IELTS Writing: what’s your style?

IELTS students / candidates tend to write in one of the three styles that I describe in this lesson. Which style do you use?

“Complex” grammar?

In this lesson I explain why you should delete the term “complex grammar” from your mind!

“Complex” vocabulary?

Many students believe that they need to use “complex vocabulary”. In this lesson I argue that they have the wrong idea.

IELTS Speaking: using an anecdote

An anecdote is a short amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person. This lesson contains an example.

IELTS Listening: Travel Agent

Try this tricky multiple choice question. The language is not too difficult; the problem is that all of the choices are mentioned.

Writing Task 1: Apology to a friend

This lesson contains a General Training IELTS letter task and my model answer. Make a list of the good vocabulary that I used.

IELTS Speaking: a student’s questions

In this lesson I’m going to answer some questions about the speaking test that a student sent me. I hope my answers will help you too.

IELTS Listening: numbers and letters

This lesson gives you some useful practice for questions that require you to write down the numbers or letters that you hear.

IELTS Reading: Alien Life

Try this paragraph headings exercise about the possibility of alien life.

Teaching IELTS grammar

The following advice is for teachers, but students are also welcome to read it and comment below.

Writing task 2: detailed examples

How do you write a really effective ‘example’ sentence? The answer is: make it interesting and detailed. Read this lesson to see what I mean.

Speaking part 2: Describe a skill

Describe a practical skill that you have learnt. Read my sample answer and note down the good vocabulary that I used.

IELTS Listening: Obesity

The gap-fill exercise in this lesson gives you some useful words and phrases for the ‘obesity’ topic.

IELTS Reading: Linguistics

Read the passage about linguistics and then decide whether the statements are true, false or not given.

Writing Task 1: Job application

This lesson contains a General Training IELTS letter task and my model answer. Make a note of the good vocabulary that I used.

Writing Task 1: Museum bar chart

The chart shows the percentage of people in one country, by age group, who visited one or more museums in 2006, 2011 and 2016.

IELTS Listening: Global Warming

The gap-fill exercise in this lesson gives you some useful words and phrases for the ‘global warming’ topic.

IELTS Reading: Marshmallow Experiment

Read the passage about a famous psychology experiment and then decide whether the statements are true, false or not given.

IELTS Advice: Daily progress

In my opinion, the way to achieve any goal in life is to take a small step in the right direction every day.

Writing Task 1: Letter to a singer

This lesson contains a General Training IELTS letter task and my model answer. Make a note of the good vocabulary that I used.

Writing Task 1: Recycling process

The diagram shows how a company called HB Office Recycling recycles unwanted office furniture and equipment from other businesses.

IELTS Speaking: mirroring grammar

In the speaking test, listen carefully to the grammar in the question, and try to ‘mirror’ it in your answer. Read this lesson to see what I mean.

IELTS Listening: Immigration

The gap-fill exercise in this lesson gives you some useful words and phrases for the ‘immigration’ topic.

IELTS Reading: Adolescent Psychology

Try this paragraph headings exercise about the psychology of teenagers. Look for keywords in the questions and passage.

‘Home history’ paragraph

In this lesson you’ll see how I used our essay plan to write the first main body paragraph.

Teaching IELTS: Be a good model

A fair number of IELTS teachers are members of this site, so I’ll be sharing some teaching advice with them here too.

Writing Task 1: Asking for help

This lesson contains a General Training IELTS letter task and my model answer. Make a note of the informal phrases that I used.

Writing Task 1: Internet graph

The graph shows changes in the proportion of Internet users in three different countries from 1999 to 2009.

How to improve your speaking

Spoken language is usually less structured, organised and precise than written language. But there’s a simple way to improve it.

IELTS Listening: Crime Prevention

The gap-fill exercise in this lesson gives you some useful words and phrases for the ‘crime’ topic.

IELTS Reading: Doggerland

Try this multiple choice exercise about a place called Doggerland. Look for keywords in the questions and passage.

IELTS Writing: ‘home history’ topic

In some countries, more and more people are becoming interested in finding out about the history of the house or building they live in. What are the reasons for this? How can people research this?

The essay plan in your head

This lesson is about having a plan and a clear approach before you go into the IELTS writing test. We also start work on a new question from Cambridge IELTS 16.

Error correction and useful phrases

Here are my answers to last week’s error-correction homework, and some useful phrases from the same exercise.

Full paragraph and error correction

Read my five-sentence paragraph about how to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, then try to correct the mistakes in 10 sentences.

Fossil fuels paragraph

In this lesson we plan and write a five-sentence paragraph about how to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.

Be more coherent

How can you improve the coherence in your paragraphs? Answer: look at the ‘job’ that each sentence is doing.

Concise, clear, coherent

These 3 words sum up the writing style that we’re trying to develop.