Many IELTS candidates want to know if it is necessary to have good pronunciation in the IELTS Speaking test. In today’s tip I am going to discuss the importance of pronunciation and present some tips on how you can improve yours.
The IELTS Speaking test marking criteria
According to the IELTS marking criteria, you will be assessed on four skills:
- fluency and coherence
- lexical resource (vocabulary)
- grammatical range and accuracy
As you can see, pronunciation is important. But don’t worry too much. You do not have to speak with a native speaker accent. In the IELTS test, good pronunciation means that the examiner can understand you very clearly. However, if you feel that you need to improve your pronunciation, here are some tips.
It is not easy to improve your pronunciation in a short time. However, if you follow the advice below, you should see some improvement.
Improve your listening skills — the more you listen to native speakers, the better your pronunciation will be. If you want to improve your listening skills, find some English video clips within subtitles in English. Turn off the subtitles, play the videos and try to transcribe them. Then turn on the subtitles and compare with your transcription. You will notice which sounds you have a problem with and you can try to improve them. Also, try to notice how some words sound different when native speakers speak quickly.
Follow a pronunciation course — You can find lots of free video courses on pronunciation. BBC learning English publish an excellent free British English pronunciation course on YouTube, consisting of 53 videos:
Remember that British, Australian and American native speakers have slightly different ways of pronouncing words. However, British English and Australian English are more similar.