Business vocabulary in IELTS listening and reading


Speaking with vocabulary from IELTS exam listening and reading texts on business and economics

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Lesson Plan Content:

Business vocabulary in IELTS listening and reading

First of all without any help, work together to fill as many gaps below with things related to business, work and economics that you both agree with/ all agree with.

Checking/ Clarifying phrases

We (really/ still) don’t understand ____________________________________________.


Commenting on the question phrases

_________________________________________ is a (very/ quite/ slightly) difficult topic.


Giving (strong and weak) opinions phrases

It seems (fairly/ very/ extremely) obvious to us that ______________________________.

We’re (absolutely/ almost) certain that ________________________________________.

From what we’ve heard (from friends/ on the news/….), ___________________________.


Recommendations language

We would(n’t necessarily/ personally/ probably/ strongly) recommend ________________.

The authorities (really/ probably) should (consider/ think about) _____________________.


Agreeing with statements phrases

Strongly agreeing with ideas/ statements phrases

We (completely/ totally/ wholeheartedly) agree that/ with __________________________.


Weakly agreeing with ideas/ statements phrases

We can (probably) accept __________________________________________________.

______________________________________________ seems to make (some) sense.

_________________ sounds like it could (possibly/ conceivably) __________________.


Disagreeing with ideas/ statements phrases

Strongly disagreeing with ideas/ statements phrases

We (really) don’t agree with ___________________________________________ (at all).


Weakly disagreeing with ideas/ statements phrases

We (partly/ partially) agree with _________________, but_________________________.

We can see why (some/ many/ most/ almost all) people think that ___________________, but ____________________________________________________________________.


Supporting your arguments phrases

Giving reasons/ Giving logical arguments phrases

The (chief/ main/ principal/ only) reason why we oppose ________ is ______________.

_____________ is (almost certainly/ probably/ mainly) because (of) _________________

________________ is (almost always/ usually/ often) caused by __________________.

____________________ would have (positive/ negative/ mixed) effects on ___________.


Personal experience phrases

In our (personal/ limited/ own/ own personal) experience, ________________________.

We have (always/ generally) found that ________________________________________.


Other people’s experiences/ Explaining the sources of your knowledge phrases

We saw a programme on __________________________________________ (just the other day/ a while ago/…) in which __________________________________________.

(Almost/ Virtually/ Absolutely) everyone we know _______________________________.


Giving examples phrases

(Probably/ Almost certainly) the best example of ________ is ___________________.


Talking about importance phrases

_________________ is (absolutely) vital/ essential/ crucial (for/ in order to ___________).

_________________ is (incredibly/ very/ fairly/ not so/ not very/ not at all) important (if you want to ________________________________________________________________).


Speculating phrases

___________________________________ is (absolutely/ almost) certain to happen.

_____________________________________ is (extremely/ very/ fairly) likely to occur.

___________________________________ could (possibly/ conceivably) take place.


Generalising (about people in your country, etc) phrases

The (vast) majority of _____________________________________________________.

A (very/ fairly) large number of ______________________________________________.

(Very/ Extremely) few _____________________________________________________.


Looking at both sides phrases

One (potential/ likely/ great/ possible) benefit of __________________ is ___________.


Comparing and contrasting phrases

The (biggest/ main/ only/ sole) difference between _____________ and ____________ is _______________________________________________________________________.

______________ is (far/ considerably/ slightly) more _____________ than ___________.


Talking about how many/ how much/ to what extent phrases

(Far/ A few) too many _____________________________________________________.


Talking about trends/ changes phrases

__________________ has (recently) improved (a large amount/ considerably/ slightly).


Ask about any sentences above which you can’t understand, couldn’t complete, etc.


Without looking above, choose topics from below and share your opinions on, experience of, things you have learnt about them, discussing as long as you like then choosing another.


Business vocabulary from IELTS Listening tests

From IELTS 17

  • (re)training (apprenticeships, work placements, internships, etc)
  • responsibilities/ role/ job description
  • time management/ organisational skills (prioritising, scheduling, deadlines, multi-tasking, etc)
  • communication skills/ social skills (networking, teleconferencing, etc)
  • staff turnover – staff retention/ staff loyalty
  • recruitment/ (attracting/ choosing) applicants/ applications (CV, references, interviews)
  • shifts/ shift work (night shifts, etc)
  • working conditions/ rewarding staff
  • customers/ consumers (customer loyalty, consumerism, etc)
  • market research (customer feedback, etc)
  • recognising staff achievement/ rewarding good staff

From IELTS 16

  • supply chain/ logistics (components, etc)
  • (refurbishment of) business premises (warehouse, office, head office, etc)
  • R&D/ research and development
  • meeting rooms/ boardroom
  • specialising
  • salaries/ (minimum) wages
  • health and safety (work-related accidents, etc)
  • promotion/ going up the career ladder
  • perks of the job/ job benefits (childcare, subsidised staff canteen, paid leave, etc)

From IELTS 15

  • reception/ receptionists

From older books

  • human resources (department/ managers)
  • bullying (in the workplace)
  • hierarchy/ hierarchical organisations
  • conflict at work
  • admin/ paperwork/ administrators/ clerks/ clerical jobs
  • stress at work/ high pressure work environments
  • absenteeism
  • chief executives/ CEOs
  • (missing/ reaching) targets
  • business strategy
  • collaborating with co-workers/ working with colleagues/ teamwork/ team building
  • (senior/ top) management (training course/ styles)/ leadership skills (delegating, etc)
  • launching new products/ new services
  • B2B/ (targeting) the business market
  • B2C/ (targeting) the consumer market
  • marketing (TV commercials, etc)
  • creativity/ innovation/ pioneers/ pioneering/ entrepreneurs/ entrepreneurism
  • finance (profits/ profitability, etc)
  • competition/ competitors
  • M&A/ mergers and takeovers
  • product lifecycles/ lifespans (pollution, waste, etc)
  • project teams
  • flexible working (flexitime, remote working/ telecommuting, etc)
  • efficiency/ productivity
  • manufacturing/ factories
  • the service sector
  • IP/ intellectual property (copyright, patents, etc)
  • self-employment
  • company culture/ corporate values/ ethical business
  • (online/ face-to-face/ board) meetings
  • group emails/ memos
  • job security/ permanent employment/ a job for life – temps/ temporary workers
  • (reducing/ cutting) costs/ overheads
  • economies of scale
  • flexibility
  • expertise
  • parent companies/ the head office – subsidiaries/ branches
  • retailers (department stores, etc)
  • real estate/ property


Business vocabulary from IELTS Reading tests

From IELTS 17

  • economic growth/ GDP
  • industrialisation
  • (corporate/ income) tax
  • (corporate/ personal) debt
  • wealth/ wealthy people
  • hard work/ industriousness
  • monopolies
  • labour migration

From IELTS 16

  • automation/ AI/ algorithms
  • disruption
  • retirement/ pensions
  • unemployment
  • redundancies/ downsizing

From IELTS 15

  • corruption (bribery, etc)
  • regulations/ red tape/ bureaucracy
  • shareholders/ shareholding/ stock trading
  • suing companies

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