Hannah from the Futurelearn contacted me recently to let me know about courses that the British Council have free IELTS preparation courses available. It says that there is a price on the page BUT it’s free if you only want access to the course for 5 weeks. You only pay if you want to see the videos, hear the audio and join the forums all the time. You can get a certificate that you joined the course if you pay more.
I have never used these courses but I have taken other courses on Futurelearn before, and it’s free!
Future Learn & British Council Free IELTS Course
There are so many different standardised tests available to test your English skills: the Cambridge certificates, TOEIC, TOEFL, IELTS, BULATS and, here in Japan, the Eiken/STEP test.
For a lot of people, these tests are pointless. If you need the certificate to get a job or a college place, go for it. If not, read on.
Here is an idea about taking vocabulary notes. I am taking notes like this to study Japanese and I think it might be useful to some of you who read this blog.
This week it’s Campus Week at Get Great English. I know the term hasn’t started yet but think of it as a little time to prepare before packing bags, unpacking, moving into halls of residence or a flat.
When you are at university you need to take lecture notes. This is something you can practise online with video lectures (about your field of study or some elective courses you might take) so you develop the skills you need before you start university.
Sometimes you need to give ideas about what you think happened in a past event, including the reasons why. In this post, I’m going to give you some help to speculate about the past.
Question tags are a part of English that a lot of non-native speakers make mistakes with. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most common tag questions.
The apostrophe (‘) is one of the most difficult punctuation marks for native speakers to use correctly. Here is a simple guide to its use. You may also want to check out this punctuation guide, too.
This is a very basic punctuation guide. It should help you with academic English and also English for general purposes.
Whenever you write, it is advisable to vary your sentence structures in order to keep your readers’ interest. In this post, I’ll show you an easy way to do this using relative clauses.
I have written before about using your to-do list as a way to practise English but why not use your to-do list for more repetitive grammar study? You could use this system for present perfect tense, modals and contrasting the simple future, present continuous and simple past tenses.
Present Perfect Tense
Simply add the item to your list in a negative present-perfect sentence. e.g. ‘I haven’t done my homework.’
When it is finished, can write a new note in the positive form. (I know you could simply cross out the negative part, i.e. ‘I have
n’t done my homework.‘, but you can get more practice by writing a new note.)
You can practice modals by writing a sentence such as ‘I should do my homework.’
As your deadline gets nearer, write a stronger modal, like ‘I must do my homework.’
If you have any incomplete items, write another note, such as ‘I had to do my homework but I didn’t.’
Contrasting Simple Future, Present Continuous and Simple Past Tenses
This is similar to the modals example. For new items, write a future tense note (both ‘will’ and ‘going to’ are fine but obviously not together). e.g. ‘I will do my homework.’
Any incomplete tasks can be written in present continuous tense. e.g. ‘I am doing my homework.’
Any finished tasks can be written in simple past tense, such as ‘I did my homework.’ or ‘I finished my homework.’
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