Tuesday, January 16, 2007

IELTS Speaking

Topic Card

Describe a photograph or picture that you like.

You should say:

what the picture/photograph depicts
when the picture/photograph dates from
how the picture/photograph make you feel

and explain why you like it.


Topic Card

Describe a job that you would like to have in the future.

You should say:

what the job is
what aspects of the job attracts you
what negative aspects there might be

and explain why you are attracted to the job.


Topic Card

Describe a course that you have done (at school, college, university or other place) and that you found useful.

You should say:

what you learnt

what you enjoyed about the course

what you didn't enjoy (if anything)

and explain why it was useful to you.


Topic Card

Describe an important celebration in your life.

You should say:

when it was

what happened

how you felt

and explain why it was an important celebration for you.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

IELTS Speaking

Test - taking tips

What should you do when you take the IELTS speaking Test? Here are some suggestions about how to manage the test as successfully as possible.

Speak as much as you can

The most important thing you can do in the Speaking Test is to speak as much as possible. You should speak far more thatn the xaminer, who should mainly be listening to waht you are saying. If the examiner has ato speak more thatn you do, you won't do well in the test. Especially in Parts 2 and 3 of the test, give as much information as possible to answers and don't ever give one-word answers.

Speak at a reasonable volume and speed

Speak at an appropriate volume for the examiner to hear you comfortably. Don't whisper and don't shout. Direct your voice at the examiner and not at the tape recorder on the desk. Remember, that if you speak too softly, you may appear lacking in confidence.

Also, be aware that when you are nervous, you will tend to speak more quickly. This may make it more difficult for the examiner to understand you, particularly if you have pronunciation problems.

[Source: Focusing on IELTS - Kerry O' Sullivan and Steven Thurlow]

Saturday, January 13, 2007

General Training Writing - Task 1

  • You have been going to a sport club. Recently there are some problems with the club. Write a letter to the club, mention the problems and make suggestions.
  • Write a letter to a company you worked for and say what you think about good or weak points of the company; say whether you think some changes should be made.
  • Write a letter to a bus company saying you have left something valuable on the bus and tell them what to do if they find it.
  • You have just finished a two day course in a college. Write a letter and explain the details of the course. Give suggestions to make the course better.

Academic Writing - Task 2

  • Juvenile delinquents should undertake such punishments as cleaning the streets or such rather than be imprisoned. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  • The British police do not carry guns. Do you think it is good or bad?
  • Killing animals and using their flesh for food is not right. Do you agree or disagree?
  • Young people are encouraged to travel or work for one year after high school and before university studies. Write the advantages and disadvantages of this matter.
  • Nowadays, the gap between countryside and cities has increased in many countries. Is it the same in your country? What can governments do to reverse this?
  • Wild animals have no place in the 21st century and trying to preserve these animals is a waste of resources. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  • Language and culture are respected less in comparison with the past. Do you agree or disagree?
  • The best way to reduce the number of traffic accidents is to make all young drivers complete a safe driving education course before being licensed to drive.
  • Education is recognised as vital to the future of any society in today's world.
  • Governments throughout the world should make education compulsory for allchildren between the ages of 5 and 15. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Academic Writing - Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some employers reward members of staff for their exceptional contribution to the company by giving them extra money. This practice can act as an incentive for some but may have a negative impact on others.

To what extent is this style of management effective?
Are there better ways of encouraging employees to work hard?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

write at least 250 words.


IELTS Speaking Task

Topic Card

  1. For 1 minute, think about what you would say in your short talk and/or make short notes.
  2. Give your short talk for between 1 and two minutes.

Describe your favourite room.

You should say:
what you use the room for
how the room is decorated
what objects there are in the room

and explain why it is your favourite room.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

General Training - Writing

Task 1 writing a letter

You have had a bank account for a few years. Recently you received a letter from the bank stating that your account is $240 overdrawn and that you will be charged $70 which will be taken directly from your account. You know that this information is incorrect. Write a letter to the bank. Explain what has happened and say what you would like them to do about it.


The Overseas Students` Club is organising an excursion to a local tourist spot.

You are thinking of joining the excursion. Your examiner is one of the organisers.

Ask the examiner about: destination, means of transport, length of excursion, cost, meals, clothing/equipment

Select an authentic tourist destination about two hours` drive from your city.

Provide the following information according to local facts:

Details about what can be seen/done there

Special bus provided

Departure and arrival times

Suggest appropriate local cost

• Meals not provided — students can buy or bring food

• Walking shoes recommended


You have some library books that you are unable to return as a member of your family in another city has fallen sick and you have had to go and look after them.

Example Large tree grows just near your house, producing troubles for you. Write a letter to local authority explaining this problem, discuss the ways of its resolution and make enquiries about financial aspect.


You find that your study load is too heavy. Write a letter to your college teacher explaining why you need to withdraw from two courses. Ask if it is possible to obtain a refund.


Sunday, January 7, 2007

Exercises for study partners

Having a study partner to practice English with can enable your English to improve rapidly. If possible, choose a partner at the same English language level possibly someone in the same class who wants to do the IELTS test at the same time as you do. It would be a good idea if this person spoke a different first language from you, so you can work solely in English.

Just a minute or two

This is an activity which improves fluency. Choose one of the following topics or choose one of your own. Then talk for one to two minutes on the topic without any repetition or long hesitations. If your partner notices any repetition, and then you should start again. Once you have successfully finished, it is your partner's turn to speak about another topic.

Possible topics

  • Refugees
  • My favourite restaurant
  • Developments in personal communication
  • A perfect weekend
  • Student fees
  • My best travel experience
  • Noise pollution
  • Something that scares me
  • Dangerous games
  • The last book I enjoyed
  • Technology and education
  • An interesting person I've met in the last week
  • Diet and health
  • A person I really admire

You can adapt the game to focus on other aspects of speaking; for example, say 'stop' when you hear a grammar mistake or a pronunciation error, and so on.

Reading aloud

Read aloud to your study partner. As this involves reading to an audience, you will need to incorporate all the features of delivering a presentation. Read the text first and mark it up with word and sentence stress before you begin. While doing this, try to hear the sound in your head before you make it with your voice.

[Focusing on IELTS - Kerry O'Sullivan and Steven Thurlow]

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy New Year 2007!

Wish you all a Very Happy and Prosperous Year 2007!

Help & care about others and make this world a happy place to live in.