Featured post

Idiomatic Vocabulary

Exclamation Point

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.

I’m now teaching online! If you have a computer and Zoom or MS Teams, you’re in! 

2.

天天提供免費試聽! FREE Observation, Anytime

Just line me [teacherandrewais], and we’ll arrange a FREE observation, and I’ll see you online, and then you can decide for yourself. 

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 IELTS Listening Book // New IELTS Courses starting Monday 26th July

IELTS Listening by Andrew Guilfoyle.jfif

Hi everyone. Guess what? My latest IELTS book has just come out: IELTS Listening (see the above picture). It was really difficult to write, actually, because it required lots of recordings (unlike the other books).

Anyhow, with this book, I complete ALL the IELTS/English skills. Here’s a picture of all these IELTS books.

All IELTS Books.jpg

That’s SEVEN books in all – which is a huge intellectual effort. If you carefully read through all of these books, doing every exercise, then ….. well, your IELTS score would be amazing! However, it is obviously better to have me as the teacher, helping through these difficult skills. And on that subject ….

– the IELTS Writing/Listening Course starts Monday July 26 (MWF night).

-the IELTS Speaking Course starts Thursday 29th (every Thursday).

Contact me for details. Go to www.aisielts.com and click on ‘Contact/Registration’ Or just click here. Or you could line me directly, on 

teacherandrewais

Hope to see you in my class, but it’s online (using Zoom) for now. To tell the truth, I’m getting used to Zoom now, and the online classes have some advantages (such as you not needing to travel anywhere). Why don’t you register for a FREE observation, and see for yourself.

IELTS Mini-Readings, 25 of 25: Deep Ocean Life

Whale.jpg

Deep Ocean Life

The previous reading examined how deep, dangerous, and difficult it is to get to the bottom of the world’s oceans. Let’s keep thinking about this, but more specifically about the creatures which live down there.

For a start, let’s consider humanity’s relationship to the bottoms of the oceans. This area is so distant from human existence that for decades many countries dumped nuclear waste there. America, Russia, China, Japan, and New Zealand, and nearly all the nations of Europe freely threw drums of this stuff into the water, to sink out of sight, out of mind. After almost 50 years, this practice was banned in the 1990s, yet hundreds of thousands of barrels filled with radioactive gunk still lie at the bottom of the ocean, and we can only hope the long-term effects will be small.

The fact the human beings actually performed such horrible acts shows just how psychologically disconnected we are from the ocean depths. Even its biggest inhabitants, such as the blue whale (the biggest creature ever to have lived – look at the above picture!!!!!), which comes regularly to the surface to breathe, still has many mysteries, and is very difficult to film. As for creatures which never comes to the surface, such as the giant squid, they are still largely unknown – in fact, scientists now agree that there are still many millions of animals living in the deep sea which we haven’t discovered.

We are, actually, still largely ignorant about the ways eco-systems work in the ocean. A good example of this ignorance is in the Southern Ocean – that is, the ocean around Antarctica. Being so cold, rough, and lacking in sunlight, by any reasonable understanding, this area could not support much life, but it most certainly does. There are about 15 million crab-eating seals, four million Adelie penguins, two million Weddel seals, and half a million emperor penguins all living happily enough in an area where we, human beings, would struggle to survive. Such a top-heavy food chain would simply seem impossible to exist, but it is there, and somehow it all works. It is an interesting fact that scientists still don’t really know why.

Question Time

When was the dumping of radioactive waste banned? ……………………..……………

What is the biggest living animal? …….……………..………

Why should the Southern Ocean be unable to support much life? ……………………….……….…….

Which creature there is the most numerous?  ………………………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

A drum

A barrel

Gunk

Psychological

An inhabitant

A food chain

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

IELTS Mini-Readings, 24 of 25: Oceans & Seas

Ocean.jpg

The Oceans & Seas

Did you read the previous post? Did you realise what material I was referring to? Yes, it is water! In fact, water is SO important, I thought I would finish this set of readings by looking at water in depth. [There’s a joke there; do you get it? ‘In depth’? Water? Get it?]

So, let’s continue thinking about water.

All the water on the earth is in a closed system, which means that the total amount cannot increase or decrease – and this water exists in …

– the oceans and seas, as salt water,

– lakes, rivers, dams and reservoirs, as fresh water,

– ice sheets, mostly in Antarctica, as ice,

– clouds, or as water vapour in the sky.

The overwhelming bulk (97%) of the earth’s water lies in its oceans – hence the above picture. There are three major oceans: the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Indian. The Pacific is by far the biggest and the deepest, and consequently holds over half of all the water on the earth.

We know about the surface of the ocean, where the friction of the wind over large areas causes constant motion in the form of waves which we can all see (again, the above picture), but it is interesting to note that we, human beings, still know very little about the deepest parts of the ocean. These parts are called the ‘abyssal plains’, and cover more than half of the planet’s surface, and are still very mysterious places. The reason for this is that it’s dark and extremely difficult to get down there.

The biggest problem being in the depths of the ocean is the pressure of the water. ‘Submersibles’ [the general name for craft that go down to the bottoms of the oceans] are hollow, and if there are people inside, need a supply of oxygen. They also need to be controlled carefully and need scientific instruments, which presents great technical challenges.

The deeper the submersible goes, the greater the weight of water which rests on top of it. If you go down to the deepest part – the Mariana Trench, near the island of Guam in the Pacific – the pressure of that water is enormous, about eight tons per square inch (which is over 1000 times greater than at the surface). This is similar to having 100 large elephants standing on your head, and just one reason why this spot has only been visited by people four times.

Question Time

Can you explain the double meaning of ‘in depth’ in the first paragraph? ……………………..……………

Where, specifically, is most of earth’s water? …….……………..………

What is the greatest challenge about travelling to the bottom of the ocean? ……………………….……….…….

What is the name of the deepest part?  ………………………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

A dam

A reservoir

Vapour

To be mysterious

To be enormous

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

IELTS Mini-Readings, 23 of 25: Can You Guess What This Is?

Mother and son.jpg

[You Guess What This Is About]

Let’s think about dihydrogen oxide. This material can often kill you, or hurt you badly (depending on what people have done to it previously), but it is absolutely necessary to keep the human body going. This material can combine with other material to make something very nasty which, if thrown into your face, will burn you horribly. If you have enough of this material together in one place, and make it move a lot, it can cause huge problems, destroying buildings and killing thousands of people. It does this everywhere, all over the world, every year.

This material has no taste, yet people love the taste. It has no form – that is, it is formless – yet people love watching it and the way it acts. This material is so ordinary, yet people travel thousands of miles (and spend thousands of dollars) just to be beside it. Every year, tens of thousands of people die in it, yet millions of people are always eager to be immersed in it.

This material comes in three main states, but we mostly want it and like it and absolutely depend on it in just one of those states. Without this material, the human body quickly breaks down and goes into crisis. Take this material completely away and within a few days, people’s lips will crack and shrink and all but disappear. The nose will do the same, the body will weaken, and a painful death soon follows.

Yet, despite the body’s desperate need for this material, the overwhelming majority of it on earth is deadly poisonous, and if it is put into the human body, seizures, unconsciousness, brain damage, and death will quickly follow.

So, what material am I referring to? The next post will confirm your guess.

Question Time

What is the chemical name for this material? ……………………..……………

How far will people travel to be beside this material? …….……………..………

Without this material, how many days can we live? ……………………….……….…….

What proportion of this material is poisonous to people?  ………………………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

To be nasty

To immerse

A state

A crisis

A seizure

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

IELTS Mini-Readings, 22 of 25: The biggest of them all

Everest.jpg

Mount Everest

The above picture shows Mount Everest. This is the Earth‘s highest mountain, with its peak being 8,848 metres high. The mountain was given its name by the British, who controlled India at the time when this new mountain was discovered. Since it is the highest, many people want to climb it – yet it is a very dangerous mountain to climb.

When Everest was first discovered, and its height calculated, British climbers were the first to get there. In 1921 they hiked to the mountain to take photographs. The next year, in 1922, they tried to climb it, reaching above 8000 metres for the first time ever – although seven helpers were killed by an avalanche.

This same British team returned in 1924 for another try. After failing a few times, two climbers, named Mallory and Irvine, made a final try. They started from a camp high on the mountain, heading for the top, but were never seen alive again. No one is quite sure whether they reached the top or not. 75 years later, in 1999, some climbers found the body of Mallory, but they did not find Mallory’s camera and could not prove whether he got to the top or not.

For many years after Mallory and Irvine, it seems that Everest was simply too high for human beings to climb. Yet technology got better, and in 1953, two climbers – Hillary and Tensing – with more advanced oxygen equipment and warmer clothing, finally reached the top. Now, in this modern age, many people can climb Mount Everest with the help of climbing companies, which offer support climbers, all the food and equipment, and who put in special ropes along the climbing path to make it safer. This has made climbing Everest very popular – but people still die, regularly, on this dangerous mountain. 

Question Time

Which people were the first to try to climb Everest? ……………………..……………

How many people died when people first tried to climb it? …….……………..………

Do we know if Mallory got to the top of Everest? ……………………….……….…….

When did the first person get to the top? ……………………………….……………….

What has made climbing Everest popular these days?  ………………………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

To discover

To calculate

To hike

An avalanche

A camp

To prove

Technology  

Equipment    

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

IELTS Mini-Readings, 21 of 25: Amazing places, but Dangerous Also

Everest.jpg

Mountain Ranges

A mountain range is a place where there are many mountains, usually in a rough line. But they are certainly not regularly arranged but usually mixed and broken, with a variety of rock types.

But why do we even have mountains? The answer is that they are a result of the movement of the pieces of the earth’s outer layer. These pieces move slowly, hitting each other, pushing some parts up, other parts down, and sometimes creating volcanoes. These volcanoes can grow higher, forming their own mountains. This has happened a lot around the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’.

The longest mountain range in the world is the Andes in South America, at 7,000 kilometres, but it is the Himalayas in Central Asia which contain the highest mountains, including Mount Everest, highest of them all. [See the above picture].

Although high mountains look wonderful in photographs, they are not particularly nice places. The weather on mountains becomes colder as you go higher. The air gets thinner, and there is less greenhouse effect holding in the heat. For this reason, the highest mountains have snow, sometimes all the time, and many important rivers in the world begin from the melting snows in higher mountain ranges.

With such cold weather, and the unpredictable weather, people usually avoid living on mountains. Another reason is that the ground is not flat, which makes it difficult to grow food or raise animals. However, in recent times, tourism has become important to many villages in the higher mountains.

For the really high mountains, the activity of mountain climbing helps generate income for the local people who live there. Climbers feel that getting to the top of a really high mountain is a very special achievement, despite the dangers of extreme weather, low oxygen levels, and falling from the steep mountain slope.

Personally, I don’t intend to ever go that high, but I agree that these mountains certainly look beautiful, from a safe distance, right.

Question Time

  1. How are mountains formed? …………………………………………………….…….……
  1. What is the world’s longest mountain range? ………………….………………………….
  1. Why does it get colder as you go higher? …………………………………..…….……….
  1. Why don’t people like living on mountains? ……………………………………………….
  1. Why is raising animals difficult on mountains? ……………………………………………

Word-Learning Time

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

Regular

Volcano

Greenhouse

To melt

To be unpredictable

Extreme

To be steep

A slope                

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

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 .