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March 22, 2016


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Hi Simon,

Good morning,

Why are you no longer active over your facebook account??

My best regards.

10 basic rules:

1. Don’t multitask
2. Don’t pontificate
3. Use open-ended questions
4. Go with the flow
5. If you don’t know, say that you don’t know
6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs
7. Try not to repeat yourself
8. Still out the weeds
9. Listen
10. Be brief

8. Stay out of weeds


I'm still using my Facebook page. I just haven't written an update for a few days.


Thanks novice. That was quick!

Hi Simon,

Could you please help us with a model answer to the following real exam question which I had? I find it difficult to deal with the two main body paragraph.

As well as making money, businesses also have social responsibilities.
Do you agree or disagree?

I'm not sure whether I should write one paragraph about making money and another about social responsibilities, or one about the reason that businesses should have social responsibilities and another about why it's wrong for them not to have social responsibilities.

Thanks very much!

10 tips and good phrases from the presentation:

(1) do not multitask
(2) do not pontificate
(3) using open ended questions
(4) go with the flow
(5) if you don't know, say that you don't know
(6) don't equate your experiences with theirs
(7) try not to repeat yourself
(8) st... out of the wind (?)
(9) listen
(10) be brief


face to face
be present, be invade this moment
totally predictable
sensing acceptance
let them come, let them go
claim to be expert, claim to know
a centre of tension
it takes afford and energy
be prepare to be amazing
intend to understand, intend to reply ' )

Hi Simon,

When I was watching this video, I discovered one interesting thing about IELTS speaking...

When Celeste was talking about the eighth tip, she said that during normal conversation, "Frankly, people don't care about the years, the names, the dates, all those details that you're struggling to come up with in your mind...What they care about is you... So forget the details. Leave them out."

To me, IELTS speaking felt like an abnormal conversation because it requires you to add as much detail as you can during the part 2 and part 3. Maybe that's why I cannot get a good mark ><

Hi Simon
I can't believe that even after taking my test, still I am bounded to your website. I can say most of the time I visit this website to find and use important tips not only for IELTS, but for my usual daily English.
Now I have a question for you. On the net, is there any high quality and reliable program or application that can help us for correction of our paper writing. I mean anything that can be helpful for writing of scientific papers or correspondents. I found numerous websites and programs such as WhiteSmoke, Grammarly or StyleWriter, but I am not sure about their credits or if they are really useful.
Would you please to give me some clues.
I really appreciate your advises and points.

Great video to share, Simon!! Thank you ^^

1.pay attention
2.how to interview others
3. fill engage
real connection
1. be present
2. don't penit , enter every conversation
setting adside
everyone have something you
3.use a open question
4. go with your flaw
5. just say you don't know if you don't know
6. don't equate your experience with theirs
it is never the same
7. try not to repeat yourself
8. stay out of the weeds
forget the details
9. listen, the 1 the skill
with the intend to understand
10. be interested in other people
be prepared to be amazed

1. Don't multitask, be present.
2. Don't pontificate, assume that you have things to learn.
3. Use opening questions.
4. Go with the flow.
5. If you don't know, say that you don't know.
6. Don't equate your experiences with other people's.
7. Try not to repeat yourself.
8. Stay out of the weeds, do not concentrate on the details.
9. Listen, this is not the last, but the NO.1 important.
10. Be brief.

I love the saying that in most time, people listen not for understanding but for replying, or in other words, retort other people.

And the last sentence is always the most impressive one in a speech. "Be prepared to be amazed." We have a lot to learn.


First, a quick note about the video above:

The speaker uses the phrase "stay out of the weeds" to mean "don't give unnecessary details". I've never used this phrase myself - maybe it's more of an American expression. We British people would probably say "don't get bogged down in the detail". These are nice phrases to know, but I wouldn't recommend using them in your IELTS test!



Thanks for sharing that question. I'll use it in a lesson here on the blog soon.



Good point! Remember that IELTS speaking isn't really a 'normal' conversation. You should try to speak in a natural way, but you do need to go into detail to show the examiner that you can speak good English. It's a language test first and foremost.



It's nice to hear that you still follow my lessons, even after passing the IELTS test!

I'm afraid I don't have any experience of using websites that offer university writing correction. For that kind of thing, I'd recommend looking for a teacher who can help you face to face.

Thanks Simon. I'm looking forward to seeing your answer!

Hi Simon.
I just got my Ielts result:L:6/W:7/R:7/S:7/O:7
I do not know how to thank you simon for this informative site. Through the last 4 months I have studied only with the help of your website. The way that you convey information is unique and I recommend your website for all those who would sit for the Ielts.
God bless you simon,
keep up the good work.

True listening means setting aside of oneself.

Most of us don't listen with the intent to understand. We listen with the intent to reply.

Congratuations El. I'm really happy that my site helped you to pass!

Conversational competence might be the single most overlooked skill that we failed to teach at schools .
Is there any 21st century skill mire important than being able to sustain a coherent and confident conversation ?

Here are 10 ways to have a better conversation :

1. Don't multitask .
Be present, be at in that moment .If u wanna stay out of a conversation just stay out of it . Don't be half in it and half out of it .

2. Don't pontificate.
Enter every conversation assuming that you have something to learn . Set aside your personal opinions .

3. Use open-ended questions .
Start a question by 5W1H . ( who , when , what, where, why+ how)
For example , ask questions such as : what was that like ? How dose that feel ? Instead of asking ,Are u terrified ?

4.Go with the flow .
Let the ideas come and go .It's OK to think of your favorite tv show for the night but don't let that interfere with this conversation you are having at the moment .

5. If you don't know say that you don't know .
Talk should not be cheap.

6. Don't equate your experience with theirs .
All experiences are individual .
Be aware that conversations are not a promotional opportunity .

7. Try not to repeat yourself .
Don't overstate the same point .Even your kids will retaliate if u keep repeating yourself .

8. Stay out of the weeds.
No need for TMI. ( TMI= too much information )

9. Listen .
" If your mouth is opened then you are not learning " --- Buddha
" No man ever listened his way out of his job "

10. Be brief .
Be interested in other people .Everyone has some hidden amazing things about them .
Be prepared to be amazed :)

The video is interesting and useful indeed. Thank you, Simon.

Thank you for sharing very very interesting presentation.

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