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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!

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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!

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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.

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Keep Your Brain Engaged With Conditionals, Slowly, Steadily, Forward

Conditionals
Keep Your Brain Engaged With Conditionals, Slowly, Steadily, Forward

It is exceedingly important to continuously introduce yourself to new conditionals or rules and vocabulary when learning a new language or when trying to improve your skills in an existing one. You might not realize it, but you can easily become bored or frustrated with yourself if you start feeling like you are not making any progress.

So here we want to introduce conditionals to you, and perhaps expand your knowledge on them if you are already familiar. This grammatical rule is a multi-layered one that will keep you engaged for a long time, as it also incorporates many other language rules that will encourage you to get creative with your knowledge on how to apply the rules of English.

‘If’ Clauses

Conditionals are known as ‘if’ clauses. They are present in every language. In English, they express the result of something that has happened. Also something that might happen, or did not happen. It relies on conjugations of verb tenses, and so will expand your speaking abilities.

There are four conditional rules, as well as their uses and meaning. Keep in mind that these rules are attempting to talk about situations and events that may or may not happen:

Conditionals:

The Zero Conditional refers to what is now/always real/possible. Use them to make truthful statements, so ‘if this happens, then that happens’. For example: “If you press the flick the light switch, the light will turn on”.

The First Conditional is used to talk about future events. It describes possibilities. So ‘if this happens, then this might happen/this won’t happen’. For example: “If the sun shines, then I will take my dog for a walk”.

The Second Conditional has two uses. We can use it to talk about future events that will probably not happen, and we can use it to refer to something in the present that is impossible. In the first use, we might say something like: “She would go to college if she ever made an effort”. In the second use we might say something like: “If I had gone to MIT, I would be an astronaut”. The second conditional is used for unlikely or impossible events.

The Third Conditional speaks about the past, particularly a situation that did not happen. So ‘if this had happened, this would have happened’. For example: “If I had eaten more, I wouldn’t have been hungry”.

Keep Learning

All of these deserve their own section, since there is also a mixed conditional clause, and they come with a specific set of rules. Now that you are more aware of them though, feel free to click on the above links and learn more about these essential clauses and how to apply them. You will see that learning a rule will allow you to keep introducing yourself to new kinds of vocabulary and even more rules, which will give you a tangible way of proving to yourself that you are making progress and improving your language abilities.

By Thomas Marais


Thomas Marais is a native English speaker from South Africa. He 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.

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Don’t Give Up! 3 Tips for Maintaining English Learning Motivation

Every morning when you wake up, your first thought is, “I am so excited to study English today!” Right?! …Okay, maybe not. Honestly, even the most dedicated English students have days when they don’t want to study. So if you’re feeling like opening that English book and learning English is the last thing you want to do, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad student! It just means your motivation is running a little low. Fortunately, there are things you can do to increase your motivation—let’s look a few.

Strengthen your vision of your future

Take a step back for a moment. Why are you learning English? Is it to get a better job? To be comfortable in a new country? To complete university studies in English? Whatever your goals are, imagine that you’ve finally reached them. You’re speaking fluently, writing without mistakes and able to read English easily. Think about exactly what you’ll be doing and how you’ll feel. Write down your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper that you can keep nearby. Then, when you’re feeling like you don’t want to study, pull out the paper and review what you wrote. Remind yourself of the great opportunities that English will bring you. Sometimes remembering your reasons for studying English will be all you need to get yourself ready for another English lesson!

Find someone you really want to talk to

Do you have an English-speaking friend? If not, make it a priority to find one. If you can find a friend who is a native English speaker, even better! When you have English-speaking friends, not only will you be naturally motivated to communicate, you’ll also probably start using some of their vocabulary, phrases, and accent without even trying! And even if you live in an area far from where native-English speakers live, with today’s modern technology you can meet and have conversations with people throughout the world. You might try to find someone interested in learning your native language; then, split your conversation time between English and your native language.

Have a clear plan for learning English

You’ll be most successful at learning English if you know exactly where, when, and what you’ll study. Having a set time and place for your study can help it to become a habit. When you have a habit of studying English, you won’t be tempted to do other things if you’re not feeling motivated. Studying will just be regular part of your routine! A plan for your what you’ll study is also important.

Without a plan, you won’t know what English learning activity you should start first. You also won’t be able to measure if you’re making progress. To avoid this, spend some time creating a plan of what you will study each day and what you hope to learn as a result. Then at the end of your study time, review your plan. Did you learn what you hoped? What more do you need to study? Change your plan as necessary to help you meet your goals.

If you’re looking for an easy way to incorporate all three of these tips into your English studies, why not take a course from World’s English? As a World’s English student, you’ll receive a free Personal English Action Plan so you’ll know exactly what you need to study. You’ll also have access to our dedicated, native English-speaking teachers who will love to talk with you! Let World’s English know about your goals, and they’ll help you reach them!

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Tip #1: Know the IELTS Basics

Are you ready to begin studying for the IELTS basics test? Take this quiz to find out!

  • How many sections are on the IELTS test?
  • What is a high score on the IELTS test?
  • When will I find out my IELTS score after taking the test?

Could you answer all three questions? If so, you probably have a good sense of what the IELTS basics test includes, how it’s organized, and how it’s graded. If not, this is information you want to know as soon as possible—even before you start studying. Being familiar with basic information about the test will help you know what to study and will give you the confidence you need on test day. So, let’s cover some basics about the IELTS and find the answers to those questions!

IELTS Test Organization

There are two types of IELTS tests: IELTS Academic, and IELTS General Training. Here are some similarities and differences between the two types:

Similarities:

  • Both IELTS tests consist of four sections: reading, writing, listening, and speaking
  • Both IELTS tests have the same speaking and listening sections

Differences:

  • The two IELTS tests have different reading and writing sections

The topics is covered by the IETLS Academic reading and writing sections that would be appropriate for someone entering an undergraduate or graduate degree program at an English-speaking university, and the IELTS General Training covers just what it sounds like—general topics important to everyday life in an English-speaking country!

Regardless of what type of IELTS you take, you’ll need to take the reading, writing, and listening sections together on one day. Your speaking section can be scheduled on a different day. It should be from 7 days before to 7 days after your reading, listening, and writing sections.

Plan to spend the longest time on the reading and writing sections (60 minutes each), and the shortest time on the speaking section (only 11-14 minutes)!

IELTS Basics Test Grading

IELTS grading is based on a nine-point scale with 9 being the highest score. Each of these points on the scale are also commonly called “bands.” You’ll be given a score for each of the four sections of the test, and those four scores will be averaged to form your overall band for the test. Half points on the scale (for example, 3.5 or 5.5) can also be awarded.

Unlike some other popular language exams, scoring of the IELTS not done instantly because the IELTS exam is not completed at the computer. You can expect to know your scores 13 days after your test.

This is the minimum that you should know as you register and begin to prepare for the IELTS, but there is a lot more information available. You can learn about the types of questions within each section. How each section is graded, and what you can do if you feel your grade was unfair. Learn as much as you can about the test now so that there are no surprises! Finally, a word of caution: don’t believe everything you read online about the IELTS. Find information from trusted sources such as ielts.org or from a World’s English IELTS preparation course.

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A Message About English Language Learning 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 English language learning lessons should have topics important to your goals. They need to challenge you and keep your attention.

Experience

You definitely want an English teacher who is experienced, compassionate, and a native English speaker. Get a teacher you feel comfortable with. Maybe you would like to have a clear plan for exactly how to improve your English in the shortest time possible. Therefore, you need to have lessons at times that fit your busy schedule. Fortunately, We have online lessons which are best for you because you can study from anywhere.

We Can Help!

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 and much more. 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.

A Real Plan

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. Your lessons will be customized to your needs. 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.

We Do It For You

I love helping people improve their English because I know it can make such a difference in their lives. Likewise, 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!

Your Invitation to English language Learning

Finally, 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!

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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

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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

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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