There are several standardized English Proficiency tests that measure the English proficiency level of test takers. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the world’s popular English language proficiency assessment instruments that measure all of your English skills – reading, listening, writing, and speaking. But before we tackle the proven strategies in acquiring a high band score, let us clear some cobwebs which blur out how we look at this standardized test and answer the WH questions which face our future test takers.
Answer: Whether the test examinees are aiming for higher education, for work, or for migration, one thing is for sure. They come from a variety of countries, ages and background. Since there are two versions of IELTS namely Academic and General Training, the examinee should consider their goals and needs to determine which version to take. The IELTS Academic is taken by those who are vying for higher education such as in university or college. The results of the IELTS Academic will determine if the candidate passed for admission to an undergraduate or postgraduate course. Those who are aiming to work in the professional fields of engineering or accounting may also take the IELTS Academic. The second version which is the General Training is usually taken by those who would like to work, study, or get training for their jobs in an English speaking country. Those who would like to migrate to countries like United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand are also required to take this version of the IELTS.
People take IELTS for varied reasons. As I have mentioned earlier, this test is a pre-requisite for universities, colleges, professional companies, and English speaking countries. This test is widely accepted worldwide by over 140 countries and thousands of universities and companies since it shows the English proficiency level of a candidate wanting to study, work, or migrate.
Millions of people take the IELTS test but not all are successful. Learning how to ace the IELTS test is neither fast nor easy. A competent review center can help you get started and see you through until you have attained the necessary competency and confidence to achieve success. We at Eureka Tutorials Learning Center have prepared an individualized program for each skill to ensure a high band score. We assure the candidate that he or she is adequately prepared for each section.
The test taker has to acquaint himself/herself with the structure format of the actual test to make him sufficiently prepared for each section. Here are the different areas of competencies.
Eureka has a program that will help familiarize the student to the types of questions that he or she encounters. Our individualize teaching will focus on each student’s strength and weakness and through practice will eliminate those things that will hamper her progress. The different types of questions are specific to the IELTS that is why practice is necessary.
Doing timed practice for reading will help the student improve on her answering accuracy. Our program has been organized to give timed practice exercises in which the student is given time to read three articles and allotted 50 minutes to answer 40 questions. We offer a battery of reading exercises which will help enhance one’s reading comprehension skills. Next, for the writing, the student is taught specific writing templates for writing a letter or chart description in 20 minutes and an opinion essay in 40 minutes. The student will be provided with an immediate feedback by the Eurekan English instructor and a series of writing exercises will be given covering a broad range of topics.
The student will be provided several English video clips and listening audio recordings to enhance the much needed listening skills. For the speaking part, the student will be engaged in a role playing activity with the IELTS instructor and will be given questions that will encourage him to articulate his thoughts, and speak spontaneously about a variety of topics. Eureka’s comprehensive IELTS program for reading, listening, speaking, and writing is designed to improve the student’s paraphrasing skills, vocabulary development, and ability to read and listen critically which are all integral factors in acing the IELTS test.
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”
- Albert Einstein.
Academic Tutorials provide valuable support to students of all levels. The increased demand for academic tutorials is in a way a reflection of the advancement in the curricula and programs offered by many institutions. Every year, new subjects in almost every perceivable area of knowledge emerge and the amount of knowledge created further creates other areas of knowledge in the process. The cycle is a never ending one and it likely that many of what we know now will be outdated in as short as five years.
It is parallel with this way of thinking that we at Eureka, as a tutorial center, approach academic tutorials. We offer a wide range of subjects that have benefited and continue to benefit students of all ages. As a tutoring center, we employ the most number of full-time tutors/teachers in Metro Manila in order to attend to the diverse and evolving needs of our students. Since our inception in 2007, we at Eureka have already helped thousands of students achieve academic success by providing intensive academic programs and comprehensive study materials that help improve skills and promote excellence by demanding persistence and collaboration. We believe that by teaching students how to think, and by demanding excellence from our students, we make sure that they can adapt to the ever changing intellectual landscapes that the future will surely bring.
It is our commitment to helping our students that we continue our journey with them. And we will persist.
The following are the subjects offered:
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Proficient and skilled use of the English language can enhance career prospects which allow people to achieve success in different fields and can open up many opportunities. Through the study of English, a range of advantages are available. Quality courses offer candidates the opportunity to improve job prospects, the capacity to communicate with others, and access to information right across the world.
Arguably the greatest advantage of studying English is the vast increase in employment opportunities and career prospects. People who can speak English fluently (possibly together with the first language) are highly sought after by companies of many types, including international companies. With the world becoming so much closer and more connected, opportunities to travel and explore different parts of the world are more available, and being knowledgeable of the English language enables a traveller to communicate better. In so many parts of the world, English is the common language. When you have a command of the English language, travelling and interacting with people of different nationalities can become easier and more enjoyable.
In a recent study entitled “The Contribution of Multilingualism to Creativity”, it is proven that learning an additional language elicits a lot of benefits for the brain. English as a Second Language (ESL) students, as well as anyone engaging in obtaining multilingual abilities, were found to have obtained mental benefits characterized as the following:
1. The ability to communicate in a new language
It is proven that people who are committed to and engaged in learning new languages gain the confidence of creating connections with a wider range of the world’s population.
2. The brain undergoes a change in electrical activity
Before the study, it was believed that this change in brain functioning only occurred when the students had obtained a high level of language ability in the new language, but the study revealed this change may occur at the earliest stages of language learning.
3. Superior memory function
Language learning showed an increase in memory capacities. This ability is especially strong in short-term memory. It is considered as a huge benefit for it allows the braintostore information for longer durations while thinking processes are activated.
4. Increased mental flexibility
It allows a person to use the different avenues for thought for it keeps the mental pathways opened up. Constant exercising of the brain keeps it flexible and agile.
5. Increased problem-solving abilities
A person also benefits from language learning by gaining increased problem-solving abilities in all of the following areas: abstract thinking skills, concept information, creative hypothesis formulation, strengthened capacity to identify, understand and solve problems; the ability to focus on a task by filtering out distractions and extraneous information and an increase in multi-tasking ability.
6. Greater comprehension for how language works and is used
The acquisition of knowledge posts benefits by creating a greater comprehension for how language works and is used. The study found individuals with multilingual communication were able to better read and interpret social situations which improved their performance in social settings.
7. Prevents the deterioration of brain functioning over time
It was reported and proven in different studies that those individuals who were multilingual (those who are proficient in at least two languages) had the lesser possibility of developing age-related cognitive problems such as dementia.
8. Increased ability in digital literacy
All these benefits are culminated by the increased ability of individuals in digital literacy. Because of these mental abilities, individuals which are multilingual have a noticeable ability to stay up to date with modern technologies. Our intelligence tends to produce technological and social change at a rate faster than our institutions and emotions can cope with. We therefore find ourselves continually trying to accommodate new realities within inappropriate existing institutions, and trying to think about those new realities in traditional, but sometimes dangerously irrelevant terms.
For years, the popular methodology for learning a second language was to focus on grammar and sentences first and then on vocabulary. Recently, however, there has been a shift toward recognition that learning vocabulary first leads to more success. Having a base of vocabulary to draw from makes learning grammar and sentence structure easier.The program that Eureka employs is based on the concept of building a solid vocabulary foundation before tackling other aspects of the language. With the aim of making the students more engaged and involved in the process, the tutors present new words that are frequently and repeatedly in input. The more frequently the language learners are exposed to vocabulary, the more they are able to have retention of the words.
For the vocabulary program to be effective, it should avoid other kinds of elaboration that might produce negative effects on the learning of new words. Some learners may find it distracting or confusing if they are asked to perform other tasks at the same time that they are trying to commit new words to memory. Studies have shown, for example, that learners who were asked to either list their emotional associations for foreign language terms or count the letters in each foreign term they were learning actually had poorer recall for those vocabulary words than learners who concentrated just on the words themselves.
After broadening the word bank, the students are then exposed to the application of the words that they learned by reinforcing other skills in English such as speaking, listening, reading and writing. This allows the students to be exposed on the holistic application of the English language.
Eureka is aware that learning the language is just a half way to fluency. For people who speak English as a second language, several pitfalls may stand in the way of communicating fluently with native speakers. Even with a firm grasp of English grammar and a full arsenal of vocabulary, correct native-level pronunciation remains an obstacle for many language learners. That is why an accent reduction program (simply known as “accent training”) is also included in the Speech Enhancement program.
Accent reduction is the process of modifying a non-native speaker’s pronunciation to render a language more easily and effectively understood by native speakers. Offered in group classes and private tutoring sessions by trained and experienced instructors, accent reduction courses are intended to aid non-native speakers achieve fluency in American English pronunciation.
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Grammar may not be the most important thing in the world, but it surely pays to possess a good knowledge of basic (to not-so-basic) grammatical rules especially when writing.
Eureka provides tutorials for all three levels- basic, intermediate, and advanced levels in the English Grammar. The Center provides a diagnostic exam to determine the current level of a student and then devises a suitable program for him or her. The diagnostic exam measures fluency, accuracy, vocabulary, and mastery through a standardized grammar test used by several universities around the world.
While myriad of students hate the exacting approach employed by some grammar teachers, Eureka’s method is both communicative and interactive. It is the goal of Eureka that grammar be learned in the least painful way possible- through everyday English and passages that help a person convey thoughts accurately and spontaneously.
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Speech Enhancement Program
The way we use and express a language shapes the way we think. Our manner of speaking and our formulation of personal statements give a bird’s eye view of ourselves to our audience. Meaning, our self expression often reflects and reveals how others would create an impression about us. For instance, grammar flukes can profoundly affect how we see the world. Expression of a certain language is a unique human gift which is centered on defining our personality and knowledge as humans.
Eureka’s Speech Enhancement Program is carefully crafted to train the students and individuals to communicate effectively and speak confidently in school or in the workplace. The program focuses on public speaking and presentation, accent training/accent reduction, intonation, pronunciation, diction and vocabulary.
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The Internet has revolutionized the way students acquire knowledge. Most researches are now done online and knowledge is readily available anytime, anywhere.
Eureka takes full advantage of the benefits of the Internet to provide more accessible modes of learning. Through Eureka Online, students can now study using the Internet with the help of platforms such as Facetime, Skype, Google+ Hangouts, and Facebook video chat.
In addition, Eureka Online delivers the following advantages:
1. Easy access to resources
Eureka Tutorials has designed a wide range of materials and modified online course components so that the materials used during the sessions are accessible anytime. It is also assured that learning online enables the students to engage more easily with multimedia resources and the wealth of extension material that is available online.
2. Face-to-face education through live interaction
Online tutoring preserves the value of face-to-face education through live interaction between students and tutors. Regardless of distance, one-on-one online tutorials that are channelled through voice and video conferencing software allow for a comprehensive dialogue between student and tutor that remains immediate and uniquely individual.
3. Convenience of studying from the comfort of their familiar surroundings
Online tutoring allows tutors and students to interact from the comfort of their own homes. Studies show that comfort is of paramount importance in promoting meaningful learning. Online tutoring enables the same level of engagement as face-to-face instruction within an environment that is familiar to the student and hence, conducive to effective learning.
Convenience assumes that you have a choice, but what if you don’t actually have any options for locating tutoring? For some, making the decision to seek tutoring online may mean the difference between getting help and not. Online tutoring is also good for children who are doing home-schooling and whose parents may need some assistance in an area that they may not be knowledgeable in.
Often people who haven’t experienced online tutoring fear that the technology will be a hindrance, but in many ways it is an advantage, especially for young people who are used to chatting on skype and not intimidated by new software. When sessions are online they are easily recorded for future reference, and a good tutor will make use of technology for illustrative purposes by using photos, animations, drawings, and diagrams. Not to mention there are resources readily available that wouldn’t be if you were sitting across a table.
Eureka understands that the demand for innovative type of learning process, such as the online tutoring, has grown by leaps and bounds. Eureka also assures its students that the tutors handling the classes must conform to the following responsibilities and standards:
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It is innate among humans to have the ability to learn languages for they are born with the “neurological capacity” to do so. To learn a language, infants spend a good portion of their first two years learning the structure of the language or languages they hear or spoken around them. This is a complex and marvelous process that every human goes through, and it is learning that takes place unconsciously; in other words, it does not require formal instruction to initially acquire the knowledge for a certain language. Apart from the innate ability to learn the language, the emergence of unconventional language patterns, like the slang, colloquial, and the “jejemon”to name a few, which do not conform to the rules of the proper English Grammar, also draws the incertitude of the necessity of the proper grammar.
Is it still essential and beneficial to study the English grammar given these language constraints of the modern era?
The most important prerequisite in explaining knowledge is language. The medium of instruction affects largely the degree of understanding of a particular subject. Since it is a common knowledge that English is the universal language, and most of the learning instructions in schools are written in English, it is very beneficial to have a working understanding of the language in order to be educated on varied fields of learning.
Grammar is important because it is the ticket that makes talking about a certain language permissible. Grammar names the types of words and word groups that make up sentences not only in English but in any language. As human beings, we can put sentences together even as children--we can all do grammar. But to be able to talk about how sentences are built, about the types of words and word groups that make up sentences- that is the process of knowing about grammar which offers a window into the human mind and into our amazingly complex mental capacity.
Eureka offers grammar enrichment programs that are proven effective by the students who already tried the said programs. In order to ensure the accuracy of instructions, the facilitators of the programs follow these principles:
a. Facilitating a Learner-Centered Type of Class Environment
The tutor provides lessons that the students can apply in real-world purposes. Vocabulary enhancement and mini-activities are done to engage the students in using the language with proper application of grammar and structure for meaningful communication.
b. Implementing a Standard-Based and Thematically Organized Curriculum
The lessons are derived from standard units that culminate the students’ development or engage their abilities in spontaneous, unrehearsed communication applicable in real-life and academic situations. The teacher inculcates grammar as a tool for communication, avoiding meaningless rote drills and ensuring that all practices require attention to meaning.
c. Adopting Age or Level Appropriate Materials
The tutors make sure that the materials used by the students are appropriate to their language proficiency and age level.
d. Conducting Performance-Based Assessment
The tutor conducts formative assessment of the student’s performance to be able to keep track of the student’s progress and adjust the programs to the current level of the student if needed.
Eureka promotes the active mode of learning. The tutors are equipped with the ability to encourage the students to verbally interact. Initially, the theories are discussed then used in verbal activities afterwards.
It is proven that an interactive type of discussion is more effective than a typical lecture type. This is the reason why Eureka employs the communicative type of learning in order to promote the habit of encouraging its students to use the English language that they know effectively and get their meaning across, even when the grammar is not perfect. By constant practice, the flaws in grammar that the students have will surely be properly addressed. Speaking activities are applied in order to give the students the chance to put their language used to practical applications whenever possible. Eureka agree that grammar is still and will always be the most important ingredient to an effective process of learning a language.
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Grammar is universally considered as the backbone of any language, but focusing on grammar explanation and neglecting any reference to meaning can be detrimental to language acquisition. Grammar knowledge can be helpful in producing accurate forms of language and acts in monitoring its use. This shows that grammar alone does not make the language. What is more, language use can be tremendously affected by conscious language usage as this may create a stressful environment.
In a book titled: The Power of Grammar: Unconventional Approaches to the Conventions of Language (Heinemann, 2005), Mary Ehrenworth and Vicki Vinton state that grammar matters not only for how it transfers power but for its intrinsic beauty and revelatory qualities. On the other hand Brock Haussamen, professor of English at Raritan Valley Community College of New Jersey asserts that people associate grammar with errors and correctness but knowing about grammar also helps us understand what makes sentences and paragraphs clear and interesting and precise. It offers a window into the human mind and into our amazingly complex mental capacity. It is about finding out that all languages and all dialects follow grammatical patterns.
Therefore, a balanced approach to grammar teaching takes into consideration the appropriate use of language and does not reject the (conscious or unconscious) internalization of the rules. A perfect blend of grammar and vocabulary is the main ingredient in the program that Eureka employs in its English Grammar Lessons.
The power of exploration over explanation
Explaining a rule does not necessarily lead to full understanding of the language point. It is preferable to let students discover the essentiality and depth of the rules by themselves. A grammar-discovery approach involves providing learners with data to illustrate a particular grammatical point and getting them to analyze it in order to reach an awareness of how the feature works. In effect, this needs acquirers to be active thinkers in order to discover for themselves how the grammar works. Instead of giving students a set of model examples to repeat and drill, it would be wiser to give them the opportunity to explore the examples by noticing/observing, making hypotheses and drawing conclusions about the language forms. This leads to raising an awareness about the grammar and a meaningful and active understanding of the rules. Habit formation through drilling and repetition cannot lead to language mastery. However, using authentic language (instead of artificial language) to unconsciously internalize language forms might be much more beneficial to language acquirers.
The following are the advantages of grammar-discovery:
In a nutshell, grammar must be a part of any language instruction. But the approach one adopts in the grammar teaching differs from teacher to teacher. While some may underestimate any importance of grammar in the teaching practices; others put grammar in the forefront of the language teaching. Eureka Tutorial and Learning Center believes in a balanced view that considers grammar important, as long as it leads to better language use in context rather than being a set of rules about the language that do not help much in the communication of meaning.
ESL for foreign students
Eureka’s ESL (English as a Second Language) program is designed to develop a student’s ability to converse in spoken English. ESL is offered to foreign students with little or no background in English. To encourage verbal communication, tutors focus on basic speaking skills such as correct pronunciation, stress, intonation, fluency, and diction. Lectures on basic grammar and writing are also included in one-on-one and group discussions.
ESL is also one of the programs offered ONLINE. Students who live in Japan, Korea, or other foreign countries can avail of Eureka’s online courses.
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TOEIC or the Test of English for International Communications started as a standardized test to measure two (2) major academic skills in English: the Listening and Reading skills. In 2006, the TOEIC test became more comprehensive and broader in scope, thus, the other two (2) academic skills in English were introduced: the Speaking and the Writing skills. The exam is designed to reflect actual English usage in the workplace, though they do not require any knowledge of specialized business terms. Each test has a score range between 0 and 200, with test takers grouped into eight proficiency levels.
Eureka’s TOEIC review program exposes students to common terms and expressions the student needs in order to respond to actual questions. Hundreds of passages are available so that students can practice for as much as they want. The student is also required to take comprehensive computer-aided practice tests as well as lectures to familiarize him/her with common question types found in the test.
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The acronym AP stands for Advanced Placement. The AP offers college level curriculum and examinations to high school students. College Board, a group of expert educators, handles AP in the United States and Canada.
Eureka! offers review for the following Advanced Placement Exams:
Because of the inherent difficulty of AP subjects, it is recommended that the student reviews at least two months prior to the schedule of his/her exams to provide enough time to cover all the necessary topics.
Eureka's students have achieved distinction after reviewing at Eureka. One of Eureka's students, Peter Hyung of MIT, scored a "“5 in AP Calculus BC. This is the highest mark achievable in AP.
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