Scoring high on the IELTS exam requires both solid knowledge of the English language and experience writing essays on various general-knowledge topics.
From our experience as educators, learners who enroll into IELTS preparation courses speak fluently, but lack variety of expression due to grammar and/or vocabulary deficiencies. Usually, grammar errors do not reflect lack of theoretical knowledge, but failure to automatize the grammar skills. In other words, a learner may speak with relative ease or fluently, but without accuracy. This is because language courses that follow the communicative approach to language teaching do not usually pay enough attention to form i.e., to how language is spoken correctly.
The same goes for vocabulary. There is little thought put into how learners will acquire their minimum 5000 words (in fact, research says that a speaker needs to be familiar with about 10,000 words and word families to be able to skim and scan written material and answer content-related questions). We know that one cannot acquire enough vocabulary thorough speaking or grammar only. To achieve complexity of expression in a second language, all skills need to be targeted, with a special focus on vocabulary acquisition.
Because little effort is made to improve vocabulary, grammar and fluency together, many learners find the writing module to be the most difficult part of the IELTS exam as it requires both knowledge of the writing process in English and the ability to employ relatively complex language in a convincing, easy to follow discourse. While IELTS preparatory courses are usually successful in helping learners understand the process of writing an essay, they fail to direct their attention to form and content, which might negatively affect the score.
The Compleat English approach aims to fill these gaps and provide learners with a comprehensive approach to IELTS training. We do so by using a blended learning system that combines 90 hours of in-person education with online practice. Learners receive useful feedback on writing and speaking and have numerous opportunities to learn and practice new and complex language structures.
Request a free webinar on the main page for more information on the COMPLEAT approach to IELTS preparation.