Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds[NO SPEECH] Hello, everyone. It's Gad again. And I'm here with one of the other educators on the course, Martine. Hi.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsIt's Week 2: Speaking. Martine, how do you find this week? I have to say, actually, this is my favourite week of the course. I've spent now a couple of weeks reading what you write. And I've been really interested in what you write. But this week is when I get to hear your voices. And this is when I get to hear all of the stories that you tell. And in past courses, I've heard some really wonderful stories about interesting meals that you've had. And I'm looking forward to hearing some more. So, yeah, if you've been following us this week, you will find that our educators have been busily listening to your speaking performances that you recorded and uploaded.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 secondsSo those of you who haven't done it yet, we'd encourage you to do it. And the educators would be happy to comment on as many of them as we can get. Though, of course, no guarantees that we can do every single one of them.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 secondsHave we run out of things to say? I don't think we quite have yet. Well, the thing I'd like to say there, actually, is looking at people's performances. People were surprised to find that Misato actually got a band six. They thought they would be lower. And I think that's an important point. As I said last week, it's important that you're able to self-evaluate and know your own strengths and weaknesses. Because that's a very important component to learning.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 secondsAnd I'd really encourage you to go back to the step where we gave you the speaking band descriptors where it tells you all the different performances that you need to have at different band scores and just to see where you think you come on those and what sort of things that the examiners think are important. And I think one of the things that is very closely related to that as well is sometimes if you don't have a good sense of where you are, you might actually feel a lot of anxiety. And that topic, actually, I think came up a lot in the discussions this week. Yes.

Skip to 2 minutes and 0 secondsA lot of you did say that you were really anxious about the idea of taking a speaking exam, which I think is one of those ideas that we really can all identify with. Now-- Have you ever been nervous taking an exam? Well, I'm not sure about taking-- well, obviously, in the exams I've taken, sometimes, I felt nervous. I can also recall the time when I moved to the United States. And at the airport, the immigration officer who interviewing me. That felt like an exam. And I was scared, too. But Martine, you have taught people who have been preparing for IELTS. So what kinds of tips would you have for them?

Skip to 2 minutes and 35 secondsHm, well, already in the comments you've had a few interesting tips. Victor's talked about the importance of preparation. And that's practicing the English as much as you can-- really take every opportunity to speak English. And you should just talk to people, even if you make mistakes. And you don't need to feel sheepish about it.

Skip to 3 minutes and 3 secondsSorry, Martine doesn't like this. But fine. Don't feel sheepish. Talk. If it's any help, I also have a cow. Yeah, we're in the wilds of Cambridge right now. Are there other more sensible advice that we could give? So I think the other flip side of practise is getting really familiar with the exam. And I hope that this week has really helped you to become familiar with the exam. I'm sorry. I'm still distracted by the sheep. Well, I'll pick up on that. Because if you've been paying attention this week, you'll realise that the exam is designed in such a way that we start with the easy questions.

Skip to 3 minutes and 43 secondsThey're really questions about things personal to you so that it's easy for you to move in and get comfortable and get the English parts of your brain activated. I'm trying to keep all the English within my head. That's why I'm wearing a hat this week. But know that the test is designed in such a way to help you do your best. So don't feel too worried about that. Absolutely. Anything else? I think a lot of people come into an exam worried about a couple of things. Maybe they're worried about looking stupid. Or they're worried that, you know, they're in competition with their friends-- that their friends are doing much better than them.

Skip to 4 minutes and 21 secondsAnd I think those are two things to really be aware of and to think to yourself, well, you know what, I'm not going to be looking stupid in front of the examiner. The examiner is going to be thinking about what I'm saying. And they're going to be wanting me to do well. And as you were saying, there are all times when we feel like speaking another language is very awkward. And it's just one of those things that practise really does help get us through. So, yeah-- practise, practise, practise. And, yeah, don't compare yourself with other people. Because while they might have certain strengths, they have their weaknesses, too, just as you have your own strengths and your own weaknesses.

Skip to 4 minutes and 58 secondsSo work on your own weaknesses rather than focusing on other people's strengths, I would say. Yes. But I think strengths is a very interesting thing to pick up on. Because we often go into an exam, and we only think about our weaknesses. But you have strengths as well. You've been writing all week in the MOOC. You've written some really interesting things. I've understood all the things that I've read. So you're already doing very well on your progression in learning English. So don't only focus on your weaknesses. Actually think about the things that you can do well as well.

Skip to 5 minutes and 34 secondsIn fact, one of the things that have to be said about you is the very fact that you're on this course already says something about you-- that you're motivated to learn and to know more and learn English as well as do well on the test. And so I have no doubt that you will be able to do well once you finally decide to go and take the IELTS test or wherever you want your English to take you.

Skip to 5 minutes and 59 secondsThe only other thing I wanted to pick up on, Gad, about anxiety is you've already said that when you come into the IELTS exam, you have the easy questions at the beginning to get you speaking English and get your brain working in English. Don't worry about the fact that you will almost certainly find quite a lot of the questions or some of the questions difficult. The exam is designed to test the whole range of ability, all the way from band one-- band two-- all the way up to band nine. So you will find some of the questions difficult. And that's OK. It's not a bad sign. Yeah. Well, I think our video has gone on long enough.

Skip to 6 minutes and 37 secondsAnd you know, we still have to go spend quality time with our pets. Mm-hm. So we hope you have a good weekend. And we'll see you again next week. Bye-bye. Bye.

Round-up of Week 2

We’ll upload this video on Friday 19th January.

Watch the summary of Week 2, where we talk about some of the most interesting points from the week, including your comments and discussions.

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Inside IELTS: Preparing for the Test with the Experts

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