December 2016
Teaching in Practice Readers' Poll Upcoming Events
Resource for Teaching Exam Services Burning Questions



What is ‘lexical cohesion’ and why is it important to create unity within writing?
Read on.


The follow-up MOOC ‘Inside IELTS’ starts on 9th January

Register now for free!


“All the world’s a stage” – bring the Bard to your mobile phone!
Find out more below.

Teaching in Practice


Developing learner autonomy enables students to study more effectively by showing them how to ‘help themselves’, and self-assessment is an important part of this. We need to think about the variety of ways in which we can incorporate this into the learning cycle, and the teacher’s role in guiding the students through this process.

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Understanding Lexical Cohesion

Have you ever wondered: what is lexical cohesion? Knowing how to use related words to present ideas and also create unity within a text can be quite a challenge for students. Traditional ways of learning grammar and vocabulary do not always focus on lexical cohesion, so it is important to look at the definition and explore a number of ways it can be taught to students.

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Readers' Poll

Which area of Communicative Competence do you think you focus more on in your teaching?

1) Strategic
2) Discourse
3) Linguistic / Grammatical
4) Socio-linguistic

Click here to vote

Upcoming Events

Inside IELTS: Preparing for the Test with the Experts

‘Inside IELTS: Preparing for the Test with the Experts’ in another popular MOOC that follows on from the ‘Understand IELTS’ MOOC that ran throughout October. This MOOC studies what skills are important for obtaining success in IELTS, what the examiners are looking for, and what candidates need to do to improve their overall IELTS band score. It is a free online course that will run for 5 weeks starting on 9th January 2017.

Click here to register



Transform into your favourite Shakespeare character on your mobile!

As part of the British Council’s ‘Shakespeare Lives’ programme of events, we have launched our latest WeChat campaign: SHAKEspeare. Scan the QR code and use the shake function on WeChat to unlock a world of great Shakespeare content, dress as your favourite character and win the chance to go to the UK. You can find these QR codes on buses of Wuhan, Shanghai, Chongqing and also on the subway in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.



Are you a teacher with great experience, advice and suggestions that you would like to share with others? Then we would love to hear from you!

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Resource for Teaching

Innovation is GREAT

The GREAT series is a range of fantastic materials that can be exploited for use in the classroom. This particular video looks at the subject of innovation (technology) pitched at a B2 to C1 level. There are 4 separate listening and vocabulary tasks related to the video, which present some gap-fill challenges and work on relative pronouns – all perfect for students studying IELTS!

Click here to view the activities

Exam Services

New payment method of IELTS

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New Test Center in Harbin Engineering University

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New Test Center in University of International Business and Economics

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The IELTS test date from April to December in 2017

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Burning Questions!

Do you have questions about teaching, English or IELTS that you would really love an answer to? Send them to or mark.o'

Remember, we also have a Frequently Asked Questions list on, for you to visit!

Following our recent workshops, we wanted to address some frequently asked questions that would be useful for all to know.

“Some of my students find the IELTS materials too difficult. How can they make progress in a short time if they don’t really understand the texts or listening materials?”

The most important point to reiterate is that IELTS is a proficiency test – it is based on a person’s language ability and skill. Therefore, the first point to look at is the student’s language ability. If materials are too hard for them, then they are not going to learn or progress at all. They need to be working on general English skills at a level that is more suitable and comfortable for them (think about CEFR levels). IELTS test practice materials should only be used periodically to either test progress or to help familiarise students to the format of the test. Another point to remember is students cannot progress quickly by just learning about the test, their progress can only be really linked to building up their overall language ability.

“In Task 2, if the question says ‘discuss both views and give your own opinion’, what structure should students ideally use?”

The simple answer is, it depends on the individual writing capability of the students. Most average level students are comfortable at writing: one introduction, two main paragraphs and one conclusion. Therefore, it makes sense to separate the two views into the two main paragraphs (remembering to stick to one theme per paragraph) and include their personal view in the conclusion. However, if the student is very capable and can comfortably write a lot within the given 40 minutes, then it is fine for them to write: one introduction, two views in two separate paragraphs, their view in a third paragraph, followed by a final brief conclusion.


Previous Issues: February 2016 丨 April 2016 丨 June 2016 丨 October 2016 

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