Woman Eating Bruschetta

IELTS speaking task 1: Vocabulary (food)

IELTS Vocabulary

In the IELTS Speaking test, having good vocabulary is really important.

Examiners assess candidates’ performance against four criteria:
Fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation.

Speaking results are given as band scores ranging from band 0 to band 9, with each criterion contributing to the overall score.

In this post, we will talk about why having good vocabulary is important and how it can affect your IELTS Speaking score.


Bob Charlton

Explanation of Lexical Resource (Vocabulary) Criteria:

The lexical resource criterion assesses your ability to use vocabulary effectively to convey precise meaning and communicate fluently. A band 6 score in lexical resource indicates that the candidate:

  • Utilises a wide vocabulary resource readily and flexibly to convey precise meaning.
  • Demonstrates the use of less common and idiomatic vocabulary skillfully, with occasional inaccuracies.
  • Effectively employs paraphrasing as required to express ideas.

Instructions for Practice:

Now, let’s practice answering some IELTS Speaking Task 1 questions. As you respond, try to incorporate some of the topic-specific vocabulary provided. Doing so can help enhance your lexical resource and potentially improve your score in this criterion. Remember to focus on conveying your ideas clearly and accurately while showcasing your vocabulary range.

Example Task 1 Questions:

Look at this IELTS task 1 speaking question:

Describe your favourite type of food and explain why you like it.


Bob Charlton

Now before you answer, match these phrases with the definitions and look at the sample answers


  1. Authentic Italian dishes
  2. Burst of flavours and textures
  3. Got a real soft spot for exploring
  4. Taste explosion in my mouth
  5. Trying out new foods from different cultures

a. An intense and delightful sensation of taste experienced while eating.
b. Have a strong liking or affection for exploring.
c. Food that is genuinely Italian, not imitated or artificial.
d. A wide variety of tastes and sensations experienced when eating.
e. Experimenting with different cuisines from various countries.


1: c, 2: d, 3: b, 4:a, 5:e

Read and listen to two sample answers to the question. Which one do you think would score higher on “Lexical resource?


Bob Charlton

Describe your favourite type of food and explain why you like it.

  • Uses a wide vocabulary: “I love Italian food, like pasta and pizza. It’s tasty!”
  • Uses less common words: “I enjoy trying different foods, especially the ones with lots of flavours.”
  • Paraphrases: “I really like exploring new foods from different countries.”

Describe your favourite type of food and explain why you like it.

  • Uses a wide vocabulary: “I absolutely adore eating authentic Italian dishes, like handmade pasta or a delicious Neapolitan pizza. It’s like a taste explosion in my mouth!”
  • Uses less common words: “I’ve got a real soft spot for exploring different cuisines, especially those that offer a burst of flavours and textures.”
  • Paraphrases: “Trying out new foods from different cultures is my idea of a great time.”
TASK: In our example we used Italian food. Now try and answer the question but with your favourite food.

If you can record your answer and listen back.

Similar Posts