In the last post, I looked at the …


“We teach you [X number of] words a day” syndrome.


I explained how the claim doesn’t make any sense, and is just a trick, which could well take your IELTS band score down. I decided to prove this by using three questions. In the last post, I looked at Question 1: How do you really ‘know’ a word? showing how very complex just ‘knowing a word’ is. Let’s now look at the other two questions, and draw a conclusion.


Question 2: What is ‘teaching’ a word?

Does your teacher ‘teach’ you all these aspects of a word? Unfortunately, the ‘teaching’ is usually just handing out a list of words and definitions. And you are handed these in every class. That is NOT teaching you anything at all. It is just handing out pieces of paper, usually printed from an online academic vocabulary or ‘IELTS Vocabulary’ list.


Question 3: How do you ‘learn’ a word?

Remember, the word comes with many aspects to learn. Is the human mind capable of absorbing so much information about a word – actually, 50 of them, every lesson? No. The piece of teacher jargon I must use now is ‘psycho-linguistically feasible’. This term refers to the ability of the human brain to process and absorb information. If there is far too much information, then the task is not psycho-linguistically feasible. Putting it simply, your brain is overloaded, and you end up learning nothing. But you have lots of pieces of paper that make it look like you have learnt something.



So, this ‘We teach you 100 words a day’ claim is empty and untrue. The schools and teachers don’t ‘teach’ you these words, and you don’t ‘learn’ them. But you do have a jumble of papers and notes, and a mountain of confusion, and this is not the way to get a good IELTS band score. But that doesn’t matter to these schools. The only thing that matters to them is getting your money.


This leads to the issue about how you actually do ‘learn’ words? And how do I teach words in my classes? That can be answered in the next post.


[To be continued in the next post]


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

  • aspect (n)
  • jargon (n)
  • feasible(adj)
  • jumble (n)







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