The IELTS test, or the International English Language Testing System, is considered the most popular English language proficiency test. With test centers worldwide, IELTS scores are accepted by about 10000 educational and career institutes.
The number of students appearing for the IELTS online test increases each year. Therefore, if you are an ELS teacher specializing in IELTS preparation, you must be a busy person. With the boom of the online education industry, you can now teach students from all corners of the world from the comforts of your home. If you are a solo teacher, you must check out Classplus and see how it makes your online teaching easy.
Coming to the main topic, how to prepare your students for IELTS, we all know it is not exactly a cakewalk, nor a Herculean task either. However, you can help prepare students for ILETS and ace the test with a little preparation and planning. Let us first look at the test format to understand how you can help your students better.
IELTS Test Format
The test is conducted in four stages.
Listening: This is a half-hour test. Students need to listen to recordings of native English speakers and answer questions associated with the speech.
Reading: This 60-minute IELTS exam aims at testing the comprehension skills of a student.
Writing: This hour-long test consists of two tasks. For IELTS writing task 1, the student needs to summarize some visual information presented in the form of graphs. For IELTS writing task 2, students have to write a formal essay in response to a statement or a premise.
Speaking: This is a short in-person interview with the candidate himself.
Let us now see how you can prepare your students for each test stage.
How to prepare your Students for IELTS
The best strategy for IELTS teachers would be to test the waters themselves. When taking the IELTS test yourself, you can relate to the test format and practically understand the problems your students face in preparing for the test. With an in-depth understanding of the problem comes the best solutions.
You must analyze and assess your students before starting their IELTS preparation. Every student will come with a different level of language proficiency. A preliminary test will help you to understand where each student stand. It is better to group them into beginner, intermediate or advanced levels. This way, you can channel your teaching into what is best suited for them.
The listening section of the IELTS online test involves hearing recordings of
- Conversation between two native speakers
- Monologs or speeches
- Academic conversation
- Academic lectures
Students need to answer ten questions related to each recording they hear. The questions are in multiple formats, ranging from MCQs to filling up the blanks.
Most students aren’t comfortable with different native accents. Native English varies in the accent – British, American, Australian. You can help them out with IELTS preparation in the following ways:
- Play recordings of different geographic locations
- Encourage them to be active listeners.
- Ask them to watch movies or to listen to podcasts without the subtitles.
Prepare your students for IELTS Reading
This section primarily aims at assessing the comprehension skills of an IELTS candidate. They are assessed on skills like
- Reading for detail
- Getting the gist
- Comprehending the purpose or argument of the content.
Students need to answer 40 questions from different passages taken from myriad sources and written in different styles.
The students generally overlook comprehension as they consider it easier than all other stages. Time management is another problem that students face in this stage. You can help your students with the reading section of the IELTS exam by
- Educate them to read faster
- Train them to skim through the information
- Cue them to read between the lines.
Prepare your students for IELTS Writing
This stage aims to assess the student’s writing skills concisely and cohesively. This stage consists of two tasks
- IELTS writing task 1 needs students to summarize a piece of given information.
- IELTS writing task 2 is to write a formal essay giving your arguments on a topic or an issue.
You must go through the assessment rubrics to guide your students accordingly.
Writing test is the real assessment because it tests a student’s grammar, vocabulary, structuring, and sequencing. This is where the teacher in you is put to the test. You can help your students improve their writing test scores by
- Ask them to read a lot. Reading is the mother of writing. Getting familiar with different writing styles is very important to score well on the IELTS exam.
- Ask them to proof and edit whatever they write.
- Educate them about cohesiveness in writing. The flow of thoughts should be uninterrupted.
- Teach them to summarize.
Prepare your students for IELTS Speaking
This generally consists of three parts.
- A few questions about the candidate himself
- Speaking on a given topic
- A Q&A session on the same topic.
The examiner being right in front of the candidate, they tend to be nervous in the IELTS speaking test. Thus, before anything else, influence your students to be confident and stay calm.
Practice, practice, and more is the only strategy to master IELTS speaking. You can help your students ace the test by
- Ask them to practice introducing themselves in different ways.
- Help them to speak continuously without needing to use fillers.
- Conduct on the spot, Just-a-minute sessions regularly in your classes.
The IELTS test is as much about skills as about a candidate’s confidence. Therefore besides teaching your students the English language skill, work on their soft skills. Then, with a little hard work and proper guidance, you can help your students achieve their goal of scoring well on the IELTS online test. If you are passionate about teaching and want to expand your online coaching business then connect with Classplus and get your own coaching app and manage all your tasks and reach out to larger audience.