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31 minutes | a day ago
Benny from Fluent in 3 Months Shares his Secrets
Meet Benny! Benny runs Fluent in 3 Months – an invaluable site for learning languages fast! Benny has learnt over 6 languages to B2 level (fluently able to talk to a native about a range of subjects), and around 6 other languages at a basic level. In this podcast I ask our Irish polyglot friend the following questions: Which was the easiest language to learn? (It wasn’t Spanish). How does he get to “speaking level” the languages?How to get passionate about a language? You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post Benny from Fluent in 3 Months Shares his Secrets appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
36 minutes | 5 days ago
Recent IELTS Speaking Part 3 Topics and Answers
For your IELTS Speaking part 3, the IELTS examiner will ask a range of questions based on the topic that you had in part 2. This gives you an opportunity to expand and develop your answers and there is no set number of questions that you can be asked to answer. In this tutorial we look at some recent topics that have been asked in the 2020 IELTS exam. Happy Occasions How do people in your country celebrate happy occasions?Why do occasions usually make people happy?How important is the money spent on the occasion for making people happy?Is is a good idea to spend a lot of money on a birthday party?Is happiness today the same as it was in the past? Making Plans How do people usually make plans?Should you get advice when making plans?Who is the best advisor for big plans?What plans do governments have to make?How important is the public in helping governments to make plans? Recent IELTS Speaking Part 3 Topics You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post Recent IELTS Speaking Part 3 Topics and Answers appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
39 minutes | 8 days ago
IELTS or TOEFL: Which one should you take?
This tutorial compares important features of IELTS and TOEFL. This will provide you with sufficient information for you to:- decide which exam meets you educational or vocational needsdecide which exam best suits your personal style Is it better to take IELTS or TOEFL? Let’s look at the facts and then you decide. Acceptance What can you do with your IELTS or TOEFL certificates? Are both equally valid worldwide? Many people believe that because IELTS is not a test created in the USA, then it won’t be accepted there for study purposes. Likewise, they imagine that TOEFL would not be universally accepted in the UK, Australia or New Zealand. Well, neither belief is 100% true. A brief fact check:- IELTS is accepted by universities and colleges worldwideTOEFL is also accepted in all countries EXCEPT the UKInstitutions in the USA sometimes prefer you to have the TOEFL For immigration purposes:- IELTS General Training is a prerequisite for those applying for residency in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.To obtain a work, study or resident visa for the UK, you may be told to take IELTS UKVI. Length of validity: Both IELTS and TOEFL certificates are valid for a period of 2 years after the test date. Practical details An overview of factors such as cost, availability, frequency and the results process:- Costs are around the sameIELTS is offered at over 1,100 locations in 140 countriesTOEFL can be taken anywhere in the worldIELTS has 48 test dates per year; TOEFL a total of 50.Results of both are published around 2 weeks after the test date. Comparing format, content and scoring IELTS and TOEFL are similar in that the test is divided into 4 sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. But there are differences in terms of exam version and length, the content sources for each test, the predominant types of questions asked and the scoring system, although perhaps most noticeable is the lack of any face-to-face contact in TOEFL. Let’s compare these aspects beginning with the last one:- Computer or paper: IELTS’ candidates can take the paper based test or the less common computer delivered version. In both the Speaking section is done face-to-face with an examiner.TOEFL is predominantly computer delivered through what is known as the TOEFL iBT version. Everything, including the speaking part, is done online. A paper TOEFL version, in countries where internet connections are unavailable, is held just 4 times a year and the Speaking part is not included. Sections, exam version and length: As mentioned above, there are two versions of IELTS: Academic or General Training, the latter suited for those applying for immigration or for work purposes. In both, the first three sections – Listening, Reading and Writing – are taken on the same day. The test lasts two hours, thirty minutes with 30 minutes devoted to Listening and 60 minutes each to the other parts. The Speaking test takes around 15 minutes and is usually taken one or two days before the main part of the exam. Total exam length: 2 hours 45 minutes.TOEFL iBT follows a Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing sequence. Exam length may vary because in both Reading and Listening the number of tasks and questions is not always the same. So, Reading can last a minimum of 54 minutes, a maximum of 72; Listening from between 41 to 57 minutes. Then, after a short 10 minute break, the exam continues with Speaking, 17 minutes and 50 minutes for Writing. In total, we are looking at 2 hours 42 minutes minimum or 3 hours 16 minutes maximum. Content and question types For anyone aiming for college or university entrance, the Academic IELTS and the TOEFL are both rigorous assessments of English proficiency. Let’s see how they compare in terms of content and question types by first looking and the Listening and Reading sections before going on to Writing and Speaking. Listening and Reading IELTS Listening has four parts which follows a pattern of 2 speakers. You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of 10 questions on each. Recording topics are everyday social contexts in the first two, followed by two on academic topics. Recording one is between 2 speakers and the third can have as many as 4. Recordings 2 and 4 are always monologues. The Reading test consists of 3 passages and a total of 40 questions. Texts are taken from a variety of sources including textbooks, journals and magazines and are of general interest and non-specialist.In the TOEFL test, all the listening and reading tasks are based on academic type contexts. In Listening, candidates hear 3 or 4 short university lecture style talks followed by 2 or 3 conversations on academic topics (always with a maximum of 2 speakers). Reading passages, either 3 or 4, each around 700 words in length are typically taken from university textbooks. Ten questions are set on each part.Question types. Here there is a stark contrast. TOEFL only uses multiple choice questions in both parts. IELTS offers a broad range of question types including note completion, summary completion, sentence completion, matching, true/false as well as multiple choice, among others. Writing and Speaking IELTS writing comprises 2 tasks. In Task 1 you have to describe and comment on some data presented in graphic form (a pie chart, line graph, flow chart, plan or map) in a minimum of 150 words. Task 2 is an argumentative essay on a given title in a minimum of 250 words. Candidates are recommended to spend around 20 minutes on the first task and 40 on the second. Both parts are assessed by a certified external examiner according to descriptive band scales in four areas: task achievement or response; coherence and cohesion; lexical resource and grammatical range and accuracy.Speaking in IELTS is likewise graded by the certified oral examiner along similar descriptive guidelines though in the case named fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy and finally, pronunciation and intonation. The test has three parts: in the first part, lasting 5 minutes, the candidates answer a series of questions on general topics before being asked in part two to speak for 2 minutes on a given topic. The third part is a discussion between the candidate and the examiner on points of interest emerging from the topic given in part 2. An example of a Part 2 topic is: Describe an app you use on your mobile phone. You should say: what it ishow you use itwhat benefits do you get and explain why this mobile app is important to you. TOEFL writing also has two parts, the first of which (20 minutes) involves what they call an “integrated” task where you a topic is presented first via a reading text, then a short listening passage. You then have to write a summary of what you have read and heard. Task 2 (30 minutes) is a 300-350 word essay in response to a question.The TOEFL Speaking test has 4 parts, 3 of which are called “integrated” as in writing, involving as they do listening and or reading something before being asked to speak for up to 1 minute on the topic after 15 to 30 seconds preparation. The fourth part is “independent” and follows the same time frame guidelines. Here’s an example: Which of the following technological developments has made the greatest impact on students’ lives? (1) Electronic books (2) Online classes (3) Smart phones.IELTS Part 3, the discussion phase is similar to the Independent TOEFL speaking activity. The IELTS Part 2 example given above could easily develop partly into a similar discussion as the TOEFL example. The difference is that in IELTS the discussion is two-way and thus possibly more fluid and natural. Scoring IELTS is graded from 0-9 and each test taker will receive an overall Band Score which represents the average of the 4 scores on the same 0-9 scale in each section of the exam. In Listening and Reading, the band score is based on the number of correct answers out of the total of 40. In Writing and Speaking the band score is the average of the four scores given for each assessed ability.Generally speaking, universities will require you to obtain an overall score of at least 6.0 and probably higher in the case of more demanding institutions so a score of 7.0 or higher is good.TOEFL is scored on a maximum of 30 points per exam section, a total of 120 points.The TOEFL equivalent of an IELTS score between 7.0 and 8.0 is a score of 95 to 120, both rated a C1 on the CEFR scale. A higher IELTS score, 8.5 to 9.0 would be considered perfectly bilingual, a C2 on the CEFR scale. (for more detail on these equivalences, read this article from the International Journal of English Linguistics: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330740868) Making the choice IELTS and TOEFL are the world’s most reliable and respected tests of English proficiency. The choice between one and the other may well depend on personal or external circumstances. The personal angle might include a preference for the undoubted “human” element in IELTS or feeling more comfortable with a keyboard and screen rather than pencil and paper. One way to get a feel for the tests is to check out official sites and take a practice test at https://www.ielts.org/about-the-test/sample-test-questions or https://www.ets.org/toefl/test-takers/ibt/prepare/tests/. You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post IELTS or TOEFL: Which one should you take? appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
28 minutes | 15 days ago
How to Label a Diagram in IELTS Reading
Take a look at some our latest tips to help you understand how to label a diagram in the IELTS exam. Here’s an interesting way to use reading tests from the Cambridge IELTS books: Choose a passage from one of the reading tests. Get the correct answers from the back of the book. Now read the first question, underline keywords, and search for the answer in the passage – you already know the correct answer, so your only aim is to find where it is in the passage. Underline words in the passage that have the same meaning as the keywords in the question. When you have done this for each question, make a keyword table. This technique forces you to stop testing yourself. Instead, it makes you focus on finding key vocabulary and understanding the reason for each answer. You might be surprised at the improvements you make if you regularly practise in this way. Only scan quickly if you are searching for a name or a number. 2. When preparing for the reading test at home, try not to worry about time at first. Your first concern should be to get the score you need, even if it takes you 3 hours instead of 1 hour to do a full test. 3. Read better rather than read faster. Work on better reading before working on speed. In short, break it down. Decide which skill you will work on. Rather than trying to complete both at the same time. 4. Labelling a diagram This question asks you to label the digestive system of an earthworm. You should already know where the paragraph is that has this information. If not, skim through until you find it. We now need to learn about scanning. 5.Skimming and scanning vs finding and understanding But the danger is that students focus more on these techniques than on the passage that they are reading, with the result that they often miss the answers by skimming or scanning past them! Here’s some simple advice: Skimming basically means ‘reading very quickly’. Only skim if you are looking for a distinctive word that doesn’t have any synonyms e.g. “Manchester”. Scanning basically means ‘looking for something without reading’. Only scan if you’re searching for a number e.g. “1999”. For all other questions, forget about skimming and scanning; just read the passage carefully at normal speed. 6. Instead of skimming too quickly or reading each word slowly, I recommend that you read phrase by phrase. For example, read the first sentence of this lesson as three phrases: People who read too quickly ….. in the IELTS test ….. often miss the answers. Try to get into the habit of reading phrase by phrase. You should find that you can go at a reasonable speed and that you’ll understand (almost) everything. 7. Do Topic Research Psychology, children’s development, family and education are common topics in the IELTS reading test. A good place to read articles about these topics is the “Psychology Today” website. For example, click here to read a recent article about the benefits of exercise for children. It’s good reading practice, and you’ll find some great vocabulary that you could use in the writing and speaking tests. IELTS Reading: how questions are made The people who write the questions for IELTS reading do something like this: They take a reading passage. They read through the passage and stop when they find something interesting. They make a question about that part of the passage, usually by paraphrasing it. For example, if the phrase “staff salaries” is used in the passage, the question writer might create a question with the words “employees’ wages”. In other words, they use the “keyword technique” to write the questions, which is why you should use it to find the answers. EXAMPLE 1 By limiting food intake, caloric restriction minimizes the amount of glucose entering cells and decreases ATP generation. One possibility relates to the ATP making machinery’s emission of free radicals, which are thought to contribute to aging and to such age-related diseases as cancer by damaging cells. Another hypothesis suggests that decreased processing of glucose could indicate to cells that food is scarce (even if it isn’t) and induce them to shift into an anti-aging mode that emphasizes preservation of the organism over such ‘luxuries’ as growth and reproduction. Did think it was “anti-ageing” because “cells focus on” and “induce them to shift into an anti-aging”, however, the whole article is about anti-ageing so it isn’t going to be the correct answer. EXAMPLE 2 Lots of paragraphs, I need to find the one relevant for this diagram. Found it: D An earthworm has a very intricate digestive system, partitioned into many regions, each with a certain function. The digestive system consists of the pharynx, the esophagus, the crop, the intestine and the gizzard. Food such as soil, tiny stones and bits of grit enters the earthworm’s mouth, a small opening at the top of the earthworm, where it is swallowed by the pharynx. Then the soil passes through the esophagus, which has calciferous glands that release calcium carbonate to rid the earthworm’s body of excess calcium. After it passes through the esophagus, the food moves into the crop where it is stored and then eventually moves into the gizzard. The gizzard uses stones that the earthworm eats to grind the food completely. The food moves into the intestines as gland cells in the intestine release fluids to aid in the digestive process. The intestinal wall contains blood vessels where the digested food is absorbed and transported to the rest of the body. Any discarded waste that leaves the earthworm’s body is called a cast, which the earthworms then distribute by moving about, providing nutrition for the soil. In my case, it’s all together. Now it’s finding and understanding what is happening. Fortunately the writer has placed the information in a logical order, starting with the mouth and ending with “discarded waste”. Questions 7-12 Complete the labels on the diagram below based on the information from the reading passage FINAL TIPS Have you tried doing the test samples on the official IELTS website (ielts.org)? Click here to go to the academic reading download page, then here for the general reading samples. You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post How to Label a Diagram in IELTS Reading appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
48 minutes | 20 days ago
Pronunciation Tips from a Language Expert
In our tutorial this week we have a special guest, an English pronunciation expert, who will share some amazing tips to help you with your speaking for the IELTS exam. In this tutorial, we will: Share strategies to help you combat your nerves in the speaking exam. Share a 80/20 hack method for pronunciation, to help you improve fast! Explain weak forms and strong forms and whether it will help with your speaking. Thank you to Karen from Blue Canoe Learning for these expert tips! Click here to see the The Color Vowel® Chart to start your speaking practice. We have a range of tutorials on our website to help you prepare for your IELTS speaking test, take a look at them here: IELTS Speaking Test Idioms for your IELTS Speaking How your speaking exam is evaluated How to achieve band 9 in IELTS Speaking To improve your speaking fast, try our IELTS Speaking Feedback Service to get expert feedback from our tutors. You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | Podcast: Play in new window | Download Amazing Pronunciation Tips from an Expert! The post Pronunciation Tips from a Language Expert appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
25 minutes | 22 days ago
How to use your time wisely in IELTS Writing
Get some handy tips that will keep you from losing points. IELTS is a language test but it also tests your test-taking skills so it’s important to have a good strategy when you are taking the exam. Below find some of our tips. Start with task 2 always. Why?If you run out of time and don’t write your conclusion or don’t finish a sentence & leave it in the middle, you will not get higher than a 5 for Coherence and Cohesion.It’s worth double the marks so it’s worth spending time onUse the time before you write wisely. Spend 3-4 minutes reading the question. Make sure you 100% understand the question so you can do well in Task Achievement Spend about 5 minutes jotting down notes – an outline. What are your main ideas & what support do you have for them? Don’t forget to double check them against the questions so that you are in fact answering the question.Use a template. Examiners are trained in understanding memorized language but learn a template for each kind of question – key expressions for your introduction, conclusion & topic sentences. This will keep you from spending time on the structural elements of the essay and instead allow you to focus on topic development. We help you with such a template when you sign up to the online course.if you follow these tips, you still have approximately 32 minutes to write and review your writing. Learning a template will speed you up and allow you to essentially plug in key elements into your essayMake sure you spend the appropriate amount of time on different areas of the essay: Introduction – 4 minutesbody paragraph 1 – 10 minutesbody paragraph 2 – 10 minutesconclusion – 3 minutesreview – 5 minutes count the lines, not words & figure out what your average word per line is so you can approximate your word countWith task 1, here again, it is important to dedicate time to understanding the task. When does the information take place? Which tense should you use? Past? Present? Future? Highlight the key points in the graph – the highs, the lows and any other things you can group together. You are allowed to write on the booklet so use it for your notes BUT don’t write your entire essay there – just key words or expressionsWrite your overview right after the introduction. This way, if you run out of time you will have included this piece of information which is necessary to get at least a band 6 in Task Achievement. You can download or listen to the audio version here: Podcast: Play in new window | Download| Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | Subscribe: Android | RSSThe post How to use your time wisely in IELTS Writing appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
37 minutes | a month ago
How Difficult is the IELTS Exam?
What to expect in the IELTS Exam In this tutorial you will: learn about the test conditions see how best to prepare for the exam become aware of the need for quality feedback realise the importance of timing in each exam section discover how vital the ability to paraphrase is This will help you to: make critical decisions on how to study for IELTS Exam with effort and guidance, obtain a high IELTS band score The IELTS Exam The world’s leading test of English language proficiency, IELTS is not difficult in itself. In less than 3 hours, it assesses your abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking. The exam conditions, including the length and format of each part, the types of questions and tasks included, the methodology used to correct the test and so on, are standardized. That simply means that the same conditions apply to everyone who takes the test and the types of questions of each section are predictable. You can trust it. IELTS materials, including practice tests, are abundant. For more information, see for example: https://www.ielts.org/about-the-test/sample-test-questions. How to prepare for the IELTS The best advice practically writes itself. Here’s a brief checklist: become very familiar with the format of each part of the test know what types of questions are asked in each part and what skills they are assessing know your strengths and weaknesses in the skills being tested and work on those weak points prepare a coherent study plan and keep to it for reading and listening practice by doing IELTS tests and, especially as the test date gets closer, under exam conditions check your progress, ideally by seeking expert feedback and advice. Take a look at our IELTS Writing Evaluation online for more information. How to get a good IELTS score Test results indicate that average IELTS band scores are somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5, equivalent to a B2 CEFR level, that is, an independent language user more than capable of understanding and being understood in most contexts with little difficulty. It’s a score that would guarantee a university or college place for many students who require IELTS for entry. But it’s average all the same. So, what does it take to obtain an overall band 7.0 or, even better, an 8.0? Is it simply a question of preparation and practice, of acquiring more vocabulary and being both fluent and accurate in writing and speech and working systematically on improving our listening and reading skills? Well, yes, of course it is. And perhaps the question is not “how difficult is IELTS?” but “why do exam takers make IELTS difficult for themselves?” Let’s look at one of two main reasons why your IELTS score may not be as good as it should be. Time management Preparation time is a serious topic. Without this you can find yourself taking IELTS again and again and again. Not only is this costly but it can be very depressing and frustrating. This can be overcome by a schedule and following these guidelines. Exam Time Management Four tests in less than three hours. Although the speaking test is invariably on a different day, the other three parts come one after the other on the same day with very short breaks in between, a total of two hours forty five minutes! Add to that the number of questions you have to answer, the length of the reading texts, the strict and possibly severe time limits you face to complete the writing tasks, all of these and more add up to several dangers: lack of focus and lapses of concentration. Leading you to miss out questions in listening and maybe reading too lack of time to prepare for the writing tasks in the speaking test, being unable to speak in Part 2 for the full 2 minutes without unnecessary repetitions. IELTS Listening Section As for each part of the test, in IELTS Listening, where you have 30 minutes to answer 40 questions on 4 listening tasks, might be challenging are the facts that:- You only hear recordings once The sections are progressively more difficult in terms of complexity and the types of questions They follow each other in quick succession. Concentration becomes an issue, possibly leading to leaving your answers to some questions blank This means that in the listening test, time is apparently in control. Our only choice is to keep up with it and focus and apply the following strategies:- Use the time before each section to read the questions carefully Try to answer all the questions but if you miss one, don’t panic Make time at the end to check for any avoidable errors such as spelling In the IELTS Reading test, where again we have 40 questions but 60 minutes to answer them, the time factor is simply that the texts are too long to be “read”. You can’t read everything. You need to apply the right reading strategies from the beginning of your IELTS preparation right through to exam day. These include: Make a check list of the range of question types. Which do you find trickier? Practice as much as possible reading for gist (skimming) and reading for details (scanning) Always work from the questions (what you have to do, what you are looking for) to the text. This will help you save time. Build up your reading speed by taking on longer texts for the same time and/or reducing the time spent on each reading Use underlining to help you identify relevant parts of the text Do not worry about words you may not understand. Try to see them in context, in the bigger picture. IELTS Writing Section For many, IELTS Writing is the hardest part of IELTS. With some differences between the Academic and General Training versions, it has two parts: Task 1: either a description and interpretation of some visual data (pie chart or charts, line graph or graphs) or a letter on a given subject Task 2: an argumentative essay on a given topic Two tasks in 60 minutes with one third of that devoted to Task 1 and the remaining 40 minutes to Task 2. Many find this extremely challenging. But, the key is to be in strict control of the timing in each part and this can be achieved through practice and helpful feedback. For example: Task 1: 5 minutes to read the question (the context and tasks if it’s the GT letter; the graphic data and its most important information and interpretation for the Academic version) 10-12 minutes writing, using knowledge and skills acquired in IELTS preparation, ensuring that you include an overview and have described and compared all the relevant details. 2- 3 minutes to check over, paying particular attention to correcting any avoidable errors such as verb tenses, subject-verb concordance and spelling. Task 2: 5-8 minutes to work out an essay plan and structure. If, for example, you are asked to discuss both sides of an argument and give your own opinion, make a list of around 3 or 4 “for” and “against” points. Include an example or two from knowledge or personal experience. 25-30 minutes to write. 5-8 minutes to check. IELTS Speaking Section Finally, IELTS Speaking appears to be like Listening because you don’t have any real control over time. The examiner engages you in conversation and you have very little or no time to “think”, except of course in Part 2 when you talk about a topic for 2 minutes and you have a precious one minute to prepare after receiving your cue card which will look something like this: Describe the person in your family who you most admire. You should say: what his/her relationship is to you what s/he has done in your life what s/he does now and explain why you admire this person so much. You would be amazed by the number of IELTS candidates that spend the 60 seconds preparation time writing hardly anything at all on the note paper provided. The important point is to use these precious seconds planning your answer. The easiest way is to follow the 4 cues you already have and note down useful vocabulary to use in each part. By “useful”, I don’t mean the obvious sequence of, shall we say, “father, helped me, good advice, old now, retired” but something more substantial. Remember that one of the keys to success in IELTS is to show that you have a rich and varied vocabulary. Here is one opportunity to show that. This is only an example but try it out yourself with this and other Speaking topics:- Introduction: family precious to me/society based on family structure/culture I most admire: my father: key person in family; maintains it Guided me and my siblings; support and advice in career + personal life Showed me path to take but never forced me, left final decisions to me Helping hand also to many others: neighbours, colleagues Now retired; pursues favourite hobbies (gardening and photograph) But still there for all of us For me an inspiration; lucky to have him. Perhaps in one minute, these notes are too much to ask but, believe me, it is worth the effort. Start using that one minute to your advantage. You will see the benefits. The mention of the importance of vocabulary brings us to the second way to make what seems difficult, easy or easier in the IELTS test. Vocabulary and paraphrasing The second aspect to think about applies to the entire exam but let’s look at a specific example from a listening test. It refers to paraphrasing, that is, different ways to express the same idea. The most important tip you will ever get about the IELTS exam is that both in listening and reading, the answer is right there in what was said or what was written. Much of IELTS is in fact based on the notion of paraphrasing, of saying the same thing in different ways. Your ability to recognise this feature in the listening and reading tests and to be able to make use of paraphrasing in writing and speaking is the key to obtaining a high score. Look at this from Section 3 of a practice Listening Test: Question 21: Why is Jack interested in studying seed germination? He may do a module on a related topic later on He wants to have a career in plant science He is thinking of choosing this topic for his dissertation Now look at the script: Emma: We’ve got to choose a topic for our experiment, haven’t we Jack? Were you thinking of doing something with seeds? Jack: That’s right – I thought we could look at seed germination – how a seed begins to grow. Emma: OK. Any particular reason? I know you’re hoping to work in plant science eventually. Jack: Yeah, but practically everything we do will feed into that. No, there’s an optional module on seed structure and function in the third year that I might do so I thought it might be useful for that. If I do that option, I don’t have to do a dissertation module. Emma: Good idea. He may do ….I might do; a topic on a related topic later on…an optional module on seed structure and function in the third year. So, why is Jack interested in seed germination ? …because “it might be useful for that” (that is, the third year optional module). All a simple question of saying something in more than one way. Added to that of course, we see questions that intend to distract our attention. Paraphrasing is also there: “wants to have a career in plant science” …”is hoping to work in plant science eventually” , true, but Jack points out that “everything” will “feed into that”, not just this one module. And if he does the other course in the third year, then a dissertation won’t be necessary. To end, remember that a high IELTS score requires a good deal of personal effort and help and advice from experts to help you plan and prepare for the exam. There are many factors involved and the way we use time to our advantage and our awareness and knowledge of paraphrasing are just two that help you to achieve the band score you need. You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post How Difficult is the IELTS Exam? appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
27 minutes | a month ago
What is the difference between the IELTS General and IELTS Academic exam?
In this tutorial you will learn: Specific differences between IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic tests in all the 4 exam sections (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking). This will help you in your IELTS Speaking exam because: You will learn the purposes of General Training and Academic IELTS exams. You will see real examples of what the two exam types tasks look like You will learn how to prepare for the two test types and will get a useful list of resources to build your vocabulary and language skills. Congratulations, you’ve just found out that you need to take the IELTS exam. Wait, but there are TWO of them: IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic. Which one do you actually need and why? And how different are they, if there are two? We are going to explain all these in today’s tutorial. Believe me, it’s much easier when you can see the differences clearly. Now, the IELTS General Training exam evaluates your English proficiency in an everyday context. You will need this type of test for emigration or work in an English-speaking country, or even in the process of obtaining citizenship in certain countries, like Canada. In other words, you are required to demonstrate that you can understand and handle daily life, leisure, employment and training related texts. This is why the exam materials, such as reading passages and listening excerpts, will reflect mostly workplace and social situations. On the other hand, IELTS Academic assesses whether your English level is appropriate for an academic environment. So, if you intend to go to school (college, university bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programs) in an in an English-speaking country you will have to take IELTS Academic. This exam tests your ability to survive the study loads, readings and methods in an English-language college or university. This is why the test materials will be full of academic vocabulary and comprise a wide range of academic, science-related topics. SIMILARITIES Both IELTS Academic and General Training Tests Have four parts which come in this order: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking Last about 3 hours which are broken down by exam section as follows Listening 40 questions 40 minutes Reading 40 questions 60 minutes Writing 2 writing tasks (one shorter and one longer) 60 minutes Speaking 3 sections 10-15 minutes Have NO DIFFERENCE in Listening and Speaking. Yes, this means that Listening and Speaking test sections in IELTS General Training and Academic tests are absolutely THE SAME. Isn’t that a relief! Can be taken in two formats: paper-based and computer-based. DIFFERENCES Now, it’s obvious that the differences can be found in only the Reading and the Writing sections. Differences between the IELTS Reading Sections in IELTS General Training vs Academic The two types of Reading test are mainly different in reading passage numbers and topics; there’s also a very slight difference in question types but is tiny. Differences in Reading Passage NUMBERS In the IELTS Academic Reading test the number of reading passages in each section is the same. Section 1: one shorter article (may seem easier than the other two) Section 2: one longer article Section 3: one longer article In the IELTS GeneralTraining Reading test the number of reading passages varies in each section. Section 1: up to 3 short texts Section 2: 2 texts Section 3: one long text Differences in Reading Passage TOPICS In IELTS Academic Reading: All texts are on topics of general interest but closely related to a variety of academic subjects or topics such as: Plant/animal/human biology Chemistry, physics Astronomy, space exploration Mathematics, computer science Medicine Inventors and inventions History, anthropology Psychology, sociology Culture and civilization Education Arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, music, crafts Language and linguistics Environment conservation Law Business, economics, marketing, management, etc. In IELTS General Training Reading: Section 1: Up to 3 texts related to everyday life (travel leaflets, college brochures, accommodation lists, safety procedures, classified ads, newsletters, advertisements, noticeboards, etc.) Section 2: 2 texts related to work or professional training (job descriptions, work policies, guidelines, manuals, etc.) Section 3: one long text of general interest (newspaper/magazine articles, book extracts or internet texts on the environment, civilization, business, culture, history, people, transport, etc.) Differences in Reading QUESTION TYPES There are 15 types of questions are used in both the IELTS Academic and the General tests. There is only ONE additional type added in the Academic test (see the lists below). Both General Training and Academic Reading Tests Question Types: Sentence completion Sentence completion with a box Short answer questions Notes / table / flow chart completion Matching Classification Labelling a diagram Paragraph headings Finding information in paragraphs Summary completion Summary completion with a box True / False / Not Given Yes / No / Not Given Multiple choice Pick from a list Global multiple choice – ONLY IN IELTS ACADEMIC TEST Differences between the IELTS Writing Sections in IELTS General Training vs Academic Yet, some of the major differences between the two exam types are found in the Writing section of the examination. Let’s see what they are. First, there are of course similarities. In both IELTS General Training and Academic there are TWO writing tasks, and BOTH must be completed. The conditions listed below are the same for both exams. Time given: 60 minutes Tasks: 2 Marking: Task 1 = ~33% of the entire Writing score, Task 2 = ~66% of the entire Writing score. In both General Training and Academic Writing tests you will have to write your answers using complete sentences, and not incomplete notes or bulleted lists. You will have to write your answers on the answer sheet provided, and not on a blank sheet of paper, using pencil or pen. You will be allowed to write brainstorming notes on the question paper, but these will not be assessed by the writing examiner. IELTS Academic Writing In Task 1, you will have to describe a visual in your own words. This visual may be either a line graph, pie chart, table, diagram or map. You will need to write no less than 150 words and, preferably, no more than 250 words in about 20 minutes. In Task 2, you will have to write an essay based on a task on a topic related to an academic issue that will include a point of view, argument or problem which you will need to discuss. You will have to write no less than 250 words and, preferably, no more than 350 words in about 40 minutes. IELTS General Training Writing In Task 1, you will need to write a formal or informal letter, for example, asking for information or explaining a situation. You will need to write no less than 150 words and, preferably, no more than 250 words in about 20 minutes. In Task 2, you will have to write an essay based on a task on a topic of general interest that will include a point of view, argument or problem which you will need to discuss. You will have to write no less than 250 words and, preferably, no more than 350 words in about 40 minutes. WRITING TASK SAMPLES Here are some task samples for Writing tasks for IELTS General Training and Academic. Task 1 General Training Task 1 Academic You live in a room in college which you share with another student. However, there are many problems with this arrangement and you find it very difficult to work. Write a letter to the accommodation officer at the college. In the letter, • describe the situation • explain your problems and why it is difficult to work • say what kind of accommodation you would prefer The chart below shows the number of men and women in further education in Britain in three periods and whether they were studying fulltime or part-time. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant. Task 2 General Training Task 2 Academic In Britain, when someone gets old, they often go to live in a home with other old people where there are nurses to look after them. Sometimes the government has to pay for this care. Who do you think should pay for this care, the government or the family? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. The first car appeared on British roads in 1888. By the year 2000 there may be as many as 29 million vehicles on British roads. Alternative forms of transport should be encouraged and international laws introduced to control car ownership and use. To what extent do you agree or disagree? When you write your responses, you need to keep in mind that you will be assessed and marked based on the following criteria: Task achievement : how correctly and appropriately your answer covers the task requirements, using the minimum of 150 words for Task 1 and 250 words for Task 2. In Task 1, all the information you require is given in the diagram. You must not add any information o your own. In Task 2, Task your answer should include how well you develop your argument in response to the task, providing evidence and supporting examples. Coherence and cohesion: how easy to understand and fluent your writing is, and how you organise the flow of your ideas and supporting facts. This refers to arranging your ideas in a logical order, and using well a variety of linking words (for example, connectors, pronouns and conjunctions, etc.). Lexical resource : this is about the variety of the words you have used, and how correct and appropriate your vocabulary use is. Grammatical range and accuracy: this is about the range of grammatical forms you have used in your writing and how correctly you have used them. STUDY RESOURCES FOR VOCABULARY BUILDING One of the main strengths of any IELTS test taker, either General Training or Academic is, of course a rich vocabulary. The following recommendations will be useful for both exam types test takers, and for both Reading and Writing. In the case of Reading, you will have to be able to recognize and interpret vocabulary correctly, while in the Writing section, you will have to use a good range of appropriate, topical vocabulary in order to get the score you dream of. We already mentioned that in the IELTS Academic test you will have to read texts on topics of general interest but from various academic subjects or topics. Yet, the IELTS General Training test will also showcase similar, complex vocabulary loaded vocabulary articles, especially in Sections 2 and 3. Such reading passages may come in the form of authentic articles from newspapers, books, textbooks, magazines, or journals. The topics in these articles are many but not infinite. Remember this list and make sure that you practice reading texts in English on these topics. Plant/animal/human biology Chemistry, physics Astronomy, space exploration Mathematics, computer science Inventors and inventions History, anthropology Psychology, sociology Culture and civilisation Education Arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, music, crafts Language and linguistics Environment conservation Business, economics, marketing, management Medicine Law You can find articles on these for your practice in a variety of online sources: BBC News Financial Times Bloomberg National Geographic Discover Magazine Scientific American New Scientist Don’t forget that extensive reading and processing (collecting synonyms and explanations for new words) of new vocabulary directly contributes to the enrichment of your Writing vocabulary. So make sure you read extensively a variety of articles on all sorts of topics of general and academic interest. Remember, all these recommendations are equally useful for improving Writing, Reading and even Listening, for both IELTS General Training and Academic test takers! Also, there are certain academic words that will frequently appear in many academic subjects and articles on them. If you understand these words, it will be considerably easier for you to handle the IELTS Reading test. However, such academic word lists do not contain special technical words which are characteristic to a given field or science or general, high frequency words. Here are some sample academic word lists with additional explanations or exercises that will be helpful for you, no matter whether you intend to improve your Reading or Writing. And of course, check out the resources we have on our IELTS Podcast website about vocabulary learning and improvement: https://www.ieltspodcast.com/ielts-vocabulary/lexical-resource/ https://www.ieltspodcast.com/ielts-vocabulary/accommodation/ https://www.ieltspodcast.com/ielts-vocabulary-phrasebook/ https://www.ieltspodcast.com/ielts-vocabulary/books-film-art/ https://www.ieltspodcast.com/ielts-vocabulary/work-from-home/ https://www.ieltspodcast.com/ielts-vocabulary/social-media/ https://www.ieltspodcast.com/ielts-vocabulary/advertising/ Feel free to explore these to get a full understanding of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening IELTS test sections, test sample tasks and answers to them! To receive expert feedback and improve your IELTS band score fast, take a look at our IELTS online course! You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | What is the difference between the IELTS general and IELTS Academic exam? The post What is the difference between the IELTS General and IELTS Academic exam? appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
33 minutes | a month ago
IELTS SUCCESS: Jesny Jumps from 6.5 to 7.5!
Meet Jesny! She is an HR professional based in India and has now started the express entry program to immigrate to Canada. Jesny had amazing grades in the other areas. Largely by practice tests and identifying her weak points. She also tried different strategies, and figured out which one worked best for her (reading the text first before attempting the questions). However, Jesny was stuck at 6.5 for the writing. She was studying from different sources for her writing prep, Youtube, Google etc… On Youtube each teacher has a different method, and none are accountable because all the information is free. This resulted in a lot of confusion and frustration. In the end, after reading our reviews on Trustpilot she decided to join our IELTS online course: Jump to Band 7 or it’s Free. And the rest is history! You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | Jesny jumps from band 6.5 to 7.5! The post IELTS SUCCESS: Jesny Jumps from 6.5 to 7.5! appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
30 minutes | a month ago
Sample Answers For Discuss Both Views and Give Your Opinion Questions
In this tutorial, we take a look at recent Task 2 questions seen in the IELTS exam. We answer three “ Discuss both views and give your opinion” essay type questions. This kind of essay requires you to discuss both views and present your opinion, with reasons supporting your answers. Listen to the full tutorial for the sample answers and ideas on how to best deal with these types of questions. Task 2 questions we will answer: 1.Some people prefer one-on-one lessons, while others prefer groups. Discuss both views and give your opinion. 2. Many people believe that we should protect all wild animals while others believe we should just protect some of them. Discuss both views and give your opinion. 3. Many people believe that individuals are responsible for their own happiness, while others think happiness is dependent on other external factors. Discuss both views and include your own opinion. Give reasons for your answer and examples from your experience. For expert feedback to improve your IELTS writing, take a look at our essay correction service. Here are some more tutorials to help you prepare for Task 2. IELTS Task 2 Essay TypesSample Task 2 QuestionsBand 9 Sample Essays You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | IELTS Task 2 Model Answers: Discuss Both Views and Give Your Opinion The post Sample Answers For Discuss Both Views and Give Your Opinion Questions appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
27 minutes | 4 months ago
How to pass IELTS Speaking Part 3
In this tutorial, we will: Share advice and tips on how to pass your IELTS Speaking part 3 in the IELTS exam. Look at the 4 categories that you are graded on and see what each one means Look at some example questions and learn some new vocabulary to use in your responses. The speaking test has 3 parts and one important thing to appreciate in order to pass your IELTS speaking test is how the examiner will be marking you in your IELTS speaking test. The four categories you are graded on are : Fluency and Accuracy Pronunciation Grammatical range and accuracy, so that is all the complex grammar structures which we are going to be looking at today Lexical range which means how wide your vocabulary is and how easily you are able to use collocations, use synonyms and compound words. The IELTS Speaking test has 3 parts: Part 1 lasts around 4-5 minutes and is designed as a warm up to help you feel relaxed and get used to the examiner’s voice. You will be asked some questions about your work / studies before a variety of questions about familiar topics such as your family, hobbies, schooling or education, music, festivals or traditions in your country. IELTS Speaking Part 2 is often called the ‘Long turn’ and is a kind of presentation. You are presented with a cue card which contains a series of questions about a single topic. After a minute to think, prepare and write notes, you will start speaking and have to keep going as fluently and coherently as you can for around 2 minutes. Speaking Part 3 lasts around 4 minutes you will be asked some more abstract and wide ranging questions relating to the cue card you had in Part 2. To score very highly here in IELTS speaking part 3 you need to master skills which relate to speaking confidently and coherently on a wider range of topical subjects. Let’s take a look at some of these subskills starting with comparing and contrasting. This means thinking of similarities and differences. Here is a typical Part 3 question: I want you to keep these three key words in your head: Both, but and for example while you listen to these questions. The topic here is Sport and the cue card for Part 2 was about Describing a sport which you have played in a team. P3: Which is more exciting to watch: athletics or gymnastics? Remember the four words (both, but/ however, for example) and listen to this example answer – or even better pause here and write down your own first. They are both sporting activities which demand a significant amount of skill and dedication and are usually both started at a young age – especially if you want to become a professional but I think that athletics has a wider appeal and the track races such as the 100m or 200m can be incredibly exciting! For example, in the Olympics, those races are usually the highlight of the athletics competition. Here’s another example – also sport. Is it better to attend a sporting event or watch it on television? Remember those four words and write down your own answer to test yourself now you have had an example. Well, I know that watching both live or on TV can be exciting and that fans always make time to support their favourite team or individual sportsman. However, in my country participating in live matches is out of reach for many budgets as the ticket prices has risen dramatically in recent years, for example stadium seats for football matches are often over £150 and on that basis watching on TV with friends or family is a more accessible option. Summary: Have answered all parts of question/ structured it well/ added range of vocab without repetition. I have used a lot of ‘sport vocab’ here and paraphrased eg attend / participate in . I have Understood the question needed me to compare and contrast and made sure that this is what the answer does! Next, identifying problems or reasons and detailing which is not always as easy as it sounds and is very important to be confident and happy with for all Parts of the IELTS speaking test. Let’s have a look at another example. It’s a good idea to think of Part 3 as a discussion with the examiner. Your answers will be shorter than in the Part 2 presentation and imagine that you having an interesting conversation with a friend / tutor/ colleague so make sure you pause and allow time for the examiner to ask another question or react to what you are saying. The topic here is Urban problems, again very common in IELTS both writing and speaking tests. P3: What are the biggest problems faced in many cities today? You have to react quickly here BUT if you have been preparing for your exam carefully and I strongly recommend trying the technique of mindmapping which we have also recommended for Task 2 writing. On your mindmap – place city problems in the centre and draw lines out from this. THINK – what are some problems in your own city? Start with these and then move out from here, thinking about other geographical or political areas as well as adding social or environmental problems. This is such a great way of organising your thoughts. I know you won’t have time to do this in the Part 3 BUT remember part 3 continues the theme from part 2 – so if you have done a quick mindmap for Part 2 a lot of this content may still be useful for you. Listen to this answer: working from my mindmap I am going to 1. Identify problems and 2. Add details. It seems like most cities across the world are facing huge challenging at the moment. Ranging from environmental as levels of pollution are high due to factory emissions and this affects air quality to overcrowding and overpopulation as so many people have been obliged to relocate to urban areas in order to look for work or schooling for their children. Identify problems: pollution and overcrowding. Detail – factories / air quality + work and schooling. Another example, similar topic. What problems does an overreliance on private transport cause in urban areas? Same strategy; identify and then detail. For many cities and town planners transport has to be one of the most important and worrying issues and as use of private cars has continued to grow, traffic problems including traffic jams, pollution and dangerous air quality have become more and more concerning. In China, for example, the government have implemented policies which only allow people to drive on certain days of the week. Identify problem/ add detail in using an example. Developing your opinion. In Part 3 you can of course talk about your own opinion BUT it is also very important to think of this as a broader discussion and not just making it about what you think. It is really useful preparation to practice expressing your opinion and writing it down as well and here is a useful exercise to do this! Take a pen and paper and write down this list; Health, wealth, family. Society, career growth, intellectual growth. How important are these in your life? If you had to rank them 1-6 how would you do this? WHY did you decide this? In part 3 (and in writing part 2) you may need to present and then justify your opinion. – equally you may want to disagree or challenge a statement. Make a note of some of the useful language you will hear in these examples: P3. Do you agree that teaching children is easier than teaching adults? Many people would agree with this assertion as children learn quickly and often more easily than adults, especially if the topic is new or exciting but I think thatjust because they are young and keen, it does not necessarily follow that youngsters are easier to teach. In fact, in many cases, teachers may have discipline issues to deal with which is a lot less likely with adults. P3. Do you think parents should control how much television their children watch? (q clearly asks for opinion) This is a difficult question and I totally understand that many parents who need some quiet time are inclined to use the TV as a babysitter. It may be true that many children watch a lot of TV, and it’s hard to believe that this is as constructive or informative as reading or playing in the park with friends, so I think the hours should be monitored when possible as exercise and socialising are also very important. The next skill I want to look at today is Expressing doubt and probability, and this is very important grammatical skills which would help you score highly and useful in IELTS speaking as well as of course in writing part 2. You can see the links between both parts of this test so as you prepare and as you get feedback for your writing always keep this connection in mind. The verb to doubt means that something is very unlikely and we can use this to express caution /or the unlikelihood about something happening. Three examples: Ex: Whilst most governments know that radical steps need to be taken in order to mitigate global warming, personally I doubt that enough will be achieved in my lifetime. Many teaching professionals have their doubts about an extreme focus on exams and testing as it has been shown that many children really struggle with this formal kind of education. A successful solution to the problem of air quality and it’s affect on so many citizens looks in doubt at the moment. SO far in this tutorial we have looked at Comparing and contrasting identifying problems or reasons and detailing developing your opinion and expressing doubt the final two skills for IELT speaking part 3 which are really worth the effort to master are expressing probability and speculating expressing probability. How likely do you consider the possibility that a cure for all infectious diseases will be found? Do you agree that the trend among many young people not to read books anymore will continue? The final skill I want to touch on today is that of speculating – again something which you are familiar with for writing task 2. Particularly in problem / solutio
30 minutes | 4 months ago
IELTS Student from the Netherlands finally passes!
Gabrielle, a physiotherapist from the Netherlands shares her journey to IELTS success! She was frustrated after taking the test 5 times! In this tutorial she tells us: Why it is important to stick to an essay planHow feedback from Ellen helped her improve her IELTS writingThe strategies that helped her generate ideas for task 2 After taking our writing course, she finally got a band 7 for her writing and can now work in Australia! Congratulations Gabrielle, we are so proud of you! If you need help with your IELTS Writing, check out our online course for feedback! You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post IELTS Student from the Netherlands finally passes! appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
31 minutes | 4 months ago
How to become an IELTS Trainer
In this tutorial, you will learn: What you need to become an IELTS teacher How best to start your IELTS teaching About professional development opportunities Why become an IELTS teacher? Did you know that: 3.5 million IELTS tests were taken last year. There are over 1,600 IELTS test centres worldwide. More than 10,000 organisations in over 140 countries recognise IELTS (see www.ielts.org) To say it another way IELTS is the global assessment tool to measure English language proficiency for study or work purposes. The numbers are impressive and any teacher of English as an Additional Language must want to be involved in this ever expanding market. What sort of teachers are they looking for? Well-established organisations such as the British Council and officially recognised language schools contract teaching staff under fairly stringent conditions. But these conditions apply to any teaching position, not just for IELTS teachers. 1. Qualifications: you need a degree, not necessarily in a subject related to English or language studies, such as Linguistics or Modern Languages. While it’s true that most EAL teachers have a degree in the Humanities, there are some that come from a scientific background. Most employers now also insist that you have completed some teacher training. The most common course to take is CELTA. 2. Experience: It is very likely that in teaching centres such as the British Council for example, only teachers with at least 3 or more years’ experience will get the chance to teach an IELTS class. Elsewhere that might not be the case. 3. Native v. Non-native speakers: There was a time when the native speakers were highly sought after in the belief that they were somehow better. It’s a good thing those days have passed because not only are there many first class non-native English language teachers but also many of them have the IELTS certification themselves and can give their IELTS students first-hand insight into how to prepare for the test. Starting out What’s the best way to start out as an IELTS teacher? Do you need special training? These recommendations are based on the simple premise that you cannot teach what you do not know. So:- Do the test yourself. Under IELTS exam conditions. Check your score in listening and reading. Write Task i and Task 2 essays for Academic and General Training IELTS. Look through examples of Speaking topics. Try speaking yourself for 2 minutes on a topic or two. Go first to the official sites (www.ielts.org; www.britishcouncil.org; www.ipd.com ) and read about IELTS. Not just the format, the band criteria upon which the scoring system is based, the skills the test measures and the ways it achieves that, but also learn about the history of IELTS and its current role in the academic world and that of migration and work. Try this document: (https://www.ielts.org/-/media/publications/guide-for-teachers/ielts-guide-for-teachers-uk.ashx). There is a vast amount of IELTS resources online and in print. There is probably too much to choose from. Teaching IELTS, the same as teaching anything else, is a question of knowing your subject inside out, identifying the needs of the studentsto improve and receive feeedback, and choosing the materials we use wisely. Use materials that are either officially approved by IELTS itself or that you find effective. IELTS teaching, just like any teaching, does not occur in a vacuum. We need to share our experiences, to discuss what went right or wrong. This is especially crucial if we are teaching online or as a private tutor. Joining a website where teachers can meet to exchange views and tips is highly advisable. (https://forum.ieltspodcast.co/) Professional development and financial considerations English teaching has become a profession that provides opportunities to further our education through postgraduate studies for example, to not only teach but also to carry out relevant research projects in our field. IELTS has been something of a goldmine in this respect. Take a look at this sample of research papers published over the last few years: https://www.ielts.org/-/media/research-reports/ielts_online_rr_2017-1.ashx Another sought after qualification for the experienced IELTS teacher is that of IELTS examiner. A word of caution though. An IELTS examiner cannot at the same time teach an IELTS class, for reasons of conflict of interest. To become an examiner, you are usually expected to have had some teaching experience, a minimum of 3 years) and then after completing and passing standardised training given by an experienced IELTS trainer, examining begins. You are also periodically monitored to ensure you maintain standards and every two years you have to recertify. Although factors such as location, whether we teach face-to-face or online, if we are freelance or employed by some organisation, all play their part, an IELTS teacher is in high demand and thus is at the top end as far as salaries are concerned. Check that yourself at sites like www.glassdoor.com. Wherever you are, if you have decided to make English teaching your profession, there can be no better path to take than that of an IELTS teacher. Good luck! The post How to become an IELTS Trainer appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
24 minutes | 4 months ago
IELTS for beginners : How to start IELTS Preparation
Beginning your journey into IELTS can be overwhelming, so we developed a guide : IELTS for Beginners. FIND OUT WHAT YOU NEED The first step begins with understanding the requirements. Whether for work, immigration or study, the score needed will be laid out for you. Along with that comes understanding if you need General or Academic IELTS. 2. LEARN THE FORMAT OF THE TEST So, now you know you need to take it, but what is it? The next step involves learning about the different sections of the IELTS test, question types, timing, etc. After you have familiarized yourself with the IELTS exam, you need to see where you are in terms of the score you need. You can take sample IELTS reading and listening tests or you can take online placement tests to get a general sense of your level. 3. PLAN YOU IELTS PREPARATION Once you know your level, you can plot out your IELTS preparation. Do you need to improve your overall language level before you can really start preparing for IELTS? This is really common if you are aiming for a higher band score but have a level of below 6. Maybe you will need the help of a tutor or a lot of self-guided study but if your level is well below a 7 just preparing for IELTS will not help you get that score- some general English study will be necessary! 4. IMPROVE YOU SCORE When trying to improve your overall level, it is crucial to read as much high quality English as possible! You can read from online news sites like BBC, The Guardian, The Times or New York Times. Don’t just read for comprehension but also for grammar and vocabulary tidbits that will help your writing and speaking. Prepare to do a lot of reading and listening practice tests – there are tons available! When you prepare for speaking and writing, start first with the Band Descriptors. Get a IELTS tutor to explain them if you can or else read them carefully to understand what you need to do. When it comes to speaking and writing, some professional help goes a long way so get an experienced tutor to guide you and review your work. The payoff in the end will be worth it!!! Keep practicing all test areas right up to your exam – never leave one behind because you feel confided in that section. It’s important to keep all the test taking skills fresh and ready to go!!! For more help with your IELTS Preparation on each section of the test: IELTS Speaking IELTS Writing IELTS Listening IELTS Reading You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post IELTS for beginners : How to start IELTS Preparation appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
24 minutes | 5 months ago
IELTS student jumps from band 5.5 to 7!
Meet Talal from the United Emirates! He needed to take the IELTS test to pursue his dream of moving to Canada. After taking many mock tests he was getting no more than a band 5.5! Talal invested in a course to teach him everything he needed to know in a short time to improve his score. When he got to take the IELTS test he was very happy to jump from band 5.5 to band 7 and now he is one step closer to Canada! Well done Talal! Have a look at our online course to help you get your desired score. You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post IELTS student jumps from band 5.5 to 7! appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
33 minutes | 5 months ago
Comparing two pie charts for IELTS
The language to compare two pie charts Summarising two pie charts for an IELTS Academic Task 1 needs careful preparation. Here, I am going to focus on deciding the language we need to do this because if we use the correct language, then we have a good chance to obtain a high band score. Now we need to handle the language of percentages and proportions and, of course, the language we need will vary according to the topic and content of the pie charts. That is one reason why it is vital to study the title and any sub-headings of the charts. Pie chart review Take this example and decide what type of language we will need to describe it. Naturally we need in the first place language to describe proportions. Some key words are: per cent (correctly spelled as two words)percentageproportionamountshare At the same time, we must be able to use language of comparison – to say which country had the largest and smallest share etc. Some key words here are: most/leastlargest/smallestmore/lessgreater/smaller Two pie charts: related topics, one time frame Usually, Task 1 will not be just one pie chart to describe but two or maybe more. This might involve two pie charts related in terms of “opposition” but static in the sense that both refer to the same time frame, normally a year. Look at the following which present for the year 2108 the principal European Union trade partners in terms of food and drink: the first chart concerns export partners and the second, import. In this case, what kind of language do we need? Of course, we still need the same language of proportion and comparison. The major difference is the need to make comparisons between the two pie charts comparing exports with imports, making the task more complex. Two pie charts: one topic only at different times Source Now look at these pie charts. There are of course similarities with the first set. We will always need language to describe proportions and to compare items. This set refers to agricultural exports from the USA to Cuba in 2005 and then in 2014. In other words, we have just one topic shown over time. Therefore, we need to use language describing change and trends. This may be more complex because we have to handle all of the following: proportion language – to describe percentages comparison language – to describe the biggest and the smallest trend language – to describe what changes over time Overview two pie charts on a different topic and the same time frame ⇒ language of proportion and comparisontwo pie charts on a related topic and in a different time frame ⇒ language of proportion and comparison and change Practical advice Do not start writing before giving yourself enough time to think. First decide the language you will need in your answer. Give yourself 5 minutes to look, think and plan.Study the charts carefully: the titles for example to check if they deal with the same or connected topics.Check the time frames very carefully in the charts and plan how time differences will affect your choice of verb tenses. Organisation Here we have focused on the language we need when we see 2 or more pie charts to write about. The other issue is organization, how to structure and sequence our answer. Here are a couple of ideas: How many paragraphs do we need – one paragraph is never enough. In fact, we are encouraged to write in paragraphs.Decide on a simple paragraph structure – there’s only 20 minutes for this. The best is the traditional “introduction”,summary “body”, structure with the main “body” part perhaps divided into 2 paragraphs. For more help with academic task 1 How to describe a pie chartHow to plan academic task 1Task 1 Sample questions and answers You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post Comparing two pie charts for IELTS appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
32 minutes | 5 months ago
During Lockdown He Jumps From 6 to 7.5 for IELTS!
Vinod is based in Hyderabad India: recently under lockdown temporarily without a job test date moved by two months What did he do? He made the most of the situation, he studied the official IELTS books, did practice test after practice test. Then he joined the online IELTS classes we were offering. And then started writing essays and getting feedback while on the IELTS online course. He made full use of his time and jumped from 6 to 7.5. It’s truly inspiring how feedback and hard work can improve your IELTS band score. Take a look at our essay correction service with this service You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post During Lockdown He Jumps From 6 to 7.5 for IELTS! appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
36 minutes | 5 months ago
Where to start with Describing a Pie Chart for IELTS
This podcast will help you because We review the essentials (and explain why going for Band 9 is a bad idea!) We cover two essential language components to include We review some authentic native English speaker material We cover how to find excellent material to use in your prep We share a solid model for you to follow in your graph description Pie charts – Basic guide In Task 1, the pie chart is one of the most common ways to present information for you to describe. Pie charts are not difficult to understand but it is a good idea to look at possible problems and the important language we must know to describe them well. The idea of this lesson is to show how we can describe a pie chart in simple terms. We must also think about some possible problems pie charts present and the language we need to be able to describe them. Remember that in the IELTS exam, when pie charts are included, you will see two or more shown for you to make comparisons between data. Pie chart essentials Two key elements stand out in any pie chart: Percentages: the various parts of the “pie” will always be equal to 100%Comparisons: the chart gives a simple, clear view of the differences between its parts So, the language we need for our description must include ways to write about figures and especially percentages or proportions as well as how to make comparisons. Key language elements 1: percentages Pie charts always show percentages. This is the case even where the numbers on the chart may not be expressed in percentages. If you look at these two charts they present the same data in two different ways. Taken from : https://chartio.com/learn/charts/pie-chart-complete-guide/ All pie charts present information in percentage terms. To put it simply, the total sum of all the parts will be 100%. But it is possible that numbers are shown in different ways. Look at this for example: The UK continues to be Scotland’s largest market for trade. Real world examples are a great source https://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2018/09/manufacturing-leads-top-sector-foreign-direct-investment-united-states Number and percentage language: variations It is important to show that you know how to write about numbers and percentages in different ways. This will help to give you a higher grade. The main ways include: · Proportion · the amount (uncountable) · A number (countable) · Fractions: a half, a third, a quarter, two-thirds a half/third/quarter etc. · Figures: the numbers themselves At the same time, you have to use language to describe the information in the chart. Numbers are important but not enough. Task 1 is asking you to show your ability to write about numbers and what they mean. The IELTS exam is a test of your language ability, in this case your ability to describe data. Another point to remember is that you do not necessarily have to include so many details in your description. For example, if a percentage is shown as 48.5%, write it as the nearest easily understood whole number. We can say around/almost fifty percent. In that way, we are summarising essential, key information and not just repeating numbers. Key language elements 2: comparisons Obviously, the language we use to compare two or more aspects shown in the pie chart is extremely important in our description. We know that the chart gives us a clear view of the different aspects and we will probably want to mention in our written summary: • Significant similarities between the items shown • The highest or lowest figures, the greatest or lowest numbers This means we need to be very confident using comparative and superlative forms. It is absolutely essential that you know how to use these structures. Essay planning and structure In any Task 1, the challenge is to present the data in a logical and coherent way. How you do that will depend on the data, but here are two pointers if you are describing a pie chart by itself in one paragraph · Organise your paragraphs around one main idea – this will normally involve rephrasing the title of the pie chart · start with the highest amount and move to the lowest · group similar items together Try not to make your report a simple list, rather try to organise it around main points. What makes a very good Task 1 answer is our ability to present information in a coherent, logical sequence. There is no one way to do this as much depends on the data in the charts; however, there are some important points to remember: 1. Find the overall trends in the chart and organise your essay around them. 2. Begin by saying what the aim of the chart or charts is 3. Then go on to describe and interpret the most relevant information 4. It is a good idea to group similar items together 5. End by reviewing your work. For more help with your Academic Task 1, take a look at some of our latest tutorials: Sample IELTS Academic Task 1 EssaysHow to describe a natural processHow to get Band 9 for IELTS Academic Task 1 You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post Where to start with Describing a Pie Chart for IELTS appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
40 minutes | 5 months ago
How to improve your IELTS Listening
In this week’s tutorial, we take a look at some advice for the IELTS Listening test. In this tutorial we will: Look at the marking criteria for the test Look at some listening strategies you can apply Talk about how to prepare and practice for the exam IELTS listening: what’s the score? You probably won’t be surprised to learn that many well prepared IELTS candidates whose scores in Reading, Speaking and even Writing average at least 7.0 and above, are disappointed with their result in Listening. “I got 6.0. A 6.0 in Listening! After so many years studying English. And I needed to get a 7.0 in all four areas.” Yes, it happens. Not to everyone. . But it does and let’s be honest, it really shouldn’t. Now then, I know that there are lots of IELTS practice materials and of course it is very important to practice as much as possible, to do tests and check your score regularly. But, apart from practice, what else can we do to make sure we get the score we deserve? Let’s start from the beginning: the test itself. 1. Know the test You know this but it’s a good idea to go over it again. The test lasts 30 minutes You answer 40 questions There are 4 sections The 4 sections are different There is a variety of question types What does this information tell me? Well, apart from anything else, that there’s no time to waste in this test. No time to work out what to do. In other words, you need to have your plan in mind before the test begins. Luckily, in (d) and (e), we know what to expect. The 4 sections always follow the same pattern. The types of questions are varied but we can also see repeated patterns. Let’s look at these two aspects in a little more detail. 2. Know the sections Two important things to keep in mind: what general purpose does each section have and how many people speak in each. When I say “purpose”, I mean not just the aim of the spoken communication but what listening skill or skills the exam is testing. It is a good idea to keep this in mind so if, for example, you find it hard to understand everything when 2 or more people are speaking or you find it difficult to follow an academic type talk, then concentrate on improving in those particular areas. Know your strengths. But recognise and work on your weaknesses. So, in brief each section aims to: Section 1 (questions 1-10): Tests your ability to understand English in everyday situations such as making inquiries. Always 2 speakers. Section 2 (questions 11-20): Work or study related talk providing information. You listen for specific details. Just 1 speaker. Section 3 (questions 21-30): A small group discussion about studies. At least 2, possibly more speakers. Section 4 (questions 31-40): A talk in the style of an academic lecture. Always 1 speaker. 3. Apply listening strategies from the start We are already applying strategies. Knowing what to expect is a strategy. Also, the knowledge that the listening exercises are easier at first but become progressively more difficult. Generally speaking, listening to 3 people talking is more difficult than listening to 1. A university style talk is more difficult than making a hotel reservation. In other words, if Section 1 is the easiest part, then we must get off to a good start. Now, before we look at the types of questions asked and how they relate to each section, take a look at these other general IELTS Listening tips. 4. Use time to read the questions You are given time to look at the questions before you answer each section. This is very valuable time that you must use well for several reasons. First, it tells you what the listening is about. If Section 1 is titled “Cookery Classes” and a quick look at the page gives me “small classes”, “discount”, “includes recipes” and “a special course in skills”, I am prepared for what will undoubtedly be an inquiry about these classes and the provision of information. Second, I use the time to see exactly what I have to do. What type of listening exercise is it? Now then, staying with our Section 1 for a while longer, the type of exercise most common here is that which requires you to fill in a table with just ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER in each of 10 spaces. If I am using these precious seconds before I listen to see what the topic is, I am also using this time to work out what kind of word I need in each space, For example, gap 1 is “how to ..(1) .. and cook with seasonal products”. The missing word must be a verb. The grammar tells me that. Question 7, on the other hand, is “The …(7) .. Centre. It has to be the name of the centre. So, I am using grammatical knowledge and probably topic knowledge along with my familiarity of the typical IELTS questions, to help me even before the listening as such has begun. And I have to do this for each section. I am not saying that is so easy. It needs real effort and concentration but by the time you present the exam, you will have practised this on numerous occasions, so don’t worry. 5. Speed and patience The listening has begun and the questions are coming fast but, wait, not all the time. Especially in Sections 2 to 4, you find that they give you a short time to become accustomed if you like to the topic before the questions come flying. You need to keep a balance between working on the question and listening at the the same time. One piece of advice. Almost everyone will “miss” a question. Maybe you just didn’t catch it, it was too fast. Do not worry. You should try to look at more than one question at the same time. Let’s say at a minimum of two questions. In that way, if the first escapes you, you will be ready for the second. Also, of course, you will have a short time at the end to fill out your answer sheet and there is no problem if you fill any unanswered question with a reasoned guess. You may be lucky at getting it right! 6. Clues and questions We already know that we have this vital time before each section begins to look over the question and make important decisions as to the topic and aspects such as grammatical category. But it goes much further than that. We have to be so familiar with the question types that in an instant we know what we have to do. Generally speaking, there are 3 basic question types. FILL IN/COMPLETION MULTIPLE CHOICE MATCHING In practice, these 3 basic types have their variations, however. I would like to repeat again the importance of knowing your own strengths and weaknesses well through practice and then to work on turning any weakness into a strength. Let’s look for example at possible “weaknesses” we might face with each type. FILL IN & COMPLETION Typical tasks are to fill with a one word and/or a number, a Table or a set of notes or summary. That doesn’t appear so difficult BUT often in Section 1 you are asked to spell something ( a name, an address). You have to get it right. If one letter is wrong, you will receive no credit. The same will happen if you don’t spell a word correctly in any gap. So, if spelling is a weakness, work on it. If hearing letters read out is your problem, work on it. Some tips here are universal: make sure you can distinguish the vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u). Be certain too of some consonants that can be tricky, such as g, j, b, v. One simple way is to classify the sounds into groups: A, H,J, K, B, C, D, E, G, P, T, V, Z F, L, M, N,S, X I, Y, O Q, U, W R MULTIPLE CHOICE A very familiar comprehension testing technique and in IELTS listening always with 3 choices (Choose the letter, A, B, or C). Good, where’s the problem, if any? Look out for those small differences between options and listen very carefully! The differences might be a question of difference in verb meaning: may do v. wants to do v. will do, for example. And sometimes you think you have the answer, but the speaker goes on to correct themselves or give slightly different information for example: “So we’ll send the draft version to our tutor then. “Yes, alright. But shouldn’t we read them over ourselves again first?” “I don’t know. Let’s ask Emily what she thinks.” MATCHING A matching exercise can ask you to match a series of answers each identified by a letter to a set of corresponding questions. In principle, that is not so difficult but it is a good idea to be as familiar as you can with this type of exercise though practice. Be aware also that for this and all the different question types, the key information is sometimes repeated. 7. Prepare and Practice There are a multitude of IELTS listening tests sources for anyone to practice. Do these tests on a regular basis. Check your score. See where and why you got an answer wrong. To obtain a 7.0¨or higher, you should aim for 34 or more on the listening test. At the same time, the more you actively listen to all kind of sources, the better your listening comprehension will be. By “actively”, I mean listen with a purpose in mind. Find topics that interest you first, things that you know something about. Listen in to a podcast, a TED talk or whatever and write down a short summary after of what you hear. What new things did you learn? Listen again to parts you found difficult and try to work out why you found those parts hard to understand. We all have personal preferences: I would recommend podcasts from sites such as www.theguardian.com/uk, www.bbc.com, or other UK sources such as The Independent or the Economist. But that’s because I’m British. You must feel free yourself to make your own choices and remember that the range of different varieties of English in terms of accents in IELTS is fairly wide. Accents from the UK, Ireland, Australia, the USA BUT all will be clear and intelligible. If you need more help with your IELTS LIstening, take a look at some of our tutorials to help you prepare for the exam: IELTS Listening : Matching Questions Essential Guide to the IELTS Listening Test IELTS Listening Tips You can download or listen to the audio version here: |Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify | Soundcloud | Transcript | The post How to improve your IELTS Listening appeared first on IELTS Podcast.
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