Q. Why do I have to write so much? Can’t I just watch a few videos/read some lessons/use some templates to learn how to do it quickly?
You can only learn to write by writing, just like you can only learn to swim by swimming. You have to do a lot of writing, you have to get teacher feedback, you have to revise, and then you have to get more feedback. You CANNOT avoid this if you want fast results.
If you want fast results, a few writing assignments WILL NOT HELP, and neither will only getting feedback without revisions. Toronto IELTS Prep has a unique program where you receive TWO-STAGE teacher feedback: You write after reviewing Band 9 examples as well as instructions on how to avoid typical problems. You receive teacher feedback and then revise your work. Finally, you receive teacher feedback again as well as follow-up exercises that target your weak areas in grammar. You will learn how to write better after every assignment.
Without revising and getting follow-up feedback, you have no idea if you have really learned anything. Only getting writing corrections does not help very much. If you only get writing corrections, that means the teacher doesn’t care what you do with those corrections or whether you can apply them correctly.
If you want to learn to write, you have to write a lot and you have to get personalized feedback on every assignment. Personalized feedback is the only way that works for ESL students. This is how your writing improves through this program:
- You read Band 9 models for authentic IELTS questions. As well, you see mistakes that students often make on those questions and tips on how to avoid those mistakes.
- You do your writing by following templates that give you the best structure for each type of writing assignment.
- You receive personalized, specific feedback on your writing every time. This includes exercises that target your weak areas.
- You then revise your work based on the feedback.
- Your work is checked again: you learn from the corrections and from more follow-up exercises that target your weak areas.
For most students, writing is the hardest part of IELTS. The main reason most programs don’t help you write well is because you don’t do enough writing. However, you can only learn to write by writing often and by receiving teacher feedback. Unfortunately, no other method works.
This doesn’t work:
- You’ve been reading English texts for years – has this helped you become a good writer? Only reading about writing won’t help you much.
- Getting feedback from other ESL students won’t help you. In fact, other ESL students will often tell you that what you wrote correctly is wrong, and that what you wrote incorrectly is right. You don’t need more confusion in your life.
- Getting a few writing corrections won’t help you much. Most college and ESL school IELTS classes only give students feedback on a few writing assignments during the whole course. EVERY student in my IELTS course has been through other IELTS programs and complains about how LITTLE they learned in these other programs. When they start this program, EVERY student in my IELTS program LOVES how much writing they do in this program and how much feedback they get. It makes a HUGE difference!
The Toronto IELTS Prep system follows best practices in cognitive science: frequent feedback, revisions, and micro-lessons that target weak areas in grammar are THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO LEARN. If you are not revising and getting your work re-checked, you are not learning effectively. You are wasting your time.
Q. What’s the best way to decrease my accent and sound more like a native speaker?
Don’t worry about your accent. Instead, learn to speak fluently. This is a band 7 requirement.
Research reveals surprising results: fluency is built by blending large chunks of language and stressing key words. Fluency is NOT built by focusing on the pronunciation of individual words, and not by focusing on your accent.
Learn to speak with confidence, competence, and clarity. This program includes extensive modelling activities where you listen to fluent speech, internalize it, record yourself, and compare yourself to models.
Bonus: This powerful approach also develops vocabulary, grammar, and your ability to understand and use complex sentences much more than just learning by reading.
This approach was developed by following best practices in cognitive science, which tells us that grammar is largely auditory. For that reason, speaking training is combined with our system for developing listening comprehension, which focuses on improving your ability to hear accurately.
Q. How do I improve reading comprehension? Does speed reading work?
You improve reading comprehension by a) building your vocabulary and b) understanding how texts are structured. Speed reading is then possible.
Each unit includes reading comprehension texts based on authentic magazine articles. These are the same length and difficulty level as IELTS reading comprehension texts and include authentic practice questions. We use these texts both for test practice and for learning as they are a rich source of knowledge and language.
New vocabulary is included in the vocabulary building system. Following the system guarantees a massive improvement in vocabulary that appears on IELTS (and in school and at work).
Learn to read faster and remember more than ever. Speed reading training is included in this course.
Yes, it’s true – you can easily increase your reading speed and remember more at the same time by overcoming ineffective reading habits as well as learning techniques that boost comprehension. To do this, you have to understand how academic texts are structured. Throughout the course, the structure of texts is analysed to show you where key information appears in texts. You can then find it much more quickly while speed reading (skimming and scanning).
Note: As stated before, the successful application of speed reading techniques depends on your vocabulary and ability to recognize complex sentence patterns.
Q. How do I improve listening comprehension?
Listening comprehension exercises and authentic, academic English level media are included throughout the course.
- You need LOTS of practice. Authentic media are included throughout the course. These are at the same level as you are expected to understand in school or the workplace. These are also designed to give you great ideas for speaking and writing questions!
- You need to train your ears to increase “listening resolution,” which is your ability to hear all the words in spoken English, even if they are spoken quickly. This is accomplished by short, frequent listening discrimination exercises where you train your ears to pick up even small words that are spoken very quickly.
- Listening comprehension exercises are integrated with speaking exercises. You listen to examples of complex grammar structures (only the kind that are FREQUENTLY used in everyday English, nothing crazy), internalize them, and model them by recording yourself and comparing your recording to the original.
Q. Is there any way to prepare for IELTS more quickly?
This training system is based on the principles of accelerated learning. This is as fast as it gets.
We use studying methods and learning tools that are based on best practices in cognitive science. We help you study smarter, not harder:
- You will not learn without extensive practice in writing and speaking, and you will not progress without expert instructor feedback. This course provides more practice opportunities together with individualized feedback and revision opportunities on speaking and writing than any other course.
- Grammar lessons are based only on gaps in your knowledge. In addition to the complex sentences curriculum, a full grammar program is available, but grammar lessons are only recommended based on your errors.
- The vocabulary building system includes the most common vocabulary found in academic and business texts (all from authentic texts used throughout the course) as well as additional subject-specific and structural vocabulary found in the course texts and model responses.
- Powerful writing and speaking templates mean you learn by doing. These step-by-step templates will help you internalize the structures of successful communication. These will serve you well not just on IELTS but in all your academic and professional communication needs.
YES! START NOW. PASS IELTS AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE!
This program is the single greatest INVESTMENT you can make in your future. All programs include FULL access for 1 year to all lessons in the course, band 9 models, vocabulary building system, and VIP Q+A.
- Master 7 different essay types (Writing Task #2)
- Master 5 types of descriptive writing (Writing Task #1)
- Master 18 types of English complex sentences
- Master 12 active voice and 8 passive voice verb tenses
- Massively boost your vocabulary
How much writing feedback do you need? Get an assessment of your writing with an IELTS Band score for only 24.95 CAD. You will get your score within 24 hours.
- Your writing assessment will be done using IELTS assessment criteria.
- Issues with your writing (content, structure, word choice, grammar) will be indicated in detail.
- You will also receive recommendations for improving your score.
- BONUS #1: Receive a FREE consultation by video conference/telephone to discuss your language training needs.
- BONUS #2: Receive a FREE speaking assessment during your video conference.
- BONUS #3: Receive instant course access for one year to core lessons. See if this program is right for you.
- 100% money back guarantee if you are not happy with your diagnostic assessment for any reason.
You’ll find out your IELTS Writing Band for 24.95 CAD and see the kind of feedback students receive in this course.
Q. Who is the teacher?
I have been teaching academic writing since 2000, when I started as a writing tutor at York University, in the Psychology and Political Science programs. I had finally discovered the secret to academic writing in my third year of university and I wanted to share my discovery with all the other students who were also having trouble with essay writing.
I too had suffered for many years. Despite being a good writer and despite having studied at one of the top private high schools in Canada, I was lost when it came to essay writing that was wasn’t related to English literature and literary analysis. When I wrote essays about social science issues, professor comments were always the same: “your writing is really good but what you’ve submitted isn’t really what I’m looking for.” I was completely confused until I unexpectedly discovered the secret in a brutally hard third year Philosophy course on the intellectual history of the Western world. I finally understood what an essay is and from then on, I gave teachers exactly what they wanted and easily got As on my papers. Moreover, I wasn’t getting As because of my brilliant ideas. I was getting As because I understood the conventions (the rules and expectations) of essay writing. As that Philosophy professor joked, you can argue that the moon is made of cheese as long as you properly support your ideas!
Q. What does the course cover?
I have been doing this for 20 years and for the last several years, I have been putting together all of my knowledge about academic writing in my online IELTS course. I believe this is the most powerful writing system on earth. I’m not exaggerating. This course combines all of the elements you need to become a successful writer:
- Five modules go over seven types of IELTS essay prompts. Each of these prompts needs to be answered a little bit differently, and these modules go over the best structures and strategies for giving the examiner exactly what she expects.
- Five modules go over five types of descriptive writing prompts. These focus on the best structures for Writing Task #1, how to identify patterns in these prompts (graphs, comparisons, and processes), and how to best describe the patterns.
- 8 course units cover vocabulary, speaking questions, as well as readings and listening exercises related to 8 language areas that most commonly appear on IELTS. I have provided a large variety of academic readings at the same level as IELTS texts, as well as academic listening exercises; moreover, short readings provide ideas and examples to inspire your own writing and responses to Speaking Part #3 prompts and Writing Task #2. Many students simply don’t know what to talk about for many of the prompts: the only way to successfully prepare for this is to become familiar with a huge number of prompts and to fill your head with knowledge that will inspire your responses.This course provides enough background knowledge and ideas to inspire your writing.
- Every unit goes over several Writing Task #1 and Writing Task #2 prompts. You will see Band 9 examples that are analysed for structure, content, and transferable vocabulary. You will also see the kinds of mistakes that students typically make and explanations for how to avoid them. You will become a better writer by modelling excellent examples of English writing. If you choose to do the full course, in every unit you will complete a writing assignment for Writing Task #1 and an assignment for Writing Task #2. You will receive feedback on your writing – I identify weaknesses in terms of content, arrangement, vocabulary, and grammar – and then you revise your work. This is where the real learning happens. There is no learning without revising because the teacher doesn’t know if you have understood the feedback. After you revise your work, you will receive a second round of feedback where I correct the problems with your writing and provide follow-up exercises to target areas where you need to improve. The full course includes feedback on a total of 48 writing assignments. Why so many? Cambridge and the Canadian Centre for Language Benchmarks (CCLB) will both tell you that it takes about 200 to 250 hours to go up one Band level. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I can confirm that is an accurate number of hours. That’s like taking two high school courses (in Ontario, high school courses are 110 hours each). In our high school where I am the online learning coordinator, it takes our ESL students (who join our program in grade 12) two grade 12 English credits (grade 12 English and grade 12 Writer’s Craft) to be fully ready for university level English. Anyone who tells you that you will be ready to get Band 7 on IELTS writing after only a few writing assignments has no idea what they are talking about.
- Every unit includes a powerful vocabulary review system that ensures you actually remember the new vocabulary. Everything is tracked to keep you honest about how effectively you are studying. What gets measured gets improved! You will experience a massive vocabulary boost.
- 18 types of complex sentences are covered in the Grammar and Sentence Structure course modules. While you only need to know seven complex structures for Band 7 writing, you have to learn all of the structures and be very familiar with them in order to improve reading and listening comprehension. Simply put, complex sentences are the essential patterns in the English language. When you study these 18 structures, your brain tunes in to the language patterns of English so that your brain can instantly focus on the content words instead of being confused about what to focus on in a long sentence.
- The grammar modules include explanations and exercises for 12 verb tenses in active voice and 8 verb tenses in passive voice. You have to master these.
- Finally, students always have questions that I have not anticipated. For that reason, all of my students have access to a VIP QA system where I will answer any questions you have about IELTS prompts, grammar, and vocabulary.
This is not a cram course. My goal is for you to become a competent and confident communicator so that you experience a tremendous level of success in your academic, professional, and personal life. You will be ready for Band 7 in IELTS, but these skills will also stay with you for life. I strongly recommend taking this course over six months to a year. You will enjoy the process and experience tremendous personal growth and a huge confidence boost as your communication skills improve.
This course is simply the best investment you can make in your future. You will learn to write well and it will improve every part of your life. I hope you will allow me to help you reach your English language goals. Please contact me to discuss your needs: 416 822 2637.