Instant IELTS ‘experts’ have been regularly emerging, popping up like mushrooms now. Every day there is a new one. Well, you need to be aware of the risks here. You could easily waste a lot of time and money, and send your IELTS mark downwards. In this post, I’ll look at the …

“I teach these sentences” syndrome.

Your response to the above teacher should be: ‘Don’t treat me like a donkey!’ [See above picture.] Your next reaction should be to avoid that person. The statement doesn’t make any sense, and only reveals that they are NOT qualified TEFL teachers, and do NOT understand much at all about anything. [Yes, the above picture again.]


Time to think

For a start, what does ‘teach a sentence’ actually mean? So, Teacher X goes on the social media, and says,

“I teach the sentence: ‘In contemporary society, globalisation adamantly challenges scientist to pursue an expedient resolution’.”

Rather than thank him profusely for his efforts, and pledge that you will be his fan forever, maybe you should ask yourself the following questions (and I have included my answers in the square brackets:[…]).

1. Is that sentence actually natural, or even normal?

[It isn’t.]

2. Do native speakers of English actually talk or write like that?

[They don’t.]

3. How does that teacher actually ‘teach’ it?

[Real teachers don't 'teach' sentences; we teach skills, vocabulary, grammar; and the best teachers organise very effective practice activities.]

4. Does ‘teach’ mean ‘memorise’ the sentence? How is that going to help in the IELTS test?

[It won’t.]

5. If we do memorise this sentence, how can we fit it naturally into the IELTS Speaking or Writing Test (where a lack of coherence and relevance will take your mark down)?

[You can’t.]

6. What learning value is there in ‘learning’ a specific sentence anyway?

[There is none.]

Finally, realise that anyone on the street can write a sentence in English, and claim that they ‘teach’ it for ‘IELTS preparation’. The only thing this proves is that they can write a sentence in English, and looking at the sentences they write, they can’t even write well. Do you really want these people to be your teachers?

Only a donkey would fall for that trick, right?


Find the meaning of the underlined words, also repeated below.

  • contemporary (adj)
  • expedient (adj)
  • profusely (adv)
  • to pledge (v)
  • expedient (adj)
  • coherence (n)




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