IELTS Test Day can sneak up on you!
You look at the calendar and think, 'Test Day is 3o days away, I have lots of time.' You promise yourself that you will add (3,5, 7?) new English words to your vocabulary list every day. You really want to get a high score for the range of words that you use with precision in the speaking and writing tests (Vocabulary 25%). But the reality is that you do not have a plan of how you are going to do this.
How are you building your English vocabulary?
Reading articles is one effective way of building your word list rapidly.
Watch how I do this in my video on collecting vocabulary for the common IELTS Task 2 topic, Health.
Check out my e-Course MC3 Write IELTS Task 2 Essays.
Not only does it teach you what exactly you have to do in the IELTS Test, but also how to develop your English skills.
Do you want to sound more natural when you speak English?
Of course you do!
Turn on CC (Closed Captions) below this video to see the spelling of the contraction of the word pair:
SALT AND PEPPER.
Use contractions to raise your pronunciation score in the IELTS Speaking Test.
The examiner must hear the contraction!
salt and pepper
salt 'n' pepper
The letters a and d have been replaced by 2 apostrophes.
This is a contraction that you can use in INFORMAL writing eg, letter to a friend, email, social media etc.
Do not use contractions in IELTS Writing if you want a high score!
They are not used in formal writing style Band 7 or higher.
Write the full words.
For example, The company could not ...
You may like to watch my video on syllable stress, which looks at the word CONTRACT.
Everyone has an accent.
= the way in which people in a particular area, country, or social group pronounce words.
1. He's got a Boston accent.
2. She's French, but she speaks with an impeccable English accent.
3. He speaks with a broad/heavy/strong/thick Yorkshire accent.
4. I thought I could detect a slight Canadian accent.
When you speak your mother-tongue (L1) you have an accent. It doesn't matter which language it is, Arabic, Norwegian or English! Your accent is natural and a vital part of your identity, so be proud of it!
I grew up in Northern Ireland, so I developed an Irish accent as a child. I copied how people spoke around me, but after living in Sydney for many years, I now have a mix of Irish and Australian accents. My accent has become more neutral, which has been a great advantage in teaching English as a foreign language.
When you listen to people speaking any language you can copy (imitate) what you hear. As an adult learning a second language, you need to do this in a deliberate way. This is how actors get ready to play a role in a movie. Imagine that you are playing a role in a movie called 'Real Life!
Youtube is a wonderful free resource for listening practise. Start tuning your ear in to different accents in English. Begin by subscribing to my Playlists on Youtube.
Listen to an Australian accent in this video on solar-powered cars.
IELTS Topic: Environment - Renewal Energy.
IELTS Speaking test - Marking Criteria
Look at the Marking Criteria for Band 9 IELTS Speaking Test. Pronunciation is worth 25%. Be aware that the examiner will notice the speed, intonation, phonemes, blending and word stress that you use. Your accent in English must not interfere with the listener understanding your message.
If the examiner has to strain to comprehend you, you will be penalised!
Therefore, your aim should be to:
Develop an English accent that is effortless to understand.
Book a Mock IELTS Speaking Test to get feedback on your pronunciation.
Sometimes, just becoming aware of the phonemes that are causing you problems and changing them can make a terrific difference to your speaking score!
= one of the smallest units of speech that make one word different from another word:
The difference between " pin " and " pan " depends on the vowel ,
ie the different phonemes / ɪ / and / æ /.
Pronunciation is part of my e-Course MC1 IELTS Speaking Test
To improve your GRAMMAR score in IELTS (worth 25%), you must stop making little mistakes!
Prepositions are little words that cause many English learners big problems!
Take a few minutes to revise PROPOSITIONS of TIME at, in, on by watching this free sample video from my e-Course: MC3 Write IELTS Task 2 Essays
Check it out!
Have you ever slipped on a banana?
Thankfully, I haven't, but I've slipped on slippery ice.
I write lists of things in my diary each day that I don't want to forget.
I read the list and tick off the items as I complete them. This works for me!
How about you?
Yesterday, I was very proud of myself as I did everything on my TO DO Llist:
11.30-1.30pm, Patricia Parque Ciencias.
Email essay feedback Diana / Juan / Max.
3-5 pm Skype class Manolo.
7pm Spanish exams
Sharpener, coffee, bleach.
Do you keep a diary, or TO DO list?
Is it digital (smartphone, computer etc.), or do you actually write things down on paper?
What about when you are preparing for an English exam, do you have a TO DO list of big and little things that you must do?
Enjoy this free sample video from my e-Course Video pack:
MC1 IELTS Speaking Test
Turn on CC below my videos to read the subtitles while you listen to my pronunciation.
English Idiom: IT SLIPPED MY MIND
How can you use this idiom naturally in conversation?
What kind of things have 'slipped your mind' in the past month?
Use idioms in the IELTS Speaking Test.
Fluent speakers of English use idioms correctly every day in conversation.
Using idioms appropriately is one way of sounding more natural.
The use of idiomatic language is rewarded in IELTS (Lexical Resource 25%)
IELTS Speaking Test - Marking Criteria (Public version)
Check out the British Council website as they are one of the 3 co-owners of IELTS.
You can trust what they say.
Write a short story in the comments box below using the idiom IT SLIPPED MY MIND.
It's IELTS Test Day. You open the question paper and read Task 2. You see the word POLLUTION, yikes! However, it's a problem/solution essay, the type that you love doing, and you have practised writing many essays, so you are confident about this particular essay structure. You knew that the common topic ENVIRONMENT could come up, but simply didn't prepare for it by reading articles and listening to podcasts, Ted Talks etc. You want to scream 'Help, I've got no ideas!'
If only you had prepared by watching this Ted ed video and completing the activities
- think, dig deeper, and discuss!
Can 100% Renewable Energy Power the World
Here is the introduction to this lesson, which opens with a staggering statistic in a simple sentence to make an impact on its audience.
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 watch free videos to help you build your English vocabulary?
MC3 Write IELTS Task 2 Essays
Check out my e-Course which offers English learners many lessons like this one.
Get ready to yell, 'I've got lots of ideas!'