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Idiomatic Vocabulary

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This section gives some idiomatic vocabulary in English, as a blog, or list to which I regularly add. This vocabulary is also given (in more detail) in the page ‘Idiomatic Vocabulary’ (under the ‘Vocabulary’ Section). So, you have the same input twice, since both forms can be convenient.

However, if you are accessing the information here, it is very important that you go to the ‘Idiomatic Vocabulary’ Section to read the introduction – as there are rules and issues about idiomatic vocabulary which you should know.

Featured post

Cultural Insights to Australia

Hello Everyone.

In the ‘IELTS Vocabulary’ section, I mentioned seven rules to learning vocabulary. Rule 7 is by reading. And here is some light, easy, and interesting reading pieces – all about … the country shown below.

australia-62823_1280

 

Yes, Australia. My country is huge, diverse, and has a fascinating history, which all means there are many insights I can give.

So, relax, and scan through these factual, sometimes reflective, sometimes thought-provoking, but always interesting insights into my amazing country.

Andrew Guilfoyle

Andrew’s IELTS Courses Enrolling Now

1.

Online Writing Class, beginning Monday 14th

Special discounted MWF IELTS Writing Class.

Starting next Monday, online, using Zoom.

Contact AIS for details. 

2.

天天提供免費試聽!

3.

下一期課程有週間班

  •  IELTS Writing & Listening Course (週一三五: 晚上7–10:15 pm).

  •  IELTS Reading & Speaking  Course  (週二四: 晚上7–10:15 pm), T/Th Evenings only.

  •  [NEW COURSE!!!] English Grammar & Vocabulary Course  (週二四: 晚上2–5:15 pm), T/Th Afternoon or Evenings.

還有週末班 .

All-day IELTS Intensive Saturday/Sunday Courses  (9:30 am–5:15 pm).

Note: in the Saturday/Sunday Courses, the morning session is IELTS Writing & Listening; the afternoon session is IELTS Reading & Speaking , and they can be done separately – that is, you can choose one OR the other.

4.

Online IELTS Correction Service!

Click on the tab at the top of the page, or just click here: IELTS Correction Service for more details.

Yes, this is a new service, allowing me to help you using distance/online methods, by correcting written work, or conducting practice/mock IELTS speaking tests via skype.

 

Other Thing to Know

團報規則如下〜

如果同學能夠當主揪找朋友一起報名我們的課程就可以享有學費折扣優惠,你們都可以選擇一個技巧免費試聽也可以報名不同的課程,但是你們要約定時間一起繳費(避免一個學生報名的課程先開課另一個學生卻決定不報名了😂,只報名單科技巧的學生不能參加團報唷),你找到一個同學報名Andrew老師的一個平日班課程,你們兩個人可以各減免學費500元,如果能找到兩個人,你們三個人可以各減免學費1000元。如果找一個朋友同時報名平日班兩個課程每人可以各減免學費1000元,如果能夠找到兩個朋友同時報名每人可以各減免學費2000元,假日全科班找到一個同學團報學費各減免1000元,找到兩個人團報學費各減免2000元哦!

PS. 同學可以找朋友團報的課程如下 :

1. 平日寫作聽力課程。

2. 平日閱讀口說課程。

3. 假日班全科課程 ( 週六密集班或週日密集班 )

Note 1: 由於參加Andrew老師課程而認識的同學們無法一起團報喔!

Note 2: 同學揪朋友團報必須在課程開課之前報名才算數喔!

*  如果同學們只報名單科技巧學費優惠如下~

3個人團報每個人各減1000元。
4個人團報每個人各減1500元。
5個人團報每個人各減2000元。

如果你希望你的 IELTS老師有下面這幾個特質,請跟我們聯絡

  • 最有經驗
  • 最有資格
  • 最專業
  • 最敬業
  • 準備最充份

如果需要更多資訊,請點  Courses  進入

如果想了解Andrew老師的資歷,請點About AIS’ – My Credentials 進入 

  • 澳洲墨爾本皇家理工學院教育學碩士
  • 擁有英國劍橋大學英語教學證書(CELTA, 1993)和文憑 (DELTA, 1998)
  • 擁有英國劍橋大學英語教師訓練資格(2005),臺灣唯一的教師訓練師
  • 1993年開始擔任英語教師,25年的雅思考試預備課程授課經驗任教過的國家有澳洲、委內瑞拉、泰國、韓國及臺灣
  • 曾任教於澳洲Monash大學語言中心與IELTS測驗研習中心
  • 出版6本雅思著作(Practical IELTS Strategies系列-說,讀,寫作一, 寫作二,模擬試題書一&二)
  • 另外著有A Saharan Jaunt,及Promise Me, Promise Me二本書

你可以花點時間逛逛這個網站,還有部落格pixnet,那麼你就會了解,我們提供的是真正的IELTS教學,由真正具備資格的外籍教師教授考試技巧,Andrew老師根據多年實際經驗,自己編輯教材,所以可以教給學生真正的IELTS學習技巧和成效

Andrew老師還想提醒學生把這3R放在心裡

  • IELTS是一項REALLY困難的挑戰
  • Andrew老師REALLY認真在準備教學投影片(而且根據學生的學習反應每天更新)
  • Andrew老師REALLY樂意盡他所能幫助學生

 

More Information about Andrew

A Quick Overview About IELTS and Me (in Chinese!)

Some facts are VERY important – especially the credentials of the teacher – so this part is in Chinese, because you should ALWAYS check credentials of anyone who claims knowledge of IELTS.

什麼是雅思?

IELTS 雅思國際英語測驗系統(The International English Language Testing System),是由劍橋大學英語考試院設計用來評估欲前往英語系國家求學、移民或工作者在聽 說、讀、寫四項全方位英語的溝通能力,與托福同樣為全球廣泛接受的英語測驗。Andrew資歷簡介 [1-6證明文件 – look at the top of this page, and click on ‘About AIS‘ then ‘My Credentials‘ where everything is proven.]

  • 澳洲墨爾本皇家理工學院教育學碩士
  • 擁有英國劍橋大學英語教學證書(CELTA, 1993)和文憑 (DELTA, 1998)
  • 擁有英國劍橋大學英語教師訓練資格(2005),臺灣唯一的教師訓練師
  • 1993年開始擔任英語教師,23年的雅思考試預備課程授課經驗任教過的國家有澳洲、委內瑞拉、泰國、韓國及臺灣
  • 曾任教於澳洲Monash大學語言中心與IELTS測驗研習中心
  • 出版5本雅思著作(Practical IELTS Strategies系列-說,讀,寫作一, 寫作二,模擬試題書一)
  • 另外著有A Saharan Jaunt,及Promise Me, Promise Me二本書

Andrew老師也曾經在長庚大學, 長庚技術學院和輔仁大學任教.

To contact us

Feel free to contact the AIS  for more information about IELTS courses, and how to register for them. But you must write in English, so that I (Teacher Andrew) can read and respond. Writing in English allows me to judge whether your level of English is good enough to make it worthwhile preparing for the IELTS Test.

Remember, if your English level is too low, it is better to just get better at English – for example, by doing my English Grammar & Vocabulary Course.

The contact details are as follows.

  • Line ID:  teacherandrewais

  • 手機:        0926-067-454  (Monday to Friday, between midday to 8 pm; anytime on weekends)

  • 住家:        25788187  (contact time as above)

  • 信箱:        andrewsieltsstudio@gmail.com

  • For the pixnetblog, you can scan the QR codes below.

Pixnet blog

 

New Online IELTS Writing Course, beginning this coming Monday

Online class.jpg

New Online IELTS Course

What day?  Mon./Wed./Fri. IELTS Writing

When? Beginning this Monday (14th)

What time? 7.00 pm to 10.00 pm

Yes, this coming Monday night, I will begin a special discounted (= cheap) online IELTS Writing Class. All you need is a computer, my writing books, and Zoom ..etc.. and you can join. To repeat, this will be a special discounted course.

Contact me for details. Just go to my website: www.aisielts.com  .

Hope to see you on my computer screen this coming Monday night, right!

IELTS Mini-Readings, 20 of 25: The modern world runs on these.

computers.jpg

Computers

A computer is a machine that can be programmed to do something by itself. They have one main part to receive the orders and information, and another part to remember and store the information. Well, this sounds simple, but, of course, it isn’t.

The first computers did not use electricity. They just used mechanical parts which connected together to do mathematics – for example, to allow ships to work out where they were, and to predict the movement of the planets.

An Englishman, Charles Babbage, is now considered the ‘father of the computer’. He made the first programmable computer in 1833. Information was given to the machine using special cards with holes in them. For the output, the machine would have a printer and a bell. The trouble was, the machine was about a 100 years ahead of its time. All the thousands of parts had to be made by hand – and the machine could not be constructed in Babbage’s lifetime.

In the 1940s, electronics were used for these machines, and suddenly these those calculations could become faster and better. However, the first electronics were not primitive by today’s standards, so the first electronic computers were the size of large rooms. Now, in this modern age, computers used integrated chips, or ICs, and this makes them billions of times faster and stronger than the early mechanical machines. This allows computers to become smaller and more convenient, and with the development of better batteries, now everyone has a ‘personal computer’ – often in the form of a laptop which they can carry around. Computers are now part of the information age. Charles Babbage would certainly have been happy to know about this.

Question Time

What did the first computers use? …………………………………………………………

Who made the first computer? ……………………..……………………………………….

What invention allows computers to become faster? …………………………………….

What invention has made them even faster today? …………..………………………….

What final invention has allowed us to carry computers around? ………………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

Mechanical

To predict

To program  

To construct 

Calculations 

To be primitive

Convenient   

Batteries       

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

背英文有用嗎?雅思考官幫你解答

robot.png

In this pixnet blog, I don’t normally show my thoughts written in Chinese, but this article, which has been been printed in an online magazine, was translated for me. I had a friend check the translation, and there are indeed some unclear parts, but I hope the main meaning gets through.

背英文有用嗎?雅思考官幫你解答

歷史背景

1960 年代,教授語言的方法被稱為“語法翻譯記憶”。這種方法看起來像教任何人都可以,大多數老師都很高興     因為它很容易教。它只需要很少的努力、培訓、技能或準備,你只是一頁一頁地翻閱教科書。問題是,每個人都開始意識到它根本沒有什麼作用。

時代變遷

1970 年代,世界經濟開始共同成長,人們開始更多地遷移,組織變得全球化。學習語言變得更加重要,教育專家開始質疑為什麼沒有人透過這種“語法翻譯記憶”來學習很多東西。最後,效果更好的新方法成為主流,正式的教學課程和資格證書成為必要。

讓我們搬到台灣

你可能會看到我在這裡給你們的建議。這種“背誦”方法在亞洲有著悠久的傳統,尤其是在準備考試方面。學生習慣於背誦,並且(重複一遍),任何人都可以將其提供給學生,並稱自己為老師,並製作大量廣告以讓您相信這種方法的有效性。

現在讓我們進入雅思考試

我的專業領域是為學生準備雅思考試,所以讓我談談這個部分。在口語考試中,考生必須回答各種問題。在寫作測試中,考生必須針對兩個任務進行寫作。具體問題是不可預測的,但一般問題類型是可預測的,所以考生習慣使用背誦,但這行得通嗎?我們需要知道答案。

開始分析

雅思考試中的口語和寫作是由人類(不是機器人或計算機)來評的。

換句話說,

“在口語考試中聽到所有這些記住的答案是否會讓你給出更高或更低的分數?”

“閱讀寫作答案中那些記住的部分是否同樣讓你給更高或更低的分數?”

你認為這些考官中的每個人都會說什麼?嗯,想想這個。雅思考官

1. 是訓練有素、經驗豐富的英語教學專業人士,他們的理論訓練是現代的,完全拒絕死記硬背作為一種學習方法。

2. 在文化上是西方的,重視邏輯、連貫性、相關性和真理。

3. 回答會反映 邏輯、連貫性、相關性和真實性

那麼,您認為雅思考官會如何看待通常不合邏輯、不連貫、不相關,並且(顯然,因為它被記住)不真實的聽力或閱讀?

做個總結

在選擇雅思準備補習班或教師時,您的工作是弄清楚什麼是真什麼是假。想想這篇文章的信息,並提出所有相關問題。如果你打算參加雅思考試,祝你好運!

If you want to know more about me, go to www.aisielts.com .

IELTS Mini-Readings, 19 of 25: The Backbone of the Modern World

ICs.jpg

Electronics

Electronics is all about controlling electrical energy. Scientists and inventors have made many kinds of small objects – called components – which control this energy in different ways.

So, what are these components? They are single objects with two or more wires coming out from them. These wires all connect with other wires, and so all the parts fit together to make an electronic ‘circuit’. Yes, it can be very complicated, but these circuits can do amazing things. 

Putting together all these little components takes time. Another problem is that each component produces heat, and because everything is so close together, the circuits can become very hot, which is why, for example, larger computers have fans

But by the middle of last century, scientists began to realize that they could make another small object do the same thing as electronic circuits, all inside a single piece of this material. The material is called silicon, and the object was called a ‘chip’. The first chips could only replace a small number of electronic components – but it was still an amazing invention, since it allowed the circuits to become smaller. Many scientists became interested, and the chips become better and better, and smaller and smaller. Today, millions of electronic components can be inside just one single chip – now called an ‘integrated chip’ or IC. {See the picture above.]

ICs are very small, last a long time, can be produced quickly, and easily connected together. Even better, they cost less, and use less power. Thus, they have replaced the traditional electronic circuits almost completely, being in almost all electronic equipment today – indeed, they have completed changed the world we live in. Computersmobile phones, and other home machines are now part of modern society, and all because of integrated circuits.

Question Time

What is the name for the small electronic parts? ………………..…………..……………

When they are all connected together, what are they called? ……………….….….…..

What is one problem with these things (put together)? ………………………….……….

What was the biggest advantage of the first ‘chips’? ……………………….………..….

What other advantages do they have? ……………………………………………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

Electrical

A component

A wire

A circuit

A fans

To be integrated

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

Idiomatic Vocabulary 5: ‘nerds and geeks’

The Phrasenerd

   To be a nerd / geek

 Its Definition

 These terms refer to people absorbed in technology or books to the extent that

they are socially awkward in the way they speak and act.

 

Discussion

These terms are useful because technology is becoming such a part of our lives that many people are becoming (overly) absorbed by it. In actual fact, the terms were once very negative, but are becoming increasingly less so, and even positive, as ‘computer nerds’ such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and many others, achieved incredible fortunes with their ‘obsession’ with computers.

 

Example Sentences

In IELTS Speaking

  • “Oh, I’m not really technologically conversant. I don’t even know what my computer is called in geek-speak. Apple-Mac, or something like that.”
  • “It’s really weird, sometimes, when you think of all those computer nerds who are now multi-billionaires! I guess they get the last laugh, right?”

In IELTS Writing

Technology now rules the world, and those adept in utilising it, far from being seen as ‘geeks’, are now considered visionary pioneers by the younger generation – and indeed, their ideas are changing the way people live.

IELTS Mini-Readings, 18 of 25: A Very Ambiguous Discovery

man smoking.jpg

Tobacco

Tobacco is a product prepared from the leaves of the tobacco plant. Dried tobacco leaves are mainly smoked as cigarettes, but the product can be chewed, or absorbed through the nose. Scientists now know that tobacco can cause many diseases, including several types of cancers. If people didn’t smoke, they wouldn’t die so prematurely. Thus, tobacco is considered the world’s single greatest cause of preventable death.

Tobacco came from the Americas: Central and South America, and had been used by the local people there for thousands of years. When the people from Europe first arrived in the Americas, they noticed the local people smoking tobacco. These Europeans tried it themselves, and eventually decided they liked it. Yet the tobacco smoke of that time was strong and bitter, and could only be smoked a little at a time. New varieties of tobacco, which were not so strong, were soon developed, and this led to the product becoming fashionable in Europe. Thus, tobacco production eventually became a major industry.

However, tobacco is a form of drug. It contains nicotine, which is addictive – that is, makes people want to keep smoking. Many plants contain nicotine, which helps stop the plant being attacked by insects, but tobacco contains much more of this substance than most other plants. This led to the formation of anti-smoking groups [See the picture above, which is obviously designed to warn people of the dangers of smoking]. The advertising of cigarettes was eventually banned, and smoking began to fall in the developed world. Yet, it has continued to grow in the developing world, which has the greatest population. This means that the production of tobacco in the world has generally been increasing, with China being the greatest producer by far.

Question Time

Where did tobacco originally come from? …………………………………………………

What was the first tobacco smoke like? ……………………………………………………

What made it become fashionable in Europe? …………………….…………….……….

What drug does tobacco contain? …………………………………..………….………….

Where has smoking continued to grow? ………………………….……….………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

Ambiguous

Preventable

Bitter 

Fashionable  

Addictive

To be banned

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

IELTS Mini-Readings, 17 of 25: We all love to eat this stuff!

sugarcane.jpg

Sugar Cane

Sugarcane, or sugar cane, is one of the several species of tall plants which originated in South Asia, and is now grown widely for sugar production. Here is an interesting fact: sugar cane is actually a species of grass – the largest grass in the world! Here’s another interesting fact: sugar is the largest crop in the world in terms of production, with almost 2 billion tons of the stuff produced each year. Clearly, the world has a ‘sweet tooth’.

The Persians, followed by the Greeks, discovered the famous “grass that produces honey without bees” in India around 500 BC. They began to plant and grow the crop, but in those times, it was a rare and expensive product. In the 18th century, sugarcane plantations [as in the above picture] began in many parts of the world, and the need for workers caused great movements of people, including black slaves from Africa. This is because harvesting sugar cane needs many people – that is, it is very labour intensive. Even today, half of the sugar produced in the world is still harvested by hand.

In the developed world, mechanical harvesting is used, where special machines cut the cane and stack and load it into boxes. Brazil leads the world in sugarcane production, by far, with India second, and China third. But after getting the sugar cane, it must go through another long process. This first involves crushing it, to remove the juice. This juice is then refined into raw sugar, which is further refined into brown sugar, which can be refined yet again to white sugar – which is the sugar most people are familiar with.

Question Time

What sort of plant is sugar cane? ………………………………..…………………………

How much sugar is produced each year? …………………………..……………..………

Where did sugar come from in the very beginning? ……………….…………….……….

Why did sugar production cause people to move from country to country? …………..

Which country produces the most sugar? …………………………………………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

To originate

A crop

To be labour intensive

To harvest

To crush       

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

Idiomatic Vocabulary 4: ‘Mr Right’

The PhrasesMr Right

  • Mr Right
  • Prince Charming

Its Definition

    A perfect partner.

 

Discussion

This phrase is useful (for female candidates) because it can describe a perfectly compatible partner, and most IELTS candidates are single, and may well need to refer to such a person when talking about the future, ambitions, problems in life – in other words, typical IELTS speaking topics.

 

Example Sentences

In IELTS Speaking

  • “Oh, I went to a nightclub, but I quickly realised I wouldn’t find Mr Right in that sort of place.”
  • “Basically, all us girls are looking for our Prince Charming, but it never happens, does it?”

In IELTS Writing

  • Nightclubs exist, as do dating and match-making services, catering primarily to women seeking their ‘Mr Right’.
  • If we accept that women are innately different from men, then the very concept of ‘Mr Right’ may well be merely an illusion.

IELTS Mini-Readings, 16 of 25: We are all wearing this, you know?

cotton.jpg

Cotton

Cotton is a soft, fluffy and grows around the seeds of cotton plants. This plant grows naturally in many parts of the world, and its usefulness was realized by many cultures – in fact, it was used even in prehistoric times. However, it was only with the invention of modern machinery that it could be cheaply produced, making it now one of the most popular materials for clothing.

Cotton is a very important product throughout the world. However, many farmers in developing countries receive a low price for their cotton, or find it difficult to compete with developed countries. China is the world’s largest producer, but uses most of its production for its own purposes. The United States has been the largest exporter for many years, with India a close second.

Historically, in America, cotton was grown on large plantations, where black slaves picked the material by hand, working long hours in very bad conditions. Nowadays, most cotton in the United States, Europe, and Australia, is harvested mechanically – that is, by machines, yet cotton continues to be picked by hand in most developing countries.

Although cotton remains very popular, there are now many chemically-produced fabrics, such as nylon and polyester, which have caused the demand for cotton to fall into recent decades.

Question Time

When was cotton first used? ………………………………..…………………..…….……

What allowed it to be produced cheaply? ………………………………………….….…..

Who produces the most cotton? ……………………………………………..……….……….

In which parts of the world is cotton still picked by hand? ……………………………….

What materials have affected cotton production? …………………………..……………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

Fluffy

Prehistoric

To compete  

To export

A fabric        

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

IELTS Mini-Readings, 15 of 25: One of the first great ones

Gallilleo.jpg

Galileo

Galileo was born in 1564 in Italy, and died there in 1642, aged 77 years old. You might not know much about him, but the great scientist Einstein called Galileo the ‘father of modern science’, and most other scientists agree with this.

So what did Galileo do? Science was very simple in those days, and no one knew much about the stars and planets. Galileo improved the telescope, and began to seriously study the stars and planets, and made many new discoveries. He was one of the first to say that the earth moved around the sun, rather than the sun moving around the earth, and to say that the laws of nature could be based on mathematics. He began using mathematics and performing experiments to make some theories about the movement of objects. He began using simple machines, and invented several new ones.

All this might sound rather straightforward now, but in Galileo’s time, superstition was rife. Almost everyone believed that God made everything, and we should never question God. Galileo was one of the first men to break this tradition. He showed that people could understand the world around them through mathematics and science, and that the church could be wrong. At that time, the church was very powerful, playing a big role in society, and its members did not like the way Galileo made them seem less important. Thus, Galileo’s life was difficult, even dangerous, and he was carefully watched. 

So, although Galileo did not make any single really great achievement, he was one the first believers in the scientific method, and he set the path for others, and for this reason he is considered one of the greatest scientists of all time.

Question Time

How did Einstein describe Galileo? ……………………………………….………………

What did Galileo use to study the stars? …………………………………………..………

What did he invent? ………………………………………………….…………….……….

How did the church feel about Galileo? ……………………………………….………….

What did they do to Galileo?  ……………………………………….………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

Telescope

Law

Experiment   

Theory

Superstition

Rife

Tradition

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

IELTS Mini-Readings, 14 of 25: Another famous scientists

leonardo-da-vinci.png

Leonardo DaVinci

Leonardo da Vinci was born in Italy, in 1452, and died in France in 1519, aged 67 – but in those 67 years, he showed his genius in very many ways. Many people now consider him to be one of the smartest people ever; however, Leonardo did not show his writings to anyone. He kept most of his notebooks a secret, and thus he did not influence other scientists.

Leonardo is known mostly as a painter. His most famous painting is the Mona Lisa, yet only 15 of his paintings are around today. This is because Leonardo experimented with different sorts of paints – and many of these paints were not good, and the paintings quickly lost their colours.

Many of Leonardo’s drawing remain in his notebooks. They show Leonardo’s imagination in science, engineering, and inventions – and reveal that he was far ahead of other scientists of his time. Leonardo drew flying machines, cars, and machines for making things. Almost none of these were constructed, however – they just remained hidden in Leonardo’s notebooks.

Leonardo worked in Italy in his younger days, as a painter and artist for the church, but later moved to France, where he continued his work for the king of France, and became famous there. The interesting thing is that, although we know about Leonardo’s life, we don’t know much about Leonardo the man. He never married, had no children, had no close friends, and wrote nothing personal in his notebooks, and no one really knows what he looked like. The picture above, which is often used to represent Leonardo, may not actually be him. Yes, Leonardo is very famous, but also mysterious.

Question Time

Did Leonardo influence other scientists? Why (not)? ……………………………………

What is his most famous painting? …………………………………………………….…..

Why have we lost many of his paintings? ………..……………………………….……….

Why are most of Leonardo’s drawings? ………………………….……….……………….

Do we know much about Leonardo’s personal life? ………………………..……………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

Genius

To influence

To experiment         

A drawing     

Imagination  

Mysterious   

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

IELTS Mini-Readings, 13 of 25: Where is the biggest one?

Khalifa Tower.jpg

The Tallest Building in the World

Many countries are building taller and taller buildings, since everyone wants their country to have the tallest one of all. So, things are always changing, but right now, the tallest building in the world is in a small country in the Middle-East, called Dubai – and the building is called ‘Khalifa Tower’ [See the picture above]. This building is 830 metres high. That’s almost one kilometre, straight up!

So, why did they construct this building? Dubai has a lot of oil, and this has given the country a lot of money to spend, but this oil will run out one day, so the government wants to generate revenue from other places, such as from business and tourists. One way to make businesses and people come to the country is to have a world-famous building – and being the tallest building in the world is a good start. However, the building cost a staggering $80 billion to construct – so it was certainly an expensive decision to make.

The tower was constructed by Samsung, a Korean Company, and there were many special problems involved. For a start, the temperature is very high (up to 50°C in the summer) and this causes problems due to the expansion of the metal material. Some of it had to be put together at night, when it was cooler, and special fans were used to blow away the dust and sand in the air. Here is another interesting thing: the building is so big, with so many glass windows, that it takes 40 people four months just to clean them all.

Question Time

Where is the tallest building in the world? ………………………………………………

How high is it, and how much did it cost? ………………………..……….………..…..

Why did this country decide to build this building? …………………………………….

Which company built this building? ……………………..……………………………….

Why did they do some of the work at night? ……………………….……………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

To construct

Oil

Revenue

To be staggering

Expansion [to expand]

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

IELTS Mini-Readings, 12 of 25: Amazing structures; really!

Empire State Building.jpg

Skyscrapers

A skyscraper is a very tall building which has people living inside it. To describe these buildings, people sometimes use the word ‘supertall’ (over 300 metres), and ‘mega-tall’ (over 600 metres). One thing is certain: people are building taller and taller buildings – and in the future, we will probably be saying ‘super-mega-tall’.

Being so tall, skyscrapers need a strong steel structure, with thin (and light) walls – often made of glass, one of the lightest of materials. These buildings most also be strong enough to stand upright in strong winds and during earthquakes. They obviously must also have very good elevators, since no one would want to walk all the way to the top floor.

So why do we build such tall buildings? The answer is that skyscrapers are usually in city centres of big cities, where the price of land is very expensive – so much that it becomes more economical to build upwards instead of outwards This does create one problem: where to park all the cars of the people who stay in that building. Thus, many large buildings have underground carparks, or adjoining multi-level carparks.

Obviously, skyscraper cost a lot to build, but they also last a long time. For example, the famous Empire State Building in America [see the picture above] was built in 1931, and is still being used. Skyscrapers also cost a lot to operate, since all the water, food, and parts, have to be carried to the very top. In hot weather, they need a lot of energy to stay cool, and washing the windows is a difficult and dangerous job. Still, with the land being so expensive, we just keep building more of these ‘mega-tall’ buildings.

Question Time

What do we call buildings over 600 metres high? ………………………………..………

Why are the walls of skyscrapers often made of glass? ………………………….……..

Why do they need elevators? ………………………………………………….…..….……

Why do we build skyscrapers? ………………………………….………………………….

 Why are skyscrapers expensive to operate? ………………….…………………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

To describe

A structure

An elevator

To be economical    

To be adjoining

To operate

                                                    

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

IELTS Mini-Readings, 10 of 25: Boring or interesting, that is the question?

Louvre Museum.jpg

Museums

A museum has a large collection of objects which are very important for science, culture, or history. It allows people to see them, and attempts to explain their importance. Most cities in the world have at least one big museum; however, it wasn’t always like that.

Early museums were just collections of artifacts owned by rich people. As the world was being increasingly explored, new books, animals, plants, and objects – both natural and historical – were discovered, and the wealthiest people in society often bought and collected them to show their status. They kept all the objects in special rooms to show their friends, or simply feel more educated and worthy than other people. However, many scientists also wanted to look at these objects, as did the public, who were interested in all these new and wonderful objects. Eventually the government responded, and the ‘public’ museum was invented, open to everyone to enter and enjoy.

For example, there was a rich man in England called Elias Ashmole, who had an extensive personal collection of objects. When he died, his will donated his collection to the government and so the ‘Ashmolean Museum’ opened. This was probably the first ever ‘public’ museum. In France, the first public museum was the Louvre Museum in Paris, opened in 1793. But as museums collected more and more objects, it became difficult to show them all, and they began to seem a little boring.

Modern museums are changing. Many of them have activities which allow children to play and learn. Also, with technology improving everyday, people can now see and study the objects on the Internet, or with special displays, so perhaps museums will become less important in the future. Time will tell.

Question Time

Do most cities in the world have a big museum? ………………………………..………

Who owned the first museums? ……………………………………………………..……..

Who did these people have museums? …………………………………………..….……

What was the name of the first ‘public’ museum? ………………………………….…….

How do many people see and study museum objects today? ………………….………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

Culture

Artifacts

Status

Public

Extensive

A will

To donate                                

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

Idiomatic Vocabulary 3: ‘fingers crossed’

The PhrasesFingers_Crossed

  • Fingers crossed
  • Knock on wood

 

Their Definition

Something you say when you hope for something to happen.

 

Discussion

This phrase is useful because we often wish for things to happen, and in the IELTS Speaking Test, we talk about our lives, our wishes, and our future hopes. These phrases are interchangeable, but can not really be used for IELTS Writing.

These phrases are too individual and situational to be used in IELTS Writing.

 

Example Sentences

In IELTS Speaking

  • “Well, one day – fingers crossed – I can get a mainstream publisher interested in my novels.”
  • “The market in China could be huge, so – knock on wood – maybe I can get some books published there.”
  • [For students] “I hope to go to an overseas university, and – fingers crossed – hopefully my IELTS mark will be good enough.”
  • [For students] “My aim is to work for a big banking companies, and – knock on wood – it may happen in the near future.”