Guidelines for teaching IELTS listening to Chinese postgraduate candidates
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is jointly managed by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES), the British Council and the International Development Program of Australian Universities and Colleges (IDP). It is a globally recognised English language assessment whose scores are acknowledged by universities and colleges, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies. Up until now, IELTS test centres have been set up throughout more than 110 countries and regions. Since it was introduced to China in April 1990, the IELTS has become popular throughout the country. In recent years, more Chinese are planning to study in or immigrate to English-speaking countries, and as a result the number of people who intend to take an IELTS test has grown dramatically. The growing demand has made China, with the largest population in the world, become the biggest IELTS user worldwide. However, according to the data provided by the IELTS official website in 2004, Chinese candidates’ performance in IELTS (academic) is considerably worrying, whose overall mean bandscore is the third from the bottom among all candidates’ throughout the world, with reading in seventh place from the bottom, with writing and speaking both at the bottom and in particular, listening in second place from the bottom. This paper proposed the guidelines for teaching IELTS Listening section 3 to Chinese postgraduate candidates of IELTS who need the minimum 6.0 IELTS band score to carry out postgraduate study in English-speaking countries. A literature review of Chinese learners, English language testing and testing listening were firstly provided, followed by the study of IELTS listening part and IELTS training materials. At the end, guidelines including a sample lesson for IELTS Listening section 3 were proposed. These guidelines are aimed at Chinese EFL teachers who are interested in teaching IELTS Listening. However, they may also be helpful for self-directed Chinese postgraduate IELTS candidates.