DiscoverIELTS with Fiona: a comprehensive guide to IELTS
IELTS with Fiona: a comprehensive guide to IELTS
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IELTS with Fiona: a comprehensive guide to IELTS

Author: IELTS with Fiona

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Join me for a weekly talk-through of IELTS topics to help you learn about the issues, vocabulary, tips and strategies you need to prepare.

Find all my tips on my website and join the Members Academy for all the downloads, step-by-step online courses, and support to get you a Band 7+ in the #ielts test.
363ย Episodes
Quick tips to help you with the Speaking Challenge followed by a Reading Passage 2 about the tool-making abilities of crows (and what we have in common with them). True/False/Not Given. Get the full reading here --- Send in a voice message:
This is my walkthrough of an Academic Passage 1 about Stonehenge. Keyword before you listen: โ€˜Winter solsticeโ€™ - the shortest day of the year (December 21st) Meaning: to stand still The solstice (combining the Latin words sol for โ€œsunโ€ and โ€˜sistereโ€™ for โ€œstand stillโ€) is the point where the Sun appears to reach either its highest or lowest point in the sky for the year and thus ancient astronomers came to know the day as one where the sun appeared to stand still. Become a member to get the full tapescript, wordlist and video. --- Send in a voice message:
This listening about a research project contains several examples of โ€˜academicโ€™ language (language related to studying at university) that you need to understand Listening Part 3. It's about a volcanic eruption, and is adapted from a Cambridge Past Paper (Book 18). Get the full lesson notes and video in the Bronze Membership on my website and the Listening Course in the Members Academy. --- Send in a voice message:
This Part 4 Listening is all about moving elephants. In the lesson you'll learn about: using word prompts to keep your place using intonation and sentence stress to identify answers using spelling patterns and plurals to get the right answers The full transcript is available in the Bronze Membership on my website. --- Send in a voice message:
This is a relatively easy Passage 2 from a Cambridge Past Paper, with 3 sets of questions [Matching Information, Categorising and Gapfill]. --- Send in a voice message:
This Listening Part 4 about a writer called Victor Hugo is taken from the new Practice Book 18. In the podcast you'll learn why this particular test is more difficult than usual how reference words give you the answer (if you can remember what they refer to) techniques for predicting and retaining information common gapfill answers and how they're related to pronunciation Get the full video, tapescript and tips in the Members Academy Listening Course with Members bonus features for 12 months. --- Send in a voice message:
This is a Passage 3 review about a book about The Birth and Growth of Manhattan's Skyscrapers. Seriously, I don't expect anyone to listen to this for more than 5 minutes. If you've got the text in front of you, it might help, but not much. All I can do is give you strategy tips for this one because trying to explain the answers is painful. The only good thing about this text is that everything goes in COMPLETE ORDER and we know where everything is because it goes from 'Chapter 1' to 'Chapter 10'. Actually the Yes, No, Not Given questions are pretty ok too. But the last Gapfill Summary with Answers is a nightmare. Good luck with it! All the best Fiona from IELTS with Fiona --- Send in a voice message:
Farming and agriculture is my Number 1 Vocabulary topic for IELTS, and I noticed that most of the readings in this new Cambridge Practice Test Book (18) are related either to the environment (Week 1 of my vocab course) or to cities/architecture/buildings (Week 2 in my Vocabulary course - the Man-Made Environment). So make sure you re-read this text for the useful vocabulary e.g. sustainable, organic, intensive farming. Members: the video version of this podcast with pdf download is now available for you to watch. Get my Members Academy Reading package (2 full courses plus all the new lessons over 12 months, plus Members Academy benefits - Private blog, live zoom meetings, private community, daily tips, Writing coaching lessons etc). As I add more materials and benefits, the price will only increase, so join sooner rather than later so you can get the most of the resources before your test. --- Send in a voice message:
This is a pretty straighforward Academic Part 2 about Stadiums. In this podcast we'll go through 3 question types (Matching Statements, Gapfill Summary and Choosing from a list.) Get more in the Members Academy --- Send in a voice message:
I guarantee that you can do this in under 10 minutes if you follow my system. Find the Reading online and do it yourself before you listen. Learn more about my IELTS Reading techniques with TWO courses in the Members Academy. --- Send in a voice message:
Get the full blog with audio on my website: In this lesson, I examine the MACRO and MICRO skills you need to get all of the answers right in this Section 2 IELTS Listening about a holiday company. For example: Background knowledge (what you already know about holiday companies, tour itineraries, travelling/place names in the UK etc etc) Vocabulary (phrasal verbs, synonyms, numbers) Spelling (ea words, al/ol words) Grammar (comparisons, 'used to', perfect modals for guessing) Accents (Northern English 'u') Pronunciation features (meet you) Linking (However...) Signalling (What we do is...) Predicting Remembering The Members Academy teaches all of these skills in a variety of easy-to-follow short courses with quick video guides and plenty of practice. Join today --- Send in a voice message:
There are many free online IELTS Writing checkers available, and they can be useful when youโ€™re starting your IELTS preparation. Online writing checkers such asย Grammarlyย can give you simple feedback on your grammar, vocabulary and linking words. There are more sophisticated versions available that claim they can assess your IELTS writing using the Band Criteria, and give you a grade and feedback in a matter of seconds. But how accurate and reliable are they? I tested a few and here are my results. The one I mention in the podcast is Check out my blog here: โ --- Send in a voice message:
[Skip the 5-minute introduction if you want to just get to the question types!] Different websites have different ways of categorising IELTS Reading Question types. See my latest blog for all the details: In my online courses, I follow the official guidelines, and I have simplified the types so that you focus more on developing your reading skills. Developing good reading skills will enable you to answer all question types. The 3 basic categories are: Matching things (headings, statements, features, sentence endings, dates, people, choosing from a list) Filling in gaps (summaries, notes, tables, flowcharts, sentences, diagrams) Choosing from a list (Multiple Choice, True, False, Not Given and Yes, No, Not Given) In this blog, I examine the official 11 Question Types as outlined on and explain how other teachers and websites might label them. --- Send in a voice message:
The best thing about the IELTS Test is that you cannot fail it. The test simply takes a โ€˜snapshotโ€™ of your current level of English. So if youโ€™ve suddenly realised that you need to take the test in 10 days donโ€™t panic too much. Consider it a โ€˜practice runโ€™. 10 days is just enough time to familiarise yourself with the test requirements so you can give yourself the best chance of getting the best indicator of your overall ability. Hereโ€™s what I would do in the next 10 days. Read the blog here --- Send in a voice message:
There are 7 key features of fast speech and pronunciation that you need to develop a better understanding of in order to increase your Listening Score: Features of connected speech (dropping sounds, adding sounds, changing sounds, weak sounds and twin sounds). Word boundaries Homophones Sounds that are different or donโ€™t exist in your language Accents and rhoticity (โ€˜rโ€™) Minimal pairs Consonant Clusters Read the full blog here. Buy the workbook guide here: --- Send in a voice message:
In this Listening Section 2 we look at: - Multiple choice questions - distractors - matching from a list - the word 'staff' and how it's repeated 32 times - how to pronounce 'staff' - academic language you can use in Task 2 Improve your IELTS score with my intensive Listening Course: --- Send in a voice message:
What will you do differently in 2023? Here are my 7 resolutions to help you get the IELTS test over and done with once and for all. Get all the tips on my Daily Tips page and get all my lessons on my website Join the Members Academy to make faster progress. --- Send in a voice message:
In this episode, I'll take you through one of my Guided Readings - it's an Academic Passage 3 from Book 17 and, unusually, it's a book review. Follow my Advent Challenge on my website: Join the Members Academy: --- Send in a voice message:
Question: "How do I cope with so much information when I'm preparing for the IELTS test?" Answer: "Just do as much as you need to do for the Band score that you want." In all aspects of life, there are different levels of expertise and knowledge. Deciding what you want to do with your IELTS score will help you manage your time and your learning. I've carefully programmed this into the Members Academy.ย  Aiming for Band 6? Just watch the videos.ย  Need to get Band 7? Watch the videos and do the practice. Want Band 8/9? Do the EXTRA practice that I include in every lesson. Enrol today This podcast talks about managing your learning according to what level of expertise you need to acquire. I call it the traffic-light system.ย  GREEN: Band 6 - INTERESTED (do a single course) YELLOW: Band 7 - COMMITTED (join the Members Academy - do all the courses) RED: Band 8+ - OBSESSED ("To be the best, you have to be obsessed": do the Coaching Program) But remember this - what is the opposite of "too much information"?ย  The opposite is "not enough information".ย  Not enough info is worse than too much info when it comes to preparing for IELTS because it is not a subject - it's a language and a skill. Can fluent speakers have "too much English knowledge"? I don't think that's possible. Let me know if you've got any questions. --- Send in a voice message:
Can you guess the answers to the gapfill before you listen? In this episode I talk you through a Passage 4 where I think about 60% of the answers are guessable! Thinking of becoming a Member of my Academy? Find out more on my website: --- Send in a voice message:
Commentsย (49)

Mansour Ramezani


Dec 5th


Hi. thank you for your help. is it possible to write questions?

Jul 31st
Reply (1)

Farzad Sh.

Dear Fiona, I was listening to this episode today and a question came upon me. If we're going to refer to some research or study in our essay, is it necessary for it to be real? Or is it OK if we just make something up to support our idea? Thanks a lot for all the content you're providing us with. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Jul 15th
Reply (1)

Osborn Tyler

Superiorpapers is a custom writing service that has been in business since 1997. They specialize in writing essays, research papers, dissertations, and other types of academic assignments. They also offer other services, including editing, proofreading, and cover letters. The company's website is easy to navigate and has a user-friendly layout. You can get in touch with the staff via live chat or email. They accept AUD, GBP, and USD as payment methods. Their sample page gives an idea of what they can produce.

Dec 16th

Fedros Kowsar

such a perfect voice you have Fiona.

Jul 2nd
Reply (1)

Hamid Khabiri

thank you thank you

Apr 18th

Dorsa Beheshti

Thank you for podcasts

Jan 30th
Reply (1)


Does it have transcript?

Dec 23rd
Reply (1)

Sepideh Fattahi

How wonderful this lesson was.

Aug 15th
Reply (1)

Farzad Sh.

Dear Fiona, I've been wondering whether or not it's suitable to use a thesis statement in the Task 2 essay. Something like: In the subsequent paragraphs, I shall explain... To me it seems unnatural. What would you recommend?

Aug 13th
Reply (1)

Khatai Suleymanlฤฑ

good job

Feb 10th
Reply (1)

Donya Bashiri

Sorry i want to know where can I find the passage that you talked about "driverless cars"

Jan 13th
Reply (2)

ะœะฐะบัะฐั‚ ะšะพะฝะดะพ

Thank you very much!

Aug 9th
Reply (1)

Aidin Frdi

absolutely helpful ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Jul 13th

sepideh shirizadeh

I start to follow you.. I like your episodes and I have a recommendation for you.. please use more synonymous words between your helps me to improve my vocabulary too๐Ÿค—

Dec 31st
Reply (2)

Marcos Andrade

Reading and Listening.

Nov 18th
Reply (1)

Marcos Andrade

How can I contact you to get more information.

Nov 18th
Reply (1)

Dr Hamed

You are amazing teacher and your fantastic podcasts really helped me. Keep going I'm your big fan!

Oct 21st
Reply (2)

adebayo mohammed

Hi Fiona, I am a fan of your IELTS ETC podcast. Since I came across your podcast last Dec, I always try to make sure that I listen to your new episodes. And am still trying to listen to the previous ones. All your podcasts have been really helpful I must confess. Due to my busy schedule, the only convenient way to be abreast of your lessons in via podcast, which am making effort to catch up with all. Please Fiona I am finding IELTS questions on T/F/NG, Y/N/NG a lot more challenging. After listening to your podcast, which turned out to be highly useful, I decided to try some of the Cambridge tests. I can see that I have made a lot of improvement in answering the questions, thanks to your guide. However, I felt highly disappointed in myself when scored 1/6 on some questions I tried recently. I can't get a convincing explanation why the answers were what the book said they are. The questions were from Cambridge IELTS 9, passage 3. Questions 32-37. They were, of course, somewhat tricky I g

Jun 15th
Reply (1)

eb rozbeh

good tnx

Jun 4th
Reply (1)
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