IELTS Listening: Short Answer Questions


Hi everyone!

Here’s another IELTS type listening practice for you. This time, it is based around the US Elections and how they actually work. I hope this is as informative about that as it is about IELTS.

Awareness raising tasks and answer keys are provided. Hope you enjoy it!


Download the lesson: IELTS Listening US ELECTIONS



IELTS Listening: Sentence completion – Films and the brain




Hi all!

Please find an IELTS-style practice activity for the sentence completion task in the exam. Interestingly, this task uses video instead of audio for the task. It would, however, be preferable if you didn’t watch the video first and just listened.

Keep your eye out for more materials like this coming soon!

The video is taken from a YouTuber called BrainCraft. If you’re a member of youtube, I highly recommend that you subscribe to her channel. Some of the videos there are really fun and interesting.

Video: How films control your brain


Good luck!

IELTS Listening sentence completion – Films and the brain


Binomials in English worksheet

fishHi all!

Here’s a worksheet I made for a group of intermediate – upper intermediate students on the subject of binomials (words that are often linked by a conjunction and are often irreversible). I used this after a common binomial was in a reading text I was teaching.

You could also use this to generate a discussion about the binomials your students have in their language.

Anyway, enjoy!

Binomials – Worksheet

Answer key:


  1. Sick and tired
  2. Rock and roll
  3. Short and sweet
  4. Odds and ends
  5. By and large


  1. 3
  2. 2
  3. 4
  4. 1
  5. 5

Matching 2

6. Wear and tear

7. Safe and sound

8. Sooner or later

9. Ups and downs

10. Far and wide

Gap Fill 2

  1. 8
  2. 9
  3. 10
  4. 7
  5. 6


Sick and tired

Safe and sound

Sooner or later

Odds and ends

Rock and roll

Ups and downs

Far and wide

Short and sweet

Wear and tear

By and large





Health and Fitness: Collocations worksheet



Hi all!

Here’s a short worksheet I made for my class when we were talking about health and fitness. Hope you enjoy! As always, any feedback is welcomed.

Fitness collocations


IELTS Writing Part 2 – Discuss both views


Hi all,

Please find a few activities based around an answer to a writing part 2 question of the IELTS test.

  • Referencing
  • Vocabulary
  • Comments and advice

IELTS Writing Part 2 – Robots – Activities

IELTS Writing Part 2 – Robots Model Answer and Key



IELTS – Writing Part 1: Two charts

Here’s a series of IELTS Academic Writing Part 1 exercises with some explanations of why / how and practice in referencing. Please find a downloadable copy at the bottom of this page. If I have helped you with these ideas and resources, please share them.


You can also find an IELTS academic reading lesson about robotics here:



Size of the global robotics market 2000-2025 (billions of dollars)

ielts robots 1

Size of global robotics market by sector 2000-2025 (billions of dollars)

Sector 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025
Personal 0 1 2 4 7 9
Commercial 1 2 3 4 10 16
Industrial 4 5 5 11 16 26
Military 2 3 4 5 10 15


  1. Look at the data above, how are the graphs connected?


  1. What are the key features that you could talk about?


  1. What is /are the general/overall trends?




  1. Write a small paragraph plan of how you would organise your summary.


Now look at the sample answer. Highlight on the graph the features that are mentioned in the text.

Look at how the paragraphs are organised. Is it similar to your ideas?



Sample Answer:


The given data depict the growth of the world robotics market in billions of dollars from the period 2000 to 2015 and how it is predicted to continue to the year 2025. The data also provides us with a breakdown of figures by sector, such as commercial and industrial, in billions of dollars.


From the bar chart that it is possible to see that the market has become much bigger since 2000, more than trebling in size to stand at around $28 billion in 2015. This growth however, is predicted to be exceeded in the future. It is forecast that the market will increase by just under 50% its size every five years, reaching a peak of $68 billion for the period.


The table shows how the market is broken down by sector. The most striking thing about this is the fact that the industrial sector has always been the largest sector in terms of value, with $4 billion in 2000 and $11 billion in 2015. This trend is set to continue into 2025, when the value of the market will reach $46 billion, making the industrial sector not only the largest sector in each time period, but also the sector with the most growth, standing at $22 billion. Despite being the second biggest sector in the time between 2000 and 2015, with $2 billion and $5 billion respectively, it is the commercial sector that is expected to exceed these numbers by 2025, reaching $16 billion, $1 billion more than the industrial sector. The personal sector was, is, and is expected to be the smallest market throughout the period having a size of $0 in 2000 and $9 in 2025.


To sum up, it can be seen that the growth of the global robotics market has hastened over the last 15 years and is predicted to grow even further over the period, while the industrial sector is forecasted to make up the largest part, and the personal sector making up the smallest part of this growth.



Writer’s note – Text organisation


There are two ways I could have organised the information in this summary. The first is how I did it above – describing the graph and then the table. The second could have been organised like this:


  • Introduction
  • 2000-2015
  • 2015 – 2025
  • Summary statement


There is no correct way to do this, both are fine. However, you must make sure that your summary contains comparisons and contrasts of the data, if you don’t, you won’t be answering the question. Personally, I prefer the second plan to the one used in the essay. Take another look at the sample answer and find the comparisons I have made. Now think about how to write the essay using the sample plan given above.






The future


Find four phrases we can use to talk about a trend in the future instead of will.







It is better to use phrases like «is predicted to + verb», «is expected to + verb», «is forecasted to» instead of will. These are predictions, not statements of fact.


In the answer you read ‘From the bar chart that it is possible to see that the market has become much bigger since 2000, more than trebling in size to stand at around $28 billion dollars in 2015”.


Why have I used this tense? Mark the time period on the graph.







It is very important to refer back to words already mentioned in previous sentences to make your text more cohesive (stick together) so that it remains logical. You don’t necessarily have to use linking words like ‘Furthermore’ to do this. Do the activity below to find how I have referenced ideas in the text.


Find what these words refer to in the model answer:


  1. It (Paragraph 1)

2.This growth           (Paragraph 2)

  1. Its (Paragraph 2)

4.. This trend           (Paragraph 3)

  1. These numbers (Paragraph 3)


















Answer Key:


  1. The table shows data that is part of the bar graph



The future:


Is expected / predicted / set / forecasted to





  1. The growth of global markets
  2. Almost the whole of the first sentence
  3. the market
  4. the industrial sector has always been the largest sector
  5. with $2 billion and $5 billion


Data taken from:


Downloadable version: Robotics Part 1 Final






Academic English – IELTS / TOEFL Lesson – Robotics


Hello everyone! 

After an extended break this blog will soon become much more active once again! This time, however, I plan on sticking around a little longer!

Please find below a lesson plan about robotics that I made from an article in last week’s Guardian. The lesson can be used for anyone with an interest in academic English or preparing for an international English exam.


  • Discussion
  • While-Reading Tasks x 3
  • Post-Reading Discussion
  • Tense Review
  • Adjective noun collocations
  • Describing change
  • IELTS writing part 2 frame
  • IELTS writing part 2 prompt

Look out for a further lessons with model writing answers and strategies for the IELTS reading exam!


Robotics article


Answer Key


Final Robotics