Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today we’ll talk about whether or not you should learn IELTS in your first language.

We had a unique email from a listener who is actually an English teacher.

I’m a sophomore and I’m learning to teach English. Recently, there was a debate among my Vietnamese friends about whether a teacher should use his or her mother tongue to teach English or not. In this case, it’s Vietnamese and English, and the target students are those who want to learn communicative English and IELTS. Some are the advocates of using 100% English and just a little Vietnamese, while others believe that it is better to combine English and Vietnamese equally. The reasons are varied but I’d like to hear your opinions about these two views.

This is in the realm of Applied Linguistics. Let’s look at a sports analogy. Can you learn soccer by practicing basketball?

Now, I can see the need for using a bit of the L1, or first language, in the very beginning level; however, I believe that all English classes should be 100% in English all the time.

Also, if you’re studying for IELTS, you’re not a beginner. Thus, you should be learning in English completely. You should have the ability to understand the strategies in English.

If you are learning these in another language, you’ll feel like an outsider in IELTS.

This is not to say that you cannot learn IELTS from a non-native speaker; however, this teacher must be able to get a 9 on IELTS, and must be able to teach you correct grammar and vocabulary.


100% Score Increase Guarantee with our Insider Method

3 Keys IELTS courseAre you ready to move past IELTS and move forward with your life vision?

Find out why our strategies are the most powerful in the IELTS world.

When you use our Insider Method you avoid the BIGGEST MISTAKES that most students make on IELTS.

Click here to get a score increase on IELTS. It’s 100% guaranteed.


Even being in a native speaker country doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll be able to find a good IELTS teacher. No matter where you are, you need to be critical of the program and teacher of your IELTS course.

Take university and language school programs, for instance. Unfortunately, these classes are often ‘teaching to the test’, in order to move students through the levels. The focus was not on enabling students to speak and understand English. The focus is on getting the tuition and the numbers they need.

When it comes to test prep, you have to be extra picky. The teacher’s goals and your goals must be aligned– improving overall English and learning/practicing efficient test strategies.

As we’ve discussed, you cannot learn IELTS from a general ‘test prep’ teacher. You need an IELTS professional.

Online learning solves a lot of these issues!

What do you think of our opinions today?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X
  • App-Store-Button
  • google-play-badge
  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X