Did you know that 25% of your mark in the speaking test is for FLUENCY? You can make your language sound more fluent by using fillers. Fillers are little words, sounds or phrases that give you a moment to think. If you use them correctly, your English sounds more natural and more fluent.

Examiner: Tell me about your home town.
You: Wellll, um, let me see. I grew up in Melbourne in Australia. My home was in the inner suburbs and it was, and still is, a hub for transport and shopping. I remember …

In that example, three fillers have been strung together. It gives the speaker a moment to think, and it is quite a natural thing to do. Other options could be:
1. Um, my hometown. Let me see.
2. Wellllll, my hometown was quite large, but in the area where I lived everyone knew eachother when I was child. Today, it is quite different, …

In the first example above, the speaker has used a filler, then has repeated part of the question and then added another filler. It’s a good strategy.
Why are there so many llllllls on ‘well’ in the second example? Welllll, that’s because we often stretch out that final sound as an indication that we are thinking.

You should practice using fillers like these in your speaking. They give you time to think and they make your English sound more natural. (But, don’t overuse them … don’t say ummm, ahhh and then leave a long silence.)

speaking fillers

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