Hi, everybody, and welcome. It's Friday, so it must be Connetics USA weekly show onwards and upwards, everything that a nurse needs to know about coming to live and work in the United States.
My name is Tanya Freedman. I'm the chief executive officer of Connetics USA. And I have with me today a full house. We have Loren joining us. Hi, Lauren. Hi, Tanya. Good evening, everyone from the Philippines. Hi. Welcome. We also have Stan joining us. Hi, Stan. Hi, Tanya. And good evening, everybody. For those people who are watching for both local and international community, welcome to Connetics. Thank you. Thank you, Stan. Philippe, is it Felipe or Philippe? How do you know it's Philippe?
Felipe. Welcome, Felipe. Hi. Good evening, Ms. Tanya. Good evening. Good evening. Good morning wherever you are in the world. I mean, good morning in the United States. Oh, got it.
Thanks Felipe. And last but not least, Scott from Swoosh English. Hi, Tanya. Hi, everyone. Lovely to be here today and thanks a lot for letting me cohost a session. Looking forward to it. Welcome.
So today's topic is the IELTS. This is a big topic, everybody. This is the one that hangs over everybody's head. All international nurses, if you are not hearing English, need to pass the IELTS. So today our topic is everything about the IELTS. The first half an hour, we're going to be talking to our IELTS heroes, Lauren, San and Felipe, who are going to be sharing their experiences and their journey with the IELTS exam, the greatest IELTS exam that they don't have to worry about anymore. And that's what we want for everybody watching. And Scott, we're very excited because Scott is going to be doing a 30 minutes bonus class for everybody in the second half of the show. And I also want to welcome everybody who is watching from all over the world. If you are watching today, please put in the chat your name and where you're watching from. We love to see who's watching all over the world. Onwards and upwards watched by thousands of nurses all over the world. And if you have a friend who is not yet watching, onwards and upwards, please encourage them to watch. Neil has a question about the OET. So Neil, we're going to answer that question for you. Brenda is watching from the Philippines. We have Lorelei, we have Kuran who is watching for the United Arab Emirates. So lots of people watching from all over the world.
And please, if you have questions about the IELTS, put them into the chat. If you are interested to come to the United States, please apply online to Connetics USA and our team are on hand to help you with your journey to the United States. So Melody from Dubai, we've got chatty watching. Elsa from Taiwan, James from the Philippines, Nissran from Sudan, residence in Oman. So welcome, everybody.
Okay, so let's get started. I think maybe it's a good idea for each of the panel to introduce yourself.
If you can give a brief introduction about yourself and a little bit about your background. Lauren, let's talk with you. Hi, everyone. I'm Lauren Del Mundo and I'm a registered nurse here in the Philippines.
So I took the IELTS examination last September, 2021. Okay. And you passed. Yes. And passed. Yes, of course. Okay. Loren McConnell, we want to hear your story because I know for many nurses the IELTS is more scary than the NCLEX exam. So we're very grateful to you to come on the show and share your experience. Stan, do you want to give us a little bit of background about you? About yourself? Yes.
My name is Stan and I'm the founder and admin of Hearken International IELTS Support Group. It is an international free Ilton OT support group which aims to help both nurses for international local community. And I took the IELTS examination last year. That was October, and I successfully passed with
the help, of course, of Connetics USA. And swoosh English. And Stan, we can't wait to hear about your initiative with Hanford. This is something really exciting that Stan has done to pay it forward for nurses.
This is an incredible resource for nurses and we just so admire your initiative and your heart stand
in trying to pay forward for nurses. So thank you for joining us. And we're going to hear a lot more
about Hawking in the next 30 minutes. Philippe, tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi, good evening and good morning from everywhere in the world. My name is Felipe Lorenzo, Austria, and also I am a registered nurse and I just passed my IELTS two weeks ago. Okay. Thank you, Philippe.
And thank you for coming on the show to share your journey. Scott, everyone, it's lovely to meet you.
If you're not familiar with who I am, I'm Scott, managing director of Swoosh English and we simply
are an IELTS and OET online preparation Academy. We partner with Connetics to actually bring our IELTS system as part of a paid scholarship to help you get to the US sooner and cheaper and faster.
And I've been an IELTS teacher myself for numerous years, too. So I look forward to hopefully seeing some more of you face to face in our live sessions and having as many of you come on board with Connetics USA and with Swoosh English to help you fill your IELTS exam, get you to the USA and fulfill your American dream. Simple as that. Thank you, Scott. And I see that Nazarene is saying in the chat, Congrats to all the IELTS heroes. So, Loren, Stan and Felipe, everybody is giving you a big round of applause as you have got through this massive hurdle and sharing your journey. So let's start with the basics. Scott, what actually is the IELTS exam? Good question. I'll answer it firstly by saying it's a huge hurdle. It's a massive hurdle in any RN or any healthcare professional, any professional at all in their exodus overseas to the country of their dreams to begin their new life. But in terms of technically what it is, well, it's called the International English Language Testing System. It's a four part English language exam based on the skills of speaking, writing, reading, and listening. And of course, you have to get a good enough score as a medical professional, aka as a nurse, to pass that part of the exam.
It's based on a band score system from zero to nine, with nine being at a native English speaking level of English, zero being you can't speak much English at all. But most candidates need to get between a
6.5 and a 7.5 in each of the skills and overall to fulfill that aspect. The main hurdle that many candidates have in their IELTS preparation and passing the exam is simply put, in effective preparation, relying on the do it yourself approach and even being a bit unrealistic about the timeline and expectations to
pass in the IELTS exam within time. But that's where we at Connetics and Swoosh English can
come in to help you to pass your IELTS exam simply quicker, cheaper, and with less stress and frustration. And one final thing I'll say about the IELTS exam is don't overlook provision as part of it.
It is a very crucial and underestimated part of your journey to the US as an RN. Okay.
So thank you for giving us that great overview, Scott. I see we have a question in the chat from
Issue, who's asking what is the specific band to get selected as a registered nurse here in the United States? And the band score issue is a seven in speaking of 6.5 overall. So those different areas that Scott just spoke about, you need to get a 6.5 overall, and it's not an easy exam. In fact, if we put up the Connetics USA success path, this is something that you can find on our website.
It tells you the different steps that you need to undertake in order to come and live in the United States.
And in terms of the IELTS, how it fits in is you could pass the IELTS right away when you
do the NCLEX, but you don't actually need the IELTS in order to file for the green card.
So if you passed your NCLEX and you've prepared for with an employer and then we file the green card for you, you can then do the IELTS any time during that period. You need to pass the IELTS before you get to the consulate interview, which is right kind of at that number five or six time frame.
So that's really when we look at the timing of when you need to do the IELTS.
Okay. So, Lauren, I know that you have had a journey with the IELTS.
Tell us a little bit about your history with the IELTS. Yes, I took the IELTS examination for
the first time last December 2019. And it was not a walk in the park for me because I
used a lot of resources for me to be able to ace it. So at first it was really a hurdle for me. But of course with the help of Swoosh and Connetics they really guided me on how to take off every
milestone which helped me to ace the examination. So every time I go off duty I usually
log on to my Swiss account and of course attend live glasses together with our instructors.
And after that I'll use this learnings in my everyday practice with your Stan and of course their
birth and a lot of my IELTS classmates before. Okay, so it's great because it seems like there's
a community of nurses that are really helpful and that's where stands community has been incredibly helpful as well as obviously the resources of Swoosh. Tell us in terms of the IELTS, because
you didn't pass the first time, what was it that you did differently the second time?
For the second time I started to manage my time more. So aside from having myself review, I usually
attend the every Friday classes together with Alex. And aside from that, I also enrolled
with 9.9 Heights or Urban Review Center. So I would be able to focus more on
what should I do and what should I focus more when it comes to my weaknesses and strengths?
Okay, so it sounds like you are much more organized. Yes. Okay. So that's helpful for anybody who's watching all over the world to learn from you because taking the IELTS is expensive and really what we want is for nurses to pass the first time. Stan, can you talk a little bit about your experience with the IELTS? Well, I mean, I'm so excited to tell each and everybody. First and foremost, I'd like to
commend one of our Hearken Admin. We've got Lauren who became one of the coaches.
I'm so excited because from a small community. When we started here in the Middle East,
when it came back from the US last 2020, we started together with Sir Burt. Sir Burt is the father of Zoom session here in the Middle East. And we came across with Loren and I still remember that she's working in one of the hospitals in the Philippines. I think that was St. Luke's and we started the group and from there it exponentially grow from one group to the other. And that's when I realized that by creating a group we would be able to harness this huge examination. And looking back those years when we first started, it was quite hard and difficult because birth would only give us a matter of 4 hours each and every night from Sunday to Friday or Thursday. Then Friday and Saturday we need to be with our family, we need to go out to places. Maybe we could divide some of those times, but then again, we need to divide most of our time in order for us to come along because within 4 hours, we need to finish around 16 to 20 candidates in order for us to speak properly and to do the speaking practice from there. Wow. How many people are they in the communities then? Right now?
The one that I started, which is Hearken International. I started it last June and less than
a year it reaches around 7000 members. It's around seven K less than a year. And we've been working and partnered with one of the best, which is Swish English and Niner review center. And it's all that's going to say if you make it. Well, Stan, that is incredible. So tell us, how can somebody find your community? Okay. It's quite an easy one. All you have to do is to type in Hearken International Ilton oetp support group. It is an international community for both local and international nurses who would like to pass an Ace, their Ails examination. And all you have to do is to look for Marcus or values.
Or you could search for Loren Denmundo, which is one of our Hearken Admin, and we will be
putting you in a group for your group assignment. We'll be assigning you then. Okay.
And then what can somebody expect if they join the group? We cannot promise anything.
But with the help of the review center because we couldn't even make it without the help of the review center because I created a platformer and we should be rightfully guided by review center, and I owe it to them. We don't cross the line. It's just that every time that they came to the platform, they need to go back to their coaches, to their mentors, to do to their teachers. Then after which, after they've been assessed, they would go back to Hearken International, which we are conducting with we've got a 24/7 speaking platform which aims to help and to honor speaking skills, and after
which they need to practice and go back every now and then in order for them to get
the specific seven or way higher than that. Okay. Fabulous. Stan, I think you Lauren Bert, the team.
I just cannot say enough good words about you to have this initiative and you paid
for it for nurses in this way. It's just spectacular, really. Thank you for everything that you have done
and that you've contributed because it's such a big headache for so many nurses. Felipe, tell us a little bit about your experience with the IELTS you unmute. Philippe. Sorry about that.
My experience started last December and I just passed the entrance at the time and I was looking for a way to review for my iOS because I knew that I needed it. Like Ms. Loren, I also enrolled in a
review center, aside from social English. So you can say that I didn't cut any corners in preparing for my exam because I really wanted to pass it for the first time. I mean, and I prepared for a month or two.
I mostly use Swoosh, I mean, English for writing corrections. And I got confident when I reach a
bank score of around seven or so. And the review center that I enrolled in, I used mainly to practice speaking, listening, and reading. Then March 19 of this year, I took the IELTS exam and Luckily I passed and it was my first take. Wow, that's amazing. Really well done. Because to take it your first time and pass it your first time is a massive accomplishment. How did your life change? Felipe, when you saw that passing score? My heart literally jumped. I mean, I was on duty when the British Council emailed me and I was jumping with joy, interacting with my patients. I mean, I was like on cloud nine back then, until now, actually. And so you should be. Loren, what was it like for you when you saw that passing score?
Like, Felipe, I was really jumping with Joy and I even shouted here in our house. So my neighbors are really what's happening. I told them that I just passed an international examination and they were really happy for me. Fabulous. So wonderful. And I'm sure your life has changed since you were child.
What was that like for you when you passed? When you saw that pass in school? We were both at the car together with my wife and we were checking at the mobile device. And when I saw that, I passed and I just tell it to my wife and she said, she said, okay, yeah, okay. You made it. Because I'm so excited for this one. It's one huge Felipe for me because I wanted us to be reunited with our families and relatives and you know, our story way back in California. So we just wanted to finish the examination and so that we'd be able to help as much as we can because this is who we are and this is what we do.
Well, we love that and that's what we want for everybody who's watching, because that's what the honest enough which show is all about is that we want people to have that jumping for joy, the
neighbors coming to see the wife excited. And so that you can move on with your American dream.
Scott, we have a question from Sunil about the OET. Can you talk to us a little bit about that?
I'll try my best to answer that question as generally as possible. The OET exam simply is an alternative
to the IELTS exam English language exam, but it's aim primarily, actually, should I say specifically for medical professionals instead? So based around the same core concepts of most English language exams, the four skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing everything is medically aimed.
All of the material is designed to be around medical consultations, role plays, writings, readings, journals, texts, whatever you want to say about that. And it's a very interesting exam in terms of its
scope and its expansion across the USA in particular. For now, of course, IELTS is generally ununversally available in most countries in most areas in the world, but the OE team may become an interesting option eventually for our ends looking to come to the USA. That will take some time, but watch
this space in regards to that. Yeah, absolutely. So thank you for sharing that, Scott.
The OET is a very interesting exam, as Scott has just explained. Unfortunately, though, Daniel, you cannot use the OET as an equivalent for any language proficiency exam for the
US, only the TOEFL or the IELTS is applicable. So there are some States that allow you to
take the OET, but as a whole, the United States requires the IELTS or the Tow Fund.
We had a question here from Elsa, so Elsa is asking, Hi everybody. How do you manage your time to practice with swoosh when you still have a job? Which means there's only one to 2
hours a day to study and practice. Loren, how many hours a day did you practice when
you were working on your IELTS the second time? For my second try, I'm always making sure that
every after duty I would allot around two to 4 hours, depending on my energy level, after Duke.
So I would be able to talk with my speaking buddies, as well as to review my grammar and my writing skills, of course. And which section of the IELTS did you find the most difficult, Loren? For me, it was writing because I don't usually write. So speaking for me is a bit easier because
I try to speak to my patients in English so that I'll be used to it. And in writing, I usually got confused with the format, but with the help of swoosh, I was able to understand it well. Okay. Well, thank you.
Thank you for that. And it's actually quite interesting, Loren, because Scott, I think most international nurses battle more with the speaking correct? It actually depends, Tanya, depending on a student's basic
skill set, even where they're from as well. But writing is an area that is universally
incredibly difficult with some of the lowest passing rates of any part of the IELTS exam.
So I can understand personally where Lauren is coming from in terms of her writing woes, because everyone speaking in English quite often, it's the one skill we want to perfect in developing English.
Writing is often something that gets put to the side. And that's why when it comes to IELTS provision,
there's a lot of makeup to be made in terms of getting those skills up to scratch. Okay.
How many hours a day did you study and what was the part that was most challenging in the test?
That's a good question. Ms. Tanya, to tell you honestly, since we've been conducting the 24/7 speaking platform I usually stick with my study plan with my study guide because Swoosh English is providing a study planner. So you've got Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. And every time that we went on to the
Swoosh program, it is being conducted twice a day. So you get the chance to have a class in the morning and in nighttime. So what it usually does is that it's a daily Communion. I consider one of my religion because I try to envision as much as I can in order for you. I liked it. Sorry. Carry on. It's okay. Yeah.
So what usually does is that I need to envision something. So I wanted to nail this examination. Within a certain month, I need to plan ahead of time and at the same time, I need to walk on through the guidelines as well in order for me to know what I needed to do and what are the things that I needed to accomplish. So it took me around three months, more or less, in order for me to prepare to be
together with the help, of course, of top notch master teachers such as Scott Johnston.
We got teacher Alsa Jensen, we've got Grace Bose and the wonderful team at the background who is working. Swoosh English is one amazing package for those people who were listening in the background. Yeah. And I love the fact that you called it your religion because I think that's what it has to be for a few months. So three months was obviously your timing. And the good news for any Connetics USA nurse
is that the English program is part of the Connetics USA care package, which is where we pay
for the IELTS course for you. So this is our way of paying it forward for nurses. And then it's up to you, Stan. As you said, it took three months. It was like a religion. And you really put your heart and soul into
the preparation because unfortunately, there's no magic want. Felipe, tell us about your study regime and which part of the IELTS was the most difficult for you? Well, I stand credited at what I said earlier.
I prepared for around two to three months, and I made sure that I do some drills at least an hour to 2 hours a day for around four to five days a week. And mind you, that I had to juggle work and review.
So it was really tough because there were times that I had to study before I go to work.
So it was really how do you hold that? It was really taxing on my mind because that feeling that when you go to work already tired because you just had to review. I had to deal with that for what, two, three months? But it was all worth it. And about the review regimen, I made sure to have
at least one listening and reading drills a week and around two writing drills, one for each task because as we all say, writing is the most difficult one. And during the actual exam, I thought I nailed
the writing, but Unfortunately, I only got 6.5. But it's all right. And I think what scared me the most
during my exam would be the speaking part because I usually don't speak at length. I am a person who prefers to write and type. Yeah, that's it. Okay. Thank you, Vanessa. That gives a lot of good information
about the specifics of the study regime. And Nazareen is agreeing with Loren and Felipe.
Yes, writing is really difficult. So a lot of agreement from people in the chat. I'm just looking at the clock and I'm like, oh, my gosh, I've got so many more questions for our nurses to share their experience.
And I know that we are at the half hour already. So Loren, Stan and Felipe, can you
maybe share just like 30 seconds? Because we ride at the half hour and Scott's
going to be doing his bonus IELTS class. What is your top tip for nurses that are watching right now, lying in bed, worrying about the IELTS and looking at you and thinking, oh, I wish I was you.
What would you say is your top tip, Loren? Okay, so what I can say is that we should be focusing on our goal. So ice underpriced. So whatever the circumstances may be, we need to focus and we should not be disturbed by a lot of happenings around us, such as the pandemic, our personal problems,
because at the end of the day, all that matters is our dream for our family and for ourselves.
And of course, we should do or we should materialize the steps that we're going to do, because
if we're just dreaming, then we're not working. So we need to do that goal step by step, one at a time.
Even though it's a little, it would still make a big difference at the end of the day.
Okay, I love that. So have a goal, work at that goal and do it step by step. Yes. Thank you.
Stan, what is your top tip? 30 seconds. Okay, so my top tip for each and everybody who's watching.
I mean, if you had a goal and you had a dream, you need to chase it no matter what happened.
So if your goal and dream is to move in the US and this is the only thing that is hurting you,
you need to stay committed, you need to stay focused, and you need to dedicate most of your time because the examination does only require you a small, ample amount of preparation in
order for you to nail this examination. And all you have to do is to put your heart onto it and try to do as much as you can. Divide your time and let's see how it goes, because there are a lot of people who are doing this examination. You just have to immerse yourself a group of people who are practicing the same way, who have been doing the same thing, who had the shared common passion, the same common goal. And these are the things that I could probably share. You we've got a lot of candidates who are at the platform, and you are always welcome with the help, of course, of Connetics USA and Swoosh English. Well, Stan, thank you so much for those words of inspiration. You have the biggest heart. You and Loren and Burton and everybody who started this platform has the biggest
heart, paying it forward for nurses. This is a resource for all nurses. And we are honored to have you on the show, to be able to share that with nurses and help them get through this big obstacle.
Felipe, what is your top tip for nurses that are looking to come to the United States and need to pass the IELTS? Well, they all said what I wanted to say, but I'll say it again, ice on the goal.
And if you have a dream to go and work in the US, you need to have that goal and to singularly focus on that. Because if you are easily distracted by everything that's happening around you, then chances are you would fail the exam. Because in my opinion, IELTS is an exam of not just your English language, but also your maturity and your emotional control. Because, for instance, in listening, you need to understand what is being asked of the question and you can only achieve it by keeping your emotions at check. And thus you will answer your questions correctly if you know how to control your emotions, because some venues might offer a lot of distractions and you must be in control of how you answer your exam. And most importantly, when you go into your testing venue, you put on a big smile.
And especially on the speaking part, you just converse with your examiner like he or she is your friend. Thank you. Okay. Those are great words of wisdom, Felipe. I love that. And so I'm just looking in the chat, Nazreen is saying the only thing that remains for me is the IELTS, and I'm feeling stuck on it.
Well, hopefully Nazarene and any other nurses or medical technologists or any other healthcare workers that wanting to come to the United States are no longer feeling stuck after watching Lauren, Stan and Felipe share their experience, their success, their hard work, because it was not a magic wand.
It didn't just happen. And hopefully this show can be inspiring for nurses who are watching all over the world and want to come here to live the American dream. I'm going to finish off now and hand over to
Scott, who's going to be doing our bonus class. So thank you, Scott, for doing that. We also have a slide that Scott is going to Scott is going to start with, which is the misconceptions about the IELTS.
So Scott is going to go through this slide with everybody in a few minutes. But before we do that, I just wanted to let everybody know about upcoming shows we have onwards and upwards. Next Friday is the Immigration Q and A with the expert legal panel. So if you have any immigration questions, please feel free to put them into the chat or join us next Friday. And we will ask as many questions as we can of the legal experts. On the 15th, we have state side, which is we are talking of two nurses who are living
or health care workers that are living in Maryland. What's it like to live in Maryland? On the 19th, we have the Lafora talk show which is self care for a nurse. Very important topic, how to take care of
yourself, how not to burn out, whether it's now in the pandemic or just generally.
On the 22nd we have an empty show. And on the 29th we have our client showcase
which is Penn State, a magnet system in Pennsylvania. Our connetics initiative.
Just to finish off real quick, every nurse that comes to unite to Kinetics, who is placed with
a Connetics employer gets a free review course. Let me say that again, free
IELTS scholarship for all Connecticut nurses. So if you want to be like Loren, Stan and
Felipe and past the IELTS, this is a great opportunity. We also have our NCLEX scholarship,
free inflect review for selected RNS. We have $1,000 referral fee which has been extended until the end of May. We have our podcast which is in the top 10% of podcasts in America. We have also at our retire program, please watch our show every Friday for global nurses coming to America. And we also have an allied division helping medical lab technologies, medical lab technicians, respiratory therapists, et cetera. So with that said, I want to thank Loren, Stan and Felipe for joining us today, for sharing your story. So inspiring, so encouraging. And we look forward to seeing you in America. We can't wait for you to see you in America. Loren, where are you going to? I was really surprised about the 15th because I'm going to Maryland and it's the perfect topic for me. There we go then.
Where are you going to be going to? Of course, in California. Hopefully we'll see you in California.
And Felipe, where are you going? I'm going to Texas under Wheeler, Scott and White
really hoping for all our Connetics USA nurses. If you are not yet signed up with Kinetics, please put
your application on the Connetics USA website and our team will be able to help you and see you in America. So over to you, Scott. Thank you everybody for joining us. Please stay on and Scott is going to
take you now through the bonus class. And thank you to Swoosh English for all that you
do for the amazing hard work, the dedication that you provide for health care workers around the world. Thank you, everybody. Bye bye. All right, guys, over to me. It's lovely to have you guys here today. As I said, my name is Scott from Swoosh English IELTS teacher for many years and
managing director at Swish English as well. And of course, we help Connetics USA with any
IELTS applicants coming through their scholarship system as well. So what we're going to do today?
Well, we're simply going to actually start off today by doing a bit of mock speaking practice.
We've identified today through many of you guys in the comment box today. And what we talked about in the first half of the session is, well, we're simply going to do some mock speaking practice.
No doubt many candidates struggle a lot with their IELTS speaking. I want to give one lucky candidate today a bit of a chance to do some mock speaking with me. So you will see if you are on the Facebook channel, there will be a link coming in in a minute. That link will have a link that's called StreamYard, and that will give you a chance to come into the studio today to have a chance to do some mock speaking practice with me one on one through an entire IELTS speaking practice test, part one, part two, and part three. I will, of course, give you all some positive feedback on the IELTS speaking practice today.
As you can see, the link has been dropped in. It says Street Yard. Click on the link, come into the studio and make sure, of course, you've got your camera turned on. I like speaking to a person, not to just a voice that you've got a good quality mic or headset of some sort. Your background is ideally quite
quiet with little ambient noise. And of course, you've got a sufficient Internet connection as well.
So do not be afraid to practice your speaking with me today. I'm going to try and make it as
fun and interactive for you as possible. I want you to enjoy this experience as much as possible as well.
So if you're feeling in any way anxious, just be aware. That is incredibly natural, especially when you're
doing something in front of someone. Use those nerves to your advantage when you're coming into the session today to do the speaking practice. If you don't get a chance to do some speaking practice today, it's not a problem because you can learn a lot from actually watching and listening to a speaking consultation with a candidate, take down notes on the candidate's feedback, reflect upon your own
feedback while doing so. And of course, think about your own mock speaking
practice and how you can do so as well. And of course, if you enjoy what we do at
Swoosh English and you're at RN coming to the USA at some point in the near future, well, then you're
getting a little bit of a taste for what we can do at Swoosh English for helping you with your
IELTS preparation from beginning to end. So, guys, I'm waiting for everyone to come in.
The link is there. Click on the link that says Stream yards. When I see some of fellow candidates come in today, I am going to pick one lucky person to have a chance to do some speaking feedback with me.
Okay, we got some candidates coming in. Fantastic. Good. I thought I had scared everyone off with
the chance to do so, but we've got a candidate called Huna has joined us today. Hello, Huna. Hello. Good evening. Good evening to you. How are you doing today? I am good. That is great to hear. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Hello. My name is Huna. I'm from Philippines. I'm 32 years of age and I'm also a nurse working in a cruise ship. On a cruise ship. Do you like working on a cruise ship? It sounds really luxurious. Yes, it is. And it's also quite fantastic working and driving at the same time.
That is amazing. Well, I'm happy to hear that that's going well for you. So you're from the Philippines, right? What part of the Philippines are you from? I'm from La Vesija. Lovely. I haven't been to the Philippines, Unfortunately, I did spend a lot of time living in Vietnam in Southeast Asia. But you know what, Huna? I didn't go to the Philippines. Is that a really bad choice? Was that a really bad choice on
me not to go to the Philippines? What do you think? It depends. It depends if you like tropical tropical
country, because it's really hot in here. Actually, right now in our place, it's 42 deg Celsius.
I don't know if you would like it to look at me with my white pasty skin. I was melting the Philippines in 42 degrees. But I sincerely regret not going to the Philippines when I lived in Southeast Asia. But I will get a chance to visit for a lovely country Sunday and see all of my lovely Filipino friends there at some point. I'd love to. Huina, are you currently preparing for your IELTS exam? Not yet, but I actually love to learn because actually I feel very weak in speaking, writing, and everything. Good.
Well, the most important thing is get your IELTS preparation off earlier than you think you should.
Often it does take a bit longer than you might think. There's also lots of other things which can
affect your IELTS progression at any point. Life can throw lots of curveballs at us.
We might be very busy people. We have lots of things to juggle, and there will be sticking points that
most candidates find in an IELTS preparation. So get it off to a good
start, I would say yes, thank you. And actually, I have a little bit of, like, emotional damage because I have a very loss of confidence in speaking can I tell a short story on it? This is a short story.
When I applied in a call center in the Philippines, they told me, oh, you did not pass because you have a very native accent. I don't know if it matters in IELTS. I don't know. Well, that's a common myth.
There actually is about the IELTS exam that your accent will actually affect your score. That is simply not always the case. The only way an accent might affect your score is if your accent affects your intonation and your pronunciation. But because you don't speak with an accent from the Philippines doesn't mean that you can't get a high enough score. That is not the case. So what do lots of candidates do, Huna?
They try to sign like an English person, an American person, an Irish person, an Australian person. And I just signed up really bad. My Tom tip for that would be just to neutralize your accent as much as possible, draw your signs, speak a little bit slower, and think about your intonation and pronunciation. Who. Now, can I tell you a secret? Yes, please. Sure. I am neutralizing my accent right now, so everyone does it. Even native English speakers do it. It just makes our accent just sound clearer, more concise and more crisp. So that's what I recommend to you. If I have to do it, then you can do it as well.
Neutralize it as best as you can. Draw out your sound, speak a little slower. Right? Right.
Thank you so much for that secret. You're very welcome. Everyone else got that secret to neutralize your accent as much as you can, but you will not need to speak with a native English speaking accent.
But of course, get feedback if your accent is impeding upon any aspects of your speaking score.
So, Huna, are you familiar with the format of the IELTS exam? The speaking exam?
That is actually not, no. Well, we're going to go through it today. Not a problem. There are three parts to IELTS speaking. There's part one, general questions about you and your studies, your work,
your habits, your friends, et cetera. Then there's a part called part two in which you
have to plan a response and speak for two minutes. I will guide you through it when we get to
that part, if you're not familiar with it, and then part three are slightly longer, more discursive questions.
Doesn't matter if you're not familiar with the format today. The important thing that we'll do is you have to do is just enjoy the experience as much as possible, learn from it as much as possible, and have a
chance to practice and show off your speaking. Right, right. So sorry. I need to leave now. My baby is awakened. I have a baby, actually. I really love to talk to you about my baby awakened and I need to.
Okay, so someone else is going to join me today. Not a problem. It was nice speaking to you. Nice speaking to you overall. Thank you so much. Speaking to you. Good luck with your IELTS preparation. Thank you. Bye. Okay, well, let's get stuck into a candidate now who actually is going to do some speaking with me. And I see someone there with the camera turned on. So I'm going to assume that they want to join and her name is April. April, I'm going to turn on your camera in 3 seconds.
One, two, three. Hello, April. Hello. Lovely to meet you, April. How's everything with you?
It's cold today and I know it's already spring, but it's really, really, really cold.
You're not in the Philippines then I assume? No, I'm from the Philippines, but I live
here in Japan for half of my life. Lovely. So it's very nice to meet you. Tell me a bit about you and your
IELTS preparation, what your goals and aspirations are. So I just passed my uncle and I was trying to prepare for my IELTS, but I don't actually know where to start. Start from the very beginning, start
making that first steps towards preparation and take appropriate preparation. That would be my first goal for you. And you've taken that first step today? Yeah, I'm actually ready to sleep, but then I checked out Connetics USA and then I saw the red button and then I just click it and then we've got you now.
We've got you now. You can sleep in 15 minutes time. Okay. Because I want 15 minutes of your time to
do a little bit of mock speaking practice. I'll do my best. You will do your best. I haven't been speaking English, like for six, seven years now. Just pure Japanese. 24/7. Lovely. Wow, you're amazing. Obviously you speak probably Tagalog. I would assume Japanese and also English as well. Yeah, English is like.
I don't think so for a second. I don't know, but I'll do my best and I want to give you some assistance today with that. The first question I have is are you familiar with the IELTS speaking test format? No, actually, this is my first time. All right, well, let's start off with doing. I'm going to ask you a few
questions on part one of the exam. And part one is just kind of like simple
questions in regards to you and your studies and your work and other answers as well.
My rule for this speaking session today is to just enjoy as much as possible, keep your answers somewhat concise. For part one, you're talking about two to three sentences per answer, about 20 seconds or so per answer. Okay, I've got my pen. I've got the red pen out as well.
The red pen is out. I'm going to be writing down a few comments here and there to give you some feedback overall at the very end, how does that sound for you? Okay. Alright. Thank you. Awesome. That's why it wants. Your best is always good enough. April, can I ask how do you usually spend your weekends? Weekends? Usually I work on weekends, but if I got a day off on weekends, I usually go outside, especially this spring. It blossoms everywhere, tulips everywhere. So I'm going here and there and taking pictures because it's probably this is going to be my last spring. I'm really going to miss Japan.
So whenever I get a day off, I'm doing my best to just go outside and just not house, work, bed.
Good answer. Which is your favorite part of the weekend? Favorite part of the weekend.
It is going outside. I don't want to be stuck up in my bed because it makes me feel depressed, especially in this season where it's really cold and I live alone and I don't live with my parents all the way back in the Philippines. They don't want to come here. So I live on my own. I have a few friends, but nurses cannot have the same day off. I usually go outside on my own, join a group and just enjoy. Lovely. So how important is it to have free time at the weekends? In your opinion? Free time on the weekend is really important to me since I work in the hospital, which is very stressful. Stressful because we are working with patients, we are working with lives. Plus, in my case, where I live here in Japan and I do speak Japanese, but it's not as perfect as a native Speaker Japanese. So it's like double stress to me.
For me. Lovely. Okay, that's a little mini part in part one. Well done. Now I'm going to move on to part two of the IELTS exam. And for part two, ideally, I would like you to have one of these and something like this. So a pen and paper or something. You can write down some. It could be your phone, it could be your computer, et cetera. All state are also great. If needed, you come prepared today, April. That's absolutely amazing. So what is the format for part two of the exam? Part two of the IELTS exam is called the long term. So in a moment, I am going to put a queue card on the screen. Okay. And this cue card will have a series of things that you have to prepare an answer for. You will have 1 minute to prepare your answer and then you will have to speak for up to two minutes about your answer on a given queue card. Okay. So think about how you can expand the points on the queue card. How can you speak about them fully? But you don't have to just speak about what's on the queue card. You can expand it.
Even think of more than one example if you want. But the most important thing for anyone to
keep it simple, speak for the full two minutes as successfully as you can. Okay. So I'm just going to share my screen. Here is your cue card. Can I confirm that? You can see it says, Describe
an important event in your life. Okay. So, April, I'm going to start the timer for 1 minute. You write down some notes, preparing your answer, and then you will speak for two minutes. Is that all? Okay for you? Yeah. Perfect. Okay. And your time begins now. So, everyone, while April is preparing for her
IELTS speaking prompt, why not prepare yourself? Why not take down a few notes?
Because if we're doing this, queue card yourself. Practice a really important part of my IELTS speaking.
And that is part two, preparation. Okay. Imagine you're doing this response yourself. And imagine you're looking, obviously, to give April some feedback on this session today as well.
Preparation time is up, April. Probably the longest or the shortest 1 minute of your life, depending on how you feel. It's the shortest 1 minute, of course. So, April, now over to you to begin speaking.
I'm going to start the timer for two minutes. I will stop you at two minutes. I want you just to expand upon the notes in the card as clearly and precisely as possible. Number one rule, do not stop speaking.
Are you ready? Sure. Yeah. Fantastic. Okay, let's go in three, two, one. So my life long dream has been
to work in the United States. And when I graduated in 2009, however, but the requirements
was to have at least one year experience in the nursing before becoming legible to apply for an agency.
So Additionally, my parents did not have the resources. So I gave up on that dream.
And in 2016, I decided to move to Japan. Work as a nurse here, took the very difficult nursing exam,
and in doing so, I was able to save up. And just in summer last year, I decided to get
out of my comfort zone, applied for the NFL. And when I passed the NFL, I was actually
very surprised because after the test, I was crying. I was expecting I won't be able to pass.
When I applied for Japan, I did it on my own. I don't have friends with me because I
don't know, I don't have friends who are interested to be an RN in Japan. But since it's one of my life long dreams, aside from my American dream, so I decided to just apply. And when I got it, I got here.
The first two years was very lonely and very like. It took me a year to adjust to the culture, to the language. But eventually I was able to adjust and to do my life. So it was the shortest 1 minute and the
shortest two minutes of your life as well. I up to the habit of doing that. I want to say more, but to compress it into two minutes, I don't know how to do it. Well, you don't have to necessarily compress
into two minutes, as long as you're speaking appropriately within those two minutes.
Well done. So that is the end of part two. Now let's finish off by asking a few part questions
to finish off our mini IELTS speaking prompt today. So I'm going to talk about skills
as our topic for part three. Okay. These answers should be slightly longer and slightly more dispersive than part one. You might be asked to give an opinion or your viewpoint and back up with some examples on some of these questions, not so much about you, more about your opinion and stance on a wider topic. Okay, so question one, what skills and abilities do most people want today? Today?
Well, in my opinion, I think it's like being able to speak different languages.
I don't know. Nowadays people like to travel, and in my experience, traveling in a country where you can't speak the language, it's really hard. And I've seen people who are studying this language, studying
German, and then they just stop in the middle and then they want to start to start studying another language and then stop in the middle, like, I don't know, but I think it's one of the skills that people
nowadays want to acquire, but they are lazy to start it and then finish it. What skills do you think are important for children to learn at school? To learn in school? Well, what I've learned here in Japan
is children here were trained differently compared to the Philippines and any European countries.
One of the skills that they've learned here and they carry as they grow up, it's
very simple, but people can't do it. It is being polite, like Japanese are known to be polite, and that's because they were taught from three years old to high school College. It's different from where I came from. And one final question for you. Which skills do you think will be important in the future? In the future, skills is probably being able to communicate to other people, especially with my job and
especially with what's going on in the Earth. I mean, communication being able to communicate is like one of the best skill or best quality a person can have, especially my job, because I work as a nurse.
If I won't be able to communicate to my patients, to the family, I won't be able to
continue from admission to discharge to home care, like I have home care, not home care.
Well, admission to discharge. Yeah. Lovely. That is the end of your IELTS speaking test really hard.
Well, apart from really hard, how did you find that little mini speaking session that we did there?
Actually today it's four degrees Celsius, but I feel like it's minus eight. You've got really cold inside from the nerves that you've had from this. Yeah, really nervous. All right. Well, I think you did really well,
so well done for doing that, especially. That was your first time. Amazing. If that's your first time.
Onwards and upwards. Every single time. We're on a show called Onwards and Upwards.
Let's apply that principle to everything that we do in life. So I want to share my screen again.
I'm going to go through some of the IELTS feedback categories that we have. Okay.
So you are assessed on four main areas when it comes to your IELTS speaking, that is, pronunciation, fluency and coherence, grammatical range and accuracy and lexical resource.
Okay, let's go through them one by one. So, pronunciation, how is your pronunciation?
Was it accurate? Natural and easy to understand. Really good. Really good.
Your pronunciation, for the most part. I only picked up one small pronunciation
error and it was the word culture. What a lot of students like the world,
especially those who are from Latin countries or have Latin cultural history, like the Philippines.
I hear words like you said something is sound a bit like koucher, but it's old culture.
Can you say for me, April? Culture, culture. Much better. I said three more times. Culture, culture, culture, culture, culture, culture. Sorry from that. Your pronunciation was one of your strong points in this. So well done. Second category is your fluency and coherence. So I ask, did the speaker speak at a
natural pace that wasn't too fast or too slow? And did they use language to logically connect ideas?
Once again, I think your fluency was great. You were able to maintain speaking.
It seemed to be quite easy for you to maintain a natural rate of speech.
Yes, there were some as and A's and as in there as. You were probably searching for
your next topical points. I think a bit more organization on your behalf
could have been there, but I think that you're able to speak quite fluently from A to B. Okay.
Now what you could do a little bit better is use more language to connect your ideas together.
This is quite idiomatic if you use words like that, shows a good idiomatic knowledge of English, but
you want to improve upon your linking devices, a range of them that are IELTS specific. Okay.
So that will be coming into improving your vocabulary a bit more. Okay. Actually, that's my problem, even with Japanese vocabs. Yeah, I have written that down, expanding your vocabulary range
in terms of your topical vocabulary, as well as your cohesive devices that you will use to link your sentences together from A to B as well. And that's where you can come in. We can help you prepare for that. How about your grammatical range and accuracy? Pretty good. It was pretty good overall, but I did pick up a few small errors here and there. For example, you said I expected I won't be able to pass.
I expected I won't be able to pass. Are you aware of the error there? Yeah, I know it's grammatically incorrect, but I don't know where is the correct one. I expected past tense verb. I wouldn't be able to pass farther than what I expected. I wouldn't be able to pass. You said what? So you need to obviously use wouldn't instead of want in this case. Okay. Okay. Secondly, I don't have friends interested. I don't have friends interested. I don't have friends who are interested. Who are interested. Right.
So we're missing the use of your pronoun and your auxiliary verb there as well. Just to make it logical and cohesive. You said, what of my life long dream? One of my life long dreams?
That could have been a pronunciation error. Or maybe you just didn't pronounce that s,
but one off means more than one. So you need to pluralize the object of your sentence to dreams. Okay, one more. What are the best skill and quality skills? Qualities. And be very aware of that.
April, think about when you're using certain words. If you're using the plural, draw it
that's best skills and best qualities. Okay. Okay. There are a couple of small errors here and there.
For cohesion, it could be a matter of pronunciation error, too. Okay, final section. Lexical resource.
Did you use a range of appropriate vocabulary accurately? You did use a lot of vocabulary accurately, but I think you need to expand upon that a bit more. I said use more topical vocabulary to expand the topics and also use a greater variety of vocabulary as well. It's a little bit more complicated and
can also be used as cohesive devices. So your strengths are your pronunciation
and your fluency and coherence. The two areas that you should work on would be your grammatical range and accuracy. Start using more perfect tenses and a variety of tenses, too, and really expand
upon that vocabulary a bit more, too. One more thing I would say would be
something you should work on is keeping your answers focused, more focused on the topic.
You know, you did obviously speak at length a few times. I thought maybe we can keep that
on topic to the answer itself. Okay. But overall, it was a good speaking response, especially for your first time. It's a great point for you to be at, it being your first speaking point, too. With a bit of refinement, we'll get you there to that seven or above. How do you feel about all of that? I was nervous.
But do you feel good? I feel good now because I'm done speaking to Scott. I've spoken to Scott.
Sorry, I can go to sleep now. Right. But no. Well done. You've got a lot of energy, warmth to you as well.
You've got a nice disposition, you're chatty, you're friendly. Bring those strengths into your eyelids
preparation and the IELTS exam itself. And if you like, we at Connetics and Swoosh English can help you get there, too. I'll do my best. Your best is always good enough, April. As I say, it is always good enough.
It's been lovely speaking to you today. Thanks a lot. Thank you very much. Oh, you're very welcome.
It's my pleasure speaking to you today and giving you some IELTS speaking practice.
Best of luck with everything. Enjoy your sleep and I'll hopefully speak to you again soon. Okay. Good night. Good night. Rest up. Thank you. So, guys, that was April. Hope that you enjoyed the speaking session that April did today and throw in some comments in the chat box. Guys, let me know how you thought that she got on and even use this opportunity to reflect upon your own speaking practice as well. Throw some comments into the chat box. If you're watching on the Connetics Facebook channel or
the YouTube channel, maybe you're even linking in to us on the Swish English channel as well. Come along, give us a comment. See how it went as well. So, guys, before I get on to talking about
something very special, at the very end of this session, I will be speaking about a very common
topic to finish off this session. And that is common IELTS misconceptions. See, sometimes I even lose my fluency as well. I'm going to talk about some common IELTS misconceptions here as part of the session. Okay. These are all myths I'm going to bust for you right now. The first thing is that there is a
misconception that one testing center uses more difficult test papers compared to other test centers. That is simply not the case. IELTS is highly standardized. By standardized, everything has been
designed to be the same. So going to a different test center, maybe you heard from someone.
Oh, that was easy. Another friend said that was really difficult. That's not because the material
is any harder or easier. There is no difference in difficulty. It is all the same common myth.
Number two, it is easier to pass the exam when you take the test in a specific country.
That is also not the case. And it's really for the same reason as point one, everything is standardized.
Everything is produced by an in house global IELTS production team. It's not produced by different centers. So every single center has access to the exact same material, the same format, and the same procedures. So in the Philippines, it will be as hard and as difficult as doing it in the UK, for example.
No easier or no harder. Thirdly, native English speaking examiners are more lenient in the speaking subtest. Have a guess why I'm going to say this is false as well. Once again, standardization.
A native English speaking examiner will be conducting the test in the exact same way as
a non native English speaking examiner. The examiners who listen to your response will
be scoring you according to the same standardized criteria, the same standardized rubric as well.
And it's all checked and verified by the IELTS teams with both IDP and British Council IELTS.
They'll be checking it to the same standardized procedure. So there's no leniency, there's no easiness.
It will be checked and verified. Number four, more complicated vocabulary will always
help you get a higher grade. The answer to this one is yes, but also simultaneously no.
You only need to use vocabulary that is relevant and suitably complicated, but it
also needs to be used accurately. And does it facilitate communication?
Sometimes candidates think, if I use these long, flowery big worded phrases and I
used complicated vocabulary throughout my entire sentence, I will impress the examiner.
I'll be showing off a million thinking, well, actually, native English speakers don't sound like this.
And really, the meaning of what they were trying to say was bogged down by how complicated it was.
So my answer to that is only use complicated vocabulary as accurately as you
can and as appropriately as you can. If you're not sure what that is, we'll then get
a native English Speaker or another expert IELTS instructor to tell you what is appropriate and what is not common. Myth number five, and this one is a really big one. Memorizing templates is key to passing
the exam no times a million. There is no shortcut to passing the IELTS exam.
Guys, the only way you can pass the IELTS exam the dedication, hard work, improvement and
learning and getting better over time. It's called the learning model. If templates got you to pass the exam, then everyone will be passing the IELTS exam easily. But that's just simply not the case.
The main reason why many candidates don't pass the exam sooner and
cheaper is because of ineffective preparation. And what I see too much is use this
template, apply this to everything and you will pass.
And it's simply not the case. The IELTS exam is a skill and to learn the
skill, you have to practice the skill and get better at the skill again and again and again and again.
Templates just simply don't work because you're not learning this skill. And every IELTS exam is somewhat different as well. So please don't rely on templates and other
freebies as your way of passing the exam because the opposite will be true.
Okay guys, hopefully those misconceptions have been realized for you. I also hope that you
enjoyed the speaking session today. I want to finish off by telling you a little bit
more about how you can get more of what we've done today as part of the Swish English Kinetics USA IELTS scholarship, which, as Tanya said today, is completely free. If you join up to us as part of
our scholarship program, let's have a look in terms of what would you get in the scholarship program?
Well, you get access to a complimentary IELTS review course. There are free IELTS classes weekly, Monday to Friday, and all skills, including mocking Zan speaking sessions like what we did today.
You get access to free study groups and free study partners. The Swoosh English team will help you be
matched with someone at the same time zone. Similar other aspects to that as well.
We get access to a free Facebook group. It's a very popular group called the
Connetics Swiss English IELTS Support Group. We post other content, other video content, and
motivational message to you every single day. We'll place you in a free Telegram group as well.
Once again, for you to get to know your other IELTS scholarship students who are from Connetics as well. We'll motivate you. We'll match you with study buddies. We'll give you a direct line to have any
queries answered by the Connetics and Social English teams. There's a Connetics IELTS support specialist as well for you to bounce your queries off and help you with any questions that you might have.
And also Connetics hold a monthly raffle to get access to a free IELTS scholarship every single month. A bit more detail about what our in house course consists of. Well, there are eight modules with
eight milestone tests to ensure you're learning the appropriate IELTS skills.
Writing has been identified as being one of the toughest parts of IELTS writing about the IELTS exam itself. And in our course you'll get access to 20 writing corrections marked by our expert native English speaking teachers anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you can attend any of the classes for whatever reason, you're all busy professionals.
Well, everything's recorded for you and you can watch back the IELTS live class recordings at
any time whenever you are free, making it fully flexible around your needs and examples.
You'll get access to mock exams and sample essays to actually do the IELTS exam in mock exam scenarios well ahead, so you should be well versed when it comes
to the big day of taking the exam. We will give you access to speaking partners in our mock
exam speaking class as well as outside of the sessions that you can do your own speaking practice as well. As I said, there's around the clock support from Swoosh and Connetics and more to get access to
all the support and help that you need. As you can see, we have three candidates on today
who have passed the IELTS exam through the scholarship with us at Swiss English Academics USA, and we love for anyone else who is eligible to become an RN in the USA and get their American journey started to come and join our system for completely free IELTS review course which does get passing results. All you have to do is click on the link that says conneticsusa.com/application.
Check the links in the chat box on where you're watching that's conneticsusa.com/application
and get your IELTS preparation started today. Why wait? Start now. Do it for free. Do it well.
Enjoy the results ticket off your box. Get to the USA much sooner. So I personally would love to see as many of you in our IELTS review classes as part of the next USA ASAP you'll see me in some of the video courses and some of the sessions we can do mock speaking practice and
more plus a lot of other things as well. So guys it's been an absolute
pleasure hosting this session today. It's been lovely speaking to all of you reading your
comments as well and I simply love what I do helping more candidates past their IELTS exam and that's what we wish English do for Connetics USA and Wider so I hope everyone has a very productive Friday.
Happy weekend to everyone as well. If you are preparing for the IELTS exam prepare well prepare effectively remember those common myths and bust them today. I hope to see more of you very soon with us for your IELTS review with Swish English and Connetics USA. Have a great day everyone. I'm Scott from Swish English. It's been a pleasure. Take care have a good day. Thanks very much bye.