When discussing the IELTS speaking test with students, one of two questions regarding body language tends to come up:
How does body language impact my band score?
How can I use body language to improve my band score?
The answer is this: Body language does not count toward your band score, and you should not change your body language with the hopes that it will improve your marks.
Some people naturally speak with a lot of body language, and others do not. Trying to modify how you use (or don’t use) gestures while you speak will come across as unnatural, which could actually lower your score. Instead of changing the way you typically speak, simply be yourself. This will help you be more comfortable and confident during your interview.
That being said, DO make some eye contact with the interviewer. Many people say otherwise, but eye contact is polite behavior, and I truly believe such behavior is warmly received by the examiner. DO NOT use gestures in place of words. You will be marked down for failing to use language to convey your points.
Feature image courtesy of Ana Bernardo on Flicr
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