Give your student the vocabulary they need to solve technology problems at work. At the end of the vocabulary set, you’ll find seven common technology problems. Ask your student how they would fix them.


Battery – the battery which charges your computer.

Desktop computer – the large computer which is not portable.

The desktop – the page where you access your files on your computer.

Charger – to charge a mobile or tablet.

Headphones – to listen to audio.

Headset – headphones and a microphone.

Laptop –a portable computer.

Mouse – for navigating.

Keyboard – for typing.

Plug – object to connect the device to an electricity supply.

To plug in/ to unplug – verbs to connect a device to the electricity supply.

Screen – to view the information.


To back up a file/ to make a backup – to make a copy of a file.

To delete – to erase something from a computer system.

To upload/ to download a file – to move files to and from the internet onto your computer.

To recover files – to recover a file which was lost on a computer system.

To start up a computer/ to shut down a computer – to turn a computer on and off.

Search engine – Google, Yahoo etc.

To search for information

Search bar – place where you type what you’re searching for.

To save files – to ‘archive’ a file.

To set up your email – to configure your email or other system.

‘Your first task when you start a new job is to set up your company email.’

To set up your out-of-office message – the message for when you are not able to answer emails.

Common problems

To crack your screen – to cause a breakage in glass. It is still intact but there are lines in the material where it has broken.

‘I dropped my phone down the stairs and now the screen is cracked.’

To charge a battery/ to recharge a battery.

To scratch your screen/cover – to leave a mark in your screen that looks like a line.

‘I dropped my mobile and scratched the cover.’

To spill liquid – to accidentally cause liquid to leave its container.

Irregular verb: Spill, spilt, spilt.

‘My friend spilt coffee on his keyboard and killed his computer.’

To sync – to synchronise.

‘I can’t sync my mobile to my computer.’

To troubleshoot a problem – to try to find the problem and fix it.

‘Microsoft asks you to troubleshoot your system errors by following their instructions.’

Speaking practice

Get your student to tell you how they would solve these common tech problems.

  • Your mobile has a cracked screen
  • Your laptop is not charging properly
  • You have accidentally downloaded malware onto your computer.
  • Popup ads keep appearing on the desktop
  • Computer keeps shutting down for no reason
  • You keep getting kicked off the WIFI.
  • You start up your computer to find the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) appears instead of your desktop.

Final thoughts

What technology vocabulary have we missed? Add them to the comments section below. Happy teaching!