Do your IELTS students sometimes lose points because they exceed the WORD COUNT in COMPLETION questions in the READING or LISTENING tests?

Here’s a tip to tackle this.

Get them to practice transforming the ‘first draft’ of their answer from a NOUN PHRASE to a COMPOUND NOUN.

For example:

diplomacy in times of war -wartime diplomacy

the egocentricity of some teenagers -teenage egocentricity

the breeding of racehorses -racehorse breeding

the dinosaurs becoming extinct -dinosaur extinction

the planning of cities -city planning

the illumination of the streets -street illumination

the extraction of the teeth -tooth extraction

Notice the following grammatical maneuvers that can happen:

• word formation (e.g. ‘extinct -‘extinction’)

• the plural noun of the original ‘of’ noun phrase often loses its plural (e.g. ‘teeth -‘tooth’)

• ‘the’ is often dropped too (e.g. ‘the planning of cities’)

What might have been the original (i.e. longer) phrase in the case of these (two-word) answers?

1) carbohydrate consumption

2) movie production

3) quality control

4) prototype evaluation

5) equipment testing

6) CO2 reduction

7) property maintenance

8) industry recognition

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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:

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