Collins Vocabulary for IELTS (with CD)

December 2012 – Volume 16, Number 3

Collins Vocabulary for IELTS (with CD)

Author: Anneli Williams (2012)  
Publisher: London: Collins
Pages ISBN Price
128 pages 978-0007456826 $15.21 USD

The IELTS exam, an International English Language Testing System, by nature is under constant revision. Therefore, newly published course books might take these slight changes into consideration in relation to their audiences’ needs. Once IELTS candidates decide to prepare themselves for the exam through test oriented course books and sample tests, they may find it crucial to increase their knowledge of vocabulary to the desired level of band scores. In consequence, keeping up with the latest publications, study aids, and learning facilities in relation to the exam necessities seems to be a compelling need. In fact, if you are in the market looking for a skill oriented and up-to-the-minute course book to fulfill your IELTS exam necessities, “Collins Vocabulary for IELTS” is something that you may find satisfactory.

The first nine units cover a range of largely academic topics that frequently appear in the exam such as people, relationship, health, education, gadgets, cities, and global warming. Regarding topics, one of the advantages of this book is that it covers both academic topics and general functions in relation to handling vocabularies for describing changes, expressing similarities and differences, describing causes and effects; thus, the units may be reasonably informative for a broad range of users. However, one may ask whether the book approaches the exam sections equally. When reviewing the units, we can see that there are three units on each exam section except for the listening for which we can find four units. Notably, the first nine units can be used in other academic situations such as teaching English for academic purposes.

Unit Four, for example, starts with a list of verbs and nouns associated with travel and adventure related to the topic of the unit. Definitions of these vocabularies are presented using Collins COBUILD full-sentence definitions; while, IELTS style example sentences, which are instructive and register-based, show how the words are used in context. Parts of speech and the different forms of the words are also listed. The unit includes practice exercises that provide a structured set of exercises that help the reader develop the skills to successfully apply vocabulary knowledge to the exam. Each unit focuses on developing vocabulary and skills for a particular paper—and so do the practice exercises. Some of these practice exercises include audios. Also, a wide range of black and white photos, diagrams, graphs, and charts are used to make the practices more identical to real exam tests.

The text includes audio scripts for the listening and speaking sections. Additionally, a comprehensive answer key is provided for all sections of the book including model answers for more open-ended writing and speaking tasks. I believe that many candidates will definitely find the volume to be helpful as a supplementary text for coursework designed to help the students achieve their target band scores in the IELTS exam.

Reviewed by
Seyed Reza Habibpour
Islamic Azad University of Dezful, Iran

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