jump to navigation

Site will be moved March 22, 2007

Posted by Steve in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Please note that this site will be moved and new information will be posted on



Corrected essay November 16, 2006

Posted by Steve in Essays.

Some people think that a sense of competition in children should be encouraged. Others believe that children who are taught to co-operate rather than compete become more useful adults.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.

The writing:

Children are the future of each family in each country on the world, so education for children is so important. There are many ways that have been given to teach children and there are two main ideas which have been being discussed: A sense of competition in children should be encouraged or children should be taught to co-operate?
Children are the future of every family in all countries across the world and so education for them is an important part of life. There are many ways that have been discussed to teach children and the two methods in this essay are the following: A sense of competition in children should be encouraged or children should be taught to co-operate.

First, we say about the children who are always encouraged the sense of competition, they are so self-confident. The children, who want to do and learn as well as another even better than another, must be practiced a lot and regularly. They are too assiduous, self-aware, thinking independently, always improve and update knowledge and new information. That is very good for learning of children and the children always believe in themselves. However, if the competition becomes heated, some problems will appear. The child who usually has a sense of competition will lose its friend and they will become the competitors of the child. Step by step, the child becomes lonely, nervously, may be self-fish and arrogant.
Firstly, we could say that children who are encouraged to compete usually show great self-confidence. These children need to be challenged often. They are assiduous, self-aware, independent thinkers and always seek ways to improve their knowledge. However some of the drawbacks from this approach could be that these children compete too strongly against friends and perhaps isolate themselves socially by doing this. This isolation could lead to loneliness, selfishness, and also arrogance.

Second, the children who are taught to co-operate are so pleasant. They learn and work together, always help each other to improve knowledge. Difference the children who learn in the competition and motivate by result, the motivation of the children who co-operate in learning are passions. Working together help them get much more of effect, make more friend and easy in communicating. But if they have not high self-aware of senses, they will rely to others and lazy in thinking.

When looking at the co-operative approach it is hard to deny that the children are in general more pleasant. The method encourages teamwork and peer learning. The main difference between a competitive approach and a co-operative approach is that they are motivated by different factors. In the competitive area the motivation is results based whereas in the co-operative one the motivation is passion. The benefits of the latter are better communication skills and this in turn leads to better and stronger friendships. Still the major problem with this method might be that the children rely too much on their friends which could add to laziness.
In summary, the children who are encouraged by a sense competition or taught to co-operate are both important and necessary. But in my opinion, I think the child should be encouraged to co-operate because it brings the comfortable to the children and the learning has still effect.

In summary, children who are encouraged by a sense of competition or co-operation, both have obvious advantages. In my opinion I think that children should be encouraged to co-operate because it adds comfort and less stress to the learning process. And less stress in learning might see the greatest benefits.

IELTS – Listening – 10 Tips (courtesy British Council) October 31, 2006

Posted by Steve in Listening.
1 comment so far
1. Read the instructions carefully, don’t just glance at them. They are not always the same as in practise or previous tests.

2. Often the speaker will give you an answer and then correct themselves-watch out for this. It’s a common trick.

3. Try and anticipate what the speaker will say. This requires concentration – easy in your own language, but more difficult in English.

4. Remember if you want a high score you should aim to get all questions in parts one and two correct. Don’t make any careless mistakes in the easier sections.

5. Although there are not that many IELTS books on the market, other Cambridge exam preparation mateials can provide valuable practise such as FCE and CAE preparation books.

6. Small errors can lead to low score, such as spelling, or incomplete times e.g. 1.30.

7. Don’t panic if you think the topic is too difficult or the speaker is too fast. Relax and tune in.

8. Read, write and listen at the same time. Tricky but you can do it with practise!

9. Don’t leave blanks, you might as well guess as you won’t be penalised.
10. Do not panic!

How to prepare for IELTS – Listening October 31, 2006

Posted by Steve in Listening.
add a comment

The IELTS Listening test comes first, and many candidates find it a hard, sometime even discouraging, way to get started. The IELTS Listening task tests a diverse range of skills, and many people find it challenging.

There are many ways to prepare for this portion of the IELTS exam. There are, for example, many practice tapes and CD sets on the commercial market. While all of them are helpful to some degree, the one thing you can be sure is that none of them will be the IELTS Listening test you take.

The good news is that the best forms of IELTS Listening practice are available free, or at least readily and at low cost. They’re also more fun. They are radio, TV, and movies!

If you have access to an English-language radio or TV station, listen to it as often as possible. The benefits are many.

– You become familiar with a wide variety of accents and individual ways of speaking

– You get the rhythms of spoken English sentences in your ear

– You become more familiar with the way native speakers pronounce English words

– You start to hear word patterns and notice the way English sentences are put together

– You begin to learn new vocabulary by hearing it in context

– You simply become accustomed to the sound of spoken English, which may be the single most important thing of all

English radio and TV talk shows give you good exposure to the way native speakers – not English teacher – actually use the language. They familiarize you with slang and other colloquialisms.

English radio and TV news programmes give you great background for the multiple-voice, nonacademic setting section of the IELTS Listening test, which often uses a mock radio broadcast. Hearing up to four different individuals talk about the same incident from different personal perspectives, in different acoustical situations, and in a variety of accents (including those of second-language speakers) is exactly the kind of training you need to perform well on this portion of the test, which some candidates find the hardest.

Watching English, Australian, American, and other movies in English – in any format – is also highly useful in giving you exposure to the way “real people” speak English. As with all languages, it’s not the same as classroom English.

If you see such movies in the theatre, try to look at the subtitles as little as possible. If you watch them on DVD, watch them once with subtitles, so you learn the situations and dialogue – and then switch the subtitles off and watch them again and again, until you can understand what is being said without “translating.” Many local cable-TV providers show movies many times over the same time period. If you have access a movie channel on such a service, get the schedule, watch the movies you want once with the subtitles – and then, on repeat viewings, tape over the bottom of your TV screen so you cannot use the subtitles.

What’s important is that you expose yourself to the sound of spoken English as much as possible between now and the time you take IELTS. Use time that you otherwise might waste. When you’re getting dressed or eating breakfast in the morning, have the radio or TV on, set to an English station. If you are doing tasks that don’t require your full attention, like cooking or cleaning your room, have the radio or TV on in the background. If you spend a lot of time stuck in traffic, turn the car radio onto an English news or talk station.

Of course, you will benefit more the more you concentrate on what you hear. But even if you don’t focus on what you hear only, trying to understand what is being said, simply letting the sounds into your ears will help. Educators are now convinced that there is such a thing as “passive listening.” That means that you’re often learning even when you’re not trying to. If you have English on – even “in the background” – your brain is trying to figure out what is being said even if you’re not concentrating on it.

Most important of all, the day you actually tale the IELTS exam, make sure that the first time you hear English that day is not when the tape for the Listening test starts. That may be too late, and you could miss a question or too while your ears “adjust” to the sound of English. Even if you’re nervous and feel like you can’t concentrate on it, have the radio or TV on while you’re getting dressed, eating breakfast, or getting to the IELTS exam. You’ll be glad you did!

IELTS Speaking part 2 October 31, 2006

Posted by Steve in Speaking.

List of topics


1. a leisure activity you enjoy
2. an important festival in your country
3. a book you have read
4. a film you have seen
5. a TV programme that you enjoy watching
6. music you enjoy listening to
7. someone you admire
8. a child you know
9. a present you gave to someone
10. a present someone gave to you
11. a personal possession that is important to you
12. a job you would like to have
13. something you would like to own
14. a skill you have learnt
15. a teacher who has influenced you
16. a house you would like to live in
17. a place you would like to visit
18. a tourist attraction you would like to visit
19. a tourist attraction you have visited
20. a country you would like to live in
21. a place you know well
22. a place you have visited
23. an important event that took place in your life
24. what kind of clothes you like wearing
25. a picture or photograph you have or know
26. a public event you went to
27. a prize you won
28. a competition you took part in
29. a journey you went on
30. your best friend

IELTS Speaking part 1 preparation October 31, 2006

Posted by Steve in Speaking.

Some topics for you to think about.

my family, hobbies, job, my school, accommodation, my town, my city, my country, learning English, important festivals, food, music, what I want to do in the future, where I live, ambitions for the future, transport, TV, reading, travelling etc.

IELTS Speaking Overview October 31, 2006

Posted by Steve in Speaking.
add a comment

This section aims to give students an overview of what they will encounter in the speaking exam.

General points

  • An interview takes place between one examiner and one candidate for between 11 and 14 minutes.
  • The candidate’s speaking is assessed on fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation.
  • A band mark is awarded between 1 and 9 with 9 being the highest. Half marks e.g. 5.5 are not awarded in speaking.

Speaking test format

Part 1 Examiner and candidate introduce themselves, candidate answers general questions on familiar topics e.g. family, job, studies, free-time etc. about 4 to 5 minutes
Part 2 Candidate asked to speak on a given topic (information is written on a task card) for 1-2 minutes. One minute of preparation in which the candidate can make notes is allowed. 4 minutes
Part 3 Discussion on more abstract issue related to the chosen topic in part 2 of the test. about 4 to 5 minutes

Introduction to essay writing August 22, 2006

Posted by Steve Stander in Writing.
add a comment

The main text of the essay has three main parts:

  1. An introduction
  2. A main body
  3. A conclusion

    I. The introduction.

    The introduction consists of two parts:
    1. It should include a few general statements about the subject to provide a background to your essay and to attract the reader’s attention. It should try to explain why you are writing the essay. It may include a definition of terms in the context of the essay, etc.
    2. It should also include a statement of the specific subdivisions of the topic and/or indication of how the topic is going to be tackled in order to specifically address the question.
    It should introduce the central idea or the main purpose of the writing.

    II. The main body.

    The main body consists of one or more paragraphs of ideas and arguments. Each paragraph develops a subdivision of the topic. The paragraphs of the essay contain the main ideas and arguments of the essay together with illustrations or examples. The paragraphs are linked in order to connect the ideas. The purpose of the essay must be made clear and the reader must be able to follow its development.

    III. The conclusion.

    The conclusion includes the writer’s final points.
    1. It should recall the issues raised in the introduction and draw together the points made in the main body
    2. and explain the overall significance of the conclusions. What general points can be drawn from the essay as a whole?
    It should clearly signal to the reader that the essay is finished and leave a clear impression that the purpose of the essay has been achieved.

How to answer: Describe, discuss or explain August 22, 2006

Posted by Steve Stander in Writing.
1 comment so far
requires an answer that says what something is like, how it works and so on.
requires an answer that explains an item or concept, and then gives details about it with supportive information, examples, points for and against, and explanations for the facts put forward. It is important to give both sides of an argument and come to a conclusion.
requires an answer that offers a rather detailed and exact explanation of an idea or principle, or a set of reasons for a situation or attitude.