IELTS Writing: Numbers and Pie Charts

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As found on Youtube

How Crystal Achieved Band 8 After Failing her IELTS Test Many Times

– Okay, so, this is a very special video that I’m gonna make today with one of my students, who I’m very very proud of. I’m proud of all my students, but even more of proud of Crystal because she did the test many many many times before she came to me and she showed huge determination to get the score that she needed, so I thought we’d make this video today just for some of you who might be struggling, might have failed the test a few times. Just to give you some inspiration, some motivation to keep going. So Crystal, thank you very much for doing this today. And can you just give some background information about you so people can get to know you a little bit? – Yeah, sure. Well, I’m working in Hong Kong as a nurse for the government. And recently I’d like to move to a foreign country, and work abroad with my husband, so I need to take the IELTS. So the reason I chose IELTS, and not the other Occupational English Test because it applies to many western countries.

Like, the Occupational English Test, which is specific to, say, Australia or Canada. . – So if I can pass the IELTS with the score I need, then I don’t need to take two or three tests, which is quite advantageous. – So I started to study all the materials on the IELTS since last year, it was a long time ago. So, I first began with some online material, I tried IELTS and think I got a six overall, which is far from what I need, and then I enrolled in a face-to-face course. It was a regular course, that includes speaking, listening, writing and everything, but after course I still couldn’t get the score I need so. And I found the five day challenge, and I was amazed by how simple is the idea. And then I was determined to enroll into the course. And, can you tell people how many times you did the test before you got the score that you needed? – Oh, I’m sure I have did the test with British council seven times, cause there’s this record online.

And then two or three times with IDP. – So I have experienced eight or nine times of failure. So I’m actually quite experienced in IELTS. – Yeah, you’re an IELTS expert. And can you tell people what scores you got on your last attempt? – On my last attempt, I got an overall eight, with nine in listening, eight in reading, and then both seven in writing and speaking. – Yeah, excellent and we’re really happy that you got that score because you didn’t get that score the first time and we were kind of like why is this, we couldn’t figure out why, and you couldn’t get it, but we figured it out and we helped you get the score that you needed.

So, if you were to give someone some advice, someone in a similar situation to you, someone who wants to move to a different country and has maybe done the test a few times and failed. What advice would you give them? – Hmm, well from my experience, I think you really need to know your strengths and weaknesses. So, like me, I know I have no problem with listening and reading, and I focus on writing and speaking. So for writing I think the writing correction stuff is really good. Once you submit your essay, you know your weakness is in task achievement or grammar, vocabulary, then you focus on correcting it. For my case, sometimes I misunderstand the question, so I really need to understand exactly what to answer.

And then I also improved my grammar, minimized my mistakes and also I tried to remember as many synonyms and tried to write the vocabularies so that you can achieve seven in every criteria. – Oh Crystal, I think we’ve lost you there. (chuckles) Hopefully it’ll come back. Yep, you’re back now, okay. So that’s great advice for writing. Anything for speaking, because I know that we worked a lot on your speaking, and you know a lot about the speaking test but what would you suggest to someone who is maybe where you were, you were getting for speaking, and you needed the seven.

What advice would you give someone there? – Yes, actually there is a real gap between and seven, so if you need a seven in speaking, you really need to work on every aspect so that you achieve pronunciation seven, grammar seven, and then you can get overall seven. So for my case, I studied all the materials in Chris’ course and so I familiarized with the format and I know the content is not important, so that I can focus on talking and elaborating my answer. But that is not enough, that is actually the basic. You really need to speak and talk if you want to improve. Because listening and reading is not equivalent to speaking. So what you need is to really speak. So previously I talked to a speaking partner, then he became quite busy and so we can’t talk really frequent and then I enrolled in another plan and I talked to a native English speaker every day, 30 minutes, during my lunchtime.

– But it takes time, the miracle will not happen in a day, but as long as you keep talking, we try to mimic the intonation and where a rest was. Which we tried to speak in a more native way, and you learn some phrase and verbs and idioms from them, and keep improving your grammar. Because I found that I made a lot of mistakes on tenses, and sometimes the agreements on nouns and verbs. – Just do your best and one day I believe you’ll be there. I mean, just listening to you, your grammar is excellent, but you still are making little small mistakes and I think that’s something that people need to realize, is that in order to get above a seven for speaking your grammar doesn’t need to be perfect. Your vocabulary doesn’t need to be perfect, your fluency doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be at the standard where it needs to be. I think people put a lot of pressure on themselves in the speaking test that, you know, every sentence needs to be exactly correct when that really doesn’t help you, because you put yourself under too much pressure and then that can affect your fluency, affect your confidence, and then you know everything can kind of spin out out of control, would you agree with that? – Yeah, yeah, so see, my English is not perfect, but I think I can communicate with an English speaker, like you, you gave me so much confidence.

So just keep talking. I think that’s really, really good advice. You talked about that you used a different service than mine to find a native English speaker so that you could talk to them every day, what was that, just if anybody wanted to use that, or do you have a range of different services that you tried? – Okay, well actually, so remember you posted on your wall on Facebook and you asked if anyone used online resources that is useful, so one of our buddies talk about Cambly, C-A-M-B-L-Y.

– And well it provides a platform to talk with a native English speaker, in case if you don’t have anyone to talk with. – Yeah, yeah I’ve heard of Cambly before, I’ve heard it’s really good, and I know there’s a number of different things but one of the big requests that we get from people is just like ‘I live in a non-english speaking country, where do I find people to talk to?’ So, there are so many different resources these days that you can find on the internet, but yeah, that’s great advice.

So Crystal, you got a perfect nine in listening? – A nine in listening, yeah. – A 9 in listening, so people will probably want me to ask you, any tips for listening, because if you’re getting a nine you’re obviously doing something right so, anything that you can suggest to people for listening? – Well, in my usual time I used to switch to English channel so I haven’t listened to Cantonese news for a long time, since I started preparing for IELTS, so try to listen to everything and keep each channel English and one tip during the test is to write down what you listen but without changing any words.

So if you hear that is S at the end, remember to put an S, so just write down exactly what you hear in the test. – Actually I think British Council’s listening is more straightforward because, so this time when I had got a nine in the listening, I found that I need to fill in sometimes one or the maximum three words in fill in the blanks, which is quite easy compared to IDP, I’m sorry.

(laughs) But I’m comparing the two tests, because you know I’m quite experienced. (laughs) – Yeah, I don’t have any experience with IDP, I’ve only worked for the British Council, so — – Exactly. – You would know more about that than me, to be honest. – Okay, and so if you have more vocabulary in your mind, then it will be easier for you. Because I think some people are struggling with listening because they haven’t heard of the vocabulary before. – Mmmhmm. – So, expand your vocabulary. Keep listening to English, and just keep practicing, and remember to check your grammar at the end. – Mmmhmm, excellent. Good, good advice.

A lot of people think that they have a listening problem or a reading problem when I reality they have a vocabulary problem, and because a lot of the answers to the reading questions and the listening questions will be synonyms, or require you to know the meaning of the word so, vocabulary is a huge part of preparing for the reading test, listening test, speaking test, writing test, it’s all a lot about vocabulary, so if you were to give people some quick advice about how to improve their vocabulary, what would you suggest? – Well I think vocabulary cannot be improved suddenly, magically.

– So you pay attention to the words that you don’t know in your real life, and you check every word you don’t know, and if there is some interesting word or some new word, just jot it down. For writing, actually I almost write an essay every day. – Mmmhmm. – And often I compare with the model essay you gave to me and then I learned new vocabularies from your essay. – Mmmhmm. – And then I will categorize and write synonyms together, in Google Documents. – Mmmhmm. – And then one day when I have more synonyms to the same word and that I search it and I can refresh my memory. – Excellent, you should send me that Google document, that’d be interesting to see all of the different words and everything that you picked up, it would be really interesting to see.

(laughs) So Crystal, thank you very much for, for sharing that information, that’s great. Just, what happens now in your future now, what difference is IELTS gonna make to your future? – Well after I got the score I need I plan to start my registration in several countries to see which one works first and then I will work abroad. So in the meantime I will start my study in Canada next year. – I’ll study a nursing course that help me to get my nursing license. So basically I’m one step forward and I can relax for a few days. – Yeah. – Because I don’t need to focus on writing and listening anymore. – You never have to worry about this, any testing, this is great. And you gave me some excellent nursing advice about my son, which was really nice of you too, so. There we go. (laughs) Thank you very much, Crystal, thank you, that should be a great help to a lot of people, and if you need anything in the future just let me know. – Yeah, sure, hope I can help other people as well. Thank you for your hard work in helping other people.

– Thank you very much, Crystal. See you again, bye bye. .

As found on Youtube

How to Answer IELTS Writing Task 1 General

Hi, I’m Justin. Welcome to Oxford Online English! In this lesson, you can learn how to answer task one of the IELTS general writing exam. In the general IELTS writing exam, task one involves writing a letter. Usually, you have to do three things in your letter. You have 20 minutes and you need to write at least 150 words. In this lesson, you’ll see how to plan and write an effective general task 1 IELTS answer. You’ll learn simple strategies you can use to write a better answer and improve your IELTS writing score.

Let’s start by looking at a sample question: Your neighbour has been making a lot of noise recently. This has been causing you problems, and you want to ask them to stop. Write a letter to your neighbour. In your letter: – ask for an explanation for the noise – explain the problems this has caused for you – say what will happen if the problem is not solved Pause the video if you want more time to look at the question. Let’s begin by looking at what you need to think about before you write. Planning for IELTS general task one answers is easier than for other IELTS writing tasks. All general task one questions have the same structure. This means that your answer can have the same structure every time.

The question asks you to do three things. Each point can go in its own paragraph. So, your answer will have three short paragraphs, like this: Then, you need a short introduction. For this question, you can just write a single sentence to explain why you’re writing, like this: I am writing to complain about the noise levels coming from your apartment in recent weeks. The introduction might be different in other tasks. For example, if you’re writing to a friend, you’d write something much simpler. There is one more thing you need to think about when planning: tone. When we say ‘tone’, we mean how formal or informal your letter should be. Task one of the general IELTS writing exam is the only place where tone is clearly mentioned in the scoring scheme.

You need to write in an appropriate tone, and your tone needs to be consistent. What tone do you think you need here? Should your letter be formal, neutral, or informal? Probably, your letter will be somewhere between neutral and formal. You’re writing to your neighbour, so you don’t need to be incredibly formal, but you’re also writing to complain, which adds formality. In our experience, one of the most common mistakes with task one answers is not getting the tone right. Either candidates choose an inappropriate level of formality, or they mix different levels in the same answer. Both of these mistakes will hurt your score. So, before you write anything, think about how formal your letter should be. Now, you have a plan; let’s write our first paragraph! Look at the beginning of a letter: Dear Emily, How’s it going? I’m actually writing because I have some issues with noise coming from your apartment. I would like to demand an explanation for the noise levels.

I mean, what on earth are you doing that’s so noisy? I can hardly have a conversation with someone sitting next to me, because it’s so loud. Please inform me what is occurring. Pause the video if you want more time to look at the answer. Think about whether this is good, or whether it needs some work. There’s a problem with this beginning. Do you know what it is? The problem is tone. As you heard before, it’s a common mistake to mix formal and informal language. Here, you can see very formal sentences, like: I would like to demand an explanation for the noise levels. You can also see more informal language, like: I mean, what on earth are you doing that’s so noisy? The start of the letter also mixes different levels of formality. Writing how’s it going? is a more informal way to start a letter or an email, but if you’re writing to complain, you would almost certainly need to use a more neutral or formal tone.

To get a high score in the general IELTS writing exam, you need to write in a consistent tone. If you want to practice, think about how you could improve the answer you saw before. You can pause the video, and start again when you’re ready. Let’s see how you could improve this answer: Pause the video if you need more time to read. You can see that we’ve got rid of some of the more informal language, like how’s it going? This is also better because it’s consistent without being too formal.

Our original answer included very formal language, like Please inform me what is occurring. You don’t get more points for being more formal; you get a high score by writing in an appropriate and consistent tone. Next, let’s continue by thinking about use of language in your answer. Task one of the general IELTS writing exam is the simplest of all the IELTS writing tasks. This is an advantage, but it also means you need to think carefully about using a wide range of language. Let’s look at this by adding another paragraph to our model answer: This situation is having a bad effect on my entire family. I have been unable to sleep, because of the loud noises even late at night. My son complains that he cannot do his homework. Even our dog has been behaving oddly; she is not eating well and has no energy. This is a good paragraph, and the use of language is already good. However, to get higher scores, you would need to use a wider range of language.

Let’s do two things here. First, look at the five underlined words and phrases. Can you change these words and phrases to make them more detailed and more specific? Think about it—you’ll see some possible answers in a minute. Your second job is to take two sentences and combine them into a more complex sentence. There’s more than one way you could do this, so find an idea which makes sense to you. Think about your answers now. Pause the video if you need more time. Ready? Let’s look: You can see that you don’t need to make big changes. A lot of students think that you need to use a lot of very academic language to get high scores in IELTS. You don’t. To get high scores—even band 9—you need to use a range of language with flexibility and precision. That might include academic language in some cases, but for a letter, that wouldn’t be appropriate. Collocations are very important for your IELTS vocabulary score.

Using collocations like sleep properly, noise levels, lose your appetite, or focus on your homework will boost your vocabulary score. For grammar, we simply connected two sentences with the conjunction while. This adds variety to the sentence structures, which will also help your score. At this point, you need to write one more paragraph. Here, you’re going to see how you can connect your ideas more effectively. There’s a common problem we see with IELTS writing in our students. Students often plan each paragraph separately. Then, they write each paragraph as a separate unit, and the paragraphs don’t have much connection to each other. This will hurt your score; 25 per cent of your score is for coherence and cohesion.

To get a higher score for coherence and cohesion, your writing needs to have a clear progression. That means it needs to have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Let’s look at a final paragraph which doesn’t handle this well: I must ask you to reduce the amount of noise you make, and try to keep quiet during the evening when we are at home. If you continue making noise at these levels, I will have no choice but to make a noise complaint to the police and/or to the city council. Regards, Samira Pause the video if you want more time to read the paragraph.

This is not bad, but it doesn’t include any links or references to the other points you’ve made in the letter. It also lacks a concluding phrase, which could provide a strong, clear end to your letter. Let’s see how you could improve this: Can you see what’s changed? Pause the video to read. There are four changes. First, we made a reference to the first paragraph, then we added a reference to the second paragraph. We also avoided repetition by adding a reference to ‘this situation’, instead of talking about noise levels again. Finally, we added a concluding phrase. And you’ve finished! Practice these steps and ideas and you should be able to get a high score in task one of the general IELTS exam.

Here’s a question for you: what do you find most difficult in task one of the general IELTS writing exam? Please let us know in the comments. You can see the full text of the model answer on our website: Oxford Online English dot com. Look for a link in the video description if you’re watching on YouTube. Thanks for watching! See you next time! .

As found on Youtube

MÌNH ĐẠT 9.0 IELTS READING NHƯ THẾ NÀO (P1)

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As found on Youtube

Learn English Expressions: JUST IN CASE

{“en”:”Hello. My name is Emma and in today’s video I am going to teach you about a very important piece of vocabulary — it’s also very important when it comes to grammar — and that is the expression: “Just in case” or we can also say: “in case”. So, we use this a lot in English, so it’s very… It’s something very important for you to learn. So let’s talk about what it means and how we use it.

So, we use: “in case” or “just in case”-we use both-when we are talking about doing something to prevent a problem. Okay? So we’re talking about… Or doing something to prepare for a problem. So, we’re looking at a problem and we’re looking at preparation or prevention of that problem. Okay? So, for example: “Tonight, I am going to a restaurant.” I’m very excited. Now, the problem is I get cold very easily, and when I’m cold I’m not a very nice person; I get very cranky, and I’m not a good person to be with when I’m cold. So my problem is I get cold easily. What is my prevention or preparation for this problem? Well: “I will bring a sweater just in case I get cold.” Okay? And that way I will have a great time at the restaurant, hopefully. So my problem is being cold, and my preparation is I’m going to bring a sweater.

So, as you can see, if you think about life, we have a lot of these types of problems and we do a lot of things to prepare for these types of problems. So let’s look at some other examples. Okay, a problem is when it rains… Okay? A lot of the times when it rains, you know, I don’t like getting wet, so what do I do? Well, my preparation or prevention is I bring an umbrella, or maybe I’ll bring a rain jacket.

Okay? So: “I will bring an umbrella just in case it rains.” Another problem is if you work at 9am, you know, a lot of the times there’s a lot of cars; everybody’s going to work at the same time, there’s a lot of traffic. And if there’s a lot of traffic maybe you’ll be late for work. So what will you do for this problem? So, traffic is the problem or maybe going to work late is the problem, but what you can do to prevent or prepare for this problem is you can leave your house early.

So: “I leave my house early every day just in case there’s traffic.” Another example of a problem is maybe you’re going to visit your friend, and your friend gives you their address. Now, if you don’t write down their address, you’re going to be lost. I don’t know where they live. I need to go to my friends’ house, I forget their address; I don’t know where they live. So this is the problem. Especially if you’re very forgetful like me or you always forget people’s phone numbers or, you know, where people live, this is a big problem.

So what do you do to prevent this problem? Well, you write down their address. Okay? On a piece of paper, your friend tells you their address, you write it down. Why do you write it down? “You write down their address just in case you forget it.” Okay? You forget their address. So I’ve just given you some examples of where we would use “just in case”. There are a lot of examples for “just in case”. I want you to think about your life.

Is there something that happens every day to you, maybe you have some sort of problem or something you worry about? So think about that for a second. Is there something you worry about every day, and what do you do to prepare for that or to prevent a problem from happening? Okay? Maybe, you know, you’re worried about failing your test, so you might create a study group just in case. Okay? Or maybe, you know, your teacher gives you homework. Maybe you will do the homework just in case they want to see it. So, you see what I’m saying? There’s a lot of problems you might have, and a lot of preventions or preparations you do for those problems.

So try to think of one in your own life. Okay, so now we are going to look at the grammar of “just in case” or “in case”. Okay, so we’ve already looked at what are problems, and how we prepare or prevent problems. Now let’s look at some examples of: How do we create this sentence in a grammatical fashion? So, I have here the sentence: “I will bring an umbrella in case it rains.” Do you remember what the problem is? The problem is it rains, and the preparation is bringing an umbrella.

I have another sentence. “I will leave my house early in case there is traffic.” So, again, traffic is the problem, and leaving my house early is the preparation or the prevention of a problem. So, I have a couple of questions for you about the grammar. Okay? I want you to look at the sentences, both of these sentences: Is the problem…? So the problem we’re talking about, do you see the problem before or after the expression “in case”? So where is the problem? So we find “in case”.

Is the problem before “in case”, up here; or is the problem after “in case”? It’s after, right? So, “it rains” is the problem, so: “in case it rains”, these go together. What about down here? “…in case”, is the problem before the word “in case” or is it after the word “in case”? Well, the problem is traffic, so the problem comes after the word “in case”. Okay? So if it helps you to remember: “in case”… So we wouldn’t write this in a sentence. This is… We won’t put these brackets in a sentence, but just to help you in your head to remember: “in case” is with the problem, so these are like one unit, if that makes sense. Okay. And so if the problem comes after “in case”, what comes before “in case”? The preparation or the prevention. So after “in case” is the problem, before is the prevention or the preparation. Okay, so what verb tense comes after “in case”? So when we’re talking about the problem, what is the verb tense that we use when we’re talking about the problem? So I want you to look, here’s the verb and here is the other verb.

Is this the past, the present, or the future? If you said the present, you are correct. We use the present tense when we use “in case”. Okay? And so: “in case it rains”, we could put this… You know, imagine if I said: “I will bring a sweater in case it gets cold”, so the part after “in case” is always in the present tense. Okay. So another question you might be wondering: “Do ‘in case’ and ‘just in case’ mean the same thing? Can I use either, ‘in case’ or ‘just in case?'” “I will bring an umbrella just in case it rains” or “in case it rains”, they’re both correct. It’s your choice; you can use whichever one you prefer.

Okay, and these two sentences use the word “will”: “I will leave my house early”, “I will bring an umbrella”, so this is talking about, you know, doing something in the future, right? “In the future I will bring an umbrella”, or “In the future I will leave my house early”. Do we always use “will” when we use…? When we’re making these types of sentences? Can I say: “I always bring an umbrella in case it rains” or “I brought an umbrella in case it rains”? Can I use the past, present, or future, or is it always the future? Actually for “just in case”, you can use “will”, you can use the past tense, or you can use the present tense when you’re talking about the preparation. So the problem… We’re talking about a future problem, this stays in the present tense; but in terms of the preparation, it depends on when you do the preparation. So the key question here is: When did you prepare, or when did you prevent the problem? So I’ll give you some examples. Imagine for this one: Yesterday I brought an umbrella to work because today I knew it would rain.

So if in the past, if yesterday or earlier today, you know, I brought an umbrella, we could change this to: “brought”. “I brought an umbrella in case it rains”. “…in case it rains” stays the same. Okay? It’s always in the present. But before the preparation we can use the past. Or what about if, you know… For example, the second sentence, imagine I always leave my house early, every day. Okay? I always do it. It’s a routine. “I will leave my house early in case there’s traffic.” If it’s a routine and it always happens, I can use the present tense here, I can say: “I always leave my house early in case there is traffic.” Okay? Or if we’re talking about something I’ll do in the future to prepare: “I will leave my house early in case there is traffic.” So, bottom line, the key point here, the thing that you really got to remember: After “in case” this is always the present.

Okay? So, after the words “in case”, the verb is the present; but when you’re talking about what you’re doing, the preparation, it depends on when you prepare. If you’re preparing… If the action of preparing is in the past, you use the past; if it’s a routine that you always do, you use the present; or if it’s something you’re going to do, use the future. Okay? So let me think if I can give you another example. Okay, if we think about a test and studying, I can say: “I studied hard for my test yesterday in case my test is hard.” Or, sorry: I studied…

Yeah. “I really studied for my test yesterday in case the test is hard”, so we have it in the past, I studied in the past. Now if, you know, maybe I always study for a test and I always really study hard for a test, I can say it in the present: “I always study for a test in case it’s hard.” Or, you know, maybe I’ve never done that before, but maybe tomorrow I’m going to study, I can say: “I will study, you know, for my test in case it’s hard.” Okay? So it depends on when you’re doing that action. All right, so we’re going to look at a couple more examples, you know, to get you more practice and more familiar with “in case” and “just in case”. Okay, so in my life I get hungry a lot. And just like when I get cold I’m not really a happy person, when I get hungry I’m not a happy person.

So in order to make sure I stay happy, I always try to have food with me. So, for example, I’ve made a sentence with “just in case” or “in case”: “I brought a sandwich today in case I get hungry.” So what’s the problem here? The problem is when Emma’s hungry she’s a horrible person to be around. Okay? So, we have a problem: Emma’s hungry. So, what do we do to make sure Emma, you know, stays like a happy person? Well, we make sure she takes a sandwich with her, so that’s the preparation. Okay? And, again, after “in case” we have the problem, before we have the preparation. Okay, and this, again, is in the present tense. And this one is in the past tense because I already brought the sandwich. Okay? This is something I did this morning. Now, it is possible to change the structure of the sentence around.

You don’t have to, so if you think: “Wow, Emma, today I learned a lot, I don’t want to, you know, learn anymore”, that’s okay, you’ve learned a lot. But if you’re interested, we can also change the sentence and put it in the opposite way. So what do I mean by that? Well, in this case “in case” is the second part of the sentence; we can also put it as the first part of the sentence. “In case I get hungry,”-so it’s the exact same words, we just add a comma-“I brought a sandwich”. So it’s your choice, they have the exact same meaning. You can start with “In case” or “in case” can be in the middle of the sentence. But when you start with “In case”, just make sure you remember the comma. Up here there’s no comma. Okay? So, for a lot of people this is easier because they, you know, forget their commas, but we do use both. Okay, let’s look at another example. “I always keep medicine at home in case I _______ sick.” Okay? So if you think about it, a lot of people will have medicine for headaches, or for when they catch a cold, they keep medicine at home.

So what’s the problem here? The problem is getting sick. Okay? So, the problem is getting sick, and how do we prepare for that? Well, we have medicine at home. So, after “in case” I want to use the verb “get” here. What do I need to do to the verb “get”? Is it going to be in the past tense as in “got”, do I say “get”, or “will get”? What tense do I use? If you said “get”, which is the present tense, you are correct. Yay. Good for you. I hope you got that. “I always keep medicine at home in case I get sick.” And, again, this is in the present because it’s something we do as a routine, we’re always doing this. Okay, so the last example: “I’ll go early just in case there is a line.” So imagine you’re going to the movie theatre, and you know a lot of the times with movie theatres there’s a long line up -that’s a problem.

A long line up is a problem, so what do you do to prevent that problem or to prepare for it? Well, you go to the movie theatre early so you can line up and make sure you get a good seat. So, in this case I’ve used the word “just in case”. “I’ll go early to the movie theatre just in case there is a long line.” Do I need to use, like, all of this? Can I just say: “I’ll go early just in case”, and not even say this? That’s possible. So if you don’t even want to do this, you can actually just say: “I’ll go early just in case” as long as the person you’re talking to knows, like, the context and can understand what you’re talking about, and it’s obvious, you know, what you’re doing, you can just use “just in case” instead of the full sentence.

Okay? So, even up here: “I always keep medicine at home”, you probably keep medicine at home in order… Like, in case you get sick, it’s kind of obvious, so if you wanted to, you can just say: “…just in case”. Okay? So there’s a couple of ways we can use “just in case”. You’ve learned a couple of different ways today. You will hear all of these different variations in conversation, in movies, on TV. Again, “just in case” and “in case” is very common and very important; we use it a lot.

So you might hear any of these variations of it. So, I hope you have enjoyed this lesson. And just in case you want to practice more, you can come visit our website at www.engvid.com, and there you can do our quiz. Now, in case, you know, maybe you didn’t understand the video, like, completely or maybe there’s some confusion, in case you’re confused, watch the video again.

Okay? You can get a lot from watching these videos multiple times. I also want to invite you to come subscribe to our channel; there you can find lots of other videos on things like pronunciation, vocabulary, writing, IELTS. You know, we have so many different types of videos and, you know, on a lot of useful things like grammar and, you know, all sorts of different types of topics. So I really recommend you check that out. Until next time, thanks for watching and take care.. “}

As found on Youtube

Study English in Brighton

My TOP 5 Writing Tips (for all levels)

{“en”:”Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video I am going to teach you some great writing tips. These tips are for both academic writing and non-academic writing. Okay? So it’s for writing in general. Now, this video is going to be in two parts, because I have so many tips, so I’m going to give five tips in this video and five tips in the next video. Okay, so let’s get started. So, there are so many different ways… Or so many different types of writing we do in our lives; we write emails, we write essays if we’re a student, we might write a Facebook post, or we might write a resume or a cover letter.

So it’s very important to develop your writing skills because you will be writing throughout your life a lot. So let’s look at my first tip. My first tip is: It’s very important to think about the genre of what you’re writing. “Genre” is a very fancy word that pretty much means type. So, a genre of writing might be an essay, or it might be a cover letter, or an email, or a tweet. These are all different genres, and each one of these has a different expectation on what you should include and how you should write it. So it’s very important, first step is: Know the genre or know the type, and know what is expected of you.

Also important in this is knowing your audience, or thinking about your audience. So, for example, if you write an email, the language you’re going to use and the way you’re going to write will be different if you write an email to your friend versus an email to your boss. So it’s important to think about: “Who are you writing to?” because this is going to help you decide what to write and how to write it.

Same with, you know, if you are on Twitter and you write a tweet, or on Facebook a Facebook post, you know, it’s important to think about your audience. You know, are you writing this post for friends to see, or is this a post your boss might see, or members of the public? You know, and that could be a problem. So it’s important to think about, especially with this and on other social media, too: Audience. Who will see this and what will they think about it, and what are their expectations? You know, some people work for companies where they’re responsible for social media, so it’s important, too, the type of wording they use when they’re writing on Facebook. If you work at a company and you’re writing for your company, it’s going to be different than if you’re writing for your friends. Same with an essay. An essay has a certain structure, you know, it’s supposed to be a certain amount of pages, it has a certain organization to it, and so knowing what’s expected of you when you write an essay will help you because it’s going to be very different than, for example, a Facebook post.

Same with in business, business reports. Understanding the format of a business report is important if this is something you’re going to be writing, and thinking about your audience. Same with executive summaries, which is a type of thing businesspeople write. If you’re not in business you might not ever write one of these, but if you are in business you need to realize that audience is important because professionals are going to be reading this, and these people are busy, so, you know, knowing your audience and knowing what is expected of you is the very first step to good writing. Let’s look at some other tips. Okay, so we’ve talked about genre or the type of writing you’re doing, and part of this is knowing the expectations for how long what you write should be.

Okay? So you want to know a bit about length expectations before you start writing. This is really important, especially in university where you often have a number of pages you’re allowed to write. It’s important, you know, in the workplace because sometimes, you know, you can’t write a lot. And it’s important, you know, on Twitter because you have a certain number of characters you can use. So length is very important because that’s going to help you decide what to include in your writing. Okay, so let’s look at this a bit more.

When I was younger I used to think long, meaning a lot of writing, was always better, but this is not the case. You know, the more you write, maybe you can include more detail, but a lot of the times the person or your audience who’s reading what you write does not have a lot of time, and so they don’t want to read long pieces of work. Okay? So it’s important to know expectations.

So, for example, I have here the word “short” and “long”, and so this is kind of like the scale. If you write a tweet it’s going to be something short; a Facebook post might be a little bit longer; a paragraph, you might write something like five sentences if in school you have to write a paragraph on something; an email might be a little bit longer than this; a cover letter you might use a full page; a resume maybe you might use two pages but nothing more; and then you might write an essay which might be 5 pages, 10 pages, depending; and then maybe a report which might be 50 pages-who knows?-depending on what’s expected.

So my main point here is that different types of writing have different expectations with length, and it’s really important to follow those expectations. For students who are writing the TOEFL or the IELTS, you only can use a certain number of words, so this is very important for you to know and to really think about. How are you going to get your message across using the right amount of words? This is a key word we often talk about in good writing, and that’s “concise”.

So when you are concise, it means you say something with as few words as possible, but still getting the meaning across. So you are communicating your idea, but you’re doing it in a short way, as short as you can while still keeping the idea there. So, in different cultures you have different rules about this. In some cultures longer is better. In English-speaking cultures usually we really want to get to the point, so we want something to be… We want to communicate our idea, but we want it to be in a concise way, so using our words very carefully so we don’t use too many words.

So main point here: Know how long something you’re writing should be, and paying attention to this when you write. All right? Now let’s look at my next tip. Okay, so my third point might be one of the most important points in this lesson, and that is: When you write something, very important to plan or to think about what you will say before you write it. This is something a lot of people don’t do because they’re busy, they feel like they don’t have a lot of time, or you know, they just don’t have any ideas.

And the thing is, though, that this will really help improve your writing. Okay? And it doesn’t matter what you’re writing; planning out an email can be important, just like planning out an essay can be important. So let’s think about some ways we can plan out what we want to write. There are… There are different ways to do this. Some people like to make a plan by brainstorming. So, for example, imagine you were writing a paragraph about cats, so you might have your subject or your key idea here, and then you might think about: “Okay, what’s something about cats? Hmm. They make great pets”, and then you might write some stuff about that. Maybe they’re quiet, so they make a good pet. They’re cheap.

Okay? And so the thing is just getting out your ideas. Okay? And then you can organize your ideas better. Or maybe, you know, you’re thinking: “Okay, cats, they eat food. What kind of food do they eat?” So you can do the same thing with reports. You can think about: “Okay, what’s the main ideas that I need to talk about in this report?” You know, where you just kind of brainstorm in advance. I usually do that when I write reports, and I find it very helpful actually, just to get my ideas down on paper, and then I organize them. So, this is one method. Another thing you can do is you can just write down everything, just like this, with a dash. So, for example, if I was writing about cats in a paragraph, I might just start thinking…

Writing anything I think: “Quiet, cute, Grumpy Cat”, okay? And I might just write down all the ideas I have. Now, of course, you’re probably not writing an essay or a paragraph on cats; you’re probably writing something very different, but the idea is the same. Okay? The idea being it’s important to plan, and these are different, great ways to get out your ideas, and to think about them before you actually write. Sometimes if you’re writing an essay you might think in advance about your thesis or what your…

The main topic and the main argument of your essay is going to be. So, for example, cats are better than dogs. Maybe that’s something I want to argue in an essay. And then I might organize based on ideas, so I might write, you know, my first main idea: “They’re cleaner”, and then I might put some details about that. My second main idea is that they’re great for apartments, and then I might write some examples or some reasons why. So, my main point is all of these can work. Find what’s… What helps you in terms of planning. There’s many different ways to plan what you’re going to write, but the most important thing is to plan and to take some time to think about what you want to say in advance, because it will really help your writing. And it’s very obvious when somebody hasn’t planned what they’re going to write, because everything’s disorganized and it’s hard to follow. Planning makes it easier for the audience to understand you. Now let’s look at another tip for how to write better. Okay, so remember I said that it’s very important to think about the type of writing you’re doing, and your audience or who’s going to read it? One of the reasons why this is important is because depending on the type of writing, you’re going to write either in a formal way or an informal way.

Okay? And I’ll explain why this is important to know and how it affects your writing. So first let’s talk about what that means. Well, when you write something formally, this means that we choose certain words and certain types of sentences, and we write a certain way, and we write this way because our audience or the people who are going to read this are usually people from work so we want to be professional, so we write formally when we’re being professional. We might write this way to strangers or customers.

Okay? If we work somewhere and we need to write an email, we might use this type of language, formal language. And we also use formal language in high school, in university, in college when we’re writing for an assignment or for our homework, or something that our teacher or professor will read. Okay? So we use formal writing mainly in work settings and in academic or school settings. Now, this is different from informal writing. Informal writing is the type of writing you will be doing with your friends, so maybe for example a text message, that’s informal; you might use this type of writing when you’re talking to children or writing something for children; and also on social media, so if you write a tweet or a Facebook post, usually you’ll be using informal language; and also with your family, too, you usually use informal language.

So, I have here some examples of genres or types of writing that you might use the formal version or the informal version. So, under formal we have essays, if you do that at university or high school, it would be formal; a cover letter, if you want to get a job and you have to write a cover letter then this is going to be formal language you use; a report, if you work at a company and you have to write reports, you’ll be using formal language; or emails to customers you’ll be using formal language. And there’s a lot more; this is just some examples. For informal, if you write a postcard to your family you’ll be using informal language; a text message would be informal; an email to your friend you would use informal language; or maybe a birthday card.

Okay? So it’s important to think in advance what kind of language you’re going to use. Okay, so how can we make something formal or informal with our language? There’s a couple of ways to do this. The first thing you need to think about is the words you’re going to use or your vocabulary. So, different words either fit into the formal category or informal category. So, for example, if we were talking about a lot of something and we want to be informal, we might use the word “lots”. So this is an example of an informal word: “lots”; we’d use this with our friends. If we want to be a bit more formal, we’re writing, you know, at the university level, we might use the word “many”; this word is formal, whereas “lots” is more informal. Okay? Or same with if we’re writing an email and at the very end of the email we sign our name, we usually say something like “From”, but we don’t use the word “From”.

We can say “Cheers” if we’re writing an email, we can say, you know: “Cheers. Emma”, this would be informal. Or if, you know, we’re in a business and we need to be more serious and formal, we might say something like: “Regards” or “Kind regards”. Same with different words, like: “Sorry”. “Sorry” is a little bit more informal, whereas the word “apologize” is more formal. So, it’s very important when you’re choosing your words because a lot of words fit either into this category or this category, and some words fit into both. It’s good to know the level of formality for the words you’re using. Now, if you’re having a lot of trouble with this and you’re thinking: “How am I going to know if the word is formal or informal?” There’s a quick tip you can try; it doesn’t always work, but in general, longer words in English are often more formal.

So, the longer words are usually in this category. It’s not always the case, but just if you really don’t know, it’s a good way to guess. And they’re usually… They come from Latin. So, for anyone who’s watching who’s from France, from Spain, or South America, or Italy, or who speaks a Latin-based language, if you have a word that’s similar in your language, it probably is a formal word in English or it’s probably something you can use in a formal setting. Okay? So usually the shorter words are the more informal words. So now let’s look at some other ways we can look at formality; formal versus informal. Okay, so when we’re talking about formal and informal writing, another thing to think about is contractions. So, what’s a contraction? A contraction is a short form of a pronoun, like: “I”, “you”, “he”, “she”, “we”; and usually part of a verb, like: “am”, “would”, “will”. So, the short form is, in this example: “I am” becomes “I’m”. “I’m” is a contraction. Or: “you would” can become “you’d”, and that’s a contraction.

“We will” becomes “we’ll” for short, and that’s a contraction. So, contractions have an apostrophe here, and it’s where some of the parts of this word we just remove and so it becomes “will”. So, these contractions, and there’s many in English, we use them in informal writing. So if you’re texting someone, if you’re writing an email to a friend – this will make you sound more informal. Now, compare this to if you’re writing an essay or a thesis at university, or you’re writing a report – we don’t want to use contractions because these are informal. So, if we’re writing something formal, we would use something more like this; we do not use contractions for formal writing. Okay? So that’s another reason why we need to know what we’re writing in advance, because we want to decide if we’ll use contractions or not. My next point is about sentence types and sentence lengths. When we’re talking about formal versus informal, you’ll find things that are usually informal are short.

We usually use shorter sentences. And in formal writing, you’ll find sentences tends to be longer. Okay? So, we can call this… For informal we can talk about simple sentences, for example, a simple sentence: “Students are stressed.” It’s a short sentence that if you know about clauses, it only has one clause; if you don’t know about clauses, don’t worry. The point is it’s shorter. Now, compare this to something more complex. “When a student begins university, they often report feeling stressed.” This is more of a complex sentence, it’s longer, and you’ll notice there’s a comma in the middle of it breaking it up into two clauses; and again, if you don’t understand clauses, that’s okay. The main point here is this, complex or longer is usually in formal writing, whereas simple structures or simple sentences are more informal. And again, you know, it’s not always the case, but in general you’ll find longer sentences or more complex sentences are more formal.

You’ll also find informal writing we use relative clauses more. So, if you don’t know what a relative clause is, that’s okay. These are, for example, they use the word: “who”, “which”, “that”, “when” within the sentence. So, an example of a relative clause would be: “Jane Goodall, who works with chimpanzees, is a wonderful woman.” So, if you don’t know about relative clauses, I recommend looking this up. In this video we don’t have enough time to talk about them, but they can really help your writing, especially if you’re writing something in a formal situation. All right, now let’s look at some more tips on how to improve our writing. Okay, so the last thing I’m going to say about formal writing versus informal writing, and I’m talking a lot about this because it’s actually a very important part of writing, is I’m going to talk a little bit about slang, swear words, exaggeration words, and text words, and when to use them. So, slang, it’s words we use with our friends, words like: “cool”, I was going to say “groovy” but nobody says that anymore, so, you know, there’s all sorts of different types of slang.

It’s a word that’s very popular or an expression that’s popular, but it’s not a formal expression. So, “cool” is a really good one, or “awesome”: “That’s awesome”. So, slang we use informally. Same with swear words. Okay? So if you say a bad word, you know, sometimes you might say something to your friend, you might use different swear words when you talk to your friends, hopefully not with strangers, but with people you know well, but you would not use swear words in a formal writing situation. So maybe you might use it in a text, but you wouldn’t use it in a formal writing situation. Also exaggeration words.

What’s an exaggeration word? “Very” is a good example. “He is very funny”, “She is very pretty”, “He is really handsome”, “He’s totally hot”, okay? So these types of words: “very”, “really”, “totally”, we usually save these for informal writing. So if you’re in university and you want to say something is “very”, don’t use the word “very”; there are better words, like, you know… There are a lot of other words you can use as opposed to these ones. Another thing I wanted to say is there’s a lot of words we use now, they’re short forms of words, like, for example: “lol” for “laugh out loud”, “b4” for “before”, “LMAO” for “laugh my ass off”, these are words we use informally.

Okay? We do not use these in formal writing, so it’s important in formal writing to always spell out the word correctly, to use proper spelling, and to avoid some of these words you might be seeing a lot on the internet or in text messaging or on Facebook. Okay, so we’ve covered about formal and informal writing. My last tip for this video is about the importance of using variety in what you’re writing. So what do I mean by “variety”? Well, sometimes when people write, they have certain words that they use again and again and again, and so there’s not a lot of variety in their choice of words. Or you might have somebody else who uses the same sentence structure; maybe they learned the present perfect and they love the present perfect because it took them forever to learn it, so now they use the present perfect in each sentence. So this is not good because we really want variety in what we write, because we want it to be interesting. If you use something too much, it makes what you’re writing look boring.

So, let’s look at an example. I have here a sentence: “Sales have increased. They have increased for many reasons. The increase is because people increasingly like spending money.” Can you tell me: Which word did I use too much? If you said “increase”, you’re correct. I used it one, two, three, four. Okay, so that’s too much in a piece of writing. There are a lot of other words we could be using instead of “increase”. We could be using, you know: “go up”, “rise”. There are a lot of other words. And if you’re not sure of another word for “increase”, a good idea is to check a thesaurus. There are a lot of online thesauruses that can help you add variety to your word choice. So if you make this kind of mistake where you reuse the same word again and again and again, try to learn some other words that have the same meaning. This will really help your writing and make it more interesting. The other thing I wanted to say is that we just talked about how you want variety in words. You also want variety in sentence types. So you want to make sure that, you know, sometimes you use long sentences, and sometimes you use short sentence, sometimes you use, you know, maybe words like: “although”, “when”, “despite”, “in spite of”, and sometimes you might have something a bit simpler.

So instead of reusing the same sentence type and the same sentence structure, try to use different tenses and different structures in the sentences you write. Yeah, so different tenses and try to have different sentence lengths. That will make your writing more interesting. So, thank you for watching this video. I know we covered a lot today, and I have a lot more writing tips coming soon. So, we’ve covered a lot and there’s a lot of things you can practice, so I invite you to come visit our website at www.engvid.com, and there, you can practice what you’ve learned today.

I also invite you to subscribe to my channel; there, you will find a whole bunch of other resources on different grammar points, you know, especially if you’re interested in how to add variety, different videos on vocabulary, on writing, on pronunciation, and all sorts of other topics. So I invite you to check that out. Thank you for watching; and until next time, take care.. “}

As found on Youtube

Study English in London

How to write a good essay: Paraphrasing the question

{“en”:”Hi, there. My name is Emma, and in today’s video I’m going to teach you something very important for if you’re taking any type of test that has a writing component. So, if you are taking the IELTS, the TOEFL, the CELPIP, even just a university test, it can be any type of test, but if you’re asked to write something like an essay or a paragraph, this video is for you. Okay? So I’m going to teach you a very important skill that will help improve your marks when it comes to writing on tests. So, let’s get started. So, I have here an essay question. This question is actually… I’ve seen it on the IELTS. You know, you have similar types of questions on the TOEFL, sometimes in university. The question is this: “Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country. Do you agree or disagree?” Or maybe: “To what extent do you agree or disagree?” So, this is an example of a question you might be asked. Now, a problem a lot of students have is in their answer to this question.

They see this, and they think: “Okay, education is the most important factor in the development of a country, yes, I agree.” So then they… Or: “I disagree”, and they start writing. And what do they write? Usually the very first thing students will write is this: “I agree that education is the single most important factor in the development of a country because…” So, what is the problem with this? Is there any problem to start off your essay with something like this, or to start off your answer? There’s a big problem. So I want you to take a moment and think: “What could be the problem with starting your essay off with this sentence?” Okay, well, if you noticed, you have here the word: “education, education, is, is, the single most important, most important factor”.

If you notice, these are the same. They’re the exact same, except for: “I agree that” and “because”. The student, here, has used the exact same wording that is in the question. So, if you do this on the IELTS-and many students do this, same with on the TOEFL-you actually will lose marks, and same with in university, because you’re not showing your abilities; you’re just copying what somebody else has said or what the essay question is. So, in this video, I’m going to show you first off… First off, I’m going to tell you: Don’t do this, don’t copy. And I’m going to teach you ways in order to improve yourself and your answer by changing this wording. How can you change your introduction so it’s different than what the question is? Okay? So, let’s look at how to make these changes.

Okay, so what we are going to do in order to change the question into a proper answer that doesn’t just copy the question, is we are going to paraphrase. So, the word here is: “paraphrase”. This might be a new word for you. What does it mean to paraphrase something? Well, when we paraphrase, it means we take a sentence that, you know… We take somebody else’s sentence and we change it into our own words. Okay? So, we change the words of a sentence, we also change maybe the sentence structure, but we keep all the same meaning. Okay? So, the meaning from the sentence you copy, it stays the same, same meaning, but different words and different sentence structure. Okay? So it’s in your words, but this other person’s meaning. So, we are going to paraphrase this example of a question into our own words. So, first we’re going to look at how to do that using vocabulary and synonyms. So, we have here the same question: “Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country.” How can we put this into new words or our own words that keep the same meaning? Well, we can use synonyms.

So, this might be a new word for you, too. A “synonym”. “Synonyms” are words that have the same meaning, but are different words. So, for example: “big” and “large”, they have the same meaning, just like: “huge”, “enormous”, these are synonyms of each other; same meaning, but they’re different words. So, you need to use different synonyms so you don’t just copy these words. You use synonyms to have words that have the same meaning, but are different words. So, let’s look at an example. Our first word, here, is: “education”. What’s another word we can use instead of…? Instead of “education”? Well, there’s different words we can use. Maybe one could be: “schooling”. Okay? So, we could change this word to “schooling”.

“Schooling is the single most important factor in the development of a country.” What’s another word we can change? Well, maybe “most important”. Instead of using the word “most important”, maybe we could use: “most significant” or “most essential”. Okay? So: “essential”, “significant”. There are many words you can use. But the point here is: Find a word that has the same meaning, but is a different word. Okay, here’s another word: “factor”. Can you think of another word for “factor”? Well, sometimes “factor”, it can be an “aspect” or an “element”.

Okay? You can even say sometimes: “a significant role”. Okay? Or: “a part”. So, there’s different words we can use that have similar meanings. In terms of the word “development”, we can change the word “development” to “advancement”, “progression”, “evolution”. Okay? And in terms of the word “country”, another word for “country” is “nation”. Okay? So, these are all synonyms, and this is what you want to do. When you look at the question, think about some new words you can use that have the same meaning. This is also important throughout your essay, because one problem a lot of students have is they keep using the same word again, and again, and again in every sentence. This does not help you with your marks. It’s better to use different words that have the same meaning. At the same time, you have to be careful, here, because some students, they find a new word, they think it’s a great word, but there is a little bit of a difference in meaning. So, you need to be really comfortable with the word you choose, and you need to know what it actually means so it doesn’t sound strange.

Okay, so if we wanted to change this now, instead of saying: “Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country”, our paraphrase… Our first step in our paraphrase could be changing these words to: “Schooling is the single most significant element in the advancement of a nation.” Okay? So that’s just one example. So, now, let’s look at another thing you can do in order to paraphrase the question on a test or exam.

Okay, another way we can paraphrase is by changing the structure of the sentence. So, for example, you might have a verb and, you know, which is an action, and you might change that into its noun form. So, for example, if your verb is “developing”, you might change that into “development”. You might change, similarly, a noun into a verb. Okay? So, for example, we just said “development” is the noun, it can turn into: “develop” or “developing”. You can also change things into adjectives. So, if, for example, you’re talking about “technology”, which is a noun, you can change this into the adjective form which is “technological”. So, changing the form of the word can help you with paraphrasing.

Also changing placement of the words can help you out. So, for example, in our original sentence or the question was: “Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country.” So, I’ve now changed some of the wording, as well as the order. Okay? So, here: “Education” is at the beginning. In my sentence: “The most essential element of a nation’s development is education.” I’ve changed the order of the sentence, so now “education” is at the end, instead of at the beginning. I’ve also started out with: “The most essential”, as my beginning; whereas here, it was in the middle. You’ll also notice we have, here: “in the development of a country”, I’ve changed this to: “nation’s development”.

I could also change this to: “country’s development”, instead of “the development of a country”. So, changing the order of the sentence and changing some of the structures can really help you in terms of paraphrasing. Now let’s learn one other way in which we can improve our marks by paraphrasing. Okay, so the last tip I have about paraphrasing a question is using concessions. So, what is a concession? Well, I want you to look at what the question actually says and my new answer to it. The question, again, same question as before: “Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country.” My answer… Okay, so I’ve changed some words and I’ve also changed the structure a bit, but there’s one other thing I’ve added. “Although many would argue that the economy is the most important factor in nation-building, I think education has a far greater impact.” So, what I’ve done here is I’ve added a concession.

A concession is where you say what the opposite opinion is, and then you say what your opinion is. So, you’re giving two opinions; you’re giving your opinion and also what other people might think. This is a great thing to do, especially in essays, and this is something you can do at the beginning of your answer. So, we use here the key word: “Although”. Okay? And you’ll notice that this has two clauses. I don’t want to get too technical with grammar on you today, but what I mean is: If you see, we have the red part: “Although many would argue that the economy is the most important factor in nation-building,” and then we have a second part. So, we have two parts to this sentence. “…I think education has a far greater impact.” So, the first part of the sentence is in red and it’s the “Although” part, and the second part of the sentence is in purple-okay?-and that’s: “I think education has a far greater impact.” And they’re separated by a comma.

So, a concession has two parts to it. You say what the other people think first, in this case: “Although many”, “many” meaning people, we could also say: “many people”. “Although many would argue that the economy is the most important factor in nation-building,” okay? So, this is what some people would say. Now I’m going to say what I think. “I think education has a far greater impact.” So, why is this a good idea? Well, one reason is because when you write a concession, when you’re showing what the opposite opinion of yours is, you’re showing that you’ve thought about the issue.

Okay? You’re looking at both sides. You’re not just looking at your opinion. You’re looking at both sides, and then you’re making a judgment. So this shows that you’re thinking about the question, and you’re really giving it some thought. And by representing both sides, you’re really showing critical thinking. So this is a very good idea to do. Okay, so the three things we’ve talked about today in terms of paraphrasing the question is: Changing the words using synonyms, we’ve talked about changing the sentence structure, and we’ve also talked about adding the other perspective using concessions. Okay? So, these are three things you can do in order to change the question so you’re not just copying what is on your test paper. Again, great thing to do if you’re writing a high school essay, university essay, TOEFL, IELTS, CELPIP, all of these things – this skill will really come in handy for you.

Now, you might be wondering: “Okay, this is great, but I don’t know any synonyms. Or I… You know, I don’t know much about this.” Well, what you can do is you can come check out our website at www.engvid.com. There, you can find a lot of other resources, including improving your vocabulary, we even have a video on how to make concessions, you know, we have videos on sentence structure, too. So, there’s a lot of videos you can check out and a lot of resources. You can also come visit our website where you will find a quiz, and by taking that quiz, you can actually practice your paraphrasing skills so you can see, you know: “Am I doing this right? Is this…? You know, is this the right way to do this?” and get more practice. So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this video. And until next time, take care.. “}

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5 Tips to Get Band 7 in the IELTS Writing Exam – IELTS Writing Lesson

Hi, I’m Oli. Welcome to Oxford Online English! Do you need band seven in IELTS? Are you maybe stuck at band six or 6.5? If you’ve taken the IELTS exam many times, and you can’t seem to get higher than six in the writing exam, this video is for you. If you’re stuck at band six, then it’s likely that you have some bad habits and ineffective approaches to the writing exam. These are things that might work well at band six, but they won’t help you to get band seven. I’ll show you what these ineffective habits are, and how you can change them. One point: I’ll be focusing on the academic IELTS exam in this video, because most of the students I meet need academic IELTS. If you’re taking general IELTS, most of the advice in this video is still very relevant for you. Also, one more thing: there’s nothing wrong with getting band six! I’m not trying to be rude or discouraging to anyone.

When I say that something is a bad habit, or that you need to change something, I mean if you want to get band in the IELTS writing exam. But first… Do you know how IELTS scoring works? You should. Here’s why: The IELTS scoring system is very specific. The examiners don’t just look at your writing and say, “Hmmm, this feels like a… six!” If you get band six in the IELTS writing exam, there are specific reasons why. There are specific things which you did or didn’t do which explain your score. Similarly, to get band seven, there are specific things you need to do, and not do! Most importantly: these things are very different between bands six and seven. If you keep taking IELTS, and you keep getting band six in the writing, then you can’t keep doing the same things and expect to get a different score.

You need to change what you do. The things you need to do to get band seven in your IELTS writing aren’t magic or some kind of dark secret. They’re publicly available. You can read what they are. You can do it right now! There’s a link underneath the video. I highly recommend you read the scoring criteria and think about what band seven means. At the very least, you need to understand that your IELTS writing score is made up of four different parts: task achievement, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource (which means vocabulary) and grammar.

Think now: where are you weakest? What do you need to work on from these four areas? In the rest of this lesson, we’ll talk about each of these four areas. You’ll see common examples of ‘band six thinking’, and you’ll see how you can improve your approach to get a higher IELTS writing score. Let’s start with task achievement. Here are the some ideas that are great for getting band six: “In task one, I need to include every statistic and piece of data.” “In task two, I just need to write something about the general topic in the question.” By the way, to save myself saying ‘task achievement’ again and again, I’m going to call it ‘TA’. Getting band 7 for TA is both easy and hard. Here’s why it’s easy: you just need to do everything which the question asks you to do, and nothing else.

Here’s why it’s hard: most people can’t do that without a lot of practice. TA is also slightly different for task one and task two, so we’ll talk about those separately. Let’s start with task one. Here’s a sample question: The graph below shows the sales of five different food products in the UK between 1980 and 2010. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant. If you want some time to look at the question, pause the video. If you’re watching on YouTube, you can see the question on the full version of this lesson on our website: Oxford Online English dot com.

Getting a good TA score depends a lot on what you do before you start writing. You need to analyse the task and make a clear plan. If you start writing without a clear plan, it’s very hard to get a good TA score. In task one, it’s important to find connections or trends in the information you’re given. For example, in this question, how could you connect the data? Here’s one idea: you could group the five products into, first, products whose sales fell over the period (ice cream and frozen burgers), secondly, products whose sales rose (tofu and chili sauce) and finally, products whose sales stayed the same (salted peanuts). Here’s another suggestion: group the five products into big sellers (ice cream, frozen burgers, and also chili sauce at the end of the period), and small sellers (tofu, salted peanuts, chili sauce at the beginning of the period).

Which way do you think is better? Actually, there isn’t one correct way to do this, but you need to do something. You can’t just write about each product, one after another. Well, you can, but you’ll probably get band six for TA! Whatever data you’re given, you need to find connections and put the information into groups which you create. These groups will be separate paragraphs in your answer. This is how your answer will have structure, which is also important for your coherence and cohesion score.

What about task two? Let’s look at a sample question: The most common problem in task two is leaving something out or not covering something fully. To get band 7 for TA, you need to do all of the things the question is asking you to do, and only the things the question is asking you to do. What does that mean here? The task says, ‘discuss both of these viewpoints.’ First, you need to discuss the idea ‘that young people benefit from working while studying at school or university.’ One word here is particularly important. Do you know which one? ‘Benefit’ is a key word here. What does ‘benefit’ mean? How do you understand it in this question? Next, you need to discuss the idea, ‘young people will achieve more by focusing on their studies.’ Again, there’s a key phrase here: ‘achieve more’. What does this mean? You need to have answers to these questions.

IELTS tasks often contain abstract, general words like advantages, benefits, problems, success, etc. To write a good answer, you need to analyse and interpret these words yourself. Here, think about ‘achieve more’. How do you understand this term in this question? Does it mean getting good exam results, learning more knowledge, learning practical skills, getting a better job, living a full, satisfying life, or something else? Again, there isn’t one right answer here, but you need to have your own ideas about this. Next, the task says, ‘give your own opinion’. So, you need to explain which side you agree with. Finally, the task tells you to give reasons and include examples. This means that you need to support your ideas. You can’t just say something like: Young people who focus on their studies will achieve more. If you make a point like this, you need to support it somehow. How will they achieve more? What examples can you give to show that this is true? Let’s review: for this question, you need to do four things to get a good TA score: 1.

Discuss the idea ‘that young people benefit from working while studying at school or university,’ and analyse what ‘benefit’ means. Discuss the idea that, ‘young people will achieve more by focusing on their studies,’ and analyse what ‘achieve more’ means. Give your own opinion and reach a clear conclusion. Support your ideas with reasons or examples. If you can do these four things, you can get band 7 for TA in your IELTS writing exam. Remember though, it’s not as simple as it looks. You will probably need to practise to get this right. Next, let’s look at your coherence and cohesion score. I’m going to refer to coherence and cohesion as C&C, to keep things simple. Here are the habits which can limit your C&C score to six: “I need to use more linking words to get a higher score.” “My essay should have an introduction, two body paragraphs and a conclusion.” Let’s look at each point separately. Oh, hey, Oli! How was your IELTS exam? Amazing! I totally nailed it.

I used nevertheless, furthermore, however, in spite of the fact that, AND in addition. My band 7 score is GUARANTEED! No, it doesn’t work like that. First of all, linking isn’t just about linking words. It’s about the logic and flow of your ideas. Look at a sentence: Air pollution is a serious problem. However, food prices are higher than ten years ago. Using however here doesn’t magically make these ideas connected. These two ideas aren’t connected, and you can’t create a connection by using a word like however. Next, there’s nothing in the IELTS scoring system which says you get a higher score for using more linking words. It’s more important to make sure you use linking words accurately. Using more linking words won’t get you band seven. However, using linking words incorrectly will get you band six. So, don’t use linking words just to use linking words. Use them because they fit your ideas.

Don’t think, “I have to use nonetheless to get a high score!” You don’t. Next, let’s look at our second point: paragraphing. Many IELTS candidates use the same structure for everything they write. For example, for task two, most people write an introduction, two body paragraphs, and a conclusion. That might be fine. However, to get band 7 for C&C, you need to “present a clear central topic within each paragraph.” Those aren’t my words. That’s straight from the IELTS scoring scheme. Many students, especially in task two, write paragraphs like this: There are many advantages to … Firstly, … Secondly, … Thirdly, … This kind of writing is likely to get a score of 6 for C&C. Why? Because, if you do this, you’re trying to put too much in one paragraph. That means your paragraph won’t have a clear central topic. So, what’s the solution? First, plan your essay carefully. Make sure you know exactly what you’re putting in each paragraph before you start writing.

Secondly, make sure your paragraph starts with a clear topic sentence. Your topic sentence should be relatively short and simple. If your topic sentence is very long and complicated, then your topic probably isn’t clear. Then, after your topic sentence, spend the rest of the paragraph developing and extending your main idea. This means that you aren’t adding any new ideas or changing the topic in the middle of your paragraph. Also, this means you might need different numbers of paragraphs depending on how many main ideas you have. Do you have two body paragraphs in your essay? That means you have two main ideas. Do you have three main ideas? Then you need three paragraphs! Another point: paragraphs don’t have a minimum length. There’s no such thing as a paragraph which is too short. Paragraphs can be any length. So, let’s review this section.

To get band seven C&C in your IELTS writing exam, you need to focus on using linking words accurately and appropriately. You also need to make sure every paragraph has a clear central topic, which means you shouldn’t try to put many different ideas in one paragraph. Next, let’s look at vocabulary and how you can get to band seven. Here’s a band six idea that students often have: “I need to learn lots of synonyms and uncommon vocabulary. If my vocabulary is bigger, I’ll get a higher score.” There’s one important difference between band six and seven for vocabulary. At band six, you need two things: range and clarity. That means, if you at least try to use some more advanced or uncommon vocabulary, you can get six if your meaning is clear, even if you make mistakes, even if you make lots of mistakes. However, for band seven, you need three things: range, clarity and accuracy. It’s no longer enough just to try. You need to use vocabulary “with flexibility and precision”—again, this is a quote from the official scoring scheme.

You can’t make many mistakes for band seven. You can produce ‘occasional errors’ and still get band seven. What does this mean for you? It means that your priority should be avoiding mistakes. I see many IELTS students trying to learn lots of idioms, phrases, academic vocabulary and so on. But then, they often don’t know how to use this vocabulary well. They use it in their writing, because they think it sounds nice, and their meaning might be clear, but it’s not correct. That’s fine for band six, but not for band seven. So, what should you do? Look, first of all, vocabulary learning is hard work and it’s slow. There aren’t any magic solutions here.

But I’ll give you one tip: When you’re learning vocabulary, focus on quality and depth, not quantity. Don’t try to learn 50 words or phrases. Learn five words or phrases, but really learn them. Spend an hour learning and practising five new words and phrases. Find example sentences. Write your own example sentences. Ask a teacher or whoever you can find to give you feedback. Make sure you know how to use your new vocabulary correctly. Another point: in the exam, if you have a choice between a simple word which you know is correct, and a more advanced or academic word which you aren’t sure about, what should you do? Use the simple word.

Only use vocabulary you’re sure you understand and that you know how to use. This is the opposite to band six. For band six, you can use the more advanced word, even if it’s wrong. But remember, to get band seven, you need to be accurate. You can’t make many mistakes. So, in this situation, take the safe choice! Finally, let’s look at the grammar score and how you can get to band seven.

Here’s the band six idea which students often have: “Grammar’s not so important, so long as people can understand what I mean.” Again, band six and band seven are very different. This is especially true for your grammar score. What’s the difference? Like vocabulary, you need to be accurate to get band seven. At band six, it doesn’t really matter how many grammar mistakes you make so long as your meaning is clear. At band seven, the quantity of grammar errors you make matters.

It really matters! To get band seven for grammar, you need to “produce frequent error-free sentences”—again, these words are directly from the official IELTS scoring scheme. That means if you make a lot of small mistakes, it’s almost impossible to get band seven for grammar. All mistakes count: you use the wrong preposition? It’s a mistake. You forget to use the? Mistake. You forget the ‘s’ on a present simple verb? Mistake. If your writing is around band six, you probably make more mistakes than you realise. So, again, what can you do? First, you need to identify the common mistakes which you make. For this, you need a teacher to show you where you make mistakes in your writing. Every time you do some writing, look at the grammar mistakes you make. Sort them into two categories. One: mistakes with things you don’t know. Two: mistakes with things you already knew. For example, if you write ‘childrens’ instead of ‘children’, this is probably a type two mistake. Most likely, you knew this already. You just made a mistake, because you were in a hurry, or you were tired, or you have a bad habit, or you weren’t paying attention, or something like that.

With type one mistakes—things you don’t know—get a good grammar book and study to fill the gaps in your knowledge. With type two mistakes, put your errors into a digital flashcard app like Anki or Quizlet or something like that. For example: Question: This is one of most serious problems in today’s world. Answer: This is one of the most serious problems in today’s world. Every time you write something, add your mistakes as questions to your flashcard app. Review your mistakes regularly—every day is best! This approach requires a lot of patience, but it’s the only effective way to get rid of those bad habits which can stop you getting band seven in IELTS writing. Okay, so now you should have some ideas about how to get band seven in your IELTS writing exam. There’s a lot of information in this lesson, and there’s also a lot which I didn’t say! Band seven is a high standard, and you should accept that it will take time and work to get there.

Do you have an IELTS experience which you think people could learn from? Please let us know in the comments! Check out our website for more free English lessons, including IELTS preparation lessons: Oxford Online English dot com. Our teachers can also help you prepare for your IELTS exam in online classes. That’s all for this lesson. Thanks for watching, and see you next time!.

7 Ways to Improve English Writing Skills | IELTS | EXAM | ESSAY | ACADEMIC #Spon

 

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IELTS preparation | Improve your score in 1 week | How to prepare for the IELTS exam quickly

 

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