Month: February 2014

IELTS Listening – Ted Ed No.3

Here’s a great video I came across the other day. It explores questions of gender, socialization and equality – all three are popular topics in IELTS exams. Don’t just watch the video, get the most out of ted-ed – develop your listening skills, note down some useful vocabulary, and answer the questions along with the video.

Some study that I used to know

This video articulates the frustrations of both students and teachers and examines the shallowness of education dished out in high school.

If you enjoyed the tune, listen to Gotye’s original song on YouTube. What would you change about high school? Share your ideas in the comments below.

 

IELTS Writing Task 2 – Q.5

In the comments below, make notes on how you will structure your response.

 

Some people think that museums should be enjoyable places to entertain people, while others believe that the purpose of museums is to educate. 
Discuss both views and give you own opinion.

 

See here how to answer IELTS writing task 2 questions here. I’ll post a model answer soon.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 – Q.6

Here’s a sample IELTS Speaking Part 3 question.

 

Has technology made our lives easier or more difficult?

 

Read how to answer IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions. Write your answers in the comments below. I’ll give you a sample answer next week.

IELTS Listening – Ted Ed No.2

Here’s a great video I came across the other day. It explores questions of gender, socialization and equality – all three are popular topics in IELTS exams. Don’t just watch the video, get the most out of ted-ed – develop your listening skills, note down some useful vocabulary, and answer the questions along with the video.

Dare to educate Afghan girls?

22-year-old Shabana Basij-Rasikh runs a school for girls in Afghanistan. She urges the world to believe in daughters – and tells the story of one brave father who stood up to local threats.

 

Do you think girls and boys should have access to the same education? Share your ideas in the comments below.

IELTS Writing Task 2 – Q.4

In the comments below, make notes on how you will structure your response.

 

Universities should accept equal numbers of male and female students in every subject. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

 

See here how to answer IELTS writing task 2 questions. I’ll post a model answer soon.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 – Q.5 – Model answer

Here’s an answer for the question on technology I posted last week. 

Undoubtedly the most common equipment used in workplaces nowadays is a computer. It is difficult to think of any profession that does not need the use of a computer as they have replaced paper as an integral part of our work process. They increase the efficiency and productivity of work by making it faster and simpler to do tasks such as computing, writing, making presentations, keeping databases, filing systems and track records. Massive amounts of data can be analyzed quickly. Several sectors have been transformed because of computers such as banking, commerce and even entertainment. Today there is content being produced solely for online viewing and so, computers have led to another medium of viewing entertainment. Animation as an industry became possible courtesy computers.

Communication has been made much easier with the advent of computers. We can now connect and communicate with people all over the globe and this means that our jobs are not geographically limited. It makes our world a lot more interconnected and smaller in terms of access to opportunities.  It also makes it easier for organizations to ensure a smooth flow as people are constantly reachable for feedback, to rectify mistakes, to collaborate and coordinate with other employees as well.

Information is now available on our tips, all we need to do is browse the Internet and this makes research based work simpler today. It is possible to be more comprehensive and thorough in our work as there are considerable resources at our disposal to find out more about a topic. All kinds of work is possible on the computer and so, it is the most used equipment used in any sphere of work today.

 

 

 

IELTS Listening – Ted Ed No.1

Here’s a great video I came across the other day. It explores questions of gender, socialization and equality – all three are popular topics in IELTS exams. Don’t just watch the video, get the most out of ted-ed – develop your listening skills, note down some useful vocabulary, and answer the questions along with the video.

 

Want to be an activist? Start with your toys.

McKenna Pope’s younger brother loved to cook, but he worried about using toy kitchen sets which were marketed for girls. So at age 13, Pope started an online petition that forced a giant toy manufacturer to include boys into its marketing campaign. In this video, Pope talks about why gender-neutral toys are important.

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of giving gendered toys (pink kitchen sets to girls, blue cars to boys) to children? Share your ideas in the comments below.

IELTS Speaking Part 2 – Q.3 Model answer

Here’s a model answer to the IELTS Speaking Part 2 question I posted last week. As you read it, notice how I break up my answer into four paragraphs – one for each question on the cue card. In the comments below, identify the band 7+ vocabulary I’ve used.

 I’m going to talk about driving, which is a must-have skill for anyone living in the States.

When I first arrived here, I didn’t know how to drive. So I had to take driving lessons with a certified instructor. (more…)

IELTS Writing Task 2 – Q.3

In the comments below, make notes on how you will structure your response.

 

Some people believe that the salaries paid to professional sportspeople are too high, while others argue that sports salaries are fair.
 Discuss both views and give your opinion.

 

See here how to answer IELTS writing task 2 questions here. I’ll post a model answer soon.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 – Q.4 – Model answer

Here’s an answer for the IELTS Speaking Part 3 question I posted last week. 

I most certainly think life was different 50 years ago in every aspect like technology, opportunities, education and careers. So much progress has taken place in every possible field that our world looks vastly different than how it did in the 1960s.

In my earlier post I talked about how much technology has shaped our lives and changed it over the past decades. It is this change in technology that has resulted in the immense difference between life today and life 50 years ago. We are able to access information from any part of the world if we have internet, read books online and even do educational courses. This makes our world now a lot easier to gain knowledge and be aware of the events happening across the globe. Of course newspapers always existed for the latter purpose and books for the former but with the explosion of online journalism and electronic reading, it has become much simpler to do so.

The position and expectations of women have changed greatly over the years. We are now inching closer to a society where they are treated on par as men. Women are allowed to work in areas previously dominated by men such as the defense, engineering and technology. They are not as limited by their gender as they used to be and so equality as a concept has gained a lot more acceptance.

At the same time, there are also problems such as climate change, automation and increase in health issues. Our jobs have become hectic, before you could leave your work at office but now with phones and email one is always connected and in some sectors this results in more pressure and work.

So, life is definitely different but whether it is better today is up for debate.

IELTS Listening – Get the most out of Ted Ed

In an earlier post, I talked about watching Ted Ed videos to improve your listening skills and boost your vocabulary at the same time. I’ll try to post an interesting Ted Ed video every week – something related to the IELTS topic list.

To get the most out of these videos, I recommend the following:

1. Go to ed.ted.com

2. In the top right corner, you will see a Register button. Click on this and register for the website. You don’t have to do this, but it’s useful to log in and save your favorite videos and answers on the site for future reference. Note that you can use your facebook account to login.

3. Choose a video you want to watch. I’ll be posting a video every week which will be useful from the IELTS point of view.

4. Before you start watching the video, click on ‘Think” in the right margin next to the video. (more…)

IELTS – What should you read?

There’s a LOT of material on the internet related to IELTS and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lost in a maze of websites.

For an exam such as the IELTS, it is important for students to read on a variety of topics. However, this does not necessarily mean reading everything on the internet. I advise my students to bookmark two or three websites and visit them everyday. I recommend bookmarking:

1. The Economist: This news site is often a source of texts used in IELTS Reading exams. A lot of the topics you will come across are common topics for IELTS Speaking Part 3 and IELTS Writing Part 2. Even if you read only one news article a day, spend time underlining / highlighting useful vocabulary, looking up its meaning and usage (See how to learn IELTS vocabulary). (more…)

IELTS – What should you listen to?

The IELTS Listening exam is the biggest enemy for many students. Students complain that they only get to listen to the recording once, or the various accents used are different from their teacher’s accent, or the speakers speak too fast, or that the vocabulary used in the IELTS exams is too difficult.

Really, the only way to develop your listening skills is to think about how you listen in real life, in your language.

  • Do you listen to anything more than once? How many times do your friends or family repeat the same conversation for you? How many times do you listen to a dialogue on TV? Only once. 
  • Do you listen to a variety of acccents? Accents differ not just from country to country but from region to region in every country. Vietnamese spoken in Saigon is different from Vietnamese spoken in Hanoi. Arabic spoken in Jeddah is slightly different from Arabic spoken in Riyadh. Russian in Moscow is different from that spoken in St. Petersburg. Even the English spoken in London is different from that in Scotland.
  • Do you listen to varying speeds of speech? Do your friends speaking in a cafe speak at the same speed as a news reader on TV?
  • Do you listen to people using different kinds of vocabulary? Taking the above example again, do friends talking about the weather use the same words as a weatherman on TV?

(more…)

IELTS Speaking Part 3 – Q.3

Here’s a sample IELTS Speaking Part 3 question.

 

In your country, what possessions show a higher status or position in society?

 

Read how to answer IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions. Write your answers in the comments below. I’ll give you a sample answer next week.

IELTS Writing Task 2 – Q.2

Here’s the second sample IELTS Writing Task 2 question. In the comments below, make notes on how you will structure your response.

 

The money given to help poor countries does not solve the problem of poverty, so rich countries should give other types of help instead.
 To what extent do you agree or disagree?

 

See here how to answer IELTS writing task 2 questions. I’ll post a model answer soon.

IELTS Speaking Part 2 – Q.2 Model answer

Did you jot down any ideas and notes for the IELTS Speaking Part 2 sample question I posted last week? Here is a model answer.  I’m going to talk about an advertisement for the Chanel No.5, probably the most famous brand of perfume in the world. I’ve seen it on TV many times but the first time I saw it was at the cinema while waiting for a movie to begin. (more…)

IELTS Speaking Part 3 – Q.2 – Model answer

Here’s the answer to last week’s question.

The answer to that question completely depends on what you believe is the purpose of toys. They are generally used for entertainment, education or to develop a child’s motor skills. Educational toys may not be accepted by children due to lack of entertainment. They will want toys to play with and throw around. (more…)

IELTS band scores decoded

So you know that at the end of two weeks of hand-wringing, IELTS will send you your results. And on this piece of magic parchment will be a number – hopefully somewhere between 6 and 9 – that will determine whether or not you can study at the university of your dreams.

Here are the band descriptors that detail everything you need to know about these mysterious scores. If you have any questions, ask away in the comments below. Click the image to make it larger.

(more…)