ISLPR Language Services Blog

Strategies for ISLPR Test Candidates: The Listening Test (Part 1)

Posted by Kenina Ingram on June 26, 2018 at 3:57 PM

Over the next month we will go over some tips to help you mentally prepare yourself for an ISLPR test and strategies to help you perform well during an exam.

To make things easy, we'll break the test down into 4 parts and provide strategies to improve each of your macro-skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Today, we're looking at:

The Listening Test.

 

Listening

 

Part 1: before the test

Talk with a wide range of native speakers of English in your local community, not just teachers, and listen to public announcements (e.g. in shopping centres and trains) and other electronic messages.

Listen to the Australian radio. Use the ABC website to find programs that are of interest to you (especially where the topic is related to what you want to study or your professional field).

Find out when they will be broadcast in case you can listen to them 'live' and also if they can be accessed through your computer, smartphone or tablet. Some TV programs (e.g. news, documentaries and Australian drama) are also useful.

You may also like to practise taking notes with texts of different types and different lengths.

Topics: Learn english, ISLPR, Language test, Personalised testing, customised testing, English as a second language, Teachers, University students, English test, individual tests, Teacher registration, Macro skills, preparation, tips, tools, Listening Test

Strategies for ISLPR Test Candidates: The Reading Test (Part 2)

Posted by Kenina Ingram on June 14, 2018 at 7:50 AM

Over the next month we will go over some tips to help you mentally prepare yourself for an ISLPR test and strategies to help you perform well during an exam.

To make things easy, we'll break the test down into 4 parts and provide strategies to improve each of your macro-skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Today, we're looking at:

The Reading Test.

 

 

Library

Part 2: during the test

  1. Make sure you understand the task that the tester has given you; this will indicate which approach to reading you should use.
    • With any text, you may be given different kinds of tasks; for example, you may be asked to read a whole text extensively and then a key section of it intensively.
  2. You can ask how long you make take to read a text silently before talking about, but normally the tester will give you only an approximate time, because individual reading speeds vary greatly.
    • The tester is interested in whether your reading speed is appropriate for the task, and that you use - and do not overuse - appropriate strategies. (Remember what we wrote about in our previous blog on reading strategies).
  3. Use graphic features (e.g. photos, headlines, print size) to help you understand the ideas of the text.
  4. Use a topic (introductory) paragraph to help you to understand the main idea of a text and topic sentences to help you to understand the main idea of paragraphs.
  5. The tester may ask you to make inferences.
  6. You do not always have to maintain eye contact with the tester in this part of the test. It's generally OK to look back at a text when you are talking about it.
  7. If the tester asks what a text - or a section of it- is about, you need to change the words when you answer. If you simply repeat the original words, you will not have proved that you have understood it.
  8. When the tester asks a question about the text, answer as directly as you can. For example, if the testers asks you the main point of a particular paragraph, there is no need to start with "In my opinion the main point of the third paragraph is..............."

Let us know if these tips were helpful in the comments section below! If you have any questions relating to the reading section of the test, comment below and we'll reply back to you ASAP.

Topics: Learn english, ISLPR, Language test, Personalised testing, customised testing, English as a second language, University students, individual tests, Australia, Teacher registration, Macro skills, preparation, tips, tools, Reading test, Reading skills

Strategies for ISLPR Test Candidates: The Reading Test (Part 1)

Posted by Kenina Ingram on June 14, 2018 at 7:30 AM

Over the next month we will go over some tips to help you mentally prepare yourself for an ISLPR test and strategies to help you perform well during an exam.

To make things easy, we'll break the test down into 4 parts and provide strategies to improve each of your macro-skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Today, we're looking at:

The Reading Test.

 

Reading at home

 

Part 1: before the test

Before you sit an ISLPR test, we encourage you to practise your English skills at home every day.

  • Read texts that are of interest to you (and especially those related to your studies or professional field) in a wide range of publications intended for native speakers of English.
  • Create the right level of challenge for yourself. For example, you might start with free local newspapers and progress to metropolitan and national daily newspapers and then weekly publications (e.g. Time Magazine).
  • When reading, consider the writer's attitudes and intentions as well as the factual information.

Practise the following different approaches to reading, both in your first language and in English:

  1. Scanning the text for a particular piece of information needed or specified;
  2. reading extensively for the gist or main ideas; and
  3. reading intensively for precise meanings and relationships between meanings.

Consider how your reading speed differs with the different approaches listed above and which strategies are appropriate. For example, if you are scanning, it is generally not a good idea to underline or use a highlighter because it will slow you down.

Practise underlining or using a highlighter in ways that help you to 'attack' different kinds of texts. For example, if the text is a news story or article that gives different opinions, you might highlight the names of the different people, or just linkers such as "however" or "as well".

Consider highlighting to link different parts of the text. For example, if the same person is quoted more than once, you might draw a line in the margin or even across the text to link these places. A lot of people underline or highlight too many words.

Develop skills in paraphrasing (reporting the same ideas but in different words); these will help you in your academic studies or professional work as well as in your test.

Up next: "Part 2: during the test"

NB: Many of the points in the section on LISTENING are also relevant to READING.

Let us know if these tips were helpful in the comments section below! If you have any questions relating to the reading section of the test, comment below and we'll reply back to you ASAP.

Topics: Learn english, ISLPR, Language test, Personalised testing, customised testing, English as a second language, University students, individual tests, Australia, Teacher registration, Macro skills, preparation, tips, tools, Reading test, Reading skills

Strategies for ISLPR Test Candidates: The Speaking Test

Posted by Kenina Ingram on June 11, 2018 at 7:45 AM

Over the next month we will go over some tips to help you mentally prepare yourself for an ISLPR test and strategies to help you perform well during an exam.

To make things easy, we'll break the test down into 4 parts and provide strategies to improve each of your macro-skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Today, we're looking at:

The Speaking Test.

Preparation: before the test

Before you sit an ISLPR test, we encourage you to practise your English speaking skills at home as much possible.

  • Talk with a wide range of proficient speakers of English in your local community.  
  • Tell them to not be afraid to give you feedback on the way you speak.
  • Do not waste your time preparing and practising mini 'speeches' that you hope to be able to use in the test.
Speaking skills are examined throughout the one hour interview. Our number one tip is to breathe. Often candidates get nervous, overthink their response and start talking too fast to understand. Take a deep breath before you respond, relax and converse with your tester as you would with a colleague at work or a lecturer at University.
Conversation at cafe

During the test

  • During your interview, observe normal conversational conventions of (for example) pausing, turn-taking, initiating, elaborating, agreeing and correcting.
    • Remember to breathe! Pause and think about your response. Try to slow down your conversation and speak at a moderate pace.
  • Watch the tester's facial expressions and other body language for signs of (for example) difficulty in following you. Use cooperative 'repair' strategies as you would in real life.
  • Don't be afraid to:
    • admit that you don't know a fact;
    • say that you would prefer not to discuss a sensitive topic; or
    • admit that you find it difficult to express a particular idea in English.
  • Tell the truth. It is not a good idea to pretend that (for example) a topic is sensitive when it's simply a challenge for you to talk about it in English. You are unlikely to trick the tester, and sustaining the conversation when you have 'bent' the truth adds an extra stress level.
Let us know if these tips were helpful in the comments section below! If you have any questions relating to the speaking section of the test, comment below and we'll reply back to you ASAP.

Topics: Learn english, ISLPR, Language test, Personalised testing, customised testing, English as a second language, English test, individual tests, Teacher registration, Speaking Skills, Speaking Test, Macro skills, preparation, tips, tools

"Do I need to prepare for an ISLPR test?"

Posted by Kenina Ingram on June 8, 2018 at 3:45 PM

We get asked this question a lot at ISLPR Language Services (ILS). The short answer is, no. You do not need to prepare for an ISLPR test the way you might prepare for other English tests.

books

For example, with the ISLPR writing test we do not recommend that you try to guess what your tasks will be and spend a lot of time practising these and only these. We also do not recommend that you practise complicated phrases that you hope you can use for any topic.

Every ISLPR test is personalised to suit your interests and needs. Therefore, we recommend you practise the language that is relevant to your profession. If you are doing the test for teacher's registration, focus on material that is relevant to your profession as a teacher.

Lastly, the ISLPR test focuses on real life language. Practise your English at home and use it daily. Try to engage in conversation with a wide range of proficient speakers of English in your local community. We have free activity sheets available to download on our website to help you practise your English at home. Subscribe to our blog where we post strategies to improve your English and information to help you perform well during an ISLPR test. If you require further help, book a personalised English tutorial with our team at ILS.

We are here to ensure your English skills are the best they can be BEFORE you sit your exam!

 

Did you know? The application packs we have available for download when applying for an academic, professional or vocational test have a 'Guidelines' page. This page has information about the kinds of tasks you can expect in your test and what the testers are looking for when they are assessing your English skills.

 

Please note: due to the nature of the ISLPR test, sample tests are not available.

 

Topics: Insider, Learn english, ISLPR, Language test, Personalised testing, customised testing, English as a second language, Teachers, University students, English test, individual tests, Australia, Teacher registration, preparation, tips, tools

At ILS, language testing is personal.

Language is an interactive and social skill. Therefore, we believe English should be taught and tested similarly.

ISLPR Language Services (ILS) developed the ISLPR® Test because we saw the need for a test that examined your real-life language. The ISLPR® Test is an interactive and personalised test. As the ISLPR test is personalised for each candidate, there are no tricks to pass the test. 

Why we're different:

  • We test your speaking, listening and reading skills in a one-to-one interview.
  • The content of your test is customised to match your area of expertise.
  • The ISLPR is the shortest English test, therefore minimising the chance of fatigue.
  • We offer individual English tutorials with accredited tutors.
  • We offer a feedback service so you can find out why you got that rating in your test.

 

Tell me more about the ISLPR Test

 

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