Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Steve Lemlek, owner of several English schools in South Korea.

He has some important advice for gaining confidence in speaking English– something all students, including IELTS candidates need!

How will his advice help you increase your IELTS Speaking scores?

Fluency and Coherence

If you are nervous on the exam, it manifests itself in very real ways that detract from this score.

Too many pauses, um’s and uh’s, will bring this score down to a 5.

If you follow our advice to gain confidence and comfort in English, you naturally sound more fluent and coherent.

Not only will you sound and feel happy to be talking to the IELTS examiner, but this confidence carries over into your real life as well!


Likewise, if you are too nervous on the Speaking exam, you will not only pause and stutter, but you will also sound like a robot.

Lack of connected speech, intonation and stress can bring this score down to a 5!

Basically, you must bring forth your personality on the exam and exhibit some emotional investment in what you’re saying.

In fact, we have a whole module in our course, the 3 Keys IELTS Success System, geared toward soothing your nerves on every part of the IELTS exam!


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Steve’s Advice

  • Don’t hide in your books! They don’t teach you how to actually speak.
  • Put yourself into uncomfortable situations. Challenge yourself weekly to approach native speakers and say hi!
  • Give yourself goals: approach 1 native speaker this week, 2 the next, and 3 the following week.
  • Not everybody will want to talk to you, but just the fact that you tried will give you strength.
  • Meet random people and involve yourself in random situations. You must push yourself to deal with this discomfort in order to improve.
  • Above all, mess up and do weird things! You cannot make progress unless you also make mistakes.

Get started creating conversations at Steve’s website:

What do you think of Steve’s advice?

Go talk to a random English speaker, and tell us about it in the comments section below!

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