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Phrasal verbs in action: Travel

It’s not enough just knowing the definition of a phrasal verb. This is where a lot of students get stuck. You must know how to use it in a sentence as a replacement of a word or phrase to create an interesting meaning. Mastering phrasal verbs helps you express yourself more naturally and be more creative with the language. This week we look at 5 useful phrasal verbs you can use to talk about TRAVEL.

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Katrina - iPass student of the month

Katrina from The Philippines is our student of the month for November! Read More →

Phrasal Verbs in Action: Hobbies

You have probably heard that phrasal verbs are important and that you need to use them to get band 6+ in the IELTS speaking test. Both of these are true BUT still many candidates fail to use them well in the IELTS test. Why is this?

Non-native English speakers often learn phrasal verbs but are not confident using them in case they say them incorrectly or out of context. Therefore, I think it's important to treat each phrasal verb in the same way as any other new item of vocabulary - understand the meaning and the context in which it is used and then practice it in a variety of example sentences.

To help you, we're starting a new blog series - Phrasal Verbs in Action - where each week we'll present some very useful phrasal verbs related to a different topic with examples showing how to use them effectively with confidence.

The first topic is HOBBIES and here's a quick video to give you an idea:

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Extending your vocabulary: using similies

My IELTS students are often asking me how they can produce more 'natural' sounding English in their IELTS speaking test, and one way is by trying to use more idiomatic uses of English. In other words, using metaphorical expressions such as similies, which will not only help you to be more descriptive but will also show the examiner that you have a deeper knowledge and awareness of the language.

This short video looks at some example similies that you can use to describe people. In Part 1 and Part 2 of the speaking test you could be asked to describe a friend or a member of your family, so it's a great idea to start learning a few idiomatic expressions like these that you could use to talk about them.

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IELTS strategies: tongue-twisters

As English is not a phonetic language, correct spelling and pronunciation are tricky areas to master.

But did you know that pronunciation counts for 25% of the overall mark in the IELTS speaking test?

Obviously, pronunciation is not just about pronouncing words clearly, it is also about other things like stress and intonation, but it's a good idea to 'brush up on' (practise) any sounds that you know you sometimes have problems with, especially if they are not familiar sounds in your first language.

Here's a quick video to help you practice the long 'ee' sound with a fun tongue twister!

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IELTS strategies: varying your tenses

To get a good score in the IELTS Speaking test, you need to show that you can use a wide range of grammatical structures and one way you can do this is by using different verb tenses.

Besides, using a variety of verb tenses is essential if you want to show the examiner that you can maintain a natural flow of speech throughout the test.

This short video gives you some simple techniques to try out yourself!

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Dinesh - iPass student of the month

Dinesh, from India, is our student of the month for August! Read More →

IELTS strategies: avoiding repetition

In both the IELTS speaking and writing test, you need to demonstrate a wide range of vocabulary to show that you can discuss topics at length (band 6 - speaking) and convey precise meanings (band 7 - writing).

This means that to get a good score in the IELTS test, you need to use a variety of words of phrases and avoid repeating the same ones.

This short video gives you a useful technique for avoiding repetition. Try it out and see how your vocabulary expands day by day!

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Peggy - iPass student of the month


Peggy, from Hong Kong, is our student of the month for July!

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Idiom workout: animal idioms

Students are often asking me how to push up their vocabulary score to Band 8 in the IELTS speaking test and one way is to demonstrate that you can skilfully use less common and idiomatic expressions.

This short video gives you a couple of example expressions using animal-related idioms that are commonly used in conversation.

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I received my first IELTS result and surprisingly I got my desired score. Although my listening was not as good as others, the other three competencies were all 7. Therefore, my overall was 7. I cannot believe this fact! Jenny, I was really happy to study with you through Skype. Your encouragement and advice were precious and boosted my confidence.  You made my happy friday!!

- Shelly - Japan

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