Sunday, 19 July 2015

IELTS Writing Task 2: plan your ideas!

If you don't spend some time planning your ideas, it's likely that you'll run out of things to write, or you'll go off-topic. When planning, keep checking the question to make sure that your ideas are relevant.
Read the question below, and then look at my example plan.
The older generations tend to have very traditional ideas about how people should live, think and behave. However, some people believe that these ideas are not helpful in preparing younger generations for modern life.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view?
4-paragraph plan:
  1. Introduce the topic of 'traditional ideas and modern life', then partly agree: some ideas are outdated, but others are still helpful
  2. Paragraph about ideas which are not so helpful nowadays:
    Work - having a career for life is no longer normal
    Relationships - 'rules' about who and when to marry are changing
    Gender roles - traditional fixed roles of men and women have changed
  3. Paragraph about traditional ideas which we shouldn't forget:
    Work - work hard, do your best, take pride in your work
    Behaviour - politeness, good manners, respect for others
    Community - help others, be a good neighbour, look after local area
  4. Conclusion: repeat / summarise the answer

IELTS Speaking Part 3: tenses

When answering the two questions below, you should be aware that the examiner is expecting to hear some different verb tenses.
1. Do you think films have changed since you were a child?
No, I don’t think films have changed much since I was a child. When I wasyounger I enjoyed watching action films, and the Hollywood formula for this type of film seems to be the same today. For example, I liked the original ‘Superman’ films, and superheroes are still a popular subject for film-makers.
2. As the technology for home viewing improves, do you think people willstop going to the cinema in future?
No, I don’t think that people will stop going to the cinema. People can already buy fantastic home viewing equipment, but it still feels more special to share the experience of watching a new film with a theatre full of people. I don't think that technology will be able to replicate that cinema atmosphere.

IELTS Vocabulary: from this week

Here are some good words and phrases from this week's blog lessons:
  • an exact replica
  • a mock-up
  • to gauge
  • painstaking work
  • hands-on experience
  • priceless
  • outdated
  • a career for life
  • fixed roles of men and women
  • take pride in your work
  • the Hollywood formula
  • a popular subject for film-makers
  • share the experience
  • replicate that cinema atmosphere
Did you notice that the noun 'replica' and the verb 'replicate' both appeared in this week's lessons, and in very different contexts?

IELTS Advice: what can you memorise?

While I don't recommend memorising full IELTS essays, I'm sure that memorising can be a useful technique that might help you to get the score you need.
So, what can you memorise? Here are some ideas:
  1. The correct spelling of any words you have problems with.
  2. Some useful organisational phrases e.g. "It is clear that..." (to begin your summary paragraph for writing task 1).
  3. Some common topics for IELTS speaking part 2 e.g. a description of a hobby, person, place.
  4. Some good topic vocabulary (phrases rather than single words) for IELTS writing task 2.
Can you think of anything else that you could memorise before the exam?

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