Why You Should Study for the IELTS in Canada
With over 3 million test-takers each year, the IELTS is one of the world’s most popular English proficiency exams for university applications and immigration in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. And it’s no wonder, with test centers in more than 1,000 locations worldwide and 48 test dates a year.
Kaplan’s IELTS exam prep courses are aimed specifically at gaining the strategies needed to do well in the test and are offered in 5 English-speaking countries. So how do you know if you’re choosing the right location when booking your IELTS course? This week, we’re exploring why our English schools in Canada are the ideal environments for students interested in improving their skills for the IELTS proficiency exam.
In the 1960s, biculturalism was a hot topic of discussion in both French Canada and the wider Canadian provinces. Out of this, the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism was born. What the commission quickly learned was that though biculturalism was present in Canada, multiculturalism was a truer description of the cultural landscape –which is why multiculturalism was deemed a permanent part of the constitutional character of Canada.
“Canada is a big and multicultural country, well designed for people who want to study here.”
Loay Alshareef, student from Saudi Arabia
To this day, Canada is considered one of the most diverse nations, which makes it a popular destination for international students. In 2016, a study led by BBC Radio deemed Toronto as the most diverse city in the world, with 51% of the city’s population coming from 230 different nationalities. And Vancouver? According to the 2016 census, 44% of people in Vancouver have a mother tongue other than English.
2. Dedicated teachers
“I really admire the theoretical and practical knowledge of Kaplan’s teachers. Apart from their kindness and friendliness, they not only master IELTS skills and how to teach according to the specific level of each student, but they also understand the way we think and the background of our mistakes. Moreover, all of them systematically record our scores in order to better know what part of the test represents a bigger challenge.”
Tomas Morena, student from Mexico
For students hoping to work or study in Canada, a high IELTS score is essential. This is why our teachers work hard to ensure their students get consistent support, monitoring their progress with an unparalleled dedication and passion.
“Our IELTS instructors are well versed in all aspects of the exam, enabling them to teach the most effective strategies for completing tasks quickly and accurately. Classes are designed to maximize potential band scores, but also to stimulate interest in and broaden capacity to argue the issues of the day. Small group work and presentations along with regular personalized feedback are all employed to this end.”
Kathleen Byrne, teacher at Kaplan Vancouver
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3. A reputation of academic excellence
“Kaplan is known around the world as a leader in education and testing.”
Lee Campbell, IELTS Exam Manager Canada
With 80 years experience in education, Kaplan has one the largest network of schools in the English-speaking world – 50,000 students from 150 countries study with us each year! In 2017, 1,400 students took the IELTS exam at our test centers in Canada. In fact, 98% of students who studied at our English school in Toronto would recommend us – and 95% in Vancouver!
4. The first step towards Canadian citizenship
IELTS is Canada’s test of choice for immigration and was the first English exam recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Immigration Quebec as proof of English language proficiency. In other words, a strong IELTS score can open doors if you’re hoping to immigrate, work or study in Canada.
And if you don’t want to stay in Canada after your studies? Your IELTS qualification is internationally recognized, so it can be used to obtain a work visa in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK.
5. Total immersion
Why just learn English when you can live it? Our students learn even beyond the classroom through exploration and adventure, embracing English with every opportunity in order to truly understand the language. Students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to their social activities or home-based study.
“There are plenty of opportunities to practice both in and outside of class. Our teacher provides many opportunities so we can continue to practice by ourselves at home. She always shares all the lessons and materials on the Smartboard so we don’t need to take as many notes in class which allows us to focus on the lesson and participating more actively.”
Goktug Tufekci, student from Turkey
The best way to improve your speaking and listening skills for the exam is to surround yourself with English-speakers, whether that’s through interacting with locals or building relationships with your classmates.
“I try to keep the class student-centered and create as many opportunities as possible for students to communicate with their classmates.”
Ellen Peppard, teacher at Kaplan Toronto
Eager to know more about increasing your skills for the exam? Take a look at our top tips for IELTS preparation
- Read in English regularly. Doing practice tests is important, but it's also important to read for your own enjoyment. It helps you become a more fluent reader, assists in building vocabulary and helps you "think in English.” Try following some English blogs or read English translations of your favorite authors, and watch how quickly your fluency improves.
- Use your English in a variety of different situations. Engaging in natural conversation is a big part of the IELTS speaking test, and the best way to do this is to use English as much as you can outside of class and interact with people in different contexts. Even something as simple as making small talk with a barista in English can make a difference!
- Don't think of the IELTS as a vertical obstacle that you have to overcome. Instead, think of it as a horizontal measurement of how far you’ve progressed (like a road). In order to improve, you have to make changes to the way you use the language. Examine the mistakes you make and ask yourself why you made them; this will give you a specific idea of the things you need to focus on before your next test!
Have you taken an IELTS preparation course with us at either our Toronto or Vancouver English schools? Share your experiences with us on our Facebook page or in the comment section below. And feel free to get in touch if you’d like more information about how you can study with Kaplan today.