We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Skip main navigation

How will IELTS Speaking prepare you for higher education?

Watch this video in which Gad Lim from Cambridge English Language Assessment discusses how university students need to use spoken English.
4.2
Here’s a question I have for you: When professors lecture in class, is their language more like the language used in textbooks or the language used in getting a drink at the coffee shop? There are people who have gone around collecting large samples of language and analysing them, and what they found might surprise you. It turns out that professors don’t sound like textbooks, even if you think that’s what they sound like. True, they will use vocabulary words and technical terms that you find in textbooks, but in most other ways, the way they talk has more in common with the barista behind the coffee shop counter.
41.2
In other words, spoken and written language are quite different, as you’ll see in the article that follows this video. But the way people talk inside and outside of university is actually more similar than different. Besides, while we’re at university, we don’t spend all our time in the lecture hall. We’re also in study groups, we interact with the university staff and, yes, sometimes we also do need to go out and get a cup of coffee to keep ourselves going. In going about these, we need to make friendly conversation with people. We need to share our ideas. And we need to respond to people challenging our ideas. The three parts of the IELTS Speaking test captures these different aspects of speaking.
86
And so know that if you are preparing for the IELTS Speaking test, it will help you when you arrive at university.
Watch Gad talking about how you will need to use spoken English at an English-speaking university.
Gad says that academic spoken English is quite similar to general spoken English, but there are some important differences between spoken and written English. What do you think these differences are?
We will find out more about this in the next step.
This article is from the free online

Inside IELTS: Preparing for the Test With the Experts

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education