3 Essential IELTS Reading Strategies

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E2 IELTS

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hello everyone my name is Alex I'm one of the expert Isles teachers here at a two language comm and welcome to your eetu task of the week today we're gonna work on IELTS reading and I'm gonna share with you three essential strategies that you need to know to do well in IELTS reading let's get started in this class I'll show you the three IELTS reading strategies and we're gonna do a whole heap of practice with a little bit of match headings and just know not given because I know everybody struggles with those now the first strategy I want to mention it's probably something you're familiar with and that you've heard a lot about it is skimming what is skimming when you're skimming a text you're trying to answer two questions what is the text about and how is the text organized the keyword skimming is to do it efficiently and there are really two different ways to skim I'm going to show you both of them but it's up to you to choose which one works best for you now basically this one involves looking at a text really quickly without reading too slowly or too in-depth and you're just trying to find out what's the text about how the text organized I'm going to show you two big pages of text and cover the writing as you read so you have to go quickly are you ready let's begin start skimming you here's the next page you so that was one minute how did you go what words did you notice and did you see how the text was organized maybe you saw words like GM genetic modification EU farming crops health environment did it help you let me show you the other way to skim and see if it's more useful the second way to skim is by just looking at the introduction and then the first sentence of each paragraph so we call the first sentence the topic sentence you would know that from your writing so we're gonna look at the same text now just the introduction and the first sentence of each paragraph and we'll read it together see if this helps you anymore can you see what the text is about and can you see how its organized let's read my parents research malnutrition and under nutrition in India especially among children and found that many diets recommended by Western nutritionists were in fact completely inapplicable to the poor so they formulated cheap healthy diets based on indigenous foods which people were familiar with which people were familiar yet despite their many other efforts a quarter of people in India and nearly one in nine people around the world did not have enough to live a healthy active life then we get into the topic sentences the world World Bank estimates that we will need to produce about 50% more food by 2050 to feed a population of nine billion people just as new agricultural techniques and equipment spurred on food production in the Middle Ages and scientific crop breeding fertilizers and pesticides did so for the Green Revolution of the 20th century so we must rely on the latest technology to boost food production further and see the writers opinion their views on GM differ across the world there are outstanding plant scientists who work on GM in the UK but Scottish wealth Northern Irish governments have declared their opposition to GM plants about 15 years ago and GM was merging its main proponents and many of the initial products were from large multinational corporations even though it was publicly funded scientists who produced most of the initial research by the way if you're doing this in the reading test you would be going about that fast but using your pen or if you're on the computer might be scribbling some notes down and thinking about the type of text that you're dealing with so are you looking at something which is balancing both views two opposing views are you looking at a strong opinion piece are you looking at a historical account going from the past closer to the present all of those questions you should be sort of asking yourself and thinking about while you're reading because eventually of course you've got questions to deal with next topic sentence the debate became polarized and any sense that the evidence could be rationally assessed evaporated I'm going to show you the next screen here but I won't read the text out I'll give you time to do that on your own you so how did you go this time do you know what the text is about do you know how its organized can you see the writer's opinion if you now had a bunch of questions would you know where to look for each question so for example if they asked you about the health impact or they might ask you about a particular country would you be able to find that based on your skimming now maybe you found both methods not that helpful that's just a matter of practice but hopefully either the first method or the second method works for you and that is the starting point in IELTS reading not always but often you'll skim the text first now this brings us to the next strategy scanning again a word that you've probably heard all the time now the question that you're dealing with when you're scanning is where is it when you're scanning you're actually not reading you're just looking think of yourself like a hunter so you've read a a question an IELTS yes no not given question you've got a keyword maybe it's somebody's name maybe it's a date and you're just looking through the text trying to find it and if you start reading that's a waste of time so scanning just means looking or hunting so you're basically doing this moving your eye up and down around the page looking for a particular piece of information if you've got a good keyword like a proper noun or a date then this is obviously much easier if you're looking for a synonym or an idea this can take a little bit longer let's have a practice I'm gonna give you a word at the top in the blue section and I want you to find it as fast as you can this is the word I want you to find Canada so scan for Canada as fast as you can here we go have you got it it's in the middle column almost in the middle of the page here it is let's do another one this time I want you to scan for the word herbicides go it's in the third column middle paragraph there it is so scanning is pretty fun but it's also an essential skill when you need to find a section quickly but once you find that section that's not the end of the story because then it's the third strategy and in IELTS reading this third strategy is actually the most important one and you are required to use it the most often it is careful reading you can think of this like slow down so we've got skimming scanning and slow down careful reading it's pretty obvious what it is right it means that you've got to read the text at the pace that allows you to understand what you're reading so it's not just reading slowly you're reading efficiently so here is where you need to think about reading for understanding and breaking those bad habits of returning to the start of a sentence or returning to the start of a paragraph when you finish it's a very normal thing to do I do it all the time but in a language test there is no time for that kind of lazy reading so careful reading is efficient reading let's look at one paragraph and three headings and work on our careful reading when we do headings maths we always start with the paragraph rather than the heading so let's read it together gM involves the introduction of very specific genes into plants in many ways this is much more controlled than the random mutations that are selected for in traditional plant breeding most of the commonly grown crops that we consider natural actually bear little resemblance to their wild ancestors having been selectively modified through crossbreeding over the thousands of years that humans have been farming crops in this sense this is a form of genetic modification itself so then we've got out there headings modification is nothing new benefits of crossbreeding and history of farming now I saw the word crossbreeding I saw something about the history of farming but this paragraph is all about number one modification is nothing new if I had been reading too quickly or just skimming or just scanning I probably would have chosen the wrong answer then so I was reading at a pace that allows me to understand and when I'm reading I'm also reading quite dramatically in my head my voice is going up and down I'm emphasizing certain words that is careful reading let's do another one this time I'll leave it to you feel free to pause if you need a little bit longer I'll show you another paragraph and another three headings read carefully you if you are reading carefully you would know that treating diabetes was mentioned but it's not the focus of the whole paragraph same with number two cancer was mentioned but it's not the main idea of this paragraph it's not a good heading number three is the best heading GM's role in healthcare so now let's put it all together I'm gonna give you a few paragraphs from that text and for yes no not given questions remember that your snow not given questions are asking you about the writer's opinion so you'll need to probably skim first then scan for keywords then slow down and read carefully over to you pause the recording for two minutes now are you feeling confident with your answers let's have a look together let's start with question one we've got a really good scanning word here with a capital letter so Western diets unsuitable poor people you can find this in the first paragraph Western nutritionists in applicable and poor so in the real test you'd slow down and read this section really carefully let's do it my parents researched malnutrition and under nutrition in India especially among children and found that many diets recommended by Western nutritionists were in fact completely inapplicable to the poor so they formulated bla bla bla question is some diet some Western diets were found to be unsuitable for poor people does the text say the same thing many diets recommended by Western nutritionists were completely inapplicable to the poor some Western diets were unsuitable for poor people this is the same thing so this is yes how about number two again we've got a good scanning word here US US corn production has risen considerably in the past half century over here in the text past half century past fifty years soar which is rise considerably corn and us we're in the right spot here so we would slow down and read around the world Bank estimates that we will need to produce about 50 percent more food by 2050 to feed a population of nine billion people and the past 50 years have seen agricultural productivity saw corn yields in the US have doubled for examples this is the key part corn yields in the US have doubled US corn production has risen considerably yes double is rising considerably in the past half century the past 50 years so again this is yes it's saying the same thing as the text number three you know pesticides led to a reduction in food production during the 20th century so good scan word pesticide 20th century a good one and we're looking for information about pesticides reduction food production so pesticides appears once over here but it's not near the other words that we need so see it again here and twentieth century this is the section that we would slow down to read let's do it just as new agricultural techniques and equipment spurred on food production this means encouraged or boosted spurred on food production in the Middle Ages and scientific crop breeding fertilizers and pesticides did so for the Green Revolution of the 20th century so we must rely on the latest technology to boost food production further ok is this saying the same thing pesticides led to a reduction in food production during the 20th century so I know that pesticides did so as in they spurred on food production they boosted or increased food production so pesticides led to a reduction this is saying the opposite thing contradiction this is no they led to a boost in food production it's a finally question for globally half of all crops grown are GM key word here globally half GM and we're looking here in the final section the final paragraph we've got views on GM differ across the world almost half you go almost half of all crops grown in the US so this is not globally this is the US GM whereas widespread opposition in Europe means virtually no GM crops are grown there in Canada regulation is focused on then I speed up a little bit can I see anything about worldwide globally GM is merely a technology so once I've read all of this I can see actually there's no information about how much of global crops are GM so there's no way for me to know this information which means it's not given so here we have it yes yes no and no given so hopefully you found those strategies useful let's just review them one more time in your test you should skim for the overall idea and structure scan when you're looking for specific information and then slow down and read carefully you can employ these techniques when you're just reading for fun as well websites like National Geographic New Scientist and the conversation where this article comes from are great places to work on your reading skills for more IELTS preparation join us on into language comm we're 100 percent online you can submit your work for writing and speaking feedback you can come along to our live group classes and work with me and our other language experts and you can book a one-on-one tutorial to work with your teacher in person our teachers are all over the world so you can always find a time that suits you and our course of course is online so you can practice as much as you want wherever you want and whenever you want I'll see you soon on e to language comm bye [Music]

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