Pronunciation - The Basics
Pronunciation – The Basics
September 4, 2019
5 lessons – Positive Slang – lesson 2
September 7, 2019
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– What the IELTS Band Descriptors say:

  • shows all the positive features of Band 4 and some, but not all, of the positive features of Band 6.

So what does that really mean?

Not the most informative piece of writing for a student, and this level can pose more questions than answers. It basically means the student is starting to produce language that is clear but no regularly enough to score higher.

Students at this level don’t have a decent amount of control over their speech and their mother tongue still has an influence on how they pronounce vowel sounds and the general quality and clearness when they are speaking.

Speech is slow and clunky and difficult to understand the meaning behind a great deal of what is being said.

What can I do?

There’s nothing harder than listening to somebody who speaks without any emotion. Flat speech is a sign that you have memorized what you are saying and are merely repeating it. Examples of this are when questions fail to rise at the end, or surprise is not shown. It sounds robotic.

The speed of speech is slow at this level as candidates struggle to find the language. Pronunciation and fluency are closely matched here as one influences the other. Try to speak in a calm manner at a speed you are comfortable with. Racing through the words and getting as much information across is not what it’s about. Producing the language so that it can be understood is more important.

Simple control of basic pronunciation is something you need to be able to score higher than this. I list my top three that I came across here and I advise you to look through it. If you are making mistakes with the pronunciation of ‘th'[ð] and plurals such as clothes pronounced ‘clotheses’ – then you will never gain higher than a five.

John Riley
John Riley
John Riley is an Australian native English speaker who has worked in education for the past 8 years. He has recent experience with screenplay writing and script analysis, and has a BA Hons degree, TEFL and CELTA qualifications. John is an expert in linguistics for the British Council in Beijing, where he has tested and marked English written and spoken work for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

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