IATEFL 2015 – IELTS Swap-shop!

Time to attempt to reinvigorate my attitude towards IELTS! Hoping for some good ideas…

Noooo...! ;-)

Noooo…! 😉


  • For us to go away with as many ideas as possible, having talked to as many people as possible! (Perfect!)
  • For our ideas to be published! (Sounds good!)

IELTS are trying to increase resources available. Not to be sold but to give them away and generate more ideas on the back of them. A process of this interaction, some editing, a webinar that we’ll be invited to, then (I missed the rest of the process but it all sounds positive!)


Well, it was an action-packed workshop, including group work and idea generation, as promised. No time for typing! Here are the pen notes I scribbled down:



More ideas...

More ideas…

They already make less sense than they did at the time…

Regards the top sheet, you can see we have to put our names on the papers, as we handed them all in at the end. The process of Mina liaising with us and editing a massive pile of papers into a coherent set ideas will take a while, but it should be good in the end. She reckoned September, which sadly doesn’t help me for the next 6 weeks, but hey! I have taken a few ideas away:

  • Mina (as in, she who ran the workshop) showed us how the traditional getting to know you “significant numbers” game could be applied to IELTS. So, first she did it the traditional way, we had to draw her, then write the numbers she dictated around the picture, and finally guess what they were via yes-no closed questions. This can also be used for getting to know the exam, using numbers relating to the exam, words, pictures, a mixture, fewer if initial getting to know you, more if review and so on.
  • Tim (one of the many Sheffield Uni ELTC folk that I have bumped into at IATEFL this year!) shared a great game for Speaking part 2 – you create a grid of 6 x 6 in which each square contains a Part 2 topic (mined from past papers). Students roll dice in order to select a topic and have to speak about it for 1-2 minutes. I imagine points for keeping going could come into play. The aim is familiarise with the types of topics, get used to speaking about them and develop fluency. So there’s a nice warmer for me to use with my students on my return!
  • I overheard about a collocations activity, where you give students the first half of a collocation and they have to listen out for the other half in a listening recording. I wonder if you could also give them paraphrases of words in the recording and see if they can listen and identify the matches…
  • For writing part 2, Tim also suggested gathering a selection of IELTS past paper answers and getting students in groups to judge them using the criteria, give them a band score. Then do a game-show type judging where each group holds up their chosen band score at the same time. I suppose also ranking a selection of sample answers from best to worst would also be good. In all cases, of course, encouraging students to justify their scoring and ranking would be key. The goal of the activity is to familiarise students with requirements and give them more idea of where they fit in and where they want to be, as well as what the gap between those really is.
  • For reading, Cristina suggested getting students to write a statement summing up the main idea of each paragraph of a text. You could then go on to get them to compare these to the ones written by Mr IELTS in the heading matching question type. I was thinking getting them to do this mentally with a text might help them with this question type, as they would approach the list of statements with more idea of the kind of thing they are looking for. But of course as with most things in IELTS, there are many ways to slice it.
  • Another listening idea, from another Elizabeth, was to make gapped sentences from a listening recording, with the gaps being function words. To train students’ decoding skills.
  • And then another nice one was to play Bingo with listening part 1 style numbers. And within the bingo grid would be numbers that are ever so slightly different from one another. I suppose you could extend this to spellings as well, of names and addresses, as often arises.

Suffice to say, time ran out really quickly! For more ideas, you’ll have to wait till Mina produces whatever it is that our ideas are all going to turn into. I suppose a digital resource of some sort! On the plus side, I have now got my teaching mojo back *even* where IELTS is concerned! Gotta love IATEFL!! 


One thought on “IATEFL 2015 – IELTS Swap-shop!

  1. Pingback: IATEFL 2015: All my posts indexed! | Reflections of an English Language Teacher

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