Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondHello, everyone. Here we are at the end of Week 2. I'd just like to say a big thank you to all of you, because you've been showing a lot of positive energy on the course. In the comments section, I've been seeing you congratulate Nuria for asking good questions or cheering Misato for how she did on the Speaking Tests. I'm also glad that you're finding a lot of the material helpful and informative. James, from South Sudan, said he picked up things that he could work on related to pronunciation, and Maricela, from Colombia for example, has been exploring the differences between writing and speaking. I'd like to encourage you to keep doing this if you're able to.
Skip to 0 minutes and 45 secondsI'm also glad to see that you have been commenting on one another's speaking performances. That's very helpful, because we can all learn from one another. We are, of course, trying our best to comment on as many as we can but unfortunately, we are not able to comment on every single one of them because there are a lot more of you than there are of us. So being able to help one another out by commenting on each other's speaking is a great thing. Having said that, there are a few things I'd like to comment on at the end of the week. The first thing is that a lot of you said that you are quite nervous about doing the Speaking Test.
Skip to 1 minute and 29 secondsAnd I know it's easier for me to say it rather than for you to actually do it, but the best advice to do there is to just say don't be nervous, okay? If you think about the IELTS Speaking Test for example, in Part 1, the questions are really about you, and your likes, dislikes, your life. And if you think about it, who is there in the world who knows better about your life than you, yourself? So you know, you are the expert, so don't worry about it. In Part 2 of the Speaking Test, you're actually given all the notes you need.
Skip to 2 minutes and 5 secondsYou're given points to talk about and you do actually have a minute to sketch out what you want to say and make notes. So you know, you actually have something to look at if you think you're running out of things to say. So again, there's a support going on there. And in Part 3, the topic will always be related to what you talked about in Part 2. So you can always relate what you speak about to what you talked about previously. So if you think about the Speaking Test, there's really a lot of things that should make it easy for you, and so you really should not be too nervous, okay?
Skip to 2 minutes and 42 secondsAnd if nothing else, then what you really need to do, as we said last week, is to practise, practise, and practise, okay? And speaking of practice, you remember last week I told you to try practising doing the same thing in different ways. You can do the same thing for speaking. You can talk about the same topic, for example, but pretend that you're speaking to a professor, and then do it again pretending you're speaking to a five-year-old and see how you would use different words then. Or maybe do it one more time and pretend you're speaking to one of your friends while you're out at the restaurant.
Skip to 3 minutes and 19 secondsThis will enable you to try to use different words for different audiences and help you expand on your speaking skills okay?
Skip to 3 minutes and 32 secondsI was actually just listening to the Part 2s that you have uploaded to the website. And one of the things I should note is that while there are three bullet points that are suggested, you don't actually need to speak about them in that order, okay? So for some of you, I did notice that the way you were speaking sounded like you were looking at each line and then trying to figure out what you want to say about each. You can turn it around. So for example, the one we were working on is what made the dinner so special - you could actually start by talking about why it's special.
Skip to 4 minutes and 9 secondsSay, it was actually the wedding of my sister - start with that. And then talk about who you were with, and what you ate, and so on, and so forth. So there is no need to actually go in the order given on the prompt card, okay? And speaking about what makes the dinner so special, some of you, the way you were talking, did not seem to indicate that it was special. So here is what some of you did. Some of you said, it was a special dinner because I graduated from master's and it was a great achievement. And I was with my friends and family. Did you get what was wrong with that?
Skip to 4 minutes and 56 secondsYou sounded like someone had stolen your shirt. So remember, English does have intonation, and rise and fall. So if you are talking about the dinner being special, you probably want to say it was my graduation. And I was really glad that all my friends and family were there. The food turned out to be bad. But it didn't really matter, because it was a great day. And the most important thing was that my family was there. Do you see the difference in the tone, okay? So keep in mind, one of the criteria, again, is pronunciation. And that actually is part of the pronunciation criteria because rhythm and tone is actually assessed under pronunciation as well, okay?
Skip to 5 minutes and 43 secondsRegarding pronunciation, some of you had a few questions. So some of you are asking what do we mean by the word "stress," okay? So here, for example, I don't know if you've heard this sentence before - The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. it's a sentence we like using in English because every single letter of the alphabet is in it, and that's how you'd read it. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. You would not read it as the quick, brown fox, jumps "o," "ver" the, lazy dog, okay? Because English does not actually stress the syllables that I was stressing in that second example.
Skip to 6 minutes and 25 secondsThe natural stress of English is the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, okay? Similarly, if you say desert and "de-sert," those are two words that are spelled in exactly the same way. But depending on where you put the stress, the meaning changes completely. So you know that desert means a hot place with no water with lots of sand. And "de-sert" means to leave a place or someone else. So make sure you put your stress in the right places, because that does make a difference, okay? The second thing is I don't know if you saw a comment from one of our educators, Pauline, talking about chunking, okay?
Skip to 7 minutes and 9 secondsThe same thing - with the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. You wouldn't say, the quick - brown fox jumps - over the - lazy dog, okay? Because "quick brown" is related to "fox," so you'd always talk about it together. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Similarly, in English, we say, how are you? Not how are, you? Or how, are you? The chunking is wrong in those instances. The proper way of doing it in English is 'how are you?' Okay? So those are things you want to keep in mind. You want to put the stress in the right place, and you want to chunk up your phrases and your sentences appropriately.
Skip to 7 minutes and 56 secondsAnd the best way to learn this is to just listen to a lot of people speak English to see how English naturally is stressed and how naturally it's broken up, okay? One or two more things I'd like to point out is that I think most of you are aware of the differences between your first language and English, and it's good to make a note of these, okay? So for example, I was listening to someone whose first language is Farsi, and there are differences between English and Farsi. In English, usually the subject comes first, the verb comes next, and then the object comes last.
Skip to 8 minutes and 38 secondsBut in Farsi, sometimes you have the verb coming last and it's depending on how you end the verb is how you actually know who is doing the thing. So the subject ends up coming last. So that's one difference between English and Farsi in that sometimes you end up with the subject appearing almost as if it's in the last position. So for this member of the course, I was seeing her start with an English thing by having the subject at the beginning, moving on to the verb and object, and then adding the subject again at the end, okay? Similarly, I was listening to someone else who I think your first language is Russian.
Skip to 9 minutes and 21 secondsAnd in Russian, you don't have articles - the definite article "the," or the relative article "a." So these were missing from what you were saying. So if you know the particular differences between your first language and English, it's good to focus on those things so that you know not to make a mistake in those particular areas. Another obvious one, obviously, is in subject-verb agreements. This tends to be something that is very basic, but a lot of people find difficult. So if you're actually able to work on this, it will actually help you a lot. In speaking, these kinds of mistakes tend to come out a lot more, because you're having to speak as you go.
Skip to 10 minutes and 5 secondsAnd you're not able to clean up after yourself as you could with writing. So it does tend to show a lot more in speaking, so I'd advise you to work on it more. Look up the things that are different between English and your first language so that you can make sure that you get these things correctly, okay? I think this is getting long, so I shall let you go and have your weekend. I hope it's a great weekend. Have a great rest, and I look forward to seeing you next week again, okay? In the meantime, take care of yourselves, and I will see you in Week 3. Bye, bye.
Round-up of Week 2
Watch the summary of Week 2. Gad talks about some of the most interesting points from the week, including your comments and discussions.
Add your comments and questions below.
Looking forward to seeing you next week!
© UCLES 2016