Topic outline

  • General

    YES! IELTS for Schools

     

    YES! IELTS for Schools is a writing course that uses a blended learning approach. It integrates carefully constructed online study activities with assistance and encouragement from a real-life classroom teacher.

    Students work through their course step-by-step and each time they complete and submit an activity, their teacher receives an email alert. The teacher then checks the students’ answers and if necessary writes back with suggestions or corrections.

    This interactive method means that students can study by themselves to their own timetable, yet you have the ongoing support of a real teacher throughout their learning program.

    As a school, you allocate your own teacher (or teachers) who facilitate(s) your course. Training and support are provided.

    • Testimonials

      Karl Prodger, IELTS Co-ordinator at Viva College (Brisbane, Australia)

      This writing program is one of the best ways for students to get into the rhythm of writing a successful IELTS essay. The subjects are relevant and takes a student from guided (step-by-step) to freer practice.

      We worked closely with Tish to align the YES! IELTS topics with our curriculum and as a result, we have a synchronised system. Thus the students experience success early on which helps with motivation and also allows them to notice the grammar structures that are being used along with useful phrases that will help them succeed in the test. Another positive is that there is self-marking with gap-fills until the students start producing their essays and then the results are easily displayed within the Moodle framework.

      Overall, the YES! IELTS for Schools programme has enhanced the writing strategies and techniques practiced in class and has given students the opportunity to sharpen their skills in their own time. 

      Viva College has been using YES! IELTS for Schools since March 2014


      Matt, a YES! IELTS Student from Hong Kong

      Thank you, Tish! If it had not been for YES! IELTS, I couldn't have hit a band 8 in the writing test. Scoring a band 8 - particularly in the writing test - is no easy task. All the same, with the tips given by Tish, I had a firmer grasp of the writing test and knew what areas I needed to work harder on and pay more attention to.


      Mark Collins, IELTS Teacher at Viva College (Brisbane, Australia)

      I have been using YES! IELTS for Schools with my students for nearly twelve months. In that time I have seen many students benefit from the simple, clear, yet comprehensive methods that underpin the YES! IELTS programme. The website is user-friendly and logical for teachers and students alike. The content is high quality and highly relevant to IELTS essay writing. I use the programme as a self-study and classroom tool, and refer to the five-step method in my classroom instruction. Tish is only ever an email away if I have any questions, and her support is always timely and effective. I would certainly recommend the YES! IELTS for Schools programme to any school or IELTS teacher looking to improve their students’ essay-writing ability.

      Viva College has been using YES! IELTS for Schools since March 2014

    • Course Aims

      By the end of the writing course students will have learnt how to:

      • Task analysis: present a fully developed position in answer to the question with relevant, fully extended, and well-supported ideas

      • Coherence and cohesion: sequence ideas and information logically, manage aspects of cohesion, and skilfully manage paragraphing

      • Lexical resource: show off a wide range of vocabulary fluently and flexibly to convey precise meaning

      • Grammatical range and accuracy: show off grammatical ability by demonstrating a wide range of structures with flexibility and accuracy
    • Course Management

      • Asynchronous: the teacher does not have to be online at the same time as the students, but receives email alerts of student activity and assignment submissions. This is excellent for providing guided independent study activities for a class during one-on-one student-teacher time such as student-teacher interviews, evaluations, or speaking tests.

      • Completely online: no need for photocopying, no printing, and no wasted paper

      • Moodle only: no external software or other programs needed; only internet access is needed

      • Low internet load: a high bandwidth is not necessary

      • Delivery: can be used across a variety of devices (computer, tablet, smartphone)

      • Control: can be restricted to a school’s IP address

      • Multi-use: the course has multiple uses: it can be used to support an existing course, on its own, or as the main course with supplementary materials

      • Personalised: each student works through their own course and receives personalised feedback on their individual work

      • Grouped: teachers receive the work from their own face-to-face class students

      • Easy marking: clear marking criteria and grading rubrics are provided

    • Course Design

      • New and original materials: not published anywhere else

      • Quality materials: used successfully since 2010

      • Practical: the content is based on the IELTS writing band descriptors and pinpoints exactly what the students need to do to achieve their required level

      • Time management: students learn strategies for how to use time effectively and efficiently during the test

      • Scaffolded: students work from guided to independent through carefully constructed tutorials and practice activities

      • Completion checking: students and teachers can easily see how much of the course they have completed at any given moment

      • Multi-level: can be used with different level students: IELTS 5.5 – 9

      • Flexible:
        • Can be adapted to fit into your school's IELTS course length
          • e.g. into an 8, 10 or 12 week course
        • Can be worked into existing classes
          • with continuous enrolments and/or
          • that are part of a fixed-length, closed course

      • Bespoke: the order and focus of practice activities can be altered to suit your school's curriculum
    • Course Outline

      The course begins with three tutorials. These identify two main essay types and demonstrate the 5 steps recommended for organising time in Task 2. The focus is on optimising timing and answering the question in order to achieve highly in Task Response and Coherence and Cohesion.

      Following the tutorials are Practice Activities, in which students practice common vocabulary and grammar errors in their guided tasks. Detailed Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy feedback is student-centred and graded by the classroom teacher according to individual student needs via the independent parts of the Practice Activities.

      • Tutorials
        • Tutorial 1: Essay Type 1; Steps 1 - 2
        • Tutorial 2: Essay Type 1; Steps 3 - 5
        • Tutorial 3: Essay Type 2; Steps 1 - 5

      • Practice Activities
        • Practice Activities 1
          • Theme 1 (G) Advertising. Focus: spelling
          • Theme 2 (G) Arts and Entertainment. Focus: spelling, synonyms, negatives
          • Theme 3 (G) Communication. Focus: spelling, some/any/no
          • Theme 4 (G) Social Issues. Focus: spelling, word form
          • Theme 5 (G) Transport and Inventions. Focus: spelling, adjectives
        • Practice Activities 2
          • Theme 6 (G) Sport. Focus: word form, prepositions, linking cohesive devices
          • Theme 7 (G) Travel. Focus: coherence and cohesion
          • Theme 8 (G) Health. Focus: adjectives
          • Theme 9 (S-G) Change
          • Theme 10 (S-I) Education
        • Practice Activities 3
          • Theme 11 (G) Globalisation
          • Theme 12 (S-G)  Media. Focus on vocabulary (word form, synonym, adjective)
          • Theme 13 (S-I)  Business
          • Theme 14 (I) Environment
          • Theme 15 (I) Science and Technology
        • Practice Activities 4
          • Theme 16 (S-I) Relationships
          • Theme 17 (I)  Work
          • Theme 18 (I)  Animals
          • Theme 19 (I)  Leisure
          • Theme 20 (I) Language


      Key: (G) = Guided; (SG) = Semi-guided; (S-I) = Semi-independent; (I) = Independent

    • Course Length

      The course length is approximately 15 hours and is designed to be completed within 20 x 45-55 minute sessions.
      • 3 x Tutorials: 30 - 40 minutes each
      • 9 x Guided Practice Activities: 25 minutes each
      • 2 x Semi-Guided Practice Activities: 45 minutes each
      • 3 x Semi-Independent Practice Activities: 50 minutes each
      • 6 x Independent Practice Activities: 55 minutes each
      (Times given are approximate only.)

    • Scaffolding

      "In education, scaffolding refers to a variety of instructional techniques used to move students progressively toward stronger understanding and, ultimately, greater independence in the learning process."
      (Source: http://edglossary.org/scaffolding)

      YES! IELTS for Schools scaffolds student learning in the following ways:

      Within the Practice Activities, students choose an answer from a dropdown menu of options. These get progressively more difficult as the student works though the Practice Activities.

      Practice Activities 1: the students have a choice of 2 options in their dropdown questions.

      Practice Activities 2: there are 3 options to choose from.

      Practice Activities 3 and 4: there are 4 options.


      In addition to this, Practice Activities themselves are designed to build a student's confidence by working from Guided through to Independent.

      Guided activities: the student selects from a dropdown menu of options for all questions (showing 5 Steps).

      Semi-Guided: the student has dropdown options for the majority of the questions but must complete the essay by themselves, using the brainstorm and plan that are provided.

      Semi-Independent: activities are similar to Semi-Guided, but this time the student writes both the plan and essay, based on the brainstorm provided.

      Independent: there are no dropdown choices and the student must complete all tasks independently.

      This encourages the student to work through increasingly challenging tasks to gain confidence in all aspects of writing an IELTS essay.

    • Frequently Asked Questions

      What level is the course aimed at?

      It is aimed at B2 (IELTS 5.5 - 6.5) and C1 (IELTS 7 - 8) language users. C2 (IELTS 8.5 - 9) users will find the tutorials about strategies and independent practice tasks helpful.


      What are themes and topics?

      A theme is the general idea the topic falls under. Themes for YES! IELTS for Schools are based on those given in the Common European Framework of Reference.

      Current YES! IELTS for Schools themes are:

      • Advertising
      • Arts
      • Communication
      • Social Issues
      • Transport
      • Sport
      • Travel
      • Health
      • Education
      • Environment
      • Globalisation
      • Media
      • Business
      • Change
      • Science & Technology
      • Work
      • Language
      • Animals
      • Leisure
      • Relationships

      The topic is the essay question. Topics are created and chosen that have relevance to the current affairs of the country where the school is located, and uses vocabulary that is common in that environment. For example, for schools in Australia, there is a topic that mentions TAFE (a vocational training school for Technical and Further Education). This keeps the topics relevant to the students' learning environment, and meaningful for their day-to-day interaction in their school's location. Topics are not political, but may generate political discussion.


      Where do the topics come from? Are the they previous IELTS topics?

      Topics are original to YES! IELTS and have been carefully created to be similar to real IELTS topics. Some topics might be slightly more challenging than real IELTS topics. They are designed to be country-specific and therefore not as broad as real IELTS topics. These original topics mean that students have not seen the topics previously, and will find it difficult to copy model answers from other sources.


      Are there any model answers?

      There are no model answers given for topics that require students to write their own essays. This is because there is no particular 'one' answer for essay topics.


      What is scaffolding?

      "In education, scaffolding refers to a variety of instructional techniques used to move students progressively toward stronger understanding and, ultimately, greater independence in the learning process." (Source: http://edglossary.org/scaffolding)

      YES! IELTS for Schools scaffolds student learning in the following ways:

      Within the Practice Activities, students choose an answer from a dropdown menu of options. These get progressively more difficult as the student works though the Practice Activities. In Practice Activities 1, the students have a choice of 2 options in their dropdown questions. In Practice Activities 2, there are 3 options and it Practice Activities 3 and 4 there are 4 options.

      In addition to this, Practice Activities themselves are designed to build a student's confidence by working from Guided through to Independent. In Guided activities, the student selects from a dropdown menu of options for all questions (showing 5 Steps). In Semi-Guided, the student has dropdown options for the majority of the questions but must complete the essay by themselves, using the brainstorm and plan that are provided. Semi-Independent activities are similar to Semi-Guided, but this time the student writes both the plan and essay, based on the brainstorm provided. For Independent activities, there are no dropdown choices and the student must complete all tasks independently.

      This encourages the student to work through increasingly challenging tasks to gain confidence in all aspects of writing an IELTS essay.

    • Contact

      For further information, please contact Tish Kirkland.

      Email: tish@yes-ielts.com

      Phone: +61 416 722 300