definitely worth learning technology vocabulary. Technology is such a big part of
our daily lives that there’s a good chance it will feature in your IELTS exam.
It’s a broad
subject. Here are some common areas that appear regularly:
- How and when you use a computer
- What you use
the internet for
- How technology has impacted on
- Technology in
devices and gadgets
many other things you could be asked about, as you’ll discover on this page. Learning
and being able to use a wide range of technology vocabulary will enable you to
answer questions effectively and coherently and earn yourself high marks.
may be asked to talk about technology related topics or write about them, and technology,
computers or the internet could also be the topic of your reading or listening
Technology has revolutionised global communication.
To help you prepare for your exam, I've included four things on this page:
questions on the topic of technology
list of common technology vocabulary with definitions & sample sentences
to online reading and listening resources
PDF downloads of both the questions and sample answers and the technology
vocabulary list at the bottom of the respective sections.
questions relate to the Speaking test because this part of the exam offers the
broadest range of possible questions on the topic of technology. They give the
best opportunity for me to demonstrate the vocabulary and for you to practise
included IELTS-style questions and answers for all three parts of the Speaking
test. I've highlighted key words and phrases in bold.
You'll find these words and phrases, and many others, in the
vocabulary list beneath. The list also includes explanations and sample
sentences and there’s an audio to listen to the pronunciation.
technology vocabulary list contains words and phrases relevant to all parts of
the IELTS exam.
Finally, at the bottom of the page I've added links to topical articles, short videos and podcasts that will help you to improve both your technology vocabulary and your reading and listening skills.
Here’s something to think
about as you work through this page:
vocabulary for IELTS doesn’t just involve learning new words and phrases, it’s also
about how you use vocabulary to develop good answers.
Speaking Test Questions and Answers
Common technology vocabulary
is highlighted in bold.
often do you use a computer and for what purpose?
I use a computer every day,
mostly for my work. I’m a copywriter so my job involves a lot of word processing. In my leisure time, I
love to connect with my friends and family back home on social media.
2) Have you ever taken a course to improve
your computer skills?
I’ve never taken a proper course like at a college but did once pay
someone to teach me how to use some specific software I needed for my business. Mostly, I’ve learnt by trial and
error and watching YouTube videos. I’m no computer
buff but I can do everything I need to.
device do you prefer to use for browsing the internet?
I’d sooner use my laptop to surf the internet as you can see so much more on the large screen
than on a smaller device. If my
laptop is switch off I tend to browse
on my iPad to saving booting up the
4) Do you
enjoy using the internet?
I find it exciting using the internet because I love to learn new
things. These days you can find out almost anything online so computers have been a real game changer for people like me who enjoy discovering new
5) What sorts of things do you buy online?
The items I
buy most often online are books,
sometimes e-books that I read on my
Kindle. I also browse the internet when I need a new gadget to help me develop my website, such as the microphone I
bought the other day.
Some people like PCs, others prefer a laptop.
Describe an item of technology you have that is very important.
You should say:
- what the technology is
- when you got it
- how often you use it
and say how different your daily life would be without it.
several electronic devices that I
use on a daily basis but the one I’m going to describe is my mobile phone.
I’m never the
quickest to adopt new technology and
all my friends had them long before I did. I eventually bought one back in 1999
after my dad had a stroke and was rushed into hospital. I needed to be in
constant contact with my family during this difficult time so I had to join
them in owning a mobile.
I now have an
iPhone and keep it with me at all times in case of emergencies but mainly use
it for texting and keeping in touch with my rowing club friends via WhatsApp.
The phone is so high tech that, not
being a techie, I only understand
and use a few of the functions. It’s incredible what it can do though, and
every now and then I discover something new about it. In fact, this happened
just the other day when I was out walking my dog.
I often get
ideas for my work when I’m out and about and usually carry a notebook and pen
to jot them down before I forget them. If I forget to take the notebook, I type
short notes on my iPhone to remind me of my thoughts. Then last week, I notice a
microphone icon and thought I’d try recording my ideas to play back later.
When I tried
this, I found that my mobile actually types out the words as I say them. I was
amazed and over the moon as I’d discovered a quicker and easier way to make
notes. It saves me lots of time and means that I never lose a good idea. I can
record as I’m walking along rather than having to stop and write things down,
so my dog’s happier too as he used to get fed up with me stopping all the time.
It’s quite incredible
the advances in technology since I bought
that first mobile all those years ago. Back then you could just make calls and send
texts. Having started as a reluctant user, I now consider my mobile an indispensable part of my life and wouldn’t
be without it. My life wouldn’t actually be very different if I didn’t have it as
I’m not addicted to the internet or social media like many people. However,
I do feel a sense of security having one and it also gives me peace of mind knowing
that any of my family can contact me if they have a problem.
Most people would be lost without their mobile phone.
you think most electronic devices are user-friendly?
most part, I’d say that they are once you’ve learnt how to use them. The problem
for me is always getting started. I’m a bit of a technophobe and don’t find it easy to understand new technology. You rarely get a written
instruction manual with a new device
and the help is generally online. You
often have to really search for what you need.
advances so quickly that as soon as
you’ve mastered the device, the software
is upgraded and you have to learn
new stuff to be able to use it.
envy young people today as they are natural techies. They seem to know how to operate electronic devices without even being shown. I certainly think that
many people of the older generation would say that modern electronic gadgets
are not user-friendly.
you think parents should control what internet sites their teenagers use?
Internet safety is a huge concern for parents these days. Computers and the internet have so many benefits for young people, for their
education and for staying connected with friends and family, but there are some
unpleasant people online who target
children on social media and trick
them into building harmful relationships.
are particularly vulnerable because they have a lot of freedom as to who they
connect with and they can be too trusting. Most own mobile devices so can go online when they’re away from home and their
parents can’t see what websites or
social media platforms they’re browsing.
Many youngsters are pressured into posting pictures of themselves naked or
lured into sexual relationships, which is just awful.
think that parents should monitor what internet sites their teenagers use,
although this is difficult because of this freedom their kids have and how easy
it is to get online. On laptops and PCs there are settings for limiting
access to parts of the internet, which parents should activate. I’m not sure if
you can do this on mobile devices.
the best things parents can do is to discuss internet safety with their
children and make them aware of the dangers they could face online.
you suggest reasons why some people are deciding to reduce their use of
Many people’s whole lives are
controlled by technology, especially
the internet. With so many different
devices available and the number of wifi hotspots increasing all the time, people
can surf the internet anytime they
want to. It’s easy to waste hours browsing
or posting trivia on social media.
This is often for no real purpose but simply because people are addicted to it.
Everywhere you go you see people tapping away on their mobile phones rather
than engaging with the people around them.
I think some
people realise that they’re slaves to technology and have made a conscious
decision to cut down on their use of the internet and their mobiles in
particular. It’s hard to relax with emails, social media posts and texts pinging
at you all the time. There’s more understanding these days of mindfulness and the
need to regularly step back from our frantic, stressful lives. Reducing the use
of our electronic devices can
certainly help a great deal with this and I believe this is many people’s motivation
for doing so.
You can find information on almost any subject by searching the internet.
Click this link to get a PDF download of these practise questions & sample answers.
Download PDF Now
- Do not try
and learn this list of technology vocabulary.
the vocabulary you find useful for answering practise questions about technology.
these in your vocabulary notebook and practise using them regularly.
I recommend that you create
your own answers to the Speaking questions on this page. You will find many
other IELTS-style practise questions by searching online.
For help on how to learn
vocabulary, what to learn and how to record it, visit these pages:
How to Learn Vocabulary for
Top 6 Types of IELTS
Vocabulary & Topic Word Lists
Vocabulary – Common Words & Phrases
Technology Vocabulary Set 1: Technology
technology – the
application of scientific discoveries for practical purposes, especially in
is advancing at such a rate that it’s difficult to imagine what our lives will
be like in 20 years time.
technological – relating to or involving technology.
technological advances in computing
and telecommunications mean that some of our staff work mainly from home and
don’t need to travel into the office every day.
technophile – a person who is enthusiastic about
brother is a true technophile and
can tell you about every new gadget on the market.
techie – a person who
knows a lot about technology, especially computers or other electronic
- I’m not surprised Sue Lin is working for a top
computer agency as she was always a real techie
tech-savvy – well
informed about or proficient in the use of modern technology, especially
- My kids are far more tech-savvy than I am, having grown up with computer technology.
technophobe – a person who fears or dislikes new technology, especially computers,
and does not want to use it.
- I keep
telling him how easy it is to send an email but he’s an ardent technophobe and refuses to even have a
Technology Vocabulary Pronunciation
Vocabulary Set 2: Progress
progress – to develop towards an improved or more advanced
The pace of technological progress
over the past 20 years has been astonishing.
innovation – the development and use of a new idea or method.
Further innovation is needed
in the farming industry if we are to be able to feed ourselves in the future.
innovative – the
adjective form of innovation.
was a much-valued member of the team as he often came up with innovative solutions to a problem.
an advance – a development or improvement.
have made major advances in recent
years in their search for a cure for Alzheimer’s.
to change into a stronger or more advanced form.
can confidently predict that computers will continue to develop at a rapid rate.
development – the process of developing something.
- Future developments
in space travel may mean that our ancestors live on other planets.
revolutionary – involving or causing a complete or dramatic
change and improvement.
- The development of personal computers has proved revolutionary for business owners.
revolutionise – to radically change something so it is much better.
- There’s no doubt that computers have revolutionised our lives.
breakthrough – important development or discovery.
Some people argue that the invention of the internal combustion engine
was the most important technological breakthrough
of all time.
of the present time; using recent ideas and methods.
- Modern science is
transforming the way we understand our world.
to change something in order to make it better.
Being disabled, I need a car that can be modified
to meet my specific needs.
Our new mobile phone is still in development but it is at the cutting-edge of technology.
state-of-the-art – the latest stage of development of a product,
using the most recent ideas and method and including the latest features.
- The new
aircraft design was state-of-the-art
and was expected to revolutionise passenger’s experience of flying.
advanced – modern and well developed.
- In the
developing world, simple technologies such the mechanical water pump are often
more practical solutions to everyday problems than the advanced computer technologies of the western world.
high tech – using or involving advanced technology.
- Some high tech solutions are less reliable
than the basic technology they replace.
something you could not manage without; absolutely necessary.
many people, their mobile phone is indispensable.
outdated – out of date; old-fashioned.
didn’t want to buy a new iPhone but his mobile looked so outdated compared to those of his friends that he felt pressured
into updating it.
not in use any more, having been replaced by something better.
had to close down his small printing business as his old printer had become obsolete and he couldn’t afford to
replace it with the latest state-of-the-art equipment.
Technology Vocabulary Pronunciation
Vocabulary Set 3: Effect
impact – the effect of something.
- Modern technology
has had a massive impact on the way
we communicate with each other.
to transform –
to markedly or dramatically change.
can be no denying that computers have
transformed the way we work and study.
game changer – a new idea or factor that
significantly changes an existing situation or way of doing something.
The professor’s new theory was a game
changer and if proved correct, brought the possibility of time travel one
to influence or cause a change in something.
Social media has radically affected
both how we communicate and who we communicate with.
influence – the power to have an effect on the character, development or
behaviour of someone or something.
- The influence of modern technology is
evident in almost every aspect of our daily lives from how we shop to how we spend
our leisure time.
Technology Vocabulary Pronunciation
Vocabulary Set 4: Computers
computer literate – to have sufficient knowledge and understanding
to be able to use a computer effectively.
application form specified that candidates must be computer literate to be considered for the job.
computer buff – someone who
knows a lot about computers and might be considered an expert.
Although I have a good understanding of the software I use at work, I certainly
wouldn’t call myself a computer buff.
- With a laptop, I can work almost anywhere as
long as I have an internet connection.
PC – personal computer; not usually portable like a
- I have
a PC in my office at work but prefer
a laptop for home so that I can use it in different locations around the house.
to boot up – to start a computer.
course I’ll show you how to send an email. You boot up the computer and I’ll be with you in a minute.
word processing – the process of producing, editing and
storing text on a computer.
- I have to write a lot of reports for my job
so word processing is what I use my
computer for more than anything else.
– to obtain a more powerful or
feature-rich computer, electronic device or piece of software.
- My mobile phone company is always trying to
persuade me to upgrade to the latest
software – the programmes and other operating information used by
a computer and related devices.
- Bella was able to create some amazing photographic
effects after installing the new software on her computer.
hardware – the physical parts of a computer and related devices.
- Computer hardware
includes the monitor, keyboard,
disk drive, mouse and wiring.
to crash – to suddenly stop working.
- Guti was in the middle of his online English
lesson when his computer crashed.
Technology Vocabulary Pronunciation
Vocabulary Set 5: The internet
internet – the extensive global system of connected
computers that allows people to share information and communicate with each
- I love the fact that I can get free English lessons on the internet.
to surf the internet –
to look at a series of websites
one after the other.
- I spent hours surfing the internet searching for the best holiday deals.
online – connected
to the internet.
Most of my friends do their grocery shopping online but I prefer to go to the supermarket and choose my food
website – a set of pages of information on the internet about a
particular subject, published by a single person or organization.
- I found an excellent website about how to train puppies the
to browse –
to look for and look at information on the internet.
often browse the internet for gift
ideas when a friend has a birthday coming up.
using radio or microwaves rather than wires to connect to the internet.
Having a wifi connection gives me so
much more freedom in the way I work as I’m no longer tied to my desk.
area with an accessible wireless network, often a public place.
- Whenever the ship
was in port, the crew flocked to the nearest wifi hotspot to connect with their families back home.
internet connection – the link between a computer and the internet.
is such a poor internet connection
where I live that I have to go to the library when I want to get online.
social media – websites
and computer programmes such as Facebook or Twitter that allow people to connect
and share content online.
have to admit that I connect with my friends on social media more often than I see them face-to-face.
viral – an image, video or piece of information
that becomes very popular very quickly on the internet.
The video of her cat riding on a giant tortoise went viral and achieve nearly a million views.
e-commerce – commercial transactions conducted electronically on
- Their business really took off when they built an e-commerce website and started selling
their products online.
e-book – a book published in digital form and read on a computer or other
dedicated electronic device.
best thing about e-books is that you
can download them instantly and start reading them immediately.
Technology Vocabulary Pronunciation
Vocabulary Set 6: Internet security
privacy – the right to keep personal
internet users are very concerned about the privacy of their personal information.
suppressing or stopping certain information being available to the public.
The Chinese have their own social media channels as government censorship means they can’t access
Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
– computer systems implemented or actions taken by computer users to protect
their data while using the internet.
Internet security is a real concern for people making credit card purchases
– computer systems implemented or actions taken by computer users to stay safe
while using the internet.
I want to learn more about internet safety as I’ve heard many stories
about children being befriended by paedophiles online and I want to protect my
hacker – a person who illegally gains access to a computer
system to steal information or tamper with the system.
Computer hackers cause huge disruption within the organisations they
target and could even pose a threat to our country’s security.
computer virus – a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data.
- Timor's computer was infected with a computer virus and many of his files were damaged.
cyber – involving, using, or relating to computers, especially the
- Many business owners live in fear of a cyber attack, especially infection of their computer network with a virus.
cybersecurity – the measures taken to protect against the criminal or unauthorised
access of electronic data.
has become a major industry as computer hackers have become more and more
skilled at breaking into supposedly secures computer systems.
cybercrime – criminal activities carried out by means
of computers or the internet.
- Identity theft, where someone steals and misuses your
personal information, is one of the most common types of cybercrime.
Technology Vocabulary Pronunciation
Vocabulary Set 7: Other useful words
device – a thing made or adapted for a particular purpose,
especially a piece of mechanical or electronic equipment. It is usually quite
FitBit is a device that helps people
improve their health by tracking their activity,
exercise, food, weight and sleep.
labour-saving device – a device or piece of equipment that reduces the
effort needed to do something.
- The labour-saving device I’m most grateful
for is my washing machine.
gadget – a small mechanical or
electronic device or tool, often ingenious, novel or fun as well as being
- Paulo is always buying the latest gadget to go with his digital camera.
user-friendly – simple to understand and easy to use.
didn’t find my new mobile phone user-friendly at first but my grandson was able
to show me how to use it and now I understand what to do.
– a very small piece of silicon with electronic circuits
on it that can hold large quantities of information or perform mathematical and
- One of the greatest technological breakthroughs of modern times was
the development of the microchip.
the digital age – the time since personal computers were
introduced and became central to people’s lives.
- I envy people born in the digital age as they’ve grown up with
computers and seem to find it easier to adapt to new technologies than us older
AI (artificial intelligence) –
the development of computers or computer-controlled robots to perform tasks
that normally require human intelligence.
Although AI is still largely
confined to science fiction, some people believe there will come a time when
computers will rule the world.
electronic – a device that
operates by electric current passing through it.
- Electronic games
are extremely popular with both adults and children.
appliance – typically a piece of electrical equipment, such as a kettle or
toaster, that uses less advanced technology.
kitchen appliances make cooking and
baking much easier than they would have been 100 years ago and save so much
Technology Vocabulary Pronunciation
Click this link to get a PDF download of this list of technology vocabulary.
Download PDF Now
Ways to Improve Your Technology Vocabulary
One of the best
ways to improve your vocabulary is through reading. Watching topic related YouTube
videos and listening to podcasts is also hugely beneficial.
Here are some
online resources I recommend.
BBC News – Technology
Tech News World
The Economist – Science & Technology
(3 free articles a week when you sign up)
I love TED Talks. They are short videos
with a powerful message and are generally very interesting. They’re ideal for
improving your vocabulary and give valuable listening skills practise.
Search YouTube TED Talks Technology to help you improve your technology vocabulary.
All Topic Vocabulary
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