Hey everyone. It’s Friday and this week I would like to introduce a new feature on the website. It’s called the IELTS Weekly Roundup. A “roundup” means a summary or review of something. In this case, I am going to look at various IELTS posts from around the internet over this past week, recommending the best articles and materials for you.
First, though, let’s have a quick language lesson about Friday phrases. 😁
TGIF = Thank God It’s Friday – people often say this on Friday to show that they are happy the weekend is close
The weekend is just around the corner – “just around corner” means something is very close
Good Teachers and Bad Teachers – an IELTS podcast episode
Shelly at MyIELTSClassroom has a new podcast that she does with her friend, Nick. They discuss various IELTS issues in English, which I think is a really useful way to learn. Both Shelly and Nick are former examiners, which makes them real experts in this field.
This week, they discussed something quite important – how to know whether you are dealing with a good or bad IELTS teacher. They point out that many “experts” actually don’t know much about English or IELTS but they still work as tutors! You can listen to their podcast (or read the summary) here.
In this podcast, Shelly talks about having to look through Facebook each day in order to help her IELTS students. She talks about some of the things she sees there, such as people stealing her own materials! This is really common and actually it happens to me all the time, too. This week, I found someone called IELTS Jonathan had stolen several posts from my website, and I know that he does the same to many other teachers, too. You can see what he has stolen here:
This is a serious problem in the IELTS teaching community. I made a video earlier this week, which I posted to my Facebook and Twitter profiles, about this sort of shameless theft. Stealing someone’s work and passing it off as your own is pathetic and the sign of a fundamentally untrustworthy person.
Issues with Accents – a YouTube video
This video is not strictly about IELTS, but it is very much related and it is made by a real expert: Dr. Geoff Lindsey. He talks about accents and why people may learn a language really well and still sound “foreign.” It’s really interesting and worth your time.
In this video, he talks a lot about pronunciation and in particular he is talking about “weak forms.” If you are interested in exploring this issue further (and thereby improving your speaking skills), you can take a look at this British Council article.
Common Sense – an IELTS interview
I stumbled upon this interview on a website that I had actually never heard about until this week. It is basically an IELTS teacher talking about commonly asked questions. The answers are quite obvious… but that is refreshing! In the IELTS community, most teachers talk nonsense. It is really great to hear someone actually saying things that make sense, like this:
Fiona: So what do you think is the biggest misunderstanding about IELTS?
Max: I think the biggest misunderstanding about it is that people who have quite good English can magically somehow get very good English, and therefore get the score that they need in a very short period of time. And often that isn’t the case. Those people need to think carefully about the level of their English.
This is such important information but most IELTS students do not want to hear it. If you go to almost any Indian or Chinese teacher, for example, you will normally hear bad advice like this: “Just learn these ten words and you will score band 8! I promise!” – It is a totally irresponsible thing to say and I hope that everyone reading this will ignore those dishonest teachers in future.
Finally… a few of my own materials
Last of all, I’m going to mention some of my own materials from this week. First up is an article about articles. (How confusing!)
I made this because so many people struggle with articles and yet they are absolutely essential to sounding proficient in English.
I also wrote about another IELTS topic: mobile phones.
Finally, I will link to this video that I made about the IELTS speaking test. I wanted to show you what happens when a native speaker answers the sorts of questions you normally hear in the exam. So I did it myself! Check it out:
Ok folks, that’s enough for today. If you see anything you think should be included in next week’s IELTS roundup – or if you want to recommend your own post – send me an e-mail or reach out on Facebook or Twitter. Alternatively, you can just put a link in the comment section below. I won’t post anything unless I really believe it has some true value, so don’t spam me with nonsense or stolen materials.