Jose Lara

Jose Lara

MA of Applied Linguistics. English Language Teacher, Course Coordinator and Learning Designer at Macquarie University. Over 20 years of teaching experience in Venezuela, KSA, Bangladesh and Australia.

Location Sydney, Australia


  • @RaquelDirk Hi Raquel and Ashma. We have fixed the problem we had with the issuance of the certificates, so you should have received them by now. Congratulations for completing the course!

  • Thanks for sharing these tips Eman!

  • Jose Lara made a comment

    Hi everyone! If you have reached this step, it is because you have completed all the input we have prepared for you, so well done! In the link above you'll find more practice questions. Don't forget to record your answers so that you can analyse them and see where you need to improve.

  • Hi all. A common word I've read in the comments is 'practice'. If you'd like to practice more, don't forget that at the end of this week, just like in weeks 1 and 2, there is a link with more practice questions for all item types.

  • Hi Coker. I am not sure what your problem is. You can record your answers using this link:

  • Hi Eman, thanks for sharing your attempt. Overall, the your answer was clear, though pay attention to the pronunciation of the words /wide/ (you dropped the /d/ sound) and discovery.

  • Hi everyone and welcome to week 3! I see that many of you want to improve their pronunciation. I hope that the tips we have here for you help you achieve just that. Remember that your aim should be to speak intelligibly regardless of the accent you may have from your mother tongue.

  • You're right Eman. A dependent clause cannot stand alone, that is, it will always need an independent clause so that the idea is complete. Imagine if I said this dependent clause to you: "Eman, if it rains today..." and I stop there... I'm pretty sure you'd say: "What about if it rains?"

  • Hi Coker, I'm glad you're finding the course useful. What has been your favourite part of week 2?

  • We are glad that you're finding the information useful. Remember that at the end of each week, you'll find a padlet link to practice questions, including Re-tell Lecture items. Make sure you put into practice the things you've learnt.

  • Hi everyone. Remember that in these 'Analysing responses' videos, we give you the chance to try one sample question. Don't forget to record yourself so that you can listen to your own response and assess your performance. If you record your answer using Speakpipe, feel free to paste the link here.

  • Hi everyone, and welcome to week 2 of the course. I can see that some of you cannot clearly see the graph in this video. I suggest you try the following:
    * watch the video from a laptop or a computer (larger image),
    * adjust the HD setting in the video (next to the subtitle button) to 1080p.

  • We are glad that many of you have found this step useful. Now that you are more familiar with the format of the speaking section of the test, let's learn more about the item types.

  • Hi everyone! I am really excited to welcome you all to the course. It's nice to see so many people from so many countries eager to improve their language skills. Rose and I wish you all the best in the next three weeks of the course.

  • Hi everyone! As you could see, organising ideas during the planning time is crucial to providing a well organised and coherent answer. Make sure you make the most of that 1 minute.

  • This is why the planning stage is important. Use key words (names, numbers, places) and refer to your planning sheet when giving your answer.

  • Hi Luisa. Try using the plan structure we have suggested when you practice for this part of the test. You'll see how you can provide a better organised answer.

  • Hi everyone! I can see how most of you have analysed Camilo's responses and appropriately identified the areas he improved. If you could do this with Camilo, you can also do it with your own responses! In the next steps, you'll find some practice questions for Part 2 of the test. Record your answers (using the tips we give you for this part), listen to them...

  • Hi Valentina. It's good that you could identify that Camilo improved the way he organised his ideas. In the following steps, we'll show you how to do this in an effective way.

  • Lilia, the topics for part 2 of the test are quite broad and do not require any background knowledge. In step 2.6 you'll find some practice topics.

  • Hi Juan Camilo. Have a look at the tips and strategies we have for Part 2 of the test. I hope you find them useful.

  • Leidy, you are right. Organising ideas logically is crucial to getting a good score. In the following steps, we'll show you one way to plan your ideas for part 2 of the test.

  • This is really important Andres, especially if you find that you have covered all the prompts in the topic card and still haven't spoken for 2min.

  • @NoviantiPurwidiastuti Hi! We're glad you're enjoying the padlet activities!

  • Hi Anna. I'm glad you found this information useful. I hope your students do too!

  • @JackWilliamson Hi Jack. I could not agree more with you. Planning is the first step towards a good answer for Part 2 of the test.

  • Jose Lara made a comment

    Hello everyone and welcome to Week 2 of the Improve your IELTS Speaking Score!
    I can see that many of you also find Part 2 of the test quite challenging. If you think you need to improve in this area, I invite you to complete the upcoming steps and do the padlet activities.

  • Jose Lara made a comment

    Hi all! Some of you are asking why there are ten different padlets inside the links. This is to give everyone a chance to record their answers. You don't need to click on all 10 padlets as they all have the same questions. Just find one that is not too full. If you see the message "THIS PADLET IS NOW FULL", move on to the next one.

  • Hi everyone! We have made some changes to the padlet links so that everyone has a chance to practice and complete the activities above. Please read the instructions carefully to avoid problems. If you see that one of the padlets is full, move on to the next one.

  • Hi everyone! We are glad you have enjoyed using It is a great site to improve your vocabulary range!

  • Jose Lara made a comment

    Hi everyone! I see that some of you are posting your audio links in the comment box below. I'm super happy to see so many answers! However, I suggest you click on the padlet above. This way you can still record your answers and you will be able to reply to other participants.

  • As we told Ming Wei, pronunciation is only one of four criteria in your IELTS Speaking Test. Your aim should be to be understood when you speak, despite your accent. In this course you will learn several pronunciation strategies that can help you speak with better pronunciation.

  • Hi everyone! It's great to see so many comments from so many of you! It is also good to see that you have identified which areas you think you need to improve your speaking skills. This is very important as you can then focus on these areas. We hope that the skills and strategies you are about to learn in this course are useful.

  • Hi Sadia. Thanks for pointing out the typo. We've already fixed it.

  • Hi everyone! I can see that many of you really enjoyed this step. As you can see, to speak well, you need to think about what you say and also how you say it. This is when sentence stress is so important to convey clear meaning. You can learn more about this in the 'Intonation' step in week 2.

  • Hi Ana, you are right. It is not only about what you say but also how you say it. This is why stress is so important when conveying meaning. Have a look at the intonation step in week 2 to learn more about this.

  • Hi Leva. Just like Ming Wei, I suggest you record your answers, and listen to them again in a couple of days. Then record yourself again answering the same questions and trying to improve word form.

  • Hi Adnan, I'm glad this lesson helped you. I hope you complete the other steps and improve your language skills.

  • Hi Rafael. You are right. With some words, their pronunciation can be quite similar in speech, and this is completely fine, as long as comprehension is not affected. The purpose is not to pronounce every single word perfectly, but to make yourself understood.

  • I'm glad you enjoyed it Fatima. Continue with the other steps to learn more about how to improve your speaking skills.

  • Nice collocations and examples Eric!

  • Hi Eimy and Rosa. It is a common mistake indeed. But this is a grammatical mistake and not related to vocabulary. In week 2 of the course, we cover some grammar points which you may find useful.

  • Giselle, they are actually quite common. This is why we suggest you sue them in your speech. Maybe you were just not aware of them. I hope you find the following activities useful.