10 Reasons Why Skype Beats The
Classroom For IELTS Preparation
1. Greater Flexibility
We all have responsibilities. Work, family, friends, play; it’s difficult to balance them all. It only becomes harder when you sign up to a school with a strictly enforced, inflexible timetable. Suddenly, your morning workout has to be pushed back to the afternoon, and your 3 o’clock coffee with Mum has to wait until the weekend. The classroom expects you to press the pause button on your life. But life, unfortunately, doesn’t have a pause button.
'The classroom expects you to press the pause button on your life. But life, unfortunately, doesn't have a pause button.'
2. Intensive 1-on-1 Learning
The IELTS exam could be one of the most important exams of your life. The result could mean the difference between getting into a top British university to study the subject you love, or spending another year at home with your parents. With an exam of this importance, why share your education with others? Why waste time waiting for other students to catch up, or panic that other students are going ahead? Why not have the teacher all to yourself?
In The IELTS Teacher’s classroom, you do. All attention is focused on you, and from a teacher who knows exactly what it takes to get a top IELTS score. You can ask me questions at any time, get immediate, useful feedback on your work, move on from tasks as soon as they’re completed – and all in lessons tailored to your ability level.
3. Faster Writing Improvement
Have you ever given in a piece of writing homework to a teacher, only to be given it back seven days later covered in awful, red-penned handwriting you couldn’t understand? Or maybe you’ve had your entire essay given back to you with just a few ticks and a ‘good job’, leaving you with absolutely no idea about how to improve? The IELTS Teacher shares your frustration.
'For lightning-fast writing improvement, I've created 'Perfect Writing'; a marking system that's been designed to perfect your skills and give you writing confidence.'
4. Ubiquitous British Teacher
The problem with the classroom is exactly that – the classroom. You can’t exactly pick it up, pop it in your bag, and carry it across town. ‘Ubiquitous’ means everywhere at once – and that’s just what The IELTS Teacher is. From the kitchen to the coffee shop, the garden to the park, the office to the holiday hotel, you can study with The IELTS Teacher from anywhere in the world with internet access. Forget travel costs; save your pennies.
What’s more, The IELTS Teacher is a British native. I was born and raised in the South of England and have lived here for most of my life (the rest of the time I’ve spent teaching English in other countries). It’s not always easy to reach a school with a fully-qualified British teacher, but The IELTS Teacher makes it possible. So whether you live in Portugal or Peru, Togo or Taiwan, you can be taught by a fully-qualified British native teacher whenever – and wherever – you want.
5. Lower prices
Where I live in Bournemouth, a seaside town in the South of England, there are many, many language schools. More per square mile than anywhere else in the country. In theory, this should lead to competitive (lower) prices. But, out of all the schools in Bournemouth, do you know what the cheapest rate for a 1-on-1 lesson is? Guess… No, higher. Higher. You’re still too low! It’s just a shade under fifty pounds. And that’s only for 45 minutes, not 60! The most expensive? That works out at eighty-one pounds per hour.
'Out of all the schools in Bournemouth, the cheapest rate for a 1-on-1 lesson is... just a shade under fifty pounds.'
6. Materials Provided
Continuing with the topic of money, it’s worthwhile mentioning the cost of materials. In many ESL classrooms, you are expected to buy the course books for your lessons. Even when you buy these second-hand, they’re rarely cheap. And sometimes you will have to buy more than one: there’s a student book AND a workbook remember! If you take different subjects (i.e. General English and IELTS English), you need to buy even more!
With The IELTS Teacher, all your lesson material is provided. This material comes from a range of sources: high-quality, interesting, specially designed IELTS training books; authentic past IELTS test-papers; videos, audio clips and images from the internet; and exercises designed by myself, all used to improve your chances of IELTS success. Save money, eliminate stress.
7. Exclusively IELTS… Exclusively
There are very few schools in the UK, or anywhere in the world, which teach IELTS only. Most schools will teach IELTS, but it will be a very small piece in a very large puzzle. Because of this, any teacher who teaches 1-on-1 in the school classroom will also be teaching other English lessons (General, Business, Legal etc.) at another time. This teacher’s attention is therefore not fully focused on the best way to get you a good IELTS score. That’s where The IELTS Teacher comes in.
'This is the only site which gives fully comprehensive 1-on-1 tutored lessons in EVERY component of the IELTS test. And nothing else.'
8. Interactive Tools
Considering how incredible this software is, it’s amazing that more online tutors aren’t using it. The SmartNotebook technology is simple to understand and a lot of fun to use, whilst still being hugely influential as a learning tool. You will not need to download or install anything on your computer for this software to work – it all works through my computer. To access my computer, all you need to do is enter a website link that I give you and you’ll be able to see and interact with the whiteboard or document on my screen – in real-time!
9. Choose What You Prepare For
“Class, today we’re going to study the past perfect continuous. Please open your books to page 43, Unit 5.” Does this sound familiar? If you’ve ever been in an ESL classroom, it should: it’s the standard opening speech of many classroom teachers. This is the “we tell you what to study, and you study it” method of teaching, and I don’t think it works at all. The student must be able to ‘change the settings’. It’s the student’s lesson, after all.
'Even in-lesson you will be able to control your preparation; if you would like to study a certain topic or grammar point, just ask!'
10. More Fun!
“Class, today we’re going to study the past perfect continuous. Please open your books to page 43, Unit 5.” This should definitely sound familiar now! Why use this example again? Because it makes another point: does this sort of speech ever get you excited to learn English? Does it give you the motivation to keep studying hard for your IELTS exam? Does it make you think you’re about to have a fun and engaging 60 minutes? I thought not.
The IELTS Teacher is great for so many educational purposes, just a few of which have been listed above. But when it comes down to it, don’t you also want to enjoy your IELTS English lessons? Well, with The IELTS Teacher, that’s the delicious icing on the cake: now you can. My lessons are fun, engaging, varied and interactive, but also hugely instructive, and set in an atmosphere which is totally relaxed. I will treat you like a human, not a number, and I aim to develop a healthy teacher-student relationship with every single person who chooses to study with me.
And a few notes on why Skype study beats self-study, too…
Motivation: How many times have you told yourself you need to revise, but not actually done anything about it? Often that’s down to not being in a learning environment. The IELTS Teacher provides you with both an engaging learning environment AND a tutor who is always on-hand to support you when you’re feeling a lack of motivation.
Knowledge: Self-studying with IELTS books is okay as a form of preparation, as the books have likely been designed for self-study. But having a teacher is even better. A teacher is far more engaging, far more flexible, and far more useful when it comes to answering questions on the spot, explaining tricky concepts, and sharing their years of experience teaching the language with students.
Feedback: Though some IELTS books offer a guide on how to speak or write properly, and provide ‘model’ answers, this is absolutely nowhere near as helpful as a qualified and experienced English teacher giving you immediate, comprehensive feedback on your work. With a teacher’s feedback, you recognize more of your errors, acknowledge how to improve, and remember what you have learnt much more than you would with a book.
Fun: Have you ever been eager to start your self-study session? Probably not. Self-study requires a huge amount of self-discipline and concentration, qualities that are hard to maintain when what you are studying seems far less interesting than what’s on TV. Part of a teacher’s job is to make your lesson subject (IELTS English) fun and engaging, and lessons over Skype create endless opportunities for this kind of learning.
Books: Though self-study is undoubtedly the cheapest form of study, it still requires you to go out and buy the IELTS books. These range from the awful to the genuinely helpful, and all of them carry a pretty hefty price tag. With The IELTS Teacher, you don’t need to buy any books as all material is provided for you at the lesson, with each material hand-picked for its quality and presented to you in an interesting way.