Tips for reading academic journal articles

Academic journal articles are perhaps the most difficult pieces of text university students are required to read. They tend to feature the most challenging characteristics of academic text: their density of argument, frequent use of specialist research and references to other studies all combine to form significant barriers to understanding. …

From IELTS to University: The university advice I wish I’d had

Going to university is a challenging time for any young person, and the university years will almost certainly include some life-defining and character-forming experiences for every student. There are some students who have a very clear sense of how to navigate university life, and know exactly how to optimise their …

From IELTS to University: Counter-Arguments with Cats and Dogs

In this post we’re going to explore inserting critical thinking into argumentative essays, using a simple question about pets. It’s important for students to recognise that incorporating different levels of critical thinking into an essay is vital in achieving high grades. So, each of the main and opposing arguments below …

Five top digital tools for English language learning

  So, for this post I’ve selected a few online resources I think students can use to improve their English. My source for these digital tools is Nik Peachey’s e-book ‘Digital Tools for Teachers’ which presents learning resources to use to enhance language development. Nik Peachey is a well-established expert …

Transforming a model IELTS problem-solution essay into a university-level essay (Part 2)

This is the second half of the IELTS problem/solution model essay which I’ve converted into a university level essay. The analysis provided examines language and structure; the latter focusing on incorporating critical thinking into the essay. As before, a heartfelt thankyou to Christopher Pell at IELTS Advantage for allowing me …

Barriers to achieving an IELTS 7.0+ academic writing style

For many students, both native and international, one of the most significant challenges of their time at university is the struggle to develop an academic tone of language in both their written work and when speaking in seminars. The required academic tone includes several strands: formal English language and grammar, …

Improving an IELTS 4.5-6.0 IELTS academic writing grade

One the of the challenges which Asian students face is developing their understanding of sentence-level English grammar. Frequently, Asian students arrive in the UK with English language training that has prioritised paragraph-level grammar, particularly adverbs like ‘however’ and ‘although’ used to link or modify subjects between sentences. These linking adverbs …

How international students should approach writing coursework

Introduction Most degree courses will require students and international students to produce written coursework as part of the assessment for different course modules. This coursework could be essays, reports, or a piece of reflective writing, usually between 1,500 and 3,000 words in length. This blog post will outline some important …