computer age: the period in modern history characterized by rapid technology development and widespread computer use.
| Living in a computer age has many benefits.
computer buff: a user who is good at working with a computer.
| Mike is a computer buff. He got an A+ on his programming exam.
computer fatigue: a syndrome of tiredness resulting from long computer usage.
| About 60% of IT specialists are affected by computer fatigue.
cutting-edge: something innovational and leading.
| Cutting-edge technology.
desktop PC: a personal computer that remains on a desk.
| I have an old desktop PC that I use for surfing the net when I’m home.
digital editing: a process of changing digital materials like audio or video files.
| Being good at digital editing is essential in our time.
download (podcasts): to save a copy of a file from the internet to your own device.
| Yesterday I downloaded a few films that I plan to watch during the weekends.
essential: something you can’t imagine your life without.
| Internet is an essential piece of technology for many people.
gadget: an advanced piece of technology, like smartphone.
| Nowadays almost everybody owns a gadget.
geek: someone who is obsessed with technology, especially computers.
| My friend is a real geek. He owns a bunch of computers and other gadgets.
hold the line: wait a minute.
| She told me to hold the line, because she had to open the door.
large screen: a big-sized monitor.
| A few days ago I decided to renew my computer, so I bought a large screen for it.
light years ahead: very far away from.
| Modern computers are light years ahead of those which people used in 90s.
on the cutting edge: at the forefront of progress.Paul’s new laptop is on the cutting edge of technology.
operating system: the most important program that runs the computer.
| I chose to buy a laptop which is based on the Windows operating system.
out of steam: tired, exhausted.
| Due to today’s intense workday I am out of steam, so I won’t be able to work tomorrow.
rocket science: a very complicated subject for someone.
| Biology is a rocket science for me. I don’t understand anything in it.
send an attachment: send an email with an added file.
| My brother sent an attachment with his homework to the professor.
silver surfer: an old person, who uses the Internet.
| Uncle Bob is a silver surfer. He uses the Internet every day, although he’s almost 70.
social media: media used to interact with other people.
| Facebook is the biggest social media in the world.
time-consuming and inefficient: something that takes too much of your time and isn’t rational to do.
| I find watching football time-consuming and inefficient.
to access websites/email: to visit websites/email.
| John accessed his email today to see if he had received any letters.
to back up files: to make a copy of files in case of a computer problem.
| I had to back up files on my computer, because I was going to reinstall my operating system.
to be stuck behind a computer: to use computer for a long period of time.
| A lot of teenagers are stuck behind their computers all day.
to boot up: to start a computer.
| I booted up my computer as soon as I got home.
to browse websites: to search for websites.
| I spent a few hours browsing the websites today, until I found was I was looking for.
to crash: to suddenly stop working.
| My computer crashed when I was writing my essay.
to go online: to use the Internet.
| Millions of people go online every day.
to navigate a website: to find what you need on the website.
| Navigating a website is not very easy, especially if the website is poorly designed.
to pull the plug: to end an activity.
| After being stuck behind a computer all day, I decided to pull the plug.
to push someone’s buttons: to do specific thing to irritate somebody (usually intentionally).
| I became so angry because he pushed my buttons by adding pepper to my ice cream!
to surf the web: to look through websites, searching for something you need, or simply for entertainment.
| I was surfing the web yesterday for three hours, because I had nothing else to do.
to upgrade: to renew a software or a piece hardware.
| Thanks to the new program for students, I updated my computer for free.
well-oiled machine: something that works perfectly well.
| My computer, despite being 7 years old, is still a well-oiled machine.
widespread computer use: that is to say people use computers very often.
Wi-Fi hotspots: a public place where you can access the Internet.
| Our university has a Wi-Fi hotspot. It is very convenient.
wireless network: a network where users can access the Internet without using any cables.
| We have installed a wireless network at home.
word processing: writing, editing and producing words on a computer, using special programs.
| There are tons of word processing programs.
IELTS Speaking sample about Technology
Do you use any gadgets on a daily basis?
Yes, surely I do… Although I don’t consider myself a geek, I quite enjoy using all the new items like laptops and smartphones… All in all, we’re living in the computer age and it’s impossible to ignore cutting-edge technology.
How often do you use Internet?
I use Internet every day… It helps me with my studies and it entertains me when I’m down… Surfing the Internet is my hobby… I also frequently use World Wide Web for communication purposes… Though I don’t like social media like Facebook, I often use video conferencing for talking.
Do you own a computer? If so, how often do you use it and for what purposes?
Yes, I have a personal computer and a laptop… I use my laptop mainly for education… It is very light and fits in my bag easily, so I take it with me to school… Meanwhile, my PC has a large screen and convenient keyboard, so I use it for word processing and browsing websites. It is an old, but still well-oiled machine…
Now, have a look at the card and prepare a monologue.
Describe your favourite gadget. You should say:
– What is it
– When did you get it
– How often do you use it
and say why is it so important to you
I don’t own many gadgets… I have a PC, laptop and a smartphone and I can’t imagine my life without either of those… However, my laptop is the most important piece of technology for me… I got it as a birthday present from my parents a few years ago and I use it nearly every day now. Although at first using it was like rocket science for me, after a few weeks I was able to do everything I needed… From browsing websites to reinstalling the operating system… What’s more, without my laptop I wouldn’t be able to do my homework for the university… Also, I use it for surfing the Internet and finding whatever I want, whether it is a piece of code for my project or a useful tip on how to cook a steak… Generally, my laptop became an essential device for me…
Do you think we need to know much about computers?
Well… Not too much, but there is definitely a couple of essential things everyone should know. First of all, you need to know how to enter a web address… how to navigate websites… It is very important nowadays to be able to surf the net for the information you need…
What is the most impactful piece of technology in our lives?
In my point of view, the Internet is the most important technological advance of our time… It gives us so many new opportunities to discover anything we want about our world! You just need to boot up your computer an go online… And with wireless networks at home and public Wi-Fi hotspots we can do it easily and almost everywhere.
How computers affect our everyday life?
In a positive way, certainly. They help with so many things, starting from writing and printing your own essay and ending with developing advanced programs and digital editing… Without computers studying would have been time-consuming and inefficient…
How effective is the use of computers in the classroom?
Hmm… in my opinion, using computers in the classroom is very effective. I think it is important for students to become competent in the use of computers to prepare them for the workplace … you know, computers are used everywhere in the workplace now. But… I also think that having computers so easily available gives teachers the opportunity to introduce students to the variety of information on the Internet.
IELTS Technology vocabulary
Part 1-style questions
Examiner: Do you enjoy using technology?
Stephan: Well … I wouldn’t call myself a techie or a computer buff but I enjoy using computers … I’d like to find out more about how they work … when my computer crashes I never know what to do.
Examiner: Do you use the Internet for your studies?
Sophie: Yes … I’d be lost without it … I do lots of video conferencing to practise speaking and social media like Facebook is a good way to meet up with other students … and I download podcasts that teach English vocabulary and grammar.
Examiner: Do you have your own computer?
Tania: Yes … I have a Macbook Pro … I use it all the time … for word processing … browsing websites and catching up with TV programmes I’ve missed.
Part 2 -style task
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.
Mattie: I don’t have many gadgets … just a computer … a laptop and my mobile phone … but I’ll talk about my computer as it’s so useful … it’s funny really … 2 years ago I was still learning to use computers … how to use email … send attachments how to access websites … then I decided to do a digital editing course for video and photography … and so I bought the laptop when I started the course … my husband had a desktop PC but it was very slow so I decided to upgrade to a powerful one because we do a lot of video editing on the course … it’s a high-spec laptop … very fast … the latest operating system … it boots up really quickly and it’s fun to use so it makes working a pleasure … I’ve become a competent computer user now … if I didn’t have it I daresay I’d have to spend more time at college using their computers … but on the positive side I suppose I’d read a lot more if I didn’t have it … I probably waste a lot of time surfing the web … but hopefully I won’t have to be without it …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: What do you think are the important things people need to learn when they start using computers?
Alejandro: Well … there are things like how to use the Internet … how to enter a web address … how to navigate websites … that kind of thing but it’s also important to know how to back up your files in case your computer crashes … and all about Internet security.
Examiner: What kind of technological developments have made the biggest impact on our lives?
Faydene: In my lifetime it has to be the Internet of course but I also think wifi has made a huge difference to how we interact with the Internet … wireless networks at home and public wifi hotspots mean we can go online easily … access our mail … log into our work intranet and basically be connected wherever we are.
Examiner: Do computers make it much easier to study?
Jane: Definitely yes … researching information is much easier with the Internet. you can bookmark web pages for future reference and writing essays is much easier … being able to cut and paste sections of text means you can experiment with organisation … so yes … compared to years ago when you had a pile of books on your desk and a pen and paper … it’s now much easier.
to access websites/email: to locate
to back up files: to make a copy of files in case of a computer problem
to boot up: to start a computer
to bookmark a webpage: to mark a webpage for future reference
to browse websites: to look at websites
a computer buff: an expert computer user
to crash: to suddenly stop working
to cut and paste: to move text or images from one place in a document to another place
a desktop PC: a computer that isn’t portable and remains in situ on a desk
digital editing: to edit digital materials like audio or video files
download (podcasts): to save a copy of a file from the internet to your own device
to enter a web address: to type the address of a website into the address bar of your browser
a gadget: a technological tool like a mobile phone or camera
to go online: to start using the Internet
high-spec (laptop): powerful computer with top quality components
Internet security: Internet safety
intranet: a network of connected computers within an organisation that is not accessible by unauthorised visitors
to navigate a website: to find your way around a website
operating system: the software that tells the computer how to work
send an attachment: send an email with an accompanying file
social media: media used to interact with other people such as Facebook or Twitter
to surf the web: to look at a series of websites one after the other
a techie: somebody who has an interest in technology
to upgrade: to obtain a more powerful or feature-rich computer or piece of software
video conferencing: to see and hear people from different locations using the Internet
wireless hotspot: a public place where you can access the Internet
wireless network: a network where users can access the Internet without the use of fixed cables
word processing: producing written texts on a computer