Speaking Assessment

Speaking Band Descriptors

Dec 07 2021

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Planning to learn vocabulary to get a good score in speaking? That might not be a good idea. This post will tell you why.

Speaking Band Descriptors - First Academy

IELTS Speaking

Fluency and Coherence

Speaks fluently with only rare repetition or self-correction
Any hesitation is content-related rather than to find words or grammar.
Speaks coherently with fully appropriate cohesive features.
Develops topics fully and appropriately.

Lexical Resource

Uses vocabulary with full flexibility and precision in all topics.
Uses idiomatic language naturally and accurately.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Uses a full range of structures naturally and appropriately.
Produces consistently accurate structures apart from ‘slips’ characteristic of native-speaker speech.

Pronunciation

Uses a full range of pronunciation features with precision and subtlety.
Sustains flexible use of features throughout.
Is effortless to understand.
L1 accent has minimal effect on intelligibility.

Fluency and Coherence

Speaks fluently with only occasional repetition or self-correction.
Uses Hesitation is usually content-related and only rarely to search for language.
Develops topics coherently and appropriately.

Lexical Resource

Uses a wide vocabulary resource readily and flexibly to convey precise meaning.
Uses less common and idiomatic vocabulary skilfully, with occasional inaccuracies.
Uses paraphrase effectively as required.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Uses a wide range of structures flexibly.
Produces a majority of error-free sentences with only very occasional inappropriate or basic/non-systematic errors.

Pronunciation

Uses a wide range of pronunciation features.
sustains flexible use of features, with only occasional lapses.
is easy to understand throughout.
L1 accent has minimal effect on intelligibility.

Fluency and Coherence

Speaks at length without noticeable effort or loss of coherence.
May demonstrate language-related hesitation at times, or some repetition and/or self-correction.
Uses a range of connectives and discourse markers with some flexibility.

Lexical Resource

Uses vocabulary resource flexibly to discuss a variety of topics.
Uses some less common and idiomatic vocabulary and shows some awareness of style and collocation, with some inappropriate choices.
Uses paraphrase effectively.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Uses a range of complex structures with some flexibility.
Frequently produces error-free sentences, though some grammatical mistakes persist.

Pronunciation

Shows all the positive features of Band 6 and some, but not all, of the positive features of Band 8.

Fluency and Coherence

Is willing to speak at length, though may lose coherence at times due to occasional repetition, self-correction or hesitation.
Uses a range of connectives and discourse markers but not always appropriately.

Lexical Resource

Has a wide enough vocabulary to discuss topics at length and make meaning clear in spite of inappropriacies.
Generally paraphrases successfully.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Uses a mix of simple and complex structures, but with limited flexibility.
May make frequent mistakes with complex structures, though these rarely cause comprehension problems.

Pronunciation

Uses a range of pronunciation features with mixed control.
Shows some effective use of features but this is not sustained
Shows some effective use of features but this is not sustained.
Can generally be understood throughout, though mispronunciation of individual words or sounds reduces clarity at times.

Fluency and Coherence

Usually maintains the flow of speech but uses repetition, self-correction, and/or slow speech to keep going.
May over-use certain connectives and discourse markers.
Produces simple speech fluently, but more complex communication causes fluency problems.

Lexical Resource

Manages to talk about familiar and unfamiliar topics but uses vocabulary with limited flexibility.
Attempts to use paraphrase but with mixed success.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Produces basic sentence forms with reasonable accuracy.
Uses a limited range of more complex structures, but these usually contain errors and may cause some comprehension problems.

Pronunciation

Shows all features of band 4 and some, but not all the positive features of band 6.

Fluency and Coherence

Cannot respond without noticeable pauses and may speak slowly, with frequent repetition and self-correction.
Links basic sentences but with repetitious use of simple connectives and some breakdowns in coherence.

Lexical Resource

Is able to talk about familiar topics but can only convey basic meaning on unfamiliar topics and makes frequent errors in word choice.
Rarely attempts paraphrase.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Produces basic sentence forms and some correct simple sentences but subordinate structures are rare.
Errors are frequent and may lead to misunderstanding.

Pronunciation

Uses a limited range of pronunciation features.
Attempts to control features but lapses are frequent.
Mispronunciations are frequent and cause some difficulty for the listener.

Fluency and Coherence

Speaks with long pauses.
Has limited ability to link simple sentences.
Gives only simple responses and is unable to convey basic message.

Lexical Resource

Uses simple vocabulary to convey personal information.
Has insufficient vocabulary for less familiar topics.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Attempts basic sentence forms but without much success.
Relies on memorised phrases.
Makes many errors except in memorised phrases.

Pronunciation

Shows some of the features of Band 2 and some, but not all, of the positive features of Band 4

Fluency and Coherence

Pauses lengthiliy before most words.
Little communication possible.

Lexical Resource

Only produces isolated words or memorised phrases.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Cannot produce basic sentence forms.

Pronunciation

Speech is often impossible to understand.

No Scoring Possible

No communication possible.
No rateable language.

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