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IELTS Speaking Band Descriptors: Pronunciation
IELTS(International English Language Testing System) is the world's leading test of English for higher education, immigration and employment. Below is some information about what the band descriptors requires a student to do and some advice for students.
Pronunciation means to most people being able to say a word correctly but there are some things students must know about this criteria.
Students may pronounce words incorrectly for many reasons including:
Silent letters – words such as autumn and sword have silent letters which students need to know in order for them to pronounce them correctly
Words with 2 meanings – words such as content and minute both have 2 meanings and there is a different pronunciation depending on which meaning of the word you are using. Students often get confused and hence get their score reduced
Words which originate from another country – words such as karaoke do not follow the normal rules of pronunciation because they originated from another country.
Accent – for many people accent also hinders their pronunciation because they would be pronouncing English in a weird way. This is not something one can fix in a short period of time - practice is essential.
To get a band score of 6 students need to make sure their answers could be understood by the listener (examiner), some words may be pronounced incorrectly so sometimes the examiner may have to pause for a while to react. Candidates may benefit when taking the exam in their own country because the examiners are used to the way people speak when they have been examining in a country for a while.
If examiners are working in places where there are candidates are from a lot of different countries such as Australia or America candidates may get a lower score for pronunciation.
Intonation and stress is quite important here. If a candidate's voice sounds like a robot or is very flat and soft, it can be very difficult for a native English speaker to understand, since it sounds boring and the examiner dies from boredom.