Creativity and IELTS

07 Nov 2016Masoud Yadi 0

You might think that IELTS is a language proficiency exam and it has nothing to do with creativity, but you will be surprised to see how great the impact of developing creativity skills can be on the performance of candidates in IELTS.

Last week, I finished listening to a book by Gerard J. Puccio called “The Creative Thinker’s Toolkit”, and I thought it would be great to apply some of these tools in IELTS classes to enhance the performance of candidates in speaking and writing sections.

Writing and speaking activities are difficult for some people because they involve creative and critical thinking. I believe an IELTS teacher can help the students in early stages of the class by teaching them how to improve their creative thinking skills. Imagine a candidate who sees a cue card in section two of the IELTS speaking test with a topic about which he has no information. If the creative skills exist, the candidate will start using the information she/he has and somehow link it to the topic. It's important to know that the IELTS examiner will not penalize the candidate for providing a personal opinion as long as it is justified and related to the topic.

One of the first things to learn about creativity is that in order to gain it, you need to be intrinsically motivated. It’s imperative to know how intrinsic motivation is related to IELTS skills, how it is obtained, and how we can help our students practice it. It’s easy for all of us to speak and write about the things we have a lot of information about and it gives us more self-confidence when we do so. I suggest that you should start writing and speaking exercises using the topics your student is familiar with. Ask them the three questions below and the commonalities of the answers to these questions is the best topic to start with.

1.       In my life, right now, where do I play?

2.       What am I passionate about?

3.       What is my purpose?

Suppose one of your students was passionate about the automobile industry, spent their playing time fixing old home appliances, and their purpose was to start a small business in the near future to help the automotive industry remember its past. Then, the first topic you should use in your class for speaking and/or writing exercises could be related to starting a small antique automobile restoration company. The student would be interested, comfortable with, and passionate about the topic and you could teach him the necessary techniques and strategies of writing and/or speaking during that lesson.

In our next post, I will write about other ingredients that make an IELTS student creative.

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