I would guess you are an auditory learner.

Why?

Because you chose to listen to a podcast you probably have a preference for learning in an auditory manner, rather than reading or watching a video (visual learners).

 

Therefore doing this exercise is A MUST!

 

You will see how it can improve your:

  1. Listening ability.
  2. Language processing.
  3. Note taking skills (great for the exam).
  4. Identifying topic.

 

Here is the essay that was used in the podcast:

 

Many governments in the world spend large amounts of money on art which helps to develop quality in people’s life. However, governments should spend money on other things rather than art.

 

Do you agree or disagree?

 

Give your opinion.

 

REMEMBER TO PASTE YOUR ESSAY BELOW AFTER DOING THE EXERCISE!

Photo: Flickr

Author: Ben Worthington
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Click to read transcript

You are now listening to the IELTS Podcast.

Ben: Hello there. Thank you for choosing to download the podcast. This one is going to be awesome. I’m really, really excited about this one and if you listen right through to the end, you can even get your essay checked for free, because this episode is slightly different to the other ones. This one we’re actually going to do some – it’s like an exercise. Instead of giving you the tips we’re actually going to do an exercise. I mean it’s really useful. I’ve done this, I have been doing this technique for the last month now with all of my students. All of them loved it. It’s a little bit difficult but it’s really good. There are so many advantages to doing this. It improves your listening, it improves your note taking ability, it improves your ability to process the information, and your writing improves because you identify useful structures, useful sentence structures and you can identify new words, the semantic relationship, understanding the context.

It’s well, to cut a long story short, lots and lots of advantages. I thought this would be extremely beneficial for podcast listeners, because obviously you are auditory learners. This means that you prefer to consume your information and your education auditory rather than watching a video or reading a post. That’s why you went to the iTunes store. That’s why you consume the information through your ears because that’s just more natural for you. Some people are visual learners; others are kinaesthetic? I can’t even remember. They learn through touch but obviously if you’re consuming your information through the podcast, you’re more like, you are probably going to be an auditory learner. I’m exactly the same that’s why I decided to do the podcast, because I consume all my information through podcasts because that’s what functions best for me personally.

So this exercise, doing this, it’s a listening and writing exercise but this is probably one of the, most effective measures for you personally to learn. So I’d strongly recommend doing this exercise and send me your essay afterwards. So, this exercise is for writing task two. It’s very specific, for writing task two. Later, we might do it for academic task one or some others. But for now just task two. And what we’re going to do is reproduce the essay, okay? And we’re going to look at it.
So I’ll read you the essay question, because first we’re going just try and generate some vocabulary related to the topic, okay? Now, here’s typical task two questions: Many governments in the world spend large amounts of money on art which helps develop quality in people’s lives. However, governments should spend money on other things rather that art. Do you agree or disagree? Give your opinion.
I’ll say it again. Many governments in the world spend large amounts of money on art which helps to develop quality in people’s lives. However, governments should spend money on other things rather than art. Do you agree or disagree? Give your opinion. So, if we were in an exam now, and we just read that question, first I would go through the question and organize it like we did in the last podcast and I would start generating the necessary vocabulary. So, what vocabulary comes to mind when we’re talking about governments and museums, spending money and society? Can you give me some words related to that?

Maybe pause the podcast and then let it play again after just maybe writing down a few, okay? Well, this is what I got just after a quick brainstorm. So I got government spending. We can talk about public, private, subsidies, funding, taxes, of course tax payers, citizens, population, society, demographic, okay? That’s all related to government spending.

And then the other keyword in the question was museums. So, obviously we’re going to talk about visitors, art, works of art, sculptures, exhibition, security systems maybe, avoid theft, valuable, culture, education culture, culturally aware, all of these words. We’re just going to brainstorm and just put down everything, okay? And there’s no right or wrong, just put down everything now. So now we’re familiar with the topic and we’re kind of warmed up and hopefully from this vocabulary we can start getting ideas and opinions for the essay, okay?

It seems very difficult to just start instantly, to have an opinion on the topic of art, museums and government spending. So this process of generating the vocabulary warms you up and should give you ideas, so you’re not staring at a blank page when it comes to writing. All right?

Now what I want you to do now is, with a piece of paper, I want you to write down the four typical parts for the essay. So we’re going to look at introduction, paragraph one, paragraph two and the conclusion, okay? So write down about four headers on a piece of paper and leave a big blank space underneath each one, okay? Now I’m going to read a band 9 essay answering this question, but I do not want you to copy it down or try to copy it word for word. In fact, I don’t want you to write anything, the first time you hear it, okay?

All I want you to do is just listen and then when I say so, try and copy down what you heard, okay? Let’s go. So we have the question: Many governments in the world spend large amounts of money on art which helps to develop quality in people’s lives. However, governments should spend money on other things rather art. Do you agree or disagree? Give your opinion. Let’s see. So we’ll just the introduction and paragraph one first. So, I’m going to read it at normal speed. Don’t make any notes now. No notes, just listen and when I stop, try and copy what you’ve just heard, okay? So, let’s start.

Societies with a heritage in the arts have long been considered culturally sophisticated and advanced. However, with the recent financial crisis, this lavishness and expense should be questioned. Taxpayers’ money has to be spent practically rather than on cultural endeavours.

Firstly, not everyone in society appreciates art, and secondly employment should take precedence. Art can bring quality into one’s life if you are interested. Amongst the society, art lovers are typically in the minority and other activities such as sports are more popular. Take football, for example. Across the globe it is obvious that there are more people watching matches in stadiums than looking at sculptures or art. This fact makes it impossible that art can bring quality into a community if the galleries hold little interest for the region.

Now, write down some points from that essay. Okay, well from the introduction and for the paragraph one. Okay, try and write down some of the arguments maybe, some of the vocabulary, write it down, and it doesn’t have to be correct. It doesn’t have to be perfect English now. Try and get some of the vocabulary, the grammar structure, anything. It could be argument, anything, anything. Okay.
Now I’ll read again, a little bit slower and this time try to take notes down as you hear it. Okay? The final goal is that, from these notes you are going to produce the whole essay and then send it to me for free correction. Well I will give more details about that later. So I’ll read it again a little bit slower and this time I want you to make notes and once again it’s just going to be the introduction and paragraph one, okay? Later you’ll be able to go to the website to see the essay, compare your essay with the notes and with your notes, look at the original essay and then send it to me. But now, we’ll just have that second process of making notes, so I’ll read it again. Let’s go.

Societies with a heritage in the arts have long been considered culturally sophisticated and advanced. However, with the recent financial crisis, this lavishness and expense should be questioned. Taxpayers’ money has to be spent practically rather than on cultural endeavours.

Firstly, not everyone in society appreciates art and secondly, employment should take precedence. Art can bring quality into one’s life if you are interested. Amongst the society, art lovers are typically in the minority and other activities such as sports are more popular. Take football, for example. Across the globe, it is obvious that there are more people watching matches in stadiums than looking at sculptures or art. This fact makes it impossible that art can bring quality into a community, if the galleries hold little interest for the region.

So now we have the notes for the introduction and for the conclusion. Okay. From these notes, hopefully we can reconstruct the essay and then it can be sent to me. We can reconstruct the first part of the essay. Now, we’re going to look at paragraph two and we are going to look at the conclusion. Hopefully, you’ll recognize that paragraph two refers to the last part of the introduction and has a strong example like the first paragraph and also that the conclusion kind of reflects the introduction. So, I’ll read it, we’ll do exactly the same. I’ll read it fast or at normal native speaker speed, and just listen for the first time, then for the second time, I will read it a little bit slower and then you take notes with the objective of trying to identify maybe vocabulary, grammar structure, sentence structures, all of that. Okay, so the first one I’ll just read at normal speed, and when I finish jot down your notes immediately, okay? So let’s go.

Secondly, the resources diverted to such projects come from the public and should be spent in a way that benefits them. Commissioning or purchasing art is an insult to taxpayers who endure high unemployment rates such as those in Newcastle, UK. This city suffers from historically high unemployment, yet the Council commissioned a large sculpture called, The Angel of the North. Financing a job creation project would undoubtedly have been more practical for the local community.

To conclude, I believe that it is an unjust affirmation that art brings quality into one’s life and agree that the money should be spent elsewhere. This is because art expenditures only benefit a small minority and secondly, the expense involved should benefit the majority. Ideally, in the future, governments will recognize that quality in a person’s life derives from a decent opportunity in life, not a sculpture.
Now, write down all the notes that you remember from that essay. Write everything down. Later, we can edit out. Just write everything down. Now, l’m going to read it again, slower. I want you to copy it down not word for word. Just steal parts that are useful. Okay? Maybe there are some sentence structures there that you could use, for example starting a sentence with a gerund. It serves a different way. There’s two examples, there’s two cases where I start a sentence with a gerund. Try to copy it, why not? It’s easy and you can use it in your lessons. So, let’s go.

Secondly, the resources diverted to such projects comes from the public and should be spent in a way that benefits them. Commissioning or purchasing art is an insult to taxpayers who endure high unemployment rates such as those in Newcastle, UK. This city suffers from historically high unemployment, yet the Council commissioned a large sculpture called, The Angel of the North. Financing a job creation project would undoubtedly have been more practical for the local community.

To conclude, I believe that it is an unjust affirmation that art brings quality into one’s life and agree that the money should be spent elsewhere. This is because art expenditures only benefits a small minority and secondly the expense involved should benefit the majority. Ideally, in the future, governments will recognize that quality in a person’s life derives from a decent opportunity in life, not a sculpture.

So there we have a complete band essay. Now, using your notes that you’ve put under each heading, hopefully you got the four headings, the introduction, P1, P2, conclusion. Using these notes, I would like you to write the whole essay. Remember, it doesn’t have to be word for word, and you can modify it, you can try to improve it, yeah I really don’t mind. Just write, write something and then you can either send it to me, okay and you can send it to ben@ieltspodcast.com. Now I’ll try and check it. I can’t guarantee it but I will try and have a goal. Hopefully I’ll have enough time. I can guarantee checking it for free if you go to iTunes and just help me out by writing a review of the podcast in the iTunes store. Give it big, fat five star rating, but give it a rating and then maybe send me a screen capture or a picture of the rating or something like that and attach it to the essay or attach it to the email when you send your essay or you can just go to ieltspodcast.com, and just post your essay as a comment on this post, and I’ll comment on it there, and I’ll just correct it and see what’s good about it, what’s wrong about it and then the spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, and all the rest of it.

But I think the most important part is just to take action, just to start writing, because you can read how to write an essay, but I don’t know, million times. It’s like you know, nobody learns football by reading a magazine about football or reading the encyclopaedia or the manual. You only learn something by doing it. Well, not only but it’s the best way of learning is doing it. So, start writing. Write today, because you’re not going to improve unless you’re writing and the story.

So, send it to me. Send it to ben@ieltspodcast.com. Write it up as soon as possible while it’s fresh in your head. Maybe listen to it again and we’ll speak next week. Tell me how it went. Also, tell me if you enjoyed it and while you’re writing the email tell me what you’d like to see in the podcast, too. Okay, guys. Thanks for listening. Take care.

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