IELTS Preparation Series 3, Episode 12: Intonation
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Hello, and welcome to Study English, IELTS Preparation. I'm Margot Politis.
Intonation is a feature of pronunciation, one of the assessment criteria in the IELTS
Speaking Test. You will need to use appropriate intonation in the test. You also need to understand
the intonation used by the interviewer.
Intonation is important in spoken English because it conveys meaning in many ways. Changing
the pitch in your voice - making it higher or lower - allows you
to show surprise: "Oh, really!" or boredom: "Oh, really".
Let's listen to some intonation patterns used for specific functions.
First there's the high or rising tone, used for asking a yes/no question:
Do you find English difficult?
Are you listening?
Is this clear?
The rising tone is also used for showing expectation as you can hear when this furniture maker
talks about seeing the inside of some rare timber:
And I go down and it is really a fascinating day when I actually see a log being put on
the head rig and that first cut and I can't wait to have a look at that grain that's actually
opened up after a tree has been growing for 300 or 400 years.
And it's used for showing interest and excitement.
That's awesome. Absolutely awesome.
A low or falling tone is used for making a statement as does this art gallery director:
The Art Gallery of South Australia commenced the joint program in art history with the
University of Adelaide in 2001.
Questions with who, what, when, why and how also use this low or falling tone:
Who are you looking for?
What is that you're reading?
Where is the art gallery?
Why are you learning English?
How are you? Listen to the rising and falling tones used
by the woman in the next clip to explain the properties of granular materials:
Take vacuum packed coffee for example. This is very much solid like behaviour because
it's stiff, stiff as a brick and at the same time it's strong enough to hold your weight.
And yet, if we open the pack, I can pour it just like I would pour water.
When listing things a rise-falling tone is used:
Granular materials constitute a wide range of everyday common materials, such as powders
through to natural grains such as nuts, rice, wheat grains and mineral resources.
A level tone or a low rising tone can also be used for listing:
We have 3 studio cabins, 2 two bedroom cabins, 2 tepees and a campground.
Finally, a fall-rising tone expresses uncertainty:
Well, I'm not sure what all this means
Now we'll look at some sample IELTS interviews. Listen carefully for the intonation patterns.
Where else have you travelled?
I've travelled to other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore and of
course I've travelled around in my own country.
Where would you most like to go?
I would like very much to go to Europe, for example UK, Spain or Netherlands, but I also
want to go to Dubai and India.