The First ‘Vocabulary’ Trick Often Used
‘We teach IELTS Vocabulary’.
Do not be tricked by ‘IELTS Vocabulary’ books. There is no special ‘IELTS’ vocabulary. ‘IELTS vocabulary’ is equally likely to be in a newspaper, but would you buy a book called ‘Newspaper Vocabulary’? ‘IELTS vocabulary’ is ‘English vocabulary’, and that appears in all written texts, and written texts present words in context, which is the best way to receive them.
Start reading an English newspaper or magazine. Use your dictionary at the same time, and learn ‘IELTS vocabulary’ in context. That is how you remember it, and that gives you all the other important information that you need to know – the grammar of the word, the way it is used, and the sort of situation it is used in.
The Second ‘Vocabulary’ Trick Often Used
‘We teach 300 words a day’.
It sounds good, doesn’t it? But it is a lie, a knowing lie, and a big one. The ‘learning’ usually involves being given printouts from an online academic word list. It is far too much too ‘learn’. The human brain doesn’t function that way, but it looks good – great solid lists of words on pages and pages of paper, and it tricks students.
The truth is, student do not ‘learn’ anything in this way, but forget most of it, become totally mixed up, and use all the words wrongly, lowering their IELTS results. Word lists are an ineffective and inefficient way to receive vocabulary.
All words come with meaning, spelling, grammar, and rules of usage. To learn a word, you need to see it in a text, in use, connected with other words. You ‘learn’ words slowly as you begin to use them meaningfully in real communication, whether it is listening, reading, writing, or speaking. Tip 1 of my IELTS Reading book gives seven solid ‘background’ strategies for learning vocabulary.
- Learn words in context.
- Have, and use, a good dictionary.
- Use a vocabulary notebook.
- Organise your vocabulary notebook.
- Write down pronunciation features.
- Revise Using a Vocabulary Box.
- Start Reading.
Follow these rules!
Here’s a great first step. Follow Rule 7 by reading through the light, easy, and highly interesting ‘Cultural Insights to Australia’. It will open your mind, give you graded vocabulary, and begin to build your reading skills.
About Vocabulary Sections Here
So, there is no ‘IELTS Vocabulary’ – there is just ‘English Vocabulary’. However, there are words that are useful for IELTS. As the sections here will prove, your IELTS mark can go higher if you can use …
- good collocation
- idiomatic vocabulary
- less-common vocabulary
These words and phrases can be called ‘useful vocabulary for IELTS’ (although it is useful for general communication, as well). These ‘IELTS-friendly’ words and phrases are what you can learn in this Vocabulary Section.
However, you must learn these words and phrases carefully, one at a time. To help you with this, each word is given with lots of explanation and practice. Follow the seven rules from my IELTS Reading book. You may well be able to integrate these words naturally into IELTS writing or speaking. If you can, it will definitely help.