We are pleased to announce that there will be a session of IELTS taking place in Valladolid on Saturday June 30th. So don’t worry if you missed the March or February sessions as inscription is now open for June.
If you are interested in being prepared by a worldwide organisation of IELTS experts for the exam please contact one of our centers in Valladolid for more information.
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At IH Valladolid we have teachers with many years of experience of teaching IELTS. Our teachers have prepared students from all over the world for this exam and we have had fantastic success in getting people ready for the exam. We would therefore like to share some ideas with you on how to prepare for the IELTS exam, either with a school, or by yourself.
Set yourself a realistic objective. When you know what level you want to have (be realistic) you can start to target your preparation around that level. If you need a level 7.0 then you need to be learning and demonstrating correct use of vocabulary and grammar points connected with level 7.0. If you are not sure what level you have then contact IH Valladolid and we will arrange a FREE level test for you at one of our centers.
Make a study plan and stick to it. You should think about how many words you are going to try and learn every day and record those words. You should think about when and how you are going to improve your ability in terms of reading, writing, listening and speaking for the exam. In our experience, students who plan and take responsibility for their own learning usually do much better on the exam than those who do not.
If you do not practice the exam several times before you take it you may encounter a surprise in the exam. No one likes surprises in an exam!
Monitor your progress and adjust your learning plan if you need to. If you are getting better at the listening part of the exam but your reading scores are not improving for example, you may need to change your approach. A teacher can help you with this.
Keep calm and persevere! To persevere means to continue to work hard for something even when it is difficult. This is very important for ANY exam. Some days it may feel like the exam is too difficult and you are not making progress, these are the days when it is most important to practice your English.
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Students often ask the question: ‘How can I practise listening outside class?’ There are so many resources available for English learners on the internet. Here are three useful websites you can try.
British Council Learn English – this has some great audio and video listening lessons that each take about 15-20 minutes to complete. There is a range of topics from stories to everyday life to many different aspects of British culture. Each listening comes with a preparation activity to help you with vocabulary you need to understand the text and further activities to check your comprehension.
‘LingoHack’ from the BBC helps you understand current news stories in the media. Each episode uses authentic news reports from the BBC and comes with a transcript so you can read along if you want to. There is a glossary for each episode to help you with difficult vocabulary too.
‘The Listening Project’ – this is another resource from the BBC. It’s not specifically for English learners, but is a collection of conversations between friends and family members in Britain on lots of different topics. It is a good way to hear natural English and a range of different British accents.
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Try to listen to something short in English three times a week – maybe a short video clip on YouTube or a news website. Even a text of 3-4 minutes is better than nothing.
Keep a listening diary
Make a note of new words you learn when you are listening. Make sure you record the meaning too, then you can test yourself later.
Choose topics that interest you
If the topic of the listening text is boring for you, you won’t be motivated and will find it harder to pay attention. Spend some time finding podcasts or radio programmes that you enjoy and you will be more motivated to return to them later.
Listen while you’re doing something else
Put on a podcast in English while you’re doing the housework or getting ready for work or school. Download podcasts to listen to on the bus, or put English radio on in the car – you won’t notice that you’re practicing English!
Listen for fun, not only for study
It is important to record new vocabulary and understand texts thoroughly, but it’s not very relaxing. Try to enjoy your listening practice sometimes and don’t worry about understanding every single word. Watch your favourite American series in original version (with English or Spanish subtitles), listen to your favourite English language pop songs on repeat, or re-watch a film you know well in original version.
We are delighted to announce that on Saturday we held the first ever session of IELTS in the Valladolid area! We are also pleased to announce that the session was fully booked. We want to offer our congratulations to all of the candidates, both the candidates who prepared with us and those who prepared elsewhere, who took the exam. Well done all of you no matter what score you get! The session went well and the British Council were able to conduct all aspects of the exam on the same day. All candidates results will be sent directly to you in the next two weeks and our fingers are crossed that you get the results that you deserve!
The number of candidates taking IELTS continues to grow year on year and the exam is now well and truly cemented as the most popular English as a foreign language exam in the world. An IELTS certificate can open doors to candidates not just in Spain but on a truly global basis.
We will be providing more practice materials and more information about IELTS in the coming days and weeks!