The first aspect of IELTS preparation is that candidates should only enter the course if they are at least intermediate level of proficiency in the English language, so at this point, they should be conversant with the features of grammar and vocabulary. I think it is the teacher’s job to emphasise improving candidates’ general proficiency of these features without inundating them with too much grammar and vocabulary. I think there needs to be an overall consolidation of the system of grammar, vocabulary, and also pronunciation. In my viewpoint, I think the aim of the IELTS preparation course should be to build vocabulary in the topic areas to enable candidates to comprehend vocabulary they will encounter in the reading and listening sections and to correctly use vocabulary in the writing and speaking sections. I think the underlying design of teaching IELTS preparation and the distinctive core methodology is teaching ‘in context’. The language needs to be delivered ‘in context’ in a manner that is as authentic as possible.
Grammar and vocabulary are important for the test. I think the potential for classroom lessons where grammar and vocabulary are highlighted and discussed in interesting communicative activities is vital to learning. I think it is the teacher’s choices of task-based, often inter-related skills activities, involving IELTS-relevant micro-skills of the test that help promote grammar and vocabulary.
Outside class, I would advocate reading for pleasure with the candidates having an opportunity to discuss their reading in the class. This all has to do with changing learning patterns. For example, some students are taught grammar which is deciphered while they sit down and listen to the teacher. They need to put new words into context, know what part of speech it is, and break them down into syllables and stress. In the test, they may encounter words they do not understand. A simple reading of the text can put the word into context Furthermore, candidates should learn, practice, and use their new language forms in contemporary, realistic situations. Candidates need to build confidence with their grammar and vocabulary through clear course focus and goals helped by the teacher.
I think grammar and vocabulary cannot be avoided. If the teacher has a student-centered lesson, with the help of the teacher, grammar and vocabulary can be learned through the students undertaking meaningful tasks.