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April 01, 2011


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I beg your pardon, Simon. But would you be so kind as to respond to my queries.
1- Is the word (Kids) formal enough to be used in reference for (children) in the context of IELTS academic writings?
2- I am a passionate person, and my conversations will often be overwhelmed with many hand gestures. I heard, however, that hand moving while talking in speaking interviews would reduce marks. Is that true?
Thanks in advance

Oh! I just got this question in my speaking test today. I regret that I didnt check your blog recently.

Hi Salih

1. No, I don't use "kids" for academic writing.

2. Hand gestures will NOT reduce your score at all. The only thing that's important is your language.


Hi Chin,

Never mind! Good luck anyway.

Hi Simon,

I am going to talk about my 20 years culinary skill which is evolutionary and creative for my daily life.

I started cooking at age of 7 but already I knew how to make the fire. My elder sister (Lul) showed me how to prepare a traditional sour maize pancake (Canjeera). Not only it was so tough to cook a char coal cooker but my first and second try was catastrophic. None of them were circles, and then I got how to do it. After that time I was in charge the breakfast of family of 8, which was tea and sour pancake. This is a common Somali breakfast .My other great ever cooking experience was when my mum sent me a local cooking workshop which is held on every Eid eve. I felt honoured and got the receipts of famous Xalwa on behalf of my family.
My interest in cooking was sparked unexpectedly by the time that I had the privilege to live in France. This raised my curiosity about not only the French cuisine but also the international cuisine. Cooking is a priority in French culture. Food is a one of what make the daily conversation.

Studying French language has enlightened me about how fascinating is the cooking knowledge. Learning the names of fruits, vegetable, process of cooking and reading in the cooking magazine was helpful for me.

I am an amateur cook and I like tasting different local dishes, but what I like the most is cooking healthy food for my family and friends and I particularly enjoy TV cooking show as well.

hello simon

This website is good to improve english language skills.
Could you please advice me, In Speaking test, would my score by affected if I ask the examiner to repeat the question
Thanks a lot!

hi simon

your website really helpful. Can I ask you a question?? What is the criteria. Actually I am from bangladesh but live in Japan. I always talk in English with my friends, colleagues and also when I visit different countries like USA, Sweden, Singapore, chine. It is true that academic writing and scientific writing is quite different. But speaking?????? I really disappoint about my speaking score. examiner talk with me about 15 minutes and all question had relation with previous one. I was really satisfy with my exam....but...the score????????? could you please explain me exactly what is the base for the scoring system in IELTS speaking test. Here I give you my questionnaire:
1 what is your name
2 what do you do
3. explain your daily life in japan
4. which part in your daily life you like most
5.did you feel bored in your daily busy life.
6. from when you star english study.
7. how can you practice english in japan and how many hours.
8. how many language you know.
9. do you want to study any other language.
Que Card
1. A friend u now for a ling time
---from when you know
---what is the qulity you like
---how can you communicate
---what is reason you think that your friendship last for such a long time
1. how technology help to continue a friendship
2. is there any negative impact of technology
3. what do you think that elder or younger with whom close friendship can develop.
4. is this is easy to get friendship with Japanese people?
I really waiting to hear from you.

Great ideas Mahado!


Hi Swetha,

If you asked once or twice it's fine.


Hi Ara,

IELTS is supposed to be "academic", but it's not really the same as writing an essay for a university degree. The full criteria are available on the official IELTS website. Click the link below - the band descriptors should be the first 2 links:


Mr. Simson,
I am a English teacher in China. I read your prosposed answer for the ielts speaking test in depth. I found that the words and expressions in your answer are so flexible and accurate. I wonder if you have published some books on Ielts speaking. Your publications must be perfect.

Hi Li Yanwei,

Thanks for your positive comments. I haven't written a book for speaking yet - maybe one day soon!

Hi,Simon I want to know that about writing task 2 that if I got a topic like agree or disagree if I am agree then still I need to write one paragraph for disagree or the whole essay should I write in just on side?

Hi Veena,

Look at this lesson:


Hi Simon,

Thank you for the daily lessons! These are surely helpful. I've been lurking on this website for a while now. I am just wondering whether how to buy time when I am still planning out my answer in parts 1 and 3. I look forward for your reply. Thanks!

Hi Zesty,

It's best not to hesitate in part 1 - just say the first thing you think of. In part 3, you could start with something like "Well, I think..." to buy a bit of time. Don't try to buy more time than that.

Have a look at this lesson too:


sorry, is playing piano a skill or hobby? or both? can I talk about it as my hobby or skill?

thanku.your website & your hint very better for me

can you give me some idea for my topic
country or a place you want to visit.here i would like to tell about london but i have no idea that what i speek

hi how are ,

happy,happy happy...............i am happy happy happy hapyy...............wish you a very happy

Is playing the piano a skill?
Please help me!


Hi Simon,
There , can we use ing after to ?

first I had to get used to steering, changing gears and using the mirrors,

Thank you for your all kindness,

it is very useful for students!!!

Am Poonam I speak about learn oratory skill is it right

Dear simon, today was my speaking.my topic was any childhood skill u learned.i spoke reading skill.if it is right.

Yes, that's fine Mandeep.

Hii simon plaz help !! When we write i argue m real cinfused about iys usage in easy!!

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