核心提示：雅思口语 的提高有绝招，朗阁名师来分享！ As people commonly known that, IELTS Speaking is a 14-minute oral English test which includes three parts. Part 1 task requires people to answer question about yourself and where you come from. In Pa
As people commonly known that, IELTS Speaking is a 14-minute oral English test which includes three parts. Part 1 task requires people to answer question about yourself and where you come from. In Part 2, you will have to speak on your own for one to two minutes with one minute preparation time. While in Part 3 task, you are tested to answer questions related to the part two topic. You are graded on fluency, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.
Among all these teaching years of IELTS Speaking at Longre, I have found that cue cards seem quite “scary” to most of our students. Getting prepared for IELTS cue cards seems extremely necessary to IELTS exam-takers.
1. What is an IELTS cue card?
In Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking module you have to speak for between 1 and 2 minutes on a set topic based on information on a card the examiner will give you. You'll be a given a minute to prepare what you want to say - just enough time to jot down some ideas to help give your talk structure and interest. The card with all the information provided is called a “cue card”.
2. How an IELTS cue card is organized?
All the IELTS cue cards are organized in the same way with one major topic and 4 sub-topics. In addition, all of the cue card topics can be divided into four different areas: people, places, things / objects and events. Look at these sample cue cards:
Describe a place you have visited that you have fond memories of.
You should say:
where this was
why you went there
what you did there
and what it was about the place that makes it so memorable.
Describe your favourite personal possession.
You should say:
what this possession is
when you first got it
when you use it
and why it's so important to you.
3. Why dealing with cue cards is difficult?
Many of my students at Longre preparing for the IELTS long turn worry how they can finish what they want to say in the time available. There are two major problems: speaking for long enough and staying coherent. Being able to organize the ideas of 1.5 minutes to 2 minutes speech in a short time, like one minute, seems impossible to many of the test takers, especially when it comes to unfamiliar topics or certain professional areas. Many of our students are just teenagers who either do not have many social experiences or just focus more on their school life without knowing too much knowledge at different fields. Here is an example to show how IELTS speaking cue cards could be quite not easy:
Describe a wedding you have been to or heard about.
You should say:
Who got married
What they wore
What they did on the day
And explain how you felt about this wedding.
Most of my young students complaint about that they either are not interested in knowing about wedding culture yet or have never been to a wedding. Furthermore, the traditional Chinese culture could be rather complicated that they have no idea how to begin the topic.
4. What is the basic rule of organizing a cue card speech?
The general solution is to use the cue card as the structure of your talk. The way to do this is quite simple: as mentioned above, all the cue cards are organized in the same way with one major topic and 4 sub-topics. Try to go through each of these topics in turn and use the cue card to organize what you say. Take the wedding cue card (example 3) for instance, what your part-2 speech might be covering: the name of the people who got married, what color or style of the wedding clothing they were, the process of the wedding (including toast, wedding games, etc.) and your feelings about this particular wedding.
5. How to organize your idea in an extended way?
Although the basic rule of developing a cue card seems quite useful, most of my students still find it challenging to think about the content in a short time so people can understand their message. The reason of causing this common problem might be the lack of idea-extending ability.
I find it helps to let my students to fit the cue card they get at the exam into the specific rule I make for the four different areas: people, places, object / thing and events. I will be discussing these four areas individually as follows:
People cards: always talk about “appearance” and “personality”
These are the two key points of people cards, although the card might not be requiring both these two. However, you can always say more than cue card says as long as it is topic-related. “Appearance” gives the examiner a better idea of this person might be like since it pictures the person. When it comes “personality”, examples or stories from your memory are required which could make your speech sound fun enough.
Describe a child you know.
You should say:
Who this child is
What he /she is like
How you met this child
And explain why you choose to talk about this child
The answers to the four sup-topics of Example 4 could be quite short, especially the first and third ones. It seems the second sub-topic is which you can drop most your ideas at. The phrases or vocabulary of describing a child’s appearance could be: “chubby face, dirty hands, red cheeks, messy hair”. Their typical personalities would be: “naughty, innocent, naïve”. Give, or make up if it is necessary, to show how “naughty, innocent, naïve” the child you are describing is.
Places cards: always talk about “hardware” and “software”
Places cue cards are always considered to be the hardest ones since most of the students feel hard to find ideas to talk about. “Hardware” and “Software” might not seem so clear as it is said. Let us look at a place cue card below:
Describe a school you attended.
You should say:
Which school this is
When you attended it
Where this school is
And explain if this school is a good one
The main topic of this cue card is easy with first three simple sub-topics. However, here lies a problem that your speech would not be long enough if you just go through them as the cue card says. Therefore, you can spend most of your speech time on the last sub-topic talking about how good the school’s hardware and software are. The areas of the “hardware” of a school are: the location, the neighborhoods, the facilities, the campus, etc. On the other hand, you can be describing: the courses, the teachers / professors, the schoolmates, the activities, the rules, etc. as the “software” part of the school.
Object / Things card
Unlike people cards and places cards, there is no certain rule to follow on object / things cards. Cue cards on this area vary a lot, from “something you made by yourself” to “a law”. However, the speech ideas to these cards always involve: the materials, the ingredients, the meaning, and the situation you got them, etc.
Events card: always talk about “5Ws” and “1H”
The ideas to events cards are thought to be the most easily-organized among these four areas if you just follow the rule of “5Ws (What, Which, Who, Where, Why” and “1H (How)”.
Describe a trip you went to
You should say:
Where you went
Who you went with
What you did on the trip
And explain why you think this trip was special
There are 4Ws required in the sub-topics. To extend your idea further, you can always add more detail to your speech. For example, which hotel you stayed, why you chose this destination, how you got to the destination, etc.
The specific could be used to help the students organize and extend their ideas in a very short time among most of the IELTS speaking cue cards whereas some might be exceptions.
6. How to get the timing right?
The best way to get the timing right is to practice organizing your talk on various topics on your own or with your study partner. Try building in a short beginning and conclusion that suit your speech style to give your talk structure. You'll almost certainly overrun or finish earlier at first but the more you practice the sooner you'll be able to master the time available. And remember, we often feel nervous when presenting and this can often lead to us speaking too quickly. Try to slow your speed down. Regular pauses between sentences will help you control the pace of your talk and the examiner will find it easier to follow what you're saying.