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Sunday, August 12, 2018


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I couldn't agree more

Maybe just maybe, many of these people are looking for "VOCABULARY LIST" for IELTS. I mean "BIG WORDS" that they can easily use in both Writing and Speaking.

In short, they do not really understand the right and efficient way on how to get a good score in IELTS.

As what Simon have been stressing many times in this site, it is TOPIC VOCABULARY and LESS COMMON VOCABULARIES (which is really abundant in this site, you just have to search those in the Vocabulary/Grammar Categories) that will greatly improve your score.

Trust Simon and his expertise in this field.

here are some of the great phrases from Sunday's speaking lesson posted a week ago that i think i've never used and will hopefully use in the future

* probe a little deeper (into sth) (to make sure that..., to find out sth, etc)
* get someone to open up, express themselves, and explain their opinions
* give someone a final chance to do sth (to impress someone)
* let your energy or effort level drop (after sth)

Hi Teacher Simon,

Last Saturday I did my speaking test and that was awful. I couldn't retrieve the information and phrases which I memorized. Even I had lots of grammatical mistakes during my speech and my mind went blank. Please tell us an efficient way in order to memorize. My Knowledge of English is not bad but I can't perform well during the exam because of stress and tension.

Best regards.


To me, trying to memorize phrases to use in the speaking test, is misguided. What is required is practice in explaining something, and giving a mini-presentation. This is what is needed for part 2.

One way to do this is to take a paragraph on a suitable topic from an (news) article or similar, and explain it to a friend or record yourself. (A friend can take notes and check the result). Focus on the background first and then make three main points, no more.

The idea is to get you used to giving clear explanations, which an essential skill. It needs lots of practice.


if you want to delve deeper into the science of learning and memory, use the link below


here's an interesting TEDx video on language learning


from 7:30 onwards, it gets interesting

So if you want to learn the word 'library', you'd have to visit the library, feel the mood and its quiet atmosphere, smell the scent of the books, hear the sound of flipping book pages, etc, while saying out loud the word library all along.

it might be an exaggeration but you get the idea. you need to do something similar when learning english words ( and phrases for that matter)

if during the exam you got stressed and nervous to the extent that your mind went blank, then i'd say you were not as well prepared as you think you were. (just my opinion)

I've done my speaking today.

Part 1.

1.Name and Education
2. Travelling and do you enjoy long journey
3. With whom do you like to enjoy travel
4. What children learn from journey
5. Do the people in your like long journey

Part 2. Describe a popular person you know (not mention national or international )

I spoke about Lionel Messi until she stop me. I covered all questions. However, I had problems with proper arrangement.

Part 3. All about celebrities

I found all three sections much easy. Mostly importantly, I I'm totally satisfied with section 1 and 3. In this tow sections exam coordinator appreciated me with smile and she waved his head positively, I guessed. In addition, I was understood all her questions so that I did not ask for repeating any one of them, as I realised she was so supportive and friendly.Lastly, I am little bit worry about (Part 2 ) because I've covered all questions but arrangement. Best of luck

My dear friends, Sandi and Shokhrukh,

Thank you so much for your help.

Hello Simon
I've been your regular follower of your site. I have read somewhere about the importance of collocation words for writing task but I dint find any particular web or site for this. I would be really grateful to you if you could do something about this.


Band 7 requires writing "with some awareness of style and collocation".

The criterion for Band 8 is "with occasional inaccuracies in word choice and collocation".

There are web sites such as:



It is also possible to get the top ten collocations by using ngrams with an asterisk wildcard, thus for example:


However trying to learn collocations from lists is tricky. Another way is to underline possible collocations in your reading and check them out, and note the context in which they are used.

Simon's vocabulary lists contain useful collocations for IELTS writing and speaking, and are a good place to start.

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