It's Test Day.
You open the question papers and read the IELTS Task 2. You see the word POLLUTION. Yikes! However, it's a problem solution essay, the type that you love doing and have practised many times..You knew that the common topic ENVIRONMENT could come up, but you didn't prepare for it. You want to scream 'I've got no ideas!', but that would only get you thrown out of the exam room. You start answering the challenge as best you can.
If only you had watched this video called, TED-ed Can 100% Renewable Energy Power the World and completed the activities - think / dig deeper / discuss!
Here is the introduction to this lesson, which uses a staggering statistic in a simple sentence to make an impact on the reader.
Every year, the world uses 35 billion barrels of oil. This massive scale of fossil fuel dependence pollutes the earth, and it won’t last forever. On the other hand, we have abundant sun, water and wind, which are all renewable energy sources. So why don’t we exchange our fossil fuel dependence for an existence based only on renewables? Federico Rosei and Renzo Rosei describe the challenges.'
Are you getting some ideas?
Are you collecting vocabulary in your note book under the general heading ENVIRONMENT?
Are you paying attention to the grammar that is used?
Have you subscribed to my Youtube channel to get my free videos to build your vocabulary?
My e-Course MC3 IELTS Task 2 Essays offers many lessons like this one. Get ready to yell,
'I've got lots of ideas!'
I use Phrasal Verbs every day in conversation.
I just slip them in naturally as I'm a fluent speaker of English. In fact, I'm a native speaker.
How about you?
If you were speaking about your neighbourhood, could you use the Phrasal Verb GET ON WITH?
A neighbourhood in Madrid.
Do you know how to use the Phrasal Verb GET ON WITH?
Listen to my video below to learn two ways that you can use it in a conversation.
I made this quick video after doing a mock IELTS Speaking Test on Skype this morning.
The IELTS candidate was talking about their neighbourhood in Madrid, but she missed a golden opportunity to use the Phrasal Verb GET ON (well) WITH when she were talking about a person that she has a great relationship with.
Check out my Playlist on Phrasal Verbs on Youtube. Make sure you SUBSCRIBE for more free opportunities to learn English.
In the Speaking Test, use phrasal verbs appropriately to help raise your vocabulary score (25%).
Check out my e-Course MC1 IELTS Speaking Test if you want to learn more 'Do & Don't'.
knock-off, fake, counterfeit.
Add these 3 synonyms to your English vocabulary list.
How can you use them?
This Blog post will show you how!
= a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word
or phrase in the same language, for example shut is a synonym of close.
Here is a summary of a TED Talk in which I've highlighted these 3 synonyms
knock-off, fake, counterfeit (blue.)
'What's the harm in buying a knock-off purse or a fake designer watch? According to counterfeit investigator Alastair Gray, fakes like these fund terrorism and organised crime. Learn more about the trillion-dollar underground economy of counterfeiting -- from the criminal organisations that run it to the child labor they use to produce its goods -- as well as measures you can take to help stop it. "Let's shine a light on the dark forces of counterfeiting that are hiding in plain sight," Gray says'
Do some research.
What do these words taken from the summary mean?
In which other contexts could they be used?
Your ability to use a wide range of precise words to write or speak about a general subject (impersonal) and give personal examples will be marked. Build your list of SYNONYMS for common topics!
Follow my synonyms page on Pinterest!
Have you been told that you need to build your English vocabulary?
How are you doing this?
Are you adding synonyms to your list every day?
What are you reading and listening to in English?
What topics are you interested in?
What are the common topics in IELTS speaking and writing?
Follow my Youtube channel to get some answers
TED Talks are highly recommended by as you can listen to 10-17 minute videos on a range of topics.
Festivals are a common topic in IELTS speaking and writing.
What is a FESTIVAL?
1. a special day or period, usually in memory of a religious event, with its own social activities, food, or ceremonies:
a Jewish/Christian/Hindu festival.
2. an organised set of special events, such as musical performances:
- a folk/pop/rock festival
- The New Orleans Jazz Festival is held every year in the spring.
- the Cannes Film Festival
Get ready to express your general ideas on this topic of FESTIVALS as well as tell the IELTS examiner your personal stories!
Here is a video of a festival. It is part of my e-Course MC1 IELTS Speaking Test Part 2
(Check in the description below the video for the Cue Card.)
IELTS candidates are encouraged to record on their smartphones any material that could come up as a common topic.
Here is a link with some ideas and pictures to get you writing about Xmas.
It is a christian festival that is celebrated in many countries.
Do you celebrate Christmas?
Some people think that Xmas has lost its religious meaning and has become too commercial. What is your position?
What is your position?'
This is an academic way of asking for your general perspective on the topic, 'What is your opinion?' or 'What is your perspective?'
IELTS VOCABULARY 25%
Do not confuse these two verbs as their nuance (watch my video) is different:
celebrate (happy occasion)
commemorate (sad / official occasion)
Advanced writers of English choose their words carefully according to the context (watch my video) in which they are to be used. They know the nuance of each word!
Spelling: Notice that there are 3 x m in COMMEMORATE.
Incorrect spelling will reduce your marks in IELTS.
SIGN UP to my website for lots more free English lessons!
Are you curious about your English level?
Perhaps you need to know how far you have come or how far you still have to go.
IELTS has 9 levels (bands), imagine them as steps.
CEFR has 6 levels or steps. Listen to my video below to get familiar with them.
Here is your task while you listen!
Write down what you can and can't do easily in English.
What is your level of English according to CEFR?
Knowing what you are competent at (can do easily) clarifies your strengths.
What are you struggling with?
These are your weaknesses (can't do easily), which you can start working on.
Did you know that you can turn on CC (Closed Captions) below my videos so that you can read the subtitles and see the words? This is also an opportunity for you to learn how to spell new words.
Remember to look at the description below the video for more information.
SUBSCRIBE to my Youtube channel for more FREE videos to help you improve your English!
Here are 7 good reasons why I should go running.
Yes, running has benefits, but I'll stick to a fast walk!
'It's for your own benefit!'
Has anyone ever said this to you?
What did they mean?
Were they trying to convince you to do something that you didn't want to do?
(Tell me about it below this blog post.)
In a previous post 'Jump To IELTS Band 8', I used the word BENEFIT in this sentence:
'Advanced writers use a more formal writing style every day for work and tertiary study purposes. IELTS candidates seeking Band 8 writing need to advance their skills. They must develop advanced skills in writing which will continue to benefit them long after Test Day!'
Watch my video to find out exactly what the word BENEFIT means.
It will be very useful in IELTS Task 2 essays on a range of topics.
Sentences are like music, they are wonderful!
I hope you enjoy exploring sentences with my eBook "How to Write Sentences in English'?
It introduces you to the variety of sentences that you can write in English (simple, compound and complex sentences.) If you haven't got your free copy, sign up to my website and become a subscriber.
Do you have a friend who has this annoying habit?
They like to finish your sentences.
Read what Gary Provost thinks about using a variety of sentences.
“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.
Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.”
The message is - you must vary your sentences!
When you write sentences in English, imagine that you are creating music.
Advance English Step-By-Step!
Don't forget to click on the blue links to build your vocabulary for IELTS.
You will be better prepared to talk about music, but also to apply these words to other
common IELTS topics (25%!)
"How can I jump from IELTS Band 7 to 8 in writing?
I need more points to fulfil the Australian Immigration Department's requirements. Demonstrating a high level of English (Band 8 IELTS) will get me more points.
Can you help me?"
Nurses, doctors, engineers, hairdressers and many other professionals on work visas in Australia have contacted me over the past 5 years with requests like this one. Some had attended my classes on IELTS Preparation at UWSCollege Sydney, but needed individual guidance to raise their score. Others had come across my e-fluentenglish website or my Youtube channel and liked the way I teach. Those who were aiming at Band 8 IELTS in writing often completed both of these e-Course Video Packs:
MC3 IELTS Task 2 Essays
MC2 Write in FORMAL Academic Style.
Why do I recommend this combination?
Research shows that writing in a more formal academic style can raise a candidate's writing score in IELTS by up to two band levels.
If a learner is stuck on Band 7 writing, they need to develop more advanced writing skills raise their score. Is what you need right now?
Advanced writers use a more formal writing style every day for work and tertiary study purposes. IELTS candidates seeking Band 8 writing need to advance their skills. They must develop advanced skills in writing which will continue to benefit them long after Test Day!
Advanced English Step-By-Step!
Using the correct WORD ORDER is important in English.
This may be quite different to your mother-tongue, L1.
In IELTS, the examiner will be looking closely at word order in your writing.
Let's revise some grammar.
Where do you put AS WELL in a sentence?
What job does it do?
Does AS WELL have the same meaning as ALSO and TOO?
You are going to read a sample of an IELTS Task 2 essay on Nuclear Power.
It is just one of the model essays used in my e-Course Video Pack MC3 Write IELTS Task 2 Essays
to illustrate the standard that needs to be reached for Band 7.
How many words do you think this essay has?
Remember IELTS specifies a minimum of 250 words to be written in approximately 40 minutes.
If your essay is too short YOU WILL BE PENALISED and lose precious marks!
IELTS examiners have marked so many essays that they can tell at first glance if an essay has the required number of words - 250!
Print lots of copies of this official writing answer sheet Task 2 IELTS.
Do your timed practice writing tests on this paper.
Be critical about your handwriting.
Could an examiner read EVERY word easily?
Get your friend or teacher to give you feedback on which words are difficult to read.
Handwriting is marked. It must be legible
Find the mistakes or weaknesses and make improvements to take this essay up to Band 8.
- Write down the arguments in bullet points.
- Add new arguments.
- Which cohesive devices have been used to link the writer's ideas?
- Which expressions are 'clumsy and imprecise' - you understand them but they could be expressed more clearly and concisely?
- Improve these sentences by rewriting them.
- Which words have been spelled incorrectly?
- What is the correct spelling?
- Add more collocations and precise vocabulary for the topic Nuclear Power.
Advanced English Step-By-Step!