With regular practice, you will get better at automatically recognising individual sounds and phrases. You won’t need to worry so much about making guesses, so you will have more brain power available to plan what you’re going to say.

To do intensive listening, all you need is some audio with subtitles or a transcript. Ted Talks is a good start. My own site, MicroEnglish, provides lots of English listening exercises which are specifically designed to give students regular intensive listening practice. It has a large and growing archive of interactive dictations to give you practice understanding rapid conversational English in lots of different accents.

Do a little bit of intensive listening practice every day and you’ll quickly become a stronger and more confident listener in English. Good luck!


Try the interactive activity based on this phrasal verb by clicking here.


Answer to micro-dictation: I have to drop the children off at school at 9, so I’ll be with you at about 9.30.

Brian Mattison’s Spoken English Classes #2 – London

Brian Mattison’s Spoken English Classes #2 – London (Level: B1)

Brian Mattison's Spoken English Classes #2 - London

Enjoy a long weekend in London with our virtual conversation!

Hi there! Take a weekend break in London with my FREE online speaking and listening class! Here are a few tips:

  • Click on the first play button below.
  • Say your answer out loud, then click the next one when you are ready. Try to give as full an answer as possible.
  • Replay the questions as many times as you need to.
  • Get a teacher or friend to listen to your ‘conversation’ and give you feedback.
  • Try to listen and answer all of the questions, before reading the transcript.
  • Practice as often as you like – wherever you are!
  • Please leave your comments below – and share this page if you like it!

Full Transcript #2 – London:

  1. Hi, it’s Brian Mattison again. I would like you to imagine a long weekend in London. By the way, if I ask you a yes / no question, you should answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but then add further information. Is that OK?
  2. Great. Then let’s begin this one. Have you ever been to London?
  3. I heard you’re planning a long weekend in London? Who are you going with?
  4. What would you like to do there? What are some of the most famous attractions in London
  5. Imagine you’re riding the London Eye. How do you feel, so high in the sky? What can you see there? [This video might help.]
  6. Wow! It must be a really incredible view. Hey, where have you booked to stay during the weekend? Describe your choice of accommodation in London.
  7. Nice! What did you buy when you went shopping on Oxford Street and around Covent Garden area?
  8. Do you want to take in a show tonight? What do you fancy seeing?
  9. How was it?
  10. That sounds undeniably interesting. What is your idea of a perfect Sunday morning in London?
  11. Did you walk to Buckingham Palace to see where the Queen lives? What is your opinion about the British Royal Family?
  12. Did you take a boat trip on the river? Describe what you could see as you sailed down the Thames.
  13. Was there anything you didn’t like about your trip to London?
  14. It’s time to go home now. What are you final impressions of London? Did you enjoy your visit? What were the highlights for you?
  15. Mega! You know what – I forgot to ask you – what did you eat while you were in London? Did you enjoy British cuisine?
  16. Well – that’s all for this class. I think you’ve done really, really well! Maybe you’ll want to try one of my other classes here on PurlandTraining.com.
Brian Mattison's Spoken English Classes #2 - London

Sightseeing in London by red double-decker bus can be really fun!


Images:

Pexels from Pixabay

CopyrightFreePictures from Pixabay


Aron Van de Pol

Brian Mattison’s Spoken English Classes #1 – Films

Brian Mattison’s Spoken English Classes #1 – Films (Level: B1)

Brian Mattison – English Teacher Specialist

Hi there! Welcome to my online speaking and listening class! Here are a few tips:

  • Click on the first play button below.
  • Say your answer out loud, then click the next one when you are ready. Try to give as full an answer as possible.
  • Replay the questions as many times as you need to.
  • Get a teacher or friend to listen to your ‘conversation’ and give you feedback.
  • Try to listen and answer all of the questions, before reading the transcript.
  • Practice as often as you like – wherever you are!
  • Please leave your comments below – and share this page if you like it!

Full Transcript #1 – Films:

  1. Hi! My name is Brian Mattison. I’m a specialist in teaching spoken English. It seems you want to practice your speaking with somebody. Is that right?
  2. OK. Let’s get started. Today I want to talk about the topic of films – or movies, if you will. Can you start by telling me about your favourite film? For example, why do you like it? What’s so great about it? How often have you seen it? Who’s in it? And so on.
  3. That’s very interesting. What other kinds of movies do you like?
  4. Do you prefer watching films on TV or at the cinema? Why?
  5. I see. What about downloading films from the internet?
  6. Would you like to be in a film? What part would you play?
  7. Who is the best actor in the world? Give three reasons for your answer, and try to talk for about thirty seconds.
  8. Do you get annoyed by other people when you go to the cinema? What about loud talkers and popcorn crunchers? Tell me more.
  9. If a film was made of your life, what kind of film would it be? Would it be a comedy or a drama? Who would star in it, and who would direct? Tell me more.
  10. That sounds wonderful! Do you collect movie memorabilia? Have you got any film posters? Have you ever been to a film convention and met a famous actor? Which film star would you most like to meet? What would you say to them? What piece of film history would you most like to own? Tell me why.
  11. Well, I have to go now, to another important appointment. But thanks for taking the time to talk with me today. I really hope you’ve been able to improve your listening and speaking skills just a little bit. Bye for now.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay