IELTS Vocabulary

IELTS Speaking: Talking about food

Questions related to food are quite popular with IELTS test-makers – probably because most people enjoy food and usually talk about it extensively in their day-to-day lives.

In my latest podcast, I’ll introduce you to some useful vocabulary to talk about food. Have a listen, make notes and then attempt the quiz on Schoology. Good luck!


IELTS Speaking: Talking about people

Another podcast. This one introduces you to advanced vocabulary you can use to talk about people, their personalities and characteristics. Have a listen and then you can attempt the quiz on Schoology to match the vocabulary with their meanings.

Go to the SoundCloud podcast.

IELTS Speaking: Talking about family and friends

Here’s another SoundCloud podcast. This one has lots of great vocabulary to use when talking about your friends and family. Listen carefully and identify the collocations.

IELTS Vocabulary: What’s the difference between sex and gender

English is a funny language.

Look at the example of these two words – sex and gender. They mean the same, right?

Yes, in IELTS Writing Task 1.
No, in IELTS Writing Task and Speaking Part 3.

Find out why:

1. What is the difference between sex and gender?

Maybe you think there’s no difference. Sex is ‘male’ or ‘female’ and so is gender. In fact, if you look up the dictionary definition of sex and gender, the first definition is the same: (more…)

IELTS Topic Vocabulary: Tourism

Tourism is actually a sub-category under Multi-culturalism and Immigration, a popular topic in the IELTS exams. I posted a Writing Task 2 question recently which raised the issue of foreign tourists paying more than local tourists to visit attractions.

Most students will have ideas, and probably some experience (if they have traveled abroad) on this subject. Once you’ve got the structure of the essay (Intro – Body 1 – Body 2 – Conclusion), the next most important thing is to use topic-specific vocabulary to raise your band score.

Remember that if your grammatical accuracy is high, you’re already close to a band 7. From here on, it’s a matter of enhancing your vocabulary and using appropriate words and collocations in discussing the subject. So how can you build a good vocabulary? (more…)

IELTS Vocabulary: Economy & Money

Here is the text of the article I linked to in this post. This article will help you boost your vocabulary on a common IELTS topic Economy & Money.

If you haven’t read it yet, please read the article and make a note of useful vocabulary. Then, compare your list to the words and phrases highlighted in the text below.


What if we defined success not by the money we spent and the goods we consumed but by the quality of life we create not only for ourselves but for everyone with whom we share the planet? What if we added up the positives of economic growth and subtracted from them the clear negatives, so we had a better picture of whether we were headed in the right direction? (more…)

Economy & Money: Video Transcript

Here is a transcript of the video I linked to in this post. This video will help you boost your vocabulary on a common IELTS topic Economy & Money.

If you haven’t watched the video yet, please do so and make a note of useful vocabulary. Then, compare your list to the words and phrases highlighted in the transcript below.


We’re heading out into the unknown. We need signposts to guide us – to assure us we’re going in the right direction. (more…)