My IELTS blog
Below are all the lessons on my site. I update my IELTS blog almost very day and you can subscribe to get all the lessons in your email.
Make yourself sound better by using qualifiers such as pretty and slightly when you speak. Listen to a sample video, do a quick exercise and find ways to practise the skillread more
An idea for how to practise speaking about leisure activities and giving more fluent answers when talking about likes and dislikesread more
How to speak about a person in IELTS with advice on how to use your preparation time, structure your answer, give extended examples and talk about personality and relationshipsread more
Some personality idioms words and phrases for describing people and their characters in IELTS part speaking:read more
A lesson with a sample IELTS letter suggesting the employee of the year. The lesson focuses on different ways you can make your writing mote formal and also helps with ideas for writing about employeesread more
A grammar lesson on using adverbs such as fairly, quite, pretty and reasonably to modify adjectives and adverbs. Learning to use these words can help add meaning to what you sayread more
A series of IELTS speaking practice exercises to help with extending answers by focusing talking about likes and dislikes, habits, specific occasions and making comparisons.read more
A selection of age words and idioms for IELTS to help you write and speak more precisely about different age groups and also ideas to help you use these words to improve the way you write and speak in the testread more
A model task 1 summary for a graphic showing two pie charts with advice on avoiding repetition, structuring your answer, using better grammar and finding the key points.read more
A lesson on the three keys to understanding IELTS letter questions: getting the content right, identifying purpose and toneread more
Two sample essays to help you answer a “Discuss both views and give your own opinion” question about charitiesread more
How to avoid repetition in IELTS task 1 summaries by learning to group information together and using the language of comparisonread more
Can’t see what you need? Search me
It’s big site and not everything is on the front pages. If you are looking for something in particular, then search here and you may well find it. If you don’t just mail me (contact details at the bottom of the page) and I’ll try and get something done.
10 key sites for IELTS learning
This is my selection of the best IELTS blogs and sites out there. Don’t worry if not all of them are branded IELTS. To succeed in the test you need to look after key English skills and general English too.
Of course Simon is on this list. His IELTS blog has an enormous amount of good and practical advice. It has been around for a long time – we started about the same time – and has got better and better. The best way to use it is on a “little but often” basis. None of his posts should take you more than 4/5 minutes but that can be a good thing – learning online is not the same as classroom learning and a good 5 minutes is better than a poor half hour. Just browse.
This is without question the ultimate resource for IELTS speaking on the net. Pete Travis who runs it has won a lot of awards for a very good reason. There is a clear introduction to the test and excellent vocabulary resources too published on a daily basis. If you are looking for a online speaking course, pay for this one – you won’t regret it.
Don’t worry that this isn’t named “IELTS”, there is plenty of IELTS materials inside. Enda Tuomey has a lot of experience of providing online materials and it shows. The site has always been good but it is now better than ever before. If you are looking for a place to start here, I suggest you take a look at the graphs page. All the writing materials are worth checking out.
Of the younger large IELTS blogs this is for my money clearly the best. Liz has added her own way of approaching the genre by using video to great effect. Video is a terrific way of communicating and Liz is a terrific communicator.
Eng Vid – for better grammar
This site has some good IELTS materials and do check them out. What I particularly recommend here though are the grammar lessons. This is something nearly all IELTS candidates need to work on and this is a clear and helpful resource for just that.
UEfAP – for academic writing skills
This is another longstanding site that I have long recommended. It has very clear explanations of academic writing skills with a lot of help with grammar and vocabulary. If you are going onto university this site will help you with the skills you need there.
BBC Lingohack – for better general English and listening
This is a great resource for getting better general English. You listen to a news report and are given a transcript with key words to listen for. Another truly great little but often site that you should visit regularly. If you like what you find here go and try their video page as well and their old Words in the News archive which is massive.
Flo Joe word bank – for better vocabulary
This is another very old favourite of mine. It’s built for the CAE/FCE/CPE exams but don’t let that worry you – the language is the same. All the site is worth exploring but I have linked above to the word bank. Here you’ll get daily exercises to help you with key aspects of grammar/vocabulary – a real learning site. Another site run by Pete Travis and another award winner!!!
Take IELTS – British Council
This has to be included on the list. It is the most professional site out there and has all the key information you need and has authentic practice for listening and reading. The only drawback to the site is that it is rather impersonal – go through all the advice and materials anyway.
Using English forum – ask a teacher – for language problems
There are a number of forums out there, this I think is the most useful. I get a number of comments/queries asking for advice on little language problems. I’m always happy to help but this is one place where you can find even more help. Of course you need to be careful with forums, but you can feel confident of getting good advice here.