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When we chat to other people, we talk about what has been happening in the world around us, so COVID-19 and the global impact it has had, is forefront in our mind.

In the IELTS Speaking test, you may be asked about something you like to do in your leisure time, this may be something you loved doing pre-COVID, or maybe it's something you learned to do when you were in quarantine.

You might have to discuss the topic of tourism and when doing so, you will probably mention that because borders were closed because of social distancing, this has had a negative impact on the tourism industry. You may even mention when discussing the environment that our world was probably a cleaner place during the pandemic, because we were not driving or travelling as much, so our pollution levels were decreasing.

If you have to discuss health and well being you will be able to comment on how important communication and education has been to schools and communities in understanding disease and preventing infection. You might also be asked to speculate about the future in Part 3 of the Speaking test, so again, you could mention the negative impacts that COVID-19 will have on the global economy in the years to come.

Being aware of the language we use every day and the topics that people speak about will mean that you will be constantly learning new language. Our changing world delivers new challenges, however, by learning the language related to it we will be able to communicate with others about it and understand what is happening around us.

COVID health

We are now also aware of health-related language that is used to describe the pandemic in our countries. It is important that we understand these terms to make sure we adhere to the guidelines that health officials give us to ensure we limit the spread of the virus. During the pandemic, if you entered shops or offices your temperature may have been tested, and you were asked if you had had any flu symptoms like a cough or a fever.

Learn the following words related to the corona-virus pandemic.

Word (part of speech)



outbreak (n)

A sudden occurrence

'The COVID-19 outbreak took us all by surprise.'

spread (v/n)

To cover a large area

'We have to deal with the spread of infection quickly.'

confirm (v)

A positive COVID test

'It's confirmed, I have COVID!'

symptom (n)

A sign that you are sick

'The symptoms were quite noticeable. She was coughing and had a fever.'

case (n)

An instance of COVID infection

'There were 60 more cases today.'

community transfer (n)

Infection from people in the community

'Most cases are from community transfer.'

asymptomatic (adj)

A person who is COVID positive who has no symptoms

'He was asymptomatic, so we didn't know he had it.'