The British Council have some great videos about the IELTS test. I decided to use one of them to introduce task 1 (academic) to a new class.
The lesson aims to familiarise students with the test format and the task 1 marking scheme. The marking scheme, contained in the band descriptors, can be a bit daunting in the first lesson of a new course and this video is far more student-friendly and engaging.
I think it’s really important students are aware of how the exam is marked before they do anything else, as this focuses their mind on what is important for the rest of the course. There also seems to be lots of misconceptions about ‘how to get a good score’, so it is usually a good way to dispel these myths.
All you need for this lesson is the video below and a copy of the band descriptors for each student.
1. Introduction– Teacher asks students to tell the other people in their groups what they already know about IELTS writing task 1 and what advice would they give someone taking the test.
2. Pre-video discussion- Tell students that they are going to watch a short video about task 1. Before they watch the video they should look at the following words/numbers and predict what the video will say about them.
Student discuss and try to guess what they will see. Board some ideas.
3. Watch Video- Watch the video to check which ideas were correct. Stop video at 3.30.
4. Discussion– Discuss which things they got correct, but more importantly was there anything they got incorrect? Did anything surprise them? Did anything in the video contradict what they thought before? Is there anything they didn’t understand?
Might be a good idea to clarify anything students are confused about at this stage.
5. Do’s and Don’ts– Teacher tells students that they are going to watch the video one more time and they should make short notes about what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. Students watch (stop again at 3.30) and then work in small groups to write 4 Do’s and 4 Don’ts. Compare their ideas with other groups when they have finished. Watch the rest of the video to compare their lists with the video’s list.
6. Band Descriptors– Hand out task 1 band descriptors and ask students to match their Do’s and Dont’s with each of the criteria.
7. Reflection– Ask students to think about the band score they need and with reference to the band descriptors, tell a partner what they need to do to get it.
I hope your students find this lesson useful. Please comment below if you have any other suggestions.
If you would like to view our other resources for teachers, please check out our teachers’ resource page.
Please also feel free to use any of our other IELTS resources in class.