Case Study one – Mehmet (project manager)
Case Study two – Stepan (IELTS – doctor)
Case Study three – Maria (company relocation to UK )
Case Study four – Takeshi (IELTS – doctor)
Case Study five – Ayesha
My fifth student in the series was also an IELTS student and a doctor. She was slightly different from the other doctors I have mentioned as she was a recently qualified doctor and had just arrived in the UK as a newly wed looking to pursue a career as a doctor in the UK. Her husband was already working in a hospital here.
Ayesha had recently taken the IELTS before getting married and moving to the UK but had unfortunately not got the band score she needed. In the few months she had been living in the Uk she had started to prepare again for the test. She soon realised that in order to prepare adequately she needed help from a specialist teacher and that is when we became acquainted. In fact it was her husband who contacted me. Being very busy in the hospital, he was looking for a weekend course where Ayesha could get an intensive boost in English and then continue preparing by herself up to the exam date. As she had only just arrived in the country she was too nervous about travelling on her own so I was more than happy for them both to come together.
They arrived late on Friday evening, I collected them at the station. We had a light supper and then they retired to bed.
The first lesson
We started bright and early on the Saturday morning and started to go through each part of the test. I soon discovered that Ayesha’s main problem had been lack of preparation particularly in the speaking and writing papers. She had assumed that the speaking would simply be a short conversation and told me that she had the impression that the examiner was wanting her to say more but she didn’t know what to say.
The writing also needed a little work to get to band 7 and there were a few grammar areas to address.
We decided to concentrate for half a day on each part of the exam:
- Listening – we worked through different types of listening material both IELTS and non-IELTS and talked about techniques and strategies for the exam
- Writing – We looked mostly at analysing the title and then creating good plans for the essay. On Saturday evening Ayesha produced both a Task 1 and a Task 2 for me to check.
- Speaking – Ayesha’s spoken English was quite good but lacked breadth. We went through the test and practised each part and also talked about how she could get more practice – being in England meant that there were opportunities to do this but Ayesha was a little nervous about joining groups or clubs. We agreed that we would speak on the phone as part of the follow-up and she would try and speak more to her neighbours and other people that she ‘knew to say hello to’ (this is someone you don’t really know very well but see from time to time).
- Ayesha’s reading score had also been very good but as she was looking for an overall score of 7 we felt that we could improve this to boost her final score..
The study plan
We worked from 9 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and then again from 2.00p.m. until 5.00p.m. During each session we concentrated on one area of the test.
There was a little time in the late afternoon to get out for a short walk which gave us time to talk generally – something which is important for fluency.
There was also time during our meals together (with both our respective husbands) to have more conversation.
Ayesha’s husband had brought work with him to complete and my husband took him out for a while to see the local area.
The weekend was a good way to get an overview of useful test strategies from Ayesha’s point of view and I was able to see where her strengths and weaknesses were in each part and provide a study plan for her to follow going forward to the actual test. We did this on the final afternoon.
So armed with a plan, some websites to check out and I hoped, a little more confidence, I took Ayesha and her husband back to the station for their return journey home.
During the few weeks that followed we spoke on the phone and also communicated via email. She also sent me more writing which I corrected and returned. Where there were language problems I sent supplementary exercises to help and gave her a daily dose (using Gapfillers) of general language skills work to keep developing her English skills.
She had also made friends with one of her neighbours who, on hearing about the IELTS test offered to meet regularly so that Ayesha could practise her speaking – if you don’t try these things you’ll never know what might have been! This was a real boost to both confidence and fluency.
A month or so later Ayesha took the IELTS she called me and told me what the questions had been – they were all fairly standard and some of them were things I had given her to do in her practice. She felt very upbeat and thought that the test had gone well.
A couple of weeks later I was in the car when my phone rang and I saw that it was Ayesha so I knew that this would be her result. She had got an overall band score of 8 (3 x 8 and 7.5 in Writing – amazing) !! She was so excited and could now move on with the next stage of her preparation to work in the UK as a doctor.
This is Ayesha’s final email to me after the exam.
|I am happy to send my score card and to dedicate my success to your guidance and the emotional support. I have booked my plab1 exam on feb.11th and started preparing for it. hope I will pass that exam too with your blessings.thanks a lot|
Do you need help with your IELTS exam?
As a former IELTS examiner and with over 15 years of experience preparing and coaching people for the exam especially at Bands 7 and 8 I know what it takes to achieve these scores.
I work a lot with professionals (especially doctors) who need high band scores to move on with their careers.
Using my own Advanced English training site, Gapfillers and my own expertise in IELTS I can help you to get the score you are looking for.
Join my free IELTS Group in Gapfillers and get regular updates about preparing for the exam and also the chance to join in my teleseminars and seminars and all the other IELTS training opportunities I offer.
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