What’s the Elephant in the IELTS world?

I suppose you are wondering why my course and this website is called the IETLS Elephant. You must also wonder – what does an elephant have to do with IELTS?

Well, here is the story behind the name

Many years ago, when I was training to be an IELTS teacher, I had a teacher/trainer who was a Welshman called Malcolm. As I walked into the class late one day, he pointed to a line graph on the board and asked, “Dina, what’s the elephant in the room?” 

Well, I didn’t know what he was talking about. So I stood there quite confused and embarrassed in front of everyone.

It turned out the Elephant in the room was the thing that stood out on the graph. In other words, what the main changes in the graph were over the specific period of time. For instance, look at the elephant chart below.

Graph by Branko Milanovic/Christoph Lakner; elephant added by Caroline Freund

In fact, the Elephant is an important tip for the IELTS Academic Writing module

In IELTS Writing Task One, as you will see in the IELTS Elephant Course, you must always have an Elephant sentence. If you don’t have an Elephant sentence, you cannot get over a 5 for one of the writing criteria. 

So, since then, I have adopted Malcolm’s term and in memory of him, I have called this the IELTS Elephant.

But, more about the elephant in my course, which is a full IELTS preparation in just 6 hours.

Dina Panayi – Let’s connect on LinkedIn


[informal idiom]

The rationale behind the idiom is that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook.