Showing posts from January, 2017

Give editing the attention it deserves

This post is inspired by the guest post Nadya Borisova wrote for me “Academic IELTS without a degree in linguistics” (go to Part 1 or Part 2). She wrote the whole thing, while I got to comment and edit. Editing is a critical, yet underestimated part of writing. In this post, I want to give this part the attention it deserves and talk about how Nadya and I collaborated on editing her post. The guest post idea. Being a teacher, I write about exams and language learning from a teacher perspective (naturally). I claim to know the right thing to do and demand that my students do what I say. But my students don’t always do what I demand or recommend. One reason could be that, as a teacher, I am not always able to put myself in my students’ shoes and adequately assess their needs. Additionally, to be brutally honest, IELTS 9 (my score) is out of reach for most students, so my success story might not be particularly inspiring. Most test takers or potential test takers are probably more likel…

Academic IELTS 8 without a degree in linguistics. Part 2.

Writing and Speaking. Resources. This is the second part of the guest post by my student Nadya Borisova. 
I hope you enjoy it as much as the first part

Now let’s talk about the active parts: Writing and Speaking. Writing Here comes the tough one. Last time I got 7.0 for Writing. I used Irina’s help, and I can’t stress it enough, you need a look from another person to tell you what you do right and wrong.

In Task 1 the hardest thing for me was to decide what’s important and what’s not. I practiced a lot with Irina, and now I feel more comfortable with distinguishing meaningful information from the less important on the graph or pie chart.

The best tip I got for Task 2 is the way you brainstorm ideas. Sometimes I got a topic and I was stuck as I didn’t know what to say. IELTS essay questions are in a formal style, so I tried to think about my arguments and reasons academically, which is, of course, not easy. But then I read about “the cafe technique". The point is, imagine yourself …

Academic IELTS 8 without a degree in linguistics. Part 1.

Background. Preparation time. Listening and Reading. This is a guest post from my student Nadya Borisova. Enjoy!

Hi there, my name is Nadya Borisova, and I’d like to share my experience in getting 8.0 in IELTS Academic as well as my list of top-5 resources for preparation.

My first attempt was in 2014. At that time, I wanted a clear understanding of my level. So I tried a mock IELTS test with no preparation at all, got Overall 5.0, and decided to get better results in a real one. The second test followed two years later.

2014 Listening 7.0 Reading 8.0 Writing 6.5 Speaking 6.5 Overall Band 7.0 2016 Listening 9.0 Reading 9.0 Writing 7.0 Speaking 7.5 Overall Band 8.0
My background Two years ago I worked as an IT recruiter, now I’m a copywriter. I don’t have a university degree in languages, nor did I go to the school focused on English language. I went to an ordinary school with two hours of English a week. Most of the learning after that, I did on my own. 
Preparation time I think setting a cle…