This is a quick update of what has been happening on the site over the last month. In general, I am trying to update the site so that it becomes much more user-friendly and more comprehensive. Here is what has changed recently:
Yet another re-brand
You may have noticed that the site has another new name – its fifth I believe. I hope the name says what it is meant to.
This remains a personal site – that’s the DC. I behave here exactly as I used to behave in my own classroom.
It’s about IELTS, but it’s also about better English -something I believe is the surest way to exam success. While I will still be producing a lot of IELTS specific material, I will also be adding much more material that may look like general English – grammar, spelling etc. These things matter.
Forum and speaking group
There is now a forum. The idea here is to make the site more interactive i.e. not just about what I think! What I am hoping is that this will be a place where people can meet each and exchange views – that is what forums originally were. The function I am most interested in is
IELTS speaking group: this is some where to find speaking partners. Although it is only 3 weeks old there are already well over 30 members. That’s good. My only involvement here is to post about every 2 weeks activities that people can usefully do together without a teacher.
Updated main pages
I am slowly updating the main pages of the site so that they work better as guides to the key exam skills. So far I have made preliminary(meaning much more to come) changes to the task 2 writing and listening pages. This month I aim to update the speaking and letter pages.
Word of the day
The word of the day is now daily again! I know that at least some people visit the site just for that – even though they are through IELTS. That makes me happy. You may have missed that I am now also posting “reviews” of past words on the left sidebar – that should be good for learning. Next month I hope to add review exercises for list 4, which is now complete.
5 minute exercises
This is a project I have tried before. I really believe in little but often exercises. Indeed, I suspect that if you search Blogger closely you’ll find at least two of my old sites there. Now I have decided to use the FB page for this – it seems ideal for the purpose. If you haven’t logged on there(disliking FB) what you have missed are exercises where you could have read great articles about
- home towns
- renewable energy
and much more. Just reading and thinking about those articles should be great for IELTS vocabulary. I have also added quick exercises, more or less in IELTS format, to test different reading and listening skills. I truly believe that short exercises like this are one of the best ways to improve skills.
I have also begun uploading videos to my new Youtube Channel called conveniently enough DC IELTS. I expect to add around 20 videos a month all this year. Most of these videos will be added to my older lessons to make them easier to follow. If you want to find them all, I’m afraid you’ll need to subscribe to the channel.
Great IELTS and English learning advice
Another older project I have restarted is my Scoop page. This is where I am collecting good IELTS and exam English things I come across from the net. They are the sort of things that typically may get lost. I’m also adding what I think are some of my more important lessons there, but the real idea is to show you other things from the net.
Just fixing broken things
I’m also steadily going through some of my older lessons – often published 5/6 years ago to update them and make sure everything is working. Not everything is. So if you find something not working – or just plain wrong – let me know and I’ll get it fixed or just delete it.
New server etc
I have just upgraded to a new server and I hope now that the site will load a lot more quickly. This is in fact costing me a fair amount of money. To cover my costs, I have rather reluctantly added ads to the site – the realities of life on the internet. There is also a thank you page you can check out.
Teaching and teachers
I get asked a lot if I can help. For now this is impossible – I am not just working on the site, I am busy writing books and course that will appear over the next two years. That means I will look at writing etc that is posted here or on the forum but I can’t possibly look at it properly. This is part of the reason why I have the teachers’ page. There are now around 20 teachers there from all over the world who can help you out. They will cost money, but I’m fairly certain it will be money well spent.