This week, we’re taking with Jay. He’s an expert from E2Language and teaches in online IELTS preparation courses. Jay started teaching English at a university in Indonesia when he was 21, and he’s been teaching English ever since. Jay also has an academic background in languages and linguistics, so he knows that language is incredibly complex and profoundly meaningful. He co-founded E2Language in 2015 in order to make English language learning and test preparation simpler and more enjoyable.
“I’ve taken the IELTS on paper three times now and the IELTS on computer test twice. The IELTS on computer test is way better! Because you have a lot less stress, you can perform a whole lot better.” - Jay, English teacher from E2Language
Jay’s IELTS experience
How did you find the overall journey from walking into the door at the test centre until the end of your test?
It’s futuristic and pleasant. It reminded me more of a yoga studio than a test centre. It was honestly very relaxing – exactly how you want a test centre to be!
How was your experience with computer-delivered IELTS?
I’ve taken the paper-based IELTS three times now and the computer-delivered test twice. The computer-delivered test is way better! Because you have a lot less stress you can perform a whole lot better. In short, you can focus on the tasks at hand and not on your anxieties.
How was your speaking test? Or your Speaking examiner?
She was delightful. I felt like I was having a genuine conversation. I wanted to stay and keep talking to her!
Ok, so what’s it like doing IELTS as a teacher?
Even as English language teachers, sitting a test might still be stressful. How were your stress levels?
Low! I had a little bit of ‘anticipation’ or ‘excitement’ but almost no fear. Of course, I’m not taking this test for my visa or my job, so the stakes are a lot lower for me, but I do have my teaching reputation on the line. So, there was some ‘skin in the game’. Nevertheless, the room, the atmosphere, the staff, the system and the other candidates made the experience almost entirely stress free.
Did you learn something during the test today that you can use for your students (any tips or tricks)?
Lots. But most of all, it showed me that what we’re doing at E2Language directly relates to taking the test, which was reassuring. All of our practice materials now resemble the computer-delivered IELTS test, so none of the task types were unfamiliar for me. I must admit that if you did take the exam with no preparation, some of the tasks would be very confusing.
At IELTS we advise everyone to prepare for their test, even if they are native speakers. Did you prepare? If so, how?
I’ve got a background in linguistics and I’ve been teaching English for nearly 10 years. Even with this experience, I still needed to prepare for the IELTS test, and for the writing section in particular. There is a certain way that you need to write in order to get a high score; you can’t just walk in and expect that because you’re a native speaker, you will do well. The test is challenging, and if you meet the challenge, it’s rewarding.
Jay’s tips on IELTS Writing Task 2
A couple of weeks ago, Jay spoke with IDP IELTS experts Barrie Brown and Reza Tasviri about the IELTS Writing task. If you are preparing for IELTS and want to get some tips on getting a high score in Writing, check this out.
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