An IELTS Coach – Waiting For You To Ask
“I know I need help with my IELTS* exam preparation. But I don’t know anyone I can ask to help me…”
This is a common problem for IELTS candidates.
But often there are people within your social circle who are able to help who would be delighted if you asked them for assistance.
Here are 7 people who you can consider who might hold the key to your puzzle:
1. Your co-worker. A co-worker is an ideal candidate to approach to help you with your IELTS exam preparation. This is someone you see often, possibly every day. She or he will be aware of how important it is to you to pass the exam – what it means to you in terms of career registration, immigration status or job promotion. You also have a lot to talk about – your customers, clients or patients, your work routines. You share a common vocabulary. And you probably have a location to meet without making special travel arrangements. So your co-workers should be at the top of your prospect list.
2. Your fellow club-member. Someone who belongs to the same sports or hobby club is another good prospect. Again, you have plenty in common to talk about or write about. And you’ meet regularly. You will be able to suggest a coaching time before or after your game or meeting and fit it into a regular schedule based on your club activities.
3. A member of your church. If you belong to a church group or a similar society, chances are that you are able to identify a potential coach there. In my experience church members tend to be generous with their time and eager to offer any assistance they can to new immigrants or foreign visitors. If you are not able to work out who to approach at your church, a good idea is to talk to the pastor or priest in charge of the congregation. When he understands what it is you need, he will probably be happy to set up the arrangement for you with an ideal prospective coach.
4. Your relative or in-law. Do you have an uncle or a cousin who is a native speaker of English or who speaks English fluently? Don’t be shy to ask. Or, if you are too shy, ask one of your other relatives to make the approach on your behalf.
5. Your homestay family or your room-mate. The advantage of having a room-mate or a homestay member coach you is that you have plenty of chances to meet and you will have a ready-made location for your coaching sessions. You may want to offer a service in exchange for this help. How about “I’ll wash the dishes for the next 3 weeks if you can spare me an hour a week to help me with my IELTS preparation…”?
6. Your classmate. Don’t target a fellow classmate from your ESL** class. You need someone who is fluent in English. If you are also taking a course in maths, or physiotherapy, or jazz-dancing or flower-arrangement, look for a potential coach among your classmates there. Before you make your approach, work out a number of possible times or locations for your coaching sessions, so that your classmate has some options to consider.
7. Your boss. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss! Chances are, he or she will have a genuine interest in seeing you do well in your upcoming IELTS exam, and will be glad to offer assistance. Think of it this way, even if your boss can’t help, if he says “Sorry, no way. I’ve just got too much to do as it is!” this still will not do you any harm. You have signaled to your boss how serious you are about the exam and how determined you are to succeed. So whether he says “yes” or “no” this is a win-win situation for you. And it is possible that your boss may suggest someone else from the work team who can give you the help you need.
These are my top seven suggestions for identifying a coach to help you prepare for your IELTS exam. Try to think outside the square and you may come up with some others on your own. If you do, let me know!
Happy hunting, and good luck with the exam!
There are thousands of courses and professional resources available for people preparing for the IELTS exam. But what if you don’t have the time or the opportunity to attend a class? Barbara Takase has had more than 20 years working with IELTS teachers and candidates. To find out more about her practical ideas and sources of help to prepare for the exam visit Barbara’s IELTS Help Today blog. Available on http://www.IELTSToday.com