How to Teach IELTS – 4 Lesson Plans to Get You Started

If you are an English teacher, chances are, you’ve been asked to help students prepare for an important exam. One of the most common exams students take is the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam. Today, you will learn about what it is and how to teach it. You will also be guided through 4 free teacher-led lesson plans that you can use to help your students achieve their IELTS goals.

Teaching exam preparation is a bit different than teaching a general English course because there is more pressure to reach a desired goal. However, students who are studying for an important exam are usually more focused because they’re studying for one reason: to achieve a required exam result.

When you you first start helping a student prepare for the IELTS exam, you might not know where to start. Don’t panic because Off2Class has created a dedicated segment of lesson plans designed for IELTS exam preparation. These lesson plans introduce each section of the IELTS exam- speaking, listening, writing and reading. Download your free Off2Class IELTS lesson plans by scrolling down below. 

IELTS at a glance

The IELTS exam measures English proficiency. There are two different tests: the IELTS Academic exam and the IELTS General Training exam.


Students who want to study at an English-speaking university must complete the IELTS Academic exam. Students who want to immigrate to English-speaking countries must complete the General test. Test scores (also called band scores) range from 1-9; students are tested on their Listening, Speaking, Writing and Reading skills. The test follows a very particular format, so teachers need to be familiar with it before teaching it. Don’t forget to do extra research if you need to.

How to teach IELTS: Listening

This lesson plan introduces the listening portion of the test and outlines the format students should expect. In this lesson there are listening exercises and audio files, you can access them by signing up for a free Off2Class teacher account. It is important to note that the listening test is the same for both the academic and general IELTS tests.

Download your free Off2Class IELTS – Listening lesson plan here:

How to teach IELTS: Speaking

This lesson plan introduces the speaking test and its format. It covers the following exam criteria: pronunciation, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, fluency and coherence. During this lesson, you will also have the chance to practice speaking exercises with your students. Like the listening test, the speaking test is the same for both academic and general tests.

Download your free Off2Class IELTS – Speaking lesson plan here:

How to teach IELTS: Writing

This lesson covers elements of the writing test, which is different for academic and general test writers. This lesson focuses on both, so be sure to target the activities that suit your students’ needs. It discusses the following criteria: task achievement, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy and coherence and cohesion.

Download your free Off2Class IELTS – Writing lesson plan here:

How to teach IELTS: Reading

This lesson plan introduces the reading test, which is also different for academic and general test writers. This lesson plan focuses on the test format, but also allows you to identify the student’s reading habits. Some activities will even help the student improve their reading skills outside of the classroom!

Download your free Off2Class IELTS – Reading lesson plan here:

Do you need teaching advice?


Students who are looking for IELTS preparation courses can find them online, at private institutions and public colleges worldwide. Additionally, many students hire private teachers for extra practice. Before taking on IELTS students, research the IELTS exam. The teacher should know more about the exam than the student but chances are, your student has already started studying on their own. Websites like ielts.org or the British Council are great places to start.

Are you looking for resources right now? Off2Class has created over 40 teacher-led lesson plans suitable for online and in-person classes. These lesson plans are easy to follow, covering the key skills that students will be tested on. There’s no such thing as being “too prepared” to teach this content because students need all the help they can get. 

Don’t forget to check out our other lessons at Off2Class.com, where you’ll find hundreds of other teacher-led activities for students of all levels. Sign up for your free teacher account to access the teacher notes, homework assignments, assessments and other tools.  Leave the hard work and planning to us so you can spend less time preparing and more time teaching the subject you love.

If you found these lesson plans helpful, don’t forget to give them a like and comment below. We look forward to hearing from teachers like you!


13 Comments

  • Dana Elena Comisu says:

    March 22, 2021 at 10:02 am

    Thank you!

    • Chris says:

      March 23, 2021 at 12:57 am

      You’re welcome, hope you enjoy the lesson plans and feel free to share!

  • Jessica says:

    March 23, 2021 at 4:06 am

    Thank you so much Chris.

    • Chris says:

      March 26, 2021 at 10:21 pm

      You’re welcome, Jessica!

  • Emma says:

    March 28, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    Thank you so much! This helps a great deal as I’ve just taken on IELTS Students.

    • Chris says:

      April 1, 2021 at 1:25 pm

      Glad to hear it, Emma. Best of luck!

  • TANJA Lewis says:

    May 19, 2021 at 7:52 am

    Thank you for sharing! Very helpful!

    • Chris says:

      May 24, 2021 at 4:59 pm

      Glad to hear it, Tanja!

  • Xenia says:

    June 8, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    These are amazing resources. Thank you so much. You guys are doing a fantastic job in how much free content you offer. Appreciated

    • Regan says:

      June 8, 2021 at 8:05 pm

      That’s our aim here at Off2Class and we are happy to help. What other lessons have you used?

  • Xenia says:

    June 8, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    Loads of them! 😁 I don’t always use the whole lesson, but as a framework to develop speaking topics and to recap grammar points. Great Job! 👍

  • hungvu says:

    June 15, 2021 at 2:38 am

    Thank you!

    • Chris says:

      June 18, 2021 at 9:29 pm

      you’re welcome!

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