IELTS Writing Course
Discover the key skills necessary to succeed in the IELTS Writing test!
A Virtual course for repeat test takers or for those who have attended our Highway IELTS workshop and identified writing as a weakness.
Highway IELTS Writing Development Course:
The IELTS writing test is formidable. This is why the Highway IELTS Writing Development Course is our most popular Development package. The foundation of this course is the Highway IELTS Writing Development Workbook: a 120-page book written by a committee of linguists, most of whom have worked as IELTS writing examiners in the past. The course contains:
- Extensive background information and theory
- In-depth overview of each task
- Detailed explanation of General Training requirements
- Detailed explanation of Academic requirements
- Special focus on the most common pitfalls
- Hands-on practice tasks and model answers
- Audio-visual materials in the form of simulations and demos of writing tasks
- Refined focus on issues that pertain to the computer-based (typed) test
- Skill development in key areas (spelling, grammar and format)
In addition, a seasoned writing coach will pair with you during this process to guide you on each aspect, and to provide quick answers and feedback.
What will I learn?
At the end of the process you will have learned:
- Strategies for tackling each task (General Training and Academic)
- How to improve your spelling
- Ways of enriching your writing to maximise your band score
- Techniques for controlling the writing process and editing your own texts to improve their efficacy
At most test centres, writing is the area of the IELTS exam that people find the most challenging. The Highway IELTS Writing Development Course is designed to develop writing skills and to address the most significant issues that pertain to the IELTS writing test. The course provides a highly detailed description of the test and its requirements. It also incorporates extensive guided practise in key areas including spelling, composition, format and grammar. At the beginning of the course, you will be shown multiple writing samples with detailed criticism and appraisal, to help you develop an awareness of what the test requires. As the course advances, you will be progressively put in the driver’s seat. By the end, you will have used the skills and knowledge presented in the course itself to compose your own writing pieces, either General Training or Academic. These will then be assessed by an experienced IELTS coach to gauge progress and assess whether you are ready to book your test.
The course incorporates 3 modules:
- Overview and analysis of each writing task, outlining strategies and pitfalls relevant to each
- Description of the marking rubric and all relevant concepts and terms contained in it, enabling you to see the test from the point of view of the people who mark it
- Authentic writing samples for you to evaluate based on your new knowledge of the rubrics
- Skills development focused on common spelling and punctuation issues
- Marking of 2 writing tasks by an experienced IELTS writing expert
15 – 25 Hours
Channel your focus in developing the key skills you need to succeed!
Modules Included in this Course:
Module 1: Initial assessment
Your IELTS coach will request two writing pieces from you, without giving you any advice beforehand. This will provide a fair and realistic starting point from which to track your progress through the course. Depending on the IELTS exam you are pursuing (Academic or General Training), your coach will issue you with either a letter and an essay (General Training) or a report and an essay (Academic) and ask you to complete each in a specified time frame. The writing that you produce will be assessed by linguists and previous IELTS examiners to determine your current level and identify areas for development. This module will take you one hour to complete. You will receive your feedback within 24 hours and a 30-minute, face-to-face conversation with your tutor will follow.
Module 2: Test Overview
This module contains an extensive discussion of what each task requires, with strategies and pitfalls specific to each one. Included is a thorough explanation of the examiners’ rubrics, focusing on the meaning and implications of all the major concepts. There are two practical tasks for this module. In total, you should give yourself 2 hours to finish this module:
2.1 Getting the right tone (General Training)
This task requires you to practice finding an appropriate voice in which to write your letter. You will learn about modal verbs, tenses and ways of extending and enriching a text. A very common error in General Training Task 1 is a failure to pay adequate attention to the given scenario. If your tone isn’t right, there is very little you can do to recover and achieve a high band score.
2.2 Writing overviews (Academic)
The overview is the sine qua non of this task. Getting it right can unlock higher band scores. Getting it wrong, or leaving it out, will incur a heavy penalty. In this task, you will receive in-depth guidance on how to craft an overview for each of the three subtypes of the Academic Task 1, with an opportunity to practice and measure your efforts against models.
Module 3: Practice with Rubrics
This module puts you in the driver’s seat. With your new knowledge of the test rubrics, you will have the opportunity to evaluate a plethora of writing samples, representing a wide range of band scores. Once you have completed these, you will be able to compare your assessment to those given by experts. This is the ideal way to see the test through the eyes of the people who mark it, and to calibrate your own efforts to meet these stringent requirements. This is a very hands-on module, and should take you around 1 hour.
Module 4: Skills and Solutions
This part of the course addresses fundamental language skills, including grammar, spelling and punctuation. The theory section builds on Module 2 and links basic language competencies into the examiner rubric, so that you can understand how your grammar, spelling and punctuation play into your overall IELTS assessment. The three sections of this module are:
The grammar sub-module prepares you to read critically and become more sensitive to grammatical conventions. This in turn will enable you to identify, and more importantly, anticipate, grammatical errors in your own writing. The practical task in this module focuses on the issue of sentence length as it relates to coherence, one of the rubrics covered in Module 2.
Experts in corpus linguistics have helped us to compile a list of the most commonly misspelled, and most useful, words for IELTS. This module will raise your awareness of spelling issues that you can avoid them. It will also help you to build a lexicon of words and phrases that will almost always be useful in the IELTS writing exam. The practical task focuses on common errors and offers two contrasting methods for correcting spelling.
This part of Module 4 focuses on common errors in the use of commas and apostrophes. The way we use of either of these small symbols can have a meaningful impact on the quality of our writing, for better or worse.
Module 5: Comparative Assessment and Exit Session
Once you have completed the preceding 4 modules, your IELTS coach will arrange a face-to-face discussion to talk about your progress and deal with any outstanding questions and issues. You will also have the opportunity to submit another pair of writing pieces, which will be assessed and compared to the samples you submitted in Module 1. At this point your coach will be able to advise you fully on your test-readiness and the score you can expect to achieve at your current level.
Channel your focus in developing the key skills you need to succeed!
Learn from South Africa's Leading IELTS Preparation Agency
3 decades’ worth of IELTS experience, covering all aspects of IELTS from administration to examination, making Highway IELTS an industry leader in IELTS preparation. Our diverse and dynamic team is continually learning and adapting to the ever-changing conditions of global migration and English language benchmarking.
Personal IELTS Coach
You will be assigned to your own IELTS coach, who will guide you through the process, monitor your progress and provide additional feedback on performance.
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