show episodes
 
Welcome to the podcast where two British teachers sit down every week to discuss all thing IELTS. It doesn't matter if you are new to IELTS or have been struggling to achieve your band scores for a long time, Nick and Shelly will help you complete your IELTS journey in the least painful way possible. So, if you are looking for two teachers who offer clear practical advice about how to prepare for the IELTS test, have over 30-years teaching experience, and make IELTS enjoyable, then you are i ...
 
Welcome to "Writing tricks," a free, online course to improve your writing skills. As an English teacher, I know how hard writing is. I will show you how to connect words to make sentences; how to use punctuation; how to write effective paragraphs; how to write coherent and cohesive texts; how to write an essay, articles, reviews, letters, emails, reports, proposal, stories. You'll understand how to pass the written part of Cambridge First, Cambridge Advanced, Trinity College ISE, APTIS, IEL ...
 
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show series
 
In 2020, Nick and I recorded an episode of the podcast that gave you a complete fail-prof system for tackling any type of IELTS line graph. You can listen to that episode here. We went through the basics, such as the vocabulary you need to describe changes and how to organise your paragraphs, to more complex advice such as how to find key features …
 
We all have topics that we are familiar with in IELTS . But, there are also other topics which we may meet with a blank mind. So, what can you do to feel your knowledge gaps. In today’s episode Nick and I will look at a difficult topic for us – housing. We will start by covering some fundamental vocabulary and then, show you how you can utilise Goo…
 
In IELTS Writing Task One, you will be asked to write a report based on a chart. These can come in a number of forms. You may be given a line graph, a pie chart, a bar chart, or even a map or a process. However, one chart that strikes fear into the heart of most students is the dreaded table. Tables can be confusing as they can contain an overwhelm…
 
Hey! As the year draws to an end, it is time to sit back and reflect on what 2021 brought for IELTS test-takers. Obviously, there have been difficulties. Many test centres around the world have remained closed thanks to COVID, and migration programmes, particularly express entry into Canada, have been hit hard. However, despite the havoc caused by …
 
Yes - it is time for our annual Christmas episode! This year, I have taken some of my favourite Christmas games and adapted them to test your knowledge of IЕLTS. It is nothing too serious, so if your test is soon and you are looking for some genuine lessons, you can access over 100 in our archive here. However, it is good to sometimes let your hair…
 
Do you have enough topic specific vocabulary to discuss the essay topics in depth. Can you follow the listening or reading passages easily? Can you discuss the abstract topics in Speaking Part 3 with ease? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you are probably interested in upgrading your vocabulary. However, what is the best way to l…
 
In today’s podcast, Nick and I are going to interview two of our new teachers, Kristina and Tanya, about their experience teaching metacognition for IELTS learners. This is a technique that I was introduced to only recently, but one which I think has the potential to transform the way many students prepare for IELTS (and, indeed, learn throughout t…
 
Last week Nick and I looked at how effective video courses can be. The answer was "very" but only if you are actually actively partaking in the course. What we didn't discuss though is how you can make sure that your online course is actually guiding you in the right direction. Thanks to COVID, it seems like hundreds of now courses have sprung up o…
 
Never before has IELTS students had so much free material to learn from. But is having so many free IELTS videos, really helping students to prepare for the test in the best way or could thy actually be having a detrimental effect on some students' preparation? Today, Nick and I discus the dangers of watching IELTS videos and give clear advice abou…
 
Every week I get questions from students asking how they can generate good ideas for essays. Usually, my advice starts from the point of thinking of ideas, but this week I realised that many students are skipping a vital step before that - analysing the question to make sure that their arguments100% address the question given. This is a mistake! To…
 
Using inversion in IELTS writing can definitely improve your GRA score, but many students make basic errors when forming these sentences, and even more struggle to use them in the appropriate context. Join Nick and I today to find out how to make 5 types of inversion sentence and how and when to use them in the IELTS exam. You can read more about t…
 
You put down your pen. The essay and report / letter are written. Yes! But there are still 3 or 4 minutes left on the exam clock What do you do in this time? The temptation may be to read through your essay from start to finish to check for errors, but is this really the most efficient way to find your errors? And which mistakes should you actively…
 
Today, Nick and I review the Duolingo English Test. We will explain what the test is, which students it might benefit, and then compete a practice version of the test to discuss how it works. Then, you can make the decision if this is the right test for you, or if you should stick to IELTS or TOEFL. You can read more about today's episode at: https…
 
You can guarantee that some point during your IELTS exam, you will need to demonstrate that you can make good comparisons. Interestingly, although the language of comparison is introduced at an Elementary level in most English course books, this is something that many high-level students still struggle with. Today, Nick and describe 4 ways that you…
 
From 2022 IELTS test-takers around the world will have the opportunity to take a secure version of the test at home in a new product called IELTS Online. What does that mean for you and your IELTS journey? Plus Nick and I have a big annoucement about the future of the podcast ...... You can find out more about IELTS Online here: https://blog.myielt…
 
Do you struggle with IELTS reading time management? Do you use scanning and skimming but still find that you run out of time? Do you find some types of question very difficult and can never find the right answer (particularly headings match, MCQ's and information match)? Is your neck sore by the end of the exam from looking back and forth and back …
 
IELTS Summary Completion questions may be my favourite type of question in the IELTS exam. They are quick and often relatively easy to answer and give you the opportunity of grabbing 3 or 4 quick points in a the space of one short paragraph. If you compare that to Multiple Choice or Headings Match questions, which can require you to read and interp…
 
This week, I updated my recent IELTS letters blog post to show 20 prompts that have been given in exams this year. Today, Nick and I discuss 6 of those semi-formal questions in detail to look at what how you can decide the correct tone for your letter. You see, like formal and informal letters that have a fixed tone, semi-formal letters can swing b…
 
Before we start today's show, a quick shameless pieces of advertising for our courses. September means the start of a new school year for those living in the northern hemisphere, and for many adults, the month when they want to make a fresh start on a hobby or study. If you feel that it is time to start studying IELTS seriously or to renew your eff…
 
Over the last 12 months, I have noticed a definite move trend in the type of questions that IELTS students are being asked to address in writing task two. It seems that the classic "problem / solution" questions are appearing less and less and, instead, test-takers are being asked to write an IELTS 2-Part essay. But, what is a 2-part essay? And how…
 
One of the main frustrations for IELTS test-takers is that IELTS does not provide a breakdown of the scores for writing or speaking. So, you know that you got a 6.5 for writing, but you don't know why. Was it a problem with lexis? Did you write off-topic? Or was it your Task One that let you down? Until now the answer has simply been, only the exam…
 
Hopefully, you have already completed our Introduction to IELTS Matching Headings questions and so know the basic techniques for approaching these questions well. If you haven't, I strongly recommend that you click on this link to complete the lesson now. Too many students rely on skimming or scanning to find the answers, or just reading the first …
 
In the world of IELTS we often discuss “types” or essay (Discuss Both Sides, Advantages and Disadvantages, etc) and common topics (environment, work, education, etc), but we rarely talk about common "themes". Today I want to talk about one theme that often appears but is rarely discussed: essays that focus on social change. These are essay question…
 
In the writing exam you will be given a topic that you need to address in an essay. One important IELTS skill, therefore, is being able to talk about the topic without repeating the sentences from the task. This is called "paraphrasing" and is one area where many students struggle. Why? Well, it is because there is so much false information about I…
 
Nothing is more rewarding as a teacher than working with an exam class that is motivated to learn and improve. But, when are you ready as a teacher to start teaching exam classes? And, more importantly, once you are ready how do you start planning your classes? There is no one way how to teach IELTS, but in today's podcast, Nick and I go through th…
 
You know how some people like to relax by doing a crossword puzzle of a sudoko? Well, my ideal way to unwind would be doing dozens and dozens of IELTS General Training Reading Multiple Matching questions! You may think that I am joking, but I am 100% serious! Of all the IELTS reading questions, they are by far my favourite as they are quick and eas…
 
One way to significantly improve your IELTS Coherence and Cohesion score is to avoid using "people" unnecessarily in your essay. If you can do this, you will find that your writing will be more concise, and you may even be able to pick up points for topic-specific lexis! Find out how to in today as Nick and I recover from England's football defeat!…
 
How easy is it to score IELTS Band 8.0? Well, obviously the answer is "not very easy", but we work with dozens of students who are able achieve this score each year. Today, Nick and I discuss what you can do to help move up to a Band 8.0. We will go through each part of the exam, offering our advice as to what you should be focussing on to move fro…
 
The latest edition of the Cambridge series has just been published. In celebration of this, Nick and I explain what makes these books such a powerful resource for IELTS test takers. Then, we will go through the 4 essay questions in Cambridge IELTS 16 (Academic) to give our verdict on the new topics. Trust me - you want to listen to this, as one of …
 
Hey! This week I published a new Blog Post called "3 steps to IELTS Cue Card Success". It is a compilation of all of the advice that I have given over the last 5 years for IELTS Speaking Part 2 and is a basic guide to preparing for IELTS Cue Cards. In today's podcast episode, Nick and I go through that post, adding more depth and detail to the advi…
 
Achieving a IELTS Band 9.0 is very special indeed. I am not sure of the official figures, but my guess is that less than 1% of test-takers receive this score each year. Having a Band 9.0 shows not just that a student has a C1/C2 level of English, but that they have excellent academic skills and are able to perform well under pressure. Today, we hav…
 
In May last year, Nick and I undertook a 31-day IELTS Motivation Challenge. Our aim was to kick-start our students into good study habits, but we found that we made some positive changes in our own lives too. Now, it's a year later and we have a whole new set of listeners who we think can benefit from taking part in a new IELTS motivation challenge…
 
Have you ever sat at your desk looking at the items on your To-Do list and thought, why? Why is it that I never have time to get everything done? Why is it that it is always the same two or three things left at the end of every week, which I never, no mater how good my intentions, get round to finishing? Well my friend, you are not alone. In fact, …
 
Part 4 may initially appear as the most difficult part of the IELTS listening exam, but it can actually be much easier than Part 3 if you can learn to follow the notes and listen for the lecturer's sentence stress. Find out how in today's episode and learn how to avoid the 3 common tricks used in Part 4 at the same time! You can find the full episo…
 
Hey! If you are reading this, Nick and I would like to start by saying a massive THANK YOU. We started the My IELTS Classroom on May 1st 2020 for no other reason than the fact that we were bored in lockdown and wanted something positive to focus on, but since then it has grown into something really special. To celebrate our one year birthday, I tho…
 
OK, I am going to be honest, punctuation isn't the sexiest topic. But, if you are trying to achieve a 7.0 or higher in your IELTS writing test, then you have to make sure that you are able to use commas, capital letters, and full stops accurately. Sadly, this is not always the case, and nothing makes me sadder than a student receiving a 6.0 for GRA…
 
Education is one of the UK's biggest industries, but is it really worth paying for a higher education in the UK? And how can you choose the university and the degree course that is right for you? Well, in today's episode, Nick will look at both of these questions in detail, before discussing what you need to apply for a UK Student visa. This is a g…
 
Every 3 or 4 months Nick and I sit down to review 6 recently reported IELTS essay questions that we think are interesting. Usually, this means choosing questions that focus on topics that we have never seen before, or questions that are in a new format (for example, new types of 2-part questions). However, this week we are doing something different…
 
Hey! Did you know that in Part 3 of the IELTS Listening test, you are often asked to listen for the speakers' attitudes to the topic that they are discussing? In fact, I think that this is what makes this part of the exam so tricky. You are no longer being asked to just match facts. Instead, you will have to identify if the speakers agree or disagr…
 
If you are a regular listener to the My IELTS Classroom Podcast, then I am sure that you are already convinced about the benefits of using podcasts in your IELTS preparation. But, although listening to a dedicated IELTS podcast like ours is a great way to train, there are thousands of other podcasts on topic like economics, science and social trend…
 
Hey! It's time for another interactive lesson! Today, Nick and I look at IELTS reading multiple choice questions to show you the two best ways to approach this type of question, and four "examiner's tricks" that you may not be aware of! Plus, we will explain why this type of question is absolutely unlike any other in the test as it is important tha…
 
Hey! Today is my favourite type of episode - the one where I get to chat to a student whose IELTS journey is over. Today, we have Zina, a dentist from Iraq who I worked with one-to-one to help her reach her target scores. Honestly, I feel that Zina is more of a friend than a student, which is why I am was happy so to talk to her today about path to…
 
Last week, Nick and I explained why inventing fake research and statistics to provide "examples" in your essays is exactly the opposite of what IELTS expects you to do, This week, we want to show how you can come up with GOOD examples i.e. those that extend, support and justify your arguments. You can read more about today's episode at: http://blog…
 
Did you know that recent research at Cambridge University has shown that 100% of My IELTS Classroom students are satisfied with their course? I know - it surprised me too! What surprises me more, however, is that students continue to use fake examples in IELTS essays to "support" their ideas. I cannot express strongly enough how depressed this make…
 
Hey! Last week we asked you to email us any questions that you have about the IELTS exam, and boy did you deliver! Today, Nick and I try to answer as many as we can, which was a lot! If you are looking for general IELTS help, then this is the episode for you! You can find the full episode notes and a list of the questions that we answer on our blog…
 
Welcome to our IELTS letters 2021 episode! Every time one of my students emails me their IELTS results, the fist thing I ask them is "What questions did you have in the writing exam?" There are two reasons for this: First, it helps me understand if our students are performing better in some type of questions than others (so I can support future stu…
 
There is no doubt that Speaking Part Two can be challenging for many students. After all, talking continuously for 2 minutes is not something we do very often in every day life! However, is using the IELTS PPF method the best way to keep going until the examiner interrupts you? Nick and I think that it is definitely NOT for three reasons! You can r…
 
Yes, Nick and I are back to look at six more essay topics that have been reported from the IELTS tests in January 2021. We will breakdown each question to explain what makes it tricky and how you can approach it best. This is an interactive lesson, so please go to our episode page to read and generate ideas for each of the questions before you list…
 
Not every student who sits the exam is doing so to study abroad or migrate. There are some students who simply want to set themselves a challenge and test their current level of academic English. Alisa was one such student. Despite being a graduate from the linguistics department with great language skills, she knew that the best way that she could…
 
Hey! Are you considering taking the TOEFL test instead of IELTS? Then today's podcast is perfect for you as we go through the TOEFL test to explain how it is similar and different to IELTS. In fact, even if you are already on the IELTS path, you should find this lesson interesting as it shows a totally different approach to testing (and teaching) E…
 
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