Exam topics (March, 2016 in Greece)

These are the various topics for the IELTS exam in the beginning of March in Greece as our students remember them.
Reading
Text 1
Text one was about the cultivation of organic foods and seeds. There was an example of a farm in the US, where a family grows, collects and stores seeds. The text concluded in several surveys conducted by experts, stating that there are dangers, such as famine, in case we do not increase food production and create new cultivation techniques.
Text 2
Text two focused mainly on how science can be affected by social and economical ideas, on how sociologists can disprove some scientific ideas that were taken as a fact and on how some researchers adopted new techniques that take into account modern sociological views and ideas.
Text 3
Text three was about chemicals, such as fluoride, that are mixed in the water in order to keep it clean and also benefit the health of the teeth. There was a debate between people who opposed this technique and people in favor. Scientific opinions were also mentioned.
Writing
Task 1
The first picture shows a top plan of an estate as it is now and the second picture, as it is designed to become in the future.
Compare both pictures and highlight the changes that will take place.
 032105D8-51E3-4384-B2EA-2111FC474E470280B1A7-146B-4B2D-A29F-61F69E2F3485 (2)
     FF493B62-C025-4BAF-BDF0-349F5A8E32CEF9337E4D-3E7F-4F67-8280-5943A5917B38 (2)
Task 2
Some people believe that the purpose of school is to shape a child to be a good citizen and a qualified worker, while others believe that school must firstly focus on shaping a balanced individual.
To what extend do you agree or disagree
Justify your opinion and give a personal example if possible
Speaking
Part 1
1. Which space do you prefer most to spend your time when you are at home.
2. What changes would you make to this space if possible.
Part 2
Describe a meal you had with friends. Please say
What  you ate
What  you talked about
What was worth remembering
Part 3
1. In what situations a family is not able to have dinner altogether?
2. Are there any special foods Greeks enjoy eating during the holidays?
3. Who of the two are bound the most between each other : Colleagues or classmates?
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3rd Videographic for IELTS practice

Young and growing: An animated infographic showing how the global population is set to change

Watch the videographic and complete the gaps of the tapescript:

 

In 1950, —————————— (1) in rich countries in North America, Europe and Oceania was around 30 years old. 

In Asia, Africa and Latin America it was closer to 20 . 

Since then ——————————————————- (2) as people have fewer babies and live longer. But Africa’s different.

It’s high fertility and deaths from war and disease that ————– (3a) the median age ———— (3b). 

Though ———————————– (4) as people live longer, healthier lives. 

In the rich world, ———————————- (5) , while the median age in poor countries ————————— (6). 

A ———————————————– (7) in terms of population numbers. 

In the middle of the 20th century, there were 2.5 billion people. 

In most places, the population ————————————- (8) — and ———————————————– (9) by 2050. 

In Asia, the number of people surged and is forecast to taper off. 

But in Africa, the population ————————————- (10) and this is likely to continue . 

In fact, Africa’s population ——————————————— (11) to almost two and a half billion people by 2050, making the region a growing market.

3rd videographic Answer key

2nd Videographic – for IELTS practice

This is my 2nd videographic activity I have prepared and I hope you will find it as helpful as the first one.

 

 Meeting of the minds : how sexual equality increases income inequality

Listen to the video and insert the phrases in the correct gap


huge increase  much worse    quarter less    emergence of  swelled   similarly

credentialed   with a             dramatically increasing     about twice   at the same

     economic disparity    most     diploma        a quarter of    with a degree 

 

In 1960, ———- (1) American men  ——– (2) high school ——– (3) or less married women ——— (4)  education level. Biologists call this ‘assortative mating’ , like ‘Marries like’. Then, only ——– (5)  men ———– (6) married women with one, in part because they weren’t as cpmmon.

It was even fewer if they held a graduate degree. But half a century later with more educated women in the workforce, the situation’s vastly different.

Now, men with a degree are ——- (7)  as likely as they were to marry women with one. With a graduate degree, 40%  of men marry similar women, a ——— (8)  from 13 percent in 1960.

This marks the ———- (9)  power couples. Those with less schooling are less likely to marry their female equivalents, probably because women have better graduation rates. The good news is that women are better-educated and marrying —————- (10)  men, who in the past might have married their secretaries. But the bad news is that power couples earn much more, ——————– (11) income inequality. In 1960, a couple without high school diplomas owned a ————  (12)  than the mean household income. The situation is now ———- (13).

Power couples took home 76% percent more than the average household but it’s ——– (14)  to 120 percent more now.  So a byproduct of women’s equality is greater —————- (15)  and that advantage may be passed down as a birthright to their kids.

answer key

Videographics – for IELTS practice

Have you ever seen a videographic? I’m sure most of you have. Have you ever thought of using them in an IELTS class? Well, they are an excellent choice for IELTS students because a videographic is a video which combines moving images with graphical images on top. (macmillan dictionary) There are several videographics you can find online which are like ‘live’ charts. Everything takes place in front of your eyes. I find them particularly helpful for students starting to work with charts. It’s a great practice.

I have started preparing a short series of such videographics which students can watch and complete a short exercise. The videos are short so they do not have to spend a lot of time on them. In this way, they watch the analysis of a graph/chart, etc. and also learn and/or revise language used when writing a report for IELTS task 1. Teachers can download the video and do the exercise in class or you can ask your students to visit my blog and do the exercise. Whichever is more convenient.

I hope you like them. Remember to leave me feedback so that I know you find them helpful!

 

Global smart phone shipments

Sales have reached a ———— (1) but with a new cast of companies. In ——— (2) around ———————– (3) smartphones were sold. Nokia shipped— ——– (4) , —————- (5) by Blackberry, Apple, Samsung, HTC and others. The market soared but Samsung and Apple took over the first and second ————- (6) and pulled away. Last year, shipments ———– (7) a billion according to the research firm IDC. Samsung and Apple still dominate but new names make the top 5 : LG of S.Korea and Huawei and Lenovo from China . Nokia left the —————- (8) all together. It’s selling its mobile phone Division to Microsoft. Blackberry and HTC are absent, too. The ———— (9) growth is the cheap android phones especially from China. Today, supplies outside the top 5 ———— —– (10) almost 40% of shipments, ——– (11) the ——- (12) of just 4 years ago.

ǝɹɐɥs ˙21 ‘ǝlqnop ˙11 ‘ɹoɟ ʇunoɔɔɐ ˙01 ‘ʇsǝʇsɐɟ ˙9 ‘pɹɐoq ɹǝpɐǝl ˙8 ‘pǝɥɔɐǝɹ ˙7 ‘sʇods ˙6 ‘pǝʍolloɟ ˙5 ‘ ʇsoɯ ǝɥʇ ˙4 ‘000˙000˙003 ˙3 ‘0102 ˙2 ‘uoıllıq ˙1
ʎǝʞ ɹǝʍsuɐ

New IELTS speaking topics (December, 2015)

New IELTS speaking topics (December, 2015) in Greece, as our students who sat the exam  remember them :
Speaking test

Interview

Part1

Do you work or study?

What do you study?

Why did you choose this field of studies?

What are your plans after you finish your studies?

Do you watch any tv? What kind of shows do you watch on tv?

Do you watch more tv now compared to when you were a child?

Do you think that children today watch a lot of tv?

 

Part2

Describe a short trip you did in the past. Please say :

Where it was

Who you went with

How long you stayed

Why you would like to repeat it

 

Part3  

Why do you think people choose to do short trips?

People who visit your country do you usually come for short or longer trips?

What is the difference between a short and a long trip?

 

3 SUGGESTIONS FOR ESSENTIAL APPS FOR ESL STUDENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

This is my 3rd post for EdTech Review India. You can find it here :

http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/2134-english-as-a-second-language-esl-app

english-as-a-second-language-esl-app

Apps are useful and practical a lot of times and young people know all about them and use them.

But students are interested mainly in using apps for their own pleasure and entertainment and not so much for educational purposes.  It is not always easy to include them in everyday classroom practice but I think that it is worth the trouble to try to make a few of them part of your College students’ everyday classroom practice.

If the target group is College students, as mentioned above, you need to choose the right apps to introduce them to. They have to be easy to use, practical and exciting. You don’t want to overwhelm them after all! My 3 main choices would be:

Remind

https://www.remind.com/apps

This is a very popular communications platform which I was introduced to this year and I have found immensely practical for many reasons. It can be used in various ways, initially to communicate information to your students, e.g. homework tasks, useful links, photos, giving feedback using voice messages. But it can also be used in other ways, such as hosting a chat, which is a great idea since using twitter for a chat is too public and intimidating for a lot of students, but being on a more ‘private’ platform, like Remind, can minimize the feeling of ‘exposure’ that weaker students perhaps feel. It is safe, simple and secure both for educators and students to use.

Padlet

https://padlet.com/

This is another ‘must’ for encouraging ESL students to share boards where they can post language tips, exam strategies, useful videos they find. Teacher and students can also post text, graphs and even photos and videos related to a specific topic. Another idea is encouraging students to post questions, either as part of an activity or anonymously, post-lesson, which the teacher can then read off and answer them every day.

Prezi

https://prezi.com/ipad/

If Powerpoint is dead, then Prezi is its worthy successor! Prezi is indeed a very exciting tool to create presentations because it allows you to present your work in a non-linear way, creating maps of texts, videos, images, graphics, etc. It is very easy to master and some of its features, like the zoom, can easily make an impression on these young adult students and tempt them to use it in their presentations!

One way or another, these are not new tools (Prezi, for example, was designed in 2009) but it is useful to remind ourselves of a good combination of practical, easy to use digital tools that our ESL students would feel motivated to use on a daily or weekly basis. Good luck everyone