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62% of Indian IELTS aspirants find it difficult to converse fluently in English, finds survey

The LeapScholar survey shows that 39% of IELTS language proficiency test aspirants use regional languages as fillers while conversing in English, 33% use Hollywood shows to improve.

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New Delhi: A survey by LeapScholar — an overseas study platform, has found that 62 per cent of Indian students still face difficulty in holding fluent conversations in English and its pronunciation.

Founded in 2019, LeapScholar is part of Leap, South Asia’s largest study abroad platform with products and services in overseas education. It has pioneered the ‘platform way’ of end-to-end services for students pursuing international education and careers.

LeapScholar, a thriving community of over 2 million students, conducted a survey on 60,000 International English Language Testing System (IELTS) aspirants.

The IELTS is the mandatory language proficiency test that students from non-English speaking countries have to take while applying for education in English-speaking countries.

The LeapScholar survey revealed that even though 71 per cent of IELTS aspirants studied English in school, they struggled to make impromptu conversations in the language. Moreover, 39 per cent of the respondents admitted that they use their regional, native language as a filler during a conversation in English.

The survey indicated that students found ‘speaking’ and ‘writing’ the tests to be the most difficult. Under the ‘reading’ category, 37 per cent found that concentration was the biggest challenge, while 36 per cent of the respondents found the meaning of the passages difficult to comprehend. In the speaking test, 27 per cent perceived they could improve their vocabulary and confidence the most.

Of the respondents, 56 per cent also mentioned that they want to work on improving their listening skills — one of the main elements of the IELTS.

Vaibhav Singh, co-founder of LeapScholar, highlighted the need for English education in a press statement: “With the spike in students aspiring to study abroad, fluency and command over the English language is critical and of utmost importance. In today’s globalised world, English serves as a medium of intra-national and international communication.”

OTT shows aid English-learning

The findings of the survey indicate that about 68 per cent of the respondents prefer online coaching to prepare for the IELTS exam. Respondents claimed that the shift to a predominantly online mode of learning due to Covid helped them prepare for the exam better.

Over 42 per cent said they practice sample tests to learn global accents. In comparison, 33 per cent said they watch Hollywood movies and TV shows like The OfficeSuits, and other shows that provide aspirational platforms for students to improve their English.

“The insightful findings of the survey throw light on the pulse and dynamics of the entire IELTS preparation journey of an Indian student,” added Singh in his statement.

(Edited by Gautamee Hazarika)

Also read: ‘Few jobs, bad pay, so why should we stay’? Behind Punjab youngsters’ rush for IELTS, migration


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