Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

There is a good chance you are not surrounded by English speakers.

You likely still live in a country where there are not many native English speakers.

This might make it feel difficult to improve your English.

Today’s guest can help you!

Richard has been teaching English in Japan for 20 years.

He is an expert language coach.

He has become a pro at teaching students who are not surrounded by English.

His lessons can greatly increase your IELTS scores!

How did Richard get into teaching English?

He was planning to teach theater in the United States.

His goal in going to Japan was to get some teaching experience under his belt.

He loved Japan and never left!

He’s been teaching all ages for 20 years.

His students are at every language level.

What keeps him interested in teaching?

He loves to see students learn and progress.

He is motivated by helping students enjoy the process.

As they learn new content, he loves to see them engaged.

It can be a slow process, but it’s exciting to see them grow and improve.

He has 3 tips to help you improve your language skills even if you’re not immersed.

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Where can you find more information about Richard?

Check out his YouTube channel, ForBenglish.

They want to help you get used to listening and speaking at a native speed.

They teach a lot of shadowing.

  • Vocabulary
  • Pronunciation
  • Listening

Tip #1: Slowly build up speed

Listen to one audio or video clip multiple times.

Focus on comprehending each word.

Adjust the playback speed so you understand the entire clip.

Then listen at normal speed.

This will help you on IELTS because you need to understand natives speaking at a normal pace.

You can’t just jump into IELTS Listening.

You might be fine in Section 1, but really struggling by the time you hit Section 4.

You can use this strategy on any audio or video clip.

Slowly build up to native pace.

Tip #2: Connect an action with a phrase

Richard has a series called, “Can you describe this?”

For example, they will talk through the process of folding a towel.

This uses TPR, Total Physical Response, so you connect the vocabulary with the action.

Narrate the actions you take!

While getting dressed, think about or speak aloud the related vocabulary.

“I’m zipping up my jacket.”

Add interesting detail with adjectives and adverbs.

I’m quickly zipping my bright pink parka.

This is great practice for the IELTS Speaking exam.

This activity can also help with Task 1 processes.

Tip #3: Expose yourself to English

Listen to English broadcasts, podcasts and YouTube channels.

Find something that interests you!

Use social media platforms to connect with native speakers.

Get the exposure you need to get used to hearing English.

Studying for the IELTS exam is a part-time job!

You must be intentional about it.

Use the time you have and fill it with English.

  • During your commute
  • While doing chores
  • While cooking
  • While exercising

Find podcasts you love!

Richard listens to sports podcasts.

He would also recommend the IELTS Energy podcast, of course!

It’s key to find something that interests and engages you.

This will help you absorb the language.

Many streaming podcasts have downloadable content so you can watch shows even if you don’t have an internet connection.


Apply Richard’s tips to immerse yourself in English even if you’re not surrounded by native speakers.

Use mimicking!

Repeat native audio clips to practice varying your intonation.

Slow down the speed of audio clips until you understand it.

Then, bring it up to normal speed.

Narrate your actions and take every opportunity to listen to English!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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