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IELTS Speaking: Using technology to improve your vocabulary

IELTS Speaking: Using technology to improve your vocabulary

Using the language as a regular part of your life

Being successful with English, in IELTS and beyond, means finding a way to make using the language a regular part of your life. Learners often feel frustrated and lose interest in studying vocabulary when they find study materials rather boring and not connected to their own interests, but more interesting materials can be difficult to find and even more difficult to understand. In this post, we’ll discuss how you can use technology to solve these problems, increase your vocabulary, learn collocations, and have fun, too.

Podcast

Podcasts are short audio programs produced on a variety of subjects. And conveniently, they can be downloaded using a podcast app on your phone.  They’re great for language learners because you can find podcasts on almost any topic you’re interested in. Even better, some podcast apps make it easy for learners to follow along.

Pocketcasts, available for both iOS and Android, is a podcast app that helps with this by letting you play the recordings up to 50 percent slower. You can slow recordings down until they’re clear and easy to understand, and speed them up as your listening improves.

YouTube

YouTube is another great source of material for language learners. Like Pocketcasts, you can change the speed of the playback to your advantage. Adjust how fast the videos plays by clicking on the gear icon on the bottom of the video.

 

CC function on YouTube


In addition to adjusting the speed, another way you can study on YouTube is by turning on the subtitles. You can use these subtitles (when available) to study in several ways — besides using them to check the spelling of unfamiliar words, you can turn down the video’s sound and narrate the video yourself by reading the subtitles out loud. Feeling up for a challenge? Want to improve your listening skills? First, watch part of the video without subtitles and write down what you hear. Then, compare the transcript you wrote with the subtitles.

Be precise in the right context

Many candidates don’t get the IELTS results they want because their vocabulary are only wide enough to express general ideas, but not wide enough to speak precisely about a given topic. Using the study methods mentioned above makes finding technical vocabulary in its appropriate context easier, and will help you say exactly what you mean.

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