As ELT publishing houses get larger in size yet smaller in number, it’s worth sparing a thought for those niche publishers who valiantly compete and innovate whilst trying not to get forced off the rails by the juggernauts.
The IELTS on Track series from the Centre for English Language in the University of South Australia, published by One Sided Paper of Adelaide has been mixing it with these heavyweights for some years now, with surprising success.
The two books in the series – IELTS on Track Test Practice Academic, and IELTS on Track Test Practice General Training punch above their weight, basically because they are easy to use and occupy a niche that many other IELTS books have not attempted – the hybrid. Part textbook in style and part test practice book, IELTS on Track gives the aspiring IELTS test candidate the best of both worlds. The hunger for plentiful IELTS test practice is satisfied in the form of 6 Reading and Writing tests, 4 Listening tests, and 2 Recorded sample interviews with tracking exercises.
At the same time, there are sections which use many, short language exercises based on sample Writing task answers to explore the grammar and vocabulary which can help to lift the scores achieved in IELTS Writing.
On top of that there are plentiful hints on test strategy and a popular section called ‘Quick Guide to a Higher IELTS Score’. Among other things, this section explores the all-important aspect of the psychological relationship between test candidate and test assessor. Put simply, it is asserted that, even though it is the assessment criteria that officially govern the scores assigned by live assessors for the Writing and Speaking parts of the IELTS test, candidates need to consider the ways in which they can best impress the assessor, or best make the assessor gain a favourable impression of their performance. This is in part an issue of cross-cultural awareness.
Thanks to ELT Specialists like BEBC – Bournemouth English Book Centre, who put their confidence in such titles and champion the smaller, niche publishers, the IELTS on Track series is still firmly on the rails. It has stood the test of time. Regularly revised and updated, and without the benefit of a marketing or advertising budget of any size, it is its many customers and users in many countries who bear testimony to its worth. As the old saying goes, ‘The customer is always right’.
Further details on the titles can be found on BEBC’s Website or by clicking here (sample pages and “free” mini-tests with answers and feedback available). Of course, when you buy IELTS on Track you can also dream of the sun-soaked, pristine, sandy beaches, the elegant hills, the apple and citrus orchards, almonds, olive oil, and the beautiful vineyards of Adelaide, and of South Australia. But…. that’s another story!