ESL Topics: Technology


Beginner:

1.) Do you have a computer? If so, is it a desktop, laptop, or notebook?

My desktop computer is at the office. For personal use, I have a MacBook laptop.

2.) What are the primary uses of your computer?

I use my laptop for editing pictures and keeping track of my online banking and finances.

3.) What programs or applications do you regularly use? Do you use them for work or for leisure?

For work I rely on Microsoft Office. In my spare time, I use Photoshop for editing pictures and my favorite search engine is Google. I set my homepage to Google.

4.) Are you loyal towards any brands like Apple or Samsung, when it comes to buying a computer or smart phone?

In the past I was loyal to Apple products. However, as of late I've been leaning more and more towards Samsung, especially their new Galaxy S7. It has top of the line features.

5.) What websites or mobile apps do you frequently use? Why?

I use Yahoo Finance to stay up to date with my stocks, and I use Facebook's app to keep in touch with friends and family.

6.) Do you have any social media accounts? Are you concerned about your privacy?

I have many accounts. I'm using Facebook less and less these days and starting to use Instagram more and more. Privacy isn't a real issue for me.

7.) Are you tech-savvy?

Absolutely. Everyone I know comes to me for troubleshooting, or asks me to recommend the most cutting-edge cameras, and smart phones.

8.) Are you a gamer? If so what games do you play?

I used to be a gamer. However, I think it's a time pit. Lately, I find myself playing smart phone games like Clash of Clans.

9.) How often do you upgrade your smart phone or computer?

I use the same computer until it dies on me, but with smart phones I usually get the latest flagship phone from Apple every other year.



Intermediate:

1.) Do you download movies, music, or software? What is your opinion of piracy?

Of course, I love downloading stuff for free through torrents. I have a neutral stance about piracy. You have to be careful about websites that offer illegal content as you are likely to get a virus or download malware.

2.) Do you have an entertainment room? What is your setup like?

I don't have an entertainment room. A surround sound system with a big screen television would be nice, though.

3.) Do you keep your software up-to-date? What version operating system do you use?

I'm using Windows 10, the latest software version. I don't like using outdated or obsolete software.

4.) Is there any piece of tech that you are eagerly awaiting? What do you think about virtual reality and self-driving cars? Which company is in the forefront of these new technologies?

I'm excited about the Occulus Rift VR system. I don't think self-driving cars will catch on.



Advanced:

If these topic questions are too easy, try this:

Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS Advanced Band 6.5+ with Answers and Audio CD

1.) What are the key factors when deciding to purchase a new smartphone?

The most important factors when deciding to buy a new phone are the cost, the quality of the camera, and the overall build quality.

2.) Which is better suited to your lifestyle, a laptop that is light and compact, or a heavier laptop that has the top specs? Explain your reasoning.

Since I do a lot of video and photo editing I would go for the computer with the top specs. It would help me save time and speed up the editing process.

3.) Which tech companies in your country have a reputation for high quality and innovation. Explain your reasoning.

Samsung is renowned for being an innovative company. They revolutionized the smartphone market with the introduction of the Galaxy Note. Their build quality is also superior to that of their competition.

4.) Are you skilled or certified with any software? Are you familiar with any Adobe or Microsoft products? How do you incorporate them into your daily/work life?

I am not certified with any software. However, I have a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel and Word. They are essential towards finding any type of job across all industries.


Tips:


1.) The expression "surfing the web" or "web surfing" is not commonly used anymore. Most people just say "go online". For example, "I like to go online."

2.) We say: "I like to shop online". We don't say: "I like to shop on online shopping mall". Therefore, if someone asks you: "Where did you get your shoes?", you can reply: "I bought them online."

3.) When we talk about social media, we use the expression: "add me" . "Do you have instagram?" "Add me at Danszp" or "Add me on SnapChat at Bigboy82".


Match:

Match the words from column 1 with the best-suited answer in column 2.


Column 1 Column 2
1.) notebook a.) to remain informed and to know what is happening
2.) "keep track" b.) to solve technical problems
3.) rely c.) when you don't favor one over the other
4.) leaning towards d.) the leader in an industry
5.) trouble shooting e.) to favor one thing over another
6.) tech-savvy f.) no longer used or produced
7.) flagship g.) like a laptop but lighter
8.) obsolete h.) someone who is good with technology
9.) forefront i.) depend on
10.) neutral stance j.) the best product in a company's series


Questions:

1.) Are you satisfied with your telecommunications provider?

2.) Do you consider yourself tech-savvy or computer illiterate?

3.) Do you use social media to keep in touch? Why / Why not?

4.) Is your country renowned for any tech companies? If so, which?

5.) Do you have a hobby or play a game that you feel is a time-pit?

6.) What do you think a money-pit is?

7.) Is build quality important when making a purchase?

8.) Are the computers at your company using updated software and hardware?

9.) Who do you rely on when you are having problems with tech?

10.) Who are you leaning towards winning this upcoming U.S election?


Vocabulary:

  • desktop: A traditional computer that is not portable and stays on a desk. "I used my laptop for school and my desktop for gaming."
  • notebook: Interchangeable with laptop. However, usually cheaper and lighter. "I need a notebook for school and going online."
  • "keeping track": To pay attention to something. "I always keep track of my bills and credit card statements."
  • rely: Someone you depend on. "I rely on my teacher for support since my father left me when I was young." "It's hard to find good people to rely on."
  • loyal: Showing continued support to a product, person, or group. "I've always been loyal to my hometown baseball team." "Loyalty is an important quality in a friend."
  • leaning towards: When you prefer one instead of the other. "I can't decide who I will vote for but I'm starting to lean more towards Donald Trump." "Both camera's are good but I'm leaning towards getting the Nikon instead of the canon."
  • up-to-date: Recent and having the latest information. "I stay up-to-date with the soccer scores through my smart phone."
  • tech-savvy: Someone who is good with technology. A person you can turn to when you have a problem related to tech. "It's good to have at least one friend who is tech-savvy to help you out in a pinch."
  • troubleshooting: Solving a difficult technical or electrical problem through trial and error. "Whenever my computer has a problem I troubleshoot the problem by googling it."
  • cutting-edge: The best and latest technology. "Samsung's S7 offers cutting edge technology at a reasonable price."
  • time-pit: When you put a lot of time and energy into something for little or no reward. "I regret spending so much of my free time playing StarCraft what a complete time-pit."
  • flagship: The best and main product in a company lineup. This word is mostly associated with technology and the automobile sector. "The galaxy S7 is Samsung's 2016 flagship phone, while Apples flagship phone of 2016, is the Iphone 6S plus."
  • piracy: Downloading software, music, and movies illegally. "I pirate a lot of television shows from the internet."
  • "neutral stance": When you do not chose one instead of the other. When you have no preference. "I have a neutral stance on President Obama, I don't like him nor do I hate him." "I'll hold onto my neutral stance until I get some more information on the issue."
  • outdated: No longer recent or using the latest technology or software. "I have been using an outdated laptop for a long time now. It still runs Windows XP"
  • obsolete: No longer in use or manufactured. Finding repair parts for obsolete products is also difficult. "I can't believe they want me to fax them my resume. I thought fax machines were obsolete."
  • forefront: The leader in s specific field or technology. "Google is at the forefront of artificial intelligence." "Teslas' Elon Musk is at the forefront of private space exploration."
  • build quality: The overall quality of a product. If the product uses high quality parts and materials it has good build quality. "China is famous for selling technology with a poor build quality." "I expect very good build quality if I am spending over $800 on a smart phone."
  • innovation: A new method, idea or product to solve a problem. "Steve Jobs was famous for his innovative ideas."
  • renowned: Famous for. "Gangnam district is renowned for its women with plastic surgery."
  • superior: Better than. "American made product's are known for their superior build quality and reliability."

Daily Expressions & Idioms:

1.) "top of the line": The best product available.

"Buying a top of the line smart phone can be rather expensive."

2.) selling point: The main reason why you would want to purchase it.

"The main selling point of the wireless earphones is you never have to deal with tangled cables again."