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Tips for IELTS Speaking Part 2 (The Long Turn)

In the IELTS speaking part 2, you will be given a topic by the examiner, and you have to speak for two minutes. The topic will be one that the examiner chooses and you cannot change it.

They are always things that you should have some experience of and be able to talk about. However, some students find it difficult to do because you only have one minute to prepare what you are going to say. You may also be nervous having to speak for 2 minutes in front of someone.

You don't want to run out of things to say so in this lesson there are some tips to help you extend your long-turn.

Let's imagine that you are given this IELTS speaking part 2 question:

Describe someone who has had an important influence on your life.

You should say:

  • Who the person is
  • How long you have known him/her
  • What qualities this person has

Explain why they have had such an influence on you  

Firstly, you must talk about the topic on the card.

However, if you only talk about the specific questions on the card, you may find that you finish too soon.

As long as you keep to the topic, it is ok to talk about other things.

Here are two things you can do in the minute you have before you speak to help you find more to say for the IELTS speaking part 2.

Tips for Extending your Response

Use other ‘question’ prompts

These are question prompts:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • How
  • Why

When you prepare, write down the other question prompts that are not on the list, and think of things you can say about those as well. You need to stay on topic but it's ok to talk about things that are not directly related to the question prompts.

For example:

  • When - When did you meet?
  • Where – Where did you meet?

Think of a Story

You can also tell a story about the person, place, event or thing you are discussing. So in your one minute, think of and note down a quick and preferably interesting story to tell about the topic.

You can tell the story anywhere in your IELTS speaking part 2, as long as it fits in.

Example IELTS Speaking Part 2

Describe someone who has had an important influence on your life.

You should say:

  • Who the person is
  • How long you have known him/her
  • What qualities this person has

Explain why they have had such an influence on you  

The person I’m going to talk about today is my teacher from high school. (who) Her name was Miss Chadwick and she taught quite a few subjects at the school. She had been working there for quite a few years when I met her I think. (where) We met for the first time in my English class. (more about ‘who’) I remember this well because she was quite young compared to most of the other teachers in the school so I was surprised that she was a teacher! In fact she looked more like she could be one of the older students!

(How long) So I met her when I was 15, and that was 10 years ago. I don’t actually know her anymore as we lost contact soon after I left the school, but I still remember her very well for several reasons. (What qualities) Firstly, she was very kind. She always treated all the students very well in the class, and I can’t remember her ever shouting at anyone. Also, she had a really good sense of humour. She would make jokes in the class which most of the other teachers never did. The other teachers were very serious all the time. And she made the classes a lot of fun and very interesting, something that I think is very important otherwise you start to get bored. Oh, and also she explained things very well and very clearly. Often teachers are not able to do this in a way that students can understand, especially when it's complicated subjects.

So those are the qualities that she had. (why such an influence) The reason she had such an important influence on me is because I was quite a shy person at school and not very confident, but she helped me to change this. (tell a story) Each year, there was a school play that would be held in front of all the parents, and that year, when I was 15, Miss Chadwick was organizing and directing the play. I really didn't want to be in it because I was so shy, but Miss Chadwick insisted that I take one of the roles, and it was one of the main roles which meant that I would have to do a lot of speaking! I was so nervous. Anyway, I went ahead and did it, and on the night I did really well and really enjoyed it. And that really boosted my confidence and this has helped me to this day.

So my teacher Miss Chadwick is the person who has influenced my life and I will never forget her.

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