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2009

The IELTS Test

David Hathaway New Channel Wednesday 11th February, 2009

IELTS Questions

Question One
A Place with Lots of Water
Describe a place that you have been to that you like and that has a lot of water. You should say: Where this place is What people do at this place? Why (& when) you went there And explain why you like this place.

David Hathaway

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IELTS Questions

Possible follow-up questions: Do your friends also like that place? Part 3 Water Usage Do people in China use a lot of water? What do they use it for? Do you think people use more water today than they did before (e.g., 20 or 50 years
ago)? Does everybody in your country have clean water available?

Do you think it's important to try to save (conserve) water? (Why?) How can people save water? What are the main ways that water is used in the home? Can you think of examples of behaviour that results in a waste of water? Do you know how water can be (or, is) recycled?

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IELTS Questions

Water Resources What water resources do you think are most important? (Similar to above) What water resources do you think are most important for
protection and conservation?

What measures do you suggest the government could do to protect these resources? Is the way people use water today the same as the way people used to use water, say,
50 years ago?

Do you think the scarcity of water is a global problem or is a more local problem? What are the reasons for water shortages in (parts of) China?
(Hints: population expansion; wastage; greater use of water in industry e.g., steel production; global warming & droughts; pollution of rivers ...)

Why do you think is the ocean so important to people who live near it? Water Sports Why do people like places with a lot of water? Can you think of any examples of water sports? Why do you think children (like to play in) places with water? Do you think schools should teach children how to swim? What do you think are the advantages of learning to swim at an early age?

David Hathaway

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IELTS Questions

Question Two
A Person who is good at his/her Job
Describe a person you know (or knew) who is (or was) good at his or her job. You should say: Who the person is When you knew this person What job they do (or did) What impresses (or impressed) you about the way they do (or did) their job And explain why you say he or she was good at his or her job or And explain what influence this person has (or had) on others at work.

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IELTS Questions

Notes:

The wording might be, "Describe a person who is good at their job." ('They'

sometimes means, 'he or she'.) Someone reported that one question on the card is, "when you knew him or her". This implies that the wording for the question is "a person you know (or knew)". This means someone you personally know or knew. So you should not talk about Deng Xiaoping or someone else who you never met. Possible follow-up questions:

Do other people also think he/she is good at his/her job? Part 3 Preparation for Work What experience of working have you had? How did you find out about this work opportunity? How do people in China decide on what vocation to follow (= decide on what career
to have)?

Are university students in China given advice on how to find work after they
graduate?

If you were interviewing someone for a job, what would you pay attention to? (i.e.,
what qualities would you look for in the person?)

Would you pay most attention to the interviewee's school record? Do you think that what students learn in university is important (for later use in the
workplace)?

What do you think is the purpose of university education? What about high school - do you think what students learn in high school is useful?

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IELTS Questions

Do you think schools and universities have a responsibility to prepare students for
work?

How could the high school curriculum be improved? What are the differences between high school education and university education? Why do you think it is important to encourage innovation in the work place? In high school and university, there isn't enough time for students to gain a lot of
practical knowledge. So, when they start working, they still need to gain practical experience before they are very useful to the employer. Who do you think should pay for this practical education - the employer or the employee?

In high school in China, are there many opportunities for you to gain practical work
experience? What about in university?

Do you think working at a part-time job is a good idea for students (e.g., 15 years &
older but especially university students)?

Do you think practical work experience for students is a good idea? Why did you decide to go to university? When a person first starts work, do you think it's important that he or she receives
training (for that particular work unit or department)?

What work skills do you think will be most important in the future?

Work in China What jobs are most popular in China at the moment? What do you think is the most important work? What is the usual retirement age for people in China? If someone who is older than the retirement age wants to and is able to continue
working, should he or she be allowed to do that?
7 David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Do you think that it's a good thing to allow companies (or, employers) to set age limits
for the people they hire? That is, do you think it's a good idea to have a minimum age and a maximum age for employees? Who do you think should pay for the living costs of retired people - the government (via a pension), the company (or work unit), or the family? How do young people and older people relate to each other in the same workplace? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of hiring young people and of hiring older people for work? What jobs are more suited to older people and what jobs are more suited to younger people? (Similar to above) Do certain age groups tend to be concentrated in certain types of work in China? What kinds of (or, what are some examples of) jobs that young people prefer to do? (Why?) What are the advantages of having young people in the workplace and what are the advantages of having older people in the workplace? Do you think people should be promoted at work because they given many years of service to the company (or organization) or do you think that people should only be promoted based on their performance at work? Do you think different occupations should be paid different salaries? Do many people in China have to do extra, work-related training? Do the companies pay for this training? What sorts of skills can/do older employees learn? What are some different ways that companies could (or, do) use to reward employees for doing a good job?

Leadership at Work In your opinion, what are the qualities of an ideal boss? (Similar to above) In your opinion, how can a person be a good leader in the work
place?

David Hathaway

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IELTS Questions

Question Three
A Person who has Visited your Home
Describe a person who visited your home. You should say: Who the person was Why they visited your home How you spent the time with this visitor (or how you visitor) And explain how you felt about the visit. entertained this

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Part 3 Accommodation when Travelling When you travel to another city, do you prefer to stay in a hotel or with friends?
(Why?)

(Similar to above) When people travel away from home, which do you think is better,
to stay with friends or stay at a guesthouse (hotel)?

What services do you think a hotel/guesthouse should provide? (Similar to above, although 'services' and 'facilities' are not exactly the same) What are
the most important facilities that a hotel should have?

For visitors to your hometown, what different choices of accommodation are there? What are the most famous hotels in China like? What are typical hotels in China like? How have hotels in China changed in the past 20 years or so? Do you think hotels are important for a city? Do you think people who work in the hospitality industry (e.g., people who work in
hotels and guest houses) should be trained? Why?

What qualities (and skills) should people who work in hotels have? How should employees in the hospitality industry be trained? Do you think these qualities and skills are very important? In what ways do you think hotel staff (in China) could be improved? How do you think hotels could attract more guests? (Similar to above) What changes to hotel conditions and facilities do you think could
be made to attract more guests?

How do you think tourism in China will develop in the future?


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IELTS Questions

Hospitality Are people in your country very hospitable to guests? How do Chinese people welcome guests? If you travelled to visit someone (in another city), how would you like them to treat
you?

When you have guests, do you think it is better to eat at home or to go to a restaurant?
(Answer the basic question & compare the two.)

Can you tell me something about the culture of eating and drinking when a guest visits
a home in China?

(Similar to above) In China, what food and drink do people offer guests to their home? In China, when people visit other people in their homes, do they usually bring a gift?
(Or, is it necessary to bring a gift?)

Has this gift-giving custom changed much in the past few years? (Similar to above) Did people bring the same sorts of gifts in the past as they do today
when they visit someone?

Visiting another Country What different kinds of people visit your home? (or, hometown or home country) What personal qualities do you prefer visitors to your home to have? If you visit another country, do you think the culture will be the same as in China? In English, sometimes we say, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Do you agree
with that? (Why? /Why not?)

(Similar to above) Do you think people should change their behaviour, for example,
the way they relate to other people, what they eat, and other social customs when they visit a place that has a different culture?
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IELTS Questions

How do you think a foreigner can get used to life in China? What kinds of things do foreigners need to pay attention to when they travel in your
country?

If you were visiting another country, what do you think would be the biggest
problem(s) you would have?

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IELTS Questions

Question Four
A Place where People Listen to Music
Describe a place that you have been to or seen where people go to listen to music (such as a theatre or music hall). You should say: Where it is What kind of music is performed there? What types of people go there? Why people go there How you know this place And explain your impressions of this place.

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IELTS Questions

Part 3 Children and Music

Are you good at any kind of music? Do you think it is good for children to listen to music? What music do most modern children first come into contact with? What kinds of music remind you of your childhood? (Hints: Nursery rhymes; .... ) What kinds of music do you think are best for children to listen to? What are the advantages for children of listening to music? What effects do different kinds of music have on children? How do you feel about children learning to play a musical instrument? (Similar to above) Do you think learning music is important in the upbringing of children? Do you think it's important for schools to have music classes for (young) children? If you had a child, would you have your child learning music from an early age?

Music in Modern Society

In China, where does the average person in society go to listen to music? (Similar to above) What are some of the different places where modern people go to listen to music? Which one do you prefer? (Why?)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 14 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

How has modern science and technology influenced music today? (Similar to above) How do you think modern technology has influenced (traditional) music? Does traditional (Chinese) music still play an important role in China today? (Compare with before.) What's your opinion on the question of the piracy of music? (Similar to above) Do you think copy-write laws are important? Do you think people should pay when they download music from the internet (or, listen to music online)? (Why?) In what ways do you think modern science and technology, especially the internet, will affect (will change) the music industry?

The Effects of Music on People

What benefits do people get from listening to music? When you listen to a song, does it ever take you back to (= remind you of) the past (= your past experiences)? Do you think music can ever be a better way to communicate than just using words? What do you think are the various functions (or usages) of music

David Hathaway

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IELTS Questions

Question Five
A Time When You Helped Someone
Describe a time when you helped someone. You should say: Who you helped How you helped them Why you helped them (or, how you felt when you helped them) And explain how this person reacted to (= felt about) your help. or And explain how this person benefited from your help.

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IELTS Questions

Part 3 Giving Help

What people in China need help? How do you think mothers with children could be helped? Do you think people should help their neighbours? (Why? How?) Do you think people today are more willing or less willing to help others than before? (Why?) How can young people help the elderly?

Volunteer Work

Is there much volunteer work done in China? What do these volunteers do? What are the advantages of having these volunteer (= unpaid) workers? What sorts of problems do these volunteers face in doing this work? How do voluntary organizations (e.g., charities) receive their money? Do you think it's important to teach the importance of volunteer work to children? (Why? /Why not?) How can we teach children the value of voluntarily helping others?

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IELTS Questions

Question Six
An Old Person Who You Respect
Describe an old person you know who you respect. You should say Who this person is How you know this person What kind of person he or she is And explain why you respect this person.

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Notes

It seems that the words are, "an old person you know". This means someone you personally know, that is, someone you have spoken to.

Possible follow-up questions:

Do you think other people also respect him/her? Do you see him/her very often?

Part 3

Are there any advantages to being old? And what are the disadvantages of being old? When a person is old, what makes him or her happy? Why do elderly people sometimes (or, often) feel lonely? Do old people bring any benefits to society? Why do old people today live longer than in the past? Do you think changes in social welfare have contributed to this longer life span? Compare life for old people today with life for old people before. Are the attitudes of young people today towards old people the same as they used to be, years ago? What work is suitable for old people and what work is unsuitable for them?

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IELTS Questions

Question Seven
A Book You Recently Read
Describe a book you recently read. You should say What book it was When you read it Why you read it And explain what you liked and (possibly) disliked about the book.

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Possible follow-up questions:

Do you often read this book?

Part 3

What kinds of books did you read when you were a child? Do children prefer to read or to watch TV? What kinds of books do children like reading (today)? What are the benefits of reading for children? Who do you think should teach children how to read, parents or teachers? How can parents encourage their children to read more? Do you think people's reading habits have changed at all in the past few decades?

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Question Eight
A Long Journey
Describe a long journey you made. You should say Where you went Why you went there Who you went with And explain how you felt about this trip.

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Part 3 When travelling on a long journey, what do you think you need to pay attention to? Do you prefer to travel alone or with others? (e.g., a friend) What are the benefits of travelling with a friend?

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IELTS Questions

Question Nine
A Gift Version A Describe a special gift that you recently gave to a friend.
You should say: W hat the gift was W hen you gave this gift W ho you gave it to Why you chose this particular gift

(= expl

ersion Describe a special gift that you would give to a friend.


You should say: W hat the gift would be W ho you would give it to Why you would chose this particular gift
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IELTS Questions

W hen you would give this gift

Possible follow-up questions:

Would you like to receive this same gift from someone?

Part 3 Gifts

In China, when (on what occasions) do people give gifts to others? What sorts of things do they give? Do people today still give the same kinds of gifts that people used to give, many years ago? Why do some people not give gifts to others very often? (Similar to above) Why do some people not like giving gifts? Do you think something that you made yourself is suitable as a gift? (Similar to above) Which do you think is better, to give something you made yourself or to give something you bought? (Answer & compare) What do you think makes people happier, to receive a gift to give a gift? (Why?)

Other Ways to Give, for example, Helping Others

Do you think people today are more, or less willing to help others than they used to be? (Why?)

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How can young people help the elderly? (Or, older people) Do you know how charities work (= how they are operated)

Awards and Rewards

Do you know the difference between an 'award' and a 'reward'? What are some suitable ways to reward a child for doing something well, such as doing well at school? What are some examples of international awards, for example, Olympic medals? Do you think these awards are good (or, are useful)? (Similar to above) What do you think is the value of these awards?

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IELTS Questions

Question ten
Some Interesting News
Describe some interesting news (you recently heard) from a newspaper or the TV. You should say When you heard or read this news Where you heard or read this news What the contents of this news story were And explain how (or why) this story was interesting to you.

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Part 3 The News Media in China Do people in China like reading the newspaper (= newspapers)? What methods do newspapers use to attract readers? Do people in China prefer to read about local news, national news or international
news?

Do many people get their news from the internet? Do you think the news from the internet and the news from newspapers is the same? How are modern news media and the old forms of news media different? (Compare
them)

Would you say the quality of news reporting is the same on TV, in newspapers and on
the internet? (Compare them)

Which news do you think is better - TV news or news on the radio? (Compare them) Some people say that news reports, especially on TV, are changing more and more
into a form of entertainment. Do you agree?

Do you think it's a good thing to make news more "entertaining"? How do you think the future will develop - do you think people will more and more
use the internet for getting their news or will they continue to read newspapers? (Compare them)

How do you think a newspaper could increase its readership? Journalists What personal qualities (and skills) do you think a journalist needs to have? How do you think journalist (or, reporters) can (or do) influence people?
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Question Eleven
A Good Law
Describe a good law in your country. You should say What the law is How you first learned about this law Who benefits from this law? What type of law it is (or, what kind of behaviour this law seeks to regulate) And explain why you think this is a good law. or And explain the effects of this law on people.

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Possible follow-up questions:

Do you think every country should have this law? Do other people also think this is a good law? Part 3 The Law in Your Country/Law Enforcement What role does the law play in the lives of people? (As above) How does law affect the everyday lives of people? What is the function (the purpose) of the law for a nation (or society)? Can you give any examples of what is illegal in China? How successful do you think the laws are in your country? (successful in achieving
the aim of the laws)

(Similar to above) Do you think most people in China abide by the law? Do you think it's important for people to obey laws? What benefits are there for society when people obey the law? What are some ways that people can be encouraged to obey the law? Many people think that an occasional, minor breach of the law is ok? What do you
think?

Do you think there are any circumstances when it's alright to break the law (or, to
ignore the law)?

Do people in China like the police? (Similar to above) How do people in your country feel about the police? What does society need more - police or lawyers? What are the working conditions of the police like?
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Which job would most people prefer - to be a policeman/woman or a lawyer? (Why?) Why do you think some people want to work as lawyers? What personal qualities (& skills) does a person need to be a lawyer? What personal qualities (& skills) does a person need to be a member of the police
force? (= a policeman or policewoman)

Can you think of any ways that the quality of the police could be improved? International Law Do you think International Law is useful/effective? Can you think of any examples of an International Law? (Hint: WTO) Do you think we need to have International Laws in order to help protect the
environment?

What effects does International Law have on the behaviour of people/governments? (Similar to above) How effective do you think International Law is in regulating
(controlling) the behaviour of people/governments?

If there were no International Laws (or treaties), what do you think the world would be
like?

Legal Systems Do you think it's important to have a legal system? (Why? /Why not?) (Similar to above) What do you think is the importance of having a system of laws? (Similar to above) What do you think is the reason for having laws? What would society be like if there were no laws? (= if there was no legal system) Why do you think different countries sometimes have quite different legal systems? (Similar to above) Why do you think different countries have different laws?
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Do you think it is suitable to have exactly the same laws for every country? In the future, do you think all countries might have the same laws? What is a system of laws based on? Does China have many public servants? What do qualities do you think people need to work as public servants?

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Question Twelve
A Performance
Describe a show or performance (for example, a dance or singing performance) You should say What kind of performance it was When and where you saw it Who you saw it with How it was performed And explain how you felt about this performance.

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IELTS Questions

Part 3 Artistic Performances What are the different types of art? Are traditional art forms performed very much in China? (Give examples) Do you think TV increases the opportunities for people to see traditional performances
or does it result in a decrease in the amount of traditional performances that people see?

What benefits do you think people derive from watching performances or visiting art
exhibitions?

Can (or does) art influence people (people's attitudes, feelings, beliefs & actions)? Do you think people from one cultures can (or do) appreciate (or like) traditional
performances from other cultures? (Why? / Why not?)

What (kinds of music) do Chinese people like to listen to? Do you think people generally prefer to go to a concert or to listen to recordings of
music? (Answer & compare)

(Similar to above) Do people generally prefer to go to a concert to listen to classical


music or do they prefer to listen to recordings of modern, popular music? (Answer & compare)

The Performing Arts and Children What is the value of watching artistic performance (or experiencing artistic activities)
in relation to children's development?

What is the value of children learning to perform, such as learning to sing or dance in
front of an audience?

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Do you think the performing arts should be included in school curriculums? (Why? /
Why not?)

Do boys and girls have the same feelings/attitudes about performing (or watching) an
artistic performance?

Who do you think is more suited to learning how to dance - boys or girls? (Why?) What can children learn from dancing? (Similar to above) How can children benefit from learning to dance?

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Question Thirteen
Something You Would Like to Learn Version A
Describe something that you don't know but would like to learn. (For example: a skill or some knowledge.) You should say What it is you would like to learn Why you would like to learn this How you would learn it (or, how you would start to learn this) Who you would ask to help you learn this And explain what difficulties you think you would possibly have learning this.

Version B
Describe something that you want to learn. (For example: a skill or some knowledge.) You should say What it is you want to learn Why you want to learn this How you plan to learn it (or, how you would start to learn this) Who you will ask to help you learn this And explain what difficulties you think you might have learning this.

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Notes

The words for this topic are unclear. This topic has the potential to be the most difficult Part 2 topic to answer correctly in

the test! Return to this page frequently to see if I have added more information on this topic and how to answer it. Version A means, "Something you would learn, if you had the opportunity". It is hypothetical), not something you intend to learn. If it is Version A, Use "would", not "will" when speaking. The notes on this page will help you avoid some errors. For example, don't say you would, "learn law" or "learn accountancy". We say "study + a discipline but, "learn + a skill".

Part 3 Learning New Things Do you think that older people are as willing to learn new things as young people?
(Why? /Why not?) (Hint: Old people might still be, 'willing to' learn, and even more willing than young people, but their ability to learn might be reduced, compared to when they were younger.)

Modern Technology and Skill-learning for Children Do you think computers are useful? How are computers used in society? Do you think using a computer is a useful skill to teach children (and old people)? Do you think computers are good tools for teaching skills to children? Do you think it would be good to increase the use of computers in education and, as a
result, reduce the amount of face-to-face interaction between teachers and children?

Do you think computers might completely replace teachers? Do you think children learn the same kinds of skills at home and at school?
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IELTS Questions

Which is the better place for learning new skills, the home or school?

Question Fourteen
A Tourist Attraction Version A
Describe a place you recently visited as a tourist. You should say Where you went What you did there Who you went with And explain why you chose to go to this place. or And explain what was special about this place.

Version B
Describe a tourist site that you recently visited. You should say Where you went What you did there Who you went with And explain why you chose to go to this place. or
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IELTS Questions

And explain what was special about this place.

Version C
Describe a long journey you made to a tourist attraction. (Or: Describe a long journey you made as a tourist.) You should say Where you went What you did there Who you went with And explain why you chose to go to this place. or And explain what was special about this place.

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Notes

The exact wording of the topic is not clear. Several people have reported that the topic

is "A tourist attraction" and several people have reported that there is also a Part 2 topic, "A long Journey". The Part 3 questions seem the same (but this might have been a mistake) for both of these Part 2 topics so it is possibly the one topic. This makes Version C the most likely wording of the topic. If the wording is Version A or Version C, you should talk about a place you visited as a tourist that is not in your hometown. (or the place you are living in.) In other words, if you were 'a tourist', you travelled - you did not just visit a tourist spot in your hometown. This travelling could even have been travel to another country. The wording probably is not Version B. If it is, then the Part 2 topic, "A long Journey" is a separate Part 2 topic. But if it is version B, you could give an answer similar to an answer for Versions A & C or you could talk about visiting a tourist site in your hometown (or where you live) If you did not travel to go to this tourist attraction, you were a 'local visitor', not really a 'tourist' because a tourist is a person who travels to visit a place.

Possible follow-up questions: Would you like to go there again? Part 3 Travelling How has the way Chinese people spend their holidays changed in the past few
decades?

Do Chinese people like to travel? Would you like to travel abroad? (To see what?) When travelling abroad, (or, when going on a long trip) what do you think you need to
pay attention to?

When travelling abroad, what do you think is the biggest problem? (Hint: language) Do you prefer to travel alone or with others? (e.g., a friend) What are the benefits of travelling with a friend?
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IELTS Questions

Do young people prefer to travel abroad or travel within their own country? (Make a
guess & guess why)

Would you like to live or study at a popular tourist destination? The Tourist Industry (= Tourism) What kinds of places (or what kinds of tourist attractions) do Chinese people prefer to
visit? (Why? Give examples.)

Most people think that natural scenery is more attractive that modern buildings. Why
do you think they feel this way?

(Similar to above) Some people think that natural scenery is more attractive that
modern buildings. Which do you prefer? (Why?)

What are the good and bad effects of tourism for a country? (e.g., China) Do you think it is necessary to take steps to protect tourist sites from being damaged
by tourists? (What steps?)

What are some ways that the government uses to help the tourist industry develop? Do you think the government should help the tourist industry? (Is it one of the
responsibilities of government to help a particular industry?)

(Similar to above) Why should the tourist industry be promoted? What do you think will be the tourist sites of the future? (Similar to above) How do you think the tourist industry will develop in the future?

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IELTS Questions

Question Fifteen
A Family)
Describe a family (not your own family) that you know well. You should say: Where this family lives Who the members of the family are How you know them What each person in this family does in life (e.g., student/work/retired etc.) And explain how you feel about this family. or And explain why you like this family.

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Possible follow-up questions:

Do you also know many other families? Part 3 Family Life in General Who would you say is the head of your family? Why do you say he (or, she) is the head of your family? Do you think that men and women have different roles to play in a family and what

are these roles? Do you think parents have a big influence on their children today? In your opinion, what are (some of) the attributes (= the qualities) of 'a good parent'? What do you think are the responsibilities of parents towards their children? Do you think children have responsibilities towards their parents? How does one become a good parent? (How does a person learn how to be a good parent?) Do you think people need to go special classes to learn how to be good parents? Do you think such classes might be a good idea? What effect do you think watching TV has on family life? And what about the internet? Do you think spending time on the internet is good for family life? In their free time, do families in China go out much together? Where do they go? What do they do? How can work affect a person's family life? Do you think parents today should spend more time with their children than they do at the moment? What effect do you think it would have on family life if a person had to spend seven days a week working or seven days a week at school? (Similar to above) What is your opinion of a father who doesn't spend much time with his family? (What might the results of this be?)

The Role of Old People in the Family Who are the people in your family? (Give extra information - don't only answer the
basic question.)
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Are Chinese families usually big or small? (many children or just a few?) What do you think are some of the advantages and some of the disadvantages of big

and of small families? In Chinese families, who usually makes the major decisions? (Similar to above) In China, who is usually the head of the family? In China, do the elderly members of the family have much influence in family decision-making? (I.e., is their opinion valuable? Or: Do the opinions of the oldest family members carry the most weight?) Do any of your grandparents live with you? In China, do old people (grandparents) often live with young children? (Similar to above) Do many families in China still like to have grandparents living with the family? Do you think grandparents can contribute much to the family of their children? Do you think it is good for grandparents to help bring up their grandchildren? Some people think that the ideas and opinions of old people (e.g., grandparents) are old-fashioned and obsolete. Do you think it is useful to listen to their opinions? How helpful are grandparents when they contribute to (= give their time to = help) in the upbringing of their grandchildren? How do you think old people should be treated? What can children learn from grandparents? In your opinion, what are (some of) the attributes (= the qualities) of 'a good grandparent'?

Family Housing What is the present housing situation for families in China?

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IELTS Questions

Question Sixteen
Your Work or Study Place
Describe the place where you previously worked or studied. You should say: Where this place was What this place looked like What you did there And explain how you felt about this place

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Possible follow-up questions:

Does that place still exist? Part 3 Towns & Cities What city do you work/study in? Why did you choose to work/study in this city? Working & Studying Conditions
It is possible to get questions either about a study environment or a working environment, or both, no matter whether you are working now or not. Work

During your time as a student, did people (including your teachers) discuss the topic of
your future work? Nowadays, people spend a lot of time at work. How do you feel about this? (Or, what do you think of situation?) Do you think its right for an employer to ask an employee to work on the weekend? Do you think people who work on weekends should be paid more than their usual pay rate? Do you think people time nowadays on study or work than they used, several years ago? In general, what essential facilities should a workplace have? What facilities (equipment) are there at your workplace or study place? (Similar to above) How are the working conditions at your workplace or study place? In general, what do you think are the factors that influence a person's working (or studying) conditions? What factors influence the friendliness of a workplace, school or university? Do you think people should be able to wear at work whatever clothes suit their personality or taste? What kinds of people work at home? (Hint: Don't forget to include housewives who do unpaid work at home)
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Do you think more people will be able to work from home in the future? (How? Hint:
Internet) What do you think will be (or, are) the benefits from working at home? Do you think there are any drawbacks from working at home? Do you think there is any relationship between the way most people work now and environmental pollution? (Hint: Travelling to work by car, motorcycle or bus.) Can you think of examples of people who bring work (from there workplace) to their homes? (Hint: Teachers & others)

School Do you think school students spend too much time on schoolwork right now? (classes
+ homework) (Similar to above) Do you think attending classes at school takes up too much time? Do you think people time nowadays on study or work than they used, several years ago? Do you think environment of the place where students study is important? How do you think the design (or, the layout) of a school should address the needs of the students? (Not just senior high schools but also junior high schools & primary schools.) In general, what essential facilities should a school (or study place, such as at home) have? (Similar to above) How are the working conditions at your workplace or study place? In general, what do you think are the factors that influence a person's studying conditions? What factors influence the friendliness of a workplace, school or university? What do you think is necessary to have a comfortable environment for studying? What facilities do you think a good school should have (for a good studying environment)? What is the best classroom environment (or atmosphere) for studying/learning? What effect do you think a person's mood or attitude has on learning? What range of subjects do you think an ideal (high) school should have? (How many different subjects/which ones) How has teaching (in China) changed, compared to several decades ago? Do you prefer to study at school or at home? In the future, what changes do you think we will see in schools?
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IELTS Questions

When do people in China do more study at home - when they are at school or at
university?

Unpaid Work

Can you think of any examples of unpaid work? Do you think unpaid work is less important than paid work? What kinds of people do unpaid work? Do you think being a housewife should be considered to be 'work'? What kinds of things do housewives do? Do you think housewives should be paid for their work? What functions towards society do housewives serve

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Question Seventeen
A Recent Change
Describe a recent change in your life (that changed your life in a good way). (For example: a new job or a new school). You should say: W hat the change was W hat caused this change? How you benefited from this change

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Part 3 Change in One's Life


Do you like change in your life? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think change is important in life? Why do you think some people try to resist change in their lives? What kinds of people are more likely to resist change? And what kinds of people do you think are more likely to embrace change? Do you think it's good for people to sometimes change their job? (Why? /Why not?) What do you think are some of the problems that can occur when someone changes their work (or, job)?

Change in Society Have there been many recent changes in your community? (or, your society, i.e.,
Chinese society) What do you think can be the results of sudden change on a community? Do you think there have been any changes in the weather in your country in the past few years? Do you think there is more change today than there used to be, a few years ago? What do you think have been some of the major changes in the world in the past few years? Do you think these changes have been changes for the better, or for the worse? Do you have any thoughts on why these changes are occurring now? Can you think of any things that were better (than they are now) a few years ago? Can you think of any things that are better now than they used to be a few decades ago? Have there been many changes in the countryside in China in the past few years?

Change and Children Who do you think is capable of coping with change better, children or adults? Do you think it's good for children to experience new things? Do you think it's good for children to undergo a lot of change in their lives? (Why?
/Why not?) Do you think parents should teach their children how to cope with change?
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How could parents do that?

Question Eighteen
Piece of Equipment
Describe a piece of equipment (besides the computer) that you find to be very useful. [Or, describe a piece of electrical equipment (besides the computer) that you find very useful.] You should say How you use it Where you use it What you use it for And explain why you think this thing is so useful. or And explain what influence this equipment has on your life.

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Notes

Most people just report that their topic was "Equipment", not specifically "Electrical
equipment". That is, the topic probably allows you to include a piece of equipment that doesn't use electricity. But to be safe, it is probably best to prepare to talk about electrical equipment.

Possible follow-up questions:

Are they (that thing you just spoke about) very expensive (= dear) for the average
person to buy? (Be careful: Usually the plural is used when speaking in general.) Do your friends also use this thing?

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Part 3 Electrical Appliances in the Home


What electrical appliances do you (or people in China) have at home? What do people use these appliances for (= what work do people do, using these appliances)? What benefits do people get from using these things? (Similar to above) Why do modern people use so many electrical appliances (work tools) in the home? (Similar to above) What electrical appliances (or, electrical equipment) that people use in the home or office have made it easier for people to work or study? Do you think there are any shortcomings or dangers to using electrical equipment in the home? What happens when there is a blackout? (= How do people manage when there is a blackout?) (Similar to above) How did people manage before they had electrical appliances in the home? (Similar to above) How was housework many decades ago different to housework today? How has household equipment changed in China in the past few decades?

Product Design Do you think the design of the products people use is important? For example, the
design of an electric kettle for boiling water? Do you think the design of products (such as tools, furniture & appliances) is important for children? What do you think is the most important factor when considering the design of an invention? Which do you think is more useful, a simple design or a complex design? (Say why & include a comparison of the two.) What tools(s) do home appliance designers use to do their work? To be a designer of home appliances, what qualities (or skills) do you think a person needs to have? What do you understand the word, 'creativity' to mean? Do you think children should be encouraged, in school, to develop their creativity, innovation & artistic skills? How do you think this could be done?
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Inventions and Technological Development What do you think are some of the most useful inventions that have been made? How are the tools and equipment we use today different to those of several decades

ago? Do you think modern inventions are becoming simpler than before or more complex? (Besides the computer), what do you think has been the most important invention of mankind? (Perhaps the computer is allowable as an answer - the question is unclear.) What would you say is the best invention in your family home? What skills and knowledge do you think people need to be an inventor? How do you feel about modern science and technology? For example, do we really need a continuous introduction of new products and new inventions? Why do you think we are constantly being urged to buy new products? What are some of the major products that China produces? (Similar to above) What are some of the major products that are produced in your part of China? Compare these products with similar products produced overseas. If you were the manager of a company that had produced a new invention, how would you promote it? If a new invention were going to be used by many people, what kind of testing of this product do you think would be necessary? (Hint: health & safety checks - give examples) In what ways do you think technology will develop in the next, say, 20 or 30 years? Do you think there will be any negative effects resulting from future technology? What conditions will be necessary to encourage the future development of technology in China? (Similar to above) If you were the leader of China, what would you do to promote the development of technology in China?

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IELTS Questions

Question Nineteen

An Organization
Describe a big organization that you know about. (For example: a company, a factory or a government organization). You should say Where this organization is How you know about this organization How many people work there (or, what kind of people work there) And explain what this organization does (= the purpose of this organization = what people do in this organization).

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Possible follow-up questions:

Would you like to work in that organization? (Or: Would you consider working in
that organization?)

Part 3 Working in an Organization


Is it hard to find work in China today? What would you prefer to work in, a big organization or a small one? Do you think the size of an organization has any advantages for employees? (Compare small & big - advantages of each for employees) (Similar to above) What are the benefits of working in a small organization? (Similar to above) What are the benefits of working for a big organization? What kind of organization would you (or, do you) prefer to work in? (Not just whether big or small) Compare working for a government organization (i.e., being a public servant) to working for a private company. Would you like to do shift work, for example, working during the night in a 24-hour convenience store? How do you think doing that kind of work impacts a person's (personal & family) life? Do you think there are any advantages from working at night?

Industries
What kind of work do people do in your hometown? What service industries are there in your hometown? Are these industries (or, these factories or these companies) all the same size? How have these service industries (or all industries, in general) developed in the recent few decades? What are some of effects on people, and the environment, of having (or working in) big organizations? In general, what part of the city are the factories located? Why are these factories on the edge of the city? What are the benefits (and disadvantages) of having factories far from where people live?

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What is the government doing to protect the environment (from industrial pollution
produced by these factories)? How do you think service industries will develop in the future in your hometown?

Types of Organizations What are some of the common types of organization in China? What effects on society do (or can) organizations have? Can you think of any examples of international organizations? (Hint: The United
Nations, The Red Cross,)

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Question Twenty
A Photograph
Describe a photograph that you like. You should say: Where you saw this photograph What (or who) is in the photograph Why this photograph was taken And explain why you like this photograph. or And explain what was different about this photograph.

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Notes:

It seems that on about July 12, some new Part 3 questions started to be used for the 'Photograph' topic. For this reason, the topic is being treated as a new topic. So far, the wording of this new Part 2 is a little unclear. Possibly the words are, "a photograph that impressed you". Make sure you talk about one of your photographs, if that is what the task card says. This means, 'a photograph that you own'. It doesn't have to be a photograph with you in the picture. To talk about a famous photograph or one that you saw in a magazine is not suitable if the question says 'your photograph'.

Possible follow-up questions:


Part 3

Do other people like that photograph? Do you still have this photo? * Where is this photo now? Have you shown this photo to other people?

The Purposes of Photographs

a) Photography as a Hobby

Do you like taking photographs? Do your friends like taking photographs? Do many people in China take photographs? Why do some people take photographs as a hobby? Why do so many people like to take photographs (as a hobby)?
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Why do you think some people take many photos while others rarely take photos, even if they own a camera? Some people don't like taking photographs. Can you make any guesses about why? (Similar to above) Why do some people not like taking photographs? Do people keep photographs they took that are not attractive to look at? (Why? /Why not?) Can you suggest any ways to take attractive photographs?

b) Occasions When People Take Photographs What are the occasions when people take photographs? Why do people like to take many photos when they are travelling? If a friend asked you to look at some photos he had taken, for example, some photos of his holiday, how would you feel?

c) The Value of Photographs

Do you think photographs can really help people remember past events in their lives? (Similar to above) What is the value/importance of photographs? (Similar to above) Do you think it's good to take photos? Do you think photographs are more important for adults or for children? Why do you think it is important to take photos (or videos) of one's family? Some people don't like being photographed. Can you make any guesses about why this is so? Why do some people (paparazzi) invade the privacy of celebrities by taking photographs of these celebrities? Do you think this kind of invasion of privacy should be illegal? Why do people like to look at photos of celebrities? Do you think news photographs are an important part of newspaper stories? (Similar to above) What do you think is the impact on newspaper readers when they see a photograph with a news story?

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When you look at photographs in magazines and when you look at photos that you have taken yourself, do you have the same kind of feelings (or, thoughts)? (Hint: Your own photos remind you of your own past experiences and bring to mind your feelings about the people you know. On the other hand, magazine photos do not do this but, instead, usually appeal to a person's sense of curiosity about new things, people and places.) How do newspapers and magazines choose their photographs in order to capture the attention of readers? Do you think photographs are important in understanding (or representing or recording) history?

Technology and Photographs

Do you have a camera? Is it an old one or a new, professional-style camera? Do most people in China have a camera? Compare old cameras with those in use today. Compare old photographs and new photographs. (Similar to above) How can one distinguish between an old photograph and a recent one? How has photography (or, photographic technology) changed over the past few decades? (Similar to above) How has modern science and technology changed photography? (Hint: digital technology) (Similar to above) What have been the results of these changes in photograph technology? How do you think photograph technology will change in the future? Compare the photos that you take with those that professional photographers take. (Similar to above) Compare the photos that professional photographers take and the photos that amateur photographers take. (Similar to above) What do you think is the difference between an amateur photographer and a professional photographer? Do you think professional photographers need to be trained? (Why? /Why not?) Some people prefer to take still photographs while others prefer to take videos. Why?
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(Similar to above) Why do more and more people take videos instead of still photographs? (Similar to above) Compare videos and still photographs. (Similar to above) Compare video cameras and still photography cameras. (Similar to above) Why do many people now prefer to use a video recorder instead of a camera? Do you think (still) photographs will be replaced by videos in the future? What are some different ways that people store (=keep) photographs? What are the strengths and weaknesses of storing photos in digital form and storing them in a traditional photo album? When people (or, you) go to buy a camera, what factors (or things) do you consider?

Photographs as Art Some people especially like looking at photographs or paintings. Why do you think they especially like doing that? Compare a typical family photograph and an artistic photograph. Do many Chinese people visit photograph exhibitions? What's your impression of the types of photographs that can be seen in exhibitions? What do you think is the value of photograph exhibitions? Compare art photographs and ordinary, everyday photographs. Compare painting pictures and taking photographs (as art forms). In your opinion, what are the factors that make a photograph attractive to look at? What are some ways that a photograph can catch a person's attention? Which leaves a deeper impression on people, a picture or a written description of some event or scene? ("A picture speaks a thousand words." = )

Personal Photography

Do you like taking photographs? What are some situations when people take photographs? Can you give me an example of a happy time when you took a photograph?
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IELTS Questions

Why do some people dislike taking photographs? Why do some people dislike having their photo taken?

Attributes of Photographs What are some ways that a photograph can catch people's attention? (Similar to above) What makes a photograph attractive to people?

Other Uses of Photographs


Photographs and History

What is the value of photographs in the study of history? What do you think is the value of having (old) photographs in museums?

Photography in the Media Do you think photographs are a useful means of communication? (How? Give examples.) How photographs are used in the (news) media? (Similar to above) What is the value of using photographs in the news media? Photos are used a lot in newspapers and magazines. If there were no photographs, what would (or, what could) journalists do to make up for the absence of photos? (This question is testing your grammar)

Photographs as Art

Why do some people especially like looking at photographs and paintings? How are paintings and photographs different?

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Question Twenty-one
Someone You Would like to Spend Time With
Describe someone you would like to spend time with. You should say: Who this person is How you know this person What you would like to say to (or ask) this person What you would do together And explain why you would like to spend time with this person.

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Part 3 Friendships

Is friendship important to you? (Why? /Why not?) Besides the person you just spoke about, who else do you like to spend time with? Besides those qualities that you just mentioned in the second part of the test, what other qualities do good friends have? (Similar to above) What are the most important qualities of a good friend (or, a good friendship)? What kind of people do you like to be friends with? What kind of people don't you like to be with? Who do you prefer to spend time with, your best friend or your family? Compare spending time with one's friends and with one's family? (Similar to above) Compare the things you do with your family with the things you do with your friends. (Similar to above) Compare people's relationships with their families and their relationships with friends. What do children think about friendship? What about adults? Compare them. Do you think it takes a long time to get to know a person? Can people who are opposite in personality be good friends? Why do some people only have short-term friendships while other people have longterm friendships? What can people do to maintain friendships over a long period of time? Do you think that, if friends argue their friendship is damaged? Do you think people can make real friendships on the internet? Is it possible for people to maintain a friendship even if they are separated by long distances and for a long time? Do you think the quality of friendships today is different to the quality of friendships that people had many years ago? Do you think people today have enough time to talk with others?
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Which do you think is better, to spend time doing things with other people or to spend time doing things alone such as going onto the internet or reading a book?

Relationships Other Than Friendships

Do you think it's important that a person feels he or she belongs to some group or community? (Similar to above) Which do you think is more important, to gave a sense of group identity with some group or community or to just be an individual? What are the different human relationships that people have when they are in school? Compare the different human relationships that people have in school with the different kinds of relationships people have in the workplace.

Work Relationships

What are the most important things when people interact with their work colleagues? Compare the friendships that people have at work with the friendships people have at school. (Similar to above) Compare friendships and relationships that people have with colleagues at work. Do you think there are any possible disadvantages from making friends with work colleagues? Compare spending time with one's boss and with one's friends (or workmates/work colleagues). (Similar to above) Compare one's relationship with one's friends (or workmates/work colleagues) and with one's boss. Would you like to be friends with your boss? (Why? /Why not?) How could a person make friends with his or her boss? What are the advantages and disadvantages of teamwork and working individually?

The Relationship Between Individuals and Groups

Which do you think is more important, to be an individual or a member of a group?


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IELTS Questions

How would you feel about working in an organization composed of only one person you? What is the value of teamwork?

The Global Community

What impact do you think small businesses have on the world?

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Question Twenty- Two


Your Favourite Season
Describe your favourite season. You should say: When season it is What the weather is like at this time What people usually do at this time (or, what you usually do?) And explain what is special about that season.

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Part 3 The Weather in Your Country

Why don't you like autumn? What kinds of weather (or what season) do the other members of your family like best? What's the weather usually like in your hometown? (Similar to above) Compare the typical weather in your hometown with the weather here (in the test place). What do you think about today's weather? Have you ever been to a place that has a climate that is very different to your hometown? (If yes, what place; how is it different?) Is the weather in China the same for all parts of the country? (Similar to above) What kinds of weather do different parts of China have? How does weather (or the climate of a place) affect people's moods? (Similar to above) How does the weather affect you? (Possibly this means not just affecting your mood but your life in general) Do people in China like to chat about the weather? Why are people interested in the weather? (Similar to above) What different types of people are interested in the weather? (Hint: people who work outside such as farmers, fishermen, construction workers; tourists & people who are travelling; people who spend time outside for exercise or leisure ...) Are the people around you very interested in the weather? Does the place where a person lives affect that person's interest in the weather? (Hint: Country & city people; people who live in the desert compared to people who live where it rains a lot; etc.) Do you think the usual weather in a place can affect the personalities of the people who live there? How does weather (or the climate of a place) affect the kinds of clothes people wear? How does weather (or the climate of a place) affect the kinds of buildings that this place has?
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(Similar to above) What climate (or weather) goes with what kinds of houses? (Same as above) What do you think is the relationship between the climate of a place and the kinds of houses that people there live in? (Similar to above) Compare the types of buildings (or houses) in hot, tropical parts of the world (or China) with those in cold parts of the world (or China). (Hint: Think of traditional differences between buildings in different parts of China - modern buildings sometimes are the same or similar from Harbin to Sanya.) DIFFICULT QUESTION How does weather (or the climate of a place) affect the kinds of activities that people do? (E.g., different kinds of sport) (Similar to above) Is there any difference about you (i.e., how you feel & what you do) in different types of weather? How do the sports that people do change with the different seasons?

Extreme Weather What are some examples of extreme weather in China? In China, when there are instances of extreme weather those results in damage to homes or danger to people, what does the government do to help? What would you do if you were caught in a flood (or tsunami)?

Climate Change Have there been any climate changes in China recently? What are the reasons for these changes? What can we do about this problem?

Seasons How do the different seasons affect the everyday lives of Chinese people? (As above) What are some of the results (effects) of bad weather in China? How do different seasons (= different weather) affect the way people feel (=people's mood)?

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Do you think the climate of a place has an effect on the personality of the people who live in that place? (For example, do people from places that have warm winters have the same kind of personalities as people from places that have cold winters?) What is the favourite season of children (or young people)? Do adults have the same favourite season? Which seasons or season do old people prefer? What different sports or outdoor activities can people do in different seasons?

Weather /Climate How does the climate of a place affect the kind of buildings that are built there? = How does the climate affect the building design? (For example, are the buildings in North China the same as those in South China?) Many people find this to be a difficult question. Hint: Think of how buildings varied in different places 100 years ago. What's the climate like in your hometown? Is the climate the same all over China? Do you think the world's climate or the climate in China is getting warmer? What are the causes of Global Warming? How do you think Global Warming will affect people's lives? Do you think fighting the problem of global climate change is a government responsibility or the responsibility of each individual?

Vacations/Holidays/Tourism

What are the major public holidays and festivals in China? Why do we need to have holidays? What do people in China do when they have holidays? Why do Chinese people like the Spring Festival? Why does the whole world celebrate the New Year? How can people benefit from visiting new places? When many people visit a particular place, what effects can that have on this place?
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Compare tourism today in China to, say, thirty years ago. How do you think tourism in China will change in the future?

Climate and Living Place

Is there anything you don't like about that season (the one you just talked about)? (Why? Why?) In general, do you think people prefer to live in warm or in cold places? Why do some people live (or, prefer/choose to live) in cold places?

(Note: "Live" & "prefer to live" are not always the same. Not everyone who lives in a cold place (in winter) has a choice about where to live.) Changes in Weather Patterns

Do you think the weather patterns (the climate) has changed much in recent years in your hometown? (Hint: The question is referring to global warming.) In your opinion, is 'Global Warming' really taking place? How does (or will) global warming affect the community? What is the government doing about (preparing for) these changes? What do you think the government could/should do?

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Question Twenty- Three


Clothing for Special Occasions
Describe an item of clothing that you wear on special occasions. You should say: What it is Where you bought it On what special occasions you wear it And explain why you wear it on special occasions.

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IELTS Questions

Part 3 Buying Clothes

Do you like shopping (for clothes)? Do you like window-shopping for clothes? What style of clothes do you like? What styles of clothing do you dislike? Do many people around you like buying clothes? What are some influences that affect the choices young people make when they buy clothes? Does the media affect people's choices of clothes? (Hint: advertising) How do you (or, how do people) choose (=decide) what style of clothing to buy? (As above) What factors do people consider when they buy clothes? Compare the materials and fashions of today's clothing with those of the past. Do men and women have the same buying habits when they buy clothes? (Similar to above) Do men and women have the same attitudes towards clothes? (Compare the differences) What are the differences between the clothes old people wear (or, buy) and those that young people wear?

Uniforms and Work Clothes

Many school students have to wear a school uniform and some people have to wear a uniform at work. What do you think of this? Do you think employees should wear a uniform? Are there any good points about wearing a uniform? Are there any bad points about wearing a uniform? What kinds of clothes do high school kids wear to school in China? What do high school kids like to wear on weekends?

Fashions & Brand Names


David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 74 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Do you think fashion is important? (= Do you think it's important to follow the latest fashions in clothes?) Why? Do Chinese people think the brand name of clothes is important? (Why? /Why not?) (Similar to above) Do you think the brand of clothing is important? Why do some people buy brand-name clothes? (= Why are some people willing to pay more for brand-name clothes and fashions?) What are some (fashion) brand names that you are familiar with and what products do these brands sell? Do you think the price of brand-name clothes is reasonable? Compare brand-name clothes and non-brand-name clothes. Besides the price, is there much difference between the two? Do older people buy brand-name clothes? How much do overseas fashion trends influence fashion styles in China? (Similar to above) Compare traditional Chinese clothing with modern (western) clothes. How have clothes (fashions) changed in China in the past few years (e.g., the past 10 or 20 years)? How has globalization affected clothing fashions around the world? Do people in China and western people wear different kinds of (styles of) clothes? Do you think it is good that people in China follow foreign fashion trends? How can a person show his or her individuality (his or her personality) by the clothes they wear? DIFFICULT QUESTION

Buying Clothes

Do Chinese people spend much money on clothes? (Why? /Why not?) What about you - do you spend much money on clothes? Do old(er) people and young people think the same about clothes?

Traditional Clothing
David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 75 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Are traditional Chinese clothes worn very often in China? Do you think traditional Chinese clothes will eventually disappear? What are the major differences between modern clothes and traditional Chinese clothes? Which do you prefer, traditional Chinese clothes or modern clothes?? How do you think clothes will develop over the next few decades?

Uniforms How do you feel about uniforms (or, about wearing a uniform)? Do employers in China often require employees to wear a uniform? In companies where the employees wear a uniform, how (do you think) the colour of the uniform was decided? What do you think is the role of (= the reason for = the purpose of) uniforms? (Similar to above) Why do some people (have to) wear a uniform? (Similar to above) What do you think are the benefits of uniforms?

The Garment Industry What changes do you think will take place in the clothes manufacturing industry over the next few decades?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 76

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Twenty- four


Someone who is good at cooking
Describe someone who is good at cooking You should say: Who this person is How you know him or her What kinds of food they cook And explain why you say they are (= him or her is) so good at cooking.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 77

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Possible follow-up questions:

Do other people also think he/she is a good cook?

Part 3
Food and Eating Places

Food Preferences

What kind of food do Chinese people like? Why do they like those foods? What kinds of food do you like? (Why?)

Eating Places Do people today cook at home as much as they used to, several decades ago? (Why? /Why not?) Nowadays, many people don't eat at home (or, don't eat together as a family) as much as they used to. What do you think is the importance of a family eating together? In the future, do you think families will be eating together more than they do now, or less?

Learning to Cook (at School)

Do you think children should be taught how to cook at home? Do you think it's a good idea to have cooking classes in school? Do you think it's suitable for boys to learn cooking? How do you think young children (e.g., 8 to 12 year-olds) would react to (would be affected by) cooking lessons in school? (Similar to above) What effects (or results) do you think would result from having cooking classes in school?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 78 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Nutrition & Food Safety Food Safety

How important do you think food safety is? (Similar to above) Would you say that safe and healthy food is important? In your opinion, are the vegetables that people in China eat, safe? Do you think the government has a responsibility to ensure that the agricultural produce people buy is safe to eat? Do you think having laws is enough to ensure that agricultural produce is safe? (Hints: a) government inspectors and, b) law enforcement)

Nutrition

What's your opinion of (American style) fast food? In general, do people in China pay a lot of attention to the nutrition of the food they eat? Do you think people should pay attention to nutrition? Do you think good nutrition is important for children? What's your opinion of the food in your school/university cafeteria? How do you think the food in your school/university cafeteria could be improved? Do you think schools have a responsibility to ensure that the food they provide is healthy and nutritious? (Why?)

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 79

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Twenty- Five


A Work of Art
Describe a sculpture or work of art that you have seen. You should say: When you saw this work of art Where you saw it What it looked like

And explain your impression of it.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 80

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

Possibly the wording is, "Describe a sculpture or other work of art that you have seen and that you liked."

Part 3

Tastes for Art in China

What are the most popular types of art in China? (Similar to above) What kinds of art do people in China generally like? Do young people and older people have the same tastes in art? What kinds of art do young people prefer?

Art Galleries Why do many people go to art galleries? Do young people (like to) go to art galleries or art exhibitions? Do you ever visit art galleries?

Artists Do you think it's possible for everyone (or, anyone) to become an artist? Many artists make very little money from their work. Do you think the government should financially support these artists? Do you think government should invest money in promoting art in society? There are a number of cities in the world which have works of art (sculptures or statues or other works of art) displayed in a prominent public place and the cities have paid the artists a lot of money for these works of art. What do you think of this?

The Role of Art in Society

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 81

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions


Art

Do you think art plays an important role in society? (Why?/Why not?) (Similar to above) What is the value ( = the importance) of art for society? What are the differences between modern art in China and traditional Chinese art? Would you say the design of a car is a kind of art?

Art and Children What benefits are there for a child to be exposed to art from an early age?

Do schools in China have art classes? Do you think art classes are necessary? (Why?) (= Should painting (arts education) be part of the school curriculum? Why?) How do you think art classes affect childrens development? What kind of paintings do Chinese people like? What can you learn from western paintings? Some paintings are very expensive, but people still want to buy them. Why do you think they think this way? What benefits can you get from painting as a hobby? What are the most popular types of art in China? What kinds of art do young people prefer? What is the value (= the importance) of art for society? What are the differences between modern art in China and traditional Chinese art? Why do many people go to art galleries? Do you think it's possible for everyone (or, anyone) to become an artist?

Traditions & Culture

Are people in China very traditional?


Teaching English as a Foreign Language 82 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

What clothes do people traditionally wear in your country when celebrating traditional events and what food do they traditionally eat at these events? Compare traditional Chinese clothes with modern clothes worn in China. Compare traditional events and celebrations in China with modern events and celebrations. Are young people as interested in traditional events as older people? (Similar to above) Are young people in China very traditional? Some people are not interested in (or, don't like) traditions. What kinds of people are these? (Hint: One group is the young.) (Similar to above) Can you think of any examples of people who dislike (or, are not interested in) tradition? Why? Young people are often very traditional. What do you think of this situation? What traditions in China are disappearing or are in danger of disappearing? How can old traditions be kept alive (= continued)? How can Chinese traditions be kept alive among Chinese people who are living abroad? (Similar to above) How are traditions transmitted from generation to generation? What traditions have already disappeared from Chinese culture and why did this happen? How can Chinese people make up for or replace these lost traditions? Do you think there are any things that people do today that might become traditions in the future? Is traditional Chinese culture being affected by foreign cultural influences? (If yes, how? Give examples.) How could people in China protect their culture from these negative foreign influences? Do you think Chinese traditions influence foreign cultures? Do you think it's possible for a people to have their own nation if these people do not have their own culture? Some young people tend to believe that foreign cultures are somehow 'superior' or better than their own culture. Why do they think this way?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 83 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you think that people tend to forget some (local) traditions when they move to a different place? (Similar to above) Some people believe that greater international travel is weakening traditional cultures around the world. Do you agree? What is the value of maintaining traditions? What are some examples of traditions in China that are different to those in the West? Are there any traditional crafts (= making things) that are disappearing in China? How could the skills of these crafts be preserved? Compare modern weddings in China with traditional Chinese weddings (i.e., weddings many years ago).

The Cultural Value of Handicrafts

Is any handicrafts part of traditional Chinese culture? Do you think traditional handicrafts are still important? Do you think traditional handicrafts are a form of art? Do foreign tourists like to buy traditional handicrafts in places they visit? (Why?) Are young people today very interested in traditional handicrafts? Are young people today willing to learn these traditional handicrafts or does everyone want to learn modern skills? Do you think it's important to keep these traditional handicraft skills alive by having young people learn them? Do you think the government has a responsibility to help ensure that traditional arts and craft skills do not become extinct? In this modern age, do you think manual arts classes, such as woodwork, have any value?

Handicrafts in China

What handicrafts are most popular with people in China? What handicrafts are most common in China? What kinds of people like handicrafts in China? Why?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 84 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you know how to create any traditional Chinese handicrafts? What traditional handicrafts do (some) Chinese people still know how to make? How did they learn this skill? Do you have any friends who have learned a traditional Chinese handicraft? What is/was their reason for learning that?

Handicrafts as Gifts Have you ever made anything by hand? Do you think that something you made yourself could be a suitable gift to give someone? What feeling to people get when they receive a gift that was personally made by the gift-giver? What kinds of things do Chinese people make themselves and give as presents to others? (Hint: School students often make greetings cards, e.g., birthday cards, to give to others.)

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 85

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Twenty- six


A Magazine
Describe an interesting magazine. You should say: How you know about this magazine Where it can be bought What information it contains Who you think reads this magazine And explain why you think this magazine is interesting.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 86

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Part 3
Types of Magazines

There are magazines for almost every topic of interest, whether a sport, hobby, general interest or a career interest.

Sports magazines (e.g. Basketball, Football, Golf magazines) Tabloid magazines (Sensationalized & often exaggerated or untrue articles & gossip about celebrities. This magazine genre also includes magazines with unusual or sensationalized human-interest stories.) Movie magazines (Stories and reviews about the latest films) Music & Entertainment magazines (Articles about pop music & movies & entertainment celebrities) News & Current Events magazines (News, news analysis & opinion pieces) Women's magazines (Topics of general interest to women, including parenting, family, home, health, beauty & fashion, career & relationship advice, & short stories.) Beauty & Fashion magazines (e.g., Vogue. Articles & many photographs on fashion & beauty for women) Teen magazines (Usually for teenage girls - general interest magazines for teenagers with topics such as romantic short stories, romance advice, fashion & beauty advice, entertainment etc.) Men's magazines (Short stories & articles of interest to (usually) young men, including pictures of pretty girls) Handyman magazines (=D.Y.I. magazines = Do-It-Yourself magazines) (Articles on how to do certain practical things such as repairing or making certain things) Home and Gardening magazines (Articles about buying a home, home decoration, home maintenance, gardening etc.) Car magazines Military magazines (Articles & stories about military history, military equipment & weaponry) Hobbyist magazines (E.g., stamp collecting, antiques, photography, different arts and crafts, pets, different games ...)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 87 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Computer magazines (Articles about new developments and products in the world of computers) Computer Game magazines Business & Money magazines (Articles about personal money management, investing, the stock market etc.) Puzzle magazines (With puzzles to solve) Humour magazines (Jokes, funny cartoons, & humorous short stories) Travel magazines (Articles about interesting places to visit) Science and Nature magazines (E.g., National Geographic) Health and Fitness magazines Popular Psychology magazines (Self-help articles and articles on 'pop psychology' topics) Literary magazines (Short stories, poetry, reviews of new books, etc.) Short Story magazines (Various short stories to read. Different genres exist e.g., mystery stories, romance stories, crime stories, science fiction stories ...) Political magazines (Usually political analysis & opinion rather than objective political news) Scholarly magazines (Specialized magazines for academics in different subjects)

Magazines and Newspapers in General What (other) types of magazines do you like to read? What sorts of magazines do young people in China like to read? Do people of different ages read different kinds of magazines? What benefits do people get from reading newspapers and magazines? What are the most popular newspapers and magazines in China today? In general, would you say people prefer to read magazines or newspapers? (Compare them in your answer.) What can people learn from reading magazines? Why do some people just skim the headlines when they read a newspaper?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 88 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

When do people read an article in a magazine or newspaper in detail and when do they just skim an article?

(News) Magazines and Newspapers [Note: It is possible that this topic is not just about news magazines but is about all magazines, i.e., magazines in general.]

Do you think it's important to keep up with the news? (Why? /Why not?) (Similar to above) What is the importance of keeping up with the news? Do people in China like reading newspapers and news magazines? What are the main differences between (news) magazines and newspapers? What do people in China prefer to read, magazines or newspapers? (Why?) (Similar to above) Why do some people prefer to read magazines and other people prefer to read newspapers? What kind of news do you prefer to read about? What do you think is the purpose of headlines in a newspaper? Why do some people only read the headlines when they read a newspaper? What's your opinion of people who only read the headlines in a newspaper? What can we learn about other parts of the world from newspapers and news magazines? What benefits can we get from learning about what is happening in other countries? Is the news that we get from different parts of the world different? Some people say we can't believe everything we read in newspapers and news magazines. What do you think?

Information Communication Technology - The Media

What are the main media outlets (the mainstream media) in China today?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 89 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

What's your opinion of the mainstream media today? What is the purpose (or, what are the benefits) of having these media? What are some of the main differences between getting information from magazines and getting information from other media such as TV or the internet? (Similar to above) What are the main differences between the information from newspapers and magazines and information that we can get from the internet? Do you think that the information we read on the internet is (always) reliable? So, how could we avoid unreliable information appearing on the internet? Difficult Question Why do some people prefer to listen to the radio rather than watch TV? (Similar to above) How important in people's lives do you think the media (such as TV, the internet & newspapers) is? Do you think watching TV is a good way to get information? How does technology influence the news people receive? How do you think the media will develop in the future? Do you think communications technology will play an important role in people's lives in the future? What is your understanding of the term, "professional ethics" when talking about the profession of journalism? What qualities do you think a person needs to be a good journalist?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 90

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Twenty- seven


A Garden
Describe a garden you visited and that you liked. You should say: (The name of this garden) Where it was What it looked like What people did there And explain why you liked it. or How you feel about this garden.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 91

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

Pay attention to the verb tense. If the past tense is used on the card (as shown above), use past tense in your answer. (Possibly the past tense is not used for every point on the card.)

Part 3 Note that 'public gardens' and 'public parks' are more or less the same. The Functions of Parks

How do you feel about parks? What kinds of people most often go to parks? What are the functions of city parks? (Similar to above) What do people do when they go to parks? Do you also do any of these activities in parks? (Do you ever join in these activities?) Are there many parks in (the centre of) your hometown? What improvements could be made to these parks? Do you think it's better to have parks in the middle of the city or to have them on the edge of the city or even just outside the city? (Similar to above) Do you think parks should be in cities (or towns) or in the countryside (or on the outskirts of cities and towns)? Are there enough parks for your hometown's needs? Are there other places in your city that are similar to parks? Do these parks have adequate facilities for your hometown's needs? What do you think is the most important thing a park in a city should have? (Similar to above) What do you think is the most important quality of a good park in a city? What role does greenery (trees, grass etc.) play in a city? Why do many people prefer to go to a park instead of to the city square? How do parks affect people's feeling about a town or city?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 92 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you think that parks are important for people? How have parks in China changed in the past few years? Which is better, to have a park that is beautiful or a park that is functional (= wellused)? (Similar to above) Do you think it's more important for public parks to be beautiful or functional? Why are there fences around parks? Should people pay to use parks? (Why? /Why not?) How should parks be paid for? (Similar to above) Who should pay for public parks, the government or local citizens? (or the users of the parks?) What personal qualities and skills are needed to work as a park maintenance worker (e.g., a gardener)?

The Cultural Role of Parks in a Community

Do you think that the park you just described should have any cultural facilities? (If yes, what?) What role do parks play in the life of a community? Does a park represent the culture or the history of the place where it is located? (Similar to above) Can a park represent the culture or the history of the place where it is located? (Similar to above) Should a park represent the culture or the history of the place where it is located? (Similar to above) Are parks good places for representing the history of a place? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think it is suitable to hold events such as concerts in parks? Are there any possible disadvantages to doing that? If you want to understand the history of a place, do you think it is necessary to visit parks in that place? Do tourists (visitors) to a city usually visit the parks in that city?

Parks in the Countryside


David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 93 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

What are some differences between parks in cities and those in the countryside? What is the value (= the usefulness) of these parks? [See above.] What effect do national parks have on the economy of a country? (Hints: tourism, employment) What are some differences between parks in the centre of cities and those that are on the edge of cities? Whose responsibility is it (or, should it be) to take care of the trees and wildlife in a country - is it the government's responsibility or the responsibility of each individual?

Family Gardens

Does your family have its own garden? What kinds of things do (you think) people do in their family gardens?

Public Gardens

Are public gardens very important in China? Are there many public gardens in China? Do you think there are enough public gardens in your hometown? What do you think are the functions of public gardens in cities? (Similar to above) What do you think are the benefits of having gardens in the city? (Similar to above) Why do people who live in cities like public gardens? (Similar to above) What effects does an open, green place such as a public garden in the cities have? (effects on the people or on the city) Do you think governments should provide public gardens for people to visit? Do you think the government should spend more money on public gardens for the cities or for the villages and small towns in the countryside? Do you think it is reasonable for people to pay to enter a public garden?

Different Age Groups and Public Garden Use What do people do when they go to a public garden?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 94 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

How do people of different age groups use public gardens? (Similar to above) Do these gardens play the same role for old people and young people? (Similar to above) Do you think these gardens are more important for old people (e.g., retired people) or young(er) people?

Gardens and Children

Do you think gardens have any value for children? (Similar to above) Do you think gardens are important for children to see and experience or play in? (Similar to above) Do you think children can learn anything from visiting public gardens? If you had children, would you prefer to bring them up in the city or in the countryside?

Private Gardens

What are some of the differences between a private garden and a public garden? Which do you think is more important, public gardens or private gardens? In China, how do people in the cities use the empty space between their homes? Are people allowed to grow things in these empty public places? Why do some city people have gardens? (Similar to above) What is the function of gardens in the city? (Similar to above) What do you think the advantages would be if you had a garden near your home? In China, at what age do people usually engage in gardening? Do they prefer to grow flowers or vegetables? If you had your own personal garden, which would you prefer to grow, vegetables or flowers? (Why?) Do you think people should grow food or flowers in their gardens? (Compare the importance/value of the two.)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 95 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Question Twenty- eight


A Physical Activity
Describe a physical activity you do. (For example: a sport or some work.) You should say: How often you do it Where (and when) you do it How old you were when you started to do it What equipment is needed for this activity? And explain how you feel when or after you do this physical activity.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 96

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Possible follow-up questions:

Are you going to continue doing/playing that? Would you like to do that more often?

Part 3 Childhood Sport in China

In China, what sports are most popular with (young) children? What sports do (high school) students have (play) in China? Do you think sport (or P.E.) is necessary in school? (Why? /Why not?) Do boys and girls (or, young men & women) in China like to play the same sports? Do you think boys and girls should play the same sports? (Why? /Why not?) (Similar to above) Do you think it's suitable for boys and girls to play the same sports? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think boys and girls should compete against each other or play together on the same sports teams? * What benefits do children (or, young people) derive from playing sport?

Sports Teams In general, why do you think sport is important to some people? In China, are sports activities very competitive? Do you think competitive sport is beneficial for children (or, young people)? Do you think teamwork is important in sport? Do you think it's important for children (or, young people) to experience playing team sports? (Why? /Why not?) (If you were a sports team manager or coach), how would you produce an outstanding team? What do you think are the pros and cons of teamwork (in sport)?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 97 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you think there are any drawbacks from playing on a sports team? How can (or, how does) one start a sports team? Why do many people like to watch team sports?

International Sport (e.g., The Olympic Games) What do you think is the value of international sports competition? Do you think international sports competition can help different countries communicate with each other? In general, is international sports competition very important to people in China? How do you feel about the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing? What is the significance (or, the importance) of China winning the bid to hold the Olympic Games? In what ways do you think the Olympic Games will effect (change) China? What effect do you think the Olympic Games will have on China's international relations? Do you think Beijing's environment will affect the Games?

Modern Lifestyle and The Exercise that People Do in Your Country What do Chinese people think about sport and other physical activity? What sports or forms of physical exercise are most popular in China? Why do people in China choose the particular sports or physical activities that they do? Compared to a few decades ago, do you think modern people (in China) do more or less exercise? (Similar to above) How has the sport that people engage in (in China) changed, compared to a few decades ago? Why do you think modern people do less exercise than before? What are the things that people do to try to lose weight? Do many people in China go to gym to exercise (to work out)? Why do so many people go to a gym nowadays?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 98 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Why do many people prefer to exercise at an indoor sports centre rather than outside? What facilities and equipment do these gyms have? What do you think about paying to go to a gym for exercise? Which do you think is better, to exercise alone or to exercise with a friend? Which do you think is better, to exercise indoors or outdoors?

The Relationship Between Exercise and Health + Government Promotion of Exercise What benefits do people derive from doing exercise? (Similar to above) What are the results of doing exercise? What is the relationship between health and exercise? Do you think people are more health-conscious today or do modern people need to exercise because we have so many machines to do our physical work for us? Do you think it's important that people have an awareness of the importance of exercise? What exercise do children usually do? What do you think will be the physical effects if children spend all their time sitting in front of the TV or a computer? (Similar to above) Do you think watching a lot of TV or spending a lot of time using a computer can make children fat? (Why?/Why not?) What benefits do you think children get from doing physical exercise? Do you think companies should provide more facilities (e.g., a gym) for people to exercise at work? (Similar to above) Some companies provide exercise facilities at work for their employees. Do you think that's a good idea? (Why? /Why not?) What benefits would there be for the company if it did that? What are some ways that the government could use to encourage people to exercise more? Do you think the government should spend money to provide more exercise facilities for the people? (Similar to above) Do you think it is one of the responsibilities of government to encourage and help people to exercise more? (Why? /Why not?)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 99 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions


Sport

(Similar to above) Do you think governments should spend more money (more than they do now) to promote the health of the citizens? Do you think government promotion of sport is a good thing? (Note: Sport and exercise are not exactly the same.) What is the government doing to promote exercise in the community? To what extent do you think a person's health (or, the exercise they do) is a personal responsibility? (I.e., something that the government should not be concerned about.)

How do you think modern sport and sport, say, 50 years ago are different? How do you think sport will evolve in the future? Are men and women both suited to the same sports (or are some sports more suited to one gender)? (Hint: Females participate far less than men in physical contact sports.) How are the physical skills of men and those of women different? (Hints: strength, endurance, aggressiveness, agility, gracefulness ... ) Do people in China pay much attention to international sport (or sports competitions overseas)? How do you think international level athletes are different to average people (or, average, weekend athletes who engage in sports competition just for fun)? (Compare them.)

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 100

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Twenty- nine


An Interesting Film
Describe an interesting film you have seen. You should say: When & where you saw it What type of film it was What the film was about (= what the contents of the film were) And explain what you learned from this film. or And explain why you think it was interesting.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 101

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

Possibly the word, "interesting" is not used and instead, the wording is simply, "Describe a film that you recently enjoyed watching." Therefore, it is best to prepare to talk about a film that you enjoyed and that was interesting.

Possible follow-up questions:

What do you think was the best part of this film?

Part 3 Film viewing behaviour

What kinds of films are most popular in China? What are the differences between watching films and watching TV programs? Do old people and young people like to watch the same kinds of films? (Compare the differences.) What can children learn from movies? Do people in China prefer going to the cinema or watching films at home? Do old people like going to the cinema? Whats the best environment for watching a film? How do you think cinemas (U.S. = movie theaters) will change in the future? Who do you prefer to watch films with? What do people get from watching films? How do you think different kinds of films effect people? (As above) What is the impact of films on young people? What do you think people can learn from watching films? (Or should films be considered as entertainment only?) What have you learned from movies? (Similar to above) Do movies have any educational value? (What?)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 102 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you think people can improve their English by watching English language movies? Can people learn more from movies than from books? (Compare the two.) To what extent do you think films reflect real life? Do you think that film stars deserve the large incomes that some of them receive? Do people in China like watching old films? (Why?) Compare old films and modern films. What do you think is the value of preserving old films? Compare commercial movies with more 'artistic' movies that are not made for moneymaking purposes.

The film industry in China

What kinds of films are made in China? (Give examples.) Compare Chinese-made films with foreign films. Is China's film industry (the film-making industry) very important for the country? (How?) (As above) In what ways is China's film industry important for the country? How do you think the film industry in China could be better developed? Do you think the government should invest money in film-making? (or, in developing or assisting China's film industry) What do people in China think about Chinese-made films? How do people in China feel about (Chinese) film stars? Would you like to be a film star? How has the film making industry changed in China in recent years? In future, what changes do you think will take place concerning the production of films in China?

Film and other media

Do young people in China prefer to go online (go onto the internet) or to watch films? What are the benefits to society of movies?
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Compare watching films with reading books (as a recreational activity). Compare the educational value of the latest video technology with books. (As above) Do you think we can learn more from books or from films?

Films in General

What are the different types of films? In what ways do these types differ? What kinds of people like to watch these different types of films? What kinds of films are most popular? Do you think (watching) films have (has) any educational benefits? In what ways are documentary films and films only for entertainment different? (Similar to above) Films in cinemas are all for entertainment. How do you think these films compare with documentary videos or documentary TV shows? Why do you think documentary films are not so popular? How are movies and real life different? Do men and women like to watch the same kinds of films? Compare the films that older people (e.g., over 35) like to watch with those that younger people (e.g., 13 to 25) like to watch. (Similar to above) Do different age groups like the same kinds of films? Do you like any particular film star? Why? Why do you think many young people are so interested in cinema super stars? Are old movies very popular in China? (Why?/Why not?) Compare animated cartoon films with films that have real actors. Which is better? (Or: Which do you prefer?) (Why?) How has science and technology affected the way films are made today? What qualities should a good film director have? What are the responsibilities of a film director, when making a film? (i.e., what does a film director actually do?)
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How important do you think films are? Which do you think is more important for society, films or books? In general, when films are made of novels, how do the films differ from the novels? Which is more interesting, the original novel or the film version of the novel? Do you think film censorship is a good thing? What can people learn from watching films? Do you ever discuss films with your friends? What can we learn from watching foreign films? Do you think watching English language films at school helps students learn English? What kinds of film do you think will be most popular in the future? (Similar to above) What kinds of film do you think will develop fastest in the future?

The Cinema Do you like watching films? (Why?) Do you prefer watching films at home or in a cinema? (Why? Compare the two.) Do you think going to the cinema is very important for people? (Why? /Why not?) Who goes to the cinema more, young people or older people? (Why?) Compare watching films in the cinema to watching films (e.g., DVDs) at home. Are people attracted (or influenced) by advertisements (or previews) for new films? DIFFICULT QUESTION (Similar to above) Do you think advertisements for new films have much effect on how many people go to watch these films? (Or, do most people rely on recommendations from friends about what films are worth going to see?) If there were no advertisements for films, how could people know about new films or know which cinemas have these new films? (Hint: To know about new films - Film reviews in newspapers & on the internet; To know where new films are being shown -) In the future, do you think people will go to the cinema more often than they do now? (Why?)

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(Similar to above) In the future, do you think people will still go to cinemas to watch films or will most people watch DVDs at home? (Hint: In the future, most people will probably watch films on the internet or a combination of internet and television.) Do there think there should be controls (= censorship) on the amount of violence that is shown in films? (Why? /Why not?)

The Film Industry (in Your Country)

What types of film are most popular in China? Do Chinese people like going to the cinema to see films (or do they prefer to watch DVDs at home)? How do think this affects the (Chinese) film industry? Do you think it is necessary for China to have a film industry? How has the Chinese film industry developed over the past 30 (or more) years? (Similar to above) Can you tell me something about the history of the Chinese film industry? What influences do Chinese films have on Chinese society? Compare Chinese and foreign films. Which do you prefer. (Why?) (Similar to above) What do you think are the main differences between Chinese and foreign (American) films? Which are more popular in China? (Why?) (Similar to above) Compare how Chinese films reflect Chinese values (or, Chinese culture) and how Western films reflect Western values (or, Western culture). Do you think it's important for China to produce films that particularly reflect Chinese society and Chinese culture? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think it's important for Chinese films to be promoted overseas? How are new films promoted in China? Why are documentary films not so popular? What does one need in order to make a film? (e.g., what facilities, what things?) (Hints: Time; Creativity and artistic sense; Capital; Video cameras; A story (a plot) plot and a script; Actors; A film crew; A film location; Editing facilities.) Do you think the development of the internet is (will be) an advantage or a disadvantage for the film industry?
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. Films in China

What kind of films do you like best? Where do you usually watch these films? Do you prefer to watch films at home or in a cinema? (Why?) Do you usually buy DVD's or do you prefer to download films from the internet? What kind(s) of films do Chinese people like best? What kind(s) of films are most popular at the moment? Do men and women like watching the same kinds of films? What kinds of films do young people prefer to watch? What kinds of films do your grandparents like to watch? Do city people and people in the countryside feel the same about watching films? Are foreign films are very popular in China? (Similar to above) Do people in China prefer to watch Chinese films or foreign films? (Why?) (Similar to above) What are the differences between foreign films and films made in China? (Similar to above) Why (or, how) do you think foreign films and Chinese films are different? Do you think Hollywood has had much of an effect on Chinese films? Do you think people can benefit from watching English language films? (Similar to above) What are some of the benefits of watching foreign films? Do you think people spend too much money watching films?

The Benefits of Watching Films What are some of the different ways (or different places) where people can watch a film? Do you think entertainment is an important part of people's lives? Do you think (watching) films have (has) any educational benefits?
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(Similar to above) What can we learn from watching films? Films in cinemas are usually for entertainment. How do you think these films compare with documentary films (or documentary videos or documentary TV shows)? (Similar to above) What are the differences between documentary films and films purely for entertainment? (Similar to above) Some people think we can learn many different things from watching films while others just say films are for entertainment. What's your opinion? (Similar to above) Do you think people can learn something from entertainment films, similar to the way they learn things from documentary films? Why do you think most people prefer watching entertainment films to watching documentaries? (Similar to above) Why do you think most people don't find documentary films very attractive?

The Film Industry Film Production

What does one need in order to make a film? (E.g., what facilities, what things?) What do you think is the most important thing (or, the most important aspect) when making a film? (Similar to above) If you were a film director, what things would you pay most attention to? DIFFICULT QUESTION What are the qualities of a good film? (Similar to above) In your opinion, what makes a film 'successful'?

The Promotion of Films Do you think it's important for films to be advertised? What do you think is the purpose of advertisements for new films?

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Do you think an advertisement can help promote the sales of a new film? (Why? /How? or Why not?) (Similar to above) Are people attracted (or influenced) by advertisements (or previews) for new films? DIFFICULT QUESTION Which way do you usually use to decide whether a film is good or not - what your friends say or what the advertisements say?

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Question Thirty
An Important Stage of Your Life Describe an important stage of your life. You should say: How old you were Where you were living at the time What you were doing during this stage And explain why you think this was an important stage of your life.

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Notes

So far, very little information is available on the wording of this topic. The Part 3 questions are very similar to those for Topic A Stage of Your Life' (It is possible that the wording of the cue card will allow you to talk about the current stage of your life. Alternatively, the wording might specifically say a past stage of your life. If the words on the cue card are written as shown above, the card is asking you to talk about a past stage since it uses the past tense in the sentences following, You should say. If the words specifically ask you to talk about a past stage, as the words above do, it is possible you will be able to talk about the current stage of your life if you first ask the examiner whether it is ok to do that. It is possible that the question is not as shown above but, instead is: "Describe an important stage of your life" and, "explain why this was an important stage of your life". You could answer this question by using the word "period" or the word "time". For example, "my university period" or, "the time I was in high school". Other stages are possible, such as "the period when I was crazy about computer games for a while" or, "the stage when I wanted to be a film star" or, "the period when I first started work". These are typical stages that (young) people go through - this is what your answer should be, stages that most (or many) people go through in life.

Possible follow-up questions:

Is there anything about this stage of your life that you would change, if you could? Is your life now different (compared to this past stage)? Was this stage of your life similar to other people's life (your friends)? Do you think there will be more changes, later? (unclear)

Part 3 Legal Age of Adulthood


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At what age do you think people stop being children and become young adults? (As above) When do people become mature? (As above) What age is suitable for young people to become independent of their parents? Do you think people over the age of 18 should be treated as adults? In China, what grown-up things can 18-year-olds legally do? In western countries, 18-year-olds can get married, as long as they have their parents' permission. Do you think 18-year-olds should be allowed to get married? (= Are 18year-olds mature enough to get married?) What's the legal marriage age in China? In China, is the topic of young people's independence from their parents an important or suitable topic? Are parents in China too protective? What help do parents give to their young, unmarried adult children? In China, at what age are people allowed by law to do certain things such as drive a car, get married, buy tobacco or drink alcohol? Do you think its necessary to have these legal ages? Do you think these ages are suitable? = Do you think people at this age are responsible enough? Why do you think the minimum marriage age for females is younger than that for males? Do you think these age limits might be changed in the future? Why? Changed to what ages? Why not? What do you think might be some of the results if the minimum marriage age was higher than it is now? Do you think this is possible? Does China have a problem with youthful offenders? ( = young people who break the law, probably these legal age laws but possibly including all laws) Do children today have the same sense of responsibility that kids had previously? (For example, helping with housework or even helping bring in income to the family.)

Celebrating Life Events


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In China, is there any special celebration when people become adults? How do people in China celebrate important life events (e.g., birthdays? Compare how children celebrate these events with how adults celebrate them? What life events have you celebrated? Do you think it's important to celebrate life events such as these? Do people in China have parties to celebrate these life events (= milestones)? What (other) life events are celebrated in China? (e.g., marriage, graduation from university, starting your first job) Do people in China celebrate retirement from work?

Reaching Certain Age 'Milestones'

In China, what birthdays, representing reaching a new stage of life, are especially celebrated? (Similar to above) In Chinese culture, what are some of the important life events (of individuals) that are celebrated? How do you think people can best prepare themselves (or be prepared) for the next stage in their lives?

Old People

What is the social status of old people in Chinese society? In what ways does the government in China (try to) ensure the welfare of old people? How do you think people can best prepare themselves for retirement?

Life after Retirement

Whats the attitude in China towards old people? Is there a certain age when people must retire in China? Do you think this is a suitable age? How do people in China spend their retirement years?
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Do older people (e.g., over 45 years of age) have any problems finding work in China? How do you think an aging population (= older average age of the population as a result of many more old people) will affect society? What government services are available to help old people? What is the social status of old people in Chinese society? In what ways does the government in China (try to) ensure the welfare of old people? In Chinese culture, what are some of the important life events (of individuals) that are celebrated?

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Question Thirty - one

An Educational Visit Describe an educational visit that you made when you were in school. You should say: Who went with you? Where you went What you did there And explain what you learned on this trip.

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Note

This is called, "a school excursion". This activity is not common in Chinese schools. Examples of school excursions are trips to: unique natural places, farms (excursion for city kids), botanical gardens, museums, historical sites, exhibitions, performances such as plays or concerts, ... The wording might be, 'an educational trip' rather than, 'an educational visit'.

Possible follow-up questions:

Did you friends go with you on that trip?

Part 3 Learning by Visiting Places

What do you think are the benefits (advantages) of taking children to visit places where they can learn something? What are some examples of places where parents could take their children for an 'educational visit'?

School Excursions

What are some suitable places for school students to go for an educational visit? What do you think are the benefits (advantages) of taking children to visit places where they can learn something? Do you think school excursions (educational trips) are important? Do you think really do (or can) learn something from an educational trip? (How?) What role do you think the teacher should play on these school excursions?
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(Similar to above) Do you think the teacher is more important than the things the students can see on a school excursion? What are some examples of places where parents could take their children for an 'educational visit'?

Studying at Home

In general, what do you think are the advantages and disadvantages for a person to study at home instead of attending a school or university?

Children Studying at Home


[The words, "study at home" can have two meanings: a) Not attend school but instead stay at

home and learn things there from books and from the parents acting as teachers, and b) Do school work at home = do homework in the evenings and on weekends but attend school during the day. Most of these questions seem to refer to meaning 'a'.]

Do you think children can study at home? In the home, how do you think parents can help their children learn? What are some things that parents could provide for their children to encourage learning at home? Do you think children in poverty stricken areas (i.e., with poor school facilities or none at all) could benefit from studying at home? Do you think modern technology could help these children study at home? (Hint: internet & television)

Adults Studying at Home

Do you think it's necessary for adults do any study? Do you think it's possible for an adult to study at home, for example, for a degree? (Hint: internet) For adults, what are (or, what would be) the advantages from studying at home? Do you think more people will study at home in the future?
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The Value of Schools

How had education in China changed in the last few decades? Can you think of any other ways for children to learn, besides classroom instruction? Do you think schools are really necessary for getting an education? Do you think more people will study at home in the future?

Further Education

Do you think adults should (ever) continue studying after they start working?

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Question Thirty - two


Something You Want to Buy Describe something special you want to buy in the future. You should say: What it is What it looks like How long you have wanted to buy it And explain why you want to buy it.

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Part 3 Shopping

Do you like shopping? How often do you go shopping? Do you think shopping is a good way to pass the time? Some people say shopping is a waste of time. What's your view on this? Which do you think is better, shopping on your own or with another person? In general, how are men and women different when it comes to shopping?

Advertising Do you think advertising plays a very big role in determining what people buy? In China nowadays, what things are being advertised quite a lot? (Hint: luxury goods such as cars) What do you think is the function (or, purpose) of advertising? There are several different ways to advertise. Which do you think is the most effective form of advertising? What do you think are the good and the bad points about advertisements?

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Question Thirty - three


Something That Helped You Learn a Language Describe something you do/did that helps/helped you learn another language (besides your own language). You should say: What it is you do/did Where you do/did it Who you do/did it with And explain how this activity helps/helped you.

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Notes

It seems that this is referring to an activity. It is not clear what tense is used but most people are reporting the past tense

Part 3
Learning another Language

What are some reasons why people learn a foreign language? (Similar to above) What are the benefits of learning a foreign language? What are the ways that a person can learn a foreign language? What do you think is the most difficult part of learning another language?

Age and Language Learning Do you think language learning is more important for young people than it is for older people? Who do you think is more willing to learn a foreign language, young people or old(er) people? (Similar to above) Who do you think is more enthusiastic about learning a foreign language, children people or people older than children? * Who do you think finds it easier to learn a foreign language, children or adults?

Language and Culture Do you think learning another language has changed your thinking at all? How important do you think English is? What do you think is the dominant language in the world today? What do you think of this phenomenon? What language do you think will be dominant in the future?

David Hathaway

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Question Thirty-four
A Famous Person Describe a famous person you would like to meet. You should say: Who this person is Where you first saw him or her (or, where you have seen him or her) How/why this person is famous And explain what you would say to this person.

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Possible follow-up questions:


Fame

Is he/she still famous today? Do you think you really will meet him/her one day?

Part 3

What are some of the advantages or influence that famous people have? Would you like to be famous? (Why? /Why not?) Do many people want to be famous? Do you think it's easy to become famous? Do you think it's good to be famous? (Why? /Why not?) In general, how do people become famous? What kinds of people become famous? Do you think, to be famous, a person needs to have some special talent (or ability)? What are some general qualities of famous people? Do they have any qualities that are different from ordinary people? Compare how people become celebrities today with how people became celebrities years ago, for example, 30 or 50 years ago. Can you give me some examples of celebrities in your grandfather's time (i.e., about 50 years ago)? Compare what kinds of people were famous in China in the past (e.g., when your grandfather was young) to the kinds of people who are famous today. In your opinion, were the standards for judging who is famous before better than they are now? What about the future - how do you think people will become celebrities in the future? (Hints: Internet/Cell phone movies/As before, great leaders and contributors to human society) Do you think famous people (celebrities) have a special duty (responsibility) towards making positive contributions towards society?
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Do you think it is good that famous people such as movie stars or sports stars are used to represent (or speak for the people of) a country? (Why? /Why not?) How do you think famous people appearing in advertisements affects children (or, young people)? Why are people interested in reading about famous people? What benefits do famous people gain from being famous? How do you think celebrity status might affect the family members (wife/husband/children) of a celebrity? What do you think might happen if you have a married couple and one of them is famous and the other is not? Why do some people (paparazzi invade the privacy of celebrities by taking photographs of these celebrities? Do you think journalists should be allowed to write stories about the private lives of famous people? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think there are people who don't have the ability to become successful? Have you ever met a famous person?

People's attitudes towards Fame Do most people want to be famous? (Why?/Why not/) (Similar to above) Do you think it's good to be famous? (Similar to above) What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a celebrity? Do you think we should respect the privacy of celebrities? Do you think fans should be forbidden from bothering celebrities, for example, forbidden from asking for autographs? (Why? /Why not?) Do young people and old(er) people have the same ideas about who is a famous person? Do you think it is good that some young people try to copy the behaviour of some celebrities?

Community Service

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Fame

Do you think it is important for people to do (voluntary, unpaid) community service sometimes? (Why? /Why not?) Do many people do this in China? What kinds of people volunteer to do work for their communities? What kinds of people are best suited to working as volunteers? In what ways can/do people volunteer to do things to help their community (or country)?

Wanting to be Famous


Note

Do you think he/she (the person you just spoke about) wanted to be famous when he/she was in high school? Why do some people want to be famous? Do you think it's good to be famous? What are some of the benefits of being famous? Do you think people become a little "lost" when they become famous? Do you think famous people change their ways of thinking when they become famous? Do you think famous people ever fail (or, makes mistakes)? If a famous person failed (or, for example, disgraced him or herself) what would you think about that person? Do you want to be famous? (see note below) Would you like to be famous? (see note below) If you became famous, how do you think your life (or, you) would change?

If the wording of the question is, "Would you like to be famous?", most English speakers understand this to mean something similar to, "If you were famous, would that please you?" Most people would answer, "Yes" to this question because most people consider the advantages to being famous to be greater than the disadvantages,
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IELTS Questions

such as the loss of privacy. This question is purely speculative, i.e., it's just talking about an imaginary situation. However, if the wording is, "Do you want to be famous?", then the question is not imaginary but asking about your real wants and desires in life. When you say you "want" something, it is real, not speculative - you are talking about something you really want, something that you have probably spoken about or thought a lot about. Only a few people would answer that they, "want to be famous". That is, only a few people would say that one of their real goals in life is to be famous.

People's Ideas on Who is Famous


Note

Does everybody have the same idea about who is famous? Do older people and young people have the same ideas about who is famous? Why do many people like popular celebrities such as film stars, pop stars and sports stars? To be one of these stars, what qualities do people need to have? Who were some famous people about 30 or 40 years ago? Compare the types of people who were famous about 30 or 40 years ago with the people who are famous today. (Similar to above) Do you think the kind of people that others admire (or, 'greatly respect' or think of as 'heroes' or 'famous') has changed in the past few decades? (see note below) What kind(s) of people do you think will be famous in the future? Who first decides (or, determines) who is famous? Why do you think certain people are 'chosen' to be given the label, 'famous'?

China has changed greatly since the 'Opening Up and Reform' period started in 1979. Many young people today think of capitalists such as Bill Gates and local Chinese people who have made a lot of money as heroes whereas their parents had socialist heroes such as Lei Fang. The media has a lot to do with who becomes publicized more and therefore, 'famous'.
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Family Life for Famous People

Can you think of any disadvantages to being famous? Do you think famous people can (or, do) keep their privacy after they become famous? (Similar to above) Do famous people have privacy? Do you think it's important for a person to have some privacy? What would you suggest a famous person do to have privacy with their family? Do you think the children of famous people can play with normal children?

Do you think he/she (the person you just spoke about) wanted to be famous when he/she was in high school? Why do some people want to be famous? Do you want to be famous? Would you like to be famous? Do you think famous people change their ways of thinking when they become famous? Who were some famous people about 40 years ago? Compare the types of people who were famous about 40 years ago with the people who are famous today. Do older people and young people have the same ideas about who is famous? Do you think famous people can (or, do) keep their privacy after they become famous? (Similar to above) Do famous people have privacy? Do you think it's important for a person to have some privacy? What would you suggest famous person do if they want to have privacy with their family?

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Question Thirty- five


A Success You Have Had Describe a success you have had. You should say: What it was When it happened? How easy or difficult it was to achieve And explain how important you think this success was (to you).

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Part 3 Success

What do you think is a good definition of the word, "success"? QUESTION! In (Chinese) society, how is success defined or measured? What are the good and bad results of this type of thinking? Are there different types of "success"? What goals do most people in China have in life? How can people reach these goals?

DIFFICULT

Is there a lot of competition with others trying to achieve the same goals? (Similar to above) What must people today do to become successful? Who would be most happy if you became successful? (E.g., you, your parents, your wife ...) What kinds of people are most likely to become successful? (Similar to above) What are some of the qualities of successful people? Can you give me any examples of very successful Chinese people in sports, business or entertainment? How do you think they became so successful?

Competition What are some examples of competitive situations that Chinese people ( or, Chinese students) have to face? Do you think it is good that students have to compete against each other in school? Modern life seems to be quite competitive so why is there competition between university students? What are some of the reasons why people compete against other people? (This kind of question is asking you to speculate about psychology/philosophy/society. You are probably not an expert in this area so just to make some intelligent guesses about the reasons & root causes of competition. Certainly, the fact that human society is competitive, which is probably a basic instinct of humans, is a factor. But one should
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consider the extent to which basic human instincts, and also human society, can be modified.)


Goals

Many people think that being 'Number 1' is everything - they think that being Number 2 or Number 3 is not good enough. What do you think of this attitude? What are some of the advantages and shortcomings of competition? Do children learn how to compete at school? (If yes, how?) What are the merits of teamwork? For people working in a company, is it more important to be competitive with your work colleagues or be co-operative?

Do most people in China have goals in their lives? (Give some examples) What is the purpose of having goals? (Similar to above) Why do people have goals? To most people, how important is it for them to reach their goals? What should people do if or when they fail to reach their goals? What kinds of people have no goals? In what way do new scientific discoveries, as a result of scientific research, show the importance of goal-setting? *

Ambitions

Are you very confident that you will reach the goal that you just spoke about (in Part 2)? What successes have you had in your life? How would you define the word, 'success'? Do you think that failure is always a bad thing? What are the factors that lead to success? (As above) What are the qualities that successful people have that led to their success?
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IELTS Questions

Why do some people not succeed? How do you think parents can encourage their children to be successful in life? Do you think most people want to succeed in life? (Why do they feel this way?) When do people most want to be successful? (At what stage in their lives?) At what age is it most possible to become successful? In what ways do people want to be successful? (What kind of success is most important to Chinese people? Why?) = Different people have different goals at different times in their lives. Can you give some examples of this and what is your opinion of these goals? If a person suddenly becomes very successful, how do you think this could affect his or her life? (If 'success' = achieving financial wealth) Do you think that successful people are always happier than unsuccessful people?

Success and Reward What do Chinese parents mean when they say their son or daughter is "successful"? What are the benefits of success? Are there any negative results of success? (Hint: The envy of others.) Has the great financial success of some famous people ever made you feel envious? (Who? Why?) How should parents reward their children for success, for example, for doing very well in exams at school? Do you think this kind of reward is very effective? Do you think rewards such as that are important ( = necessary)? How do teachers in China reward students for doing well? (What do you think is the best way for teachers to reward students?) Do you think teachers should praise children when the children do well in school? How would you ( = how do you) define a successful teacher? Who has the greater influence on children, teachers or parents? How do bosses in China reward employees for a job well done?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 132

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Do you think financial rewards at work are the only or the best way for companies to reward employees?

Competition Versus Co-operation

Which do you think is a better attitude (for children) to have: a strong spirit of competition or a strong spirit of co-operation with others? Do you think that too much competition could damage the spirit of co-operation in society? Do you competition between friends is good? Some people say that 'success' means being 'number one' and that being 'number two' has no value. What do you think?

The Nature of Success

You've just described one success that you've had. What are some other examples of success that other people have? How would you define the word, 'success'? Do you think everybody agrees with you about how to define 'success'? (Similar to above) In general, how do people in your community (or, people you know/ people in your society/ people in China) decide to call someone, 'successful"? Do you think 'success' is the same as making a lot of money? How successful would you say you have been in your studies? Do you think you and your parents have the same ideas about success? In general, how do you think one can make achievements and become successful?

Success at Work What do you think is 'success' for an employee? How can a boss make his or her employees feel successful? (Similar to above) How can a boss reward his or her employees for work well-done?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 133

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IELTS Questions

(Similar to above) In the workplace, how would you judge the degree of success of an employee? In considering a person's success at work, which do you think is the more important, to look at 'the process' or look at 'the results'? How can a person become successful at his or her job? (Similar to above) How can a boss reward his or her employees for work well-done? (Similar to above) How can a boss (or, a company) encourage the employees to be successful? When and how should an organization reward its employees? (Similar to above) What kinds of success in the workplace should be rewarded? In addition to money, what other incentives could be used to encourage the employees?

Competition

Do you think competition is good? Why do many people dislike competition?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 134

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Thirty-six
Your Ideal Home Describe the ideal home that you would like to live in. You should say: Where it would be What type of house it would be How you would decorate it (or, how you would furnish it) And explain what why you would like to live in this kind of home.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 135

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

otes:

It is unsuitable to use the following expressions for this topic: "I hope my house will ..." or, "It will ...".

Part 3

What qualities (and skills) should a good architect have? Do you think old homes that were well built should be demolished to make way for new buildings or should they be maintained?

Possible follow-up questions:

Have you ever seen a home like that? Do you know anyone with a home like that? Do you think you will really live in a house like that?

Housing in China

Would you prefer to live in a flat (= apartment) or a house? (Why?) (Similar to above) Compare houses and flats. Do most people in your hometown live in a house or a flat? Why? In China, where do most young people (for example, 20 to 25-year-olds) live? Do they still live with their parents? What types of places (homes) do most people in China live in? (Hint: Remember that 65% of Chinese people are farmers!) Compare houses that rural people live in with the flats (apartments) that most city people live in. How are relations between neighbours different in cities and in the countryside (as a result of these different housing situations)?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 136 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

(Similar to above) What kind of housing situation is best for allowing neighbours to chat to each other? What are some of the housing problems that exist in China? What is the government doing to try to solve these problems? In Chinese cities, are there many people who do not have a place to live? (homeless people) Where do they sleep? Do you think the prices of homes in China are too expensive for the average person? Why are the prices so high? What is the government doing about this problem? Or: What can the government do about this problem? Do you think the government should help low-income people buy a home? (Why? How? /Why not?) (Similar to above) Do you think the government should supply low-cost housing for those people who have low incomes? Compare the advantages and disadvantages of living in a newly-built home and living in an old one. Some people like decorating their homes while other people don't care too much about decorating. Why do you think this is? Some people like decorating their homes with flowers while other people don't have flowers inside their home. Why do you think this is? How do you think homes (= houses or flats) in the future will be decorated (and furnished)?

Crowded Cities

Would you say that the majority of cities in China are overcrowded? What are some problems that (can) result from crowded (or, overcrowded) living conditions in cities? How can these problems be addressed? (Similar to above) Some people say that cities are too crowded. What are some solutions to this problem? (Hints: 'satellite cities'; developing the economy of rural areas.) Compare the advantages and disadvantages of living in a high-rise apartment.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 137 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

How does living in high-rise apartments affect the people who live there?

The Relationship between the Environment and Building Design

How do buildings in different parts of China differ from each other? For example, how are buildings in southern China different to those in northern China? (Similar to above) How does the environment of a place affect the design of the buildings in that place? What factors are important when designing a building? In what ways can buildings be more 'environmentally friendly'? (Hint: Buildings can be well-insulated to help decrease the use of energy for heating and cooling.) Difficult Question

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 138

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Thirty-six (a)


Another Person's Home Describe a house or flat that you like. For example: a friend's home. (Not your own home.) You should say: Whether it is a house or a flat Where it is What it looks like And explain why you like it

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 139

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

otes:

Question thirty-six and thirty-six(a) are very similar questions but I thought it would be better to look at them separately as they need to be answered slightly differently, they may be just different examiners interpretation of the same question . Look at the notes for question thirty-six above for further information.

Part 3 Building Design and Urban Development

What are the differences between houses and flats (apartments)? In the cities of China, do people mostly live in houses or flats? (Why?) Do you think there should be more houses in the cities? (Why? How? /Why not?) What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of living in a flat instead of a house? Do you think the climate of a place affects the way the buildings in that place are designed? In China, is there any difference between the north-facing side of houses and the south side? What qualities (and skills) should a good architect have? What are the different types of homes in China? Do young people and old(er) people (like to) live in the same kinds of places? In the future, what kind of home would you like to live in? * (= What's your ideal home?)

Houses versus Flats

What are the differences between houses and flats (apartments)? (or, " ... the differences between a house and a flat") In the cities of China, do people mostly live in houses or flats? (Why?) Compare the different types of people who live in different types of homes. (Different types of houses and flats - urban & rural/ wealthy & poor) Do you think there should be more houses in the cities? (Why? How?/Why not?)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 140 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of living in a flat instead of a house?

Home Design


Note

Do you think the (outside) appearance of a home is important? (Why?/Why not?) Do you think (local) government should (have the right to) regulate on the outside appearance of people's homes? Do you think the climate of a place affects the way the buildings in that place are designed? In China, are there any differences between homes in the north of China and those in the south? In China, is there any difference between the north-facing side of houses and the south side? * What qualities (and skills) should a good architect have? In the future, what sort of home would you like to live in? Who should be responsible for the appearance of a home? (see note below)

The real question is probably clearer and more specific than the way it is written here. I'm pretty sure it refers to the outside appearance of a house or flat, not the inside appearance. Let's look at possible 'appearance problems' with a house. Maybe someone never paints the outside walls of their house; or never fixes broken windows or other fixtures on the outside of the house; or builds an extra room onto the house that looks really ugly; or has a front yard that is full of rubbish and overgrown grass. The problem here is that this one house can look ugly and damage the atmosphere of the whole street because all the other houses on the street look neat and attractive. Similarly, for a flat, someone might have old canvas awnings above the windows that are torn and decayed; or they might have old, peeling paint on the painted surfaces; or they might hang clothes to dry on their open balcony (not an enclosed balcony). This question (about responsibility) is too complex to be answered with one, simple answer. The responsibility depends on different factors. As such, this is a typical Part 3 question that is best answered by considering the different factors or the different situations. Your answer
David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 141 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

should be quite long and detailed and should show different sides to the question, similar to a Task 2 writing test answer. I would say that, in situations where money is needed to correct a problem or to maintain the appearance of a home, the home owner is responsible. So, if someone is renting a house or flat, the landlord should maintain the place. In the case of behaviour that results in an ugly appearance, the resident (the person who lives there) should be responsible. Then we have the question of who is responsible for setting the standards and enforcing these standards for the appearance of a home. Usually the local government (not the national or provincial government) assumes this responsibility. Local governments usually have regulations governing the appearance of homes and if a home owner or resident does not follow these regulations, they can be punished with a fine. In some places, for example, in an apartment complex, there is a local committee of residents who sets the standards but such a committee usually doesn't have the power to impose a fine or some other legal punishment. Often an apartment complex or simply one apartment building appoints a manager whose job includes maintaining the appearance standard of the apartments. Of course, the standards for the original appearance (just after it is built) of a house or flat, are also based on (local) government regulations. These regulations set the standards for the designers (architects) and the builders. In most places, before a builder can start building a new structure, the local government must approve the design of the structure, including the outside appearance. Just a reminder: If you get this question and you make it obvious to the examiner that your answer comes from this page or if you simply make it obvious that you have read this page, the examiner will not like it! Pretend that you have never thought about this before and gradually introduce your ideas while thinking aloud.

Backyards and Balconies

What do people in China like to do in the outside parts of their home, for example on their balcony or in their backyard? What do your neighbours do on their balconies? Can you suggest any new ways for using backyards and balconies?. Use "could" not "can".)

Old Buildings
David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 142 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

What are the characteristics of traditional Chinese architecture? Do you think the government should put some restrictions on the appearance of old buildings? Do you think spending money on maintaining old buildings is a waste of money? Do you think old buildings should be preserved (protected)? (Similar to above) Do you think old homes that were well built should be demolished to make way for new buildings or should they be maintained?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 143

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Thirty-seven
A Childhood Toy Describe a toy you enjoyed playing with in your childhood. You should say: What this toy looked like Where you got this toy from How you played with this toy And explain why you enjoyed this toy.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 144

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

The words above are guesses at the moment. This is a past tense question and you should say more specifically when in your childhood, even if the card does not tell you to say that.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 145

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Thirty-eight
A Sports Event Describe a sports event that you watched or took part in. You should say: When this event was held Where it was held Who participated in the event? And explain why you remember this event so well.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 146

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Part 3

Besides sport, can you think of any other competitive situation that people face in life? In general, what do you think are the advantages of having competition in life? Do you think competition is a good thing? Can you think of examples in life when people co-operate with each other? What are the benefits of co-operation? Do you think it's a good thing to give top students in school an award or some prize? Are there any (possible) disadvantages to awarding only the top students?

Watching Sports Events

Do you prefer to watch sports events on TV at home or watch them live? (Why?) ('live' is pronounced as ' '. (Similar to above) Do you prefer to watch sports events on TV at home or watch them at the sports stadium? Do most people watch sports events live or at home on TV? Do you think there are too many sports programs on TV? What sports programs do you like to watch on TV? What are the advantages and disadvantages of going to see a live sports event, such as a football match, compared to watching the event at home on TV? Do people have the same feeling when they see a sports match on TV and when they see it live? Does the ticket price to live sports events effect people's decisions about whether or not to go and watch the event live? (= Are the tickets to live sports events in China very expensive?) Why do you think entrance tickets for some sports events are so expensive?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 147 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Where can (or do) people who do not have much money go to watch live sports events? How much do you think people should pay for admission tickets to live sports events? What about the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 what do you think would be a reasonable price for admission tickets? Compare TV sports broadcasts with TV news programs or other TV programs.

Sports Stars Who's your favourite sports star? (Why?) What are the differences between (the popularity of) sports stars and media personalities such as TV or movie stars? Why (how) do some sports stars earn such large incomes? Do you think sports stars should appear in advertisements (for sports products)? (= Is it good that they do this?) What is the reason for using sports stars in advertising? How do sports stars influence young people? (Similar to above) Do you think sports stars exert a positive influence on young people? Why does the media focus so much on sports stars? How do you think people become sports stars? Is it a matter of luck? Do you think its a good idea for some children to aim to be professional athletes? Some professional athletes are very well-paid. Do you think they deserve to be so well-paid?

Sports in general

Do you like sport? Who do play that sport with? How often do you exercise? What are the benefits of sport (or exercise)? What sports are most popular in China?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 148 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Compare the sports that were popular to watch before to the sports that people like watching today. What kinds of sports facilities exist in your community (= hometown or even in all of China)? Does China have sufficient sports facilities? Do males (boys) and females (girls) both play the same kind of sports? Do you think that everybody has the same opportunities to participate in sport? Have you ever wanted to join a sports club? Is it easy to do? How do you think the government could encourage more people to exercise and participate in sport? What opportunities do city people in China have for exercise and participating in sports? Do young people and old people participate in the same sports or the same kinds of physical exercise? Do you think children should be encouraged (from a young age) to participate in (competitive) sport? (or team sports) (= Benefits for the children?) (As above) What is the influence of sports on children? Do children like sports? Are there any disadvantages or negative aspects to sport? (Hints: sports injuries; some people take sport too seriously and neglect their studies or future career development; gambling and bribery in professional sport) Do you think learning teamwork in sport can benefit people in the workplace? What preparations does Beijing have to do for the 2008 Olympics? What is the significance of Beijing hosting the Olympic Games in 2008? Can you give any examples of sports-related jobs? (Sports team owner or manager, full-time (professional) athlete, sports coach, high school sports teacher, sports facility manager (including fitness centres), sports researcher (scientist doing research on sports performance), sports doctor, physiotherapist specializing in sports injuries, sports nutritionist, sports journalist, sports shop owner, sports clothes designer, computer programmer specializing in creating computer sports games, ...) Compare playing a sport (e.g., a game of badminton) just for fun with playing a sport in a serious competition.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 149 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Children's Sport

Do you think it's important for children to participate in some kind of sport? (Similar to above) What are the benefits of sport for children? In China, how much time do children spend on sport (and exercise) at school? In China, how much time do children spend on sport (and exercise) at school? Do you think this amount of time should be increased? Outside of school, what sports would you suggest a parent in China encourage their child to take up? (= to start doing) What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of competitive sport for children? Which do you think is better for children, individual sports or team sports? Can you think of any disadvantages of individual sports for children?

Competition and Awards in General Ambitions

Are you very confident that you will reach the goal that you just spoke about (in Part 2)? What successes have you had in your life? How would you define the word, 'success'? Do you think that failure is always a bad thing? What are the factors that lead to success? (As above) What are the qualities that successful people have that led to their success? Why do some people not succeed? How do you think parents can encourage their children to be successful in life? Do you think most people want to succeed in life? (Why do they feel this way?)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 150 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

When do people most want to be successful? (At what stage in their lives?) At what age is it most possible to become successful? In what ways do people want to be successful? (What kind of success is most important to Chinese people? Why?) = Different people have different goals at different times in their lives. Can you give some examples of this and what is your opinion of these goals? If a person suddenly becomes very successful, how do you think this could affect his or her life? (If 'success' = achieving financial wealth) Do you think that successful people are always happier than unsuccessful people?

Success and Reward

What do Chinese parents mean when they say their son or daughter is "successful"? What are the benefits of success? Are there any negative results of success? (Hint: The envy of others.) Has the great financial success of some famous people ever made you feel envious? (Who? Why?) How should parents reward their children for success, for example, for doing very well in exams at school? Do you think this kind of reward is very effective? Do you think rewards such as that are important (= necessary)? How do teachers in China reward students for doing well? (What do you think is the best way for teachers to reward students?) Do you think teachers should praise children when the children do well in school? How would you (= how do you) define a successful teacher? Who has the greater influence on children, teachers or parents? How do bosses in China reward employees for a job well done? Do you think financial rewards at work are the only or the best way for companies to reward employees?

Competition Versus Co-operation


David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 151 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Which do you think is a better attitude (for children) to have: a strong spirit of competition or a strong spirit of co-operation with others? Do you think that too much competition could damage the spirit of co-operation in society? Do you competition between friends is good? Some people say that 'success' means being 'number one' and that being 'number two' has no value. What do you think?

Success

What do you think is a good definition of the word, "success"? DIFFICULT QUESTION! In (Chinese) society, how is success defined or measured? What are the good and bad results of this type of thinking? Are there different types of "success"? What goals do most people in China have in life? How can people reach these goals? Is there a lot of competition with others trying to achieve the same goals? (Similar to above) What must people today do to become successful? Who would be most happy if you became successful? (E.g., you, your parents, your wife ...) What kinds of people are most likely to become successful? (Similar to above) What are some of the qualities of successful people? Can you give me any examples of very successful Chinese people in sports, business or entertainment? How do you think they became so successful?

Competition What are some examples of competitive situations that Chinese people (or, Chinese students) have to face? Do you think it is good that students have to compete against each other in school?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 152 Saturday 8th November 2008

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IELTS Questions

Modern life seems to be quite competitive so why is there competition between university students? What are some of the reasons why people compete against other people? (This kind of question is asking you to speculate about psychology/philosophy/society. You are probably not an expert in this area so just to make some intelligent guesses about the reasons & root causes of competition. Certainly, the fact that human society is competitive, which is probably a basic instinct of humans, is a factor. But one should consider the extent to which basic human instincts, and also human society, can be modified.) Many people think that being 'Number 1' is everything - they think that being Number 2 or Number 3 is not good enough. What do you think of this attitude? What are some of the advantages and shortcomings of competition? Do children learn how to compete at school? (If yes, how?) What are the merits of teamwork? For people working in a company, is it more important to be competitive with your work colleagues or be co-operative?


Goals

Do most people in China have goals in their lives? (Give some examples) What is the purpose of having goals? (Similar to above) Why do people have goals? To most people, how important is it for them to reach their goals? What should people do if or when they fail to reach their goals? What kinds of people have no goals? In what way do new scientific discoveries, as a result of scientific research, show the importance of goal-setting?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 153

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Thirty-nine
A Good Friend Describe one of your good friends. You should say: How (and when) you first met this person When you see this person What you usually do together And explain what kind of person he or she is.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 154

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

The topic might be, "Describe your best friend."

Possible follow-up questions: Do you think you will always be good friends?

Part 3 The Nature of Friendship

What are the qualities of a good (or, a real) friend? Do you prefer old friends or new friends? Which do you think is more important, friends or family? (This question, like most Part 3 questions, is a general question. It is asking about the importance of friends and family for people in general. If you want, you can add your personal feelings about the relative importance of your family and your friends to you. But first answer the general question.) What are some of the main differences between family relationships and friendships? Do you think friendships between boys (or, males) are stronger than friendships between girls (or, females)? (Similar to above) How are friendships between boys (or males) different to friendships between girls (females)? How can people maintain a friendship when the two people are living far from each other?

Other Relationships

Do you think co-workers (= work colleagues = workmates) should also be friends with each other? Do you think it's possible for a boss at work to be friends with the people he or she manages? Do you think a boss should be friends with his or her staff?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 155 Saturday 8th November 2008

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IELTS Questions

Do you think there are any advantages or disadvantages to a boss being friends with his or her staff? How do you think an employee (or, the employees) can get along with a terrible boss? What qualities do you think a good boss should have? Do you think mean and women have different ideas about boyfriends and girlfriends?

Co-operation and Teamwork In life, do you think teamwork is important? (Similar to above) What are the social benefits of co-operation between people? Can you think of any examples of work (or, jobs) where teamwork is especially important? Do you think international co-operation (or, collaboration) between countries is important? (Similar to above) What is the role of international co-operation between countries? (Similar to above) What are the results (the effects) of international co-operation between countries? Can you give any examples of international co-operation? Do you think there have been any changes in the past few years in the way countries co-operate (or don't co-operate)?

Joining Groups; Co-operation and Teamwork

Do you think it's important that people should join groups or be a part of a a community? (Why? /Why not?) Some people think it is better to be a 'loner', someone who is independent and selfsufficient and who doesn't join any groups or a community. What do you think of that attitude? What benefits can people get from joining groups? In life (or, in work), do you think teamwork is important? (Similar to above) What are the (social) benefits of teamwork (or, co-operation) between people?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 156 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Can you think of any examples of work (or, jobs) where teamwork is especially important?

International Relations

Do you think international co-operation (or, collaboration) between countries is important? (Similar to above) What is the role of international co-operation between countries? (Similar to above) What are the results (the effects) of international co-operation between countries? Can you give any examples of international co-operation? Do you think there have been any changes in the past few years in the way countries co-operate (or don't co-operate)? Do you think international competition can help promote international co-operation?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 157

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Forty
A Story from TV Describe an interesting story you saw on TV. You should say: What the story was When you watched it Who was in the story? And explain why you remember it.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 158

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Important Note

I seriously doubt this is a real topic! First of all, English speakers don't usually talk about, "an interesting story on TV". Instead, they talk about, "an interesting program" or, "an interesting film". Secondly, I think the candidates who reported this as their topic really got topic:

Some Interesting News - Describe an interesting news story you recently read in a newspaper or saw on TV. Part 3 TV and Society The Benefits and Possible Harm from TV

Why do you think people like to watch TV? What are the benefits for family members watching TV together? Do you think families watching TV together can be harmed by doing this? (Similar to above) Do you think TV has any effects on family relationships? Do you think watching TV has any effect on the education of school children? (Similar to above) Do you think watching TV has any effect on how well students do at school? Do you think using the internet might be a better way to improve one's English?

TV and Reality Do you think what you see on TV is actually close to real life? Do you think that what you see on TV is related to people's real lives? Do you think that children could benefit more by sometimes going outside the home instead of watching TV? (Hints: a) see the real world, b) get exercise, c) relate to other people such as friends)

TV versus Other Media


David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 159 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Do you think the internet is better than TV as a source of entertainment, or news or as a way to improve your English?

Question Forty - one


A Childhood Game Describe a game you enjoyed when you were a child. (Not a sport.) You should say: What the game was When, where and with whom you usually played it How you played it And explain why you enjoyed this game. or And explain what was special about this game.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 160

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

This topic was due to retire in May 2008 but has continued in use. The Part 2 and all of the Part 3 were copied from the original topic with no changes. I am guessing that some changes were made to the Part 3 questions around May 10, 2008 (date unsure) but, so far, I have not found what questions are new. Originally I was not sure if this topic was about a "childhood activity" or a "childhood game". "Activity" can include "game". But now everybody writes on the internet that it is a game. But many people still say there is a topic called, "A Childhood Sport". So I have created two topics, "A Childhood Game" and, "A Childhood Sport". 'Childhood' is the period between the times when you were about 4 and 12 years of age. Here are three examples of a "childhood game" - hopscotch (for girls) and "hide and seek" (for both boys and girls) and "mothers and fathers" (for both boys and girls) in which kids pretend to play family roles. There must be many more games that kids play.

Possible follow-up questions: Do children today still play this game? Do you still like to play this game?

Part 3 Children's Play

(Similar to above) (In general), do children prefer to spend time with other children or with adults? Do children and adults like playing together? Besides sport, what activities do children (or young people) like to do? Do you think children generally do things arising from their own interest or as a result of their parents' encouragement (or example)? Are boys and girls interested in the same games or play activities?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 161 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

After they grow up (or, as they grow older), why do you think boys and girls tend to be interested in different activities? If you were teaching a child how to play a new game, how would you do it? (Notice the similarity to this question if you were a father, how would you teach your child to swim?" For both of these questions, you should say "I would" not "I will".) Why do children usually enjoy playing outside? Why do many children today not (like to) play outside? Do you think it's important for schools to have areas for outdoor play (i.e., playgrounds)? What are the benefits of play for children? What are the benefits of children playing games? (Similar to above) How does playing games help in the mental development of children? Do you think children today get along better with other children than children did, say 20 or 30 years ago? What do you think are the good points and possible bad points about China's 'One Child Policy'? What's your opinion about the entertainment choices that children today have? (Similar to above) Do you think entertainment for children today is good or not? Do you think it's important for schools to have after-school activities (= extracurricular activities) for school children? (Similar to above) Do you think it's necessary for children to have after-school activities (= extra-curricular activities)? How do you think school lessons could be made more interesting for younger schoolchildren? (E.g., learning via games in class.) (Similar to above) Do you think teachers should include activities in their lessons in order to make the lessons more interesting? (Why? /Why not?)

Games

Do you think it's good for children to play competitive games? (Similar to above) What are the good and possibly the bad results of children engaging in competitive activities such as games?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 162 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions


Sport

Are there any differences between the games boys like to play and those girls like to play? Do you often play games? (Include: what kinds of games) (Similar to above) Do you like to play games? (Why? What games?) Can you play this game with friends? What benefits do you get from playing this game? (Similar to above) What benefits do people get from playing games? What benefits can children get from playing games? Can you get information about this game on the internet? Are there other ways to get information about this game? Do different age groups of people like to play different games? (Give examples - What games?) (As above) How are children's games different to adults' games? What's the most popular game in China? How have games changed in the past few decades? How have children's games changed in the past few decades? How do you think games will develop in the future? How have computers influenced the games people play today? Why do Chinese adults like playing mah-jong? Are there any drawbacks from playing internet (or, computer) games?

Is sport an important part of people's lives? (Why? /Why not?) [Hint: 'Exercise' and 'sport' are NOT exactly the same.] What are the benefits and possible disadvantages of playing sports? (Similar to above) What are some of the benefits that regular exercise can have for the body? Do men and women (or, boys and girls) (like to) play the same kinds of sport?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 163 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

What kinds of sports do children like to play? Do you think boys and girls should play the same kinds of sports? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think it's important (or necessary) for schools to have outdoor sports activities for students? Today, are there more non-academic (= extra-curricular) activities in school than there used to be several decades ago? Do you think there should be more extra-curricular activities such as sport available for school children? Do you think there are any psychological benefits from doing exercise? Do you think parents should play sport with or exercise with their young children? Do you think it's important for children (or, young people) to experience playing team sports? (Why? /Why not?) In China, are sports activities (for children) very competitive? Do you think competitive sport is beneficial for children (or, young people)? How can (or, how does) one start a sports team? Do you think Do you think the government should organize people's leisure activities (such as sports activities)?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 164

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Forty two


An Occasion When You Were Late Possibly no longer used Describe an (important) occasion when you were late. You should say: When this happened What occasion you were late for Why you were late (or, how you explained your lateness) What lesson you learned from this experience And explain how you felt when you were late. or And explain the result of your being late.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 165

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Possible follow-up questions:

Are your friends very often late? Were your friends also late? Do your friends also have experiences of being late?

Part 3 Punctuality

Do you think it's important to be punctual? How do you feel when others are late, keeping you waiting? Do you think it's always possible to avoid being late? What are some reasons why people are late? If someone said they were late because they were busy, would you forgive them? What are some methods that people can use to make sure they are on time? Except for having a schedule, do you know of any other ways? Do young people (e.g., 15 -25 years old) and older people (e.g., over 30 years old) have the same attitudes towards punctuality? (Similar to above but not the same) Do young people and old people (e.g., over 60 years old) have the same attitudes towards punctuality? (Similar to above) Do adults and children have the same concept of time? Do you think punctuality is more important for businesspeople or for the common person? Are your friends ever late, for example, for class or to meet you when you go out? What are some examples of occasions when punctuality is especially important?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 166 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you think that ideas about being 'on time' are the same in the West and in China? (Similar to above) Do you think that ideas about being 'on time' are the same in different cultures (or, different countries)? Besides the occasion that you just mentioned, what are some other times when people are late? What are some of the different reasons why people are late? What are some of the common excuses/reasons that people give when they are late? Some of these excuses might not be true. Do you think it is good to be dishonest like that? Are people in China usually punctual (= on time) when they have to be somewhere at a certain time? What do people in China think of people who are late? (Similar to above) Do you (or, do people in China) think punctuality is important? (Why? /Why not?) (Similar to above) Do you ever get angry when someone is late for a meeting with you? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think it's important to be on time? (Is punctuality important?) (Similar to above) Is it a good habit to always be late? Why do you think some people are often late? What sort of problems does this person have? Do you think people who are often late can change this habit? (How?) Do you think people will place more emphasis or less emphasis on punctuality in the future? (Similar to above) How do you think ideas about punctuality might change in the next 20 or 30 years? For what situations is being on time very important? (Why important?) For what situations is it not so important to be on time? (Why not so important?) Do you think it's important to be on time for a meeting? (Why?) (E.g. a group meeting at work to discuss something important) In your high school, what happens if you are late for class?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 167 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Time

If you were waiting for someone who was late, what would you do while you were waiting?

Do you think it's important to treasure the time we have? (Why? /Why not?) How do you think people (we) could make more efficient use of our time? Do you think modern technology gives us more time, or less? (As above) Why do you think people today seem to be busier and busier, even when we have advanced technology to help us do things? Did people in the past lead a faster-paced life than today, or a slower-paced life? (How? /Why?) (Similar to above) Do you think modern life puts more pressure on people than before? (How?) (Similar to above) Do modern people have more demands on their time than people before? (How?) China's rate of development is very fast at the moment. Do you think this is good? Do you think the current working hours of most people are reasonable? (= Should most people work more or less hours per week?) Is it reasonable for an employer to ask people to work overtime? When people get old, does time seems to pass more quickly or more slowly? Why do you think this is so

The Importance of Time

How important do you think time is? Do people today have the same ideas about (the importance of) time as people many years ago? Do rural people and urban people have the same ideas about (the importance of) time? Do young people and old people have the same ideas about (the importance of) time? Why do you think people in different countries sometimes have different feelings about the importance of being on time?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 168 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you think Western people and Chinese people have the same ideas about (the importance of) time? Do you think people today are busier than people used to be, 20 or 30 years ago? (Why? /Why not?) Why do you think it's more and more difficult for family members to find time to be together? Do you think modern technology has given us more time than before? What are some methods that people could use to improve their time management?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 169

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Forty three


A Teenager You Know Describe a teenager who you know. You should say: How old they are (= how old he or she is) How and where you met him or her What you and this person do together What kind of person he or she is (his or her personality) And explain how you feel about him or her. or And explain whether you like or dislike this person and why

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 170

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes.

So far, not many of the words of this topic have not been reported on the internet. Don't forget, 'to know' someone means you personally have spoken to this person and you know his or her name. It is possible that these are the words: "Describe a teenager who you are familiar with." This basically means the same as, "Describe a teenager who you know" but 'to be familiar with' someone can also include someone who you know, but not know very well.

Do you think it's good if a teenager is given too much money? "Too much" means, "an excessive amount". but it is not normal to say, "too good" or "too beautiful" in English. We would only say, "too good" or "too beautiful" if a problem resulted from something or someone being extremely good or extremely beautiful.

Possible follow-up questions:

Do you think other people like him/her?

Part 3 Teenagers in China The Nature of Teenagers

In general, what would you say are some of the basic characteristics of teenagers? Do you think teenagers today are the same as teenagers, say, 30 years ago? Life in general for teenagers What is life like for teenagers in China today? Would you say teenagers today are happier than teenagers were twenty or thirty years ago? (Why? /Why not?)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 171 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

How is the life of teenagers (or children) today different to what it was 20 or 30 years ago? (Similar to above) Would you say life for teenagers today is better than it was several decades ago? What sorts of things do teenagers do on weekends? What sorts of hobbies and interests do teenagers have? Do you think the government should do something to try to reduce the pressure on teenagers? (If yes, what?) Would you say social changes have a greater affect on teenagers or on older people? How do you think life will be like for teenagers in the future? Responsibility What responsibilities do you think teenagers have (or should have) (towards the family)? What responsibilities do you think teenagers have (or should have) towards society? How can children (or teenagers) be taught a sense of responsibility? Do you think teenagers can benefit by being given more responsibility? Do you think that teenagers can become more mature if they are given responsibilities? How often do you clean your bedroom? Parental Advice Do you think it's good for teenagers (or children) to listen to (the advice of) their parents? In what ways do you think teenagers in China are different to those in the Western countries? Teenagers and Money

What impact do teenagers have on society? (Hint: They are big consumers of certain products & services)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 172 Saturday 8th November 2008

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IELTS Questions

(Similar to above) Since teenagers spend quite a lot of money, how do you think this affects society as a whole? What influence does money have on teenagers? (Similar to above) How important is money for teenagers? What do teenagers spend money on? Do you think teenagers generally spend money in a responsible way or do you think they tend to waste it? Do teenagers spend more money than old people? Do you think teenagers should be given pocket money by their parents? How much pocket money do you think is suitable? Do you think it's good if a teenager is given too much money? What problems can result if a teenager has too much money? How do you think children and teenagers could be taught how to use money responsibly?

The Relationship between Teenagers and other Age Groups

What's the difference between children and teenagers? Do you think children and teenagers have the same values? (I.e., things, ideas etc. that they feel are important) What's the difference between teenagers and adults? * Do young children and teenagers have the same attitudes towards older people? In China, what attitudes do teenagers have towards their parents? What do teenagers think about old(er) people? What you think is an "old person"? (What age is 'old'?) How do teenagers in China generally react to the advice/suggestions of older family members such as grandparents (or even parents)? Do teenagers in China like to be independent of their parents? Why do you think independence is so important to teenagers? What do you think about the so-called 'generation gap'? Do you think it really exists and what are the causes of it?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 173 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

How do you think problems that are caused by a generation gap could be resolved? Who do you think is more suited to living in modern society, young people or old(er) people? (Why?) (Similar to above) Who do you think has more skills and abilities for living in modern society, the new generation or the older generation?

Becoming an Adult

At what age does the government say you are an adult? (i.e., what is the legal age of adulthood?) Do you think this is a suitable age or do you think it should be younger, or older? At what age do you (personally) think people can be considered to be 'adults'? Why do you and the government have different ideas about what age one becomes an adult? Who do you think is more easily influenced teenagers or adults? (Why?)

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 174

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Forty four


An Interesting Animal Describe a time when you saw an interesting animal. You should say: What animal it was Where you saw it What happened when you saw it? And explain why you thought it was interesting.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 175

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

Possibly the last line is, "and explain how you felt when you saw it."

Part 3 Animals in Your Country


Pets

What animals are most common where you live (or, in your country)? What animals are there in your hometown? What animals can we see in the capital of your country? Are animals important for people? Besides pets, what do animals do for people? Are there any wild animals in the city? Where can you see wild animals in China? Do you think wild animals are suitable as pets? Are there any dangerous animals in China? Work Animals Did people in China use animals for work years ago? Do people in China still use animals for work? (Similar to above) Is there any difference between the way animals are used for work today and the way they were used for work many years ago? Besides work animals, what are some other ways that animals can help people? (Hint: guide dogs for the blind)

Your Feelings about pets (and animals)

How do you feel about animals? Do you think animals are people's friends?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 176 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you have a pet? How do you look after him/her? Do you agree that animals should be used for scientific testing of chemical products such as new medicines, new cleaning products or new cosmetics?

Animals, such as rabbits and monkeys are used to test new products such as cosmetics, cleaning products and medicines, to see how safe the products are for humans. Usually, the animals are subjected to extreme pain and are tested to the point where they die. Many people feel this is very cruel. For example, let's say a new hair dye has been invented. This product will be put into the eyes, on the skin and forced into the stomach of the animals such as rabbits and monkeys. At first, very small amounts will be used but the testers will continue increasing the amount until they see how much of the product it takes before the animal is killed. In other words, the testers usually test to extreme limits, in order to find out how much of the product it takes to cause blindness, to damage the skin or to kill the animal. Some people say that it is necessary to do this for the safety of humans and that there is no other way. Other people say there are other ways to test the safety and affects of new products.

Pet Ownership in China

Do Chinese people like to have pets? Has the number of pet owners in China changed in the past few years? (Similar to above) Have there been any changes in China on the question of pets in the past few years? In other words, are there any differences between today and a few decades ago on the question of keeping a pet at home? What pets are most common (or most popular)? How to Keep a Pet Do you think it is necessary to train a pet? (Why? To do what? Or, why not?) Is it expensive to keep a pet? What do you think is the biggest problem when taking care of a pet? (Or, the biggest problem of having a pet) (Similar to above) What do you think are the main problems when people experience when they have a pet at home?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 177 Saturday 8th November 2008

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IELTS Questions

How can these problems be solved? What do you think of having pet hospitals? (Are they necessary?)

The Benefits of Pet Ownership What do you think is the value (the purpose; the main benefits) of pets? (Similar to above) What is the importance of pets? (Similar to above) Do you think people in the cities need to have pets? Do you think children benefit from having a pet? (If yes, how?) Having a Pet in the City versus Having a Pet in the Countryside Do you think it's suitable to keep the animal that you just spoke about (in Part 2) in the city? (Why? /Why not?) (Similar to above) Would you say your hometown is suitable for keeping a pet? (Similar to above) Do you think it's suitable to keep pets in the city or is it more suitable to have a pet only if you live in the countryside? (Similar to above) Which place do you think is better for keeping animals, the city or the countryside? (Compare & contrast them.) (Similar to above) Compare the problems that pet owner have in the cities with those that pet owners have in the countryside. (Similar to above) What are some differences between raising animals in the city and raising animals in the countryside? (Here, "raising animals" is plural and not not necessarily mean personal pets. It could, for example, mean breeding animals for sale.) What animals do you think are unsuitable for living in a city? What do you think is the biggest limitation for raising (or, keeping) a pet in the city? What (pet) animals are more suited to city life and what (pet) animals are more suited to country life? (Compare & contrast them.)

The Relationship Between Humans and Animals Human Treatment of Animals in General and Attitudes Towards Animals
David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 178 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Some people say that people are more important than animals. What do you think? Do you think some animals are more intelligent than other animals? Do you think animals have 'rights'? (Why? What rights? /Why not?) In general, do you think human beings (people) treat animals in a suitable way? (= in humane way) Do people today treat animals the same as they used to do, several decades ago? (Similar to above) How do you think the relationship between humans and animals has changed over the years? Do you think that the way animals are portrayed in books today is different to the way they were portrayed many years ago? What's your opinion of people who put birds (or other animals) in cages but don't feed them or don't give them water on hot days?

Notes For example, think of how wolves, foxes, lions & tigers have traditionally been portrayed in stories. Sometimes, they were been given human attributes such as 'sly' or 'evil' and owls have been described as 'wise'. Chinese people tend to use adjectives to describe animals that are not suitable because these adjectives require the intelligence or feelings that only humans have. For example, don't say that lions and tigers are "cruel" and don't say that dogs are "honest". Only people can be cruel or honest. Lions and tigers can be described as "fierce" and dogs can be described as "loyal" or "friendly". Cats can be described as "more independent" than dogs.

Zoos

What do you think are the benefits of having zoos? Protecting Wild Animals

What are some ways that human behaviour effects (wild) animals? (Similar to above) What are some examples of human activity that affect animals in the wild?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 179 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

What types of wild animals (or, what are some examples of wild animals) do humans have the greatest influence on? (Similar to above) What are some examples of wild animals that humans have the greatest influence on? Is the government doing anything to protect wild animals in China? What do you think is the value of protecting endangered animals? What are some ways that can be used to protect endangered wild animals? Do you think there are any animals that we don't need? (Why? / Why not? Which animals?) Scientific Experiments on Animals

Do you agree that animals should be used for (experiments or) scientific testing of chemical products such as new medicines, new cleaning products or new cosmetics etc.? Vegetarians

Some people are vegetarians i.e., they don't eat any meat. What do you think of that attitude? (Or, why do you think these people decide to become vegetarians?) More and more people are becoming vegetarians. Why do you think this is happening? Some people in the world eat animals such as cats and dogs. How do you feel about that

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 180

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Forty five


A Polluted City Describe a city that you have been to that was polluted. You should say: When and where you went Why you went there What the pollution was like (or, what kind of pollution it was) And explain how you felt about this pollution.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 181

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes:

On November 11, 2008, this topic was moved to here because the topic is still in use. This was done to make sure readers do not overlook this topic. From November 11, 2008 onwards, any changes or additions to the questions for this topic will be added to this location. The first line has been changed to say, "A polluted city". The last line has the "feel" but the full wording is unclear. If the words just say, 'a place you have been to', you could talk about a part of your hometown that has an environmental problem - you don't have to talk about going to a place away from your hometown. But I think the topic is not referring to the place where you live. Many people report the words are, "... a city you visited that has pollution."

Although the words of this topic probably say, 'where you live', that does not mean that the environmental problem is only is in your hometown. For example, many parts of northern China experience dust storms (= sand storms) in spring but you could just talk about how your hometown is affected by dust storms. On the other hand, you could talk about how the river or lake in your hometown is polluted.

Originally, most people reported that the words are "where you live" or something similar. But in February & March 2008, many people have been reporting that the words are, "..an environmental problem in a place that you have been

Possible follow-up questions:

Do other people think this is a problem? If you had the opportunity, would you like to go there again?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 182

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Part 3 Useful vocabulary. The Problems

pollution: air pollution, water pollution (including oceanic pollution), soil pollution, (noise pollution) global warming species loss deforestation desertification soil salinification ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere waste disposal water shortage

Other Related Vocabulary Pollution

fertilizer factory waste rivers and streams heavy metals


Global Warming

melting of the glaciers and the polar icecaps extremes of weather The El Nino Phenomenon
David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 183 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

The Greenhouse Effect carbon dioxide; sulphur dioxide man-made causes; possible natural causes fuel fossil fuels hydrogen wind power, solar power, solar cells vehicle exhaust power station
Water Shortage

recycling
Waste Disposal

recycling
Desertification

sand storms (dust storms) overgrazing goats (a major cause of desertification) grasslands reforestation land regeneration
Species Loss

habitat loss ecological balance genetic diversity


David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 184 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

genes; genetic engineering natural compounds (from living organisms) medicinal uses genetically produced medicines (from the use of the genes of other species) improved/higher food production (from the use of original crop genes)
Soil Salinification

the water table


Dealing with Environmental Problems

Do you ever discuss the topic of the environment with your friends? What are the different kinds of environmental problems that exist right now (in cities)? What do you think is the most serious environmental problem in China? (Why?) What are the causes of these problems? (Similar to above) Why do people create pollution? Do you think environmental problems are worse than they used to be? (Why?) Whose fault is it that we have these environment problems? Do you think those who cause pollution are criminals? (Why? /Why not?) (Think about major industrial pollution, especially that which seriously damages people's health.) In general, what do you think is the best way to deal with these environmental problems? (Similar to above) What is the government doing to tackle this problem? (Similar to above) How is China going to (or planning to) tackle these problems? If you were a government official, how would you try to solve these environmental problems? Do you think it is the government's responsibility to solve environmental problems or is it the responsibility of each individual? What are some things that individuals can do to help solve environmental problems?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 185 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you think pollution will be less severe in the future (than it is now), or do you think it will get worse? Do you think these problems will be solved in the future? What do you think will be the result if we ignore these environmental problems? Compared to before, do you think people's awareness (consciousness) of environmental problems has increased or decreased? (How? Why?) (Similar to above) Why do you think some people don't pay much attention to environmental problems? What are some ways that the government could use to help educate people about the environment? Do older people in China have the same attitudes towards the environment as young people? (Older people are often less educated or less aware of these problems.) What do you think China's environment will be like in the future (e.g., 20 or 50 years in the future)? (Similar to above) Do you think the environment will be improved in the future or do you think it will get worse? How do you think cutting down all the trees in a forest affects the environment? Do you think that air-conditioning in buildings such as this (the examination building), is a form of environmental pollution? Do you think air pollution might (or will) have any effect on Beijing's Olympic Games this year?

The Problem of Waste Disposal

What are the sources of waste (& rubbish) that society produces? (Examples: Packaging & containers, human waste (sewerage), household & restaurant kitchen waste, old/used household items (clothes, newspapers, furniture etc.), industrial waste, construction waste, farm waste.) Compare how waste is disposed of today and how it used to be disposed of many years ago. How do you think we could make waste (waste materials) beneficial to society? (Hint: recycling) Do you think recycling is important?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 186 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do young people & older people have the same attitudes towards waste disposal? (E.g., attitudes towards recycling, and towards what should be thrown away & what should be kept.) Do you think old people produce as much waste (such as waste paper) as young people? (Young people are often bigger consumers than old people; young people more often buy products such as KFC & McDonald's food, resulting in waste in the form of packaging.) As society advances in science and technology, it seems that we have more garbage to dispose of. Why do you think this is so? Do you think that advertising leads to the production of more garbage in society? (Advertising tends to produce greater consumption. Also, advertising materials themselves such as flyers and catalogues become waste.) Some people throw rubbish/garbage/trash on the street, for example, an ice-cream wrapper. What do you think of this behaviour? (Similar to above) Why do you think some people don't care where they put (or, throw) their garbage? How can/could these people's behaviour be changed? How important is it to change the behaviour of these people?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 187

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Forty six


A Happy Event Version A Describe an enjoyable event from the past that you remember well. You should say: What the event was When and where it happened Who participated in this event? What you saw or did And explain why this event was so enjoyable. or And explain why you remember this event so well. Version B Describe a recent event that made you feel happy. You should say: What the event was When and where it happened Who participated in this event? What you saw or did And explain why this event was so enjoyable. or
David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 188 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

And explain why you remember this event so well. Notes

This topic is not new but is beginning to appear again but in different formats, as below. Some people have reported Version A & others have reported Version B. I think Version B is the wording but I suggest you prepare for both.

Possible follow-up questions:

Do you often do that? (Do you often do what you just spoke about?) Did your parents or friends also enjoy this event?

Part 3
Childhood

Do you think childhood is important? What can adults learn from looking back at their own childhood? Is it important to look back at ones childhood? Do you think its important (or necessary) to keep in contact with childhood friends? How do children view friendship? Can adults be friends with children? Do most people change their friends when they grow up? Why? Some adults think that childhood was the best part of their lives. Why do they think that way? Do you think that way? Why? What are the differences between childhood and adulthood? What are the typical activities that children do? And what activities did you do when you were a child?

Preserving Childhood Memories

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 189

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

What are some good methods for remembering childhood experiences? What are some things that people keep from their childhood? Why do people keep these things? What are some of the advantages of keeping a photo album of childhood photographs?

Memory

What are the advantages of having a good memory? (= good powers of memory) Can you think of any ways to enhance ones memory in order to increase ones learning capacity? Do children and adults have the same memorization abilities? (i.e., who can remember or learn new things better, children or adults?) What methods do most people use to memorize things? Why do people remember some events and not others? Why do some people write events in a diary? Do you agree that sometimes people talk about their memory of an event that didn't really happen (or didn't really happen exactly as they remember)? (What is the explanation for this?) What do you think is the value of teaching history in school? If school children think history is a boring subject, how can a teacher make it seem more interesting? Do you think it is a good idea to use audio-visual materials such as video or films to make the subject of history seem more interesting? (Hint: Popular films do not usually give not accurate portrayals of history.)

Happiness & Happy Events The Nature of Happiness

What do you think 'happiness' is?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 190

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

There is a theory that some people are born with a more optimistic personality than others, with the result that they are happier throughout their lives. What do you think of that theory?

The Sources of Happiness

What are some things that make you happy? (Similar to above) What are some things that make people happy? Do you think entertainment can make people feel (genuinely) happy? Do you think artistic activities can make people happy? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think people who have more talent are happier than others? (Why? /Why not?) (Similar to above) Do you think people feel happier when they are good at something? Do you think money makes people happy? Are the things (or, the events) that make people happy today the same as several decades ago?

The Importance of Family for Happiness

Why do people feel happy when they are with members of their family? In general, what do you think makes a happy family? What are some (other) examples of family activities that make people feel happy?

Happy People What kind of people do you think are most likely to be happy? (describe qualities of people) Do you think some people are born with a happier disposition than others? Why do some people (seem to) stay happy even in difficult circumstances? How do you think a person can make you feel that you and he or she will get along with each other?

Ages Differences and Happiness

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 191

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Do you think there is any relationship between a person's age and their happiness? (Why? /Why not?) What are the times in a person's life when they are most happy and what are the times when people are most unhappy? Do you think children today are happy? Some people say the happiest time in people's lives is the period when they are at school? Do you agree? What kinds of people are most likely to feel that the past was happier (for them) than the present? Do young people and old(er) people find happiness from the same things? (Compare the two.) Do you think old people are very happy? When you are old(er), what kinds of things do you think will bring you happiness?

Happiness in Society Do you think people were happier in the past than they are now? Do you think there is any relationship between government and the happiness of the citizens? What could the government do to help increase the overall happiness of people?

The following four questions are guesses. What are some examples of things that people value very highly? Why do you think these things are so important to them? Do you think only things that cost a lot of money are highly valued by people? (Similar to above) Can you think of any examples of things that don't cost a lot of money but are still highly valued?

Memories Forgetting and Remembering Happy & Sad Events from the Past

Some people say they have forgotten important things from the past. Do you think this is possible?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 192 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you think it is possible to choose what to remember and what to forget? What kinds of events do people have the strongest memory of? What times in a person's life are most worth remembering? Do you think your (present) time at university is worth remembering? Do you think people mostly remember sad events or happy events? (Why?) How can people benefit from recalling sad events? (It is often therapeutic to reflect on past sad events - one can better come to terms with the sadness and move on with one's life.)

What can a person do if he or she wants to forget something but cannot forget it?

The Accuracy of Happy and Sad Memories Sometimes, people replace memories of real events with their own versions of the event. What do you think of this? (Similar to above) Do you think that what most people remember about the past is accurate, compared to what really happened? Have you ever imagined that something happened when, in fact, it did not happen? Compare the memories that older people have with the memories that young people have about childhood experiences? (Old(er) people tend to remember the good things more & forget about the bad experiences - they have the feeling that their childhood was "the good old days". In other words, older people are usually more nostalgic about their childhood than young people. As people grow older, they have had more bad experiences and this might cause them to idealize their childhood more than young people do. Young people (say, 15 to 30); probably have fresher memories of childhood than older people.) Quite often, old(er) people say the happiest time in their life was when they were young. Why do you think they say that? (Similar to above) Quite often, old(er) people talk about "the good old days". What do you think they mean? (Similar to above) Quite often, people who are working say that the happiest time of their life was when they were a student. Why do you think they say that?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 193 Saturday 8th November 2008

The Value of Recording Events - Diaries


David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Why do some people keep diaries? (or: Why do some people like recording their experiences on paper?) What kinds of people like to keep a diary of their life experiences? ( An introspective and sensitive person; Someone who is going through rather unique or unusual experiences, such as going through a war or travelling to an interesting new place; ... Do you think writing one's experiences in a diary are important? Do you think the older generation should pass on their life experiences to the next generation by recording these experiences in a diary? (Similar to above) Do you think it's important for old people to pass on their memories (of their experiences) to young people? (Why? /Why not?)

History

Do you think learning about history (or, studying history) is important? Do you think students should learn about the bad things in history or just the good things? (Similar to above) What do you think is the value of studying world history? (Famous quotation: "Those who cannot learn the mistakes of history are bound to repeat those mistakes.") (Similar to above) What can one learn from history? (Similar to above) What is the value of children (or, young people) studying history? Why do some people find it boring to study history? What are some ways to make history lessons more interesting for school children? Compare learning about one's national history (or, one's local history) with learning about world history. (Similar to above) Which do you think is more important for children to study at school, their nation's history (or local history) or world history? How can one study, or learn about, one's local history? Do you think it's important to learn about one's local history?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 194

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Forty seven


Some Advice You Received Version A Describe some good advice you received. You should say: When you received this advice In what situation you received this advice Who gave you the advice? What the advice was And explain why you thought this advice was good.

Version B Describe some advice you received. You should say: When you received this advice In what situation you received this advice Who gave you the advice? What the advice was And explain your impression of this advice. or And explain whether or not you thought this advice was good advice. or
David Hathaway Teaching English as a Foreign Language 195 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

And explain what resulted from this advice. Notes

This as the previous topic is not new but worded differently. It seems Version B is the current Version being used. This allows you to choose to talk about some bad advice you received but which you did not follow. (Of course, you can also choose to talk about some good advice that you heeded.) Instead of the word 'good', the word 'important' might be used. This topic is similar to the top; Describe some useful advice you received (from a friend or family member). But I think the adjective used here is 'important', not 'useful' and I think this newer topic does not specify that the advice was from a friend or family member. On the other hand, most people don't report either of these adjectives as being used. It is possible that the questions just asks you to describe some advice you received, either good or bad advice and the last line of the task card might say, "and explain your impression of this advice". Some differences between 'Advice' and 'Suggestion': 'Advice' is a non-count noun. We say, "A piece of advice". On the other hand, a 'suggestion' is a count noun. Advice can include more than one suggestion or it can be just one suggestion. And advice is deeper and more general than a suggestion. 'Advice' usually involves the idea of 'the best thing to do' but a suggestion is often simply an idea. For example, "I suggest we have pizza for dinner tonight." but, "I advise you not to leave your study for the test until the last moment." Or: "My parents gave me some advice on what career to choose." In English, we do sometimes say, "accept someone's advice". We also say, "Take someone's advice" or, "follow someone's advice".

Possible follow-up questions:

Are you still in contact with that person (the person who gave you the advice)? Did you follow this advice? Do you yourself ever give people advice?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 196

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

NOTES: Some differences between 'Advice' and 'Suggestion':

'Advice' is a non-count noun. We say, "a piece of advice". On the other hand, a 'suggestion' is a count noun. Advice can include more than one suggestion or it can be just one suggestion. And advice is deeper and more general than a suggestion. Advice usually involves the idea of 'the best thing to do' but a suggestion is often simply an idea. For example, "I suggest we have pizza for dinner tonight." but, "I advise you not to leave your study for the test until the last moment." Or: "My parents gave me some advice on what career to choose."

Possible follow-up questions:

Did you follow this advice? Do you often give people advice?

Part 3 Advice Giving

Do you often give people advice? (Who? What advice?) Have your parents (if you said friend in Part 2) given you much advice? Have your friends (if you said parents in Part 2) given you much advice? Do you think that advice from friends is always good advice? What kind of advice do parents give their (adult) children? Is this advice usually accepted? If not, why? Do you think that some young people reject the advice of their parents simply as a result of a generation gap? ( = misunderstandings resulting from being in different generations) What's your opinion? Do you think people should accept the advice of their parents?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 197 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

What is your opinion of people who don't follow their parents' advice? Why do some children or some young people not listen to the advice of their parents? Do you think teachers are capable of giving students advice about life situations? How do you feel when a teacher gives that kind of advice? In general, what do you think of the value of advice from old people? Is it useful? What kind of advice do friends give each other? Do you think young people should (or do) follow their parents' advice? Which advice has more influence on young people, that from their parents or that from their friends? How can people choose between parents' advice and friends' advice, if they are different? Do you ever give advice to others? (Have you ever given advice to others?) In China, do people ever give advice to others about their (adult) children? In China, do (adult) children ever strongly oppose the advice of their parents? In China, do (should) young people ever give advice to older people, for example, their parents? In China, do (adult) children often ask for advice from their parents or friends? (Advice about what?) Which do you think is more useful (=effective), giving advice to someone or actually showing them or teaching them how to do something? DIFFICULT QUESTION (As above) For young children, which is most effective, giving advice or giving training? DIFFICULT QUESTION Where can people get advice about a product? (Hint: The internet; the seller/supplier/manufacturer of the product)

The Helping Professions

Can you think of any occupations where the person gives advice as part of their job? (Hint: teachers & tutors; health professionals such as doctors, including psychiatrists and nurses; lawyers; accountants; business & investment consultants; travel agents; gym instructors; psychologists; marriage guidance counsellors; social workers ...)

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 198

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Have you ever received advice from some expert or professional person (other than your parents)? Compare the advice that you could get from a professional who doesn't know you, and the advice from family or friends. Besides your family, has anyone ever given you advice about your work or your studies? In China, is there anywhere where (or, is there anyone from whom) members of public can get advice? What is your opinion of the advice that these people give? (Or) What is your opinion about getting advice from these professionals? Do you think these professionals should receive special training in giving advice? (Why? What specific training?) How should people in the helping professions, such as doctors and teachers, be trained and regulated? What's your opinion about on-line 'experts' giving advice? How do you think these so-called experts can be controlled (regulated)? What kind of people would make good professional advisors? = What personal attributes do professional advisors need to have? Do you think we need to have professional advisors?

Work Suggestions Has anybody given you advice about work? Who? What was this advice? (This might include choosing what career to follow in life.) Has anyone given you advice at work? (Who? What advice?) Was this person trained to give you advice? Do you think special training (for giving advice) is useful? What advice would you give to employees in your company? How do people give suggestions to their superiors at work? * Hint: Suggestions boxes.

Personal Advice

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 199

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

When you have a problem and need some advice, can you usually find someone to discuss your problem with? Do you prefer to make your own decisions or do you tend to listen to the recommendations of others? Do you ever give advice to others or do you just receive advice? Do you prefer advice from your family or your friends? (Similar to above) Do you usually get advice from your family or from your friends? (= Which is more frequent?) (Similar to above) Which advice is more important to you, advice from your family or advice from your friends? Do you think people should give advice to their friends? What kinds of advice do your friends give you? Compare the advice friends usually give to the advice that parents usually give. (This is a general question, not your friends & your parents.) When somebody gives you some advice, do you usually follow this advice or do you usually insist on your own opinion? (Similar to above, but a little different) When somebody gives you some advice, do you usually take the advice or do you more often follow your own judgment? What are some examples of situations or times when people need or want personal advice from someone else? Do teachers ever give advice to their students? What is this advice (from teachers) usually about? Do you think teachers should give students personal advice or just academic advice? Do you think teachers should give their personal opinions to students? (Opinions on any topic) Do you think it's suitable for teachers to advise students on matters related to growing up, and not related to studying? What do young people today think of the advice from old(er) people? Why do you think there is a generation gap between young people and their parents? If you were going to give some advice to someone, what factors would you first need to consider?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 200 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

When somebody is giving career advice, what things factors should this advice-giver take into consideration? Do you think it is good if a parent is always giving advice to a child? (Or do you think it is sometimes better to let a child solve his/her own problems?) In the future, what kind of advice do you think people will be giving each other? (hint: technical advice) What is the most important piece of advice that you would give to young people today?

Career Advice

How do young people in China get advice (or, get information) about what career to choose? Do you think you will seek the advice of others about your future study and career plans? (Why? From whom? /Why not?) If you received advice from someone about a job, (or career), what factors would you need to consider when thinking about this advice? Do you think advice from parents to their children about the children's future career is usually good advice? Do you think parents should decide what their son's or daughter's future career should be or should the decision be made by the son or daughter? (Similar to above) How much do you think advice about a person's career is that person's personal decision to make? If you received advice from your parents about your career (your choice of career) and this advice was different to your own opinion (or feelings), how could this problem be resolved?

Professional Advice

Have you ever received advice from a trained person? (i.e. a person trained to give advice) What are some examples of occasions when people need or want professional advice? What are some examples of people who give professional advice to others? (i.e., as part of their work)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 201 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Have you ever received any advice from a trained person? ( = trained to give advice) What do you think of people who are professionals at giving advice? How reliable do you think people are who give advice to others? In general, what kind of person is most suitable for giving advice to others? (Similar to above) What personal qualities do you think these professional advice givers should have? And what personal qualities does a receiver of advice need to have? Where do you (or, where do people) usually get advice when buying products? Do you think it's a good idea to (always) follow the advice from sales promotion materials (= advertisements)? In your community, what kinds of people give what kinds of advice? What do you think of this advice? What kind of people do you like (or, prefer) giving you advice? What kind of advice do you not accept? (Why?) Would you say young people are usually willing to accept the advice of older people? Why do so many young people not accept (or, not follow) the advice of older people? (Similar to above) Why is the advice that parents give to their children not always what the children want? When people (older people?) give advice to a teenager, what should they pay attention to? (Similar to above) How should a person (an older person?) give advice to a teenager? If you were to give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Would you say an independent thinking person finds it easier or, more difficult to accept the advice of others? Which would you say is better, to be an independent person making progress in life but making a few mistakes along the way, or to make progress in life but make fewer mistakes because you are less independent and listen to the advice of others?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 202

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Forty eight


A Childhood Song Describe a song (or melody) that you remember from your childhood. You should say: How you learned this song or: Where you first heard this melody How old you were when you first heard it What the song (or melody) is about And explain what memories or feelings this song (or melody) reminds you of. or And explain how you felt when you used to sing this song. (or: listen to this melody).

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 203

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

Many of the words above are, at the moment, just guesses. It is appropriate, and good communication to sing (or hum) a little of the song but it is unsuitable to sing (or hum) for more than ten seconds in a speaking test! If you sing in a language besides English, you should immediately explain what those words mean. That is good communication - to not explain the meaning of the words is poor communication.

Part 3

Compare the music that people of different age groups like.

Music in Your Society What musical styles of songs are popular in China? Compare the music that people of different age groups like. Compare Western and Chinese music. (Probably referring to modern music.)

Music and the Early Development of Children What do you think are the benefits of including music in the early education of children?

Using Music as a Tool

What are some examples of situations (or, circumstances) when music is especially (or, often) used? Why is music used in these situations? What emotions can (or does) music invoke in these situations?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 204

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 205

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Forty nine


A Childhood Toy Describe a toy that you enjoyed playing with in your childhood. You should say: How you got this toy What it looked like What you did with this toy And explain why you enjoyed playing with this toy.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 206

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

The exact wording for this topic is unclear at the moment.

Possible follow-up questions: Do you still have this toy?

Part 3 Toys

What are some differences between boys' toys and girls' toys? Which toys do most people prefer to buy, imported toys or domestically made toys? (Why?) Why do children like some toys but dislike other toys? (Similar to above) Why do you think children usually have some toys that are their favourite toys?

Children's Play

Compare the advantages and (possible) disadvantages of children playing alone and children playing with other children.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 207

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Fifty
An Historic Site Describe an (an important) historic site in your country. You should say: Where it is What can be seen at this site now (or, what it looks like?) How you know about this place And explain why it is important in the history of your country.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 208

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

The exact wording for this topic is unclear at the moment. It is possible that another adjective is used instead of, "important". As well as saying, "an historic ...", we can also say, "a historic ...", but many people find it easier to use "an", especially when the "h" sound is not pronounced very strongly. The two adjectives, "historic" and "historical" mean more or less the same. However, the word "historical" just means, "related to history" while the word, "historic" stresses "having a special or important place in history". It's possible the word "historical" is used in the wording of this topic. At the moment, it is not clear if the topic says, "an historic site you have visited".

Part 3 Visiting Historic Sites

Do many people today still visit historic sites? How do people first find out about these historic sites? Can you suggest any ways to make historic sites more attractive (or, interesting) for those people who are not very interested in visiting these places? (Best to say "could", not "can".)

The Value of Knowing History

Do you think it's important to study history? (Why? /Why not?) What methods do (can) people use to get information about history? Do you think that films have influenced peoples' understanding of (or, perception of) what happened in the past? (If yes, what effect & how?) Do you think films always give an accurate or true picture of history? *

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 209

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Fifty-one
A Library Describe a library that you know. (A public library or a university or school library) You should say: What kind of library it is Where it is What books and facilities this library has When you went there (or, when you usually go there) And explain what you like(d) or dislike(d) about this library.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 210

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

The exact wording for this topic is unclear at the moment. Pay attention to the verb tense that is used on the card.

Possible follow-up question: Did you have to pay anything to use the library or was it free? How long do (did) you usually stay in the library?

Part 3 Libraries (in China)

Do people in China often go to libraries? Do you often go to libraries? (If yes, say why.) Are there many public libraries in China? Do people in China prefer to read in a library or at home? (As above) Compare reading at home with reading in a library. Why do you think a library is a good place for reading? Are there any advantages to using a library instead of reading at home? What can people read in a library that they can't read in other places? DIFFICULT QUESTION! (HINT: Reference books; encyclopaedias; rare books) Compare looking up material in a library with using the internet for this purpose. What are some differences between a public library and a university library? Even though it might cost a lot to maintain a library, do you think every university should have its own library? When students are deciding which university to attend, do they ever consider the quality of the university's library? Do you think every primary school and secondary school should have a library? Do you think every town and city should have a public library?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 211 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you think young children should be encouraged to use libraries? Who should be responsible for the cost of running libraries? Should the government spend more money on libraries? Do you think public libraries should be free of charge? What kind of skills and personal qualities do you think library staff should have? What are the qualities of a good library? (Including: What services and facilities should a good library have, besides lending books?) Should libraries have computers capable of connecting to the internet? How do you think libraries can (or do) encourage people to read more? (Similar to above) How do you think more people can be encouraged to use libraries? Do you think libraries should have comfortable seats? Why are libraries quiet places? How do you think libraries will change in the future? Do you think we will still need libraries in the future, (now that we have the internet)? (As above) Do you think the internet will influence the way people will use libraries in the future? (How?) (Similar to above) Do you think the internet will replace libraries in the future? (Why? /Why not?)

Reading

What kinds of books do people in China like to read? With the rapid development of technology today, do you think we still need books in future? (Related to above) Do people still prefer to read real books or do they now prefer ebooks ()?

The Historical and Cultural Function of Libraries

What is the educational function of libraries? How do libraries help preserve history and culture?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 212 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Libraries

Are libraries very important to you? How often do you go to a library? In general, would you say libraries are very important? (Similar to above) What is the purpose or role of libraries? If you wanted to find a particular book in a library, (or a book on a particular topic), how would you find it (without asking the library staff for help)? What skills (and knowledge) do you think library staff should have? In the future, do you think there will be fewer libraries because of the use of advanced technology (i.e., the internet and information stored electronically such as on CD's)?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 213

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Fifty-two
An Advertisement Describe an advertisement that persuaded (caused you to) you to buy a product. You should say: What kind of advertisement it was When and where you saw (or heard) this advertisement What product you bought And explain how this advertisement persuaded you to buy that product.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 214

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

The exact wording for this topic is unclear at the moment. It is possible that this topic includes the words 'an advertisement that you like'. However, it seems more likely that the topic is simply 'an advertisement that left an impression on you', either a good or bad impression (i.e., an advertisement that you dislike).

Possible follow-up question:

Do you buy this product?

Part 3 The influence of advertisements

What are the different kinds of advertising? What kind of advertising is most common in China? (Advertisements on) which media have the greatest effect on people - TV, radio, billboards, newspapers ...? Why? What are the ways in which advertisements catch the attention of viewers? Do big companies prefer to advertise on TV or in some other ways? (Why?) What are the good and bad points of advertisements? Is advertising on the internet very influential? What kinds of advertisements do Chinese people most like? How do advertisements attract the attention of people? (= What is the best way for advertisements to attract people? = What are the factors that make advertisements appealing to people?) What is the purpose (= the function) of advertising? = Why do companies spend money on advertising? Do young people and old people have the same attitudes towards advertisements?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 215 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

What kinds of advertisements are most attractive to children (or, young people)? (Similar to above) What kinds of advertisements leave the greatest impression on children (or, young people)? Do you think advertisements are a good or bad influence on children? Do you think advertisements actually influence people to buy things (perhaps things they don't really need)? (How?) Do overseas advertisements used in, or adapted for use in China affect Chinese culture and values? Is this a good thing?

Controls on Advertisements Does the Chinese government control advertisements in any way? How? (As above) In China, are there any controls on the contents of advertisements? Do you think the government should exercise more control, or less control over advertisements than it does now? Are any kinds of advertising in China considered illegal? Do you trust advertisements? (Why? /Why not?) Can you think of any examples of false advertising? How do you feel about false advertising? What kinds of products are most often (most easily) promoted by false advertising? What should happen to those people or companies who engage in false advertising? (Similar to above) What can governments do about false advertising? Do you think there should be controls on (= laws concerning) advertising, for example cigarette and alcohol advertising?? (Similar to above) Do you think that advertisements for products that harm the health, such as cigarettes, should be allowed? (Or ... should be banned?)

Information

What are the various ways that people use to obtain information, such as the news? Do you often read the newspaper?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 216 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you think newspapers are obsolete? How do you think people will obtain information and news in the future?

The Use of Advertising in Your Country

Advertisements are most useful for advertising what (kinds of) products? (Why?) (Similar to above) What (kinds of) products do you think are most suitable to be advertised? At the moment in China, what sorts of products are advertised most? Do you think advertisements can (or, do) make people feel they are being put under some form of pressure? Do you feel that advertisements in your country reflect your national culture? Do you think advertisements should reflect the national culture of the countries they are in? When it comes to advertising and the media, what role do you think the government should play? (Similar to above) What do you think is the responsibility of government when it comes to the question of setting regulations for the advertising industry?

The Qualities of Advertisements

In what ways do advertisements in different media differ from each other? What kinds of advertisements do you think are the most effective? (Similar to above) What are the features (qualities) of advertisement that leave the deepest impression on people? What visual effects do you think make advertisements most effective? And what kinds of music do you think are most effective in advertisements?

The Effects of Advertising on Children What effect do (or can) advertisements have on young children? See Note
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 217 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Note

(Similar to above) Do you think children's TV shows, such as cartoon programs, should have advertisements? (Hint: Kids have little or no money!)

I'm not going to give you complete answers here - you need to think for yourself and besides, if many people use the same answer, the examiners won't be impressed. I'll just give you a few points to think about. There are several factors to consider about children, especially very young ones, and how advertisements (especially on TV) affect them. One key factor is that young children are very impressionable, much more so than older children and adults who are also somewhat impressionable. Very young children often can't (or don't) even distinguish between reality and fantasy on TV or in films. This can result in the children getting some erroneous ideas about how to speak and how to behave in society and about the world in general. Consider this little story. It's 5:30 in the afternoon and 7 year-old Johnny is watching a children's TV show while his mother is in the kitchen making dinner. Johnny, who is very hungry, sees an advertisement for some snack, candy or ice-cream that children like. Maybe some of these "goodies" can be found in the house or maybe not. Or perhaps it's an advertisement for McDonald's. Imagine the possible results of this. Another example: Little 7-year-old Johnny's family doesn't have much money but he keeps seeing an advertisement on TV that shows lots of kids having fun playing with a new toy that is quite expensive. Imagine the possible results of this. A final example: In the Western countries, there are nowadays several advertisements (aimed at adults) that include elements of horror or fearful situations. Of course, many of these advertisements are advertising films or TV programs that include horror or fearful situations themselves. These advertisements leave an impression on everyone but imagine the psychological results on little kids seeing such material during all of their growing years. The above are examples of negative effects of advertisements on children. There are also some possible positive results. For example, kids learn to mimic and sing jingles or mimic the words of a TV or radio advertisement more readily than adults, and these jingles will stay in their memories for all their lives. If the jingles include something of educational value, such as how to spell a long, complicated word, then that is positive. But examples of jingles with educational value are not common.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 218

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Fifty-three
A Family Member Describe the person in your family who you spend most time with. You should say: Who this person is When you usually are together What kind of person he or she is (= what his or personality is like) What you usually do (when you are) together And explain why you spend more time with this person than with other members of your family.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 219

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Part 3 Family Living Situations Family Size

What do you think are some of the advantages and disadvantages of big families (i.e., many children) as opposed to small families? What are some of the pros and cons of three generations living together (i.e., a household including grandparents)?

Old Family Members

Do you think old people should go out to work in order to support themselves financially? Do you think that people are (or, should be) responsible for looking after their parents when the parents are old? (Similar to above) Whose responsibility do you think it is to (financially) look after old people - the government's responsibility or the family's?

Close-knit Families

What are the advantages and possible disadvantages of living in a very close-knit family? Do you think it's possible for parents to give their children "too much love"? What are some of the advantages and possible disadvantages of young people living at home with their parents right up until the time they get married?

Male and Female Family Roles

Would you say that family relations are important? Do you think women should who have young children should stay at home and take care of the children or should they have the freedom to take a job outside the home, the same as men?
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To what extent do you think married men should do such activities as child-rearing, doing the housework, cooking and shopping for groceries? In a family, do you think it's important that the men and women have set (or, different) roles to play? Do you think women should who have young children should stay at home and take care of the children or should they have the freedom to take a job outside the home, the same as men? To what extent do you think married men should do such activities as child-rearing, doing the housework, cooking and shopping for groceries? (Similar to above) Do you think (married) men and women should have set roles in the family? Do you think that when a couple has a young child, the responsibility for looking after the child should be shared equally? How should a married couple decide who does what work in the home? Do different groups in society have different ideas about the division of labour between (married) men and women?

Helping Others

(In general), do you think neighbours are important (to people)? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think it's important for neighbours to help each other? Do you think there's much difference between giving and receiving help in the family and between friends? Do people feel the same about helping family members and helping friends?

Neighbours (In general), do you think neighbours are important (to people)? (Why? /Why not?)

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Question Fifty-four
A Course You Would Like to Study Describe a course you would like to study. You should say: What (kind of) course it is (or, would be) Where you would do this course How you would study it And explain how you would benefit from studying this course.

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Notes

The wording for this topic is not yet very clear. The wording probably allows you to talk about a fantasy i.e., something you don't ever really intend to study but something that you would be happy to study, if you had the chance. For example, you could say, "I'd like to do a course that teaches how to fly a helicopter". a) For the majority of IELTS candidates, i.e., those planning or hoping to study overseas, you could quickly change from saying, "would like to" to the more direct, "want to" if you decide to talk about your real study plan or strong desire to study a certain subject.

However, I suggest the first time you say this you use, "I would like to" because that's probably what the card says. Then explain that it is your real goal or plan or strong desire by saying something like, "In fact, that's what I really intend to study in Australia next year". After that, it sounds suitable to use, "I want to ...". If you suddenly start your answer with, "I want to study ..." without first explaining that you are talking about your real plan, it will look like you don't understand the fine difference in usage between "want to" and "would like to".

b) For those doing the IELTS test in order to emigrate and not planning to do any further study, you should continue saying, "would like to" because your answer is just speculative i.e., talking about something you would like to do, if you had the opportunity. For both groups a) and b), the last line, "explain how you would benefit" is because you are not studying it now. Therefore, you should say, "I would benefit", not "I will benefit". Use the word, "could", or the words, "would be able to", not "can".

On the other hand, it is suitable to say, "I will benefit" if you know, with almost 100% certainty, that you definitely will study this course. This is possible for those IELTS candidates who have already received an offer of acceptance to a university. But you should first tell the examiner that you are talking about an almost certain future before you use "will". If you are one of these people, use the words, "will be able to", not "can". "Can" is only used to talk about what someone is able to do now.
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Possible follow-up questions:

Do you think you really will study this course? Are there many schools in China that have that course?

Part 3 Teachers

Do you think teachers are useful (or, necessary; or, important)? (Why? /Why not?) What personal qualities do you think teachers should have?

The Value of Academic Study and of Practical Experience Do you think humanities subjects (arts subjects) such as history and music are important? Which do you think is more useful (or, important), studying a course in a classroom or getting practical work experience? (Why?) (Similar to above) When companies hire people, do you think they should pay more attention to the job applicant's study record or the job applicant's work experience? Do you think schools (and universities) should include more opportunities for gaining practical experience? (Why? How? / Why not?) What are the most popular courses (= subjects; majors) for people to study today in China? Do you think elective courses (elective subjects) are very useful? What are some examples of good (= useful) elective courses? Do you think humanities subjects (arts subjects) such as history and music are important? Which do you think is more useful (or, important), studying a course in a classroom or getting practical work experience? (Why?) (Similar to above) When companies hire people, do you think they should pay more attention to the job applicant's study record or the job applicant's work experience?

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Do you think schools (and universities) should include more opportunities for gaining practical experience? (Why? How? / Why not?)

Question Fifty-four
A Piece of Good News Describe a piece of good news that you received by phone. You should say: What the news was Where you were when you received this news Who phoned you (or, who gave you this news) And explain why you felt this was good news.

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Notes

The meaning of "news" here is , not , (although there are times when a piece of news can be both and .) It is also possible that the wording says "recently received". "Recently" means within the past few months, up to about a year ago. It is also possible that the wording is, "received by phone from a friend or family member." If the card says something like, "who gave you this news" then it seems that a text message would fit this topic, as would a spoken message. But if it says something like, "who phoned you" then it must be a spoken message.

Part 3 Communication Methods/Tools

Compare the benefits and shortcomings of using different communication methods (or, tools) such as face-to-face communication, letters, emails and phones. With the increasing use of computers for communication, do you think people's handwriting skills will suffer as a result?

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Question Fifty-four
A Future Change Describe a change you would like to make to your life in the future. You should say: What change you would like to make When you would like to make this change How easy or difficult you think this change might be And explain why you would like to make this change.

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Notes

Concentrate on talking about one particular change, not several different changes because, almost certainly, the card says "a change" not, "some changes". Of course, one change will lead to other changes and you could mention them, but try to focus on

Part 3 Personal Change

Some people like change while others don't. Can you suggest why these two groups of people feel this way? (Similar to above) In general, what kinds of people like change? Who do you think likes change more, young people or old(er) people? Why? Who do you think likes change more, children or adults? Why? Why do adults find it harder to change than children? Do you think change affects children and old people the same way? What changes take place when a child becomes an adult? What are some things about a person that never change?

Change in One's Life

Do you like change in your life? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think change is important in life? Why do you think some people try to resist change in their lives? What kinds of people are more likely to resist change? And what kinds of people do you think are more likely to embrace change? Do you think it's good for people to sometimes change their job? (Why? /Why not?) What do you think are some of the problems that can occur when someone changes their work (or, job)?
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IELTS Questions

Do you think it's a good idea sometimes for people to change their career, for example, to change from being a reporter to being a doctor? (= Do you think this is ever a good idea? = What are the advantages & disadvantages of doing that?)

Change in Society

Have there been many recent changes in your community? (or, your society, i.e., Chinese society) What do you think can be the results of sudden change on a community? Do you think there have been any changes in the weather in your country in the past few years? Do you think there is more change today than there used to be, a few years ago? What do you think have been some of the major changes in the world in the past few years? Do you think these changes have been changes for the better, or for the worse? Do you have any thoughts on why these changes are occurring now? Can you think of any things that were better (than they are now) a few years ago? Can you think of any things that are better now than they used to be a few decades ago? Have there been many changes in the countryside in China in the past few years? What are some of the major changes that have taken place in Chinese society in the past 20 or 30 years? In the past 20 or 30 years, have there been any changes in family life (or, the family structure) in China? Do you think these are all changes for the better or are some of them changes for the worse? How do you think changes in technology (electronic technology) have affected people's everyday lives? Have there been any changes in the natural environment (e.g., the weather)?

Change and Children Who do you think is capable of coping with change better, children or adults?
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Do you think it's good for children to experience new things? Do you think it's good for children to undergo a lot of change in their lives? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think parents should teach their children how to cope with change? How could parents do that?

The Effects of Change on People For working people: Did the change you just talked about affect your work in any way? Do you like change? (Why? /Why not?) Are you willing to make personal changes, such as change things about your personal habits and attitudes? (Similar to above) Do you want to make personal changes, such as change things about your personal habits and attitudes? How can people make changes to (improvements to) their everyday lives? DIFFICULT QUESTION Do you think change is good in people's lives? Are older people willing to (or, do they want to) make such personal changes in their lives? Why do some people like change and others dislike it? What are some of the advantages and some of the disadvantages of making changes to one's life? Why are old people generally unwilling to make changes in their life? (Including changes in their attitudes) Why do some young people not like change? Do you think experiencing change is good for children? Do you think frequent change such as frequent changes of where one lives, is good for children? How could a parent (or teacher) help a child be prepared to cope with future change? Which kind of educational style is better for children - a strict education or an easygoing learning environment? (Why?)
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Is it good for children to try new activities? (Hint: New activities stimulate the brain & encourage creativity/self confidence in tacking challenges) What sorts of things do children in China do after school? If a child has time for extra-curricular (= after school) activities, how should a parent or teacher help the child to do this? Do you think there are any advantages to having the parents help the child with his or her after-school activities? Do you think parents should choose for children what the children do after school?

Major Life Changes : Moving House and Changing Jobs What are some of the factors leading to (or causes/or examples of) change in people's lives?

Moving House

Do people in China change where they live very often? (Why? /Why not?) Why do many people move to live in different places? What are some possible problems that people have when they move? What are some of the positive and some of the negative results of going overseas to study? Compare the impact of moving on children and on adults. (Similar to above) If a Chinese family moves overseas, who do you think will adapt better to the new environment, the adults or the child(ren)? How can parents help their child get used to a new environment? For example, if the child is shy and not good at making new friends, how can parents help the child? What are some advantages and some disadvantages of living your whole life in one place?

Changing Jobs

What do you think of working for one company all your life? Nowadays, do people need to change their jobs very often? (Why?)
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Are they willing to change their jobs? (Or is changing jobs a matter of necessity, not choice?) In your opinion, is it a good thing to change jobs often? What are some of the possible risks of changing jobs frequently? What are some of the advantages and some of the disadvantages of changing one's job? (This question means changing one's employer, not changing one's career. But you could talk about changing one's career, as well.) What kinds of people change jobs often?

Social Change

Do you think society is changing fast? Do you think change and development are always the same thing? What do you think is causing these changes? In general, do you think the influence of foreign cultures is strong enough to change (the people in) a country? Has the computer (or, the internet) changed your life very much? Compare the advantages and disadvantages of rapid social change. In general, do Chinese people like change? (Do they like any changes to their lives?) Why (or, how) do you think cities need to change?

Changing jobs Do Chinese people change jobs very often? (Why?) Do you think changing jobs is good? What do employers think about people who change jobs often? What are some reasons why some people continue working at the same job for a long time? What are some of the problems a person experiences when they change their job? What problems can people have when they change jobs frequently?
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Do you think people should stay in the same jobs all their lives (or long term)? (Why? /Why not?) How do you think employers could encourage people not to change jobs? What do people in China do after they retire? Why do so many people in China move to a different city or even go overseas to study or work? What do you think are the major challenges of working or studying in another country? Besides language difficulties, what do you think are the major challenges of working or studying in another country? Why do so many Chinese people want to work or study overseas? Do you think it's good for young people aged about 16 or 17 to go overseas to study? What do you think are the major challenges of working or studying in another part of China (= moving from your hometown)?

Young People and Change

Do you like change? (Why?/Why not?) Do your family members (parents) support you when you make changes to your life? What do you think are the good and the bad points about being a teenager/young person in China? Are young people in China today more mature than in the past? How much time do young people in China spend with their parents? What can young people learn from older people? Do you think young people can adapt to changes easier than old people? (Why?)

Changes in China Do you think China has gone through a lot of changes in recent years? What changes has new technology brought to people? What are the most positive changes? Do you think there will be more changes in the future? (What changes?)
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IELTS Questions

People's Feelings About Change

Some people like change while others don't. Can you suggest why these two groups of people feel this way? Do you think change affects children and old people the same way?

Changes In Society What are some of the major changes that have taken place in Chinese society in the past 20 or 30 years? Do you think these are all changes for the better or are some of them changes for the worse? How do you think changes in technology (electronic technology) have affected people's everyday lives? Have there been any changes in the natural environment (e.g., the weather)?

Educational Changes/Reform

Do you think the educational system in China needs any changes? (What changes? Why? /Why not?) What do you think the results of those changes would be? (= "What do you think the results of those changes would be if the changes took place". Don't use, "will", "can" or "must". Instead, use "would", "could" (or "would be able to") and "would have to". You could also say, "might" instead of "would".) Has education in China changed much in the past 20 or 30 years? How do you think education in China will change over the next 20 or 30 years?

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Question Fifty-five
Your Favourite Part of Your Hometown Describe your favourite part of your hometown. You should say: Where it is How often you go there What you do there And explain why that is your favourite part of town.

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Note This might not be a separate Part 2 topic. Instead, this and the questions below might belong to the Part 3 of the topic: - A Home You Like (Describe a house or flat that you like. (Not your own home) but still worth looking at just in case. Part 3 City versus Rural Living

Compare (the differences between) living in a city and living in a rural environment. Compare the differences between people's homes in cities and in the countryside. Which do you think is the better place to live, a city or in the countryside? In the future, do you think people will move out of the cities into rural areas?

Essential Facilities What would you say are the essential facilities and services that people need in their town or city? (Similar to above) What important (or essential) facilities and services does your hometown have? Compare the services and facilities that are available in the cities of China and in the countryside (small towns and villages). Who should be responsible for providing these services and facilities (the government or private businesses)?

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Question Fifty-six
A Happy Event Version A Describe an enjoyable event from the past that you remember well. You should say: What the event was When and where it happened Who participated in this event? What you saw or did And explain why this event was so enjoyable. or And explain why you remember this event so well. Version B Describe a recent event that made you feel happy. You should say: What the event was When and where it happened Who participated in this event? What you saw or did And explain why this event was so enjoyable. or
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IELTS Questions

And explain why you remember this event so well. Notes

This topic has been moved from a previous Topic, I have moved all the relevant part three questions to this page Some people have reported Version A & others have reported Version B. I think Version B is the wording but I suggest you prepare for both.

Possible follow-up questions:

Do you often do that? (Do you often do what you just spoke about?) Do you often talk about this topic? Did your parents or friends also enjoy this event?

Part 3 Happiness & Happy Events The Nature of Happiness

What do you think 'happiness' is? There is a theory that some people are born with a more optimistic personality than others, with the result that they are happier throughout their lives. What do you think of that theory?

The Sources of Happiness

What are some things that make you happy? (Similar to above) What are some things that make people happy? Do you think entertainment can make people feel (genuinely) happy? Do you think artistic activities can make people happy? (Why? /Why not?) Do you think people who have more talent are happier than others? (Why? /Why not?)
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IELTS Questions

(Similar to above) Do you think people feel happier when they are good at something? (Why?) Do you think money makes people happy? Are the things (or, the events) that make people happy today the same as several decades ago?

The Importance of Family for Happiness

Why do people feel happy when they are with members of their family? In general, what do you think makes a happy family? What are some (other) examples of family activities that make people feel happy?

Happy People What kind of people do you think are most likely to be happy? (describe qualities of people) Do you think some people are born with a happier disposition than others? Why do some people (seem to) stay happy even in difficult circumstances? How do you think a person can make you feel that you and he or she will get along with each other?

Ages Differences and Happiness

Do you think there is any relationship between a person's age and their happiness? (Why? /Why not?) What are the times in a person's life when they are most happy and what are the times when people are most unhappy? Do you think children today are happy? Some people say the happiest time in people's lives is the period when they are at school? Do you agree? What kinds of people are most likely to feel that the past was happier (for them) than the present? Do young people and old(er) people find happiness from the same things? (Compare the two.)
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IELTS Questions

Do you think old people are very happy? When you are old(er), what kinds of things do you think will bring you happiness?

Happiness in Society

Do you think people were happier in the past than they are now? Do you think there is any relationship between government and the happiness of the citizens? What could the government do to help increase the overall happiness of people?

The following four questions are guesses.

What are some examples of things that people value very highly? Why do you think these things are so important to them? Do you think only things that cost a lot of money are highly valued by people? (Similar to above) Can you think of any examples of things that don't cost a lot of money but are still highly valued?

Memories Forgetting and Remembering Happy & Sad Events from the Past

Some people say they have forgotten important things from the past. Do you think this is possible? Do you think it is possible to choose what to remember and what to forget? What kinds of events do people have the strongest memory of? What times in a person's life are most worth remembering? Do you think your (present) time at university is worth remembering? Do you think people mostly remember sad events or happy events? (Why?) How can people benefit from recalling sad events?
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(It is often therapeutic to reflect on past sad events - one can better come to terms with the sadness and move on with one's life.)

What can a person do if he or she wants to forget something but cannot forget it?

The Accuracy of Happy and Sad Memories

Sometimes, people replace memories of real events with their own versions of the event. What do you think of this? (Similar to above) Do you think that what most people remember about the past is accurate, compared to what really happened? Have you ever imagined that something happened when, in fact, it did not happen? Compare the memories that older people have with the memories that young people have about childhood experiences? (Old(er) people tend to remember the good things more & forget about the bad experiences - they have the feeling that their childhood was "the good old days". In other words, older people are usually more nostalgic about their childhood than young people. As people grow older, they have had more bad experiences and this might cause them to idealize their childhood more than young people do Young people (say, 15 to 30); probably have fresher memories of childhood than older people.) Quite often, old(er) people say the happiest time in their life was when they were young. Why do you think they say that? (Similar to above) Quite often, old(er) people talk about "the good old days". What do you think they mean? (Similar to above) Quite often, people who are working say that the happiest time of their life was when they were a student. Why do you think they say that?

The Value of Recording Events - Diaries

Why do some people keep diaries? (Or: Why do some people like recording their experiences on paper?) What kinds of people like to keep a diary of their life experiences?

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(An introspective and sensitive person; Someone who is going through rather unique or unusual experiences, such as going through a war or traveling to an interesting new place; ... )

Do you think writing one's experiences in a diary is important? Do you think the older generation should pass on their life experiences to the next generation by recording these experiences in a diary? (Similar to above) Do you think it's important for old people to pass on their memories (of their experiences) to young people? (Why? /Why not?)

History

Do you think learning about history (or, studying history) is important? Do you think students should learn about the bad things in history or just the good things? (Similar to above) What do you think is the value of studying world history? (Famous quotation: "Those who cannot learn the mistakes of history are bound to repeat those mistakes.") (Similar to above) What can one learn from history? (Similar to above) What is the value of children (or, young people) studying history? Why do some people find it boring to study history? What are some ways to make history lessons more interesting for school children? Compare learning about one's national history (or, one's local history) with learning about world history. (Similar to above) Which do you think is more important for children to study at school, their nation's history (or local history) or world history? How can one study, or learn about, one's local history?

Childhood Do you think childhood is important? What can adults learn from looking back at their own childhood? Is it important to look back at ones childhood? Do you think its important (or necessary) to keep in contact with childhood friends?
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IELTS Questions

How do children view friendship? Can adults be friends with children? Do most people change their friends when they grow up? Why? Some adults think that childhood was the best part of their lives. Why do they think that way? Do you think that way? Why? What are the differences between childhood and adulthood? What are the typical activities that children do? And what activities did you do when you were a child?

Preserving Childhood Memories

What are some good methods for remembering childhood experiences? What are some things that people keep from their childhood? Why do people keep these things? What are some of the advantages of keeping a photo album of childhood photographs?

Memory

What are the advantages of having a good memory? (= good powers of memory) Can you think of any ways to enhance ones memory in order to increase ones learning capacity? Do children and adults have the same memorization abilities? (i.e., who can remember or learn new things better, children or adults?) What methods do most people use to memorize things? Why do people remember some events and not others? Why do some people write events in a diary?
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Do you agree that sometimes people talk about their memory of an event that didn't really happen (or didn't really happen exactly as they remember)? (What is the explanation for this?) What do you think is the value of teaching history in school? If school children think history is a boring subject, how can a teacher make it seem more interesting? Do you think it is a good idea to use audio-visual materials such as video or films to make the subject of history seem more interesting? (Hint: Popular films do not usually give not accurate portrayals of history.) Do you think it's important to learn about one's local history?

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Question Fifty-six
Some Advice You Received Version A Describe some good advice you received. You should say: When you received this advice In what situation you received this advice Who gave you the advice? What the advice was and explain why you thought this advice was good.

Version B Describe some advice you received. You should say: When you received this advice In what situation you received this advice Who gave you the advice? What the advice was And explain your impression of this advice. or And explain whether or not you thought this advice was good advice. or
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IELTS Questions

and explain what resulted from this advice. *

Notes

Instead of the word 'good', the word 'important' might be used. This topic is similar to a previous but I think the adjective used here is 'important', not 'useful' and I think this newer topic does not specify that the advice was from a friend or family member. On the other hand, most people don't report either of these adjectives as being used. It is possible that the questions just asks you to describe some advice you received, either good or bad advice and the last line of the task card might say, "and explain your impression of this advice". Some differences between 'Advice' and 'Suggestion': 'Advice' is a non-count noun. We say, "a piece of advice". On the other hand, a 'suggestion' is a count noun. Advice can include more than one suggestion or it can be just one suggestion. And advice is deeper and more general than a suggestion. 'Advice' usually involves the idea of 'the best thing to do' but a suggestion is often simply an idea. For example, "I suggest we have pizza for dinner tonight." but, "I advise you not to leave your study for the test until the last moment." Or: "My parents gave me some advice on what career to choose." In English, we do sometimes say, "accept someone's advice". We also say, "take someone's advice" or, "follow someone's advice". This topic has been moved from a previous in this book. There is no need to go there because all of the questions were moved to here and any future changes or additions will be made to this topic. The topic was moved to make sure readers do not overlook this topic. It seems Version B is the current Version being used. This allows you to choose to talk about some bad advice you received but which you did not follow. (Of course, you can also choose to talk about some good advice that you heeded.)

Possible follow-up questions:

Are you still in contact with that person (the person who gave you the advice)? Did you follow this advice?
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IELTS Questions

Do you yourself ever give people advice?

Part 3 Advice Giving

Do you often give people advice? (Who? What advice?) Have your parents (if you said friend in Part 2) given you much advice? Have your friends (if you said parents in Part 2) given you much advice? Do you think that advice from friends is always good advice? What kind of advice do parents give their (adult) children? Is this advice usually accepted? If not, why? Do you think that some young people reject the advice of their parents simply as a result of a generation gap? ( = misunderstandings resulting from being in different generations) What's your opinion? Do you think people should accept the advice of their parents? What is your opinion of people who don't follow their parents' advice? Why do some children or some young people not listen to the advice of their parents? Do you think teachers are capable of giving students advice about life situations? How do you feel when a teacher gives that kind of advice? In general, what do you think of the value of advice from old people? Is it useful? What kind of advice do friends give each other? Do you think young people should (or do) follow their parents' advice? Which advice has more influence on young people, that from their parents or that from their friends? How can people choose between parents' advice and friends' advice, if they are different? Do you ever give advice to others? (Have you ever given advice to others?) In China, do people ever give advice to others about their (adult) children? In China, do (adult) children ever strongly oppose the advice of their parents?
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IELTS Questions

In China, do (should) young people ever give advice to older people, for example, their parents? In China, do (adult) children often ask for advice from their parents or friends? (Advice about what?) Which do you think is more useful (=effective), giving advice to someone or actually showing them or teaching them how to do something? DIFFICULT QUESTION (As above) For young children, which is most effective, giving advice or giving training? DIFFICULT QUESTION Where can people get advice about a product? (Hint: The internet; the seller/supplier/manufacturer of the product)

The Helping Professions

Can you think of any occupations where the person gives advice as part of their job? (Hint: teachers & tutors; health professionals such as doctors, including psychiatrists and nurses; lawyers; accountants; business & investment consultants; travel agents; gym instructors; psychologists; marriage guidance counselors; social workers ...) Have you ever received advice from some expert or professional person (other than your parents)? Compare the advice that you could get from a professional who doesn't know you, and the advice from family or friends. Besides your family, has anyone ever given you advice about your work or your studies? In China, is there anywhere where (or, is there anyone from whom) members of public can get advice? What is your opinion of the advice that these people give? (Or) What is your opinion about getting advice from these professionals? Do you think these professionals should receive special training in giving advice? (Why? What specific training?) How should people in the helping professions, such as doctors and teachers, be trained and regulated? What's your opinion about on-line 'experts' giving advice? How do you think these so-called experts can be controlled (regulated)?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 248 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

What kind of people would make good professional advisors? = What personal attributes do professional advisors need to have? Do you think we need to have professional advisors?

Work Suggestions

Has anybody given you advice about work? Who? What was this advice? (This might include choosing what career to follow in life.) Has anyone given you advice at work? (Who? What advice?) Was this person trained to give you advice? Do you think special training (for giving advice) is useful? What advice would you give to employees in your company? How do people give suggestions to their superiors at work? (Hint: Suggestions boxes.)

Personal Advice

When you have a problem and need some advice, can you usually find someone to discuss your problem with? Do you prefer to make your own decisions or do you tend to listen to the recommendations of others? Do you ever give advice to others or do you just receive advice? Do you prefer advice from your family or your friends? (Similar to above) Do you usually get advice from your family or from your friends? (= Which is more frequent?) (Similar to above) Which advice is more important to you, advice from your family or advice from your friends? Do you think people should give advice to their friends? What kinds of advice do your friends give you? Compare the advice friends usually give to the advice that parents usually give. (This is a general question, not your friends & your parents.)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 249 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

When somebody gives you some advice, do you usually follow this advice or do you usually insist on your own opinion? (Similar to above, but a little different) When somebody gives you some advice, do you usually take the advice or do you more often follow your own judgment? What are some examples of situations or times when people need or want personal advice from someone else? Do teachers ever give advice to their students? What is this advice (from teachers) usually about? Do you think teachers should give students personal advice or just academic advice? Do you think teachers should give their personal opinions to students? (Opinions on any topic) Do you think it's suitable for teachers to advise students on matters related to growing up, and not related to studying? What do young people today think of the advice from old(er) people? Why do you think there is a generation gap between young people and their parents? If you were going to give some advice to someone, what factors would you first need to consider? When somebody is giving career advice, what things factors should this advice-giver take into consideration? Do you think it is good if a parent is always giving advice to a child? (Or do you think it is sometimes better to let a child solve his/her own problems?) In the future, what kind of advice do you think people will be giving each other? (hint: technical advice) What is the most important piece of advice that you would give to young people today?

Career Advice

How do young people in China get advice (or, get information) about what career to choose? Do you think you will seek the advice of others about your future study and career plans? (Why? From whom? /Why not?)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 250 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

If you received advice from someone about a job, (or career), what factors would you need to consider when thinking about this advice? Do you think advice from parents to their children about the children's future career is usually good advice? Do you think parents should decide what their son's or daughter's future career should be or should the decision be made by the son or daughter? (Similar to above) How much do you think advice about a person's career is that person's personal decision to make? If you received advice from your parents about your career (your choice of career) and this advice was different to your own opinion (or feelings), how could this problem be resolved?

Professional Advice

Have you ever received advice from a trained person? (i.e. a person trained to give advice) What are some examples of occasions when people need or want professional advice? What are some examples of people who give professional advice to others? (i.e., as part of their work) Have you ever received any advice from a trained person? ( = trained to give advice) What do you think of people who are professionals at giving advice? How reliable do you think people are who give advice to others? In general, what kind of person is most suitable for giving advice to others? (Similar to above) What personal qualities do you think these professional advice givers should have? And what personal qualities does a receiver of advice need to have? Where do you (or, where do people) usually get advice when buying products? Do you think it's a good idea to (always) follow the advice from sales promotion materials (= advertisements)?

Questions Reported after Sept. 6, 2008

In your community, what kinds of people give what kinds of advice? What do you think of this advice?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 251 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

What kind of people do you like (or, prefer) giving you advice? What kind of advice do you not accept? (Why?) Would you say young people are usually willing to accept the advice of older people? Why do so many young people not accept (or, not follow) the advice of older people? (Similar to above) Why is the advice that parents give to their children not always what the children want? When people (older people?) give advice to a teenager, what should they pay attention to? (Similar to above) How should a person (an older person?) give advice to a teenager? If you were to give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Some people find it easier to accept advice than other people do. Why do you think there is this difference? Would you say an independent thinking person finds it easier or, more difficult to accept the advice of others? Which would you say is better, to be an independent person making progress in life but making a few mistakes along the way, or to make progress in life but make fewer mistakes because you are less independent and listen to the advice of others?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 252

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Fifty-seven
A Traffic Jam Describe a time when you were caught in a traffic jam. You should say: When it happened Where it happened Where you were going at that time How you passed the time while waiting And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 253

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Part 3 City Transportation

Compare travelling by car and travelling by bus. (In a city or town, not long distance travel) Compare travelling by taxi with travelling by other forms of public transportation. How does having many cars in a city affect the environment?

Traffic Congestion What are the traffic conditions like in your hometown? Do you feel that traffic congestion in your hometown is better, or worse than it used to be? What are the causes of traffic jams (or, traffic congestion)? When (at what time of the day) do the most severe traffic jams usually happen? (Why?) Do you think the problem of traffic congestion will be eased in the future or will it become worse? What would you suggest as possible solutions to the problem of congested traffic? In what ways do you think decisions made by government affect how much traffic congestion there is? Do you think having more public transportation is the answer to traffic congestion? Do you think building more roads (motorways/highways) will solve the problem? Do you think it's only the responsibility of the government to solve this problem (and not the responsibility of ordinary people)? Overseas, some governments have increased the sales tax on cars as a way to discourage people from buying cars. Do you think that's a good idea? Do you think big and small cars should be taxed the same amount? (sales tax when buying)

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 254

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Fifty-eight
A Healthy Habit Describe something you do that is good for your health. You should say: What you do How often you do it ............... And explain why you think this is important for your health.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 255

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

"Health" (noun) and "healthy" (adjective) are different! Don't say, "It's good for my healthy." - It should be, "It's good for my health." Or: "It's a healthy thing to do."

Part 3 A Healthy Lifestyle

What are some things that people can do to help them maintain good health? What foods are most important for good health? In general, do you think people are healthier today than people were 30 or 50 years ago? What things do you think people in China need to do in order to improve their health? What are some things that people (can) do in order to get exercise? Do you think playing sport is a useful way for people to maintain good health? Why do you think some people don't (like to) do much exercise? Do you think the media can (or should) be used as a way to help educate people about healthy living? Do you think doctors have a responsibility to give people advice about how to have a healthy lifestyle?

Smoking

What do you think of people who smoke? How (or, why) is smoking bad for health? Some people think that most smokers are men. Do you agree? Why do you think people start smoking? Do men and women usually start smoking for the same reasons? Do you think many smokers want to stop smoking? Why do you think people find it difficult to quit smoking?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 256 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Do you think the government has a responsibility to do something about the problem of people smoking (or do you think it's purely a personal problem)? What could the government do? Some governments overseas have increased the sales tax on tobacco products in order to discourage people from smoking. Do you think that's a good idea?

Children's Health Education

Do you think it's important for the topic of health education to be included in the school curriculum? (Why? /Why not?) What did you learn in school about health? How do you schools teach about health? (Similar to above) How do you think schools could (or, can) teach about health? What do you think is the value of P.E. classes (and sport) in schools? Who do you think has the greatest responsibility for educating children about health parents or schools? Do you think the media can play a role in educating people about health? (How?)

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 257

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Fifty-nine
An Interesting Lecture or Speech Describe a lecture or speech that impressed you. You should say: Who gave the lecture or speech? What the lecture or speech was about Where you heard it (Or, where this lecture or speech was given)

And explain what impressed you about the lecture or speech.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 258

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

Since this is a past tense topic, don't forget to say when you heard the lecture or speech, even if the task card does not tell you to say that. Possibly the wording is, "Describe a lecture or speech that had an influence on you". The words, "impress" and "influence" are not exactly the same. When you are impressed by something, you feel there is something of very high quality about that something and you say something such as, "Wow!" But when you are influenced by something, a changed is caused in you, usually a change in your attitudes, beliefs, feelings or plans.

Part 3 Different Types of Lectures and Speeches

What different kinds of speeches or lectures have you attended in your life? (Similar to above) What are the different purposes of speeches and lectures?

Visiting Lecturers in Schools and Universities Universities

Do you think it's a good idea for universities to sometimes exchange lecturers with other universities, for example, to give a short series of lectures? What about foreign professors or lecturers - do you think it's useful for visiting foreign experts and professors to give a series of lectures in China?

Schools (high schools and primary schools)

Do you think school students should listen to speeches and talks in school? What different categories of (kinds of) people do you think are most suitable as visiting speakers in schools? (E.g., policemen, doctors, famous people, people who have overcome great challenges, ... Include why these are suitable.) What qualities should these visiting speakers have? What topics are most suitable for these speakers to talk about? (Note: Distinguish between primary school students and high school students)
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 259 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

Giving a Talk to Very Young Children

Why do you many people find it hard to give a talk to young children (e.g., 5 to 8 years old)? Why do you think young children sometimes have difficulty listening to (= concentrating on) someone giving them a lecture or talk? How should a talk be given to children? (Similar to above) How do you think a speaker could hold (or attract) the attention of young children?

Speech-Giving Skills and Methods

What qualities should public speakers have (in order to speak well in public)? Can you suggest any ways that a person could use to control his or her nervousness before they have to give a speech in front of a big audience? What are some ways that a public speaker could make his speech or lecture more attractive to the audience? Do you think it's useful to use slides and photographs (or a PowerPoint presentation) when giving a presentation? (Why?)

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 260

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Sixty
A Childhood Activity Version A Describe an activity that you enjoyed when you were a child. You should say: How old you were when you did this activity How and where you did this activity Who you did it with And explain why you enjoyed that activity.

Version B Describe an activity that you did with your friends when you were a child. You should say: How old you were when you did this activity How and where you did this activity Who you did it with And explain why you enjoyed that activity.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 261

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

This seems to be a different topic to, A Childhood Game. An "activity" can be a game but it doesn't have to be a game. For example, it could be painting, or going to ballet classes or playing a sport. The words are not yet clear but someone wrote on the internet that the word "game" is not written on the topic card. The Part 3 questions seem different to the Childhood Game Topic, too.

Possible follow-up questions:

Part 3

Do children today still do that?

Childhood Activities

Do many people today still do the same things as they did when they were children? (Similar to above) Do many people today still play the same games as they did when they were children? Do you think children today prefer playing with other children or do they prefer doing things by themselves?

The Role of Children in the Family

In the family, what is the role of children? As they grow up, how do you think this role changes? What do you think parents can do to help their children grow up to become good people? What pressures do modern children have in their lives?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 262

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Community
Neighbours

Do you think a person's relations with their neighbours are important? Do you communicate very much with your neighbours? Are you willing to make friends with old people? What are some ways that neighbours (can) help each other? Would you say that the average person today has the same kind of relationship with their neighbours as previous generations did? Why do you think many people today are isolated from their neighbours? (Similar to above) Why do you think many people are alienated from (= isolated from) their neighbours and what can be done about it? (Similar to above) Many people today are so busy that they don't spend much time at home or in their local communities. Do you think this is a good thing? In what ways can students (or, children, or young people) show a sense of responsibility towards their communities? At what age do you think children should start to show a sense of responsibility towards their communities?

Groups

What groups (e.g., clubs) in society are you willing to join? (Similar to above) What groups (e.g., clubs) in society would you like to join? What do you think are the benefits for young people from joining groups? For children, how do you think taking part in group activities will benefit them when they are adults? For children, how do you think communicating with others (in group activities) will benefit them when they are adults?

The Global Community

David Hathaway

Would you agree that the people in the world are today living in a "global village"?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 263 Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Question Sixty- one


A Person who Visited your Home Describe a person who visited your home. You should say: Who the person was Why they visited your home How you spent the time with this visitor (or how you entertained this visitor) And explain how you felt about the visit.

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 264

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

Notes

Whenever you use the past tense, you must say when it happened This is an old topic again added here to let you know that it is still likely or slightly possible that it will be asked again.

Possible follow-up questions:

Does that person often visit your home? Do you like to visit other people?

Part 3

In China, what do people do when they visit each other? Do you think visiting others is more informal today than it was before (for example, when your parents or grandparents were young)? What do people in China do to prepare for visitors to their home? When people take their guests out to a restaurant, who do you think should pay the bill, the host or the guests?

Accommodation when Travelling

Today, when people travel to another city or country, are most of them travelling for business (for work) or for pleasure? When people travel away from home, which do you think is better, to stay with friends or stay at a guesthouse (= a hotel)? (Similar to above) If you were travelling to another city, would you prefer to stay in a hotel or with family or friends? (Why?) What services do you think a hotel/guesthouse should provide? (Similar to above, although 'services' and 'facilities' are not exactly the same) What are the most important facilities that a hotel should have? For visitors to your hometown, what different choices of accommodation are there?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 265 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

What are the most famous hotels in China like? What are typical hotels in China like? How have hotels in China changed in the past 20 years or so? Do you think hotels are important for a city? What do you think are the most important services that a hotel should provide? Do you think people who work in the hospitality industry (e.g., people who work in hotels and guest houses) should be trained? Why? What qualities (and skills) should people who work in hotels have? How should employees in the hospitality industry be trained? Do you think these qualities and skills are very important? In what ways do you think hotel staff (in China) could be improved? What qualities do you think a hotel manager needs to have? (Hint: Include qualities for this specific industry). How do you think hotels could attract more guests? (Similar to above) What changes to hotel conditions, facilities and service do you think could be made to attract more guests? How do you think tourism in China will develop in the future?

Hospitality Would you say Chinese people like to have visitors come to their home? (Why? /Why not?) When friends visit someone at home, what is the atmosphere (the feeling) like in the home? In China, do people usually visit after they have been invited or do they usually 'invite themselves' (or visit unannounced)? What's the difference between being invited to visit and visiting someone of your own accord? Do you think it's important to visit other people (in their homes)? (Similar to above) Are people in your country very hospitable to guests?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 266

Saturday 8th November 2008

IELTS Questions

(Similar to above) Is hospitality towards guests very important to Chinese people? (Why?) How do Chinese people welcome guests? How do you think you could make a visitor 'feel at home'? If you travelled to visit someone (in another city), how would you like them to treat you? When you have guests, do you think it is better to eat at home or to go to a restaurant? (Answer the basic question & compare the two.) How important is the living room in a person's house when guests visit? Can you tell me something about the culture of eating and drinking when a guest visits a home in China? Why do people offer food and drink to visitors? In China, what food and drink do people offer guests to their home? Would you say the new generation today is less formal than previous generations on the question of how to treat guests? (Similar to above) Compared to the past, are people today more formal or less formal when they visit other people? In China, when people visit other people in their homes, do they usually bring a gift? (Or, is it necessary to bring a gift?) Has this gift-giving custom changed much in the past few years? (Similar to above) Did people bring the same sorts of gifts in the past as they do today when they visit someone? Do you think there are any people who don't like visitors coming to their home? (Hint: People who don't have much money and feel embarrassed about their simple home or the poor surroundings of their home.) What could these people do instead of having visitors come to their home? In general, what different people visit other people in their homes? Is there much difference between having visitors who you know well (such as friends or family) and visitors who you don't know well? (Similar to above) How do people behave differently when they have visitors they don't know well, compared to when they have visitors they know well? Do you think it's important to show hospitality to strangers?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 267 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

How would you show hospitality to a foreign visitor to your home?

Visiting Another Country What different kinds of people visit your home? (or, hometown or home country) What personal qualities do you prefer visitors to your home to have?

(Basically, describe what you think a good guest is like. For example: A polite person; a friendly person; an entertaining person; a person with a good sense of humour; a good talker; a good story-teller; someone who is not too loud; someone who smiles a lot; a natural and relaxed type of person; an interesting person; a well-educated person; someone who can hold an interesting discussion; someone who you always learn something from; someone who inspires you; a good listener; someone who brings a gift; someone who brings food; a good cook; someone who offers to help make a meal; someone who offers to help wash the dishes after a meal; someone who always calls before they come; someone who always arrives when they say they will come and not before that time or not too much after that time; someone who knows when to leave; someone who offers advice & help in your life; someone who doesn't ask too many personal questions; someone who is interested in what you are interested in; someone who likes to play the games you like to play; someone who likes the same type of music that you like; someone who likes the food that you make; someone who is easily pleased; someone who doesn't talk about politics; someone who has the same political views as you; someone who doesn't look too closely at your personal things; someone who likes animals; someone who plays with your child; someone who is nice to your parents; ... )

If you visit another country, do you think the culture will be the same as in China? In English, sometimes we say, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Do you agree with that? (Why? /Why not?) (Similar to above) Do you think people should change their behaviour, for example, the way they relate to other people, what they eat, and other social customs when they visit a place that has a different culture? (Similar to above) When someone visits a foreign country, how should he/she behave concerning the customs of that country? (Hint: respect) Can you think of an example of such foreign customs? (Hint: different religious practices) What facilities or services do you think should be provided for foreign tourists who visit China?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language 268 Saturday 8th November 2008

David Hathaway

IELTS Questions

How do you think a foreigner can get used to life in China? What kinds of things do foreigners need to pay attention to when they travel in your country? If you were visiting another country, what do you think would be the biggest problem(s) you would have?

David Hathaway

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 269

Saturday 8th November 2008