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February 10, 2012


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Good idea .

Hi, Simon!
I'm sorry to bother you,
I think it would be a good idea to post a lesson with all the topics that can come in the part 2, and with some links to lessons which you have about a specific topic! Just an idea, i think it would be very helpful, and could shorten gathering information in your website.

Dear Simon
I just found your website, and my question is regarding to how to use it?
As I checked the archives, there are lesson since September 2009 till now :)
around 4 or 5 days I'm struggling with January and February 2012, include taking notes and review all comments.
However I plan to start from 2009 upward.
Do you recommend me to use other material and sample test combine with your website lesson, or I should finish all the provided course first then get in to extra material and sample tests ?
Kind Regards

I think my suggestions would be great with others sectors as well.

hi simon.could u help abt language topic?what do u think what are the arguments for learning foreign language?i found but i think they r not sos trong oppinion

I really wanted to put up a milling business in my hometown. It would be of great help to the village people since the nearest mill house is about 20 kilometers away.

I know some things about the business because my parents owns one and when I was still at a young age they often tag me along to help out during school holidays.

The mill house that I am going to erect would be a very productive one. I will be going to utilize the latest gadget and machinery that would enhance the produce that the farmers will have. It will be different from the traditional machine wherein not all of the kernel or the grain will be milled . The new machine will give out more produce at a lesser time.

I know that I will enjoy this business because it is not a work for me but fun. I will surely go there on a daily basis, examining the machinery, interacting with the local people, and be able to learn and share from them.

Simon I have a question about this sentence. IS this the correct way to say this? My older and I are the only married among four siblings. Because we are all 4 brothers in our family and we don't have any sister, the other two we're still at school and not mature enough to get married.

Simon I have a question about this sentence. IS this the correct way to say this? My older brother and I are the only married among four siblings. Because we are all 4 brothers in our family and we don't have any sister, the other two we're still at school and not mature enough to get married.

Hi Simon!

I have a question, say the examiner asks me "do you work or study?", however I'm unemployed and haven't had any working experience yet although I'm a nurse by profession, what is the best way to put it?

Hi Anuar,

Yes, I'll try to get round to doing that at some point.


Hi Amin,

Because this is a blog (rather than a course), there is no particular order to the lessons, and therefore you can start anywhere.

A good thing to do is click on a particular category in the menu (e.g. writing task 2) and browse through the lessons, stopping to read carefully when you find something useful. It's also a good idea to keep up-to-date with the most recent lessons to see what students are asking me about at the moment.

I tell my students to use my site as a companion to the Cambridge IELTS books, which are the best source of real exam questions.

One more thing. You said: "I'm struggling with January and February 2012, include taking notes and review all comments." This sounds like good work to me! Keep doing this!


Hi Anita,

You can talk about the ability to travel, learn about new cultures, meet people etc. There are some related ideas in these lessons:




Good ideas Claudette!


Hi Gwapo,

I don't want to encourage students to send me sentences for grammar correction. If I start correcting sentences, too many people will send me their work.

However, if you ask me a single direct question (e.g. Can I use 'mature' in this way in the sentence below?), I can give a quick reply. Note: we would probably say "not old enough" instead of using "mature".


Hi Kookie,

Just tell the examiner the truth - tell him/her what you told me: "I'm unemployed and haven't had any working experience yet although I'm a nurse by profession."

Hi Simon
Appreciate for your comprehensive respond, and happy that you like my struggling with your lessons. :P
I decided: Start from first topic(2009) and follow 2012's simultaneously. hope have enough time to follow Cambridge
I am afraid to be lost in time if follow categories and could not follow related comments of students.
As a recommendation or request:
I see some student will spend time to write about topics like "claudette" who gave us an example. Do you read all example and comments ?(I suppose you do) Is it possible to highlight and emphasize if you find any good used word or any significant not to be used words ?(I do not mean grammatical mistake)
It would persuade more students to write more example and lead to increase our skills.
Kind Regards

Hi Simon,
I did my speaking test today, and in part 2 I think I wrongly interpret the question. I talked about job that I did when I was younger, but then I realized that the question probably asked me about what job that I wanted to do when I was younger. I'm not sure though. What do you say? Is it really gonna affect all of my score? I need to get 6 and I think I did part 1 and 3 pretty well.

Hi Amin,

I'm afraid I only have a quick look at what people have written, and I don't give any feedback. If I did, everyone would send me their work.

Your study plan sounds good to me!


Hi Steffi,

Maybe it will have a small effect on your score because you misunderstood the question. Try not to worry too much - let's wait and see how you did.

Thank you for the feedback Simon! I was worried about my grammar, so I'm kind of hesitant at first. Anyway, your site has helped me a lot. Thanks again.

thank you simon

No problem Kookie and Claudette.

Dear Simon,
This is Mahtab.Thanks for your Kindness.
Here are my questions:
1-Please give me some information about Fashion.
What kind of fashion do people prefer?
Has the attitude toward fashion changed recently?
The impacts of fashion on our daily lives.
2-Please give me some ideas about cooking.
3-please give me some ideas about collecting things.
Why do some people collect things? And what is so interesting about collecting things?
4-And the time I want to talk about my favourite shop, I don’t know how to support myself.
Thanks aloT

Simon I took my speaking this morning.

These are my questions:

Part 1:
> Tell me about your hometown whether it is a city, a rural, or a village and how does it differ from the others.

> Is it a good place to live in and why?

> What do you like most about your city?

> Do you like loud noise?

> What particular noise do you like?

> How does loud noise affects you.

> How many languages do you know?

> Is it hard to know or learn a language?

> What particular language do you want to learn and how does it helps you?

Part 2:
Describe an old person or an elderly that you met.
> who is that person?
> when did you met?
> what do you admire most of that person
And how does that person influence you.

Part 3:
> Do you know of any other elderly?

> How does elderly affects the community?

> Do you think that it is good to have old people in the community?

> What law should be implemented for the elderly.

> Who do you think should take care of the elderly?

Cebu City, Philippines

dear Simon, I just want to say thank you so much.I live in a developing country and your speaking lessons were great for me.By your samples I just understood how I can get higher score.It really worked. my overall score is 6.5. It was only in my dreams. Now I can apply for PhD in foreign countries :)
Thank you so mush...

Hi Mahtab,

Here's a lesson that gives you some advice about difficult questions. It includes advice about the 'collecting things' question:


A good idea is to think about how you would answer those questions in your own language. This will help you to get ideas, which you can then try to put into English.


Thanks Claudette. Best of luck!


Hi Dorsa,

That's fantastic news, I'm really happy for you! Good look with your PhD applications.

Simon, if ever I was asked a question about business, could I answer it with a bit of humour? For example, If I had given an oppurtunity to put my own venture, it I shouldn't be involved in any "monkey business." To be honest, I can't concentrate and get focus on what I'm without blending my talk with a little humour. Also, I don't care whether my joke is hilarious or not.

Hi gwapo,

If that helps you, it's fine. Just don't get carried away with too much joking. Add your bit of humour quickly, then get onto answering the question.

hi Simon i am roshini,iam going to write the exam on march still am afraid about my speaking and writing.by profession iam a nurse,but this country iam working as a care assistant.registration for nurses i need 7 score,i tried 3 times but i got 6 only,my problem is i dont have any idea about writing topics.

Hi Roshini,

I've covered lots of writing topics in my lessons here on the site. Also, my ebook is called "Ideas for IELTS Topics". You might find it useful. Keep working hard, and you'll get a 7 in the end!

dear Simon,
Is it ok if I talk about opening a restaurant???

Hi Dung,

Yes, good idea!

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