Languages are an important part of everyday life and questions on the topic of languages are common in the IELTS examination. This page contains the most important words and phrases related to languages and language learning. There are also activities for you to practice using the words and phrases in context with real IELTS questions.

1. General Languages Vocabulary

  • A global language –A language that is understood almost everywhere you go. For example, English.
  • Accent – A distinctive type of pronunciation determined by a person’s country/region
  • A Latin/Romance language – Languages that evolved from Latin. For example, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese
  • A minority language – A language spoken by less than 50% of the people in a region/country
  • Articulate – Possessing the ability to speak coherently and fluently
  • Bilingual – The ability to speak two languages
  • Common language – Language that can be understood by two or more people.
  • Cultural identity – Part of a person’s self-perceived identity related to culture, nationality, language etc…
  • Daunting – Frightening
  • Dominant language – The language spoken the most, either by a person or in a place
  • Fluency – The ability to use a foreign language correctly and easily
  • Indigenous languages – Languages that are native to a specific region and spoken by indigenous people. For example, Mayan, Quechua etc…
  • Language acquisition – The process of perceiving, understanding, and learning a language
  • Linguist – A person who studies languages
  • Linguistics – The study of languages
  • Multilingual – A person who speaks more than two languages
  • Persistent – To keep trying at something
  • Rapport – The friendliness and harmony you establish with someone by interacting/talking to them
  • Second language – A language spoken in addition to your native language
  • To instruct – To teach someone a subject or ability such as a language
  • To learn – To acquire or gain knowledge
  • To reproduce language – To use language that has been previously learnt
  • To speak /To Talk – Say something to convey information, feelings, and opinions
  • Widely spoken – Spoken by a large number of people or in many places

IELTS writing correction

IELTS Vocabulary – Languages

Activity 1
Choose the correct word to complete the IELTS questions
What kind of qualities should a language teacher possess?

I think that the main quality a language teacher needs is the ability to build with their students. If they can do this well and the students get on well with the teacher, I believe they are more likely to the language because they feel more comfortable and less to use a , especially in front of other people

What kind of qualities should a language teacher possess?

I believe that English will continue to be the language around the world mainly because of the or whether they are lying that is related to it through films, music, and TV. Although some other languages may become more than they are currently, I believe none will become more popular to in schools than English, which is known and regarded as the due to its popularity. I think that Mandarin, and possibly several such as Spanish and Portuguese may increase in popularity, but as long as the US is the world’s major economy, I cannot foresee them becoming more dominant than English.

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What kind of qualities should a language teacher possess?

I think that the main quality a language teacher needs is the ability to build rapport with their students. If they can do this well and the students get on well with the teacher, I believe they are more likely to acquire  the language because they feel more comfortable and less daunted to use a second language, especially in front of other people.

What language is likely to become dominant in the future?

I believe that English will continue to be the dominant language around the world mainly because of the cultural identity that is related to it through films, music, and TV. Although some other languages may become more widely spoken than they are currently, I believe none will become more popular to learn  in schools than English, which is known and regarded as the global language due to its popularity. I think that Mandarin, and possibly several romance languages such as Spanish and Portuguese may increase in popularity, but as long as the US is the world’s major economy, I cannot foresee them becoming more dominant than English.

Using idioms phrasal verbs, and collocations correctly will make your answers on the IELTS exam sound more natural. Here are some essential words and phrases related to languages, which you can use to discuss them effectively. There is an activity for you to practice using the words with some real IELTS questions.

  • A competitive edge – An advantage based on success or competence
  • At a loss for words – Unable to speak because of shock or surprise
  • Colourful/Fruity language – Language that contains lots of swear words or profanities
  • Flowery language – When complicated words are used instead of simple ones
  • Grab one’s attention – Something that makes you interested
  • In plain English – In a simple, non-complicated way
  • Learn by heart – To memorise something
  • Look up – To search for a word in a dictionary
  • Make out – To understand/comprehend words or language
  • Native language/Mother tongue – The language a person grows up speaking
  • Open up – To become less shy and more communicative
  • Oral skills – The ability/proficiency at speaking
  • Pick up a language – To learn a language
  • Polish up on /Brush up on – To practice or improve  something previously learnt
  • Predominantly in/ spoken in – Mostly in / Spoken mostly in
  • Speak a language – Have the ability to express yourself in a particular language
  • Speak up – To increase the volume of speech / To express your opinion about something
  • Speaking the same language – Shared feelings and ideas. Not necessarily about language.
  • Talking in circles – Not getting directly to the point
  • Technical language – Advanced vocabulary that is usually subject-specific. For example, medical or legal English
  • Watch your language – Be careful about the words you choose. Often said when someone is saying profanity or swear words
  • Words fail me – So shocked or surprised that you don’t know what to say

IELTS Vocabulary – Languages

Language Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, and Collocations Activity
Choose the correct word to complete the IELTS questions.
Why is it important to learn a foreign language?

I think it is extremely important to learn a  in addition to your because of the it gives you over other people when you are competing for jobs. Also, if you want to work in a particular field such as medicine or science it is important to speak a language such as English because most literature on subject is  English and there is a lot of that you wouldn’t understand if you didn’t speak English.

Talk about when you spoke in English in public for the first time

The first time I properly spoke English in public was at secondary school when I gave a presentation. The speech, which I had was written in my notebook, and I spent the weekend my pronunciation so that it would be perfect. When it came to the speech, the teacher was giving me instructions, but I couldn’t properly what she was saying because of her British and the complicated and she used. When I finally started speaking and she screamed at me to because she said she couldn’t hear me. At that moment and I didn’t know what to say so I just stood there looking scared and nervous until she let me sit down.

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Talk about when you spoke in English in public for the first time

I think it is extremely important to learn a second language in addition to your mother tongue because of the competitive advantage it gives you over other people when you are competing for jobs. Also, if you want to work in a particular field such as medicine or science it is important to speak a language such as English because most literature on subject is predominately in English and there is a lot of technical language that you wouldn’t understand if you didn’t speak English.

Why is it important to learn a foreign language?

The first time I properly spoke English in public was at secondary school when I gave a presentation. The speech, which I had learnt by heart, was written in my notebook, and I spent the weekend brushing up on my pronunciation so that it would be perfect. When it came to the speech, the teacher was giving me instructions, but I couldn’t properly  make out what she was saying because of her British accent and the complicated and flowery she used. When I finally started speaking and she screamed at me to speak up because she said she couldn’t hear me. At that moment, words failed me and I didn’t know what to say so I just stood there looking scared and nervous until she let me sit down.

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