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More than language

ICan English


We are quite familiar with the IELTS aptitude test and our IELTS professional employees have a program designed specifically to help clients get the test score they need. There are two options: Full test focus, and Spoken Test Specialty Focus.

This program uses real material from past tests to have students practice speaking, writing, reading, and listening. These one to one online lessons include homework that will be corrected and given feedback on weekly.

Each of the four disciplines are taught throughout rather than one at a time to help students keep all four of the skills fresh. One lesson of Reading and listening will be followed by a lesson on speaking and writing the next session. When all four language muscles are being exercised at once they make the whole body stronger faster.

In the speaking program informal tests are conducted and given feedback upon with advise on how to improve. Read aloud tests are conducted to test and improve a students ability to sound like a natural speaker. Education is given on things which happen in informal English, like a study of sounds that native speakers naturally produce which the textbooks won’t show, which is a valuable insight for speaking and listening, both. Finally there is a lot of practice answering describe questions which are the most common type of questions test examiners will give.

There is a list of common English idioms with tips on how and when to use them, and a study of less common academic English words that will have you sounding like you’ve been around English your whole life. Teachers will also give you instruction on using common conjunctions fluently, as mastering the use of conjunctions makes a massive impact on how fluent you sound. Accent reductions exercises are also done with a focus on the structure of English language sounds and lots of practice drills meant to build up your English speaking muscles.

IELTS writing tests are given in two forms: Academic and General. In the Academic writing program we work on how to write about charts, graphs and tables, which the first questions ask, and in the General writing program we will focus on writing emails. The first question is over 150 words. For the 2nd part the Academic level requires an essay of 250 words or more. We will work on the art of writing a short essay with real test questions given in the past. For the General level it is a long form response to a question.

Part of our writing training will be to look at content written by others and then finding and correcting the mistakes in it. Emails have a specific format and style in how they are opened and closed and usually are kept short and to the point. There will be examples and practice in class. Charts require a lot more descriptive and interpretive writing which can show a reader what exactly you are talking about, where to find it, and what it means. Therefore, many positional phrases will be studied because they will be required.

Short essays have a specific style required with an aim to make your statements as clear and as organized as possible. A significant part of essay writing is the preparation, which we will spend time on as well. To answer a long form question(General test) one must clearly understand what is being asked and be able to provide examples.

IELTS reading tests mostly test a students ability to interpret language. The difference between the Academic and General Reading tests is the difficulty of the language. Academic tests have literature used by university level scholars and General tests use literature sources available to, and readable by, the general public. Answers are arranged in order of the questions so the real key is being able to quickly and accurately find which sentence in a seven to eight sentence range contains the answer.

For the reading test a big element of the test is the time pressure in it, and so to recreate that we will assign homework with legitimate IETLS content at a specific time and it will need to be returned one hour later. In a later class the answers will then be reviewed. In each IELTS reading test (Academic and General both) there is usually one comparison reading where there is a list of content with descriptions of each item and your questions will be to find specific information within it, every test will also usually have a true/false/not given answer section, and there may also sometimes be questions maps or charts talked about or discussed. We will practice these kinds of questions and tests. Both tests hold the same types of questions.

IELTS listening tests are to a large degree mastered by knowing many words and being able to detect a spoken paraphrase. Almost all answers will not be said exactly the same as the key word you are matching. For example if you have a multiple choice which asks, ‘which vehicle is Sally driving to the mall?’ The audio will say something like ‘the car Sally takes is a Toyota.’ the words ‘vehicle’, and ‘driving’, and ‘mall’ are not used. Students will be tested on their knowledge of paraphrases in written tests and their ability to hear them in live listening test conducted by the teachers.

We will also look at some more commonly paraphrased words like words used to recommend something, and different ways to indicate a negative, and make a list of how many ways to say it. The more ways a student knows, the easier it will be to spot when the test time comes. We will also study the differences between British English and Canadian English as all Reading and Listening Tests use the less familiar British style of English. It’d be a terrible shame for a student to lose answers due to not hearing a known word in the British way before. In the test everything must be spelled correctly, so we will also test on the spelling of some important commonly misspelled words.


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