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Designing an IELTS program

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Joined: 16 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:33 am    Post subject: Designing an IELTS program Reply with quote

Hi all,

My school has asked me to design an IELTS program, and they want me to estimate how many hours of instruction we need for a "Core" program (covering the main IELTS skills and strategies) and a longer "Guaranteed" program. The "Guarantee" means that if the student fails to get 6.5 on the IELTS, they can take the course again for free. We'll give students an initial placement test, and those who score below band 4.0 will not be allowed to enter the Guaranteed program at all. Also, students who fail to do their homework will be kicked out and sent to the Core program.

How many hours do you think these programs should be? We've been thinking 40 hours for the Core program and 120 hours for the Guaranteed. How many hours of instruction does an "average" student need to go from an overall band score of 4.0 to 6.5? (I know that "average" is pretty hard-to-define)

The context is Canada, near Vancouver, in a suburb where over 50% of the population are of Chinese descent (and the majority of those being immigrants). Most of the students are probably going to be high school students who have been here fewer than three years, are graduating soon, and are trying to meet the English requirements to enter the local universities. Even though it is easy to avoid speaking English around here, we expect that most of the students will not have a problem with the Speaking test, since they have to speak a lot of English in high school. The other sections will be harder. We think the way they have to get the Listening and Reading answers *exactly* right is going to make things difficult for them.

The number of classes per week, and the length of the classes, will vary in each iteration of the course, but more often than not the courses will be probably be intensive (eg: three hours a day, five days a week).

If anyone has any guesstimates on how many instructional hours these students need to jump from 4.0 to 6.5, or any other advice or resources, I would greatly appreciate it!

Many thanks,
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Sally Olsen

Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1322
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had a 5 hour a day program for six months and not all the students got to the 6.5 level. However, that was in Mongolia without other English stimulation. It is always a long way between 6 and 6.5 especially in the writing. The students were adults who were finished their first degree and were going for a Masters in Australia, all paid for so the motivation was high.

Here is something for the Internet. Is this your organization? You can look up your competition and find out what they are charging so you can be competitive.

English Canada also provides a self-study, test preparation course that you can take on your home computer. The course offers over 800 hours of online learning and is suitable for students aiming for a score in the 4.5 to 7.5 range. The course costs $80 for 30 days and $175 for 90 days of online access.

International Language Institute

Want to improve your IELTS score?
IELTS Preparation
ILI is off ering an IELTS course to give test takers more exposure to the kinds of questions found
on both the General and Academic components of the IELTS exam. There will be practice with
all four of the IELTS tested skills, as well as activities that will continue to develop both your
knowledge and use of communicative English. In addition to the practice, many of the useful
test taking strategies recommended by successful IELTS candidates will be covered.
Classes: 3:30 to 5:30, Monday to Thursday. (8 hours)
Writing Class for IELTS
Target your IELTS writing. ILI is now off ering an IELTS writing course that focuses on improv-
ing your Band Score in either general or academic writing Task 1 and Task 2. Our program will
expose you to a wide range of IELTS writing tasks, enabling you to identify the types of text
required, write with purpose and confi dence and receive the personal feedback you need to
improve your writing ability. A number of writing strategies are covered including helping
students organize their thoughts and time management.
Classes: 1:00 to 3:15, (9 hours) or
3:30 to 5:30, (8 hours) Monday to Thursday.
IELTS Speaking Preparation
Target your IELTS speaking. ILI is off ering an IELTS speaking course that focuses on improving
your IELTS speaking band score. The class will expose you to a wide range of speaking topics
and tasks under simulated testing conditions and provide the feedback needed to work spe-
cifi cally on each studentís own problem areas.
Classes are from 3:30 to 5:30, Monday to Thursday.
Dates Starting March 26, 2012 and any Monday after that throughout the year.
3:30-5:30 class (8 hours)
Application fee $150 includes testing
Tuition (4 weeks) $480
Books $60 -$90
1:00-3:15 class (9 hours)
Application fee $150 includes testing
Tuition (4 weeks) $655
Books $60 -$90

I think you could lose a lot of money by guaranteeing the score.
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