4 Aims of this courseImprove understanding of IELTS and how to teach IELTSHow to improve scoresEvery time we meet, I want you to leave with some ideas that you can use in your class tomorrow.
5 1. How many parts are there on the IELTS exam? 2. How many sections are there for each part of the exam?3. How much time do the students have for each part?4. How is IELTS scored?
6 IELTSIELTS tests all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking
7 Scores There is no pass or fail in IELTS. The score needed depends on requirements of the accepting institutionScores from 1 to 9 for each test areaScores listed as whole or half bands6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0
8 Scores Band 9: Expert user Band 5: Modest user Band 3: Extremely limited userBand 1: Non-userBand 9: Expert user: has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.Band 5: Modest user: has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.Band 3: Extremely limited user: conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.Band 1: Non-user: essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
9 Testing order Listening Reading Writing Speaking Note: might be on a different day
10 No Secret Recipes Good English + good test-taking skills = success Hard work
11 General test tips and strategies Read the directions carefullyOnly give required number of answersSpell answers correctly, particularly when already given in the question or passageUse exact wording from passage
13 General test tips and strategies Questions appear in passage orderAnswers from life experience vs. answers from the passageGuessStudents have to check their spelling
14 General test tips and strategies Focus on IELTS-specific information
15 Common topics throughout the test There are always texts related to these topics on IELTS examsCheck the topics on the official IELTS website or your preparation bookSome of these topics are:TechnologyShopping / ConsumerismHealthEnvironment
17 Listening overview Sections Content/Duration Number of Qs 4 sections 30 minutes for the test10 minutes for transferring answers40 QsSection 1A conversation between two speakers in a social or semi-social context /10 minutes10 QsSection 2A talk by a single speaker based on a non-academic situation /10 minutesEach recording is played ONLY ONCE
18 Listening overview Sections Content/Duration Number of Qs Section 3 A conversation with up to four speakers based on academic topics or course-related situations /10 minutes10 QsSection 4A university-style lecture or talk /10 minutesEach recording is played ONLY ONCE
19 Listening overview Section Skills Question Types 1 Orienting yourself to the textForm filling,note-completionListening for specific informationTable completion, sentence completion2Identifying detailLabeling a diagram,multiple choiceFollowing a description on a map, diagram, planLabeling a map or plan,summary completion
20 Listening overview Section Skills Question Types 3 Identifying main ideasShort-answer questions,multiple choice questions,matching4Following signpostsCompleting a flowchartFollowing a talkNote-completion
21 Tips for Listening Test Important: spelling is assessed, even in the Listening exam!
22 Tips for Listening Test Tip: transfer answers carefully10-minutes allotted
23 Tips for Listening Test No opportunity to re-listenTip: take notesOnly around 30 seconds pre-listening timeTip: use time wisely—read next question; don’t transfer answers
24 Tip: use required number of words Complete the sentences below.Write NO MORE THAN ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.Hotel Novena Guest Registration formExampleName of guest:Room:Wake-up call at:Type of breakfast:Payment by:AnswerMatthews1 …………………..2 …………………..3……………………4 …………………..All questions like form/notes/summary/diagram/ flowchart/sentence completion must be answered using THREE WORDS or less. The instructions tell you the MAXIMUM NUMBER OF WORDS to use.Hotel NovenaGuest Registration formAnswerMatthews1 …………………..2 …………………..3……………………4 …………………..
25 Section 4: differentNo assigned time for reading questions in section 4 during the recordingTip: read through all the questions first
26 Question types: labeling a map or plan Label the plan.Write the correct letter A-H next to the questions 1-4.1 Car Park …………………………..2 Domestic Terminal ……………3 Lifts …………………………………4 Regional Terminal …………….
28 Mixed question types: fill in the blanks The Study of Child Language AcquisitionFascinatingbecause people have an 1 ………………. in children’s learning2 ………………….because it leads to greater understanding of language3 ………………….because of the differences encountered
29 Mixed question types: fill in the flowchart blanks Complete the flowchart belowWrite NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each of answer.Discussion of includes the use of diaries, recordings, testsChildren become aware that they can speakLinguistic analysis become possible4 ………………………….Speech in infants’ 5 ……………….. of lifeSpeech in children 6 ………………. years
30 Mixed question types: complete the table Complete the table below.Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each of answer.AnimalBrought byReason1 ……………………………SettlersFor foodFox2 ……………………………Cane toad3 ……………………………To kill beetles
31 Mixed question types: complete the flowchart Beetle lay eggsEggs become grubsGrubs eat the 4 …………..Sugar cane 5 …………..
32 Mixed question types: multiple choice Choose the correct letter A, B, or C.6. The cane toad originated inA Central AmericaB HawaiiC Australia8. The farmer’s plan failed becauseA There were too many beetlesB Their own research was faultyC they believed the reports they read7. In Australia, the toadsA grew extremely largeB multiplied in numberC ate the cane beetles9. The sugar cane industryA thrives todayB has died out in some areasC survives alongside the beetleChoose the correct letter A, B, or C.6. The cane toad originated inA Central AmericaB HawaiiC Australia7 In Australia, the toadsA grew extremely largeB multiplied in numberC ate the cane beetles8 The farmer’s plan failed becauseA There were too many beetlesB Their own research was faultyC they believed the reports they read9 The sugar cane industryA thrives todayB has died out in some areasC survives alongside the beetle
34 Reading overview Passages Content/Duration Number of Qs 3 Academic passages / 60 minutes40 Qs in totalPassage 1More descriptive passage13 to 14 Qs for each passagePassage 2More discursive and argumentativeIELTS tests your ability read approximately 2,750 words
35 Reading overview Passages Content/Duration Number of Qs Passage 3 More discursive and argumentative13 to 14 Qs for each passageIELTS tests your ability read approximately 2,750 words
36 Reading overview Skills Question Types Using titles and subheadings Using paragraphs and main ideasFinding information in paragraphsChoosing headings for paragraphsSkimmingScanningFollowing referencingShort-answer questionsCompleting a flowchart, diagram, table
37 Reading overview Skills Question Types Understanding paragraph structureExtracting key informationMultiple choice,True / False / Not GivenNote CompletionParaphrasing the main ideasGetting gap-fill answers rightChoosing headings for paragraphsSentence completionUnderstanding summariesSummary completion (with a box)
38 Reading overview Skills Question Types Recognizing arguments / views in textsChoosing from a listClassificationMatchingInteracting with / analyzing passageMatching sentence endingsYes / No / Not given
39 ReadingA difficult question carries the same number of points as an easy questionTip: answer the easy questions first
40 ReadingNo penalty for guessingTip: answer every question
41 Reading Note: no extra time to transfer answers No specialist knowledge requiredCopy passage answers correctly: spelling!Tip: beware of singular/plural
42 No title or subheading?A question may test understanding of the theme or purpose of the passage
43 Match the headings with paragraphs List of headingsIncreasing customer confidenceA benefit to retailersThe dangers for retailersChanging the face of the shopEncouraging online feedbackParagraph ………………………..
44 MatchingHeadings may have similar/identical words as a paragraph, but that does not mean that heading goes with that paragraph.Tip: match ideas not words
45 GapsThere may be two gaps, worth one or two marks. Tip: the word ‘both’ in a sentence or summary signals that two answers may be required.Complete the sentences belowWrite NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.Esperance used to rely on ………………… .About ……………………… of Esperance’s energy needs are met by wind.& 4. Wind farms should not be built near barriers to the wind, such as ……………………. or ……………………… .
46 ParaphrasingIELTS questions often use different words or phrases from those used in the passageTip: practice paraphrasing skills—essential!
47 Paraphrasing Question Passage A Used to rely totally on Entire needs were metBEnergy needsEnergy requirementsCIts energy outputThe power producedDChoose the best locationSelect the optimum site
48 Paraphrasing: London tours Q: “This tour includes a functioning market.”A: “…then (we) continue to Borough Market, where you’ll find it hard to choose among all the fine food and other goods on sale.(excerpts from Objective IELTS Intermediate)
49 Keywords Tip: don’t be fooled by appearance of keywords Q: “This tour includes a functioning market.”
50 No partial marks for partial answers Choose THREE letters. A-G.Which THREE of the arguments below are stated in the passage?A Penguins are not afraid of people.B Penguins are becoming an endangered species.C Tourists are not a threat their existence.D Penguins are hard to research.E Penguins don’t leave their nest.F A penguins behavior depends on its species.G Penguin stress may result from being with other penguins.
53 TasksContent/DurationTask 2Writing an academic style essay in response to a topic / prompt250 words
54 Writing overview Skills Interpreting visual information Bar charts Line graphsTablesDiagramsPie chartsWriting an overviewPicking out significant trendsSelecting / illustrating main pointsHighlighting main stages of a process
55 Writing overview Skills Comparing information Describing how something worksGrouping information
56 Task 1Description of a graph, table, process or a combination of the threePurpose: describe and compare dataTip: don’t suggest causes or reasons for the dataTip: don’t simply list the informationNote dates and times in the dataTip: use the appropriate tense
57 Important: correctly interpret data Number of employees (1000)
58 Basic outline for T1 Write an overview of the chart “This chart shows…”NOT (topic=sales of chocolate) “Chocolate is my favorite sweet, and it’s the favorite one of everyone in the world…”Write the important trends
59 Basic outline for T1Give examples (i.e. specific numbers) for those trends)Wrap up with a concluding idea“As can be seen from the chart…”
60 Task 2 Description: academic-style essay Purpose: write a well-organized essay with appropriate support of opinion
61 Range of structures: important VerbsPhrasesTo riseTo fallTo peakFive out of ten…Fifty per cent of…A third of the students…Adjectives and AdverbsSharp(ly)Dramatic(ally)Significant(ly)Considerable(ably)Slight(ly)Gentle(ly)
62 Writing strategies Paragraphs Content Have one idea per paragraph Avoid informal languageDon’t memorize model answersOpinion: no correct answer, just a clear position and good supportWrite neatly and clearly. There is no score for legibility or tidiness, but poor handwriting may put the examiner in a ‘bad mood‘.
63 Writing strategies Procedure Be careful with timing - don't rush Task Two is longer and is worth more pointsLeave time to editBe legibleWrite neatly and clearly. There is no score for legibility or tidiness, but poor handwriting may put the examiner in a ‘bad mood‘.
64 Writing assessment: 4 key issues ContentGrammarVocabularyCohesionWas the question adequately answered?Is it correct? Is there a wide range of structures?Is it appropriate and correctly spelled? Is there a wide range of words?Is the essay well structured? Is there a variety of effectively-used linking words?
65 Ways to affect a scoreMobiles phones have changed the way many people communicate. Nowadays people cannot live without them if they want to be a part of society.To what extent do you think this is true?Why do you think some people have not adapted to this type of communication?Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
66 Ways to affect a scoreFor a two-part answer, both parts must be addressed; otherwise, no more than Band 5 for contentIf main ideas are related but off-topic, no more than Band 5
68 Note Listening, Reading and Writing=same day Speaking=same day…or up to a week before or after
69 Speaking overview Parts What? Content Duration 3 Parts Speaking 11-14 minutesPart 1Introduction & InterviewTalk about self and familiar topics with the examiner.4-5 minutesIELTS tests your ability read approximately 2,750 words
70 Speaking overview Parts What? Content Duration Part 2 Short talk Talk for 1-2 minutes on a topic chosen by the examiner. 1 minute for preparation and around 2 minutes for a non-stop talk.3-4 minutesIELTS tests your ability read approximately 2,750 words
71 Speaking overview Parts What? Content Duration Part 3 Two-way discussionAnswer more abstract questions related to the topic in part 2.4-5 minutesIELTS tests your ability read approximately 2,750 words
72 Part 1 Very short answers=lost opportunity For example: Question: Are you a student?Answer: Yes.
73 Question: Are you a student? Answer: Yes, I am a student. I’m studying in the Foundation Program at Qatar University.
74 Part 1 examples What is the best way to stay healthy? I think walking is good for you, as well as watching what you eat. So I try to take some exercise every day and on top of that I eat lots of fruit and vegetables.What kind of music are you interested in?Well… I really enjoy listening to songs, particularly songs from my country. And I like to have music playing when I’m studying. In fact, I can’t study without music.
75 Part 2 Take notes on key points asked in the question. Tip: don’t write full sentencesNo credit for repeating words in the taskPractice speaking for at least a minute—harder than it soundsTip: using a watch during the exam is permitted
76 Part 2 promptsDescribe a place you have lived in that you particularly liked.You should say:when you lived therewho you lived withwhat was most memorable about this placeand explain why you liked it so much.End the talk by mentioning the last part of the talk. ??
77 Part 2 prompts Describe a family member who is the most successful. You should say:who this person ishow often you see each otherwhat this person doesand explain why he/she is successful.End the talk by mentioning the last part of the talk. ??
78 Part 3 samples How important is it to enjoy your work? Why? Does tourism bring mainly positive or negative things to a country?Having somewhere to live is a basic right. So should the state provide cheap housing for people who don’t earn a lot of money? Why?To what extent do you think the climate of a country affects the kind of houses or homes that are built?
79 Part 3 samplesWell… in my view, climate probably has to do a lot with the way we design our houses. So… for instance, in countries where it snows a lot, you find houses with something like a steep roof… so that the snow can’t settle there, and … you know damage the roof. But in warm climates, I think the houses are often built to keep the sun out.
80 Part 3 Goal: a well-reasoned, smoothly-connected, justified answer No wrong answers: quality and content of speech are graded, not opinionsNo knowledge of topic? Too bad!Tip: specifically practice speaking about obscure topics (…fake it!)Tip: It’s okay to make up information (ie. lie!)
81 Speaking strategies Examiners may repeat questions Tip: don’t be afraid to askSpeaking clearly and using stress and intonation will help communicate ideas
84 Speaking Part 1 Considered the ‘easiest’ part Basic questions about school, life, work, your home, your hometown, hobbies, interests, etc.Often questions use the word ‘describe’ or ‘what’s X like?’E.g. ‘Describe your home…’, ‘what’s your hometown like?’
88 How is the speaking marked? Grammar range and accuracyFluency and coherencePronunciationLexical Resource (vocabulary)
89 What do students need? No real tricks Familiar with common topics Vocabulary related to these topicsBasic GrammarBe comfortable and confident answering questions about these topics
90 From the examiner’s perspective Part 1 serves several functions:1. to calm down the student2. to give the examiner a general idea of the score of the student3. To give the student a chance to show what they know
91 Questions and GrammarExaminer’s try to ‘mix up’ questions to give the student the opportunity to show what they can do:Simple Present, Past Simple, Present Perfect, Future (will & going to)
92 What can we do to help the students? 1. Give the students lots of opportunities to practice answering the types of questions on part 1 of the exam.2. Encourage (trick) the students into expanding the vocabulary and grammatical structures they use in their answers.
93 Easy Teaching Strategy (for teachers and students) Teach / Review one structure with the studentsE.g. Present perfect (I have lived in Doha for 7 years)Choose some questions that can be answered using present perfectBut don’t be afraid to challenge students
94 Where do you live?I live in Doha. I have lived here all my life.Do you like to travel?Yes, I love travelling. I have been to France twice this year.What are your favorite subjects at school?I like Chemistry and Math, but English has always been my favorite.
95 Where to get a bunch of questions* Where to get vocabulary by topic
96 Activity 1Put 5 questions on the board. Give students time and let them write their ‘perfect’ answers.Let students talk—ask and answer their questions with each other.Monitor (build their confidence)Variation (Vocabulary, grammar, get rid of vocabulary cards)
97 Activity 2 Print and cut out some questions Use as ‘warm up’ activity to get students moving and talking and in “IELTS mode”Depending on size of the class: student has to ask and answer question with 5 different people (everyone in the class?)
98 Activity 3 Strips of paper Students write their own questions Use vocabulary / grammar / topicCollect, shuffle, give out
99 Activity 4 Practice interviews (like the exam) One student is the ‘examiner’ and asks questions for about 2-3 minutes, the other answers.Switch places.Variation: a third student listens for ‘mistakes’Variation: get rid of vocabulary cards
100 Activity 5* Truth and lies 10 students, two groups of 5 One group only answers, the other group asks questionsIn the answering group, 3 of the people have to answer all questions truthfully, 2 people have to not answer truthfully.The other team has to figure out who is not telling the truth.
104 General Tips1. Use preparation time to think of what you are going to say2. Note down any ‘good’ vocabulary related to the topic3. Speak until the examiner stops you.
105 To improve the scoreSame things apply as from speaking part 1 (vocabulary and grammar)Words related to cohesion and coherence (conjunctions, transitions)But, and, so, because, while, although, etc.
106 What do we need to do?Give the students the opportunity to practice timed speaking exercises.Encourage students to use preparation time.Encourage (trick) students to expand and use vocabulary, transitions, grammatical items in their talk)
107 Example Topics Describe a subject you enjoyed studying at school. You should say:When and where you started studying itWhat lessons were likeWhat made the subject different from other subjectsAnd explain why you enjoyed the subject
108 Example Topic 2 Describe a game or sport you enjoy playing. You should say:What kind of sport it isWho you play it withWhere you play itAnd explain why you enjoy playing it
109 Example Topic 3 Describe someone in your family who you like. You should say:How this person is related to youWhat this person looks likeWhat kind of person he/she isAnd explain why you like this person
110 Activities 1. Give students a speaking prompt. 2. Let the students prepare in pairs or small groups (brainstorm ideas, vocabulary)3. Let them take turns speaking for one minute on the full topic.4. Monitor and offer feedback.5. Let them do it again.
111 Activities continued Mock exams One student is the examiner the other is the student, and switchVariation: another student listens for ‘mistakes’Variation: get rid of your cardsVariation: text grab
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