Hi, I’m Ray. I set up this blog to help IELTS students who were finding it really challenging to get a good score in the IELTS exam, I also made this site to help my own students get a good band score in IELTS. I own an English school in Japan (London Language Lounge) which I founded in 2007. I’m from London originally.
Long before this, I was in the computer industry. I was a service engineer repairing Apple Mac computers. Then I went into selling them (This was way back in the 1990s!) eventually I felt it wasn’t for me, so I travelled for a quite while, and then went into teaching English back in 2001 when I got a CELTA at International House London. I then taught English in London, Costa Rica, Azerbaijan, and finally, I ended up in Japan.
I have been teaching English for 17 years. I have taught Business English, TOEIC, TOEFL and I also taught specialist English at JICA in Japan (government overseas volunteer project). I then I decided to set up my own English school here in Kyushu Southern Japan.
My IELTS background:
When I first taught IELTS (in Azerbaijan 2003) I felt frustrated. I thought to myself, how can anyone pass this exam? I felt anxious about it all and I was supposed to be the teacher! I relied on textbooks but they didn’t show me exactly what the IELTS examiners were looking for.
So fast forward a few years to when I set up my own school, I spent over a year intensively studying IELTS. I worked with IELTS specialists, spoke to ex-examiners about the best way to approach the exam and began to realise there were strategies and patterns to getting a good band score (as well as hard work). It was then that I started to develop my own materials and techniques.
I have been teaching IELTS since 2009 in my school here in Japan, mainly one to one. Many of the students I have taught managed to hit Band 7 or more in IELTS, especially in the writing and speaking sections.
I have often had students in my school trying hard to get a good score in IELTS. I noticed they had been given bad advice and had a lot of frustrations (just like I did when I first started teaching IELTS) with writing essays, understanding the structures, problems with paraphrasing, the reading section, problems thinking of ideas, issues with vocabulary and confusion with IELTS speaking part 2 and 3. That’s a lot to fix. With some coaching, I was able to help many of them get Band 7 or more.
So how can I help you?
I am constantly updating this website with free lessons and quality advice. In addition, I have a writing correction service to help you hit the band score you need in the writing section. I also have an online speaking practice service where you can do mock speaking tests and get feedback including band scores and email support.
After many years of coaching students and marking IELTS essays, I realised that with enough effort and hard work, a very focused and organised Intermediate level English student has a very good chance at band 7 once they get to work on fixing their weak areas.
Key points to remember:
IELTS is not impossible, its the effort and work that you need to do that is difficult. You can get the band score you deserve, the problem is that most people have been given bad advice and do not, or due to commitments, cannot take the action needed to hit their target score. In addition, you need to have at least an Intermediate to upper intermediate level of English to see real results. Remember that IELTS is testing your English ability.
If you are prepared to do the work I can show you the techniques to help you get a Band 7. There are no tricks and there are no shortcuts either, so don’t believe anyone who guarantees a Band 8 or 9 in a few weeks.
I suggest at least 2 to 3 months of preparation before taking the exam. I have found that grammar and vocabulary are what separates Band 5 and Band 7 students. Work on your vocabulary and grammar first, this will help with your overall coherence especially in the writing section.
What is your biggest frustration with IELTS?
What do you think is stopping you from getting the Band score you deserve? What is your weak point in IELTS?. Let me know, I am still developing this blog and putting up new free lessons, so if you have any questions email me. [email protected]
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