Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles >> Ben: Hello there. Today we're gonna talk about IELTS vocabulary. And there's lots of tips. It's divided into about 3 parts. A lot of the students have been asking me about IELTS vocabulary. So what I thought I'd do today is do the podcast, but do it with a student of mine who had a few questions and she's just going to ask a question when she's got a doubt. So this is Maria. Say, "Hi" Maria. >> Maria: Hi. >> Ben: Alright. Let's get going. So it's gonna be divided into 3 parts. An introduction to the vocabulary + collocations. Then we're going to look at some easy essay sentences to memorize, to put into the essay. And then some topic-specific vocabulary and TED Talks. And then at the end, we're going to look at the Academic Word list. Right then. Okay? >> Maria: Okay. Yes. >> Ben: Excellent. So you probably know that the vocabulary represents 25% of your score for both the writing and the speaking. And if we want to get Band 7/Band 8, I strongly recommend that you use collocations. Alright? >> Maria: Okay. >> Ben: Can you think of any collocations? Do you know what one is? >> Maria: Yes, a little bit. >> Ben: More or less. >> Maria: I need to study. >> Ben: Alright. Well, collocation (from Wikipedia) is a sequence of words or terms that co-occur more often than would be expected by chance. >> Maria: Okay. >> Ben: Alright? >> Maria: Yeah. >> Ben: So maybe "unemployment benefits," "noise pollution," those are examples of collocations. Also, to get Band 7 or Band 8 scores, topic-specific vocabulary and obviously recommended using words from the academic word list. Right then. Okay. Collocations improve the way we speak because... They improve your fluency because what it is, is it's a set group of words, the native speaker or the person listening is going to expect the next words. So it makes it easier to understand. If it's easier to understand, it improves your cohesion. And it makes it easier to follow what you're saying. When you're learning these collocations, it's better to learn them all in one, like chunk (if you get what I mean). So instead of learning "noise" and "pollution" you just learn it together as one word "noise pollution." Of course, separately. >> Maria: Okay. Yeah. >> Ben: So when you're actually learning these, what you best do is of course reading lots. But actively reading. And that means going through the text, and underlining them/encircling them. Not just sitting there like read and absorbing it (which is good), but it's better if you're actively highlighting or marking the text you're reading. And E-book readers are good for this. The idea is that we get the vocabulary from the passive. From your passive vocabulary, which is your ability to recognize it. And into your active vocabulary, and that's when you're using it in your everyday vocabulary. When you are studying, of course (like I just said with the active reading) what's good is it you see the word. And then you write down the whole sentence in which it appears. And you of course then try and use it again during the day. It's gonna be easier with some vocabulary like: Trying to squeeze "noise pollution" or "inequality" into sentences. It isn't gonna be easy but at least maybe if you're practicing your writing, it could be a little bit easier. Now, we're gonna look at some easy sentences to memorize. And this would be useful for your essay writing. And it's really, really, quick way to improve your score. Because all you have to do is memorize one or two sentences and then you can just change the adjectives, or you can change the meaning, or you can change the time. Let's just have a look at this one: "The issue of (I don't know) income disparity/income inequality in western countries has grown in importance over the past few decades." So if we've got that sentence, how could we change that, adapt it to a different type of essay? What could we change there? Could you give me another sentence? >> Maria: Sorry, could you repeat? >> Ben: We've got this sentence: "The issue of western countries has grown in importance over the past few decades." One alternative would be: "The issue of wealth..." or "The issue of technology in most continents has fallen in importance over the past few years." Can you see how we've changed "decades" for "years"? >> Maria: Yes. >> Ben: We've changed "growing" for "fallen." But we basically got the same structure. >> Maria: Yes. >> Ben: So could you think of another sentence using that structure? >> Maria: Like "The issue of politicals in north continents..." >> Ben: Yeah. "The issue of politicians in northern continents..." >> Maria: could be "has fallen... has been difficult" >> Ben: Okay. >> Maria: "In these latest years." >> Ben: Okay. Yeah, that could be one. And the first batch were correct. But the idea is that you keep that, instead of "has been" we put... >> Maria: Another word? >> Ben: Exactly. Yeah. And one that would go well with "importance." So we could say: "... has disappeared in importance." Something like that. And then "... over the past few weeks." Yeah? >> Maria: Yeah. >> Ben: So you could even say: "The issue of independence in eastern European countries has risen in importance over the past few days/weeks." Yeah? >> Maria: Yeah. >> Ben: It's a bit tricky to do at first, but the idea is that you memorize that structure. "The issue of... has... in importance over the past few days/weeks/years/months." Aright. Let's do another one. We can also reverse the meaning and here we've changed it from "dangerous problems" to "exciting opportunities" "Income equality/AIDS is one of the most dangerous problems facing lesser developed nations today." And then we changed it and adapted it for developed countries. And we said: "Technological disruption is one of the most exciting opportunities facing developed nations today." Alright? >> Maria: Yes. >> Ben: So we've changed the meaning and making it into a positive one. Here, we can change the view. And this is quite good because it's generally... I'll give you the example first: "However, in my view this solution is rather controversial and other solutions need to be found." We can change the view point from "my personal view" to a general view point and say: "However, from a general view point this solutions is rather impractical (blah, blah, blah, or rather controversial)..." And the advantage of doing this is that we make the essay sound more academic by avoiding using the first person. It makes it sounds more objective. Next one. And here's some universal sentences that we could just drop into the body paragraphs or maybe in the introduction. And these are very good but we have to use them with caution. Because we need to get the context correct. Yeah? >> Maria: Okay. >> Ben: So we'd say here's an example: "It is undeniable that (I don't know) the World Bank or Economic Development or pollution..." "It is undeniable that ... is one of the most challenging issues in the western world." >> Maria: Okay. >> Ben: Yeah? >> Maria: Mmm hmm. >> Ben: And this sentence, you can use in anything: "There are also studies being performed on a world level to discover the source of these important problems." Yeah? >> Maria: Yeah. >> Ben: But examiners can spot these sentences. So they have to be used with caution. >> Maria: Of course. >> Ben: And it's always better to adapt them. But if you're really really sticky in really difficult situation, and maybe you're having a bad day and the exam is going bad, if you've got that sentence you can drop it in to any of them. Of course, it's much better if you can adapt it. >> Maria: Yeah. Of course. It's too general what we are talking. >> Ben: Exactly. >> Maria: If you're writing about something important. >> Ben: Exactly. Exactly. And if you've used a few of these sentences already, you've got a set an essay that is just too general. Not specific. And probably has gone off to Task Response. Okay. And then the final sentence we could use is: "One solution proposed by the..." And then we could say, "IMF," or "World Bank," or "the World Health Organization," or "NATO" or whatever. "is to..." And then put a solution. Yeah? >> Maria: Okay. >> Ben: Can you think of a sentence you could make using that structure? >> Maria: Another structure? >> Ben: No, no, no. Use that structure but maybe adapt that sentence using that structure, to something maybe about (I don't know) pollution or something like that? >> Maria: Yes, of course. Do you want that I make one? >> Ben: Yeah. >> Maria: One solution proposed by the Green Peace (because you can tell they know)... >> Ben: Perfect. "Green Peace," yeah. >> Maria: And "... is to cut down the consumption of water and use preferable..." You can say preferable? No. "Preferable washing machines." Or... >> Ben: Okay. Yeah. "One solution proposed by Green Peace is to cut down on the consumption on... on water consumption..." A collocation that "water consumption." "One solution proposed by Green Peace is to cut down on water consumption by using environmentally friendly washing machines." or something like that. >> Maria: Yeah. >> Ben: You see, if we could have used a collocation in there "water consumption" and it's been good. But using "Green Peace" is a very good example because it's something that: 1. The examiner can relate to ('cause everybody knows about Green Peace). 2. It's exactly (if you're writing about environmental issues) mentioning Green Peace is exactly the right type of tone, and the right type of example to use for that kind of essay. Especially if it's about environmental protection and things like that. So good. Right then. Here are some more universal sentences. So if you've got a pen you might want to write these down... ... for the listeners. "It is fairly easy to comprehend the arguments why this proposal has been made..." Very universal, you can just put this in maybe in the introduction. "There would be at least two facets to this proposal..." What do "facets" mean? >> Maria: Two points of view. >> Ben: Yeah. Or two parts, or two components. "There is also, however, a strong argument not to implement this proposal..." Okay? >> Maria: Okay. >> Ben: So these are quite easy sentences. And then this one (which I recommend most of my students to learn by heart because it's really very practical). And this is to give an example, you say: "A recent study by the IMF shows that 50% of (so-an-so) is/are..." Yeah? >> Maria: Okay. >> Ben: "A recent study by NATO shows that..." "A recent study by the NCPCC shows that..." And if you just remember that structure, you could even say: "A recent study by Green Peace shows that 50% of the washing machines are environmentally handful to the local water system." Or something like that. Another sentence: "It is widely assumed that..." And like we said before, if we use a lot of these... Or if you use these but also adapt them to our essays, they have a similar effect to the collocations. Because they will improve the cohesion, they'll improve the way the essay sounds (because it's a natural structure) and you've got higher chance of getting the points for Cohesion and Coherence. ... And grammatical accuracy (that's what I was gonna say). Grammatical range and accuracy. If you're using these exact structures, of course your essays are going to be very accurate. >> Maria: Okay. Yeah. >> Ben: Okay. Now another one. Use TED Talks. Do you use the TED Talks? >> Maria: Sorry, but I don't remember what means TED Talks. >> Ben: You know the TED Talks? The documentaries they do on TED.ED. Like educational documentaries. Well, not documentaries, sorry. Talks. The talks by business men, by scientists... >> Maria: Ah, yes. I remember. Yes, yes. >> Ben: No worries.