The last two posts about Morocco show both the good and bad (or rather, the bad and the good). Yes, there is good, and we hope we can encounter it. But there is bad, also. This links to IELTS Preparation in this country. Let us look at what I wrote in the first Moroccan entry.


The issue results from when a poor country has decades of heavy tourism. That country eventually starts to depend on that tourism, and this can change the nature of many of the people. It can even corrupt them altogether, and this is the problem I had in Morocco.


I will change this passage a little to adapt it to something VERY relevant to students of IELTS preparation here in Taiwan.


The issue results from when an industry has decades of people demanding quick and easy answers in an IELTS test. The industry eventually starts to realise it can make easy money tricking people about preparation for this test, and this can change the nature of the industry. It can even corrupt it altogether, and this is the problem with IELTS preparation in Asia.


Recently, here at AIS we have had three students in a row, who all said the same thing.

‘I’ve been studying at/with [ teacher name // school name ] and I’ve learnt absolutely nothing’.

How much did they pay to learn ‘absolutely nothing’? These people paid tens of thousands of Taiwanese dollars. These students are complaining to us about how bad the teaching/teacher/system is. One of them is dropping out of their other school to join my current courses; the others will join in Term 3. This sort of situation has happened many times in the past, but never three times in a row. These students all make the same point: that you have to be tricked first before you can learn the truth.

It's a good point, and that is why I began writing the ‘tricks to watch out for’ series on this pixnet bog. Everyone needs to be better informed about what should happen in a class, about what good teaching should be like, and the danger signs which indicate bad teaching. Look at the picture at the top. You need to pick the 'good', not the 'bad'. So, knowing more about all this helps you better choose that right piece of paper, and if enough people have this ability, then this IELTS industry can be improved. Check some of the past entries on this pixnet blog, and you can read about 10 of these ‘danger signs’.

  1. No recognised TEFL teacher credentials
  2. Short IELTS Courses
  3. Use of Chinese.
  4. Use of Memorisation.
  5. ‘I’ve got IELTS 8; I’ll show you how to do it.’
  6. ‘Hi, I’ve decided to teach IELTS.’
  7. ‘I teach these sentences.’
  8. ‘You only talk to me/the teacher.’
  9. ‘I guarantee you will get IELTS 7.’
  10. We use original tests; we’ve got old test material.’


The first four of these are the most significant. It’s somewhat unbelievable to me, as a trained Cambridge-accredited TEFL teacher trainer, but there are teachers out there displaying ALL TEN of these danger signs at once!!!!!!! There are schools/teachers with (1) no recognised credentials, apart from (5) claims to have gotten IELTS 8, who offer (2) a very short IELTS course, (3) lecture in Chinese, (4) use memorisation of (7) special ‘sentences’ and other dubious material as a method of ‘teaching’, as well as just (10) practise old test material, (8) only allow you to talk to them (= keeping you quiet, still, and passive most of the time), and (9) guarantee IELTS 7, and many of these people (6) now appear from nowhere.

Okay, because of these three ‘I learnt absolutely nothing’ incidents, I’ll leave my ‘About My Travels’ series for a while, and in the next few posts, continue with the 'consumer education', helping you to understand the nature of good teaching, recognise the 'danger signs' and dishonest marketing, and hopefully, together, we can improve the sad situation here.


    IELTS Advice


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