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Hanoi girl bags IELTS 9 score, says she practices English every day

A 12th grader who has got 9 overall in her first IELTS exam ever says she does not learn English for the test but just tries to use it as a second language.

Khuat Nguyen Linh, 17, a student at Hanoi - Amsterdam High School for the Gifted, received her IELTS test result on June 29.

She scored 9 overall, the highest score possible. She got 9 each for Reading, Speaking and Listening and 8 for Writing.

Hanoi girl, IELTS 9 score, practices English every day, 12th grader,  9 overall,  IELTS exam,  second language, Khuat Nguyen Linh

Khuat Nguyen Linh poses in front of a mirror.

This is the first time she has taken an IELTS test. She needs it to complete her file for studying abroad.

Though scoring the highest grade, she said she did not spend much time and efforts on practicing IELTS tests. She said it is the result of a good English background she has been provided as a little girl and continued to maintain as she grew up.

Linh's parents let her learn English in elementary school and when the girl got into 6th grade, she started to focus more on English.

She chose English as her major from 8th grade.

Linh said she only took one English extra class for a year and so far, has studied only in school and at home on her own.

She confirmed that practicing IELTS tests before taking the exam is important but for her, there is no need to spend too much time and effort doing so.

"I’ve been learning English from everything around me, from watching movies to playing games and reading books. At school, I usually speak to my friends in English," she said.

"I always think in English instead of translating something from Vietnamese into English."

The girl said watching native speakers using English and learning from them is easier than learning rules and formulas in books.

When watching shows or movies in English, either it is the BBC or Netflix, she pays attention to how people use English structure and their intonation when speaking a sentence in different circumstances.

"Watching like that allows me to improve both my listening and speaking skills. I could learn how to pronounce and stress on the correct syllable," she said.

"Overtime, I have got used to using English as a second language and when I must use it, I could speak more naturally and fluently."

As for reading, Linh tries to read in English as often as possible.

Among English books she has read are the "Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown, "White Fang" by Jack London, and "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho.

She read all of those books in Vietnamese first before reading them again in English to ensure she understood them completely.

For the IELTS test, Linh said she did not spend much time taking mock exams.

"I normally see other people practicing on different types of tests for a very long time before taking the exam but in my case, I only took a look at some tests to avoid being taken by surprise. Several days before the exam, I took a mock exam and found that I’m capable so I stopped learning for the test," she said.

Commenting on her own test, she said the Listening and Reading parts were not difficult.

The Listening test was daily conversations about topics that happen in everyday life and did not cause her any confusion or hesitation.

As for the Reading test, she did not struggle either because she has got used to reading books and news in English. She suggests that examinees should read carefully and try to find the exact sentences and paragraphs appearing right there in the test for answering questions.

The Speaking test was the one she was most satisfied with.

"All we need is to speak normally and naturally as if we were talking to a friend," she said.

The judge pays more attention to see whether the examinees can communicate fluently and convey a message coherently rather than focusing on evaluating the content of that message, she said.

As a student with a major in English, Linh must write essays frequently, which gives her a chance to practice the skill for the IELTS test.

However, Linh noticed that she had not arranged her time efficiently and finished her essays close to the time of submission.

What she learned from the Writing test is not to try to use complicated words and structures but try to express the idea seamlessly and make it easy to understand and pay attention to the time to ensure the essay is complete.

Overall, she believes that to conquer IELTS, preparing a better English background whenever one can is better than racing against time preparing for the test.

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Source: VnExpress

Hanoi girl, IELTS 9 score, practices English every day, 12th grader, 9 overall, IELTS exam, second language, Khuat Nguyen Linh
 
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