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Indian students need to focus on written English: Sarah Deverall

Monday, 12 November 2012 - 12:43pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: dna

She talks about changes in examination during her visit to Ahmedabad.

Indian students preparing for International English Language testing system (IELTS) have a clear advantage over students of many other countries as English is widely spoken in this country. However, they seem to lose out on the writing part. This is the observation of Sarah Deverall, the director of examination India IELTS.

Deverall was in city recently to attend a meeting with other partners of IELTS which are based in Ahmedabad. Deverall, who currently lives in Delhi, handles relationship between India and other countries and is in charge of the examination here.

IELTS is taken by those who want to study or work abroad. Through this examination their English language skills are tested. IELTS is jointly owned by IDPI and University of Cambridge ESOL.

When asked about the changes in IELTS procedures, Deverall said, “From now on, before examinations, students’ photographs and finger scans will be taken. Nothing else has been changed.”

According to Deverall, IELTS have been highly preferred in many institutes in US as well. “It is a myth that US colleges do not accept IELTS. Around 3,000 institutes and programmes recognise this examination.”

Talking about the strengths and weaknesses of aspirants in India, she said that the fact that English is spoken widely in the country works to their advantage. However, she pointed out that that out of the four skills— listening, reading, writing and speaking, Indian students are weakest at writing in English.

“In schools, students tend to exceed the word limit and write more than needed. They are not taught target writing which is very important in IELTS where your writing needs to be crisp and to the point,” she said.

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