As I continuously tell my students, being able to form complex sentences, and then say them fluently, is key to passing IELTS.
One way to make longer sentences, as well as introducing subordinate clauses, is to become a master of …
This lady, who wants to work in Australia, is studying hard for her IELTS.
who For people: This is the man who sold me the fake Rolex !
which For things: We tried fish and chips which is delicious.
where For places: Let’s go to the shop where we saw the great bargains.
Whose Possessive: That’s the singer whose record we heard last night.
The Italian car, whose driver was young, won the race.
We arrived at a nice beach ______ we could swim and lie in the sun.
A man ______ mobile phone was ringing did not know what to do.
The patient, ______ had a serious disease, was taken to hospital immediately.
Smithsfield is a small village ______ people live a quiet life.
The boy ____ sister is in my class was in the bank at that time.
I know a person ____ can speak seven languages.
We visited the church _____ is in the middle of the square.
It is a protected area of land _____ you can see a lot of interesting wildlife.
This dress is made of silk, _____ is a very expensive and delicate material.
A police officer, _____ car was parked at the next corner, stopped and arrested them.
Go that extra mile – extra practice
IELTS, which can be very challenging, tends to be rather formulaicby which I mean it follows a pattern. Students can pretty much predict, with a fair degree of certainty, the type of subjects they will be expected to encounter.
With that in mind, try making complex sentences about these people:
Name: Ms Chen // Age: 19 // From: China // Lives: London // Studies: Business.
Ms Chen, who is studying Business in London, is 19 and originally from China.
Originally from China, Ms Chen, who is 19, is currently living in London, studying Business.
NOW … YOUR TURN
Name: Adam // Age: 24 // From: Israel // Lives: New York // Job: Writer for a magazine and blogger
Name: Boran // Age: 34 // From: South Korea // Likes: drawing manga // Job: singer, rapper and dancer
Name: David // Age: 28 // From: Leicester, UK // Passion: Music // Plans: To live in LA and record a CD
Tonight’s subject is relationships, and the book work seems well-balanced, with vocabulary, listening and speaking exercises. However, this is quite a strong group and appear motivated. With that in mind, I push them to learn more, in order to prepare them for their next class, which will be the quantum leap into IELTS.
However = discourse marker, better than just saying ‘but.’
With that in mind = expression meaning ‘because of that.’
in order to = to help for the future – I am learning Vietnamese in order to speak to my students.
quantum leap = massive (very, very large) jump forward or progression
Bearing in mind that Vietnamese operate on ‘elastic time’ (a polite way of saying the students turn up in dribs and drabs, ie, ten, twenty or thirty minutes late), so I can’t start any serious teaching until the whole class is present. Therefore, I use some warm up activities.
Warm Up: Call My Bluff.
This is a vocabulary-building exercise. I introduce a new word, then give three possible definitions. Students have to deduce, or just guess, the correct meaning.
– adj means something that is very common, everywhere
– noun equipment used in scuba diving
-name used towards close friends or family
– noun a small built-in safe in a hotel
– adj something very special, different or important
– verb to paint Chinese or Japanese characters with great care
– adverb discourse marker meaning because of that, this happened
– noun a person who cheats other people to get more money
– verb a type of pass in football that leads to a goal being scored.
– noun a chair used by a dentist, that can be lowered or raised
– verb to get only important information from a lot of text
– adj something made from different materials or many different colours
Then students have to write four sentences using the new words, as well as trying to repeat them throughout the lesson.
I’m not going to give you the answers – look up the definitions yourself, it will help you to learn.
Warm Up: What is the name, to you, of …
What is the name of your mother’s husband ?
What is the name of your mother’s sister ?
What is the name, to you, of your mother’s brother’s son.
What is the name of your father’s mother ?
What is the name of your father’s mother’s father
Next stage is sentence building:
I am from London. It is an expensive city.
To combine these pieces of information, we use the relative pronoun ‘which‘:
I am from London which is an expensive city.
We replace the pronoun ‘it’ with a relative pronoun ‘which’ and create a longer sentence. This skill is important / vital / imperative to attain a good IELTS score.
Kimmy is from Tokyo. It is very crowded.
Tony is from New York. It is a vibrant city.
Scott wants to visit the War Museum. It is in District 1.
Lisa teaches in Beijing. It is the capital of the PROC (People’s Republic of China).
Moving on … My friend
When we link information about a person, the pronoun, ‘he’ or ‘she’ is replaced by the relative pronoun ‘who.’
On the left is my friend Peter. I met him in 2010. I met him in London.
On the left is my friend Peter, who I met in London ten years ago.
On the left is my friend Peter, who I met in 2010 in London.
Try linking these: Remember to replace ‘he’ and use ‘who’ but you have to change the sentence.
Peter is Irish. He was born in Dublin // Peter, who is Irish, was born in Dublin
Peter loves music. He can play saxophone, keyboards, guitar and bass.
Peter is 40 years old. He is bald, and wears glasses.
Peter plays bass. He has a video on YouTube.
Peter is with the drummer Kenny Jones.He played in The Small Faces in the 1960s.
Be careful with the last one. The pronoun ‘he’ is about Kenny Jones.
Be careful with the next two. We only need ONE relative pronoun:
The drummer Kenny Jones.He played in The Small Faces in the 1960s. He is withPeter.
The Manager Mr Smith. He is from Australia. He is going to travel to Mexico.
The manager, Mr Smith who is from Australia, is going to travel to Mexico.
Students, working in pairs or small groups, must come up with a storline for these couples.
Describe these two people. What are they wearing ? What are their personalities ? What do you think they do ?How do they meet ?
Be creative and feel free to use dialogue.
How do they know each other ?
What will happen when they meet ?
Will they get on ?
Will they have a terrible time ?
How about these
Try to invent an interesting, fascinating story line. Maybe they haven’t met since there were born ?
Now, let’s get creative:
Write a short story using dialogue and adjectives.
MOTIVATION: why do the characters do what they do ?
PLOT: what happens … and why ?
CHARACTERS: make sure each one is an individual and speaks differently.
Where do they meet ?
How do they meet ?
How do they know each other ?
What do they think of each other and how do they express it ?
Boram, a young Korean lady, is at home getting ready to go out. She has put on her favourite white and pink dress and, with her lucky pink bow in her luscious chestnut hair, looks absolutely stunning.
Today she is going to meet her cousin who is coming to Seoul for the first time. Boram needs to practice violin, because she plays in the university orchestra and they have an important concert coming up, however, she is concerned about her cousin getting lost in the big bewildering city. That is typical of Boram, always putting other people first. She is a very sweet and thoughtful caring lady.
[In the first sentence I named the lady – Boram. Therefore, we can use a pronoun – she – because we know the subject]