You Tube listening advice for IELTS Speaking Part 3

Using YouTube to support IELTS speaking study is a great idea. This blogpost offers advice for IELTS students keen to improve their speaking grade. The advice will focus on identifying phrases to use in IELTS Speaking Part 3.

Topics in IELTS Speaking Part 3

So, in this part of the exam, the examiner will ask a broader range of questions from the topic introduced in part 2. These topics are quite general and include health, family, work, education and travel. Part 3 lasts for 4-5 minutes, and the student is expected to give longer and more developed answers than in part 2, including examples and plenty of detail. Equally, the questions in part 3 are less personal than the ones in part 2, so the student will be talking about the topic objectively, rather than just their own feelings or experiences in relation to it.

For example, in part 2 students might be asked questions about their experiences of holidays or travel, whereas in part 3 the questions would be about the changing nature of holidays and travel in their country, or about the effects of travel and holidays on the environment or local culture.

Topics and assessment in IELTS Speaking Part 3

Range of vocabulary is an important part of the assessment. This means that repeating key nouns and verbs will be penalized. In my experience unprepared students tend to circle around the topic, reusing the same nouns and verbs, and can struggle to score more than a band 5 if they also have problems with complex grammar and pronunciation.

So, using Youtube to expand vocabulary for specific topics can solve this problem. You need to find words and phrases which English speakers associate with particular topics, as this is generally ‘good’ English, and will add the right kind of language to your current vocabulary.

For example, when I searched for ‘family travel’ on YouTube I found ‘Best Family Holiday Destinations 2019’ on the ‘The Backpacking Family’ channel. After watching the first top two destinations, I noted down phrases like ‘chilling on the beach’, ‘budget travel’, ‘brimming with culture’, ‘spoilt for choice’ and ‘romantic walk’. Also, the verb ‘to explore’ is used throughout the first five minutes of the video. This kind of language is exactly what students need to use to broaden their vocabulary for IELTS Part 3.

Equally, when I did a YouTube search for ‘Health and Diet’ I found ‘Super Foods for your Heart’. There was a list of healthy foods like ‘tomatoes’ and ‘oranges’, a list of health conditions like ‘diabetes 2’ and phrases like ‘avoiding disease’. Also, after watching a couple more videos about diet, I noted phrases like ‘processed food’ and ‘red meat’. Again, using this topic-specific language in the IELTS speaking part 3 can help improve your score from 5 to 6, or even 6 to 7.

Good luck with expanding your vocabulary!

Useful resources

Best Family Holiday Destinations 2019

IELTS Advantage


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