IELTS Speaking Part 2
Topic - tourism
If you ever have to give a short speech in English this lesson will help you get through it.
In part 2 of the IELTS speaking test – also known as ‘the long turn’ you are asked to speak for about 2 minutes on a topic that asks you to describe something or someone.
Students find this part of the test difficult – so would native speakers because:
- 2 minutes is a long time to speak
- The part 2 task requires a one way formal technique
Let’s take a look at my example. It’s around 250 words which is normal for 2 minutes of speech – some useful vocabulary and techniques are highlighted.
Describing an interesting place that you have visited
I once visited Morocco. I was on my way to Australia and for some reason myself and my girlfriend at the time decided to take a detour and visit. It was a while ago now but the place from the whole trip that still stands out most in my mind is the stay in Marrakech. There are few places I have been where it feels like you have just crossed into another world or time. Of course there was a lot of touristy stuff and you got pestered by people trying to sell you things but as we sat in a café by the market, with our mint teas, the day turned to night, the colours, sounds and smells of the place took over and you got the feeling of a unique atmosphere.
At the time we really weren’t getting on but because the place felt so different and new to both of us we managed to put things aside and just enjoy the noise, the buzz of the place. During the day after the long trip we were kind of stressed out but now in the heat of the night it was just about trying to soak in each moment before we had to leave. It was fun being together there because sharing it made it more real.
The morning after we had to leave, and we had to go back to the real world. We broke up soon after and she kept the camera. Now if I want to see Marrakech I have to google it.
Just because the technique is formal does not mean that you can’t use informal words and phrases in your description – it helps to engage the examiner who is probably bored..
Touristy stuff – Native speakers often add a y to nouns when they are describing things of a kind. Art-y stuff – We can make new adjectives from nouns like this.
The buzz – a lively atmosphere
Stressed out - to be really uncomfortable or irritable with a situation, person, or thing.
Broke up – to split up, to separate from your partner
Google it – a new verb to search for something using google.
feels like – notice rather than describing the details of the place I’m talking about my feelings there – this is much easier unless you have a great memory!
you got the feeling – as well as speaking from a very personal viewpoint (it’s easy that way) I’m also including the listener in my story – easy trick to create interest
We broke up soon after and she kept the camera – Again this has nothing to do with the place but it works to provide a revealing end to my story it’s an anecdote.
- In part two try and tell a story
- Speak from a personal view point
- Make the listener interested in your story with good vocabulary and technique.
- Don’t waste time trying to remember details
Topic ideas (this section will be updated with more resources):
5 great things about London
Describe an interesting place that you have visited
You should say:
- Were it was
- What you did there
- And why you found it interesting
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