• Mai Duc Nguyen

Learn New Vocabulary and Grammar Through Global Reading Contexts

When revising for the IELTS exam, it is important that you read non-IELTS materials, or global reading contexts, to improve your English vocabulary and grammar. How professional authors write their articles can be a free and useful source for your revision. Just make notes!

Here is an example:

India's e-payment services boom on bank note ban

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surprise move to withdraw high-denomination rupee notes has delivered a blow (1), at least temporarily, to most Indian industries. But (2) one conspicuous exception is providers of electronic payment services. Modi's ban on 500- and 1,000-rupee notes, which account for nearly (3) 90% of the money in circulation in India in value terms, has triggered a massive shift to electronic payments for a wide range of (4) goods and services, from taxi fares to daily necessities.

For mobile internet company One97 Communications, which offers a popular smartphone-based electronic payment service called Paytm, Nov. 8, 2016, opened a new chapter in its history. In the evening that day (5), Modi abruptly announced that the 1,000- and 500-rupee notes, worth $14.82 and $7.41, the two most valuable of the commonly used seven bills in circulation, would become worthless at midnight on Nov. 9.

The action was aimed primarily at (6) eliminating illicit funds from the country's economy and politics. The ban has had one major side effect: a surge in the use of Paytm. The number of daily payments made via the service surpassed (7) 5 million for the first time by Nov. 14, according to (8) a local media report posted on the company's website. As downloards of the Paytm app soared, the daily transactions reached 7 million in the week after (9) the imposition of the ban.

A wide range of people, from commuters buying a cup of coffee at train and bus stations to farmers purchasing seeds, are flocking to (10) the service, said Sudhanshu Gupta, Paytm's vice president. E-commerce retailers have been Paytm's main customer group. Now, however (11), the consumer base is expanding rapidly, with a growing number of street vendors and market fishmongers hoisting the Paytm sign. On the day after the ban on high-value bills was announced, I used the Paytm service for the first time on my way to an interview with Modi. As (12) my rupee notes were unusable, I transferred 2,000 rupees in haste from my bank account to the Paytm app to pay the taxi fare.

During (13) the interview, Modi did not talk much about the matter, although (14) he did say there was no need to worry. In his radio address on Nov. 27, however, Modi pledged to promote electronic payments and online banking to build a cashless society. He then said he would develop a plan for the initiative. Credit cards and other noncash payment instruments are not widely used in India, where (15) only 3-4% of retailers accept them. The growing popularity of using payment apps via cheap smartphones could eliminate the need for credit cards altogether. With many people owning cellphones rather than landlines, India has forged a different technology evolution than industrial nations. The country may continue this path with how people make daily purchases.

Source: Nikkei at http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Trends/India-s-e-payment-services-boom-on-bank-note-ban


1. Use present perfect tense: This should remind you that in the Writing and Speaking parts of the IELTS exam, you should varify the use of tenses.

2. But: When you want to show a piece of data or sentence that is contrasting or opposite to the previous sentence(s).

3. Using relative clause: A good way to expand your ideas and connect different ideas into a single sentence. Similar to note 15.

4. A wide range of: This term is equal to a number of other academic expressions such as a huge number of (countable nouns) and a large amount of (uncountable nouns).

5. Use time: Using periods of time is helpful in some Speaking questions, especially those with When.

6. The passive form: In addition to using the active form of sentences, you should use the passive form, too.

7. (To) surpass: A very academic word to use in describe charts and graphs. It means to be bigger than or exceed something.

8. According to: Use it when you want to describe who or what organisations you extract your statistics or case studies from.

9. After: Use before and after is helpful in Writing Task 1 (see here) and Writing Task 2 as well (to describe consequences of social problems or trends).

10. Flock to: This term means to come to something in a hurry or in great numbers.

11. However: A desirable word to contrast data in IELTS Writing and Speaking. Also suitable as a sign-post word.

12. As: Can be understood in this case as When and is an easy way to start a sentence.

13. During: Means as something is happening.

14. Although: This word shows that two pieces of fact or data which are contrasting or surprising will be discussed.

Try to do this as you read articles in English from today. Believe me, after a short period of time, your vocabulary and grammar will be massively boosted.

#vocabulary #grammar #globalreading