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Sample Responses to Part 3 IELTS speaking
Terms in this set (55)
Most people believe that shopping for food is easier today than it was in the past. What do you think?
No, I'm not sure I entirely agree with that because nowadays supermarkets tend to be located quite far away from residential areas. So if you haven't got a car, I think it would be really difficult to do your food shopping. In the past, you could walk to a local shop in your village. These days most of them have closed down as a result of supermarkets taking their trade away...
Why do you think that fast food is so popular these days?
In my opinion, the main reason for the popularity of fast food is because it's so convenient. We're so readily tempted to a burger or a pizza because they're very easy to get hold of. You also see ads everywhere for fast food. And it always looks delicious so you think...'Mmm...actually a burger would be nice'
Can you tell me about the some of the differences between eating at home and eating in restaurants?
Well, I suppose there are many differences, but I think the main one is that you tend to expect something more special...and probably less healthy, when you eat in a restaurant. Whereas when you eat at home, you've cooked it yourself so, unless you're a chef, it'll probably be less interesting, but not as unhealthy
How do you think our eating habits will change in the future?
I really believe that in the future, we'll eat very different types of food. Firstly, I think people will definitely stop eating genetically modified food - it's got to be really bad for you. I doubt that people will just eat pills - eating is too pleasurable. If GM foods become less popular, I actually think that we might start to value healthy, tasty, natural food...
Why do you think some people prefer to buy products from their own countries rather than imported items?
(idea) I suppose it's because those people want to support the economy of the country they live in. (explain) If they buy something that was made in their own country, they know that they are contributing to the salaries of workers within the same country, (alternative) whereas if they buy imported items, a foreign company and its employees will benefit. (example) For example, if I buy some meat that originates from a local farm rather than a farm in another country, I'm helping one of my fellow citizens to carry on in business. (another idea) Also, I think that trust is an issue; people might feel that they can trust domestically produced items more than imported ones.
What types of transport are there in your town?
In Manchester I think you can find every form of transport apart from an underground system. You can drive around the city by car or get on a bus; there are even free buses that take people between the train stations. Manchester also has a tram system, and of course there are taxis too.
How has transport changed since your grandparents were young?
Well, they had cars, trains and planes back then, and London already had the underground system, but I suppose the difference is that technology has moved on. Having said that, the transport system is not necessarily better nowadays; people travel a lot more, and I'm sure we spend more time stuck in traffic.
What types of transport do you think we will use in the future?
I'm not sure, but hopefully we'll have cars that drive themselves and never crash. I think we'll probably fly more, and it might become normal to have your own plane. On the other hand, many cities are building more bicycle lanes, so maybe we will use cars less for getting around towns and cities.
Did people have more free time when your grandparents were young?
When my grandparents were young, I think they had less leisure time. They didn't have the gadgets we use nowadays, so they probably spent more time doing simple things. For example, nowadays we can cook meals in a microwave in less than 5 minutes, whereas in the past people had to cook everything themselves.
Do you think the hobbies people have will be different in the future?
No, I don't think hobbies will change much in the future. I'm sure people will still play games and sports. On the other hand, maybe the Internet is changing the way we spend our free time. In the future, more and more people might have online hobbies.
Do you think people had easier lives 50 years ago?
Yes, maybe life was simpler and less stressful 50 years ago. The mobile phone didn't exist, so I suppose it was easier to forget about work at the end of the day because people couldn't contact you so easily.
Do you think life will be more stressful in the future?
Yes, it probably will be more stressful. As the world gets smaller, employees will probably have to travel to different countries more often and stay in touch with colleagues and clients all over the world. There will also be more competition for jobs and the cost of living will keep going up.
Do you think it's important for people to have hobbies? Why?
Yes, I think people need to have hobbies because we all need to do things we enjoy in our spare time. In my case, I find that playing football once a week with some friends helps me to relax, keep fit and forget about work. I think it's the same for everyone.
Can hobbies have any negative effects?
Yes, if you spend too much time on your hobby, it can affect other parts of your life. I remember that one of my friends spent most of his time at university playing computer games instead of studying. In the end, he failed most of his exams.
How is life different in cities compared to rural areas?
Firstly, the cost of living in cities is much higher. Housing is much more expensive in cities compared to rural areas; everything costs more. I think life in cities is more difficult. There are more people, so there's more competition for jobs. Life is a lot slower in rural areas, everyone knows each other and there's a sense of community. I don't think rural areas experience the social problems that you find in cities, like crime and homelessness.
How do you think life in big cities could be made easier?
In my opinion cities need to be well-planned. Good public transport can definitely make life easier because there are so many people and it can be really stressful just to move around. Public areas like parks are also important because people need space to relax, and I think cities should be made into healthier places to live and work.
What do you think cities will be like in 50 years time?
I imagine cities will be less polluted because we'll have electric cars and better public transport. More people might work from home so maybe cities won't be so busy. But I think there will probably still be problems because more and more people are migrating to cities. So I'm not so optimistic about issues like crime, homelessness and unemployment.
How do you think the design of homes will change in the future?
I don't think there will be much change in terms of what houses look like from the outside. In this country, people still like traditional brick or stone houses. Having said that, the design of apartment blocks will probably continue to develop, with more and more experimental or futuristic buildings made of glass and metal. I imagine that it will be the insides of homes that change the most; houses will no doubt be full of technological devices to make our lives easier. Maybe we'll have things like voice-controlled doors, lights and appliances.
Are there any differences between the types of people who were seen as celebrities in the past and those who are celebrities nowadays?
Yes, I think there have been some big changes in the types of people who become famous. In the past, before the invention of television, I suppose there were very few national or international celebrities; maybe kings and queens, military, political and religious leaders were the only household names. With the advent of TV and radio, performers such as actors and musicians became more well-known. However, we now seem to have a completely new breed of celebrity as a result of 'reality' television programmes; these are people who don't really have any special skills as performers, but who are famous for just being themselves.
Do you think it's important to find a job that you love, or is it more important to earn a good salary?
Don't say:"It depends. Some people prefer to find a job they love, but other people want to earn a good salary." (This answer just repeats the question....)Do say: "Personally, I'd prefer to do a job that I really enjoy; as long as I earn enough to live comfortably, the salary is less important. However, I can see the benefits of doing a job that you don't like if it pays well. With a good salary, you can probably do more enjoyable things in your free time."
What do you think are the functions of rivers nowadays?
Rivers have various functions. In the UK, they were probably more important in the past because they were used for the transportation of goods, but I suppose this is still the case in many parts of the world. Rivers can be used as a source of renewable energy in the production of hydro-electric power, and they are also a source of fresh water for drinking and irrigation. Leisure activities are another function: fishing, canoeing, swimming, bathing... I'm sure there are many other things I haven't thought of.
What do you think of boats and ships as forms of transportation?
I'm not really a fan of boats and ships. If I'm going abroad, I like to get to my destination quickly, so I prefer travelling by plane. Of course, ships are vital for the transportation of oil and other heavy cargo.
Why do some people like to live near rivers, lakes or the sea?
Well, the view is probably a major factor; most people like to look out to sea, or across a river or lake. I'd much prefer to look out of my window onto a natural landscape than an apartment building in a city. Then there's the lifestyle: if you live by the sea, for example, you can lie on the beach, go for a swim, or do water sports like surfing or waterskiing. I definitely wouldn't mind living near a beach at some point in my life!
Why do you think some school teachers use competitions as class activities?
I think teachers use competitions to motivate the children in their classes. I'm sure that teachers try all kinds of activities to engage their pupils, and competitions might be one of the best ways to keep children interested or get them excited. Children love winning things.
Is it a good thing to give prizes to children who do well at school? Why?
It might be a good idea to encourage children to do well in games or sports, but I don't think we should give children prizes for their academic work. Children need to learn that the reason for studying is to learn useful things that will help them in their lives. I don't like the idea of children thinking that they will only work hard if there is a prize.
Would you say that schools for young children have become more or less competitive since you were that age? Why?
I'd say that they have become more competitive since I was young. Children now have to take exams from a much younger age, so I think there is more of a focus on doing well in tests. Parents also seem to be getting more competitive; I think that many parents push their children to do extra homework rather than letting them play with friends.
Do you think it's good to show your emotions when you're angry?
I think it depends on the situation and how you show your emotions. I find that if I'm angry with a friend or someone in my family, it's best to tell them what the problem is and try to express how I feel. However, I don't think it helps to argue with people when you're angry; it's better to control the anger and explain what's wrong.
In your opinion, do women show their emotions more than men?
The stereotypical view is that women are more emotional, and in my experience there is some truth in this; my mother, for example, tends to show her feelings much more readily than my father. However, I'm sure that there are exceptions to the stereotype.
Why do you think men tend to show their emotions less than women?
Maybe it's because of the way we are brought up. I think that boys are often taught from an early age not to cry. Also, boys are aware that their friends might see it as a sign of weakness if they show their feelings. Perhaps girls are brought up to be more sensitive to their friends' feelings.
What types of party do people have, and why are parties important?
People have parties to celebrate special occasions like birthdays, weddings, or the beginning of a new year. I think it's important to celebrate these things because they are landmarks in our lives. Parties are a good way to bring people together, and they're an opportunity to let off some steam.
Why do you think some people like parties but others hate them?
Most people like parties because they have a good time at them - eating a nice meal, chatting to friends, or having a dance. People who don't like them might find social situations difficult because they are shy, or maybe they don't enjoy having to make small talk with people they don't know.
Do you think parties will become more popular in the future?
No, I don't think anything will change. People have always had parties, and I'm sure they always will in the future. Humans need to socialise and enjoy themselves, and parties are one of the best ways to do that.
What effects do you think humans have on wild animals?
Humans have a huge impact on wild animals. We have destroyed a lot of natural habitats, and many animals are in danger of extinction. Tigers and rhinos, for example, are endangered species because of humans. The pollution and waste that we produce also have an effect on animals. In some places there are no fish in the rivers.
What measures could we take to protect wildlife?
I think we need stricter rules to protect natural areas and the wild animals that live there. For example, we should stop cutting down trees in the rain forest. National parks are a good idea because they attract tourists while protecting wildlife.
Is it the responsibility of schools to teach children about protecting wildlife?
Yes, schools can play a big part in educating children about this issue. Children should learn how to look after the natural environment. I think schools already teach children about endangered species and the destruction of rain forests, so hopefully future generations will do a better job of protecting wildlife.
Why do you think sport is important?
I think sport is important for different reasons. For me, doing a sport is about having fun. When I play football, for example, I forget about everything else and just enjoy myself. Also, doing a sport helps you to keep fit and healthy, and it's a good way to socialise and make friends.
Do you think famous sportspeople are good role models for children?
I think that sportspeople should be good role models. Children look up to their favourite football players, like David Beckham for example, so I think that these people have an enormous responsibility. They should try to be a good influence, and behave in the right way.
Do you agree that sports stars earn too much money?
In my opinion, it's fair that the best sportspeople earn a lot of money. Being a top sportsperson requires hours of practice, and there are millions of sports fans who are willing to pay to see them play. If we don't want sportspeople to earn so much money, we shouldn't go to watch them.
What do you think makes a good lesson?
I think a good lesson is one that is interesting and engaging. By 'engaging' I mean that the students should feel involved in the lesson; they should feel that they are learning something new that is relevant to them. In my opinion, a lot depends on how the teacher delivers the content of the lesson in a way that students like. My favourite teacher at university used to involve the students by making us teach some of the lessons ourselves.
Do you think it's better to have a teacher or to teach yourself?
Well, there's no substitute for a good teacher. I think you can teach yourself, but you can learn a lot more quickly with the guidance of a teacher. For example, when learning a language, you really need someone to correct your mistakes; you can get the grammar and vocabulary from books, but books can't tell you where you're going wrong.
Do you think the traditional classroom will disappear in the future?
I don't think it will disappear, but it might become less common. I think more people will study independently, using different technologies rather than sitting in a classroom. Maybe students will attend a lesson just once a week, and spend the rest of their time following online courses or watching video lessons.
Could governments do more to promote healthier lifestyle options?
Yes, in my opinion the government has a big responsibility to try to persuade people to live more healthily. I think they could provide more education in schools to teach children how to eat more healthily and show them the importance of taking physical exercise. In fact, it's the parents too that also need to be re-educated on these issues. Another thing, I think there should be more government warnings on TV showing people the dangers of obesity and poor diet, for example. Actually, they do have some that show the health risks of smoking and drinking, which are quite powerful, but not really about healthy eating. Finally, there could be more public facilities to help people keep fit, like swimming pools, gyms and sports centres. More to the point they need to be affordable so that everyone has the opportunity to use them
Do you agree that it's important for people of different ages to do leisure activities together?
Um ... well ... I think in some cases it could be important for people of different ages to do leisure activities together. For example, parents or even grandparents can enjoy doing fun things with their children or grandchildren, like, you know, things that don't require a lot of physical ability such as playing games, reading or cooking. I guess that sometimes it is very important for older people to do things with younger ones, especially more difficult skills that need to be taught like ... I don't know ... martial arts or playing a musical instrument.
Which environmental problems are people most concerned about in your country?
I think people in my country are most concerned about future shortages of fresh drinking water, which I suppose is both a result of poor water management and general global warming. I think everyone is feeling the effects of the latter problem which is causing us to experience more extreme temperatures, for example, much colder winters and much hotter summers. The long hot summers are particularly worrying in the south of the country where there is a real risk of drought due to the consistent lack of rainfall.
Is there a system of free state education in your country?
In my country there is a state education system offering free education for children from 3-18, although parents still have to pay for food, materials, school trips and other extra-curricular activities. This is only one part of the system, however, because there are also private schools and semi-private schools, which are partly funded by the state. So on the one hand it appears that we do have free state education, but in actual fact it isn't available to everyone because places are limited
Do you think that people become better communicators as they get older?
I think that people's ability to communicate does improve with age because generally speaking, people get more confident as they gain more experience of life and I believe that confidence is a major factor. On the other hand, some people may become more self-conscious as they got older, particularly when they reach certain stages in their life such as adolescence. For me personally, I feel that I'm a better communicator now than when I was younger.
What changes have there been in recent years in employment in your country?
I think there have been many changes in the types of jobs that people do nowadays compared to 20 or 30 years ago. First of all there are much fewer jobs related to heavy industry such as mining or ship-building or even manufacturing. Secondly, there has been a big increase in the number of jobs in the service and leisure industries like shops, gyms, and hotels. And finally, since the launch of the internet there has been a big surge in the number of jobs related to IT, such as web development and design.
What are some of the benefits of going away on holiday?
There are many benefits of going on holiday. Besides giving you a chance to unwind and relax, it also allows you to spend some quality time with your family, not only in a different environment but more importantly, away from the routine pressures of work and daily life. In addition to this, it also gives you the opportunity to broaden your horizons by visiting new places and experiencing a different way of life.
Do you think that the advance of technology has improved standards of education in schools?
I think the growth of the internet has had a major impact on current teaching methods and I'm sure general standards have improved as a result. I strongly believe that the motivation for both learning and teaching has increased because of the phenomenal amount of information now available to both students and teachers. On the other hand, due to a danger of information overload, some people may be put off using technology in the classroom, wishing for a return to more traditional methods.
What factors do you think affect the clothes we choose to wear?
It depends ... where we are or where we're going is a big factor ... if you are going out to a club or party you're going to dress for the occasion ... and then there are those who think it's important to look like they're on trend ... they'll want to wear the latest fashions ... there are lots of factors really ...
What kind of things determine what is in fashion and what we should be wearing?
I suppose the big fashion houses and fashion shows must have an effect but the clothes you see on the catwalk don't always reflect what normal people wear ... so I suppose it will be things like what singers are wearing in videos or models are wearing in magazines ... that kind of thing ...
Is it possible to look good without spending lots of money on clothes?
I'm sure it is ... yes ... I suppose it's about having an eye for what looks good ... knowing how to mix and match different items of clothing that go well together ... I think you can pick up great bargains in charity shops ... sometimes for youngsters even hand-me-downs can look good ...
Do you think most people watch TV for education or for entertainment?
I think people watch TV primarily for entertainment. There are far more entertainment programmes than educational ones, and in my experience most people treat television as a form of relaxation in the evening. If I think about the most popular TV programmes in the UK, such as talent shows like 'X Factor' or soap operas like 'Eastenders', the focus is definitely on entertainment rather than education.
Should TV play a role in educating children? How?
Yes, it definitely should play a role in my opinion. Good children's TV programmes should tell stories that contain some kind of lesson about how to behave or what is morally right and wrong. Many of the traditional fairy tales, such as 'Cinderella', have been made into TV programmes, and there is always a postive message in those stories.
How do you think TV viewing habits change as people get older?
TV viewing habits obviously change a lot as we get older. While toddlers might watch programmes about talking animals, teenagers prefer action and adventure or sports, and as adults we start taking an interest in news and politics. My own preferences, for example, have changed over the years - I would never have watched news programmes when I was younger. I think it would be very strange if our viewing habits didn't mature!
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