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IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 15: Astronomer


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0:00

Hello. I'm Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English IELTS preparation.

0:19

Today, we're going to talk about the IELTS speaking and reading tests.

0:24

The speaking test includes an interview, where you can be asked to talk about yourself, your

0:30

family, your job or maybe your studies.

0:34

But you won't have to answer any questions today. Instead, we're going to interview a

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man called Perry Vlahos. He's an astronomer. By asking Perry a series of questions, we

0:47

can learn a bit more about what makes a good response.

0:51

Let's begin by asking Perry a typical part 1 type question.

0:57

Perry, can you tell us about yourself?

1:00

Well, currently I'm the Vice-President of the Astronomical Society of Victoria. Another

1:05

thing I do is the tours at the Melbourne Observatory, where a lot of people come in to get a look

1:10

through the telescopes and have been there for a long time - very historical instruments,

1:15

in some cases.

1:17

Perry answered the question very well. He gave detail in his answer.

1:23

He's the Vice-President of the Astronomical Society of Victoria, and he does tours at

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the Melbourne Observatory.

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Perry ordered points logically and he used linking words like currently, and another

1:42

thing.

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Did you notice that he started his response with the word well?

1:49

He did this so he could have some time to think about his answer.

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Sometimes people will use fillers like well, um or ah while they are thinking about what

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they want to say next.

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It's best to minimise fillers. Don't use them too often, because it affects fluency.

2:10

Fluency is an important feature of your spoken language that the examiner is listening for.

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What question would you ask Perry next?

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Perry is an astronomer. We might ask him about his area of study, astronomy.

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Perry, could you tell us about astronomy?

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Astronomy is very much a cutting edge science. It's the oldest science and it's also the

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newest science.

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And then, every time we find out something new and interesting out there, it also tells

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us something new and interesting about ourselves and our place in the cosmos.

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Perry used words that belong to the field of astronomy.

2:57

For example, he talked about cutting edge science and the cosmos.

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Perry also used opposites in his description. He described astronomy as being both the oldest

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science and the newest science.

3:15

Perry didn't just tell us facts about astronomy, he extended the description to tell us his

3:22

opinions about the effect that astronomy can have.

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He said that: It can tell us something new and interesting about ourselves and our place

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in the cosmos.

3:33

To enhance his response, Perry could have talked more about the cosmos. That would show