Showing posts from April, 2014

IELTS preparation. All that glitters is not gold. Mat Clark.

Nowadays there are a myriad of IELTS preparation resources – course books, websites, blogs, mobile apps – you name it. Unfortunately, not all of them are equally good. Some are just excellent, but not very well known; others are questionable, but widespread. Students are often at a loss about which resources to use, so every once in a while I have to explain and comment on this or that resource.  In order to save time and effort doing that, I’ve decided to write about some of the most popular resources in my blog. 
Today I’m going to write about a book hugely popular among Russian students – IELTS Speaking by Mat Clark. Despite the fact that it was written by an IELTS examiner, in my opinion, a lot of what it says should be taken with a grain of salt.
Since I’m going to focus on the dangers of blindly following the recommendations in this book, I’ll start with the praise. 

First, the author did a great job of classifying typical exam questions - Liking, Disliking, “How often” questions, …

How Public Speaking is similar to Essay Writing

The world is full of opportunities to learn.
During the winter holiday, when I had a lot of free time, I discovered an incredible learning tool called MOOC, which stands for massive open online course. It turned out, to my surprise, that nowadays many leading universities offer their courses online free of charge. They do it on different platforms, the one I started from is

In an amazing stroke of luck, the very first time I opened the “courses” page the very first course I saw was Introduction to Public Speaking which, coincidentally, was to start in a week! I thought “Great! It never hurts to practice speaking!” and registered. I’m glad I did. The course turned out to be excellent. It would take me a lot of time and effort to write about how useful the course was, so I’m not going to do it. Just take the course, I promise, you won’t regret it. There is, however, one task we did which I simply have to tell you about.

In this course we studied and prepared different types of …