User blog: E.C. IELTS
A thesaurus is a dictionary of synonyms. There are several online thesauruses which are free to use.
We will look at three different online synonyms and you will decide which one you like the best. While you look at the thesauruses, think about the following questions to help you decide.
- How well does it present the different synonyms of a word? Does it clearly list different meanings of the word?
- Does it give help with the pronunciation of the word? How?
- Does it give you extra information about any of the synonyms?
- Does it give you example sentences for any synonyms?
- What other words or information does it include?
Take a look at the links below for more information:
We have launched a new service that enables you to get feedback and assessment on IELTS writing essays quickly and easily. It is important to have an idea of your ability in writing before taking the test. Retaking the IELTS is expensive. Our service allows you to get quality feedback and correction on any IELTS writing task quickly and easily at reasonable prices from highly-qualified and experienced tutors. Click here for more information.
Pronunciation is a key area that your speaking is assessed on in the IELTS test. In this activity we focus on analysing and practicing long vowel sounds. Learners of English often make these long sounds too short and this can affect clarity of speech. Try this activity to learn more! You will have a chance to listen to and practice recording yourself making these sounds.
We have just upgraded our platform to the newest version of Moodle 3.4. This comes with of user-friendly features. Have a look at this video for a complete overview:
Speaking is a skill that many learners of English have difficulty with. Preparing for a speaking test is often challenging. Learners are often worried about not having people they can practise speaking with and are concerned about how they can improve their language skills. In this article, we look at the IELTS speaking test and consider learners can develop language skills while they prepare for the test.
How can I improve my speaking performance?
The first step to improving your performance in the speaking test is to understand exactly what the examiners are listening for and grading you on. Your speaking grade is based on 4 different areas of importance. Knowing and understanding these 4 areas, can help you to identify what you need improve, and also how you can improve it. Information about the 4 areas is freely available on the official ielts website. You can download or look at a pdf file of the 4 areas here: Speaking Band Descriptors Public Version
What are the 4 areas?
The 4 areas are:
1. Fluency and coherence
2. Lexical resource
3. Grammatical range and accuracy
What does each area represent?
1. Fluency and coherence. This refers to your ability to speak smoothly, without long pauses and repetition. It also refers to your ability to organise your speech in a way that makes it easy for a listener to understand and follow you. Fluency is not only about speaking as fast as you can or saying as much as possible.
2. Lexical Resource. This category refers to your ability to use a wide range of vocabulary. When examiners listen to you, they will assess your use of individual words, word combinations (also known as collocations), and also your use of expressions and phrases. A candidate who accurately uses a greater selection of vocabulary will receive a higher score. If you use a limited range of vocabulary, and if you do not use, or attempt to use, collocations and expressions or phrases, you will receive a lower score.
3. Grammatical range and accuracy. This refers to the complexity of the grammar within your speech. If you use a wide variety of grammar, and you do so without making mistakes, you will receive a higher score. If you use a limited variety of simple grammar, you will receive a lower score. Simple grammar, would include short sentences in simple tenses, such as present simple, present continuous and past simple. A candidate who uses more complex grammar will score more highly than a candidate who limits themselves to simple language, even if they make mistakes.
4. Pronunciation. This is not only about your ability to pronounce individual sounds and words, but also your ability to pronounce groups of words together. The pronunciation of words can change when they are spoken in combination with other words, and also when they spoken at speed.
How can I identify the areas I need to improve and raise my scores?
Our IELTS speaking course includes two practice speaking tests. You will receive predicted scores and feedback in each of the four areas highlighted above. You will have access to a number of activities that focus on what to do to raise your scores. The speaking course uses high-quality HTML5 voice recorders throughout and is designed by highly-qualified and experienced teachers. To review the course syllabus, click here.