English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 27.1
EA Journal Volume 27 No 1 83 offered, that is unrivalled among other books aimed at the IELTS preparation market. IELTS Trainer, however, is far more targeted towards teaching, practising and testing the specific language and exam skills that are needed to succeed in the IELTS test than the other works in the Cambridge Books for Cambridge Exams series and it is this factor which makes this new book such a valuable and useful resource. Its only limitation, in my view, is that it is designed to prepare candidates only for the Academic Module of the IELTS test and not for the General Training Module. IELTS Trainer comes in two different versions: a version without answers, that is designed for use as a classroom teaching resource for teachers, and a version with answers, that is intended for self-study use. It is aimed at learners or candidates who would like to achieve a band score of 6 or higher in the test and the lexis of the explanatory and advisory sections of the book is graded accordingly so as to be accessible even to those who are fairly close to, but not yet at, a 6. It is comprised of 6 complete and authentic practice tests, together with accompanying CDs, but it is effectively divided into two sections. The first section is built around Tests 1 and 2, with most of the teaching provided in the context of Test 1. For each part or section of each of the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tests included in Test 1, there is an explanation of what it is made up of and what it seeks to test. There is general guidance and tips on how to approach the task types that are routinely found in each part or section, including detailed Action Plans, and advice and practice activities focusing on useful language and strategies. For example, the activities for Writing Task 1 focus on things like understanding what to look for when reading the question, understanding and selecting appropriately from the data, and writing an effective summary. All the activities draw on numerous extracts from real exam scripts for both error correction and modelling. By way of further example, for Part 2 of the Speaking Test, there are activities which provide candidates with useful language for giving a talk and strategies for making notes, such as the use of spider diagrams. The breadth and depth of support given to the learner in relation to Test 1 is gradually reduced in the context of Test 2, where what has previously been learnt is reviewed and extended, and further task types are introduced, analysed and practised. The second section of the book, which incorporates Tests 3 to 6, is intended for exam practice, putting into practice the skills which have been acquired in the context of the two previous tests. Since this section of the book is intended for practice purposes, the support and guidance given in the first section is no longer present but the student has the benefit of four authentic tests to use to hone the skills and put into practice the strategies that have previously been highlighted and presented.
English Australia Journal 27.2