Monday, 13 May 2013

IELTS Reading - Rat meat and Chinese food safety

Photo from the BBC
A few months ago, the horse meat scandal created a lot of conversation in class. Read this article about rat meat in China and summarise in your notebook.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

IELTS Essay Task 2 - Full Essay - Cause and Effect - Employment Topic


Key linking language underlined

Many university graduates leave university facing uncertainty and unemployment. What are the causes and effects of this problem? Offer some solutions.

Young graduates are facing a youth unemployment crisis. This can be seen around the world where young professionals struggle to find work when they leave third level education. This essay will look at the factors that leave young people in this situation  as well as outlining the effects of a lack of jobs, and offering a few possible solutions.

Firstly, young adults can not find work because of a lack of experience. Take the level of unemployment during the current economic crisis for instance. Recent graduates enter the job market without any practical experience while they are competing with other candidates with years of work experience behind them. As a result, they lose out to more qualified applicants.

This has a negative impact on young people today. For example, faced with few job opportunities, third level graduates are forced to take part time, or low skilled jobs working as waiters or shop assistants. They don’t gain any experience and lose the theoretical knowledge they learned in college; therefore, they are further marginalised in the job market.

However, governments can take steps to solve these issue. For example,governments can offer financial incentives to companies who hire recent graduates. This may come in the form of tax breaks or the government could supplement the employee’s income. Moreover, companies could offer inexperienced graduates apprenticeships; thus, providing the business with part-time cheaper labour and the member of staff with valuable experience.

Having analysed the causes and effects of youth unemployment and how governments can relieve them,  it is felt that governments need to provide tax breaks for companies employing recent graduates. It is expected that this issue will only resolve itself when the economic situation improves. 


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

IELTS Writing - Argument Essay Conclusion

Picture from

Writing a conclusion is the easiest part of the essay, but it still needs work.

Practice writing it in 5/6 minutes.


1. The conclusion has two 2 sentences

(A) A sentence that summarises the supporting arguments of the essay.

For example, look at this essay question:

Advertising is a positive influence on society. Do you agree or disagree?

Lets say you agree.

Write two supporting body paragraphs (these give evidence to support your opinion/thesis that you state in the introduction)

Thus, you need a supporting argument for each body paragraph.

In body paragraph 1 you state: Advertising stimulates demand for products.

In body 2 you state: The advertising industry creates employment.

In the first sentence of your conclusion you summarise the two supporting ideas.

Start the conclusion with the word 'after' 

'After' is a subordinating conjunction; therefore, using it at the start of your sentence create a complex sentence. These push your score up.

Notice how there is a comma at the end of the clause. Don't forget it.


After looking at how advertising increases consumer interest in products and how the advertising industry helps keep unemployment rates down,  


In the second section of the conclusion you state your opinion again. Remember that this is done in the introduction as well the conclusion in an argument essay. 

Simply write an independent clause to complete your complex sentence paraphrasing your argument from the introduction.


After looking at how advertising increases consumer interest in products and how the advertising industry helps keep unemployment rates down, it has been proven that advertising is a force for good in the world today.

This is how I write an IELTS essay task 2 argument essay conclusion. I hope it helps you out.


Saturday, 2 March 2013

IELTS Speaking Task 3 - Model Answer - Internet Topic

Photo from The New Yorker


What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the internet?

This question is quite tricky as there are many advantages and disadvantages. The key here is to keep you answer concise and direct, so you can't expand too extensively upon your answer - you simply don't have the time. If your answer is dragging on for too long, the examiner will ask you to stop speaking, and he will move swiftly on to the next question.

Follow the PEE method and avoid unnecessary waffling.

Make your point 

Explain your point
Give and example


Communication has been revolutionised by the net. In the past, the postal system provided the most efficient way to contact people, and people used it for business and in their private lives. However, the advent of the World Wide Web has changed this forever. Now, citizens use social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to stay in touch with those who matter. This is the greatest advantage that the internet has bestowed upon the modern age. However, although humans' ability to communication has been bolstered by the net, levels of procrastination are at a historic peak. With chat rooms, social media, newspapers, on line gaming ebooks etc. there has never been more temptation to waste one's time. For example, walk into any internet cafe in Thailand and you will see scores of school children entranced by Facebook or games. This time could be spent reading for pleasure or studying for academic exams. In short, the internet has obvious advantages and drawbacks.