Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds Hello, I hope you’re enjoying the course. And I hope you’re having a very nice Friday. I’m just going to give a short roundup of this week, which has been week 3, the week on reading. We’ve been talking about the IELTS academic reading test and about the skill of reading more generally. As some of you have already said in the discussions, if you want to improve your reading skills, there is really no alternative to reading as much and as widely as possible. There really isn’t a shortcut. You have to spend plenty of time reading widely in English.
Skip to 0 minutes and 41 seconds Keeping that in mind, it’s also important to think about what you read and how you read, and try to make sure there’s plenty of variety there. So thinking about what you read– for example, if you only read text which give information, also try to read different sorts of text, for example, texts which give an opinion. You can find plenty of those sorts of texts online. And thinking about how you read, try not to only read in a relaxed way for pleasure, also, try to find the chance to read where you need to quickly find a specific piece of information.
Skip to 1 minute and 19 seconds For example, if you need to look something up, or if you’re curious to find a particular bit of information, try looking on the English Wikipedia page, for example.
Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds This week, there have been some fantastic comments on many different steps. For example, I’d like to mention Hussam’s comment on step 3.8. What I really liked about this comment was Hussam had done a sample IELTS reading task, and then looked back at where he went wrong and tried to find what mistakes he made and how he can do better next time. And that’s a fantastic thing to do. I recommend that you all do that. So when you’re doing an IELTS practise task, any simple task to practise with a test, when you finish doing the task, really, that’s only the beginning of the learning process. You then need to go back, look at the task, look at your answers.
Skip to 2 minutes and 20 seconds When you’ve got something wrong, try to work out why you got it wrong, and think how you can improve next time.
Skip to 2 minutes and 29 seconds So if you haven’t already, please take a look at step 3.8, and look at the conversation there. So that comment that I mentioned from 3.8, that was related to a yes/no/not given task. And some of you have said that you find those particular sorts of tasks quite tricky. In particular, some of you have said that the not given part is tricky, not knowing when to say no or when to say not given. And a couple of people have given really good advice there this week to say that no really means that the text contradicts, or the question contradicts the writer– whereas not given means it doesn’t either confirm or contradict.
Skip to 3 minutes and 17 seconds But really, to answer this sort of question– the yes/no/not given– really, you need to use the reading skills and the reading strategies that we’ve talked about this week. So that means you need to be able to very quickly look at a text and identify which part of the text is relevant. And then, when you’ve found the right part of the text, you need to be able to zoom in and very carefully read that specific bit of the text. You won’t have time to read the whole text carefully. So you need to quickly skim to find which part of the text is relevant, and then zoom in and read that short bit of text much more carefully.
Skip to 3 minutes and 59 seconds Let me try to give you an example. For the question which was on step 3.8, which I was talking about, that was a question about Paul Martin’s blitzkrieg hypothesis. And you have to say if the writer says that there are problems with that hypothesis or not. So once you’ve found that you can quite quickly find the relevant bit of text, and if you look at that bit of text, it says that period of extinction “wasn’t comprehensive”, that was the words it used. But you need to ask yourself, does that mean that the writer thinks there was a problem with the hypothesis? So since the period of extinction wasn’t comprehensive, but did Paul Martin actually say that it was comprehensive?
Skip to 4 minutes and 43 seconds It doesn’t actually say that. So, in fact, no, the text doesn’t say that there was a problem with the hypothesis. It says that the period wasn’t comprehensive. The extinction wasn’t comprehensive. But that doesn’t mean that there’s a problem with the hypothesis. So actually, it doesn’t say there is any problem. And that’s why the answer is not given for that question. So that’s the skill you need to use. You need to be able to find the right bit of text and then really carefully read that small section of the text. And that’s not an easy skill. And it’s certainly not easy to do that quickly when you’re under pressure in a test.
Skip to 5 minutes and 21 seconds That’s why the only way really to improve is through plenty of practise. So I hope this advice is useful. I hope you can go away and practise and keep improving. And please let us know in the comments how you get on with that. Next week, we’ll be talking about the listening test. So I’ll look forward to talking to you in the discussions next week. In the meantime, have a very nice weekend, and I’ll see you soon.
Round-up of Week 3
We will upload the video on Friday 24th August.
Watch the summary of Week 3. We talk about some of the most interesting points from the week, including your comments and discussions.
Add your comments and questions below.
Looking forward to seeing you next week!
© UCLES 2018