Education, Language

Words to Avoid in IELTS Writing Task 1 General Training

When writing letters to a person, we have to be very careful on the tone of we are going to use. When we are writing to our boss or someone with a higher position or social rank, we have to use the formal tone and have a direct tone in writing. On the other hand, when writing to a friend, the informal tone is used. We can use almost any kind of words and even the structure of the sentences is not necessarily grammatically correct. The point is that the content and the tone of the letter depend on its recipient.


This is also applicable in the writing first task of the General Training in the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination. The examiner will be given twenty minutes to write a letter based on a topic. The personal could be personal, semi-formal or formal in style. It all depends on the task.

Some see this as an opportunity to get a good score since writing letters are easy. However, let us not forget that choosing the right words in a letter is crucial to the success of its content. Picking the right words means carefully expressing the thoughts in the letter without any chance of being misunderstood. Having this said, it is important for any candidate to use the right vocabulary and avoid words that can get them a fairly low score in the writing. Here are some words to avoid in the first writing task in the General Training module.

• Phrasal verbs (look for, turn up)

Phrasal verbs have different meanings based on how they are used on sentence. Instead of using these, choose a single vocabulary that has the same definition with it.

• Besides

This is very informal when used in writing – to avoid having a very informal tone, use incidentally in replacement of besides.

• Idiomatic expressions

Idioms are group of words and phrases that can be misunderstood if the one reading is not familiar with it. Choose expressions that are easily understood. For example, instead of saying, “I cannot go there since it is raining cats and dogs,” you can use “I cannot go there since it is raining hard.”

• And/But

Avoid using these words in the beginning of sentence. These are connectors. Instead of and, use FURTHERMORE, ADDITIONALLY. For but, you can use, ON THE OTHER HAND or ON THE CONTRARY.

• Contractions (can’t/won’t/don’t)

As much as possible avoid contractions. Spell out words.

To get a good score in writing, all you have to do is practice and read lots of sample writings. You will eventually develop the skill and your own technique in coming up with a nice letter for the General Training’s first writing task.

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Education, Language

Words to Avoid in IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic

Vocabulary plays an important role in communication. When we speak with other people, we carefully choose our words to make sure that we are understood well. The importance of choosing the right words in communication is not limited in speaking. It is also vital in creating essays.


In an English proficiency examination like the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination, having a good command in the vocabulary makes the writing task much easier – specifically on the first writing task of the Academic module. What do IELTS test candidates need to expect in the first writing task?

Candidates will have to write composition interpreting a graph or a diagram. The graph can be any of the following: line graph, bar graph, or pie chart. Further, process diagrams are also commonly used in the first task. The examiner has to come up with an essay describing the major highlights in the graph or diagram. To be able to this, he or she has to use the right vocabulary to explain changes, process, and even ups and downs on the graph or diagram. Some are really good at expressing their ideas, while some candidates fail to fully write a good one since they use some words or phrases which are not suitable for the essay. What are some words to avoid it the first task of the academic writing?

Here are a few words that candidates should avoid in this writing task.

• Personally – this makes your writing personal, wherein fact your writing should be based on the facts on the graph.

Personally, the graph shows the increase in the population in St. Louis.

• According to the – this makes the content of the writing comes from another person not yours; instead, use The graph/diagram (shows/tells/is)

According to the graph, the respondents are about 120.

• In conclusion – avoid this as you are not making a conclusion. You are interpreting a fact based on a given data.

In conclusion, the graph is about the decrease in production of textile in Maryland.

• Don’t/Can’t/Isn’t – contractions should never be used in this writing. These words should be spelled out.

The graph don’t represent any of the items on balls.

• But/And – Do not start sentences with these. Use HOWEVER and IN ADDITION/FURTHER instead respectively.

The rise of number went up until 1996. But, it suddenly went down in 1997.

Build a strong bank of vocabulary for the IELTS writing to better interpret the data. Practice every day. Learning the skill in writing is not done overnight, so practice as often as you can.

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Education, Language

Proper Posture during the IELTS Speaking

Do you practice proper posture when sitting down?

There are lots of cases where people have backaches since they do not sit properly. Almost everyone has the tendency to slouch when sitting down. They think that this is relaxing; however, later they find out that they are experiencing pain on their back. This is all because of the lack of proper posture in sitting. Even in class, teachers always ask their pupils or students to sit properly in class. This is done for students to be comfortable all throughout the class. The importance of proper posture extends even in the speaking test of the International English Language Testing System exam.

The speaking test of the IELTS is a one-on-one interview with a native English speaker or someone who is trained to conduct speaking exams in the IELTS. Anxiety and stress, these are the two things that candidates feel on the day of the exam. To avoid failing to answer any of the questions, candidates are always advised to take speaking classes in IELTS review centers to develop their responses. Moreover, this will also help them become more confident in their responses as well as using the English language. One more thing that is important in the IELTS speaking test is the practice of proper posture.


When you are asked to sit on the chair, sit comfortably. Rest your back on the chair. Sit straight and do not slouch. Slouching is a sign that you are uninterested in what is happening. It shows that you are not ready for the interview and are in a lot of stress. If you are not comfortable resting your back on the chair, you have to sit at least straight and relax your shoulders. Make sure your feet are on the floor. Avoid swinging your feet under the chair. Put your hands on your lap. Further, most importantly, make an eye contact with your interviewer. This will show that you are sure with your answers. The confidence you have in your speaking test reflects on the stable eye contact you have with the examiner.

Building a proper posture and eye contact take time of practice. Hence, in speaking mock exams in IELTS review centers, speaking coaches make sure that they teach their students on how to make themselves comfortable in the speaking test. Aside from the feedback from the responses made, speaking mentors will also take note of your behaviour while speaking.

Practicing proper posture makes you comfortable in speaking and makes you less tense. Start practicing it while studying as it becomes your habit in your day –to-day life.

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Education, Language

Butchers Training Center in Region XI

It is common for Filipinos to work as a healthcare professional overseas. For the past years, Filipinos have been working overseas to work as nurses or physical therapists in different English speaking countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and even in the United States of America. However, in reality, there are lots of job vacancies overseas which Filipinos can take advantage of. With a promising salary and a promise of a brighter future ahead, Filipinos have been gaining experience on butchery to work overseas.

Indeed, butchery is one work that Filipinos are aiming for overseas. Though this seems like a man’s job, a number of women are also taking trainings and seminar to enhance their skills in butchery. Countries like Australia, Canada and New Zealand are countries known to hire a lot of Filipinos to work on meat processing facilities. Due to this, different programs have been created by the government and with the local government units for Filipino butchers.


In Region XI, there are training centers for butchers to enhance their skills for their future success.

• Nenita Farms
Toril, Davao City – (082) 291-0565

• Dragon Recipe Slaughter House
Digos City, Davao del Sur

• Digos Slaughterhouse
Digos City, Davao del Sur

• TESDA Region XI
16 Int. 2, Rimas Street, Aquino Subdivision J.P Laurel Avenue, Davao City – (082) 227-3834

TESDA or Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Region XI holds butcher training in Davao del Norte. All of the mentioned training centers require their students to pass the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination. These applicants have to take the General Training module of the test and get an overall band score of 5.0.

Since the IELTS score is an important requirement for these butchers to undergo training, more and more butchers are preparing for the IELTS exam. As a way of preparation, they choose to enrol in IELTS review centers to be educated and trained. These butchers need to have good training for the IELTS. In IELTS review centers, they are given lots of reading exercises, listening drills, writing practices and most importantly, speaking mock tests to hone their English skills.

Training these butchers are important so that they will pass the standards of these meat processing facilities in the countries mentioned above. Fortunately, there are already thousands of butchers from Region XI that have passed and have already been working overseas. The job may be tough but with the right skills and knowledge, anyone can be successful working as a butcher.

For more information on butcher training, contact TESDA Region XI for details and requirements.

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Education, Language

Tips on How to Interact Correctly in the IELTS Speaking

Communication is vital to human development. Every day, people meet and interact. This interaction can be about business, education, or the typical day-to-day communication. Talking to someone is natural and everybody is doing it. However, the behaviour one has to show may differ in a formal or informal setting of the communication. If you are someone taking a speaking test, like the International English Language Testing System test, you have to know how to interact correctly to get a good score.


Being interviewed by a native English speaker is a real deal in the IELTS speaking test. Most candidates feel stressed on having to impress their interviewer with their English communication skills to get a good score for the test. However, candidates have to be reminded that they have to impress the interviewer with the content and the delivery of their responses, not with how good they are at pronouncing English words.
Here are some tips on how to interact correctly during the IELTS speaking test:

• Always have a smile on your face. Smiling indicates that you are confident with yourself. Further, it shows that you are friendly and ready to take the interview.

• Listen carefully to the questions asked. Interviewee should be all ears to the interviewer. When the focus is on the interviewer, there is a great chance of understanding the questions completely without having the interviewer repeat the question.

• Answer the question directly. It is okay to give a background story with some responses; however, be sure that the response is still about the topic. Some candidates go off the topic and as a result, they get a low score.

• Look at the interviewer when speaking. Avoid looking up or down while speaking. Face the interviewer. Look at him or her straight to the eyes or on the forehead. Do not get intimidated with their presence.
• Breathe. Some candidates are so nervous during the exam. Breathe in and breathe out. This will help you relax and feel better on the exam.

• Wear something comfortable during the interview. If you are someone who gets easily cold, do not hesitate to bring a jacket, a coat, or a blazer jacket.

• Practice. There are lots of practice questions online. However, being in IELTS review centers is better since they have speaking coaches who guide candidates on their responses. These centers provide mock exams to assess students on their weaknesses and make them look comfortable and more confident for the speaking test.

Interacting appropriately on the IELTS test not only means behaving well during the interview, but also giving the right responses to the questions asked by the IELTS examiner. Practice helps a lot most especially with IELTS speaking coaches.

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Education, Language

How to Improve Your Listening Skills?

One of the skills non-native English speakers should improve is their listening skills. Listening is important as it is involved in our daily communication. We have to listen carefully to announcements in a bus or train ride, on classroom discussions and even to our parents when they scold us. Listening is everywhere and is vital.


Learners of English always look for opportunities where they can improve their listening skills, most especially those who are planning to take English proficiency examinations such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Here are some ways on how you can improve your listening skills.

1. Always have a mindset that listening is different from hearing. Hearing is a natural instinct of humans because of our ears; however, listening is taking a closer look at what was said and understanding every piece of information into it.

2. Practice listening with fun materials. Listen to English songs. Observe how words are pronounced and used in the sentence. Try to write the lyrics of the songs as you have heard it and check online. It is a good practice for your note taking skills.

3. Watch English movies. Take note on different idioms and vocabulary they use on their dialogues. Look it up in the dictionary and try to write your own sentence for it. Watch movies that use different accents like American, British and Australian accents.

4. Watching the news is also a great help to improve listening skills. Choose a particular news article and write down what you have understood on the news including the particulars such as names, addresses and the main issue. Check online whether what you have written down is correct.

5. Be exposed in an English speaking environment. The more people around you speaking English, the more practice you get.

6. Do activities with people who speak English. Join a book club or a speaking club that will encourage you to practice English all the time.

7. Listen to English podcasts. A lot are available online for free.

8. Find someone you can always talk to in English. You can also practice your confidence in using the English language when you communicate with this person.

9. Listen to English tutorials online. They provide a lot of activities that help boost listening skills.

10. Learn from your mistakes. Once you know you are weak on something, you automatically work hard on it and find more ways to improve.

Good English speakers are good listeners. Using English is not only limited with how well you speak but also with how well you understand others because of great listening skills.

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Education, Language

How to prepare for an interview in IELTS speaking?

“I am planning to take the IELTS examination; however, I really feel anxious with my speaking skills. I am not a good English speaker to be honest and I am afraid that my regional accent has a very strong influence with my pronunciation. What should I do?”


Filipinos have their own regional accents. These accents are a pride of their culture; however, since it has been part of their growth, their accents in speaking are strongly affected by it. This may come as a problem when you are someone taking the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination. The IELTS has a speaking examination wherein one should be prepared in answering questions face-to-face an examiner. People who have taken the IELTS have always considered this as very difficult and intimidating. However, for some, with the right confidence and preparation, say that getting a high score for the exam is a piece of cake. How can one prepare for the IELTS speaking?

• Understand the three tasks of the examination. Know the objective of these tasks. Once you know them generally, giving responses will come out naturally.

• Find out the usual questions asked in the first task. Since it is more about personal information, giving responses will not be a problem. However, make sure that the responses are related to the question asked. Remember to use the right verb tenses: when asked about past activities, make sure to have the verb tenses in the simple past form.

• Follow the guide questions in the second task. There are a lot of free questions online. When giving a response, all of these questions should be answered. Use the guide questions as your outline to have a smooth transition in your answer.

• Watch English movies and observe how these people talk. Take note on the way they deliver their lines and get an idea how you will carry yourself during the IELTS interview.

• Practice pronunciation. Use tongue twisters as starters to warm up your speaking skill. Read articles aloud and check the dictionary on how certain words are pronounced. The more you are exposed to the English language, the lesser regional accent present in your speaking.

• Find a speaking partner. Have this someone rate your speaking skills. Someone who can assess your improvement during your review.

Speaking English may be difficult but through practice, learning the skill is easy. Expose yourself in situations where you can speak English and overcome the fear from taking the IELTS speaking test.