ESL Technology Vocabulary List

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

As English as a Second Language (ESL) students progress in language studies, they encounter increasingly topic-specific vocabulary. This lesson provides a list of technology-related vocabulary and tips for use with ESL learners of different levels.

Technology Vocabulary for the ESL Student

Learning English vocabulary can be both rewarding and challenging. As English as a Second Language (ESL) students build up a mental dictionary of words, they often feel that real progress is being made. Being able to identify and talk about objects and people in a second language is hugely satisfying and beneficial.

This lesson focuses on technology vocabulary in a way that will help ESL students learn and remember these important terms. This vocabulary topic is important for a number of reasons. First of all, technology is nearly universal both inside and outside of school, so students should be able to identify components of it. Secondly, having a working knowledge of tech vocabulary will aid students in a number of situations from calling to set up an Internet account to shopping for electronics. Finally, the technology vocabulary a student learns is added to a growing list of words that student knows and this can instill confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

The following word lists contain common terms and phrases that students are likely to come across in everyday life.

Physical Technology Equipment Vocabulary

  • Desktop computer
    • a large computer that usually sits on top of or under a desk
  • Headphones (earphones)
    • a headset designed to be placed directly on the ears for private listening to audio
  • Keyboard
    • the layout of keys that allow a user to type to control the computer
  • Laptop computer
    • a computer that folds in half and is easy to carry
  • Modem
    • an electronic device that connects a computer to the Internet
  • Mouse
    • a small device or touchpad connected to a computer that allows the user to control the computer
  • Screen
    • a flat surface on which images and graphics are displayed
  • Smartphone (cell phone/mobile phone)
    • a phone that incorporates computer software
  • Tablet
    • a small computer that is operated with a touchscreen
  • Touchscreen
    • a screen that is operated by touch

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