IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 15: Astronomer
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Hello. I'm Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English IELTS preparation.
Today, we're going to talk about the IELTS speaking and reading tests.
The speaking test includes an interview, where you can be asked to talk about yourself, your
family, your job or maybe your studies.
But you won't have to answer any questions today. Instead, we're going to interview a
man called Perry Vlahos. He's an astronomer. By asking Perry a series of questions, we
can learn a bit more about what makes a good response.
Let's begin by asking Perry a typical part 1 type question.
Perry, can you tell us about yourself?
Well, currently I'm the Vice-President of the Astronomical Society of Victoria. Another
thing I do is the tours at the Melbourne Observatory, where a lot of people come in to get a look
through the telescopes and have been there for a long time - very historical instruments,
in some cases.
Perry answered the question very well. He gave detail in his answer.
He's the Vice-President of the Astronomical Society of Victoria, and he does tours at
the Melbourne Observatory.
Perry ordered points logically and he used linking words like currently, and another
Did you notice that he started his response with the word well?
He did this so he could have some time to think about his answer.
Sometimes people will use fillers like well, um or ah while they are thinking about what
they want to say next.
It's best to minimise fillers. Don't use them too often, because it affects fluency.
Fluency is an important feature of your spoken language that the examiner is listening for.
What question would you ask Perry next?
Perry is an astronomer. We might ask him about his area of study, astronomy.
Perry, could you tell us about astronomy?
Astronomy is very much a cutting edge science. It's the oldest science and it's also the
And then, every time we find out something new and interesting out there, it also tells
us something new and interesting about ourselves and our place in the cosmos.
Perry used words that belong to the field of astronomy.
For example, he talked about cutting edge science and the cosmos.
Perry also used opposites in his description. He described astronomy as being both the oldest
science and the newest science.
Perry didn't just tell us facts about astronomy, he extended the description to tell us his
opinions about the effect that astronomy can have.
He said that: It can tell us something new and interesting about ourselves and our place
in the cosmos.
To enhance his response, Perry could have talked more about the cosmos. That would show