Last week, some students at CIA sat for a mock IELTS exam. The purpose was to give them an idea of the progression of their English skills in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS™, is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English, and was established in 1989. This test is one of several that are used overseas to gauge language ability of non-native English speakers applying to study or work. It is quite challenging, with very specific requirements that are designed to properly prepare students or job-seekers for life in English-speaking countries.
Many students at CIA have intentions of studying abroad. Doing the mock exam is a way to help them realize the work required to achieve the required score on the IELTS test. The foreign teachers will correct the exams and then provide feedback to individual students on what areas they should focus their efforts on in order to improve their results.
The students of CIA are attending their final week of classes before beginning a five-week winter break. This week will be spent doing makeup assignments if any were missed during the semester as well as some lighter, more relaxing class activities.
Several students planned to go overseas on holidays or for golf tournaments. Two students were going to go to Japan, both for enjoyment and to improve language skills in anticipation of eventually studying in that country. One student is heading to Florida to compete in some high-level junior golf tournaments and will likely study in the U.S. in the future.
The remainder of the students had a variety of plans for their holidays in Taiwan. Some just want to sleep and spend time with family and friends. Others would attend English classes. Still, others intended to play some sports and get some exercise. Whatever the plans, the break would provide a welcome respite from their routines.
School schedules in Taiwan can be arduous, with students often attending cram schools after the regular school day finishes and on weekends. As can be expected, such long hours of studying can lead to burnout among even highly energetic teenagers. Most students at CIA are fortunate enough to have their evenings free to study on their own or to engage in sports or club activities. Even so, they will all be happy to begin their holidays.