Sunday, 23 June 2013

IELTS writing - Part 2 - making a plan

Apologies for neglecting this blog lately! I've been incredibly busy with work and just haven't found the time. However, I'm going to add a lot more material over the summer and for the next few posts I'm going to be focusing on Part 2 writing.

Here is a brief outline that I hope you find useful. If you study linking words ("however", "furthermore", "consequently" etc.) and learn to use them correctly then all you need to do is follow these 4 simple steps and you cannot go wrong (!) Planning is absolutely key. It gives you (and the reader) a clear structure to follow.

This is a simple formula you can use and it will help you to avoid a) writing too much about one idea and neglecting others b) writing too many or too few words c) repeating yourself, and all the other typical mistakes IELTS students make when doing Writing Part 2.

In the next few posts I'm going to give go through Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 and show you some more detailed examples of how to write a great IELTS essay.

See you soon (I promise!)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Analysing graphs - comparative language

Here's a little exercise to practise your comparative language. You can download the answers below.

UK TV viewing habits
Percentage or viewers who watch soap operas.

Percentage of viewers who watch documentaries.
The charts give information about the types of TV programmes that British men and women and different age groups watch. At first glance, the charts show that women tend to watch 1) __more__ soaps than men overall, although the watch slightly 2)_________________ documentaries. The people that watch the 3) _________________ TV in general are the 45+ age group.
Almost 60% of women watch soaps, which is almost 4) _________________ as many as the number of men. Nevertheless, most age-groups watch 5) _________________ soaps than documentaries showing that documentaries are generally 6) _________________ popular than soaps.
The number of people watching soaps increases steadily from ages 16 to 45 with the 7) _________________ number of viewers, at just over 40% of the age group watched by 16-24 year-olds and the 8) _________________ number; at just over 50% watched by the over 45s.
However, the trend is different for documentaries. The percentage of viewers in the 25-44 year-old bracket is 9)_________________ lower than the number of 16-24 year-olds and those over 45. Just over 40% of 16-24-year-olds watch documentaries, but this number is not 10)_________________ high as the number of people aged 45 and over who watch documentaries, at nearly 60%. Only 31% of 35-44-year-olds watch documentaries, while the number of 24-34-year-olds is 11) _________________ lower at 28%.
You can get the answers here:

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Listening Practice 02 - Health Clubs

Here is a second practice listening for you, this time the topic is "Health Clubs" - just play the film on Youtube and it will give you time to read the questions before the audio starts, just like in the exam.

The answers are given afterwards. The complete transcipt (showing you WHY the answers are correct) can be downloaded at the link at the bottom of this page.

If you have any requests for the next listening topic please let me know and I'll do my best.

For a printout of the listening and a transcript with answers you can download it here.
I hope you find this useful, if you do please click "Like" on my Facebook page here Thanks.

"Shirley hadn't been to the Health Club for a while"

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Listening 01 - Tourism

Here is a practice listening for you, the topic is "Tourism" - just play the film on Youtube and it will give you time to read the questions before the audio starts, just like in the exam.

The answers are given after the listening.

You can find a free worksheet with the audio script and some vocabulary exercises here:

Friday, 19 October 2012

Geographical vocabulary for IELTS

IELTS exams seem to be particularly keen on geography. I suppose the idea is that we are all surrounded by geographical things - rivers, hills, cities - so the language is useful for everyone (as opposed to chemistry or philosophy, for example).

So all parts of the IELTS exams can contain questions where, to get the correct answer, you need to know some geographical terms.

How many of the words in the box do you know? 

 a hill
a range
a puddle
a hamlet
a town
a stream
a tributary
a pond
a mound
a lake/reservoir
a bush
a city
a tree
a wood

Can you put the words into this table in order (from smallest to largest)? 










            Watch the video for the answers.

if you're a teacher you can get a copy of this worksheet here:

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Vocabulary - shapes

In the IELTS listening you sometimes have to listen to a description of a diagram and either
a) label the diagram using words from the listening
b) match options in a box to parts of the diagram
c) match parts of the diagram to descriptions

The diagram could be a map or plan and later we will look at vocabulary useful for these. But sometimes the diagram is of an object,  often something like this:

To know which part of the object is being described it's important your vocabulary includes all of the basic shapes.  Here is a list of basic shapes - make sure you are familiar with both the nouns and their adjectives:

Thursday, 11 October 2012

IELTS Writing Part 1 - Episode 3

So far we've looked at describing change in tables/graphs etc. This episode looks at when there ISN'T much change and the language we need to describe that:

There are some practice graphs for you at the end - just press pause if you need more time to read and think about everything before the answers come!