A common problem that IELTS candidates have in the first part of the speaking test is coherence. They need to formulate their answers in such a way that the information they provide is in a proper order. They also need to be fluent, which means they should not pause frequently or repeat what they say.
To deal with this, I often advise my students to give direct answers to the examiner’s questions, and follow up with details, explanations, reasons and examples for their answers. Starting your answer with a direct answer gives you a clear idea of what to talk about during the next 2-3 sentences. You could sometimes add another point once you have finished explaining the first one.
Look at the questions and answers below. Notice how I’ve begun my answers with a direct answer and then expanded it. In the last two answers, I have added a second point after the the first one has been presented and expanded.
What’s your favourite colour?
– Definitely black. I think it’s really stylish and goes well with almost any other colour. And everything looks more expensive in black!
Do you like the same colours now as you did when you were younger?
– Well, no. I used to love blue when I was a teenager because it was the colour of my favourite team, but then I grew out of it, I guess. You know, I just didn’t feel the same about it after I stopped following football.
What can you learn about a person from the colours that they like?
– You could guess what their mood is. You know, like, when they wear white, they usually feel peaceful and calm. You could also sometimes find out if the person is religious or not because religious people often wear special colours on certain days, like Shia muslims who wear black during the Ashoora festival.
Do any colours have a special meaning in your culture?
– Of course. White is the bridal colour so almost every girl wears white at her own wedding. Black means sadness, and wearing black usually shows someone in the family or a close friend has died.