IELTS: a global test for a global language

Today is English Language Day – a celebration of English as a global language, organised by the United Nations (UN) to coincide with William Shakespeare’s birthday. To mark the occasion, Chris Cavey of the British Council discusses IELTS – the test that 2.2 million English learners took last year, to help them live, work or study overseas.

Chris Cavey of the British Council

“I’ve been working on a plan. During the exam, I’ll hide under some coats and hope that somehow everything will work out.”
– Homer Simpson

I think at some time or other, we have all flirted with this kind of twisted logic when facing a test. On the other hand, knowing that we’ve prepared well leaves us with a sense of confidence – even excitement that we will do ourselves justice.

Gaining confidence in English

Our free online course, “Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language Tests,” aims to give you that confidence. By going through the core language skills required, you will get a clear picture of what is expected of you for the IELTS test and develop your English language skills in the process.

We are hoping that you can build your confidence over the six weeks of the course and that by the end, you feel ready to give the best account of your skills in English. We will be looking at videos that illustrate the format of the IELTS test and use practice materials to best prepare for the real thing.

The course will be useful to anyone learning English, working or studying abroad, and taking an English test – especially if you plan to take IELTS. The course will focus on each part of the test (listening, reading, speaking and writing), to give you the best chance to improve and get your desired IELTS score.

A global classroom for a global test

As the world’s most popular English test for higher education and global migration, IELTS is accepted by over 10,000 organisations worldwide. So if you are thinking about pursuing a vocation or studying abroad, IELTS opens doors to universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies, to help make this a reality.

That global reach of the IELTS test is mirrored in its internationally sourced content. It’s not a test that just uses English as spoken in the UK (that has hundreds of variations of its own), but the accents and customs of English wherever it is spoken, from Australia to the USA.

We hope the course will reflect the international reach of IELTS – and English as a whole – with learners from around the world sharing their opinions and questions, and helping each other be more confident about English language tests.

You can join the free online course, “Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language Tests,” now or find out more about today’s celebrations using #EnglishLanguageDay.

Category Learning

Comments (522)

  • The FutureLearn Team

    Comments on this post are now closed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment.

    If you want to join this course, go to:

    If you have any questions about how the course works, go to:


  • Ma Ei Mon Theint

    I would like to improve my English.

  • Thyine

    I think it may be a good program.

  • phyo wai wai ohn

    may I know the time but I already joined. thanks much

  • Phyu Phyu

    This course is many useful for everybody so i join this course.Really need English skill for me.Thanks.

  • San Su

    I would like to join this program,

  • htunhtunnaing

    i would like to know about the online course time table.

  • Nan Thu Zar Hlaing

    Thank u so much for ur supporting.I would like to improve my English level.