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Do this to effectively practice for the CELPIP
Episode 6021st May 2024 • The Speak English Fearlessly Podcast • Aaron Nelson
00:00:00 00:14:29

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If you've ever wondered if you're doing the right thing...the real right thing... to be preparing for the CELPIP exam, then this episode is for you.

I'll be sharing one of the most important things you need to be doing to prepare for the exam. We all tend to avoid doing it because we're kind of hard wired in this way, but it's seriously a mistake to leave this out of your practice.

To find out, listen in to today's episode.

What I'll cover:

00:00 Introduction: Your Busy Life and CELPIP Preparation

02:33 The Dilemma of Effective CELPIP Preparation

04:24 A Personal Anecdote: Learning from Weaknesses

06:03 The Key to CELPIP Success: Focus on Weaknesses

10:12 Conclusion and Invitation to CELPIP Success School

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Join CELPIP Success school here.

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Let's work together to prepare for the CELPIP Exam

If you're tired of working on your own to prepare for the CELPIP Exam, and if you're looking for friendly personal support - then you need to check out this opportunity! You'll get weekly assignments that will help you practice each of the 4 skills tested on the CELPIP. You'll also get weekly group coaching calls with me. By following this link, you'll also get a 25% discount for as long as you remain a member.


If you're like most people these days, you don't have a lot of extra time. Between working sometimes two or three jobs just to make ends meet, you also have family or loved ones you're trying to take care of. On top of that, you're doing your best to adapt to your new life in Canada with its different customs, culture, and weather.

Add to that mix your need to prepare for the CELPIP exam, which might be a reason you're joining me here today. A big question I know many test takers in your shoes wrestle with is this. I don't have a lot of extra time to devote to CELPIP prep, and when I do have time, how can I be sure that what I'm doing is actually effective and helping me towards my CELPIP goals?

If you've been wondering about that too, then listen in to today's episode. I'll be sharing one of the most important things you need to be focusing on as you prepare for the CELPIP exam. 📍

Well, hello there, and welcome to the Speak English Fearlessly podcast. This is the podcast for motivated English learners who want to speak English fearlessly and learn practical tips and strategies to conquer the CELPIP exam.

I also love to feature encouraging interviews with regular people, people just like you, who are working towards becoming fluent in English, so we can learn from their experiences together. Who are my My name is Aaron Nelson, and I've been an English teacher for over 16 years, and I now help students prepare for the CELPIP exam through online classes.

If you're just joining us, if today is the first day that you've downloaded this podcast episode, I want to say hello to you and welcome. Please sit back and relax and enjoy today's episode. I'm so glad that you're here. If you are a regular listener, I want to say hello to you as well and welcome you and thank you so much for returning and listening to me again today.

I appreciate it. Both my new listeners and my long term listeners as well. Thank you both for being here. Like I said in the intro, you're likely a very busy person with many priorities on your plate at the same time as well as the CELPIP exam. When you have time set aside to practice for the exam, you often find yourself being haunted by a terrible question that sounds something like this.

Am I doing the right thing right now to help me get ready for the exam? And that question is likely immediately followed by its evil twin, which loves to sit right up close to you so that it can whisper right into your ear. And it says, But what if that isn't really what you should be doing? What if there's something better that you're missing?

What if, what if there's something better that you should be doing? The Evil Twins question is designed to get you to stop doing what you're doing so that you can hop onto YouTube or Google to learn more. to begin hours of searching for things like templates or the best way to prepare for this or that section of the CELPIP exam.

And instead of finding the answers you need, the evil twin loves to keep sitting there whispering into your ear, that looks kind of right. I wonder if there's an even better way in the next video. Keep looking. And before you know it, your small block of time has evaporated and you feel frustrated because you've not made the progress you know you need to make.

A few study sessions directed by the evil duo of questions will lead you nowhere except to feeling frustrated or like you're never going to be ready in time for your exam. You know, when I was a kid, I had this pocket sized electronic math game that was meant to help me practice my addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills in math.

All of them badly needed by me, because if you have been listening to this podcast for any length of time, you'll know that I suck at math. I mean, today maybe I'm not as bad at it, but back when I was younger, it was my worst enemy. My dad, who was an excellent person in math, was using this little tool to try to help me to develop my skills. And he'd often get me to spend 10 or 15 minutes practicing with it as homework. I got to be really good with addition and would often spend most of my time just racking up great results on the addition focused activities of that little handheld game.

While totally avoiding multiplication. division, which were my greatest weaknesses. This all went fine and well until the day my dad figured out what I was up to. He sat me down and told me something that has stuck with me till this day. He said, Aaron, as long as you don't work on the things you're not good at, You'll always not be good at Them.

You might not become excellent at them, and that's fine. But you definitely won't get better at the things you don't work on. Ouch. That little story leads into the tip I want to share with you today. If you're wondering what's the most effective thing you can be doing in the small time you have available to get ready for your CELPIP exam.

then here it is. Effective practice needs to be focused on your areas of weakness. Now that might sound obvious, but it's easier to skip over than you think. For one, we love our comfort zones, don't we? I do. I love being in my comfort zone. I don't like being uncomfortable and focusing on areas where I'm not strong on is uncomfortable.

So I tend to avoid them. And that's like a normal human tendency, isn't it? We tend to avoid the things that make us feel uncomfortable or the things that we know we struggle with. We just try to stay steer clear of those areas. And as a result, those areas don't get any better. They just stay the same or get worse.

So if your biggest struggle is in, say, understanding a conversation with native English speakers because they just talk too fast, then your natural response is likely not to get into those situations, right? And on the CELPIP, isn't it the worst feeling to sit through the listening section and have no idea what the right answer is because you got lost in what the dialogue was about?

Or you somehow missed what that question is asking. It feels super frustrating. and very much like you are a failure at this and you throw up your hands and say to yourself, well, why bother? I'm never going to get better at it. I know people who at all costs avoid getting into conversations in English because they struggle to get their words out.

They feel so badly about this that they rarely put themselves into situations where they need to use their English skills and so they never score well on the speaking section of the CELPIP exam. I'm sharing this because the reaction of avoiding is common. It's probably happening to you. I've done it.

You've done it. We avoid that which we're not good at, but you know what? Effective practice practice that makes a difference needs to involve your areas of weakness. It's the only way to get better at them. Of weakness are,. If you're not sure what you can, are you aware of what your areas of weakness are? You probably are. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what we're not good at, but just in case you're not entirely sure when it comes to the CELPIP exam, have you tried taking one of the free practice CELPIP exams?

You can get yours by simply signing up for a free account on celpip. ca. By signing up, you will get access to two free exams. And by taking these exams, you'll get a good idea of what you're good at, which is great, but it'll also show you where you need to focus some attention.

Another thing that you can do is join the CELPIP success school. We can develop a personalized program that will help you focus on turning your area of weakness into an area of strength, where you actually feel confident about what to do instead of avoiding it.

You know, we had this happen with one of our students just recently. Their biggest weakness was planning what to say. As we worked together, they went from needing 10 and 15 minutes of prep time, to 10 and 15 minutes of prep time. to being able to fit their brainstorming inside the 30 seconds the exam gave them.

Now, that didn't happen overnight. We had to work on it consistently, and push through frustration together. But eventually, they got it. The same can be true for you. Join the CELPIP Success School today. Listeners to this podcast get 25 percent off. Just go to to find out more.

And even if you don't join, the process is the same patiently.

and purposefully work on practicing your areas of weakness until you turn it into a strength. That's it for today's episode. Thank you for listening, and I'll see you again next Tuesday



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