How to improve your Fluency for IELTS Speaking?

Fluency is the key to a high band score in IELTS speaking. It is the pace of your speech that should be natural and uninterrupted. Being fluent does not mean being fast or complicated, but it means that your speech is flowing at a pace that you are comfortable with, and the examiner can comprehend it without extra effort.

This is precisely why fluency is important. It makes your speech understandable to the listener without causing a sense of urgency by being too fast or causing boredom by being too slow.

You have only 11 to 14 minutes to prove your fluency in the IELTS exam. But don’t worry; it is achievable by smart practising and preparation.

In this article, I will teach you how to improve your fluency for the IELTS speaking test so you can improve your band score.

1. Expand the range of your vocabularies

Speaking in any language requires words that you can use to express your opinion about a topic, and English is no exception. The more words you know, the better you can deliver your idea. You should learn vocabularies about a wide range of topics that are usually asked in the actual IELTS test.

IELTS speaking test starts with some general questions about yourself and your life background, which last 4-5 minutes. Then you will be given a particular topic written on a card to speak about for 2 minutes. Finally, you are asked more questions about the same topic in a 4–5-minute conversation.

So, you should start by focusing on simple words and phrases to describe your life background, such as your home, education, work and hobbies. It is best to be spontaneous and not exactly rehearsed, which is achieved by learning more words and phrases and being comfortable talking about yourself!

To prepare for the second part you should research hot social topics such as health, environment, technology, nature, travel, sport, weather, education, books, films, music, friends, and food to get ready for the specific topic of the test. Choose interesting topics and practice talking about them. You don’t have to use jargon when giving your opinion about them, but common terminologies of the related industry improve your score.

To make your speech more natural, use contractions such as “I’m” and “I’d”.

It is also a good idea to learn how to ask the examiner to repeat a question if you didn’t understand one. “Could you repeat the question please?” and “Sorry, I didn’t catch that” are appropriate ways to do that. But don’t do it more than once and instead pay close attention to the questions so you can hear them correctly.

2. Learn some discourse markers

Discourse markers are words and phrases that connect your sentences to facilitate the delivery of your idea. They should be relevant to your intention but not repeated too often. They serve many purposes in your speaking, such as:

Stalling to think about your answer when you say: well, oh, okay, and that’s an interesting question.

Or indicating your opinion when you say: I think, to be honest, and frankly.

Even for generalizing your response, you could say: in most cases, generally, naturally, basically and broadly speaking.

They are great tools to start the flow of your speech and keep it moving. Memorize some of the simple ones and understand their meanings and functions so you can use them relevantly.

3. Listen to native English speakers

Yes, listening can significantly improve your speaking. The more you hear native English speakers pronounce words and compose sentences, the more natural you can do the same. Online videos and audios are excellent sources for this purpose. Choose podcasts and documentaries related to IELTS speaking topics, specifically the ones that you love and enjoy. Pay close attention to the pace of speaking, even if it is too fast for you.

4. Speak and record yourself

Practice, practice and more practice. Repetition is the only way to master fluency. And to measure the rate of your improvement, record yourself and count the words you use in a given time. Add to the words each time if the numbers are too low.

Pay attention to your pauses and how you handle them. Connect them with discourse markers. Focus on the words you struggle with. Master the ones you are good at and remove the ones you have problems with. Target the simple and natural flow, and don’t risk jargon words and complex sentences unless you are sure you can deliver them!


Fluency is one of the four criteria that are assessed in the IELTS speaking test. Just like your first language, the pace and continuity in your speech determine your fluency.

The more words and phrases you know, the less time you will need to pause and think. Thus your pace of speaking will be natural and continuous. Some of these words, such as discourse markers, can even give you some time to compose your response intelligently. Common terminologies related to IELTS speaking topics also make your opinion more relevant but use them only if you are comfortable pronouncing them!

Listening to native English speakers can hugely influence your fluency. But above all, the best way to improve your fluency in IELTS speaking is to practice speaking. You can do it on your own and record yourself so you can measure your rate of improvement. has a proven record of success in helping candidates worldwide improve their fluency and earn their desired band scores in the IELTS speaking test. Our examiners are certified to conduct the IELTS speaking test and can provide you with valuable feedback to help you improve your fluency before sitting the actual IELTS exam.

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