IELTS exam preparation
Recently I have been helping three students to prepare for IELTS tests.*
As the academic reading and listening tasks of an IELTS test are challenging at times for my students, I spend some lesson time helping them to understand and answer those more difficult comprehension questions correctly.
I enjoy helping my students to prepare for IELTS exams and in addition to that I can often learn new facts for my own self-development as I find the information in IELTS practice exercises to be intrinsically interesting.
The IELTS speaking and writing tasks are also challenging for most students in Japan. One reason for this is because students do not seem to do many practical speaking and writing exercises in state school English lessons. Another reason is that it is sometimes difficult for students to think of what to say or write about certain topics which occur in the tests. In other words they seem to have had little training in thinking of ideas, thinking critically of ideas that have been presented, thinking of possible reasons, consequences, deductions, inferences etc. However, these skills are essential for success in examinations such as the IELTS or TOEFL test.
We have just started to practise writing tasks for IELTS and my students’ first attempts at completing a writing task have not been of a particularly high standard but after some discussion, advice, corrections and rewriting they are able to produce much better pieces of writing. It is a process; brainstorming ideas, planning what and how to write, producing a first draft, discussing that draft, rewriting it to produce a second draft, analysing that, editing it and producing a third draft etc. until a well-written final draft can be produced. This writing process is relevant not only for learners of English but for native English speakers, too.
Observing how my students’ writing can improve dramatically during this process also gives me a lot of pleasure.
*British universities require foreign students to take an IELTS test as official proof that they are capable of studying in English in higher education. All four skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) are tested and candidates are given a grade from 1.0 to 9.0. Most British universities undergraduate courses require foreign students to have an IELTS score of 6.5 or 7.0.
More details about IELTS can be found on www.ielts.org . or just contact us at the Windmill English Centre..