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Thread: IELTS

  1. NamelessKing's Avatar
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    #1

    IELTS

    Hello teachers.

    If any of you are familiar with the IELTS exam, what overall band score and individual band score in speaking would you consider high enough to deem a candidate fluent in English?
    Last edited by NamelessKing; 11-Nov-2019 at 17:35.
    To live only for some future goal is shallow. It's the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.

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    #2

    Re: IELTS

    Teachers and examiners have a very different notion of fluency from the one you have. We judge fluency as being on a scale of degree, so your question doesn't really make sense. Some people are more fluent than others.

    What do you mean by 'fluent'?

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    #3

    Re: IELTS

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Teachers and examiners have a very different notion of fluency from the one you have. We judge fluency as being on a scale of degree, so your question doesn't really make sense. Some people are more fluent than others.

    What do you mean by 'fluent'?
    Speaking at length, using fairly complex sentences. Obliviously making a few mistakes and using just a small number of words incorrectly.
    To live only for some future goal is shallow. It's the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: IELTS

    Quote Originally Posted by NamelessKing View Post
    Speaking at length, using fairly complex sentences. Obliviously making a few mistakes and using just a small number of words incorrectly.
    Right. Well, that's your own idea of fluency, which is unique to you. Nobody else has quite the same idea, especially not examiners.

    For teachers and examiners, oral fluency is basically how well somebody can express their thoughts without having to stop to search for the right word, or other form of expression. So speech with lots of hesitation has a low degree of fluency. The notion is completely unrelated to degree of complexity of the language and size of the speaker's vocabulary, and only indirectly related to the speaker's ability to speak at length.

    IELTS examiners use a set of closely-defined criteria to assess the candidate's performance.

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    #5

    Re: IELTS

    Quote Originally Posted by NamelessKing View Post
    Speaking at length, using fairly complex sentences. Obliviously making a only a few mistakes and using just a small number of words incorrectly.
    I think that's what you meant. (I'm not sure what you mean by Obviously.)
    Not a professional teacher

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    #6

    Re: IELTS

    Quote Originally Posted by NamelessKing View Post
    Obliviously making a few mistakes and using just a small number of words incorrectly.
    I'll add that the number of mistakes you make, whether of grammar or vocabulary, is also completely unrelated to your level of fluency.

    Mistakes are related to accuracy, which is a counterpart measure of someone's competence as a speaker. So if somebody yabbers on non-stop, making lots of mistakes, they are very fluent but not very accurate, but if they speak slowly, with lots of hesitation and 'um-ing and ah-ing', but they use grammar and vocab precisely, they are very accurate but not very fluent.

    Obviously, to get a high score in IELTS, you need to have high levels of both accuracy and fluency.

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    #7

    Re: IELTS

    IELTS test is not the perfect test in the world but it's the better than most of the other test systems.

    I got a 6.5 ten years ago and I got and 8 two years ago on my speaking section. But this mainly depends on how "lucky" you are. I mean, you are lucky enough to meet an interlocutor who likes your story. I know complicated words and phrases are necessary to get high scores, but once you use them incorrectly, you'll get lower-than-average scores. Also, if you speak very fluently when taking the test, you'll not be given a high score because you would be considered as a machine doing recitation.

    Edited: I keep asking questions here and there is the reason I want to improve my scores and English. People who take IELTS here don't study English, they cram for exams. I love this language and I'll never give up.

    Back in 2010, my English really sucked but now I'm quite happy with what I've achieved.
    Last edited by Silverobama; 12-Nov-2019 at 02:08.

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    #8

    Re: IELTS

    Silver—almost everything you've said is completely untrue. Instead of addressing each point, I'll highlight in red all the parts that are incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    I got a 6.5 ten years ago and I got and 8 two years ago on my speaking section. But this mainly depends on how "lucky" you are. I mean, you are lucky enough to meet an interlocutor who likes your story. I know complicated words and phrases are necessary to get high scores, but once you use them incorrectly, you'll get lower-than-average scores. Also, if you speak very fluently when taking the test, you'll not be given a high score because you would be considered as a machine doing recitation.

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    #9

    Re: IELTS

    Hi jutfrank.

    You know I am a man of my word. I won't lie to you or anyone here. I can swear to what I have said. I once taught IELTS speaking and my friend who's teaching more than 100 students in his classes agree totally with what I've said above. He got an overall 8 many years ago.

    The only thing that makes you feel suspicious is the testing system, I think, in different cities or places. Do you know that many people who need to take IELTS go to Vietnam to take this test simply because they can get a high score there?

    I know a professor in Southwest University of Political Science & Law. His name is Yan Wen Qiang and he told me 5 years ago, the time when I was stilling a street tutor, that he also got an 8 in his speaking section because he told how he fed pigs and how hard life was when he was young. The interviewer was greatly moved and gave him that score. I can show you his certificate and mine.

    I don't like lying to others, and you're my friend here. Whether you trust me or not, people here will take more than 5 times this test and apply schools with the highest one. I have never heard that they can ask for someone who helps them to take the test but this might be probable because IELTS is not like the college entrance exam here, which requires the fingerprints of the students.

    Anyway, I can tell you many stories that might take you aback if you like.

  10. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: IELTS

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    You know I am a man of my word. I won't lie to you or anyone here. I can swear to what I have said.
    I'm not accusing you of lying, Silver! I'm just saying that you're mistaken.

    I once taught IELTS speaking and my friend who's teaching more than 100 students in his classes agree totally with what I've said above. He got an overall 8 many years ago.
    Your friend obviously doesn't know anything about how IELTS examiners work, which is hardly surprising. Again, I'll tell you that what you said in not true.

    Do you know that many people who need to take IELTS go to Vietnam to take this test simply because they can get a high score there?
    This is also not true.

    I know a professor in Southwest University of Political Science & Law. His name is Yan Wen Qiang and he told me 5 years ago, the time when I was stilling a street tutor, that he also got an 8 in his speaking section because he told how he fed pigs and how hard life was when he was young. The interviewer was greatly moved and gave him that score. I can show you his certificate and mine.
    He got an 8 because he deserved an 8, not because the examiner had a soft spot for pigs!

    I don't like lying to others, and you're my friend here.
    You do understand that I'm not accusing you of lying, right?

    Whether you trust me or not, people here will take more than 5 times this test and apply schools with the highest one.
    Yes, that is perfectly normal everywhere in the world, not just in China.

    I have never heard that they can ask for someone who helps them to take the test but this might be probable because IELTS is not like the college entrance exam here, which requires the fingerprints of the students.
    I don't deny that there is cheating going on in IELTS, as with all exams. You don't need fingerprint ID, but you do need to prove your identity to enter the exam room. The normal requirement is to show your passport, or an equivalent document.

    Anyway, I can tell you many stories that might take you aback if you like.
    Okay, please do, but I already suspect that many of those stories are not completely true.

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