10 Books That Can Help You Prepare For The Speaking Test In The IELTS Exam
“Reading is boring!”
“There are so many good YouTube videos on this topic. Why waste money on books?”
Well, every good book that you read is worth every penny that you put in it. Period.
Reading is an asset and the books that I am going to suggest will guide you tremendously in life: building your career as well as your social life abroad.
These 10 books will help you improve your English-speaking proficiency in your IELTS speaking test
and your abroad journey. Most of these are bestsellers with a track record of being absolutely helpful to millions of readers.
But before that, let’s divide this into parts for better understanding.
Score better in the IELTS Speaking test with these 10 books:
Grammar - The Fabric of Language
The one thing that non-native speakers dread the most is Grammar. But do you know how important it is to speak the language proficiently?
Grammar is the skeletal system of any language lest English. In short, IT’S (very) IMPORTANT!
But, yes, it does not have to be a wall for you in your IELTS speaking preparation. You just need the right guidance that makes learning grammar not only easy but memorable.
Let me introduce you to our first friend to guide you through with all the love and care you deserve:
I am citing an excerpt from the overview of this book:
“...this book will help native and non-native speakers master the nuts and bolts of the English language.
A poor command of English is a considerable obstacle in almost every walk of life, from conducting business to dealing with everyday problems. This book takes you back to the basics, to the simple rules and tricks that will help anyone to master the language.” (Finlay, 2015)
With a user rating of 4.5/5, this is a great beginning for the list of IELTS speaking books and shines brighter than all other books on English grammar. This is because it enables you with tools that can be used in your everyday life conversations. Doesn’t that sound great already?
The next one has an equally amazing character and the title is:
This book is a visual treat for people who learn better with creative images to present the lessons. It’s loaded with easy-to-follow grammar rules
and illustrated examples of those rules.
Let’s see what the book has to say about itself:
“Ideal for English test preparations or ESL lesson plans, the Grammar Guide uses visual teaching methods to introduce English grammar for beginners, reinforced through a variety of exercises and examples…” (English For Everyone, 2016)
People who know their basics well enough to write properly but find it hard conversing need to buy this book right away. It can be a great reference point for you to create complex sentence structures as it contains exercises and examples of practical English usage in daily life.
Let’s get to something even more hindering than grammar.
Vocabulary - The Flesh and Blood
Vocabulary is what makes the distinction between a person’s linguistic capabilities. It is where the ‘proficiency’ part of any language test focuses the most. A limited vocabulary can make conversations mundane as repetitions tend to slag down the interest of the listener.
Look at most of the comments on your FB or Instagram photo for instance! It’s filled with either cute or ossum or aww or some other form of boring words that we have seen and been posting on comments when we have to and not when we want to! When it’s different it does catch the eye.
Another eye-catching book coming on the stage is the,
Fluency - the trait of a person with a good grip on their vocabulary. This book works wonders on your speaking ability by not only helping you learn new words but also in remembering and using them the right way by giving you hundreds of collocations in the English language.
This book boasts of being a companion for those preparing to appear for their English proficiency tests like Cambridge and IELTS tests
In its own words, the book says that it’s
“Perfect for both self-study and classroom activities. Learn collocations in context, with lots of different topics, including 'Using the Internet' and 'Presentations'. Be confident about what you are learning… This book is also perfect for preparing for Cambridge exams and IELTS, which often test knowledge of collocations.” (McCarthy and Felicity, 2017)
Being a well-researched book, the examples can be easily implemented in your IELTS speaking topics throughout your learning journey.
Let’s get to another giant we need to tackle!
Pronunciation - The Skin that You Seek
While Grammar and Vocabulary make the body, the way it is treated or greeted depends on the way you say it.
“Don’t butcher the language, bro!” - A dialogue you’d hear either in this way or phrased differently in a different language is not just a dialogue; it’s an emotion.
You learn by butchering. That is what we did when we were babies, trying to speak but limited by the body. So, butchering is okay when you are learning. But improvement comes when you are on your way to mastering it.
One of the most efficient ways of doing so is through:
With a name that’s creative and obvious about what it deals with, ‘Ship or Sheep’ provides systematic practice of English pronunciation for beginners.
If you haven’t already guessed it, this book focuses on phonetics and teaches you everything step-by-step from vowels, consonants, syllables, and words to phrases and more; a perfect buddy for your IELTS speaking preparation.
Make your purchase if you wish to be a pro at speaking correctly!
Clarity - Seeing the Line Between Right and Wrong
For a beginner, the lines between right and wrong can become hazy. While you might have all the tools required, there’s something that usage of language can teach you i.e., identifying the mistakes you tend to make. Let me shed a little lighter on it…
Practical English Usage (PEU) could have easily been a part of ‘Grammar’ or ‘Vocabulary’ books, but what makes it distinct from the two and a part of this is that although it deals with both, its power lies in making us understand and realize the mistakes we make in both.
One of the best IELTS speaking books on the list, PEU will be your reference guide for all the problems you might encounter while learning. All the guidance you get is in a very practical, clear, reliable, and easy to find manner and addresses everything from grammar, vocabulary, idioms, style, pronunciation, and to an extent spelling as well.
What do you need the most after you get the required clarity?
Confidence - Leading the Game
I believe that one of the primary reasons why a lot of non-native speakers who have learned English as a second language fail to communicate efficiently is their lack of confidence.
We as humans often tend to make a judgement on most of the things we see, hear or observe. It’s almost natural because we have this urge within us to label things in order to give better responses or involvement.
Do not worry. You won’t have that problem anymore; neither with the IELTS speaking topics nor with any other conversation in English.
What problem? The fear of being judged. In fact, you will not have any kind of fear while having a conversation in English.
(Maybe this is why we have three books in this section.)
Starting with book one,
The legendary motivational writer, Dale Carnegie, who wrote one of the best-selling self-improvement books of all time, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ came up with another gem on effective communication i.e. ‘The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking’ and the summary reads,
“Become a master communicator, be it at a meeting, a sales pitch, a presentation or at a social gathering. Read this book to find out how to:
Overcome stage fright and develop self-confidence
Explain a subject or a topic clearly and concisely
Hold your listeners' interest
Feel at ease at parties or social gatherings
Addressing one of the most common fears of people everywhere, this book will transform you into a powerful, effective speaker.” (Carnegie, 2019)
Dale Carnegie was a powerhouse of knowledge when it came to understanding the human psyche/behaviour.
His books have helped millions in making better connections and improving the quality of social life. This book will provide you with the same impact or opening you need to channel the hidden communicator in you by overcoming your fears.
You know what! Give it a try once. I know you won’t regret it.
But then again, you do have a nice alternative…
You know that you know the language.
You speak confidently whenever you practice in front of the mirror.
But when you meet someone who’s quite fluent and confident at having a conversation in English, you get the heebie-jeebies, the cold feet so much so that you end up putting your foot in your mouth.
Sorry, I had this urge, this itch to use those three phrases back-to-back. If you do not know what they mean you can either, ask the good old google to explain them to you or reach out to the tutors at IELTS Tutorials for their online coaching classes for the IELTS exam
Pardon me if I sound too patronizing; in all sincerity, I am not.
So, where was I? Yes, if you are someone who relates to the fear of communicating with someone just because you think that you lack what they have then this book is a definite MUST BUY, MUST READ for you.
Polish your skills of conversing as smoothly as silk in English with
“crystal-clear explanations, numerous realistic examples, and dozens of engaging exercises to help you hone your conversation skills. You’ll learn how to introduce yourself, make appointments, strike up conversations, and much more.” (Yates, 2020)
You will also get to understand and learn about conversational situations and other everyday scenarios that we all usually go through (a usual question faced by test-takers in their IELTS speaking test).
On top of that, these conversations are also thoroughly dissected into correct pronunciation, grammar, syntax, and word usage for you to imbibe it efficiently.
Okay. We have gained enough confidence for a lifetime now. Let’s get to the good part;
Style - The YOU in What You Speak
What is it that would make people wish they could meet with you often?
What is it that would make people turn their attention towards you as soon as you start speaking?
Your ability to engage in an experience that they think and believe is YOU!
That is your STYLE.
While the title of this book that I am about to suggest might sound like it belongs within the previous topic. But by a slightly higher margin, it manages to make its mark here (for the right reasons).
One more book penned by another world-renowned speaker and voice coach, Caroline Goyder, this book will give you the voice i.e., the push that you need from within.
“What do I speak about?” is a perplexing question that is familiar to many when they are asked to interact with people, they are slightly unfamiliar with or when they are asked something about themselves.
Caroline solves that problem for you by just letting you unleash the speaker - the captivating speaker - in you. In all, it’s about making your own identity.
This book IS A MUST READ. It is. It is. It is. So, please do not skip this one for sure.
(Also, it’s too affordable @ just Rs 250.)
Btw, do you think books can have soulmates too?
Just thinking because if this book had a perfect companion, then it would be:
“Write fearlessly. Write what is true and real to you.” - THE message of the book.
If there’s something that opens you and helps you display it in the most artistic way possible then it has to be writing.
If the previous book was about ‘making your own identity’, then this one’s about ‘knowing how to’.
All of us who are not so confident with our English-speaking skills in front of others are somehow much better at expressing ourselves in written words.
This book will help you in opening up more and boldly when you need to, have to, want to and wish to.
I know that these books will definitely be a strong support in your learning curve.
But the next one’s dedicated especially to all the curious cats in the house!
It Matters - Importance of Linguistics
Let’s get straight to the book then, I’ll explain it there. I seem to have taken too much of your time. But not anymore.
“Did you just rephrase the book’s title as the heading of the section?”
Yes, I did.
Hear me out. This is about Linguistics, the scientific study of language and its structure that deals with the study of grammar, syntax, phonetics and more. It matters and you need to know why!
We all have survived, existed and evolved because of linguistics. It is the basis of our communication. It is how we express ourselves and work as a fully-functioning society.
Read this one to know why it is so closely related to psychology, education, philosophy, and computer science, and how it helps different societies form their own perceptions as well as stories.
If you are someone who’s interested in understanding the mechanics of language in relation to the existence of everything around us including us and for us, then you are going to looovvveee this.
I mean, I have already given you ample books to work on different aspects of speaking that might be a hindrance to your linguistic growth. So, the only concluding statement that I would like to use is rather a question.
Do you find it too tiring to go through all these hardships on your own?
Come to us, we will help you out.
- Carnegie, Dale. 2019. The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking. India: JAICO Publishing House, 2019. https://bit.ly/3lSTETs
- English for Everyone: English grammar guide. United States: DK Publishing, 2016. https://bit.ly/3N2an2v
- Finlay, Michelle. Everyday English for Grown-ups: Getting to Grips with the Basics. United Kingdom: Michael O'Mara, 2015. https://bit.ly/3LZcqDa
- McCarthy, Michael., O'Dell, Felicity. English Collocations in Use Intermediate Book with Answers: How Words Work Together for Fluent and Natural English. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2017. https://bit.ly/3lWikdQ
- Yates, Jean. Practice Makes Perfect: English Conversation, Premium Third Edition. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2020. https://bit.ly/3x07nNg