Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Do you know which linking words to use? Do you know where to use them?




Linking for IELTS Speaking Part 1

First off, you need to be clear on a very important aspect of scoring highly in this part for Fluency and Coherence.

Yes, you must use a variety of linking words, but, as Speaking Part 1 is made of informal, personal questions, you cannot use high-level, formal linking words.

Using the wrong linking words in Speaking Part 1 can actually lower your score!

For example, if the examiner asks, “Do you enjoy exercising outside?”

An inappropriate response would be, “To begin, I love running outside. Furthermore, I try to run for half an hour in the park near my house every morning. In conclusion, moving around outside is an essential activity for me.”

That was terrible!! Those linking words are too formal, and, thus, they sound very unnatural and grating to a native speaker, and the examiner.

A better, more natural response would be, “Actually, I love running outside. In fact, I try to run for half an hour in the park near my house every morning. Honestly, moving around outside is an essential activity for me.

So, in IELTS Speaking Part 1, you should use linking words and transition phrases like actually, in fact, to be honest, you know, well, for example and another thing is that.


Linking for IELTS Speaking Part 2

For the most fluent, coherent, and natural sounding response in Speaking Part 2, you should try and tell a story.

This is the best strategy for every topic the examiner gives you.

So, that means that your answer will naturally be organized by time, and you can use linking words such as firstly, at first, after that, following this, and then, next, finally and at long last.

How you choose to introduce your answer is another opportunity to impress the examiner, as I talk about in this video.




Linking for Speaking Part 3

IELTS Speaking Part 3 is more formal than the first two parts.

The questions are “abstract”, as IELTS says, which means they are about society and the world at large.

You might have to answer questions such as, “What are the advantages of living abroad?” or, “How do you think the education system in your country might develop in the future?”

In your answers, you should try and use the same linking words and transition phrases as in IELTS Writing Task 2.

An example response would be:

To be certain, living abroad has a great many benefits. For instance, one can immerse oneself in another language and learn it quite efficiently. A great example of this is myself, as I could speak almost no English when I arrived here one year ago, and, now, I can communicate almost anything that I need to or want. Moreover, gaining the perspective that living in foreign country provides is priceless in terms of one’s knowledge about the world and oneself.”

To sum up, securing a high score on the IELTS Speaking exam is not just about using linking words, but using them correctly.

What do you think about the advice in this article?

Leave us a message in the comment section below!



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