Are you nervous about taking your IELTS Speaking Test? Effective communication skills are necessary to score high on your speaking test. The IELTS Speaking Test is 11-14 minutes long and is in three parts. In the first part. you will answer questions about yourself, your family, work, and personal interests. In the second part, you will speak about a topic. In the third part, you will have a longer discussion about the topic introduced in the second part.
In the Speaking Test, you will have an interactive discussion with a certified examiner. Delivering information in a way that is clear and easily understood can help you improve your IELTS score. You must feel comfortable and confident when communicating and reduce the use of distracting words, like using filler words.
What are filler words?
Filler words are words, phrases or sounds that fill up space in conversation without adding substance. Research by Quantified Communications revealed that the optimum frequency of using filler words is about one filler per minute. An average speaker uses five filler words every minute. Here are some types of filler words:
How to use filler words in a correct way
Using filler words during your IELTS Speaking Test can reflect poorly on your communication skills. It is recommended to speak clearly and directly to avoid large gaps in the conversation. You must practice a lot and prepare yourself before taking the IELTS Test to feel confident in your knowledge, pacing and delivery style. However, you can use filler words in the correct way during your conversation. Here is how:
1. Fluency forms 25% of the IELTS Speaking Score. Use filler words when you need time to organize your thoughts. This could help you fill in the space while you think of an answer. This could help you deliver your next statement while maintaining your fluency. Here is an example to help you understand better:
Question: If you could change anything about your apartment/house, what would you change?
Possible Answer: Well, to be honest, I haven’t thought about it. I mean, if I need to change one thing in my apartment, I would like to add paintings to the living room.
The underlined phrases are filler words. When you use these words, it allows you to maintain a constant flow of speech.
2. Don’t use “Umm” or “Ahh” at the beginning of your answer. It signals you don’t know what to say. Using “Umm” and “Ahh” filler words in the middle of a sentence goes with the native flow of speech.
3. You must know several filler words to increase your range of vocabulary. As a starting point, we have mentioned some filler words in the above table. Use different filler words in your answer to avoid repetition. Vocabulary repetition can negatively affect your IELTS score.
4. Filler words can help you make a sentence more indirect or polite. Here is an example:
a. There is something in your teeth.
b. I think, umm, something is stuck in your teeth.
The first sentence is a direct one, which makes it a bit harsh for the listener. The second sentence is more polite of saying the same thing.
5. Filler words like “right?” and “you know?” can help you encourage feedback from the examiner and promote engagement.
Filler words don’t add any substantial value to a sentence. They allow you to take a second and think about what you’re going to say next. Using them correctly during your IELTS Speaking Test can help you sound natural, maintain fluency, and continue your speech. Practice as much as you can to improve your communication skills and spoken English.
When you’re ready to take the IELTS test, book your test centre in advance. At IELTS AOLCC, we have IELTS test booking centres in London, Kingston, Mississauga, and Brampton. Select the ideal dates for your IELTS Test and book ahead anytime. Our IELTS test booking centres offer both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests.