Categories
Construction English For new students General English IELTS Preparation Listening News pronunciation speaking Uncategorized Vocabulary Writing in English

Taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam? 5 reasons to consider a test preparation course

If you’re planning to take TOEFL or IELTS exam, maybe you’ve wondered, “Do I really need to take a test preparation course before my exam? Can I get a good score just by studying on my own?” It’s possible to get a good score studying alone, but there are several reasons a test preparation course might be worth your time!

1. You’ll improve faster with more feedback

There are several TOEFL and IELTS preparation books on the market with practice exam questions and answers. Working through these questions and checking your answers can be a good way to study on your own, especially for the reading and listening sections of the exams. But what if you don’t understand some of the answers in the book? And what about the practice questions for the writing and speaking sections? A test preparation book can’t give you feedback on your writing and speaking. This is where a test preparation course is very helpful. In a course, you’ll be able to ask your instructor questions when you don’t understand, saving you a lot of time and frustration. Your instructor can also review your answers to the speaking and writing practice questions. Your instructor’s feedback will help you know what you’re doing well and how you can improve.

2. You’ll know what to focus on while preparing for the TOEFL or IELTS exam

You know that to keep improving your language skills, regular English practice is a must—and there are so many exciting ways to practice English! But when you’re preparing for the TOEFL or IELTS exam, some methods of practicing are better than others. For example, watching a popular film in English can be a great way to develop English listening skills, but it’s not so helpful for the TOEFL. This is because popular films usually don’t have a lot of academic vocabulary and phrases, but the TOEFL is full of them! To make the most of your practice time, you need to focus on the knowledge and skills required for the exam you’re taking.

A TOEFL or IELTS preparation course gives you exactly this—specific English practice for success on the exam. Your instructor can recommend specific exercises and activities based on your abilities that will help you increase your score in as little time as possible.

3. You’ll have accountability

Studying on your own can be great, but let’s admit it…sometimes it’s difficult to stay motivated! We all have times when we don’t feel like opening a book or sitting down to write another essay. A test preparation course can help you commit to preparing for the exam. Your instructor will expect you to attend class and complete assignments. He or she will be there to encourage you. And if you attend a class with other students, they can be great source of encouragement and support, too. If you’re not sure that you can motivate yourself to practice and study consistently on your own, a course can make all the difference!

4. You’ll gain confidence for taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam

If the thought of taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam makes you nervous, you’re certainly not alone. Thankfully, a little nervousness can actually enhance your abilities! Too much anxiety, however, can hurt your score and make the test a negative experience. If you’ve successfully taken a test preparation course, you’ll know that you’ve practiced and studied consistently, completed high quality exercises and activities, and received useful feedback from your instructor along the way. You’ll also be familiar with the exam format, including how long you have to complete each section and the types of questions you’ll be asked. This should help calm your fears as you approach the exam and give you the confidence you need to do your very best on test day.

5. You’ll be putting your best foot forward

Your TOEFL or IELTS exam score is important. Universities have strict score requirements, so even a small improvement in your score can be the difference between a university acceptance or rejection. You want to “put your best foot forward”—in other words, you want to give universities the best possible information about yourself. You’ve worked hard to develop your English skills, so you owe it to yourself to make sure that your TOEFL or IELTS exam score reflects all of your hard work. A test preparation course can help you do this in all the ways listed above. So, if you know that the TOEFL or IELTS is in your future and you like what you’ve read here, sign up for a preparation course and get ready to ace your exam!

Categories
Construction English For new students General English IELTS Preparation Listening News pronunciation speaking Uncategorized Vocabulary Writing in English

Strengthen Your Accuracy or Fluency for the IELTS Speaking Test:Tip # 5

The speaking portion of the IELTS test makes some students particularly nervous. It is unlike the other parts of the test. The speaking part involves talking to an actual person who will ask you questions. But there is no need to fear this part of the exam! You can think of your examiner as an acquaintance who would find out about your life and opinions. Imagine that he or she is a colleague at school or work. This can help you to speak naturally and spontaneously as you would in any other conversation.

Jump-start your Speaking Fluency and Accuracy

In order to speak English well, both fluency and accuracy are important. Fluency refers to your rate of speech. Some people speak very slowly and frequently take long pauses to think about grammar or vocabulary. That person is probably not very fluent. However, this same person may be very accurate. Accuracy refers to how often you use the correct grammar and vocabulary for the ideas you are trying to express. Usually, a language learner is stronger in one of these than the other. You can improve your speaking ability by focusing your practice on whichever is weaker for you.

Find out whether you are stronger in fluency or accuracy. A trained English teacher or tutor could help. However, you may not have an English teacher or tutor. You can explain these two terms to an English speaker that you know. The English speaker you choose should at least speak English at a higher level than you. A native speaker would be best. Then ask this person to evaluate your English after a conversation with you. You could find some practice IELTS speaking questions online and ask the English speaker to ask you the questions. Ask this person to consider the question, “What is more distracting or difficult to understand in my English? Is it a problem with fluency (stopping frequently, speaking slowly) or accuracy (wrong grammar or vocabulary)?”

After your conversation, ask this person to honestly answer this question for you. Even if you think you already know the answer, try this activity with a few English speakers. You might be surprised at their responses!

Clearly identify whether your fluency or accuracy is more problematic, then you can take steps to strengthen whichever is weaker.

speaking

For improving fluency:

If your fluency is weaker, it can be helpful to practice. Try answering the same IELTS speaking practice question a few times while recording your voice. Each time you try to answer the question, try to give the same information. Do not change the basic idea of your answer. By the second or third time you answer you might see improvement. You should notice that you are able to say the same information in less time and with less pausing. This repeated process is very important! You may not be able to answer your IELTS question more than once on the day of the exam. Practicing the same question more than once helps you to know what it feels like to speak English more automatically and fluently. With practice, you’ll find that you will speak more and more fluently even on your first answer.

For elevating accuracy:

If your accuracy is weaker, it’s important to pinpoint specific vocabulary or grammar that you are using incorrectly. Then create a new habit of using that vocabulary or grammar in the correct way. To do this, the feedback of a teacher or tutor can be very helpful. But, you can also improve on your own if you can learn to recognize your own errors. To do this, record yourself answering a question. Then with a piece of paper and pencil, listen to your recording. Do you hear any errors? If you aren’t sure, it can also help to try to write or type the words you recorded.

If you hear or see an error, think about why you made that error. Is this error a habit, or in other words, an error that you make often? If this is an error that you usually don’t make, you can ignore it. If it’s a mistake that you make often, you want to work to correct it. Write down the corrected form and then practice speaking your answer to the question again. This time repeat with the help of your written notes. Repeat this until it becomes natural to use the correct form. Then brainstorm other questions you could answer. They should require you to use the same grammar/vocabulary, and continue to record and listen to your answers. Make the word or the grammar principle you are trying to correct your new favorite part of English! Try to use it in conversation with other English speakers—and when you do, ask, “Did I use that correctly?”

Improving your speaking accuracy or fluency will not happen overnight—it takes time and consistent practice. However, it’s absolutely possible! And when you do, you’ll feel well-prepared. You will be ready to give a fluent and accurate answer to any question your examiner might ask!

Categories
Construction English English Oddities For new students General English IELTS Preparation Listening News presentation skills pronunciation speaking TOEFL Uncategorized Vocabulary Writing in English

A Message from the Founder

Hi, my name is Toni Parks, and I’m the founder of World’s English. I think I already know a little about you—let’s see if I’m right. First off, you want English lessons that are at your English level. The lessons should have topics important to your goals. They need to challenge you and keep your attention. You also want an English teacher who is experienced, compassionate, and a native English speaker—a teacher you feel comfortable with, should have a clear plan for exactly how to improve your English in the shortest time possible. You also need to have lessons at times that fit your busy schedule. Online lessons are best for you because you can study from anywhere.

Founder
Founder of World’s English



Does this sound like you? If so, I have great news—you’ve found what you’re looking for! World’s English is an online language school with specialized courses in business English, exam preparation, medical English [you can insert a list of the courses you’d like to highlight here.. can end with “and more” if not all of them are listed]. When you sign up for a course with us, you’ll take an exam to determine your English level. Then you’ll receive a detailed plan—called your Personal English Action Plan—that shows exactly what you need to work on to improve your English. In your lessons, your teacher will use the plan to teach you exactly what you need most–so you’ll see real improvement from every lesson. I customized the Lessons what you need. If you need to progress very quickly, your teacher will assign homework so you can practice what you learn outside of class. If you don’t want homework, that’s okay too. At World’s English, we believe your English course should fit your needs.

I love helping people improve their English because I know it can make such a difference in their lives. It can open doors to better educational opportunities, higher paying jobs, and more confidence in English-speaking settings. As a World’s English student, you’ll have our 100% support in reaching your goals. We believe in you and want you to succeed!

So, this is my personal invitation to you—don’t wait to make this commitment to yourself. If your English is holding you back, sign up for a World’s English course today and let’s get started! See you in a lesson!

Categories
Advanced English Business English Construction English English Oddities For new students General English IELTS Preparation Listening News presentation skills pronunciation speaking TOEFL Vocabulary Writing in English

Tip #4 : Identify and Strengthen Your Weakest Skill

The IELTS test is comprised of four parts: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each of these parts represents a language skill. Your overall IELTS score is the average of your scores on the four parts of the test, so if you receive a low score on one part, it will lower your overall score. Many people feel that some of their English skills are weaker than others. For example, a student might feel like she can read and write English well, but she is nervous about speaking and listening. If you feel that one or two of your English skills are behind the others, this tip is for you!

For your first step, take a practice IELTS exam and note the part of the test that you score the lowest on. Don’t assume that you know the part you will score the lowest on without taking a practice test. Your scores may surprise you! If you notice that your scores on one or two parts are significantly lower than the others, and you agree that you generally struggle with those skills the most, you will likely benefit from focusing on those skills as you prepare.

How do you focus on a specific skill? The most important thing to remember is that in order to improve a skill, you have to practice it! Although it seems simple, many people don’t realize that they aren’t practicing English in a way that will improve their weaker skills. For example, if you need to improve your speaking skills, you must speak English. Reading or writing English will only help your ability to speak a small amount, and it likely won’t be enough to improve your score on the IETLS test. Or, if you need to improve your writing, then you need to write; speaking and listening will not be the best way to prepare.

Often, weak skills are weak for a particular reason that is related to a student’s environment or background in English. For example, if you are strong in speaking but weak in writing, maybe it is because you use English for work conversations, but you have never studied it in school. If you are strong in reading but weak in listening, maybe it is because you read English in school but never had many conversations with native speakers. So in order to practice your weak skills, you may need to change your environment or routines a little. Here are some suggestions of changes you can make to practice each language skill:

Skill
Listening Skill
  • Listen to the news in English online instead of in your native language
  • Find in-person or online English conversation partners and practice listening to and responding to them regularly. Prepare questions to ask them so that you can listen to their answers. Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t understand and that you’d like your partner to repeat what they said.
  • Watch films in English. First, you may want to watch movies with English subtitles. Then, repeat the movie and turn the subtitles off.
Reading Skill
  • Start a habit of reading something in English every day. Especially if you don’t enjoy reading in English, find a topic to read that is interesting to you so that you are motivated to read every day.
  • Choose things to read that are at your reading level. There should be about 1-3 words per paragraph that you don’t understand. If you are reading something with many words you don’t know, you’ll have to start reading and start looking up works. Then you will be studying vocabulary instead of practicing reading!
Writing Skill
  • Find someone that you can regularly write to in English. Maybe it is another English student like you; this can be great practice for both of you! Decide together whether you will text, write e-mails, or write paper letters, and discuss how often you will communicate.
  • Keep a daily written journal in English.
Speaking Skill
  • Find in-person or online English conversation partner sand practice speaking with them regularly. If your speaking skills are weak, explain carefully (maybe in writing) that you need to practice speaking English. Ask your conversation partner to be patient and allow you to think if you need time before you speak. Be honest with your partner if you feel you are not getting enough time to practice speaking during the conversation.
  • Keep a daily audio journal in English. Record yourself speaking about your day, your feelings—anything that you would like to record and remember!

You might think that it would be great to practice all of the skills, and so you want to use all of the suggestions. Remember, though, that being consistent is key. Most people can’t start many new habits at once and continue doing all of them. For most people, it is better to pick just one or two suggestions for the skills that need the most improvement and start implementing them consistently. Then, when these suggestions are part of your normal routine, you can add others. As you continue, you’ll feel more confident and more well-rounded in your English abilities!

Categories
Advanced English Business English Construction English English for Science English Oddities For new students General English IELTS Preparation Listening News presentation skills pronunciation speaking TOEFL Uncategorized Vocabulary Writing in English

Tip #3 Study Vocabulary

Grammar is like an engine, and vocabulary is the fuel for your engine. If you can use past perfect progressive and passive voice like a pro, you have a powerful engine. But if you don’t have enough vocabulary “fuel,” your powerful engine of grammar skills still won’t take you anywhere! This article covers what vocabulary you should study for the IELTS as well as how to study it.

What Vocabulary to Study

First, something that can’t be stressed enough—the vocabulary you study should depend on the type of IELTS test you are taking. Why? Because the IELTS General Training test and the IELTS Academic test have different reading and writing sections. These sections will have different types of vocabulary. If you’re studying for the IETLS General Training test, you should be studying general high frequency words. If you’re studying for the IETLS Academic test, you should be studying academic high frequency words.

vocabulary

What are high frequency words? Simply put, high frequency words are the words that people use the most. General high frequency words are words that are most commonly used in English as a whole. Academic high frequency academic words are most commonly used words in academic settings—for example, in scholarly articles or in interactions between professors and students.

How do you know what words are “high frequency” words? Luckily, you don’t have to figure it out yourself! Linguists have spent much time developing high frequency words lists based on careful research. If you are studying for the IETLS General Training test, you might try studying the New General Service List. If you are studying for the IETLS Academic test, you’ll find the New Academic Word List more helpful.

You might wonder why you just shouldn’t study any words that you don’t know. After all, it’s always good to study new words, right? While that may be true, to study for the IELTS, some words will be much more useful than others. You likely have limited time before you will take the test. These vocabulary lists will help you study the words that you’re most likely to see, hear, read, and want to say on the IELTS—maximizing your time spent studying vocabulary.

How to Study Vocabulary

Study vocabulary every day. Even if it’s just a few minutes, some study every day will be better than several hours once a week. Most people need a lot of repetition of new words. You will get the repetition you need only by reviewing vocabulary daily.

To use repetition to your best advantage, practice “spaced repetition.” To do this, study the same words several times, but always increase the time between study sessions with those words. For example, say you study seven words one day. The next day, study those same seven words again. After that, study those words again in two days, then in four days, then in a week, in two weeks, in a month, etc. During the days that you don’t study those seven words, introduce new words that you will also repeat with spaced repetition. This will mean that you have different groups of words following different study schedules. Make a system for yourself so that you can keep track of what group of words you should study each day and when you should study each group again.

You can practice spaced repetition with vocabulary using paper lists or paper flashcards, but you can also use technology to help you. For example, Anki is a program that allows you to create or download electronic flashcards. This program can automatically regulate spaced repetition so that you don’t have to keep track of what words you need to study each day.

Don’t let vocabulary hold you back from getting your ideal score on the IELTS. Commit to studying vocabulary every day, and look for opportunities to use the vocabulary you learn when speaking and writing in English. To improve your spoken vocabulary, you can ask English-speaking friends to tell you when you use a word incorrectly. However, because English speakers don’t always feel comfortable pointing out mistakes, you may want to consider working with an English teacher who has been trained to help you fix vocabulary errors.

Categories
Advanced English Business English Construction English English Oddities For new students General English IELTS Preparation Listening News presentation skills pronunciation speaking TOEFL Vocabulary Writing in English

Tip #2: Set a Realistic Timeframe for Your Preparation

Many students ask how long it will take to prepare for the IELTS test. Some students hope that they can do well on the test with only a few weeks of study—and some can! For others, studying will take much longer. It’s important to have realistic expectations about the preparation you will need. How much time you will need to prepare depends on two major factors:

1. The scores you hope to achieve and

2. The scores you can achieve now without studying.

The scores you hope to achieve are likely determined by your reason for taking the IELTS. For example, if you’re interested in applying to an undergraduate program at the University of Toronto, you’d need an overall band score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0 in order to be admitted. To apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa to the UK, you’d need at least a 4.0 in each of the four bands. You will need to research the requirements for the school, country, or program you are interested in to determine the score you’ll need. Find out these requirements as soon as possible—you need to know what you’re aiming for!

Then, to determine the score you can achieve now without studying, find and take a practice IELTS test. There are two types of IELTS tests: the Academic IELTS and the General Training IELTS. The two types have different reading and writing sections. So it’s important to find a practice test with reading and writing sections for the type of IETLS . The British Council offers high-quality, free practice test materials for both types here.

When you take the practice test, imagine that it is the real IELTS. Read the instructions carefully, do not use any dictionaries or other materials, and do not allow yourself extra time. Your goal is to make the practice test as similar as possible to the real test. If you spend extra time answering questions or allow yourself to look up words on the practice test, your scores will not reflect your true ability. Be honest with yourself so that you can get a clear picture of how much you will need to study.

Preparation

Once you know the scores you need to achieve and the scores you can achieve now, you’ll have a better idea of how long you should plan to do preparation before taking the test. If your practice test score is only one band below the score you’ll need, you may only need to study for a month or two. If your score is more than one band below what you’ll need, you will probably need to plan a longer time for studying—likely at least a few months, and maybe longer. How much time you will need also depends on how much time you can study each day. How consistently you study, and whether you study in a test preparation course with an instructor to provide feedback.

Categories
Construction English For new students General English IELTS Preparation Listening News presentation skills pronunciation speaking TOEFL Uncategorized Vocabulary Writing in English

Ways to Reduce Stress When Taking the IELTS or TOEFL

To Reduce Stress is very important as we all know IELTS or TOEFL exam is a hard-line exam. For the test takers, it doesn’t matter that how many hours of preparation they had done or what level of English Language they have. They spend their time on too much preparation of writing skills, grammar, speaking, and vocabulary but they just fail for one reason and that is exam stress. They are so busy in preparation that they almost forget about exam nerves.

Here are some ways to reduce stress when taking the IELTS or TOEFL.

Reduce Stress

Get some rest and relax before the exam

On the day before the exam, you are not likely to learn anything. So, the best you can do is to relax, get some good sleep, play games, watch movies or do something other than exam preparation. Just save your potential for the exam ahead.

Have a positive attitude with yourself

Remember that you have done full preparation for the exam and you will do your best in exam. Many students have bad assumptions about themselves. They think that they will fail in the exam and get stressed out by their expectations. If you have a positive attitude with yourself then you can give your best to the exam.

Be in a good mood and take a look at other candidates

One more way to control exam stress is to be in a good and refreshed mood before the exam. Chat with people, eat healthy stuff, listen to music and just relax. When you enter the exam center just take a look at other students, you all are same on the exam day. Everyone is getting nervous so make sure to get into your comfort zone.

Do your best and don’t worry about failure

In the exam, you just have to focus and do your best. If you don’t get the marks you want then don’t worry about failure you can try again and give yourself another chance. Don’t give up on yourself and always take a step forward so that you can reduce your stress.

By HIFZA RAHAT

Categories
Advanced English Business English Construction English For new students General English IELTS Preparation Listening News presentation skills pronunciation speaking TOEFL Uncategorized Vocabulary Writing in English

5 Idioms You Will Hear in Professional Business Environments

The Many Business Idioms

An idiom is a kind of phrase that you find in almost every language. It is completely meaningless unless you have prior knowledge of its implications. You would read the phrase and know what the individual words mean, but together they have a meaning that you would have to learn to understand. Business idioms are especially important to learn so that you can feel comfortable in an environment where idioms might be the norm.

The Many Business Contexts

All of the following phrases will make a lot more sense when you understand their applicable contexts, so we’ll provide you with a few examples and an explanation. Here are 5 of the most common idioms you will come across in a professional business environment.

1) Hands are tied

Example sentence: “I wish I could help you, but my hands are tied”. This phrase implies that there is something preventing a person from carrying out a specific action. Typically this would be regulations or an authority figure that has given particular orders.

2) Up in the air

Example sentence: “I was hoping to have this done before tomorrow but so much is up in the air right now”. This phrase wants to convey that there is much uncertainty about the future, or too much out of a person’s control, in order to proceed with a desired action or idea.

3) A learning curve

Example sentence: “This job has a steep learning curve”. A learning curve refers to the time it takes for someone to learn something through trial and error. When the learning curve is steep, it implies that there is pressure on a person to ‘climb the curve’ quickly; in other words, you have to learn the ropes quickly.

4) To learn the ropes

Example sentence: “Today I’m going to show you the ropes”. This means that you are going to learn the basics, the common things, the activities that are easy and accessible to everyone in the business. You know how to do things in the business, you have ‘learned the ropes’.

5) By the book

Example sentence: “If you want to do it correctly, you have to do it by the book”. If you do something by the book, it means you are following rules, and you are doing it in a way that has been practiced many times by other people, it is a ‘tried and tested’ method.

Non-Native Mastery

Every English speaker can deduce the meaning of these casual phrases that might be incomprehensible to a non-native. We have now shown you that you do not need to be a native to have mastery over business English, especially in places where such knowledge is commonplace. Click here for a video on how to pronounce these phrases correctly and use them in different contexts!

By Thomas Marais

Thomas is a native English speaker from South Africa, who graduated cum laude and uses his honors bachelor’s degree in the Humanities to provide professional English tutoring to children and adults. He is a TEFL certified teacher and teaches teach both children and adults at any language level

Categories
Advanced English Business English Construction English English for Science English Oddities For new students General English IELTS Preparation Listening Medical English News presentation skills pronunciation speaking TOEFL Uncategorized Vocabulary Writing in English

3 Ways to Practice English in Everyday Life

The best English speakers practice their language every day, in a variety of ways. The same is true for a native speaker of any language! The best way to reinforce your knowledge is to diversify the ways you practice the language with your body: through speaking and writing. Applying both your mouth and your hands in the learning process will make you remember!

⦁ Make an effort to memorize the names of common household or personal objects, like your watch, your keys, your attire, or your hairbrush. When using these objects, speak them out loud. Just say them to yourself or say it to someone close to you: “This is a toothbrush!” or “These are my pants!” or “This is my watch!”, and use them in different contexts. Be silly, have fun, enjoy the experience of learning, it’s a fantastic journey. Click this link for some help in pronunciations.

0. Learn the phrases you are likely to use in your language in English. People commonly greet each other, or use an exclamation when they make a mistake, or give instructions for dinner, or perhaps they use the same phrases at the grocery store’s cashier. Thus, we recommend using those phrases in English instead of your own language, even if people give you strange stares. You are learning, it takes effort, and you need to look silly before you can look professional! Click here for help with learning the correct phraseology and grammar for every-day phrases, and to also learn some new ones! Even if you get it wrong, the point is that you are trying! That in itself is a success already.

  1. Something that will help you memorize vocabulary is learning homonyms. Write these down for yourself in a notebook. A homonym can be either a homophone or a homograph. Homographs are spelled the same way, and sound the same way, but have different meanings. Homophones sound the same but are spelled differently. Take the word: “‘watch” for example. The verb ‘to watch’ means to look at something, but the noun ‘watch’ can be used to describe a clock worn on the wrist – it is a homograph! An example of a homophone would be ‘week’ or ‘weak’. One describes a measurement of time, the other describes a physical attribute. Can you think of other examples, maybe words like ‘sun’ or ‘son’? ‘Address’ and ‘address’?

These are interesting little ways to help you become familiar with the intricacies and confusing aspects of the English language. Try each step in your everyday life and never be shy to look for help online, there are many resources out there to help you, and we are one of them!
⦁ By Thomas Marais