Teaching English

below are some tips and vocabulary for writing and especially for getting through the IELTS exam

 

Everyone talks about grammar. At least they do in Russia!

I think this is maybe to miss the real problem in learning English.

One of the most difficult things for english learners is to master vocabulary. Most text-books focus on grammar, because that is something that can be tested and taught in a very formalistic way, but, actually, there is very little grammar in modern English.

The hard work comes from learning and using synonyms correctly. In terms of listening, that mastery of vocab is expressed in a knowledge of collocations- how words stick together. This means that we can anticipate the sort of things we hear because we are used to the way one word naturally attaches to another. Instead of listening to every single word, we listen to the sense of what is being said and anticipate which words will be used.

In terms of the two essays, the graph essay (1) needs to be clear and precise. The second essay needs similar clarity but evidence of development. Idiomatic vocabulary throughout as well as “linking words”

Here are some valuable

 

linking words

now

at the moment

at present

right now

these days

nowadays

in the past

before

then

at that time

years ago

when I was younger

soon

 

ideas:

I think one important thing is

I guess one difference is

I suppose the main difference  between A & B is

 

Causes and Solutions

I imagine it’s because

it appears to be

I guess it’s because

the main reason is

it is caused by

because

I suppose the best way to deal with this problem is

I reckon the only answer is

the best way to solve this is

**there are three important points: firstly (A), secondly (B and thirdly, finally, (C) (this is my preferred option always- the tricolon) This can often come across as very formal so be careful!

 

Giving examples

For example

for instance

such as

like (use in speaking, not so much in writing. Do not over-use this word)

 

Being clear and precise

What I mean is

What I want to say is

As I was saying

 

contrasts and concessions

but

on the one hand (remember two hands) on the other hand

while

although

or

admittedly,

however,

nevertheless,

even though

although

yet

despite

in spite of

still

by contrast

conversely

in comparison

alternatively

another option could be/ might be

 

 

Linking words for writing

in addition

additionally,

furthermore,

moreover,

apparently,

also

not only… but also

as well as

 

consequence

hence

in that case

under these circumstances

accordingly

Because of this,

thus, therefore, so

 

Deduction:

in that case

this implies that

if so, / not

 

giving examples:

to illustrate

to clarify

in other words,

such as

namely

for instance

 

reinforcing:

also,

furthermore,

moreover,

in addition

besides

in the same way that

not only… but also

 

highlighting:

particularly

in particular

specifically

especially

obviously (be careful- if something is obvious, there is no point in saying it, and if it is not obvious, then you have the wrong word!)

of course

particularly

mainly

 

 

generalisations:

usually,

generally

on the whole,

as a rule

 

conclusions:

in brief

to summarise,

overall,

therefore,

(succinctly)

 

Here is a rough speaking test:

Speaking test

Interview

– What is your full name?
– Can I see your ID?
– Where are you from?
– Do you work or study?
– Where are you studying or working?
– Do you like your school or your company?
– Do you want to change your school/company?
– Do you usually drink water?
– Do you prefer to drink bottled or tap water?
– Is bottled water expensive in your country?
– Why is that?
– Do you like shoes?
– How often do you buy new shoes?
– Have you ever bought shoes online? Why / why not?

Cue Card

Describe a part of your country that you find interesting. Please say

– What and where is it?
– How do you know about it?
– What activities do people usually do there?

Discussion

– Why do you think this place is interesting?
– Why do people love to visit some parts of the country?
– Why do people want to settle in certain places?
– What are the main differences between places to visit and to live in?
– Why are people different in different parts of the same country?


 

Next time: vocabulary for Pie charts and graphs (Essay 1)

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