26th July 2020
Hey ! Ho ! Let’s Go ! Let’s kick out the jams with some new vocabulary from the last lesson:
disappointed (adj) // dread (verb) // spare a few minutes (phrase) // a drive (noun) // big time ! (US expression, popular culture // popular fiction or literature // prima donna
Take a few minutes to read them … THEN …
Our school is having ________ to use less plastic, as well as encouraging people to recycle.
My sister spends so much time in the bathroom, she is such a _________
If we don’t pass IELTS with at least 7.0, Thay Paul is going to be angry at us _______
Miss Julie didn’t get the job at Apple; she was terribly ______________
I don’t understand this app, can you ________ to help me ?
I was terrified of the speaking test, I was _______ it.
The Harry Potter books, although tremendously successful, are considered ‘popular fiction’. Charles Dickens or Jane Austin, on the other hand, are classified as _____________ .
My student told me about a famous Hemingway story called ‘The Old Man and the Fish’ … I think she got the title wrong … _______________ !
And now, time to put our noses to the grindstone How to get a killer IELTS speaking score … There are four areas to focus on … they are … ?
OK, take it easy, to recap, we listen for
- Fluency – use of discourse markers. WITHOUT A WIDE RANGE OF DISCOURSE MARKERS YOU WILL NOT GET HIGHER THAN A ‘5’.
- Lexical resources – big words. Know synonyms and multi-syllable words to impress the examiner. Not to mention, a sprinkling of idioms, phrases, phrasal verbs, the whole nine yards.
- Grammar – it’s OK to make a few mistakes, grammatically, but what we want to hear are complex structures – basically, altering the structure of a sentence or including several pieces of by using information in one sentence by using relative pronouns.
- Stress and intonation – listen to native speakers and COPY how we speak, when we stress words, when we ‘swallow’ letters, our body language.
We need to hear examples of ALL the above or YOU WILL NOT GET HIGHER THAN A ‘5’. I will be furious if that happens, big time !
Now, look at these idioms:
It’s raining cats and dogs // It costs an arm and a leg // piece of cake // I’m burning the candle at both ends // once in a blue moon // pass with flying colours //
And these words:
Boring: tedious // forgetful: absent-minded // expensive: sky high // what will happen: predict // everywhere: ubiquitous.
How to use these in your responses:
IELTS question: What do you do in your free time ?
Staying at home is boring so I go swimming. I meet friends for coffee. If it’s raining, I like to play video games.
IELTS – style:
For me, staying at home is terribly tedious, so I frequently go swimming. It’s fun, healthy and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Sometimes it’s raining cats and dogs so I enjoy playing video games, big time !
IELTS question: Who do you live with ? Notice how we start we a supportive clause
Because I’m still a student, I live at home with my family, that’s my mother, father, younger brother and older sister. My sister is such a prima donna, always in the bathroom, always buying new clothes. Furthermore, she dreads doing housework because she may hurt her nail varnish. She’ll wash up once in a blue moon.
IELTS question: Do you often eat out ?
Well, that’s a great question as I detest cooking. Having said that, I’m extremely lucky because in my neighbourhood, restaurants are ubiquitous, from expensive sea food to affordable street food. I eat crab or lobster once in a blue moon as the prices are sky-high, moreover, I actually prefer simple, mouth-watering street food.
IELTS question: What are your plans for the future ?
Make your own answers, using at least TWO discourse markers, TWO adverbs, TWO low-frequency words AND the idiom given.
TEAM 1: Well, there is so much to say about that subject, where shall I start ? (use ‘nose to the grindstone’).
TEAM 2: It’s funny you put that question to me because earlier today I was just thinking about … (use ‘burn the candle at both ends’).
TEAM 3: As I young Vietnamese, I … (use ‘pass with flying colours’).