In the last few posts, I talked about the …
“IELTS Ten Super Instant Easy Everything Answer Book” syndrome,
… and the claims often on the front cover that the books which read …
‘Approved by IELTS examiners’, ‘recommended by IELTS examiners’, or ‘endorsed by all IELTS examiners’.
I made the point that no author (especially a Taiwanese or Chinese author) of any book can make any claim about what IELTS examiners would like. We can, however, know that, as professionally trained EFL teachers and products of Western culture, IELTS Examiners would totally reject any approach which used extensive Chinese explanations, and memorisation of answers. Such an approach would be unacceptable in their professional training and teaching experience. [See ‘The Dangers of Memorisation in IELTS Speaking’ 1–5].
We can thus know that, putting it simply, the claim that ‘all examiners approve of my book’ means that the author …
- is prepared to lie, shamelessly and obviously,
- is prepared to insult all IELTS examiners (who would never approve of the book, and never approve of the comment),
- is (by assuming people will believe this) treating the readers like idiots.
These three points tell you that such an author should be avoided at all cost, and not be someone who you should trust in such an important events as your IELTS test.
Here, I’m going to quote someone else. I was checking a website about IELTS (https://www.ieltsadvantage.com/), but it’s written by a westerner (a British person), who seems to have a lot of experience and real qualifications, and if such a person has been teaching IELTS for a long time, then one could assume that person is an IELTS examiner. Such a person might also know the truth, and here one thing he says.
I know I have already said this, but it is such a big mistake it is worth saying more than once. If a teacher tells you to memorise answers, that teacher does not know what he or she is talking about and you should find a new teacher. Also, if you read a text book or website that advises you to learn some scripted answers, throw that book in the bin and never go back to that website. Learning scripts is the best way to get a band 0. Instead you should focus on developing your speaking skills, so that you will be able to respond to any situation in the exam and life in general.
Wow! This could have been written by me, too. But again, it’s just the truth. It is just reality. It’s what honest people who really know what they are talking about will have to say, and they will all say the same thing.
The authors of IELTS magic books are, obviously, a different sort of people. They live in a different sort of world. Nothing written on the covers of their books has to be true, or even make sense – it just has to lure you into their world of make-believe, a world where you don’t have to think much or try hard, a world where you are never challenged or made to grow.
The trouble is, the students in this world don’t live happily ever after. They may eventually end up at my studio, saying, “I’ve studied IELTS for over a year now, and I still get the same mark.”
It’s time to think, everyone. The next post will look more positively at real IELTS books, and how to identify them, and how they can help.
[To be continued in the next post.]
Find the meaning of the underlined words, also repeated below.
- extensive (adj)
- shameless (adj)
- to insult (v)
- to lure (v)