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Hello Grammar!

My very best friend who is also an English linguist post it to my FB wall this morning. She knows that I have no good relationship with grammar and always say that grammar is one of my foe. Well, as long as it is one of my foe, it means that I have to defeat it, right? 🙂

Here is the fun pics how to learn grammar in a fun way 🙂
If you want some more, click this site.

Thank you dear! :* :*

Singular Plural Form

Singular Plural Form

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The easiness of dashboards reading ;)

Wow, I just clicked summaries in 30 last days in my blog’s dashboard then it showed this summary. It is one of the advantages of using dashboards, easy and understandable 🙂 but I guess the nuclear engine is not that simple :p

The whole nations of my blog's readers..

The whole nations of my blog’s readers..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to write many more things in English and stick it to my head that the purpose of my life in this earth must be cleared. It is for the sake of the world not only one or two countries. Just like my lovely prophet Muhammad SAW that enlighten the whole world to date and not limited to Arab only 🙂

IELTS Speaking Skills: Basic and Additional Information

Even though, IELTS was over last week but my soul is still attached to it :p

Speaking Test is the second most challenging for me, so I noted lots about that and now I want to share it with you all 🙂 Speaking Test is divided into three sequential parts.

  Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Duration 4 – 5 minutes 3 – 4 minutes 4 – 5 minutes
Level of difficulty Easy Mediocre Most challenging
Type Short Conversation (2-3 sentences) One way speech (2 minutes) with note taking (1 minute) Two way conversation related topic to Part 2.
Topic Test taker’s attribute, daily activity, preference Travelling, Favorite/Memorable Book/Activity, Government, Environment, Planning etc. General understanding or public opinion.
Correlation between 2 or 3 variables.
Story telling about past time (10 – 20 years ago) or predicting the future (10 -20 years later)
Additional Information Avoid using same verb or part of the question to answer in order to show your wide range of vocabulary. Read the question carefully, sometimes there is twisted meaning about the question. Comprehend it deeply and carefully. Don’t miss a point when having the speech. You can ask for clarification once if you do not understand the question’s meaning. You cannot do this in Part 1 or 2.

In general, the test takers need to show their abilities in:

  • Agree or disagree: I tend to agree with …
  • Assessing a special topic
  • Making a comparison: I would like to choose … than …
  • Describing a situation: Generally speaking, …
  • Making an explanation
  • Express: For me personally, …
  • Possibility and probability: Well, it might be happened in the next 15 years, …
  • Justify an opinion: In my opinion, …
  • Narrate story or experience
  • Speculation
  • Giving suggestion: I tend to say that …
  • Summarize

Besides those basic skills, there are some additional skills that preferable to demonstrate:

  • Self-correction
  • Circumlocutions: I haven’t thought about it before, let me think a moment..
  • Paraphrase
  • Ask for clarification

The latest and the most important part is pleasing perform yourself confidently, sometimes the minor errors would not be recognized or considered as ‘slips’ if you say it with confidence :p

By the way, I am waiting my score now, huhuhu.. it will be published 13 – 14 days after the test. It means about one week later from today. I wish it will contain no 5.5 sub score anymore 😀

NB: This material is taken from McGraw-Hill book and some compiled IELTS books 🙂

Speaking Vs Writing IELTS

Indeed, there are differences and similarities between Speaking and Writing IELTS in term of Academic test. Even though both of them are active skills, it has several points to distinguish them beside orally and written products.

Points

Speaking

Writing

Task Completion There is no Task Fulfillment in Speaking Skill, but it doesn’t mean that you can say everything to answer the question. For me, it is like you can directly or indirectly answer the question because Speaking ask us to be spontaneous and can reveal our personality in the way of our daily conversation. You have to clearly state your opinion or position through your essay. It must be in paragraphs which cohesive attached one to another.
Using idiomatic words You can use some idiomatic words properly in speaking. Not a slang one because it still academic speaking. Better to not use idiomatic words.
Speed Preferable not to speak fast but managed carefully. Speak fast can produce more words but also enlarge the possibility to make mistakes. You need to write fast, you have to address all tasks within 60 minutes and the words are counted. If you fail to fulfill the words limit, you will get penalty 😦
Sentence switching Short pause can be an indicator to switch the tone of the sentence, preferably linking words. You can also use some filler to lengthen your time. You have to use either punctuation or signpost to indicate your tone switching or introduce new idea.

Meanwhile, they also have some similarities, it sounds not fair if I only exploit their differences :p

Points

Speaking

Writing

Grammar It must be clearly spoken whether it is V3 or V2 or V1. The length and stress also must be correct.

Example: Shit or Sheet, Record (Verb) and Record (Noun), Read (V3) or Read (V1)

Spelling is one way to express the grammar. Grammar needs to be varied in writing than speaking, sometimes it is not common to use (past/present) perfect tense in speaking but it possible in writing.
Self-correction You can correct yourself while speaking, but please correct it perfectly not make it worse because they record your voice. Always spend time after you write all of task 1 and task 2 to self-correction your writing. It is about 5-6 minutes.
Less subjectivity Do not include words that require subjectivity to judge. Just like ‘bad’ and ‘good’, you can use ‘problematic’ and ‘properly’ to replace those words. Similar with Speaking.

Anyway, good luck everybody!

I’ve just looked the speaking apportionment, tomorrow I will be interviewed at noon.. Wish me luck! 😀

COlbie Caillat – I Do

IELTS Writing Skill: Common Errors in article use

This is based on my failure while writing too much sentences, less focus and led to more errors in article and preposition use. Yours might be different from mine, but if we have the same problems, here is tips from my English tutors and please let me know yours 🙂

Making generalizations using plural nouns

Keep asking to yourself whether you will write general statement or subjective examples. Usually general statement is written at the beginning of body paragraphs, while examples are used to complete your paragraph by giving them some details. Ex: Cars cause pollution; Cigarettes cause lung cancers. Apart from facts that there is specific cars which do not cause pollution or there is healthy cigarettes that do not cause side effects. Sometimes we should consider the majority by using generalizations with plural nouns 🙂

Single countable nouns generally require an article

The article that can be used (but not limited) to show a quantifier of nouns is a/an and the. Please use a if you mean one or any, as in an example: Most people would buy a new car if they could afford one. Sounds like general because there is ‘most people’ but the focus on that sentence is in ‘a new car’ which means only one car and it is new. Use the if you mean a specific one such as: The car that I bought last year. May be I have more than one car, but I tried to show which car I meant in that sentence by showing the time marker ‘yesterday‘. So, please use the instead of a/an.

Use the with these certain conditions

  • The noun already mentioned in previous sentence
  • It is used in ordinals: The first car I ever bought..
  • In superlatives comparison: The best car on the market..
  • Represent the only, sole or same: That is the only electric car costing less than..
  • The adjectives to show class or category of something: The wealthy could afford cars

Taken from advice and materials from books 🙂

Maroon 5 – one more night..

IELTS Writing Skill: Exam tips collection

Two of my favorite pastime are collecting and organizing. Counting down the final exam day, I am sure that something I should do to sum up my study lessons here. Still, writing is my weakest part in my IELTS but I will not surrender because I know I sacrifice many things to be here: my students, my final project supervision and my love life with my husband :p

So, Let’s begin!

General

  • Do not copy exact words of the task instructions, by rephrasing the instructions you can show your ability to comprehend the task and your vocabulary range.
  • Academic writing values modesty and tolerance of others’ views, hence, instead of using ‘I insist that governments do more to protect minority languages’ please write ‘I believe that governments should do more..’
  • One of most useful strategies to link between sentences is by using this or these.
  • Make sure you already noticed in what areas are your lacks in writing skills. Keep them in mind when you check your work. It is worthwhile learning how to effectively proofread your writing.

IELTS Writing Part 1

  • Instead of using from .. to .. for indicating the time period, you can also use between .. and …
  • Use varied adverbs to make your comparisons more exact: popular, interesting, appealing, preferable.
  • Use markers to emphasize which the small and big difference. For big differences use: many, much, far and significantly and for small differences use: slightly, nearly.
  • For describing process, do not overuse signpost expressions. You can insert the signpost in between subject and verb (precipitation then increases) or between auxiliary and verb and main verb (the trees are then extracted).
  • To find the pattern of the data easily, group the similar items together and looking associated trends. If you can’t see the pattern, feel free to change your focus until you can find the appropriate pattern.

IELTS Writing Part 2

  • Please spend 6-7 minutes on the first 3 stages of writing: analyzing the question, thinking of ideas and making a plan. Then, spend 30 minutes to write your essay based on your plan and the rest 3-4 minutes is error checking.
  • Your writing supposed to be clear and easy to read, therefore, avoids writing more than one subordinate clause in each complex sentence.
  • It is important not to make absolute or sweeping statements, you can do this by using a range of modifiers and softer vocabulary. In spite of writing ‘Rapid technological change destroys traditional values’, please use ‘Rapid technological change can weaken traditional values’. Do you feel the difference?
  • Use range of expressions to signal the reader about giving examples with: for example, for instance, another good example, and an example. If you want to pour several facts use indeed or in fact.
  • Use modal verbs to frame your ideas. Such as will to state your intention, must and should to express a necessity, can and could to make suggestions and would to indicate the consequences of implementing suggestion.
  • Make sure you complete your essay by writing a conclusion, even if this consists of only one sentence. It is better to omit or shorten body paragraphs rather than fail to complete the task.

I hope these tips which were taken from Writing for IELTS can help us to pass the exam 🙂

What does IELTS Score represent?

This question had been bugging me so much before finally I found the answer. In case you have similar question, here is the answer 🙂

Since IELTS consists of 4 tasks which are Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing in English, it will scrutinize about 4 ideas too. It requires Vocabulary, Grammar, Organization, Ideas and Arguments. Even though in the Listening and Reading which are the passive skills about comprehending English, they also have those four values. That is why, IELTS is different with TOEFL that contain specific Grammar or Structure task, because it already assess your grammar unconsciously and naturally by looking at your listening, writing and speaking task.

Vocabulary: you need to have a good range of academic words and phrases for the main IELTS topics

Grammar: you need to use accurate grammar and complex structures (relative clauses, conditionals and noun phrases)

Organization: you need to write clear, well-organized paragraph and answer that easy to follow

Ideas and Arguments: you need to make sure you have well-developed ideas, that you answer the question fully and that you give a clear point of view

The IELTS scoring system from 1 to 9 and 9 is score for native speakers. They can suggest your ability to communicate with English clearly to professor or to certain universities to fulfill their strict requirements.

Level

Education Level

IELTS overall score

Upper – Intermediate

University Foundation Course 5 – 6

Advanced

Bachelor Degree Course 6 – 6.5
Master Degree Course 6.5 – 7

Upper – Advanced

PhD Research or Working in English-speaking countries in professions that need effective communications (Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Accounting) 7 – 9

So, are we ready yet to pursue higher education abroad, especially in English-speaking countries’ Universities 🙂 Well, I am pretty sure that you are ready!

Taken from Writing Skills: IELTS Advantage by Richard Brown and Lewis Richards