by Hugh Ottewell
As a born and bred first language English speaker, I recall how offended and irritated I felt on learning that, should I ever wish to emigrate to say Australia, I would be required to sit the IELTS exam in order to prove my level of proficiency in my own language. This exasperation was borne more out of ignorance than any informed stance that I could have taken.
The level of English among those looking to relocate will understandably vary immensely. As such, a base-line test to demonstrate one’s level is both appropriate and something that should be welcomed. It offers proof that applicants can to communicate without any need for further tuition or support as a resident.
Rather than an unnecessary bureaucratic hoop, the IELTS examination is a logical filter for emigration. For the host country it is one means of ensuring that the immigrant’s presence will essentially not be a drain on public resources. Of equal importance, perhaps, this process will probably deter those trying to achieve entry on more of a whim.
Now imagine my reaction when I am informed that it would serve me well to attend some sort of preparatory course!!! I am told that these classes will help to ensure a good score. Obviously, this will allow an applicant to move on to further exigencies of entry.
‘Surely my English would be sufficient to pass this rudimentary test?’ I asked, incredulously. Firstly, in no way is it rudimentary and, secondly, yes, I would probably pass. There are, however, a couple of key questions. To what degree would I already know what the examination was requiring me to demonstrate? Secondly, how well would I perform having availed of a little help and guidance?
The main objective of the preparatory course is to raise awareness of the essential key features to score highly. The examiner will look for these details in order to award marks, where possible. In essence, the IELTS preparation course is not aimed at teaching English, as much as providing the polish to ensure a true reflection of your level.
Our aim is to pique interest with these blogs with an obvious ulterior motive. My Language Hub offers a preparatory course for the IELTS examination and further details can be found at the Educational Services section of our website.