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IELTS Speaking: advice about errors

 Today I want to share some advice from another IELTS teacher that I found in the 'comments' area below this lesson.

First, here's the question from a student called Vishaal:

Please guide me on how I can reduce the grammatical errors in my speech. Although I reduced these errors significantly in writing, I'm still making quite a few mistakes during the speaking.

And here's the advice from the teacher, sjm (thanks again!):

The only real way is to sit with a native speaker, and ask them to stop you every time you make a grammar error, and give you a correction. You then repeat the correct version back to them.

It is time consuming, but eventually your error rate should drop. The problem with speaking is that errors are often 'fossilised' in the mouth, which means that you are so used to saying them that your mouth has 'memorised' them. You need to almost 'reprogram' your mouth.

An extra tip from me (Simon):

Vishaal's issue is very common, and I completely agree with sjm's advice. But if you don't have a private teacher or native speaker who can help in the way that sjm suggests, your best solution is probably to become better at copying. Instead of trying to translate ideas from your own language, or trying to construct sentences using your knowledge of English grammar, aim to build your sentences using phrases or 'chunks' of language that you know to be correct (because you have seen or heard them being used by native speakers).

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