February 27, 2011

3 Tips for Discourse Repair and Fluency in IELTS Speaking

1. Well, let's face it. We all make mistakes. There will be times when we'd be inaccurate when it comes to some "factual" matters in our speaking test. If that happens, don't worry about it.

2. Make use of phrases such as "...or rather...," or "...I mean...," among others, if ever you find yourself stating some "factual" mistakes. Focus more on speaking fluently.

3. Finally, never mind any "grammatical" mistakes. Well of course, grammar is also important in IELTS speaking, but in this case it would be better if you rather concentrate on speaking fluently, i.e., clearly and without hesitation. Remember, fluency is one criteria your examiners check in your IELTS speaking test.

Other IELTS speaking tips:

February 20, 2011

2 Tips for Summarizing and Explaining in IELTS Speaking

In the IELTS speaking test, expect that you will have to explain certain topics and summarize your ideas. Remember the following:

1. When you encounter questions that require you to explain, carefully note the task which is required of you. For instance:

-If the task states, "Explain why...," then you should give a reason.
-If the task states, "Explain how/what/which...," then you should give additional information about a topic.

2. On the other hand, when you have to summarize or conclude your statements, use phrases such as "To cut a long story short," "The point is," "In a nutshell," "To get to the point." and similar others. Phrases such as "In conclusion," "To sum up," and "In summary" are not usually recommended because they are very formal.

Next week you will get to read some tips for discourse repair and fluency in the IELTS speaking module.

Cheers. :)

Other IELTS speaking tips:

February 19, 2011

Colorful Expressions

Hello!

As you may have noticed, we have been posting in this blog our idioms of the day. It is our belief that these idioms could help you in your IELTS exam, especially in the Speaking module where you have to show among others your proficiency in handling a conversation in English.

Some of the idioms we have posted involve the use of colorful expressions to convey certain ideas. Take for instance "in the black", which means profitable. There's also "tell a white lie" which involves saying something that isn't true in order not to hurt or offend someone. Then there's "feel blue" which happens when you feel sad and depressed. "Until you're blue in the face" when you want to have an alternative way of saying "forever". "In the red" when you want to describe something which is unprofitable. Finally, there's "Was my face red!" when you want to show embarassment.

Now we have discovered an article that provides us with more colorful expressions. These expressions could be found in Alan Kennedy's Color/Language Project. Here's a sneak peek of some of his color idioms:

HighPoint IELTS Alan Kennedy's Color Idioms

Go to Alan Kennedy's Color Idioms to learn about the rest.

[NOTE: Scroll down until you reach the end of Alan Kennedy's table of idioms. It's interesting to see that he included some Tagalog/Filipino expressions as well. :)]

February 18, 2011

Idiom: a know-it-all

"a know-it-all"

Meaning: someone who acts as if he/she knows everything--as if no one
can tell him/her anything that he/she doesn't already know

Example: I would avoid giving advice to Annie because she is a know-it-all. She won't even try to listen to anyone.


Last week's idioms:
a klutz
Step on it!

February 17, 2011

Phrasal verb: hold onto (someone/something)

"hold onto (someone/something)"

Meaning: hold firmly using your hands or arms

Example: Hold onto your armrests because we're going to have a bumpy ride.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
look (something) up
put (something) off
throw (something) away

February 16, 2011

Phrasal verb: get over (something)

"get over (something)"

Meaning: overcome a problem

Example: We have to prepare our documents if we intend to get over the new set of government requirements.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
look (something) up
put (something) off
throw (something) away

Idiom: give (someone) a hand

"give (someone) a hand"

Meaning: applaud (to show respect or appreciation for someone/something)

Example Owen spearheaded the neighborhood watch group in our village. As a result, property theft has decreased by a staggering margin from last year. Let's give him a hand!


Last week's idioms:
a klutz
Step on it!

February 15, 2011

Phrasal verb: cheer up

"cheer up"

Meaning: become happier

Example: We cheered up when we learned that Joshua and Jenny will be having their 2nd baby.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
look (something) up
put (something) off
throw (something) away

Idiom: cost (someone) an arm and a leg

"cost (someone) an arm and a leg"

Meaning: cost a lot; be very expensive

Example: My new 60" LCD TV and entertainment system cost me an arm and a leg!


Last week's idioms:
a klutz
Step on it!

February 14, 2011

Phrasal verb: break in

"break in"

Meaning: interrupt

Example: A news flash broke in. It reported about the possible arrival of a new typhoon.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
look (something) up
put (something) off
throw (something) away

Idiom: beat

"beat"

Meaning: exhausted; very tired (adj.)

Example: "I've been driving all day. I'm beat!"


Last week's idioms:
a klutz
Step on it!

February 13, 2011

4 Tips for Comparing and Contrasting in IELTS Speaking

In part 3 of the IELTS speaking test, you will encounter questions where you'd need to compare and contrast things or situations. Here are some pointers to remember:

1. Formulate your answer by stating your opinions and reasons. Then, always make it a point to provide examples.

2. Make use of comparative forms (e.g. more beautiful, less skillful, larger) and superlative forms (e.g. the most beautiful, the least skillful, largest) in order to express comparisons.

3. Comparative forms are used for comparing different things with each other

Example: Logging into Facebook is much more interesting than chatting in Yahoo Messenger.

4. Lastly, superlative forms are used to compare a thing with the other members of the same group

Example: I'd say that Facebook is the most popular social network in the Philippines.

Next week you will get to read some tips when you need to summarize or explain in the IELTS speaking module.

Cheers. :)

Other IELTS speaking tips:

February 10, 2011

Idiom: Step on it!

"Step on it!"

Meaning: Hurry up!

Example: Step on it! The mass will start any time and we still haven't left home.


Last week's idioms:
be used to
Cool it!
give (someone) a hand
hit the hay

February 9, 2011

February 8, 2011

Phrasal verb: look (something) up

"look (something) up"

Meaning: search and find information in a reference book or database

Example: Try to look the article up on her blog.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
think (something) over
break up
check (someone/something) out
get over (something)
hold on

February 7, 2011

Idiom: a klutz

"a klutz"

Meaning: an awkward, uncoordinated person

Example: Edward is still a klutz when it comes to obstacle courses. He still has to spend more time practicing.


Last week's idioms:
be used to
Cool it!
give (someone) a hand
hit the hay

February 6, 2011

5 Tips for Narrating in IELTS Speaking

In IELTS speaking part 2, there will be questions that would require you to narrate a series of events. Today you'll see some tips for handling these types of questions. Read on.

1. In part 2 of the IELTS speaking test, you'll be given 1 minute to organize your thoughts and formulate your answers. Make short notes to address each point in the task. Considering the limited amount of time, just jot down essential information via key words and phrases. Never write complete sentences.

2. Begin to speak when the examiner asks you to. As you express your answers, you could browse (not read) through your notes. Use your notes as a guide.

3. Always remember to speak for the entire 2 minute period, or until the examiner signals you to stop.

4. Use phrases such as "To start with," "afterwards," or "In the end," and similar words/phrases, to effectively express and link your sequence of events.

5. Finally, try to relax. When you speak and you feel nervous, try to slow down so that you'd give yourself time to think.

Next week tips for making contrasts and comparisons in IELTS speaking will be posted here.

Cheers. :)

Other IELTS speaking tips:

February 4, 2011

Phrasal verb: hold on

"hold on"

Meaning: wait a short time

Example: Please hold on while I transfer you to Customer Service.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
hold (something) back
look (something) over
put (someone) down
switch (something) on

Idiom: hit the hay

"hit the hay"

Meaning: go to bed; go to sleep

Example: I had a very tiring afternoon. I'd better hit the hay.


Last week's idioms:
hit the books
kind of
state of the art

February 3, 2011

Phrasal verb: get over (something)

"get over (something)"

Meaning: recover from an illness, loss, difficulty

Example: She has just got over the flu. She'll be reporting for work in a few days.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
hold (something) back
look (something) over
put (someone) down
switch (something) on

Idiom: give (someone) a hand

"give (someone) a hand"

Meaning: help someone

Example: Your aunt's here. Can you give her a hand with the groceries?


Last week's idioms:
hit the books
kind of
state of the art

February 2, 2011

Phrasal verb: check (someone/something) out

"check (someone/something) out"

Meaning: look at carefully, investigate

Example: This pro detailer always checks out the car for paint defects before he starts to detail it.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
hold (something) back
look (something) over
put (someone) down
switch (something) on

Idiom: Cool it!

"Cool it!"

Meaning: calm down

Example: Lucas does not need to be so upset. He should just cool it!


Last week's idioms:
hit the books
kind of
state of the art

February 1, 2011

Phrasal verb: break up

"break up"

Meaning: end a relationship

Example: Lia refused to break up with Mateo even when she discovered his secret.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
hold (something) back
look (something) over
put (someone) down
switch (something) on

Idiom: be used to

be used to (+Ving/noun)

Meaning: be accustomed to; not uncomfortable with

Example: I'm used to getting up early. I easily get things done if I start them in the morning.


Last week's idioms:
hit the books
kind of
state of the art