I love hearing about the different teaching contexts IELTS teachers work in.

I just don’t like to hear about the HURDLES y’all face day in, day out… :O

For example, as one teacher describes

“Not being able to spend time on building or even teaching basic language skills. Unfortunately, many course providers think that just giving students the names of the techniques/subskills is enough. 

I remember spending time teaching a student just how to skim and scan and he responded with: This is some high-level teaching you are giving us…”

Some great points here, especially re LEARNER TRAINING and expectations. Some (cultural) contexts CAN make it harder for our learners to ‘LEARN to LEARN’, unfortunately! (See my blog entry about this here).

Also, when our Ss are not ON LEVEL yet, we really can’t (shouldn’t) be claiming that we’re ‘TEACHING’ them IELTS yet. 

We’re really just teaching them LANGUAGE in these cases, i.e. when they aren’t on the BAND that they’re targeting yet, and at best should only be claiming to be ‘FAMILIARIZING’ them with the format of the exam, etc. while teaching them English (grammar, vocabulary, etc.).

I also agree that SKIMMING and SCANNING are two very ‘entry-level’ reading sub-skills taught on the CELTA (and other similar initial ELT teaching qualification courses). 

And while they ARE very important on IELTS as well, they are far, FAR from being ALL there is to teaching READING,


are definitely not some VOODOO MAGIC either, like our students might make them out to be. 😀

Is there any method or activity type that your IELTS students resist in your context?

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Hi. I’m Fatime. I’m an IELTS Teacher Trainer, helping CELTA-qualified English language teachers become better at teaching SKILLS, as opposed to just testing them. 

Check out my courses here:

How to Teach IELTS Listening:

How to Teach IELTS Reading:

How to Teach IELTS Writing:

How to Teach IELTS Speaking: