IELTS Speaking Vocabulary

Need Help Improving Your Vocabulary for the IELTS Speaking Exam?

If so, then you are in the right place. Watch the short video from the British Council (IELTS owners) and discover how to improve your vocabulary for IELTS speaking.

The full script is underneath to help, and don’t miss my recommendations below the script!

Play The Video…

How To Improve Your Vocabulary For IELTS Speaking (script)

So, you’ve decided to take the IELTS exam. Great choice it’s the test that opens doors around the world. Here we look at the criteria of lexical resource.

This is one of four criteria on which you will be tested. Look for the other three criteria in other videos (available on this site from the menu bar).


4 Key Factors For Mastering IELTS Vocabulary

1. Lexical resource focuses on the range of vocabulary a candidate uses, the wider the range, the better you will score. You will need to understand these factors to score well on the test.

2. The ability to use vocabulary effectively, including the right collocation, that is words naturally used together. For instance lions roar, lions do not shout. Alternatively we ‘make’ a phone call, we do not ‘do’ a phone call.

3. An awareness of connotation, this refers to the positive, neutral or negative association some words have for example:


♦ Laid back => Positive

♦ Inactive => Neutral

♦ Lazy => Negative

♦ Slim => Thin => Skinny

(these can all give a different feeling to the listener).

4. The use of less common words or expressions. Many candidates memorize impressive lists of vocabulary but often end up using them in the wrong way because they haven’t understood them properly.


To improve Your IELTS Speaking Vocabulary We Recommend These Steps:

1. Always try to learn new vocabulary when reading in English, look out for new words, seeing words in their context helps you learn the meaning, usage in collocation, online newspapers are a good resource these can also help you keep up on the vocabulary of current affairs.

2. Group new vocabulary into related subjects and learn these together rather than making long lists of unrelated words, for example, make a list of words about sports, using mind maps often helps with this.

3. Learn more synonyms, these are words or expressions which have a similar meaning. Knowledge of synonyms will help with all parts of the IELTS test, try using a thesaurus.

4. Make small word cards with the word written on one side of the card and the translation and an example sentence on the other side, you can then test yourself.

5. Practice is the key, not to memorize, but to practice. Discuss different topics weaving in the vocabulary you have learned.


What Does Research Show?

Research shows practice improves test scores. Don’t give up if you can’t find the right word, keep trying to explain what you mean even if it takes a little longer, this is called paraphrasing, you will get credit for this.

IELTS speaking tests include general everyday topics, specialist knowledge isn’t expected. The topics are relevant to all of the one hundred and thirty five countries in which IELTS is used.

For more information please see the other speaking test videos, fluency and coherence, grammatical range and accuracy and pronunciation (available on the menu bar above).