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November 19, 2011


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Hi Simon.
I live in non English speaking country. What should I do to make perfect my speaking?

Hi Simon,

I am practicing my English with myself.
You are the only one teacher I got.

My problem in the test is in Listening part.
I took the test 4 times but the band I got is not more than 5!!!
I have been trying to see a movie in English that I think it can improve the skill. I can get some words but I can not understand the main idea or the whole sentence. I think that reason for it is while I am listening I will translating the words in my language. I question that a non native speaker can listen English and then understand it in his language (so he can translate very fast) or he can understand it in English.

Do you have any suggestion how to see movie for improving listening skill? Should I set it show the English sub or no sub but listen each sentence and then pause for thinking the meaning.

Thank you.

Hi Simon ,
I tried to write a paragraph about negatives of advertisement using the ideas from your e book could you please just comment how was my attempt. I can understand that you do not correct or grade the writing but only you comment means a lot.
thanks and regard.
On the other hand there are many drawbacks of advertisements.Firstly, advertisements manipulate people and persuade them that buying this product will bring joy to their life. Advertisers introduce a brand and make people believe that buying this product and brand will make them happy .We live in a brand conscious world, advertiser take full advantage of this. They use successful people and celebrities in there adds to attract people. Through these adverts people usually buy product they may not need and often cannot afford. This leads to a higher personal debt. It also leads to a throwaway society, goods are thrown away and more pollution and waste is produced. Secondly, advertisements aimed at children influence them in a bad way. Kids cannot understand the persuasive intent of an advertisement also they cannot understand that the product shown in the add may not be that exciting, they pressurize and pester their parents to buy a product that attracts them .Sometimes parents can’t afford to buy such expensive products this can make them feel bad. Also,if they are deprived of their demand they become aggressive, moody and arrogant. This is because they cannot understand their parents financial limitation. Lastly ,the advertisement of unhealthy food leads to the problem of obesity.they are designed in a way that both kids and adult crave to eat that food which causes serious health issues.

please tell me how to use ALSO and BOTH while writing an essay.

Hi Shukur,

You need as much practice as possible. Try to find a native speaker to practise with, or take some lessons with a private teacher. Also, do lots of listening (e.g. online videos) - listening will help your speaking.


Hi Nina,

To improve your listening, you need to do lots of practice. It might be better to watch short videos rather than full films. Here's an example:


Try without subtitles, then repeat with subtitles, then repeat again and pause to take notes (any vocabulary or phrases that you learn). The more you do this, the faster your listening will improve.


Hi Jawairia,

Great use of the ebook - well done! You've got the right idea.

I'd use "Also" at the start of a sentence like you did in your paragraph (Also, if they are deprived...).

You can use 'both' with 'and' e.g. Advertisements aim to both sell a product and establish a brand.

hi simon tell me how can i improve my reading part of ielts.

hi jawairia where you from ?if you are from pakistan so we can help each other in ielts.

Hi Fahad,

Start with the lesson below, then do as much practice as possible.


Hi Simon,

I found your website one week ago and I think it is very helpful. Thank you so much for putting this much effort into helping students.

I have a question and i would be glad if you could make it clear for me.

Is it true that I must use either british or american english in my essays? I mean that one should not have a mixture of british and american english in her essay.

This idea was given by an ielts teacher.Therefore, I am a little bit afraid of using american sources such as newspapers, magazines etc., because i dont want to get used to american english vocabulary before I take the exam.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Thanks a lot, Simon.I'm grateful for your feedback.

Hi Fahad,
Thanks for asking, but sorry, I am not a regular student.This site is great for preparation.

Hi Simon,
I have problem with using(however, nevertheless)they are really confusing me...
any help please!

Hi Cagla,

Yes, it's true that you should try not to mix British and American English spelling. Having said that, most words are spelled the same, and it won't effect your score if you just make one or two mistakes.


Hi Raya,

'However' is the word that you need to be able to use. Have a look at this lesson:


Don't worry about 'nevertheless' - you don't really need it.

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