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June 13, 2013


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Hi Simon,

One question please..but of course I would not expect you to answer now. Please include in your Q&A in the near future when you consolidate several questions and answers if you found this question useful.
I noticed that you used the expression 'western' but I do not see any compass in the map.Could we still use 'north/south...etc' without a compass on the task sheet?
Best wishes and have a wonderful day!

There is actually a compass in the real task according to IELTS 9 test 3. This is probably a minor error during copy n paste imo.

Thanks Aron.

Hey Simon,

Is it really important to utilise some high level words in essay or the important thing is to express your opinions clearly ?

I think 'hut' will definitely impress the examiner as most candidates would write 'hotel', which is not a correct word. I think either hut or bungalow should be a better expression. I am not sure why 'dock' will impress the examiner. Perhaps people tend to say 'park' boats?

It's more important to express your ideas clearly. If your ideas are not clear, this will impact TR, CC and perhaps LR as well. Vocabulary only really impacts the LR box (and perhaps TR if it makes the idea unclear). Yes, you do need 'some evidence' of less common words to achieve a 7 but I advise people that this may mean as little as 6 to 8 good topic specific words or phrases in an essay.
Remember - using high level words is dangerous. If you use them badly, they are like fireworks going off in your hand.
'Hut', 'dock' and 'tip' are very task specific and precise, and to be honest, are unlikely to be used by those under a 9 band for Vocabulary.

Hi Simon,

I have a question. Is using both American English and British English words/phrases considered as a paraphrase? (e.g. volunteer work and voluntary work)

Thank you for your kindness.


A quick correction to what Aaron said:

No compass is shown for that test (it's test 1) in Cambridge 9. However, I would assume that we can always use north, south etc for maps.

I'll say something about hut, dock and tip in Sunday's lesson (16th June 2013).

Hi guys, i know i m off topic in this section but i don't know where to put it to get some feed back from you who are in same position but a bit expert than me!!!

Q. every year several languages die out. some people think that this is mot important because life will be easier fi there are fewer languages in the world. to what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

It is certainly true and we all have realised that many local and national languages are disappearing from us day after day. Although some people feel its a relief, that less languages make life easy, i personally disagree with that, actually it is a sad news for us and next generation to come.

People who think more languages are not an important and believe that it creates a barriers for many thing. Firstly, to those who like to travel and are less capable of learning new languages could be restricted from traveling other countries and limit their choice in few places only. For example, elderly people and illiterate people who does not have capacity to grasp new language quickly than young children and adults.Secondly, language may bring frustration and miss trust to local people when you can not communicate freely and do not understand the sense of humor used by native speaker. A good example of this is myself, when i was in china once a very stressful event occurred with taxi driver, who couldn't speak English and i couldn't speak Chinese language, when i asked him to take me to the airport in English, he didn't have a clue what i was talking about. Finally 5mins later he understood what i meant when i used my gesture and sign language. In this situation anyone would have wished to have one langauge everywhere.

However, people can not be so easily ready to loose their native language as there is so much more than just language. Such as one can express their feeling, emotion, love and affection so easily, clearly,and comfortably with more precision in their mother tongue.These are the ingredients which makes people feel alive. In addition to this, our own language brings closeness to each other. For instance, if i met one french speaking person among other nationals, i certainly feel more close and comfortable straightway without having second thoughts who and how he or she is as a person. Therefore, i feel that it is so much important to save our culture including languages.

In conclusion, although it sounds and looks attractive and comfortable if there were fewer languages to speak,there are clearly further greater benefit to it, which should be prevented for good reasons.

Hi Simon,
When writing Task 1, is it OK to paraphrase percentage numbers for fraction ones?If so, do I write the fraction in words?
Thank you,

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