Can you tell us a bit about yourself please?
I am German and I studied to become a teacher in Germany. I did my First and Second State Examination in Braunschweig. After that I worked for several years as a teacher and as a class room teacher in Cologne. In 2011 my family and me moved to New Zealand and two years later I had the opportunity to work as a teacher of German as a foreign language here in New Zealand.
Why did you decide to take the IELTS?
All teachers in New Zealand have to register at the New Zealand Teacher Council. Therefore, teachers from overseas countries without English as an official language have to sit an IELTS Test with a minimum score of 7 in each category of the academic version of the test.
How many times did you take it?
I did the test twice. The first time I scored only 6.5 in writing, but 8.0 in listening, 7.0 in reading and 8.5 in speaking. So the writing test was my problem.
What was the main problem?
I think the main problem in the first writing test was the structure of the essay. My structure was not good enough to score with 7.0 or more.
How was it solved?
I solved the problem with the essay correction service of several different Internet sites and the help of the Sentence Guide written by Ben Worthington. This book taught me how to structure my essay with examples for all possible types of questions. I really got an idea what they expect in the test and how I can score higher than before.
Do you have any tips or resources you think would help a student trying to get the IELTS?
The important help for me was to train each part of the test with test examples either from Internet homepages or from IELTS books. I did many reading and listening tests at home to get used to the different types of questions. I learned special vocabulary with a vocab trainer on my iPhone and I practiced my speaking with different types of IELTS speaking questions. For the second writing test I wrote task 1 and task 2 essays, used the essay correction service from different homepages and listened to Ben’s Sentence Guide. The sentence guide was a fantastic help to get trough the writing test!
What are your plans now?
I just started my work a German Teacher here in New Zealand.