IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|8. Adding colour

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Match the description of things and places with the pictures

Read the Speaking task in the green box and make brief notes

Exam information
Speaking

1-14 min.

3 parts

Oral interview: an examiner + a candidate

Speaking test is recorded

Part 1 – Introduction and interview – 4-5 minutes

Part 2 – Long turn – 3-4 minutes including the preparation time

Part 2 is the individual long turn. The examiner gives the test takers a task card which asks them to talk about a particular topic, includes points to cover in their talk and instructs the candidates to explain one aspect of the topic. The test takers are given one minute to prepare their talk. The examiner asks them to talk for 1 to 2 minutes, stops the candidates after 2 minutes, and asks one or two questions on the same topic.

Part 3 – Discussion – 4-5 minutes

Making notes during the preparation time helps the test takers think of appropriate things to say, structure their talk, and keep talking for 2 minutes.
🔗More information

pic1_IELTS|Upper-Int|L8

Describe something colourful that you bought in the past

You should say:

  • why you bought the item;
  • what it looks/looked like;
  • what other people think/thought of it;

and explain how you feel/felt about this item.

Listen to Zandra doing the sample speaking task and complete the phrases in the table which she uses to begin and end the talk

pic2_IELTS|Upper-Int|L8


Well, one of the most colourful things that I’ve ever bought is a sort of doll that I got when I was on holiday in Java. Um, it’s actually a puppet, and it has a special name in Indonesia, but I’m afraid, I can’t remember what it is. Um, let me see. I decided to buy this doll because we’d been to a puppet theatre and seen a performance, and it was just fantastic … I mean, I’ve seen some terrible puppet shows in the past, but these dolls were … expressive — they came alive. Um, the story included a certain amount of fighting, which was probably quite frightening for children, but it was also magical, and the good guy won, which I like. Actually, my doll looks pretty old, even though it was made, you know, er, made in this era … er, by that I mean it wasn’t made that long ago! It’s only wooden, but dressed in really bright, attractive materials, like batik — a long red and gold dress and a tall, coloured hat. Also, as I mentioned before, it’s an Indonesian puppet, which means it’s supported by these, um, long, thin pieces of wood attached to it that are used to make the limbs move. I’ve got mine in my room, and people always notice it. Some of my friends think she’s very scary, and others, like me, are really drawn to her. I mean, she’s so eye-catching, I think partly because of the colours, but also because, as I said, she has this sort of magic about her. For me, well, ultimately, I feel that she protects me from bad things and brings me good luck. So I’ll always keep her.


Complete the sentences 1-5 so as they are true for you

pic3_IELTS|Upper-Int|L8

Listen again and complete the table with the phrases helping Zandra’s talk flow smoothly

Well, one of the most colourful things that I’ve ever bought is a sort of doll that I got when I was on holiday in Java. Um, it’s actually a puppet, and it has a special name in Indonesia, but I’m afraid, I can’t remember what it is. Um, let me see. I decided to buy this doll because we’d been to a puppet theatre and seen a performance, and it was just fantastic … I mean, I’ve seen some terrible puppet shows in the past, but these dolls were … expressive — they came alive. Um, the story included a certain amount of fighting, which was probably quite frightening for children, but it was also magical, and the good guy won, which I like. Actually, my doll looks pretty old, even though it was made, you know, er, made in this era … er, by that I mean it wasn’t made that long ago! It’s only wooden, but dressed in really bright, attractive materials, like batik — a long red and gold dress and a tall, coloured hat. Also, as I mentioned before, it’s an Indonesian puppet, which means it’s supported by these, um, long, thin pieces of wood attached to it that are used to make the limbs move. I’ve got mine in my room, and people always notice it. Some of my friends think she’s very scary, and others, like me, are really drawn to her.
I mean, she’s so eye-catching, I think partly because of the colours, but also because, as I said, she has this sort of magic about her. For me, well, ultimately, I feel that she protects me from bad things and brings me good luck. So I’ll always keep her.

Read the extract from Zandra’s talk and decide where her voice might rise or fall to show her feelings. Then listen to check your answers

pic4_IELTS|Upper-Int|L8

I mean, I’ve seen some terrible puppet shows in the past, but these dolls were expressive — they came alive.

I mean, I’ve seen some terrible ↘ puppet shows in the past, but these dolls were ↗ expressive — they came ↗ alive.


Read the sentences and mark the possible intonation change. Then listen to check your answers

pic5_IELTS|Upper-Int|L8

1. I decided to buy this doll because we’d been to a puppet theatre and seen a performance, and it was just fantastic.

2. The story included a certain amount of fighting, which was probably quite frightening for children, but it was also magical, and the good guy won, which I like.

3. Actually, my doll looks pretty old, even though it was made, you know, made in this era.

4. It’s only wooden, but dressed in really bright, attractive materials, like batik.

5. Some of my friends think she’s very scary, and others, like me, are really drawn to her.

6. I feel that she protects me from bad things and brings me good luck.

Read the Exam tips in the yellow box and decide in what ways your speaking can be improved

pic6_IELTS|Upper-Int|L8

Exam tips

Speaking Part 2

1. Use appropriate phrases to introduce and end your talk and to help you keep going.

2. Paraphrase when you don’t know the word(s).

3. Use intonation to express your emotions about the topic.

Make brief notes and ensure that you have taken into account all the tips. Then speak on the topic for two minutes

Describe something colourful that you bought in the past

You should say:

  • why you bought the item;
  • what it looks/looked like;
  • what other people think/thought of it;

and explain how you feel/felt about this item.

Watch the video focusing on the fluency and coherence tips for IELTS candidates and find the incorrect options in the test below

Today I’m going to give you, guys, phrases you can use to get higher scores on the speaking test for fluency and coherence. OK?

Now … mm … In natural speaking – just normal day-to-day speaking – I don’t use a lot of high-level linking words. Ok? It’s just … It doesn’t feel natural. Er … But unfortunately, guys, on the speaking test the examiner does listen for a variety of linking words. OK? If you only use phrases like «and», «and», «because», «because», «I think», «I think», «I think» … If you only use phrases like that, and you repeat them, and they are easy … OK? It is impossible to get a «7» or higher for fluency and coherence, OK? The key there is linking words. You have to have a variety and a range, OK?

So, today I’m going to give you some awesome, excellent, interesting phrases that will not only help you impress the examiner in your fluency and coherence scores, but also for vocabulary, OK?

All right. We new introducing answer. You can use more formal phrases like «In the first place, bla-bla-bla … «. OK? You could also, when you’re introducing another reason or another idea, you could say «In the second place». That’s fine too. But when you are beginning the answer you say «In the first place, ta-da-da … «.

Another really awesome phrase to use on any part of the exam: Parts 1, 2 and 3 um … you can say, this is a native speaker thing, you can say «Put it like this, bla-bla-bla». So, if the examiner says … um … «How often do you exercise?», you can say: «Well, let’s put it like this, not as often as I should». So, again you are fulfilling that interesting vocabulary requirement for «7» or higher, and you are also introducing, organising your ideas in a native speaker interesting way, OK?

When you’re introducing your opinion in Speaking Part 3, try to use more formal phrases, just like you do in Writing Task 2. All right? So, phrases like: «I am of the opinion that, bla-bla-bla…», … um … «To my mind … «, «In my mind, bla-bla-bla», «I firmly believe, bla-bla-bla … «. OK? All those phrases, those four phrases I’ve just said, are excellent to use in Speaking Part 3, because a lot of candidates just use, say, «I think … «, «I think … » or «I believe … «, «I believe … «. OK? So, set yourself apart, be unique, make the examiner notice you that you deserve a «7» or higher, OK? So, those are phrases for introducing opinion.

Um … If you’re introducing another example or idea, you could say … um … «Secondly», of course, or «In addition … «, «Moreover … «, «Furthermore … «. You could also say a phrase like «Yet another example of this is … » or «Yet another reason is … «. OK, that «Yet another example of this is … «, just that phrase shows amazing vocabulary and organisation and grammar, OK? So, these phrases fulfill a lot of things the examiner is looking for, OK?

And a really cool way to summarise a long answer, for example, in Speaking Part 2 or, if you feel like you talked for a long time in Speaking Part 3, you could say «Yeah, so, that about sums it up, that’s what I think … «, OK? So, that phrase «Yeah, so, that about sums it up». Um… and if you say it like I do, then it’s also hitting that «7» or higher for pronunciation because you have that natural stress and rhythm. All right?


Answer the IELTS Speaking Part 2 question. Make brief notes and speak on the topic for two minutes

pic6_IELTS|Upper-Int|L8

Describe a colourful event that you particularly enjoyed.

You should say:

  • why you were there;
  • who you were with;
  • what you saw around you;

and explain why you enjoyed the event so much.

  • ablaze with colours;
  • attached;
  • to be drawn to;
  • bold/pastel/vibrant/soothing colours;
  • to burst with colour;
  • colour scheme;
  • expressive;
  • extraordinary shades;
  • eye-catching;
  • frightening;
  • limb;
  • magical;
  • mixture of colours.

Look at the following criteria and decide, which points you have covered and which aspects still need the improvement

If you open the lesson plan you will be able to assign separate pages as homework or all the homework pages at once.

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Describe something colourful
  • A Java doll
  • Talking fluently
  • Intonation matters
  • Inspiring colours
  • Content preparation
  • Inspiring events
  • Homework