GBC 12 Non-word sounds

The only time you can score more by saying less

This is one of the easiest ways to increase your GBC score. You get penalised for using "non-word sounds". This means saying things like "um" and "ah". All you have to do is stop saying "um" and "ah", but it can be more difficult than you realise. We'll train you in this lesson to be more aware of yourself when you speak.


As we mentioned above, non-word sounds are "um" and "ah" and so on. It also includes words you might say in your first language as you think (e.g. 「えーと」 or 「なんだろう」).

What impression do these sounds make when you speak?

Warm Up: 

Answer the question that your teacher asks you.


There are three ways to deal with this issue:

  1. The first, easiest and most obvious strategy, is to say nothing. If you need to think, stop yourself from saying "um" or "ah".
  2. Use fillers, like "Let me see" or "That's a good question".
  3. Slow down a little, so your pauses seem more natural and to give yourself time to speak.

Now, let's do some more practice. Answer some questions from the G.B.C. test without making non-word sounds.