If you want to improve your speaking skills for the IELTS exam, you need to practice often. It can be hard for some students to find a person to practice with because no one they know speaks fluent English. Sure, you can practice with a teacher or tutor, but that usually costs money. So how do you find an IELTS speaking partner for free?
Why Find a Speaking Partner?
Improving your speech for the IELTS speaking exam requires daily practice. From grammar to vocabulary to pronunciation, you really need to be speaking in English every day to improve. It is not enough just to recite words aloud or memorize speeches.
Having a speaking partner allows you the chance to have a conversation in a safe and convenient setting. You can talk with one another to boost your confidence and fluency, but also offer feedback and advice. Your speaking partner can help you by letting you know if you do any of the following:
- repeat the same word too often
- mispronounce a word
- hesitate too much
- use incorrect grammar
- have a flat tone of voice
Being able to speak with a partner is one of the most important things in preparing for your IELTS exam, especially for people who live in countries with few native English speakers.
How Can I Find an IELTS Speaking Partner?
When I look at the IELTS Facebook groups that are most popular, a very common question arises: “How can I find a speaking partner?” Every day, at least one or two people ask on each of the big groups.
Of course, you can actually use these groups to find partners. Students exchange information there to get in touch with each other. This is a very useful thing, but please be careful and consider the following:
- Don’t give away too much personal information. Consider making a Skype profile just for speaking partners. You never know if the person you’re talking to is trustworthy.
- Never give personal details away in speaking practice. Don’t tell your phone number or e-mail address, and certainly don’t give any financial data!
- Report offensive people immediately. If you come across a creepy person who insults or demeans you, report them to Facebook or the appropriate platform so that they cannot abuse others.
- Refer positive people to your friends. If you meet someone trustworthy and nice, introduce them to other cool folks.
- Never agree to meet offline unless you 100% trust that person, and even then you should bring a friend.
Once you consider this vital information, you can use various means to find a speaking partner. However, most of them are a little inefficient. That’s why I have created another Facebook group specifically for meeting IELTS speaking partners. Here is the link:
Please share the link and use the group responsibly.
Remember that you also need to figure out how to communicate. Will you use Skype, Whatsapp, WeChat? Find a platform which works well for you and your partner. Make sure also that your internet connection works well so there are no dropped connections.
Once you have connected with your new IELTS speaking partner, you should discuss what to talk about. Many people just like free talk, and it is certainly useful. However, it is probably better to work on specific IELTS questions and topics. You may want to find a list of speaking questions and take turns asking them. If you want to tackle part 2, prepare a cue card and time your partner.
Remember that IELTS speaking partners should be helpful and supportive! Don’t forget to give constructive criticism. That means be fair and reasonable. You should let your partner know any mistakes that they made, but do so in a kind way.
Before beginning the speaking session, you should talk to your partner through a messaging app and find out what they want to discuss. Also ask what level their English is. A band 7 student probably wouldn’t gain much from talking with a band 5 student.
Is there an app for finding IELTS speaking partners?
Not yet… but soon 😉
We’re working on it.