Education Vocabulary for the IELTS test
Talking about Education is one of the most frequent IELTS Speaking topics. This is understandable considering that the IELTS test is primarily an exam taken for academic purposes.
Read the following speaking-style questions, paying close attention to words you don’t know and the words in bold. There are definitions for these words at the end of the page.
Before you read the conversation, you might like to download this free PDF quiz and have a go at completing the blanks.
Part 1 IELTS Speaking Sample
Examiner: What do you study?
Candidate: I’m taking a post-graduate course in archaeology. It’s delivered online and is quite intensive.
Examiner: What do you like most about your course?
Candidate: I like the camaraderie that’s developed within my cohort. We have to really knuckle down at times, but everyone is supportive.
Examiner: Do you prefer to study in the morning or the afternoon?
Candidate: I’m not a morning person, and I’m not much of a night owl either. I’m at my peak in the afternoons which is when I can take more in.
Describe a person who taught you a useful skill. (For example, cooking or riding a bike.)
You should say:
– who this person is
– what you learned from him/her
– how they taught you this
and explain how this skill is useful to you.
As a child, my handwriting was messy. My teachers couldn’t understand what I had written, and to be honest, I couldn’t sometimes either. I was also falling behind in my schoolwork since I was printing each letter individually.
One of my teachers noticed this and gave me extra help to develop cursive handwriting. First, he gave me some assistive technology to help me keep up in class. After that, he went back to basics with me, teaching me how to grip a pencil and how to form lowercase and capital letters.
He used lots of different techniques, including encouraging me to do crafting at home. These activities helped me to develop my hand-eye coordination.
Now my handwriting is much more legible and accurate – which is a great blessing, especially in tests like IELTS. I’ve even become something of an expert in calligraphy!
Part 3 IELTS Speaking Sample
Examiner: In general, how do children learn things? [Identify]
Candidate: Children of primary age or below learn by doing and by engaging in fun activities. They often feel daunted by the idea of study, but if they think something is a game, they get very enthusiastic. The critical thing is to make sure the game has a desired learning outcome.
Examiner: Do you think children learn more from their parents or their teachers at school? [Compare]
Candidate: Parents are a child’s first teachers. Feeding a child’s imagination in a supportive environment is very important. Children who have been nurtured at home are able to learn faster at school. I don’t think parents or teachers are more important – it should be a collaborative effort.
Examiner: What should governments do to make university education accessible? [Suggest]
Candidate: Poverty and lack of access to resources like the internet and digital devices are an early obstacle. I think governments should give grants to children very early on so that they can grow up as digital natives. For those who slip through the net some kind of preparatory summer course might help to bring them up to speed.
Definitions for IELTS Education Vocabulary
post-graduate — relating to study done after your first university degree
intensive — concentrated into a short period of time
camaraderie — mutual trust and friendship between people
a cohort — a group of people that share the same characteristic, e.g. entering something in the same year
to knuckle down — to start working hard, especially when you have been delaying
to take in — to understand and remember something
cursive — handwriting in which the characters are joined
assistive technology — technology which helps someone to do something they are finding difficult
to grip — to hold
lowercase — small letters, e.g. the letters that come after L in London
capital — the large form of a letter, for example, ‘A’ or ‘B’
hand-eye coordination — the coordinated control of eye movement with hand movement
legible — clear enough to read
calligraphy — beautiful writing done using special pens or brushes
to engage — to attract and keep someone’s interest or attention
daunted — to feel worried about how difficult it is to do something
a learning outcome — the intended skill or knowledge that someone should learn from something
to nurture — to care and look after something carefully
collaborative — relating to people or groups working together to produce something
an obstacle — something that prevents you from achieving something
a digital native — a person who is familiar with computers and the internet from an early age
preparatory — done as preparation for something else
to bring up to speed — to give the latest information about something
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