Staying organized in IELTS speaking part 2

  • 08/01/2018

As you know, in the second section of the IELTS speaking test, a candidate must speak for 1-2 minutes about a topic provided on a card. The card given will have a general topic and a few bullet-points that are suggestions for details that should be given in the speech.

Here is a common example:

“Describe a restaurant that you enjoyed going to.
You should say:
Where the restaurant was
Why you chose this restaurant
What type of food you ate in this restaurant and explain why you enjoyed eating in this restaurant.”

For many students, they find this section of the test to be challenging because they are worried that they cannot speak for 1-2 minutes. They claim that they lack ideas. Moreover, these students are concerned about their organization.

Just remember, candidates don’t need MANY ideas, they only need to give detailed explanations about the simple ideas they do have. Also, if a student wants to improve their organization, then it is much better to view this card as a series of simple questions like those that are given in Part 1 speaking. As a result, the card will become much more manageable and the candidate can speak in clear paragraphs.

This is what a student should imagine the card looks like:

  • What is the name of the restaurant you enjoyed going to?
  • Where is the restaurant?
  • Why did you choose this restaurant?
  • What type of food did you eat in this restaurant?
  • Why did you enjoy this restaurant?

Here is an example of a response to this card about restaurants. Please notice how the candidate is using the bullet-point prompts to give paraphrased answers. The first sentence of each paragraph is a direct answer to the question on the card. This makes it easier for the candidate to speak at length and helps the examiner follow along.

“Today, I want to tell you about a time I went to McDonald’s, which is one of the most, if not the most, famous restaurants in the world. Actually, there are very few people that cannot recognize the “golden arches” of the McDonald’s logo.

The McDonald’s that I went to is situated on a busy street in the city of Middleton, Wisconsin. It’s surrounded by large office buildings and small, private businesses. So, many of the workers stop in to get something to eat or drink before and after their work. When I was there, I saw many professionally dressed men and women.

I decided to go to this restaurant when I was done with a doctor’s appointment I had nearby. I guess a burger sounded good to me. Also, this McDonald’s is unique in that it is designed to look like a McDonald’s from the 1950s. The building is made of shiny metal. So, it was attractive. Inside, there was a lot of memorabilia from old sports teams like the New York Yankees and posters from movies from the 1950s such as Rebel Without A Cause.

As far as the food is concerned, I had a plain cheeseburger without onions, fries, and a large vanilla milkshake. Personally, I think milkshakes are the best thing about this restaurant because they are so delicious and refreshing! Usually, I buy a cheeseburger, but I may try one of their chicken sandwiches someday.

And, what did I like about the restaurant? Well, obviously, the food was great. I mean, unless a person hates fast food, they are probably going to enjoy McDonald’s. They serve high-quality products. In addition, I thought the restaurant was very cool and stylish. I felt like I had travelled in a time machine, back to the 1950s. Not bad for a 4 dollar meal! “

IELTS trainer

Mr. Mike Duvall

There is no science in this day