How to teach IELTS Listening and Webinar

Listen up! Off2Class now has a category of lessons dedicated to IELTS Listening.

Coaching a student to succeed in IELTS Listening is not solely about vocabulary and grammar. Success is determined more by the skills needed in the exam along with a familiarity with the question types that students encounter. We’ve released a group of teacher-led lessons that focus on what your students need to know for the Listening portion of the IELTS exam. These lessons form the perfect toolkit to coach your candidates to achieve the highest Band possible!
To celebrate our latest IELTS release, we held a webinar to train teachers on the toolkit they need to teach IELTS candidates.

A very powerful session if you’re thinking of coaching IELTS candidates:


In this lesson, we run over the structure of the test, including the format and context of the recordings used. The lesson contains eight audio files that also examine two often overlooked skills required by students – the ability to hear English letters when spelled out, and the student’s ability to hear number accurately.
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The second lesson in this category examines the different ways in which information is presented to us on a daily basis. Examples of flowcharts, notes, tables, summaries and forms are presented, including the question types most often associated with these – short-answer and sentence-completion questions.
IELTS candidates often lose points in the exam because they fail to read instructions carefully. An answer in IELTS can be grammatically correct, yet marked wrong as it does not fit the parameters of the instruction, When a questions says, Write no more than two words and/or a number for each answer, it means what it says. Does you student read questions carefully?
Sentence-completion questions require a certain elasticity from the student. IELTS makes use of paraphrasing and the student must recognize this. Is your student’s lexical resource agile enough to make nouns of verbs? Can your student paraphrase? And what about those distractors?
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IELTS.L5-Plans, IELTS.L6-Maps and IELTS.L7-Diagrams
While we make use of maps, plans and diagrams on a daily basis, we aren’t quite as used to listening to lengthy explanations of them. These three lessons offer multiple opportunities to practice those all-important prepositions of location and movement.
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Everyone is familiar with multiple choice questions… yet IELTS takes them to another level. If a single question offers three options, you can almost guarantee that the recording will mention all of them. This means that close attention is required to reading all options before listening to the recording. Recognizing distractors and paraphrasing are important skills to answer these questions types.
As with all Off2Class lessons, each IELTS Listening lesson contains a homework or extension activity. These homework assignments contain their own set of audio recordings and comprehension questions!

We’d love to hear your comments and feedback on our IELTS Listening lessons!


  • keeley says:

    September 30, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I think a good point is to never give students a prediction about score! Clear structure to classes and really focusing on weak points. In my experience a lot of students give themselves about half the time they should to prepare! Looking for small improvements seem to work.

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      September 30, 2016 at 10:24 am

      Hi Keeley,
      Thanks for your comments.
      I agree – I think that it’s vital to manage student expectations at all times, especially with candidates for standardized tests. Since a candidate never knows for sure where or why he or she lost points in an IELTS exam, a simple Band level of 5.8, for example, really doesn’t allow anyone to draw accurate conclusions. Unless the teacher is an IELTS examiner, it remains challenging to really pinpoint where the candidate went a little ‘wrong’ in the exam. Highly proficient students, even native speakers, read instructions incorrectly or misread questions, which is why I think teachers should focus foremost on the structure and format of the test, particularly on the questions types that candidates will encounter.
      IELTS is an excellent exam with a great format. A teacher’s focus should be on overall improvement without setting a student (and teacher) up for disappointment. For many IELTS candidates, a future education opportunity, employment offer or immigration approval is riding on the Band level – a predicted Band shouldn’t form part of the conversation when taking on a new student for IELTS.
      Of course, the reality is that almost all candidates are focused on this, so it’s easier for me to write about it than to enforce it. I’d be interested to hear from teachers who disagree with me. There are probably teachers who feel comfortable with this in a conversation with the student – it would be interesting to hear from teachers who do so.
      Thanks again for stopping by.

  • James Rothwell says:

    October 2, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Some great tips about the exam and managing IELTS students. I’ve already used a couple off2class lessons for IELTS and they worked really well. I’m looking forward to seeing the reading ones soon!

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      October 3, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Hi James,
      Thanks for your feedback.
      I am working hard to complete the IELTS Reading Category which will finally make our IELTS lesson series complete!

  • Kris Jagasia says:

    October 4, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Dear Teachers, since our introductory webinar was so successful we’ve decided to run 4 separate sessions, each focusing on one IELTS competency (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking).
    Our next session covering Listening is on October 17th: register here:

  • Samaneh says:

    October 12, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Thank you indeed for the tips and also practical approaches to meet applicants’ need.
    As a dear friend has recently mentioned enabling students not to have high expectations can pave the road for better result,in addition asking them to be patient to accomplish their goal is highly recommended.

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      October 12, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Hi Sameneh,
      Thanks for stopping by. I do think it’s fine for the student to have high expectations… without that, motivation can drop easily. However, the teacher should be prepared to manage those expectations carefully. And importantly, a teacher shouldn’t predict how well a student is going to do in an exam!
      And yes, patience is definitely required!

      • Samaneh says:

        October 12, 2016 at 11:14 am

        Hi James,
        What l meant is the expectations that can’t be met in a short period of time which is usually led to being demotivated and some times giving up the idea for a while.
        I do agree with the point that not having any expectations can cause what you said.
        thanks alot.

  • Danielle Williams says:

    May 24, 2021 at 10:23 am

    Maybe I should consider choosing off2class lessons

    • Chris says:

      May 24, 2021 at 4:58 pm

      Sounds good to me, Danielle!

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