This website is no longer active. Please go here for my all new IELTS blog.

This website was last updated on 10th June 2014



This is the sister site of TOEFL in Taiwan

IELTS is the theme, but expect everything from articles on examination techniques to advice on relaxation. Comprehensive study tips. Funny and uplifting stories . . . . Oh, and I can also personally tutor you through your preparations for the IELTS examination as well as offering other services.

Latest Success: Daisy Huang -- Increased her speaking from a 5.5 to 7.5 after just a few months with me. Her dream came true.

If you want to chat about anything related to IELTS please join in the discussions on the IELTS Forum over at the Hello UK website.

Or read my blog IELTS Tutor to pick up tips and information about the IELTS exam. I now post most of my new stuff over there -- so check it out.

IELTS Speaking Module
Show Your Range

I know many students who speak pretty good English but fail to get a good score in the exam, especially the speaking section. It's so frustrating -- for them and me!

But I know why it happens. They get nervous and forget to show off all the English they have learned, giving short or even one-word answers to questions.

It's obvious and shouldn't need to be mentioned, but it's so important. The examiner wont know how good your English is unless you show him.

The following points are some of the things you can do.

Use Perfect Tense
Use Past Perfect Tense
Lexical Resource
"It" Sentences
Passive Voice
Subjunctive Mood
Subjunctive Mood 2
What clauses and long noun phrases as sentence subjects
Manner Adverbs
Subordinating Conjunctions

Don't hire just any English teacher, choose someone who knows IELTS and has experience of getting students through the test and increasing their grades.

But of course I can help you improve your English even if you are not taking the IELTS exam. So whatever your English needs are, there will be somethng here for you.

If you want me to look at your writing, as of Dec 1st 2009, its even cheaper for you!

Writing Course I can provide a service to suit your needs. Some students simply require their essays to be corrected others need a more structured writing course.

Extensive topic-based Vocabulary Lists available to students who hire me. Many of the listed words are shown in context

Featured Article

Some general advice on studying English.

1. Don't waste any time studying until you know exactly how to study. This is the most important lesson.

2. Constantly update the wrong sentence patterns that are in your mind. Whenever you hear a spoken sentence or see a written sentence, compare it with the sentence you would use to express the same thing: the sentence that you store in your mind. If the two ways are different, your way is probably wrong. Check it. If it is wrong, try to forget the old way and replace it with the new way. Your old way will probably be Chinese English. Don't use it again. Of course there are many ways to express the same thing so be careful . . . . Read More

Recent Articles


Below is a list of what's new on the site. It's not organized in any way other than when it was added (the most recent at the top). For a more organized look at what's on the site, click the IELTS categories shown in the search bar at the top of each page or in the left-side panel on each page.

Better Reading Part 2: First Paragraphs and Topic Sentences

The first paragraphs of a passage is the most important and from it you can predict a lot about the whole passage.It usually contains the topic sentence for the whole passage (not just for the first paragraph), what the topic means exactly, the author's opinion (if he has any), and clues about the organization of the passage, which means you'll see which part to go to for specific information. Full Story

IELTS Writing Module: Task 2: Common Problems

I have found that a lot of students can't understand why they are getting low scores for their writing. The answer usually lies in three main areas.

You can find out here how to fix those problems.

IELTS Writing Module: Task 2: Internet . . . How to Write a Band 8 Answer

The Internet has dramatically altered our lives over the past few decades. Although some of these changes have been negative, the overall affect of this technology has been positive. What are your opinions on this?

You can find out here how to write a Band 8 answer.

IELTS Writing Module:Task 2: Rural Development . . . sample answer

These days it seems that an increasing number of people are leaving rural areas to live in the city. Discuss some of the effects of rural depopulation (migration from the country to the city) and suggest some ways in which this trend could be reversed. Full Story

IELTS Speaking Module: Part 1: Sample Answers: Part a

These are real answers given by students to real questions. The corrected answers should yield at least a band 7, as long as they are delivered in clearly pronounced and fairly fluent English. The answers are here

Topics are: work / study / job / television

IELTS Speaking Module: Part 2 and 3: Sample Answers: Part a

Again, these are real answers given by students to real questions. The corrected answers should yield at least a band 7, as long as they are delivered in clearly pronounced and fairly fluent English. The answers are here

Topics are: weather / seasons / pollution / old people

IELTS Writing Module: Task 1: Adult Education . . . sample answer

The charts below show the results of a survey of adult education. The first chart shows the reasons why adults decide to study. The pie chart shows how people think the costs of adult education should be shared. Write a report for a university lecturer, describing the information below. Full Story

IELTS Speaking Module: General Tips

This could be the most nerve wracking part of the test for you. Here is how you can prepare and what you can do during those fifteen minutes or so. Full Story

IELTS scores in Taiwan rank 17th in the World

August 2007. It seemed like devastating news: seventeenth out of twenty; behind all other Asian competitors, including Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong; with a score of 5.62 on a scale of 1 to 9. But Stephen Krashen, writing in the China Post, checked . . . Full Story

Relax Yourself to a Better Score

Exams are killers. They beat you up, mind and body, and leave you close to dying. And the more that depends on a good result, the closer you get . . . Well it can feel like that anyway. Full Story

IELTS Reading Module: Better Reading

We all know how to read -- that's easy; but have you ever really thought about the process of reading. What is actually going on when you pass your eyes over the letters. Full Story

IELTS Listening Module: Practice Everywhere

Compared to improving other aspects of English, developing a good ear for the spoken language should be relatively easy to do. After all, you can practice your listening anywhere and at any time. Full Story

IELTS Writing Module: Task 1: Task Describing Graphs

Task one involves writing about a chart or some other kind of graphical information. Write at least 150 words, and spend 20 minutes. This is tricky at first, but with a lot of practice, you'll become good at it. Full Story

IELTS Speaking Module: Part 1 Tips

In the first part of the IELTS speaking module the interviewer will be asking questions about familiar things. You have to talk about three topics in 4 or 5 minutes. Usually he'll start with your home town or your work/study. Followed by two more general topics, such as: Full Story

IELTS Listening Module: Listening for Information

Within the IELTS listening module the four parts generally increase in difficulty, but many people find the first section hardest, due to its use of slang and their difficulty in understanding words in unfamiliar accents. Full Story

IELTS Speaking Module: Part 2 Question List

In the second part of the IELTS speaking module the interviewer will give you a card with a question on it. You'll have a minute to make a few notes, and then you have to talk for 2 or 3 minutes. A long list of sample questions can be found here