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  • >> 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.

  • Okay. So if you go to the website

  • ieltspodcast.com/ted