Interview with IELTS Expert, Don Oliver from IDP

In the fourteenth segment of the interview, Don gives his thoughts on English learning for higher-level learners. He explains that language-learning is never-ending and mentions the unfixed nature of language itself.

14.Important factors for advanced-level learners of English

Interviewer: How about the very last phase, or should I say the higher level? In this phase, you may not really need help, but those English learners who have lived in English-speaking countries for maybe 1 to 3 years, so if you speak to them, you can notice natural expressions, but they can’t write academic articles. They may be good at speaking casually, but not really used to formal expressions or academic expressions.

Don: Well, I think it comes down to what they want to do. I mean, they may have reached the level they want to reach. And that’s it. But if they do have a need to write an academic paper in English, or if they do have a need to, you know, communicate with other academics or something like that, then you know, the need is there, and they’re obviously equipped to progress. I think language learning is something that is never-ending. I’m 65 years of age, and I’m still learning English words. You know, you would think that I would have heard them all. But in fact, there are new words all the time, especially in English actually! English produces new words every year and many new, but also old words come back into fashion and current words go out of fashion. So, all of that is continually happening. And you never stop learning.

Interviewer: Can you say that curiosity is very important?

Don: Yeah, And it goes back to what we were talking about before. The better you get at something, the more you know, the more you want to know. And you would hope that that’s the case. But it might not be the case for everybody. I think if you are a person approaching that expert user-level, then you probably have shown that you are a good learner. And then you have the desire to learn. So, I would just suggest that keep doing what you’re doing, really!

Interviewer: Thank you for your answer! I think one of the important things that you mentioned is the fluidity of the language. It’s not fixed. So, every time period has a different language, I guess, different words that are important at that time. In Japanese language, also, there’s lots of English-driven words that come and go often.

Alright, well, thank you so much for answering our questions!

About Don
1: Why did you become an IELTS Expert?
2: The tasks of an IELTS Expert
3: The tasks done for IDP
4: Teaching experience in Oman and Vietnam
5: The factors that helped IELTS establish its worldwide trust
6: Test design process for IELTS
7: The linguistic studies and observations used for IELTS
8: About IELTS’ scoring system
9: The importance of IELTS’ Speaking Task
10: The drastic changes in the history of IELTS
About second language acquisition
11: Important factors for second language acquisition
12: Important factors for beginner-level learners of English
13: Important factors for mid-level learners of English
14: Important factors for advanced-level learners of English←you’re here