Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondWell, we've made it to the end of the first week of our course. Congratulations for making it this far. It's great to see people from all over the world on the course, and you have all sorts of reasons why you're here. Chioma from Nigeria, who would like to be a nurse in the UK, Maymuna from Syria, who wants to do a Master's in Applied Mathematics, and Agnes, from Hungary, who just wants to take IELTS to prove to herself that she can do it. Thank you for your active engagement in the comments section.

Skip to 0 minutes and 31 secondsIt's encouraging to hear that you find the information we've provided helpful and some of you have mentioned how now you know how you're going to go about preparing for IELTS. As we end this first week, I'd like to highlight a few things. First, as many of you pointed out, there is no shortcut to improving your English. So when I mentioned the use of discourse markers for example, I do not mean that you should stick one at the beginning of every sentence. If you do that, you'll end up using the same sentence structure each time and your writing will just feel very repetitive. So that's not what you actually want to do.

Skip to 1 minute and 12 secondsThe point actually is to know what different discourse markers do, what relationship they create between ideas of different sorts, and then to use the ones that are appropriate for the argument you're trying to make.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 secondsAnd because there is no shortcut to improving, many of you rightly pointed out that it's important to practise, practise, and practise. Let me give you a hint of how you can do that effectively. In Step 1 of 1.8, there was the Writing task about the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad. Many of you organise your writing by having an introductory paragraph, another paragraph on the advantages of something, another paragraph on the disadvantages of studying abroad, followed by a concluding paragraph. Now, instead of going on to doing a different task, why not try doing the same task again but organising it differently? So for example, you can organise your paragraphs according to different aspects of studying abroad.

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 secondsThis will help you to develop different ways of approaching a writing task. Similarly, you can take your first answer and select, for example 10 contact words then write a new response but this time, make sure you don't use any of those 10 words you've selected. If you do this, you will force yourself to use different vocabulary and learn how to use this new vocabulary.

Skip to 2 minutes and 50 secondsOr you can even combine the two suggestions: write an entirely new response using a different method of organising your paragraphs and also choosing to use different words. I hope you'll give that a try and do let me know how you got on with that by putting something in the comments box. In the meantime, have a good weekend, and I'll see you on Week 2.

Round-up of Week 1

Watch the summary of Week 1. Gad talks 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!

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Inside IELTS: Preparing for the Test with the Experts

Cambridge Assessment English

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Contact FutureLearn for Support