Fluency and Pronunciation Power for Speaking 26


Are you able to speak fluently without frequent hesitations during the exam?

  • You must have the automaticity to express your ideas effortlessly. This is a mastery you must achieve for 26+. It really shows that you can communicate and comment using English without even thinking about it.

Do you have the vocabulary to speak about different subjects?

  • The vocabulary expected for speaking is what an average person has while reading the media, newspapers, popular websites, and magazines. You must be comfortable using a variety of vocabulary. Simple vocabulary, not sophisticated, formal vocabulary.

Are you a well-rounded person?

  • Your goal should be to become well-rounded. That means becoming someone who has a broad knowledge of many subjects. The more well-rounded your ideas, opinions, your vocabulary, and knowledge of expression are, the closer you are to true fluency. (Especially, for Task 1 )

Here are more questions to ask:

  • Are you able to use basic and complex grammar structures automatically without effort?

  • Are you using natural, modern English phrases when you speak?

  • Are you a quick thinker and a speaker?

👉 Pronunciation and clear-sounding English Power

Correct pronunciation creates freedom and ease in your speech. It helps you build confidence, deliver your message clearly, and helps you with listening.

Important tips:

Asian students: You may be speaking fluently and expressing your ideas very well. Your grammar and vocabulary may be great, and you may still be stuck at 23 -25. This is because you don’t use certain sounds such as /x/, /d/, /st/, /wn/ correctly in many sentences. You do not pronounce /m/ /d/, and /s/ at the end of the sentences. You may also be speaking inside your mouth. All of those issues may be causing unclear speech.

I work with students from Hong Kong and Thailand. These are their main issues.

Indian students: You may be speaking fluently, yet you pause in the wrong places. Some of you don’t speak with the intonation and flow of English. Pay attention to /w/ and /er/ sounds. Open your mouth more when you are speaking.

Egyptian students: Even though many of you speak fluently, you sound flat and robotic. This is one of the reasons why you are stuck at 25. You pause in the wrong places, creating unclear responses.

Spanish speakers: /s/ at the beginning of the words is not pronounced correctly. Substituting a final M with N is a common problem. Z is pronounced like an S. The /y/ (as in ‘yes’) consonant sound and the /j/ (as in ‘job) switch places. The /v/ consonant is pronounced as /b/. Mispronouncing the H is another issue.

In Spanish, Arabic, and Thai languages, words never end in a consonant cluster, when two or more consonants are pronounced together with no vowels between them.

Spanish, Arabic and Thai speakers cannot say three or more consonants together without a vowel somewhere between them (what is often called a “consonant cluster”). What that means is when there is a consonant cluster, it has to be broken up by adding what is often called a “helping vowel.” I see this problem mostly with Egyptian speakers.

Avoid adding an extra vowel between consonants:

watched (not: watchɪd)

health (not: healəth )

dogs (not: dogəs)

strength, loved, texts

While clusters may appear at the beginning or middle of words in Spanish and Arabic (español, hombre, crédito), they never appear at the end of words and are almost impossible for Spanish and Arabic speakers to pronounce.

Therefore, it is very likely for Spanish, Arabic, and Thai speakers to unintentionally drop one or two consonant sounds if they are part of a final consonant sequence to bring the pronunciation closer to what’s possible in Spanish, or Arabic, Thai languages– a single consonant.


Sherlen Tanner English Exam Coaching is your place to finally learn how to take the TOEFL test, achieve a 26+ in speaking, and learn the dynamics of accent reduction, TOEFL test-taking and TOEFL test-prep skills, reading, writing, and English language fluency and mastery all under the guidance of an exam coach and her team.