A Word-Game for IELTS
Creativity does not occur overnight and one needs countless hours of practice and several forms of activities to master it. The important point is to know where to start and to have perseverance.
Theresa Amabile from Harvard has a Venn diagram model for creativity that consists of three overlapping attributes, namely domain-related skills, creativity-related skills, and intrinsic motivation. In my last post, I wrote about how we can find out the areas in which candidates are probably more motivated intrinsically, and how to utilize that in the process of preparing them for the IELTS exam. Domain-related skills in the IELTS exam include but are not limited to knowing a variety of English language structures, a powerful lexis, having a good knowledge of the exam itself and skills in answering the questions, etc. In this post, we will practice together one of the activities that can help improve creativity-related skills in an IELTS student.
Being quick-witted is critical in exams as the candidate does not usually have a lot of time to brainstorm, plan, write, and edit the written piece. The same is true about spoken exercises where the pressure of the presence of examiners might even make it more challenging to plan answers before the words are uttered. One exercise that will increase the agility of mind in coming up with ideas quickly is the Random Word. When trying different topics to improve proficiency in writing and speaking, have your student write a list of random words. Then give them the topic and ask them to generate unusual ideas to link the random words to the topic you have chosen. For example, suppose the words your student chose were tire, leather, jet engine and curry, and the topic of the lesson was “ways to become a better parent”. You could see that the words have no usual relation at all to the topic, but that does not mean the brain should stop generating ideas.
Succeeding in creating the link between the random word and the topic will increase the ability of the candidate in brainstorming and generating logical links between what he has in mind and the words he sees on paper.
In future posts, we will learn more activities to enhance creativity-related skills for IELTS candidates.