IELTS: Tips and Strategies - PDQC

Report
John Rogers
Cornerstones Language and Learning
Center
Instructor
John Rogers
Mobile 6645 9129
Syllabus
Aims of this course
• Improve understanding of IELTS and how to
teach IELTS
• How to improve scores
• Every time we meet, I want you to leave with
some ideas that you can use in your class
tomorrow.
• 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?
IELTS
• IELTS tests all four language skills – listening,
reading, writing and speaking
Scores
• There is no pass or fail in IELTS.
– The score needed depends on requirements of
the accepting institution
• Scores from 1 to 9 for each test area
• Scores listed as whole or half bands
– 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0
Scores
•
•
•
•
Band 9: Expert user
Band 5: Modest user
Band 3: Extremely limited user
Band 1: Non-user
Testing order
•
•
•
•
Listening
Reading
Writing
Speaking
– Note: might be on a different day
No Secret Recipes
• Good English + good test-taking skills =
success
• No secret recipes
• Hard work
General test tips and strategies
• Read the directions carefully
• Only give required number of answers
• Spell answers correctly, particularly when
already given in the question or passage
• Use exact wording from passage
Tip: test answers follow Q order
General test tips and strategies
• Questions appear in passage order
• Answers from life experience vs. answers from
the passage
• Guess
• Students have to check their spelling
General test tips and strategies
• Focus on IELTS-specific information
Common topics throughout the test
• There are always texts related to these topics
on IELTS exams
• Check the topics on the official IELTS website
or your preparation book
• Some of these topics are:
– Technology
– Shopping / Consumerism
– Health
– Environment
SECTION INFORMATION: LISTENING
Listening overview
Sections
Content/Duration
Number
of Qs
40 Qs
4 sections 30 minutes for the test
10 minutes for transferring
answers
Section 1 A conversation between two
10 Qs
speakers in a social or semisocial context /10 minutes
Section 2 A talk by a single speaker based 10 Qs
on a non-academic situation /10
minutes
Listening overview
Sections
Content/Duration
Section 3
A conversation with up to four
speakers based on academic
topics or course-related
situations /10 minutes
A university-style lecture or talk 10 Qs
/10 minutes
Section 4
Number
of Qs
10 Qs
Listening overview
Section Skills
Orienting yourself to
the text
1
Listening for specific
information
Identifying detail
2
Question Types
Form filling,
note-completion
Table completion,
sentence completion
Labeling a diagram,
multiple choice
Following a
Labeling a map or plan,
description on a map, summary completion
diagram, plan
Listening overview
Section Skills
Identifying main
3
ideas
4
Following signposts
Following a talk
Question Types
Short-answer
questions,
multiple choice
questions,
matching
Completing a flowchart
Note-completion
Tips for Listening Test
• Important: spelling is assessed, even in the
Listening exam!
Tips for Listening Test
• Tip: transfer answers carefully
– 10-minutes allotted
Tips for Listening Test
• No opportunity to re-listen
– Tip: take notes
• Only around 30 seconds pre-listening time
– Tip: use time wisely—read next question; don’t
transfer answers
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 form
Example
Answer
Name of guest:
Matthews
Room:
1 …………………..
Wake-up call at:
2 …………………..
Type of breakfast:
3……………………
Payment by:
4 …………………..
Section 4: different
• No assigned time for reading questions in
section 4 during the recording
– Tip: read through all the questions first
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 …………….
Question types: labeling a diagram
Mixed question types: fill in the
blanks
The Study of Child Language Acquisition
Fascinating
because people have an 1 ………………. in
children’s learning
2 …………………. because it leads to greater understanding of
language
3 …………………. because of the differences encountered
Mixed question types: fill in the
flowchart blanks
Complete the flowchart below
Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each of answer.
Discussion of
4 ………………………….
includes the use of diaries, recordings, tests
Speech in infants’ 5 ……………….. of life Children become aware that they can speak
Speech in children 6 ………………. years
Linguistic analysis become possible
Mixed question types: complete
the table
Complete the table below.
Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each of
answer.
Animal
Brought by
Reason
1 ……………………………
Settlers
For food
Fox
Settlers
2 ……………………………
Cane toad
3 ……………………………
To kill beetles
Mixed question types: complete
the flowchart
Beetle lay eggs
Eggs become grubs
Grubs eat the 4 …………..
Sugar cane 5 …………..
Mixed question types: multiple
choice
Choose the correct letter A, B, or C.
6. The cane toad originated in
8. The farmer’s plan failed because
A Central America
B Hawaii
C Australia
A There were too many beetles
B Their own research was faulty
C they believed the reports they read
7. In Australia, the toads
9. The sugar cane industry
A grew extremely large
B multiplied in number
C ate the cane beetles
A thrives today
B has died out in some areas
C survives alongside the beetle
SECTION INFORMATION: READING
Reading overview
Passages
Content/Duration
Number of Qs
3 Academic passages / 40 Qs in total
60 minutes
Passage 1 More descriptive
13 to 14 Qs for
passage
each passage
Passage 2 More discursive and
argumentative
13 to 14 Qs for
each passage
Reading overview
Passages
Content/Duration
Passage 3 More discursive and
argumentative
Number of Qs
13 to 14 Qs for
each passage
Reading overview
Skills
Using titles and
subheadings
Using paragraphs and
main ideas
Skimming
Scanning
Following referencing
Question Types
Finding information in
paragraphs
Choosing headings for
paragraphs
Short-answer questions
Completing a flowchart,
diagram, table
Reading overview
Skills
Understanding paragraph
structure
Extracting key information
Paraphrasing the main
ideas
Getting gap-fill answers
right
Understanding summaries
Question Types
Multiple choice,
True / False / Not Given
Note Completion
Choosing headings for
paragraphs
Sentence completion
Summary completion (with
a box)
Reading overview
Skills
Recognizing arguments /
views in texts
Interacting with /
analyzing passage
Question Types
Choosing from a list
Classification
Matching
Matching sentence endings
Yes / No / Not given
Reading
• A difficult question carries the same number
of points as an easy question
– Tip: answer the easy questions first
Reading
• No penalty for guessing
– Tip: answer every question
Reading
• Note: no extra time to transfer answers
• No specialist knowledge required
• Copy passage answers correctly: spelling!
– Tip: beware of singular/plural
No title or subheading?
• A question may test understanding of the
theme or purpose of the passage
Match the headings with paragraphs
List of headings
i. Increasing customer confidence
ii. A benefit to retailers
iii. The dangers for retailers
iv. Changing the face of the shop
v. Encouraging online feedback
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Paragraph ………………………..
Paragraph ………………………..
Paragraph ………………………..
Paragraph ………………………..
Paragraph ………………………..
Matching
• Headings may have similar/identical words as
a paragraph, but that does not mean that
heading goes with that paragraph.
– Tip: match ideas not words
Gaps
There 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 below
Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A
NUMBER for each answer.
1. Esperance used to rely on ………………… .
2. About ……………………… of Esperance’s energy needs
are met by wind.
3. & 4. Wind farms should not be built near barriers to
the wind, such as ……………………. or ……………………… .
Paraphrasing
• IELTS questions often use different words or
phrases from those used in the passage
– Tip: practice paraphrasing skills—essential!
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)
Keywords
• Tip: don’t be fooled by appearance of
keywords
• Q: “This tour includes a functioning market.”
No partial marks for partial answers
Choose THREE letters. A-G.
Which THREE of the arguments below are stated in the passage?
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
Penguins are not afraid of people.
Penguins are becoming an endangered species.
Tourists are not a threat their existence.
Penguins are hard to research.
Penguins don’t leave their nest.
A penguins behavior depends on its species.
Penguin stress may result from being with other penguins.
SECTION INFORMATION: WRITING
Writing overview
Tasks
Content/Duration
2 Tasks
60 minutes
Task 1
150 words
Academic: Graph
General: Letter / Prompt
Tasks
Content/Duration
Task 2
Writing an academic style essay in response
to a topic / prompt
250 words
Writing overview
Skills
Interpreting visual
information
Bar charts
Line graphs
Writing an overview
Selecting / illustrating
main points
Tables
Diagrams
Pie charts
Picking out significant trends
Highlighting main stages of a
process
Writing overview
Skills
Comparing information
Grouping information
Describing how something
works
Task 1
• Description of a graph, table, process or a
combination of the three
• Purpose: describe and compare data
– Tip: don’t suggest causes or reasons for the data
– Tip: don’t simply list the information
• Note dates and times in the data
– Tip: use the appropriate tense
Important: correctly interpret data
Number of employees (1000)
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
Basic outline for T1
• Give examples (i.e. specific numbers) for those
trends)
• Wrap up with a concluding idea
– “As can be seen from the chart…”
Task 2
• Description: academic-style essay
• Purpose: write a well-organized essay with
appropriate support of opinion
Range of structures: important
Verbs
• To rise
• To fall
• To peak
Adjectives and Adverbs
• Sharp(ly)
• Dramatic(ally)
• Significant(ly)
Phrases
• Five out of ten…
• Fifty per cent of…
• A third of the students…
• Considerable(ably)
• Slight(ly)
• Gentle(ly)
Writing strategies
• Paragraphs
– Have one idea per paragraph
• Content
– Avoid informal language
– Don’t memorize model answers
– Opinion: no correct answer, just a clear position
and good support
Writing strategies
• Procedure
– Be careful with timing - don't rush
– Task Two is longer and is worth more points
– Leave time to edit
– Be legible
Writing assessment: 4 key issues
•
•
•
•
Content
Grammar
Vocabulary
Cohesion
Ways to affect a score
Mobiles 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.
Ways to affect a score
• For a two-part answer, both parts must be
addressed; otherwise, no more than Band 5
for content
• If main ideas are related but off-topic, no
more than Band 5
SECTION INFORMATION: SPEAKING
Note
• Listening, Reading and Writing=same day
• Speaking=same day…or up to a week before
or after
Speaking overview
Parts What?
Content
3
Speaking
Parts
Part 1 Introduction Talk about self and
& Interview familiar topics with
the examiner.
Duration
11-14
minutes
4-5
minutes
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
minutes
Speaking overview
Parts What?
Content
Duration
Part 3 Two-way
discussion
Answer more abstract 4-5
questions related to
minutes
the topic in part 2.
Part 1
• Very short answers=lost opportunity
For example:
Question: Are you a student?
Answer: Yes.
• Question: Are you a student?
• Answer: Yes, I am a student. I’m studying in
the Foundation Program at Qatar University.
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.
Part 2
• Take notes on key points asked in the
question.
– Tip: don’t write full sentences
• No credit for repeating words in the task
• Practice speaking for at least a minute—
harder than it sounds
– Tip: using a watch during the exam is permitted
Part 2 prompts
Describe a place you have lived in that you particularly
liked.
You should say:
when you lived there
who you lived with
what was most memorable about this place
and explain why you liked it so much.
Part 2 prompts
Describe a family member who is the most successful.
You should say:
who this person is
how often you see each other
what this person does
and explain why he/she is successful.
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?
Part 3 samples
Well… 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.
Part 3
• Goal: a well-reasoned, smoothly-connected,
justified answer
• No wrong answers: quality and content of
speech are graded, not opinions
• No knowledge of topic? Too bad!
– Tip: specifically practice speaking about obscure
topics (…fake it!)
– Tip: It’s okay to make up information (ie. lie!)
Speaking strategies
• Examiners may repeat questions
– Tip: don’t be afraid to ask
• Speaking clearly and using stress and
intonation will help communicate ideas
Speaking assessment: 4 aspects
•
•
•
•
Fluency
Grammar
Vocabulary
Pronunciation
More resources
• www.cambridgeesol.org
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?’
Example of Part 1 Prompts
Example of Part 1
Example of Part 1 Transcript
How is the speaking marked?
•
•
•
•
Grammar range and accuracy
Fluency and coherence
Pronunciation
Lexical Resource (vocabulary)
What do students need?
•
•
•
•
•
No real tricks
Familiar with common topics
Vocabulary related to these topics
Basic Grammar
Be comfortable and confident answering
questions about these topics
From the examiner’s perspective
• Part 1 serves several functions:
• 1. to calm down the student
• 2. to give the examiner a general idea of the
score of the student
• 3. To give the student a chance to show what
they know
Questions and Grammar
• Examiner’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)
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.
Easy Teaching Strategy (for teachers
and students)
• Teach / Review one structure with the
students
• E.g. Present perfect (I have lived in Doha for 7
years)
• Choose some questions that can be answered
using present perfect
• But don’t be afraid to challenge students
•
•
•
•
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.
• Where to get a bunch of questions*
• http://iteslj.org/questions/
• Where to get vocabulary by topic
http://www.esl-lab.com/vocab/index.htm
http://www.englischhilfen.de/en/words_list/vokabeln.htm
Activity 1
1. Put 5 questions on the board. Give students
time and let them write their ‘perfect’
answers.
2. Let students talk—ask and answer their
questions with each other.
3. Monitor (build their confidence)
4. Variation (Vocabulary, grammar, get rid of
vocabulary cards)
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?)
Activity 3
•
•
•
•
Strips of paper
Students write their own questions
Use vocabulary / grammar / topic
Collect, shuffle, give out
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
Activity 5*
• Truth and lies
• 10 students, two groups of 5
• One group only answers, the other group asks
questions
• In 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.
Speaking Part 2 Prompt
Speaking Part 2 Recording
Tapescript
General Tips
• 1. Use preparation time to think of what you
are going to say
• 2. Note down any ‘good’ vocabulary related to
the topic
• 3. Speak until the examiner stops you.
To improve the score
• Same 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.
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)
Example Topics
• Describe a subject you enjoyed studying at
school.
• You should say:
• When and where you started studying it
• What lessons were like
• What made the subject different from other
subjects
• And explain why you enjoyed the subject
Example Topic 2
•
•
•
•
•
•
Describe a game or sport you enjoy playing.
You should say:
What kind of sport it is
Who you play it with
Where you play it
And explain why you enjoy playing it
Example Topic 3
•
•
•
•
•
•
Describe someone in your family who you like.
You should say:
How this person is related to you
What this person looks like
What kind of person he/she is
And explain why you like this person
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.
Activities continued
• Mock exams
• One student is the examiner the other is the
student, and switch
• Variation: another student listens for
‘mistakes’
• Variation: get rid of your cards
• Variation: text grab

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