Speaking Part 2 Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

​In the last class we studied how to add more detail to our Part 2 talk. As you have seen, adding plenty of detail to your answers will help you to speak for longer, improving your fluency band score. In this class you will improve your ability to think of details to include in part 2 of the speaking test.


Exercise 1

​It is important to understand the type of information that you need to give. This is shown by the question words used in the part 2 cue card. Study the 2 IELTS speaking part 2 cue cards below. Complete each cue card with the appropriate question words.
what   how   why  
Click or touch a word above
Describe an occasion when you couldn’t pay for something you wanted.
You should say:
you wanted to pay for
you weren’t able to pay
you did
and explain you felt about the situation.
what   how   where   why  
Click or touch a word above
Talk about a long journey that you have been on.
You should say:
the journey was from and to
you traveled
you did to avoid boredom on the journey
and you had to take the long journey.


Exercise 2

Let's look at the first cue card again.
Describe an occasion when you couldn’t pay for something you wanted.

​You should say:
  • what you wanted to pay for
  • why you weren’t able to pay
  • what you did
and explain how you felt about the situation.
We will look at each part of the cue card. For each pair of details, select the detail that matches the cue card question.

What did you want to pay for?

1.
The type and specific name of the product
Where and where you were when you couldn’t pay
2.
The appearance of the product including any special features of the product
The actions that you carried out to be able to pay
3.
The reason you couldn’t pay – remember to use the past perfect to ‘flashback’ when presenting stories in English
The cost of the product
4.
What the worker said/did when you couldn’t pay
Why you wanted the product



Why weren’t you able to pay?

1.
If you have felt like that again since
Where you were when you couldn’t pay
2.
What the worker said/did when you couldn’t pay
Any help that the worker(s) offered you
3.
The reaction of other people when you were unable to pay
The actions that you carried out to be able to pay
4.
The cost of the product
The reason you couldn’t pay – remember to use the past perfect to ‘flashback’ when presenting stories in English



What did you do?

1.
If you had ever felt like this before
The excuse you told the worker (s) for not being able to pay
2.
Why you wanted the product
The actions that you carried out to be able to pay
3.
When you resolved the problem and finally paid
The type and specific name of the product
4.
Any help that the worker(s) offered you
What the worker said/did when you couldn’t pay



How did you feel about the situation?

1.
Your initial reaction when you realized you couldn’t pay
The appearance of the product including any special features of the product
2.
If you had ever felt like this before
Where you were when you couldn’t pay
3.
When you resolved the problem and finally paid
How the way that you felt at that time changed your behavior afterwards
4.
If you have felt like that again since
Why you wanted the product



Look at the questions and full details for this cue card below. Use the details to complete your own talk. If you hesitate or slow down, repeat the talk until you can talk smoothly from start to finish. With each repetition, see if you can add interesting vocabulary and reduce grammar mistakes.

00:02:00

The Full Questions and Details
What did you want to pay for?
The type and specific name of the product
The appearance of the product including any special features of the product
The cost of the product
Why you wanted the product

​Why weren’t you able to pay?
Where you were when you couldn’t pay
What the worker said/did when you couldn’t pay
The reaction of other people when you were unable to pay
The reason you couldn’t pay – remember to use the past perfect to ‘flashback’ when presenting stories in English

What did you do?
The excuse you told the worker (s) for not being able to pay
The actions that you carried out to be able to pay
When you resolved the problem and finally paid
Any help that the worker(s) offered you

How did you feel about the situation?
Your initial reaction when you realized you couldn’t pay
If you had ever felt like this before
How the way that you felt at that time changed your behavior afterwards
If you have felt like that again since


Exercise 3

Now it's time to look at the second cue card again.
Talk about a long journey that you have been on.
 
You should say:
 
  • where the journey was from and to
  • how you traveled
  • what you did to avoid boredom on the journey
 
and why you had to take the long journey.
Which details are connected with which question from the cue card above?

Where was the journey from and to?

1.
The appearance and quality of the mode of transport
The names of the places
2.
What you listened to and why
Description and detail about the two places
3.
If you had ever been to the places before
How you felt about having to take the journey
4.
How you felt about the journey before you departed from the first location
Based on the experience you had, whether you would like to do a similar journey



How did you travel?

1.
The mode of transport and why you chose that particular mode of transport
Description and detail about the two places
2.
What you saw – landscapes/people/movies
The appearance and quality of the mode of transport
3.
The cause of the journey, for example, to visit family or go on holiday
Any problems with the transport
4.
The number of breaks and what you did during them
How you felt before you left



How did you avoid boredom?

1.
The names of the places
Who you talked to and what you talked about
2.
What you listened to and why
How you felt about the journey before you departed from the first location
3.
The number of breaks and what you did during them
What you saw – landscapes/people/movies
4.
How boring the journey was and why
Whether you think you will have to do the same journey again



Why did you have to take the journey?

1.
The cause of the journey, for example, to visit family or go on holiday
What you listened to and why
2.
Who you talked to and what you talked about
How you felt about having to take the journey
3.
Whether you think you will have to do the same journey again
The appearance and quality of the mode of transport
4.
Description and detail about the two places
Based on the experience you had, whether you would like to do a similar journey



Again, look at the questions and full details for this cue card below. Complete your own talk using the details. Remember that if you hesitate or slow down, repeat the talk until you are happy that you can talk smoothly throughout and with interesting vocabulary.

00:02:00

The Full Questions and Answers
Where was the journey from and to?
The names of the places
Description and detail about the two places
If you had ever been to the places before
How you felt about the journey before you departed from the first location

How did you travel?
The mode of transport and why you chose that particular mode of transport
The appearance and quality of the mode of transport
Any problems with the transport
The number of breaks and what you did during them

How did you avoid boredom?
Who you talked to and what you talked about
What you listened to and why
What you saw – landscapes/people/movies
How boring the journey was and why

Why did you have to take the journey?
The cause of the journey, for example, to visit family or go on holiday
How you felt about having to take the journey
Whether you think you will have to do the same journey again
Based on the experience you had, whether you would like to do a similar journey


Ideas and Language Note

​Notice that even though the topic on the cue card is about the past, you can still talk about the present, for example, you could mention how you feel about the topic now. You could also mention the future, for instance, how the topic has impacted your future plans. Doing this will make your 2-minute talk more interesting and show the examiner that you can use a range of verb tenses.


​IELTS Speaking Part 2 Preparation Strategy

You must think about the topic from many different angles in order to help you speak for long enough about it. This will also help you to use a more interesting range of vocabulary and grammar. Make sure you think about the past, present and the future and give as much detail as possible about the topic.

Practice this by brainstorming things you could mention for the topics on the cue cards in our cue card archive.