IELTS Topic: TV

Vocab & Idioms

Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

Couch potato (n) a person who spends little or no time exercising and a great deal of time watching television.
Genre (n) a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.
Commercials/Informercials (n) Radio and Television. a paid advertisement or promotional announcement.
Network (n) a company or organization that provides programs to be broadcast over these stations:
Prime time (n) Prime time or peak time is the block of broadcast programming taking place during the middle of the evening for television programming.
Dub (v) to add (music, speech, etc.) to a film or tape recording (often followed by in).
Subtitle (n) words that appear on the screen during a movie, video, or television show and that are translations of what the actors are saying — usually plural
Feature film (n) a film  with a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole film to fill a program.
To be in the limelight (idiom) to receive attention and interest from the public
To steal the show (idiom) attract the most attention and praise.

Part 1 Questions

Here are possible questions that might come up during the test. Go over them with your tutor.

Topic

  • Do you often watch TV?
  • What sorts of things do you watch on TV?
  • What is your favourite TV program?
  • Do you ever watch foreign programs or films?
  • What did you watch on TV when you were a child?

Part 2&3 Questions

Here are possible questions that might come up during the test. Go over them with your tutor.

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a piece of (electrical or electronic) equipment in your home. You should say:
    • What it is
    • How often you use it
    • Who you usually use it with
    • And explain why this item is important to you

Part 3 Questions

  • How popular is watching television in your country?
  • Tell me about the types of programme that are generally on television in your country.

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a piece of modern technology you own. You should say:
    • What it is
    • What you use it for
    • How long you have owned it
    • And explain why it is important for you

Part 3 Questions

  • Why do people like watching television?
  • Do you think state or private television is better?

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe the most useful household appliance that you have. You should say:
    • What it is
    • How it works
    • How life would be without it
    • and explain why it is so important to you to you.

Part 3 Questions

  • What effects can watching television have on children?
  • Do you think children should watch TV?

Sample Answers

Here are some sample answers. Go over them with your tutor.

Part 1 Questions

  • Do you like watching TV?
    • I don’t get time really to watch TV and I don’t like the fact that you have no choice about what to watch, so no I would say I don’t really like watching normal TV, I much prefer streaming something on my iPad and watching it when I like.
  • How often do you watch TV?
    • I’d say maybe only a few times a month when there is a good football match on. I prefer watching football on TV with other people around because it’s a great atmosphere, but if it’s a normal TV show I will just watch it alone at home on my tablet.
  • What kind of TV programs do you like to watch?
    • I like dramas and thrillers. I don’t really like anything that is not set in the real world, so I’m not a big fan of sci-fi or fantasy, although I have been getting in to the latest season of Game of Thrones. I also really like to watch documentaries about military history, especially anything to do with the Second World War.

Part 2&3 Answers

Here are some sample answers. Go over them with your tutor.

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a piece of electronic equipment that you find useful. You should say:
    • what it is
    • how you learned to use it
    • how long you have had it
    • and explain why you find this piece of electronic equipment useful.

Science has made human life comfortable. With the advancement of age, we have started reaping the benefits of the past inventions and discovered technology, and marching towards an advanced and digitized world. Thereby, we are surrounded by electronic equipment almost everywhere regardless of home or working stations.

I have a desktop computer at my home with the latest configuration. It is the most important and valuable thing for me when I am at home. It helps me in different ways. When I get back home from work, I play songs on the computer. Sometimes I and my wife watch thrilling movies too on the computer. It has become an essential part of my life. I also use the electronic equipment for many other purposes and use the sophisticated applications made for various purposes. Mostly I play different video games on the computer during my holidays and y wife uses it for editing photographs. It is truly useful equipment for me and my family.

But learning to run the applications were not so easy for me as it is today. Now I can perform some extraordinary tasks with the computer. I can edit photos using photo editing software, write anything on the word writing applications like Ms Word, make presentations for my office using PowerPoint, analyze numerous data using data analysis software and more others tasks. I took admission at a training school where I mastered the skills. Now I am also able to edit photos or create images and give them shapes after needs with the editing applications. All I learnt from the training school and took a six-month training there. In the beginning, I made silly mistakes to run the applications but now I am highly skilled in running those and even I do not need to check the keyboard if I am pressing the right key.

I had to buy the computer for my wife in 2014 as she is a wildlife photographer, captures still picture of the animals and needs to edit those before submitting to different agencies. Although she has a small laptop, she is uncomfortable to work with the equipment and thus I had to buy the computer. The computer owns a higher configuration and allows running almost all the heavy, available and complicated applications. It works at an unimaginable speed. Moreover, after having the computer, I have learnt its use which I was ignorant before. By the span of a year, I have turned into an expert.

The computer is greatly helpful for me and my wife as well. Both of us use the electronic equipment to meet our daily needs. Most of the time of the day, my wife uses the machine to edit her captured wildlife images from different parts of the earth. Besides, I make logical and beautiful presentations to be presented before my office while taking any important decisions. Thereby, I am highly beneficial by the applications. Sometimes I am assigned from the office to design some logos or banners over specific events to be printed, I make them at home which has a great role in my career development. Moreover, this is the age of communication and I browse social networking websites using the computer to reach my other family members or friends. I prefer computer rather than cellular phones to browse the internet. The large screen is really enjoying.


Part 3 Questions

  • How popular is watching television in your country?
    • That’s an interesting question. I would say there are many popular tv programs, but people just don’t watch it on television. At least the young generation either watch the TV shows on their mobile phones or they use streaming services like Netflix. So I think TV programs are still high in demand, but people are watching them on different devices other than television.
  • Tell me about the types of programme that are generally on television in your country.
    • In my opinion, there are three types of programmes on television. The first one is drama. There are many popular shows that became so famous that we began to export the contents to other countries. The second one is funny shows. They may include the typical talk show or comedy skits, like SNL, but I think there are a lot more different types of comedy shows in my country. Sometime people on the show play games, or sometimes they compete in a music competition. The last but not least would the serious kind, like news or documentaries.

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a piece of modern technology you own. You should say:
    • What it is
    • What you use it for
    • How long you have owned it
    • And explain why it is important for you.

I have several pieces of modern technology and electronic gadgets that I often use and among them I would like to talk about the laptop I have. This is a laptop computer which is manufactured by HP. This laptop has a good configuration and it supports most of the latest software. It came with the Windows 8 operating system and it was bit expensive for me to buy. I bought it a few months ago when I replaced my old Dell laptop with this new one.

I use it for my official purposes as well as personal purposes. I use the internet, communicate with my friends using this laptop. I sometimes prepare some documents, surf internet and play games in it as well. This laptop serves my entertainment also. I watch movies, listen to music and play games in it. In fact, I use this laptop more frequently than any other electronic device I have except the cell phone.

I own laptop for more than 10 years but I bought this current one 3-4 months ago. Since the technology changes and to use the latest software and to get faster performance, we need to upgrade our computers and laptops, I replaced my old laptop with this new one.

As I have already mentioned, I use this laptop to use the internet, play games, create documents, contact my friends, maintain my blogs, watch movies, listen to music and for many other important purposes. This laptop has become an unavoidable technology for me that I use almost every day.


Part 3 Questions

  • Why do people like watching television?

    • That’s a tough question to ask. I think people watch TV to decompress and unwind from the stressful day. Also it is a way to have different kinds of experience through screen– like traveling to Italy or be friends with Joey and Chandler– that people cannot have in their daily lives. I personally watch TV to learn about American cultures by watching American TV shows or drama, in hopes that I can make many international friends in the future.
  • Do you think state or private television is better?
    • Well… When it comes to the quality of the shows, I don’t think there is a big difference in quality– at least in my country. However, when it comes to news I think it is better that the media company stays neutral to political issues. For example, a private broadcasting companies was able to cover a huge political scandal when government-owned broadcasting companies were not willing to investigate. I think it is very important for broadcasting companies to stay objective.

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe the most useful household appliance that you have. You should say:
    • What it is
    • How it works
    • How life would be without it
    • and explain why it is so important to you to you.

Lots of household appliances are really useful to have, but today I’m going to tell you about the most useful appliance I have in my home. I’ll tell you what it is, how it works, and how life would be without it, and why it is so important to me.

I didn’t have to think very long about which appliance to choose to talk about for this topic, for me it is easy. I picked the item I just could not live without.  What is it? It’s a kettle. How it works? Well, I fill it with water from my tap – and I’m lucky, where I live in Yorkshire we have lovely soft water that boils quickly and tastes great – then I simply replace the kettle on its base, flick a switch and wait for the kettle to boil. There is an element within the kettle that gets hot from the electricity, and that’s what heats the water, I don’t really know how to explain it any more fully… We have a saying in our country ‘a watched kettle never boils’ I think that’s true! The more you impatiently watch a kettle waiting for it to come to the boil the longer it seems to take.

The principle of a kettle is very simple, and it’s something that is easy to take for granted, but life without a kettle for me is unthinkable. I can think of three main reasons and all are important to me!

Firstly, I have to start my day with a cup of strong tea, I can’t do anything or speak to anyone until I’ve had that first cuppa of the day. I like Yorkshire tea, made in a pot and served with unsweetened soya milk which I always put in first. I like the pot to stand for a bit before I pour, and the tea has to be made with water that has literally just boiled or it really doesn’t taste the same. I also ideally like to have my tea in my favourite mug – never a cup.  So without a kettle, I just couldn’t face my day!

The second reason is because in my country, if anyone ever visits your house, whether that is a friend or a tradesperson come to do a job for you, the first thing you do to be polite and welcoming is offer a drink of either tea or coffee.  Without a kettle to hand that little ritual would be impossible, it would feel so wrong.

Thirdly, and possibly most importantly of all, there is nothing as bonding as sitting down with a hot cup of tea with a friend and talking to put the world to rights. Biscuits welcome too, but tea will suffice. It is my firm belief that no problem is so great it cannot be resolved with – or at least diminished by — a shared pot of tea. If you think I am placing too much importance on a kettle you are wrong! I don’t have to imagine life without a kettle, as unfortunately, I have experienced it. One day I went to put my kettle on and it immediately fused, it wouldn’t work!  Even though it was early in the morning it was unthinkable to go to my job without having had my cup of tea first. Before I did anything else, I hauled some trousers and a top on over my pyjamas and headed to a 24 hour supermarket so I could buy a cheap kettle, return home and have my cup of tea as usual before my shower and dressing for work. That might sound extreme, but for me, it was the only sensible practical option. When we have an occasional power cut in the UK, it’s horrendous. I can manage without electric light or hot water, but no kettle? That’s really challenging!

A kettle is a much overlooked household appliance, but in my experience, it is the most important one. Tea starts the day, shows hospitality, and I my culture is the one sure fire way to make everything better. A sit-down and a cup of tea (or coffee) with a close friend is one of the best stress busters in the world, and without a kettle, it would be much much harder to deliver on demand!


Part 3 Questions

  • What effects can watching television have on children?
    • To begin with, if a child watches television from very young age, they will end up with a bad eye sight. I used to watch television all day when I was a kid, and that’s why I have to wear glasses. On the other hand, children who watches too much TV means they are not playing with friends, which means they will not learn how to make friends until they go to school.
  • Do you think children should watch TV?
    • I think TV for children is like candies. Children love watching children’s TV programme as much as they like candies. I think it is important for them to know that they can watch TV for an hour or so, but they can’t binge watch TV because it is fun. I think it is very important to teach them how to control oneself.

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

cambly-practice-button2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s