Là một chuyên gia trong lĩnh vực IELTS – thầy Dominic luôn mong muốn đem lại những cách học thật hay và hiệu quả cho các học trò của mình. Dưới đây là bài viết của thầy giúp các học viên cải thiện kỹ năng làm bài thi IELTS Reading hiệu quả.
Nếu bạn đang trong quá trình luyện thi IELTS thì không thể bỏ qua những bí quyết cải thiện kĩ năng Reading này !
“Words, words, words”
English has an extensive vocabulary. There are so many words in the English language that most of us either don’t know, will never know or will never need. In fact, it has recently been estimated by lexicographers working with Oxford University Press, that there are currently 171,476 words in use. Most native speakers only know a fraction of these and get by using 1,200 to 2,000 words each day.
Words are the basic units of language and as such are intrinsic to communication. They account for 25% of your final Speaking and Writing Band Scores respectively. Furthermore the Reading and Listening modules are essentially vocabulary tests.
How do I improve my vocabulary
Read more and don’t just read IELTS material and English grammar books. You should be reading authentic non-IELTS related English language material most of the time. Reading for pleasure will not just improve your reading skills and vocabulary it will also introduce you to new concepts and ideas [great for Speaking Part 3 and Writing Task 2]. Reading for pleasure means just that. Read about topics that you are interested in whether it is art, fashion or sports. If you are a foodie, read online and newspaper articles about cuisine and cookery. And don’t limit yourself to non-fiction. Read comic books, fantasy, literary fiction or sci-fi stories too.
Keep a vocabulary journal and divide your notebook into sections by topic and record any new words in it. Being able to utilize topic-specific vocabulary is essential for good Speaking and Writing band scores. It’s imperative that you practice using this vocabulary in every day speech and by writing sentences using these new words. Otherwise, you won’t use them in the IELTS exam. When you are writing in your journal, don’t forget to note down any collocations. You can also use images to help you remember new words, if that helps you. Be careful though-don’t try to learn too many words at once.
Why should I become an avid reader
Well, keen readers:
- know topic related vocabulary
- know meaning, form and pronunciation
- use appropriate vocabulary
- use collocations accurately
- have an instinctive understanding of vocabulary and grammar and are never short on ideas
You are still not convinced
Vocabulary is crucial if you want to be a high achiever in IELTS. Reading is undoubtedly the most effective way to expand your vocabulary size. Being able to recognize synonyms and parallel expressions will help you answer correctly in the Reading and Listening modules. Let’s look at some examples, from an IELTS Reading and Listening exam below.
|Question Words:||Words found in the text:|
|inconvenient for car owners||no space for parking nearby|
|a new option||recent initiative|
|do not have your own bathroom||communal bathrooms|
|civil calendar||municipal calendar|
|divided the day into two equal halves||split the day into two 12-hour periods|
|to organise public events||to co-ordinate communal activities|
When it comes to reading and speaking
Simple skills such as paraphrasing and using topic-specific vocabulary are crucial if you want to be successful in IELTS or indeed in communicating with an English speaker. By rephrasing the question you are letting the examiner know that you understand the question. Using topic-specific vocabulary enables you to communicate more effectively on the topic under discussion. This means that you are not only using good vocabulary but that you are being coherent.
Too many candidates fail to use an adequate range of basic vocabulary related to the question they have been asked. For example, candidates will talk about working in marketing without mentioning words like ‘brand’, ‘promotion’, ‘advertising’, ‘campaign’, ‘discount’ and ‘consumer’. These types of candidates and students can actually talk for quite some time without saying anything. What is more they believe that they can throw in some phrasal verbs or less commonly used vocabulary and get a high band score. This is simply untrue and it means that the candidates’ level of English is quite low and native speakers would have difficulty understanding them.
Top-tip: use a good range of basic vocabulary related to the topic you are being asked about. Keep it simple and don’t try to show off!
And don’t confuse your idioms…….’I was blue over the moon’ [I’ve heard this on more than one occasion]”
Dominic Ryan – KTDC IELTS Training Center