IELTS Topic: Food

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

Spoil + possessive adj + appetite (expression) – You will spoil your appetite if you eat snacks before dinner. (ruin your hunger or appetite)
Late night snack (phrase) – eating something late at night before you go to bed
Picky eater (n) – someone who is very selective about what they eat
Microwavable food (n) – food that can be cooked in a microwave; already prepared
Home-cooked (adj) – food that is made and eaten at home
Eat out (a(phrasal verb) – to go out to eat; in a restaurant
Eat in (phrasal verb) – to eat in the home
takeout/takeaway (phrasal verb) – to buy food in a restaurant and eat it somewhere else
Pig out (idiom) – to eat a lot or too much
To have a sweet tooth (idiom) – a desire to eat sweet food, like pastries, cakes, chocolate, and candy

Part 1 Questions

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

Topic

  • What is your favorite food?
  • What kind of food did you eat as a child?
  • Do you enjoy cooking?

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

  • Tell me about a time when you ate a type of food for the first time. You should say:
    • when you had it
    • where you ate it
    • what was it
    • and how did you like it.

Part 3 Questions

  • Do you like to try new food?
  • Is it expensive to eat out in your country?

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Talk about a recent restaurant you ate at. You should say:
    • what’s the name of it
    • where it’s located
    • who did you go with
    • and what did you eat and do there.

Part 3 Questions

  • Why do some people enjoy eating out?
  • Do you prefer home-cooked meals or eating out?

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Tell me about a time you had guests over for a meal. You should say:
    • what was the occasion
    • who were the guests
    • what you ate
    • and how you felt about the occasion.

Part 3 Questions

  • Is it common to invite guests over to eat in your country?
  • Why do some people order take out food?

Sample Answers

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

Part 1 Questions

  • What is your favorite food?
    • Oh, that’s difficult to say because I love food in general. If I had to pick one favorite dish I love to eat, I would say BBQ pork ribs with french fries and coleslaw. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!
  • What kind of food did you eat as a child?
    • When I was younger, I can honestly say, umm, I was a picky eater. I hated to eat fruits and vegetables, although I did eat bananas, umm, as if they were going out of style. Having said that, I ate a lot of cereal and pop tarts also.
  • Do you enjoy cooking?
    • Absolutely not! I have a tendency to burn food when I cook. This is why I like to eat out a lot instead of eating a home-cooked meal, but if someone else cooks for me, I’m grateful.

Part 2&3 Answers

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

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you ate a type of food for the first time. You should say:
    • when you had it
    • where you ate it
    • what was it
    • and how did you like it.

Since I’m a world traveler, I often eat different food that I never tried before. I’m going tell you about the first time I ate ceviche.

Ceviche is a common dish made and served in Latin America, but I would have to say the Peruvians make the best. I would have to say it’s how they prepare it with fresh ingredients to include herbs and spices.

When I was living in Chile and Peru between 2010 and 2012, I ate ceviche for the first time at a Peruvian restaurant in Chile. I can honestly say, I fell in love with this dish. I ate a particular type of ceviche called ceviche mixto or mixed ceviche that consists of fresh octopus, squid, shrimp, and fish. In addition, it has red onion, sweet potato….umm….cilantro, and a kind of hot pepper called aji. I was a happy camper as I pigged out on this delicious food.
Since living in these two countries, I have tried other Ceviche dishes in other Latin American countries and in some restaurants in the USA. Compared to other ceviches I ate in these other Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, Argentina, and…umm….Colombia, there are no comparisons. The Peruvians are the masters at preparing this heavenly dish. I would highly recommend trying this dish, if and only if, you are in Peru. I feel if you eat ceviche in another country besides Peru, you are not eating authentic ceviche.


Part 3 Questions

  • Do you like to try new food?
    • As I mentioned before, I love to try food I never ate. I’m not afraid to try something new even if it tastes bad. However, there are some types of food I will not try like internal organs such as heart and liver. Actually, I tried liver before, and I almost threw up.
  • Is it expensive to eat out in your country?
    • I would have to say it depends on what type of restaurant you are going to and where it is located. If you are eating at a restaurant in the big city, yes, it’s definitely going to cost you an arm and a leg. While in a smaller town you can probably find some mom and pop places with cheap prices, but also cheap quality.

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Talk about a recent restaurant you ate at. You should say:
    • what’s the name of it
    • where it’s located
    • who did you go with
    • and what did you eat and do there.

Since I’d rather eat out than eat in, I want to tell you about one of my experiences dining out just the other day.

There’s this local pub near my house that I frequent almost every week. The chef prepares the tastiest kebabs around! You can say that they are out of this world. Anyhow, I went there with my best friend who was back in town for a short visit.

We met at the restaurant around 6:00 pm on a Friday, and I must say it was crowded. This was probably due to several reasons, but I’m sure it was mainly due to the happy hour crowd was in full swing. Unfortunately, there were no empty tables, umm, not even a seat at the bar so we had to wait for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, we were able to order a cocktail at the bar. Once we were seated to eat, my mouth started watering thinking about the savory kebabs I was going to eat.

We both ordered the kebabs along with an appetizer to share. As we were waiting for our food, it gave us a chance to catch up with our daily lives.

After we were finished with dinner, my friend asked me if I was, umm, interested in dessert. Being that I have a sweet tooth, I was most certainly up for a slice of the decadent peanut butter cheesecake. It is to die for!


Part 3 Questions

  • Why do some people enjoy eating out?
    • I think most people prefer to eat out rather than eat in. Personally speaking, I find it convenient and once in awhile affordable. I say every now and then because there are not a lot of cheap places to eat. It depends on what you are hungry for such as Mexican food. In general, some people like that some restaurants offer take out and sometimes delivery, which makes it quick and easy for them.
  • Do you prefer home-cooked meals or eating out?
    • By far, I love home-cooked meals over eating out. There’s nothing like a good old homestyle meal cooked by your mom. My mom makes the best homemade lasagna and cheesy garlic bread. Being that I live alone, umm, I must say this is the only time I get a home-cooked meal because I normally eat microwavable meals.

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Tell me about a time you had guests over for a meal. You should say:
    • what was the occasion
    • who were the guests
    • what you ate
    • and how you felt about the occasion.

I’m not sure how to answer this question because I never had people at my apartment to share a meal. I do remember a time that my parents had some guests over for a cookout, umm, so I’m going to talk about that instead.

When I was still studying at the university, I used to go home on weekends to visit and stay with my parents. Was I in for a surprise this particular weekend.

It’s typical for my parents to have neighbors over to socialize. On this occasion, they had two of their neighbors over for a BBQ. I must say, I came home on the right weekend because they had a spread of BBQ chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and fresh sweet corn on the table; umm, not to mention fresh homegrown strawberries. I was in heaven!

Just before arriving at my parent’s home, I had eaten a foot long meatball sub, a bag of chips, and drank a 32 oz soda. Even though I was full, I didn’t let it spoil my appetite.

Seeing my parents, neighbors, and the table filled with delicious food was the highlight of my day! There’s nothing better than family, friends, and food. Three of the most important things in life.


Part 3 Questions

  • Is it common to invite guests over to eat in your country?
    • Yes, it’s a part of everyday life here in the USA. If it’s not with family, it’s usually with good friends. Over the summer, it’s more common because people have cookouts just about every weekend unless the weather is bad. When the weather is bad, we take the party inside.
  • Why do some people order take out food?
    • As I see it, lots of people like to order take out. The biggest reason is the convenience. On top of that, sometimes restaurants are full and the wait time is long. For me, I like to have a late night snack. For this reason, I order takeout from Taco Bell.

Wrap-up

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

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IELTS Topic: Friends

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

to enjoy someone’s company (expression) to like spending time with someone
to drift apart (expression)  to become less close to someone
to have a lot in common (expression) to share similar interests
to go back years (expression) to have known someone for a long time
to have ups and downs (expression) to have good and bad times
to keep in touch with (expression) to keep in contact with
to lose touch with (expression) to not see or hear from someone any longer
to strike up a relationship (expression) to begin a friendship
to be well matched (expression) to be similar to
to work at a relationship (expression) to try to maintain a positive relationship with someone

Part 1 Questions

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

Topic

  • Do you see your friends very often?
  • What do you like about your close friends?
  • Have you known each other long?

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 an interesting neighbor. You should say:
    • Who this person is
    • How you know this person
    • What this person likes to do
    • And explain why you think this neighbor is interesting

Part 3 Questions

  • What is the difference between neighbors and friends?
  • How can you improve your neighborhood?

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a person who you have met and want to know more about. You should say:
    • Who this person is
    • When and where you met
    • What you did or talked about

Part 3 Questions

  • What are some of the ways people can help others in the community? Which one is most important?
  • Some people say that people help others in the community more now than they did in the past. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe someone who has great influence on you. You should say:
    • Who this person is
    • How she knew this person
    • What influence this person has on you
    • And how you think of the influence

Part 3 Questions

  • What is the importance of friends?
  • Would you like to have a few very good friends or a lot of just friends?

Sample Answers

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

Part 1 Questions

  • Do you see your friends very often?

    • Yes … we meet up most weekends … we all get on really well and have a lot in common so we’re always happy doing the same things and going to the same places.
  • What do you like about your close friends?
    • I think we enjoy each other’s company … we see eye-to-eye on most things so we rarely fall out with each other.
  • Have you known each other long?

    • Most of them yes … although my closest friend Carrie … we struck up a relationship at college and got on like a house on fire … but yes … my other friendships go back years to when we were at school.

Part 2&3 Answers

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

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a person who once moved to live with you. You should say:
    • When and where this person moved in
    • How you know this person
    • How you got along with this person
    • And how you feel about living with this person

Well, I’m going to talk about a person who is one of my flatmate in Australia. Her name is Linda. Possibly, she is one of the best friends of mine who lived with me.

First, I would love to talk a little bit about the time and the place where she lived in. It was on a very freezing Sunday night around 2 or 3 degree Celsius. In the very heart of the winter, I mean in July, there was a girl struggling with loads of luggage knocking at the door of my house. She said hi to everyone in a very humble way. This is a sort of the scenario of how I got to know her.

There should be a fate between us, I reckon. What I mean fate here is by accident we got to know each other and we are at the same hometown back in India and we used to live in the same area in India when both of us were going to a university in Mumbai. But we just run across with each other only in Australia.

Moving onto the next point, I would like to approach the idea of our relationship. To be honest, we were not in a very good harmony initially because of some misunderstandings and conflicts during the time we lived in under the same roof, shared the rent, bills and time clash. But gradually, we discovered out that we have a lot of common interests and characteristics. Living with her is quite enjoyable because we could share lots of things together, but did not have to worry about bothering each other in the daily life.


Part 3 Questions

  • What is the difference between neighbors and friends?

    • Well.. I think the two terms define your relationship with others in different ways. Neighbors are defined by people who live close to me–in other words, physical proximity–and friends are people who are close to me in an emotional or experiential way. Also to become my friend, they need my consent whereas neighbors don’t really need to be a mutual relationship.
  • How can you improve your neighborhood?
    • There are many ways to improve my neighborhood. I can start by picking up trash when I see one to keep the streets clean. Of course being respectful to my neighbors — such as saying hello, and keeping the noise down– would be an important one too.

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a person who you have met and want to know more about. You should say:
    • Who this person is
    • When and where you met
    • What you did or talked about

I’m going to talk about an acquaintance who I’ve recently met at my local English club. His name’s Dave and he’s about the same age as me, I mean… most people would agree that he looks quite young for his age, I think it’s mainly due to his hairstyle.

Dave has recently completed his postgraduate degree at Melbourne University in Australia and he’s currently looking for a job in Vietnam, well, he told me that he would like to become an IELTS teacher, despite the fact that he holds an MBA, I guess teaching English has always been one of his passions.

I have to say that I don’t know him really well because we only had a few brief conversations at the local English club, but he seems like a fascinating person that I would like to get to know better in the future. Anyway, when it comes to his personality…. Honestly, as I’ve said earlier, we’ve only had a few brief conversations, so I don’t know him really well…However, I would guess that he’s a very friendly and approachable individual, in fact, he actually made an effort to break the ice because I was just too shy to strike up a conversation. Well, in terms of the core reasons why I think we could get along quite well…

Firstly, we are both passionate about English, actually, he had just scored a band 8 in his IELTS test and it would be great if he could give me all the advice that I need to be at the same level. Secondly, I’m also planning to study abroad in Australia so he would be the ideal person to lead me in the right direction, you know., like…enrolling into the right course, getting a part-time job and so on.


Part 3 Questions

  • If you had a problem, would you go to your friends or family? Why?

    • First, I’d go to my friends, because they are closer to me and they know me better. They would be most likely to be able to help me or give me advice rather than my family because they would understand me and the problem better.
  • Can you give me an example of such situation?
    • Yes, not long ago I was in a relationship and I wasn’t convinced it was a good thing in the long run, and I mentioned my doubts to two of my friends who know me extremely well and they know what I think is important in terms of relationships; they also know me very well as a person and can tell me when I’m just being stupid about something or when it’s really not the best thing for me, so I trust their judgement on such things.Anyway, after discussing it with them separately, they both made some comments which were a little different but basically similar and it helped me to get some things straight in my own mind about what I should do about the problem

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe someone who has a great influence on you. You should say:
    • Who this person is
    • How she knew this person
    • What influence this person has on you
    • And how you think of the influence

For this topic, I would definitely talk about my best guy friend. Probably it’s his personalities that not only makes me feel so proud to be a friend of his but also inspires me to improve myself.

The first characteristic that makes my friend special is that he’s a typical perfectionist. In almost any situation that he can come up with the best solution and reasons why it’s the best. Sometimes I get a bit lost, his amazing analyzing skill indeed helps get me through. Another characteristic that I’ve found super inspiring is his determination. Well, I suppose that most men are born determined, however, my friend is a different story. He never gives up on things he’s really passionate about. For example, last semester, he slept only 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week continuously to get his group project done. In addition, it’s not a big surprise that his name is always in the top-student list. That passion, that determination have encouraged me to keep moving forward.

Generally, for a great shift that he brought to my life, I am thankful for having this friend.


Part 3 Questions

  • What is the importance of friends?
    • Well, speaking generally, having friends is good because you can share things with them, not just activities and events, but you can share your thoughts and feelings with them. Sometimes you can help each other in a bad situation or simply just be there to support them in whatever they are doing. Nobody likes feeling alone so having friends is very important for most people.
  • Would you like to have a few very good friends or a lot of just friends?
    • Actually, I don’t have a lot of friends – but I do have a few really good, close friends that I spend time with and talk to all the time. We are almost like family. I’ve always preferred to make really good long term friendships with people rather than try and be friends with everyone.

Wrap-up

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

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IELTS Topic: Movies

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

a box office hit (n) a financially successful film
to catch the latest movie (v) to see a film that has just come out
the central character (n) the main person in a film or book
the setting (n) where the action takes place
showings (n) performances of a film
soundtrack (n) the music that accompanies a film
special effects (n) the visuals or sounds that are added to a film which are difficult to produce naturally
a blockbuster (n) a film that is a big commercial success
a sequel (n) a book, movie, etc., that continues a story begun in another book, movie, etc.
a trilogy (adj) a series of three novels, movies, etc., that are closely related and involve the same characters or themes

Part 1 Questions

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

Topic

  • Do you like to watch films?
  • How often do you go to a cinema or watch a movie?
  • What was the first film that you watched?

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 film that you have recently seen. You should say:
    • what the film was
    • when and where you saw it
    • what the film was about
    • and explain how you felt about this film.

Part 3 Questions

  • What kinds of films are popular in your country?
  • Why do you think some people prefer going to the cinema to watching films at home?

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe your favourite movie. You should say:
    • What the film is about
    • Why you like it so much
    • What message the movie gives

Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think people will continue to go to the cinema in the future?
  • Statistics show that visits to the cinema are up despite the availability of DVDs and online downloads. Why do you think this might be?

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Tell me about a movie you watched either at home or in a cinema. You should say:
    • What movie was it?
    • What was it about?
    • Did you enjoy it?
    • Why did you remember this movie?

Part 3 Questions

  • Do old people and young people like watching the same kinds of films?
  • To what extent do you think films reflect real life?

Sample Answers

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

Part 1 Questions

  • Do you like to watch films?

    • I’m really into watching films because some films are very entertaining and provoking. I sometimes go to the cinema with my friends and family to enjoy our leisure time on the weekends.
  • How often do you go to a cinema or watch a movie?
    • I go the the cinema to watch movies from time to time. Normally if I’m not busy with my work, I’ll check out the movies to see whether there are any movies that attract me; but if I have lots of things on my hands, I’ll probably focus on my work.
  • What was the first film that you watched?
    • The first film that I watched was the Lion King many years ago in the cinema with my parents. What I can remember now is the terrific animation and the amazing soundtrack. i particularly liked the song Can You Feel the Love Tonight that I knew it was produced by Elton John. And I’ve learned lessons from this movie. It is about living up to our responsibilities, no matter how hard it is.

Part 2&3 Answers

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

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a film that you have recently seen. You should say:
    • what the film was
    • when and where you saw it
    • what the film was about
    • and explain how you felt about this film.

A film that I saw recently was called The Passion of the Christ. I was in my hometown when I saw it when it first came out a few years ago.
The film was about the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life on earth. It showed when he was in the garden before he was captured and brought before a trial all the way up to when he was crucified and rose up again from out of the grave. It was actually quite moving because the director, Mel Gibson, actually put his own money into making the picture, so he was able to just do it the way that he wanted it done. This movie caused quite an uproar when it was realized as some people really loved it and others hated it. It was in the news for a long time with a lot of debating going on over it. It ended up making quite a bit of money for Mel Gibson.

Everything about it was very beautiful, from the cinematography to the actual scenery. The acting was top-notch. I think the main actor deserved an Academy Award but anyway I enjoyed it very much. One of the hardest scenes for me to watch in the movie was where .Jesus gets whipped before he is crucified. It was so realistic and I had to hide my eyes


Part 3 Questions

  • What kinds of films are popular in your country?
    • I live in Mumbai where Bollywood blockbusters are the most popular. Hollywood films also attract people, but they are not as popular as Bollywood films. Local films are more popular than international films in my country. Bollywood films are popular throughout North India. All the four states in South India have their own film industries. For example, in Kerala, Malayalam films are more popular than films made in other languages.
  • Why do you think some people prefer going to the cinema to watching films at home?
    • I personally like to watch films at home. I wouldn’t like it if someone sitting next to me yelled every time the hero punched the villain. I prefer the quiet atmosphere of my home to the commotion inside the cinema theatre. I know a lot of people enjoy going to the cinema. I think that is because they need a change from home. Also, I have heard that image quality and sound quality are better when you watch a film in the cinema. However, in my opinion, this is no longer true. Many home entertainment systems are capable of producing high-quality sounds and pictures.

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe your favourite movie. You should say:
    • What the film is about
    • Why you like it so much
    • What message the movie gives

It’s quite hard to say what my favourite movie is because there are quite a few to choose from! But I would say that the one that made the strongest impression on me is a German film called ‘The Lives of Others’.

This film is set in communist East Germany, shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. At that time, the Stasi, the East German secret police, used to spy on all kinds of people. The two main characters in the film are a playwright called Dreyman and a Stasi spy called Weisler, whose job it is to keep Dreyman under 24-hour surveillance. Weisler is supposed to be reporting back to his superiors at the Stasi in order to discredit the playwright. However, he develops a strong sympathy for the playwright and his girlfriend and determines to protect them by not reporting anything significant. The scenes in the film where it cuts from the colourful and interesting lives of Dreyman and his friends to the lonely attic where Weisler is sitting really show the contrast between the two men. The film is shot in such a way that it makes you believe you are also spying on Dreyman, it even made me feel a bit guilty!

I like this film because it has fascinating, 3-dimensional characters, and also the plot has plenty of twists. Right up until the end of the film, we are left guessing how it could possibly end. It is also very thought-provoking because it makes you wonder how many people working for the Stasi actually did protect the people they were spying on.

As for the message it gives, I would say the main message is that we can find kindness and humanity in the most unexpected of places. The film makes us realise that nothing is ever black and white! The film also serves as a warning about the dangers of an oppressive, paranoid regime and is perhaps quite pertinent in this current age of mass surveillance.


Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think people will continue to go to the cinema in the future?
    • Well, I don’t know. Maybe they will. A lot of people go to the cinemas because they enjoy the outing. For them, the cinema is an escape from their routine. I think they will continue to go to the cinema.
  • Statistics show that visits to the cinema are up despite the availability of DVDs and online downloads. Why do you think this might be?
    •  I think it’s the whole experience that the cinema offers … going out to see a film when it goes on general release … and seeing it on the big screen is more exciting than watching the film at home on TV … especially if it’s an action movie … and watching it with others makes it even more special …

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Tell me about a movie you watched either at home or in a cinema. You should say:
    • What movie was it?
    • What was it about?
    • Did you enjoy it?
    • Why did you remember this movie?

I will talk about the movie xxx. It is a Malayalam movie that I watched in a cinema about 20 years ago. It was a blockbuster. Actually, I watched the same movie on TV yesterday. It is one of my favourite movies and I have watched it countless times. It is the story of a father and a son. The father is an upright police constable who lives for his wife and children. He wants his eldest son to be a sub-inspector of police. The son is good at his studies and is keen on fulfilling the wishes of his father. Unfortunately, things don’t go as per their plans and the son eventually becomes a rowdy shattering the dreams of his parents. I like this movie because its storyline is something that I can relate with. I believe in family relationships, especially the relationship between parents and children. The other things that I like about this movie are its screenplay and the brilliant performance of the actors. It starred some of the finest actors in the Malayalam film industry.


Part 3 Questions

  • Do old people and young people like watching the same kinds of films?

    • Well, I think that old people like to watch stories about their country since they wore so involved in this time period. They also like to watch a variety of programmes that show the native singing and dancing from different regions in my country. Young, people on the other hand, go for the foreign films, as I already mentioned. There are some films that both young and old like to watch such as historical movies.
  • To what extent do you think films reflect real life?
    • Well, it is a big argument that has been around for a long time. Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? I believe that each reflects on the other. Sometimes films observe life and comment on it and sometimes life observes film and imitates it. Film is a powerful medium and brings many parts of life to the public for observation.

Wrap-up

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

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IELTS Topic: Books

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

bedtime reading (n) something to read in bed before you go to sleep
a classic (n) of the highest quality
an e-book (n) a digital book
couldn’t put it down (idiom) wasn’t able to stop reading a book
to flick through (v) to look quickly through a book
hardback (n) a book with a rigid cover (see ‘paperback’ below)
a historical novel (n) a story set in the past
a page turner (n) a book that you want to keep reading
paperback (n) a book with a flexible cover (see ‘hardback’ above)
o read something from cover to cover (idiom) to read a book from the first page to the last

Part 1 Questions

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

Topic

  • Do you like reading books? Why or why not?
  • What (kinds of) books do you like to read?
  • Did you read much 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 favourite book in your childhood. You should say:
    • What is it
    • Who is the writer of the book
    • What was the story of the book
    • and explain why it is your favorite book from childhood.

Part 3 Questions

  • Let’s consider first of all why people write books. What do you think makes people want to write a book?
  • What qualities does a writer need?

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a book that had a major influence on you. You should say:
    • what the name of the book is & who the author is
    • how you first heard of the book
    • what the main story of the book is
    • and explain why it played such an important role in your life.

Part 3 Questions

  • Is reading as pleasurable in digital format?
  • Do you think bookshops will survive the digital revolution?

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a book that you enjoyed reading. You should say:
    • When you first read it
    • What it was about
    • Why you enjoyed
    • And say whether this book is popular in your country.

Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think it’s a good idea to teach children to read when they are very young?
  • How do you think reading habits will change in the future?

Sample Answers

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

Part 1 Questions

  • Do you like reading books? Why or why not?

    • Yes, I am really into reading because I believe that reading can be both entertaining and educational. Reading broadens my knowledge by opening up the whole world to me. While I’m reading, I can be visiting another country of a different time period, or traveling trough space. I can find out how people solved problems or think up new ideas.
  • What (kinds of) books do you like to read?
    • Oh it’s a tough question, or it should be more of what books I don’t read. I have a really open mind towards books and what genre they are. Classic literature, novels, autobiography, historical story–whatever I love reading them all.
  • Did you read much when you were a child?
    • Yes, I remember when I was a kid I’d like to take some historical books from my father’s bookshelf, and read the historical stories, which were really entertaining and educational for me. As a result, I’m very familiar with our ancient Chinese history.

Part 2&3 Answers

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

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a favourite book in your childhood. You should say:
    • What is it
    • Who is the writer of the book
    • What was the story of the book
    • and explain why it is your favorite book from childhood.

‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ which is also known as ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, was one of my most favourite books in my childhood. I was so touched by this books and enjoyed it so much that I read it 2-3 times. This book was published from a diary written by a young girl named Anne Frank. My father gave this book as my 11th birthday gift and I read it when I was 11 years old. I have even read it when I grew up and was a student of the college. To my surprise, the book was as appealing and touchy as I found it in my childhood.

The book was adapted from the diary Anne Frank, who was a teenage girl around 13 years old at the time of writing her diary. She originally wrote in Dutch language and later this book was translated into more than 60 languages worldwide. She wrote the diary when she and her family were in hiding for two years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherland during the Second World War.

Anne got a diary as a birthday gift when she turned to 13 and she began to write in it from 14th June 1942. At that time, the Nazi invaded the Netherland and they were in hiding into a sealed-off upper room of Anne’s father’s office building in Amsterdam. They remain hiding there for two years and Anne wrote the events of the people living there, her personal thoughts and what happened that time.

She has a good relationship with her father and a poor relationship with her mother. She admired her sister’s talent and intelligence and calm nature. She was initially irritated about Peter, a boy of her own age and later on they two became very close. Thus a little girl wrote about the relationship, people’s mentality, perceptions of human, little joys and sadness of life and revealed the suffering of the people due to the war.

Anne dies when she became 15 years old after they were betrayed and found by the Nazi. Sadly she dies only 2 weeks before the British troops liberated the prisoners from the concentration camp. After her death, the diary was bit censored and was published with her father’s permission who was the only survivor from the Nazi camp.

The suffering of the people during the war, the feelings and thoughts of a young girl, her complaints and happiness, her perception of life were so brilliant that it touched my heart. I could not leave the book until I finished it and I was deeply touched to read the thoughts of a young and brilliant girl who was killed at her 15.


Part 3 Questions

  • Let’s consider first of all why people write books. What do you think makes people want to write a book?
    • To my way of thinking, there are various reasons why people decide to write a book. Some people have an important story to tell and that’s why they write their own autobiography. For instance, I recently read Richard Branson’s and it was fascinating. Writers of fiction, on the other hand, may just enjoy writing. Look at Stephen King, he’s written countless books and shows no sign of stopping. People like him seem to have a real passion for writing.
  • What qualities does a writer need?
    • Well, being a professional writer is a tough job and the whole creative process of planning, writing and redrafting a book can take years. So, I guess that dedication and self-discipline are prerequisites for any aspiring or established writing. I also believe that being able to connect with readers is essential.

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a book that had a major influence on you. You should say:
    • what the name of the book is & who the author is
    • how you first heard of the book
    • what the main story of the book is
    • and explain why it played such an important role in your life.

Whenever I get time, I try to read books and the ranges vary from profession related books, technical, religious, fiction, classic and contemporary books. The book I would like to describe is a novel called ‘Kane and Abel’ and is written by the famous British writer Jeffrey Archer. Sometimes I read book reviews on the internet and after reading 2/3 books by Jeffrey archer, I tried to get the list of all books by Jeffrey Archer. I found that most of the Jeffrey Archer fans have recommended the book ‘Kane & Abel’. Some people even commented that this is the best book ever written by the same author. I made my mind at this very moment to read this book. After one month or so, I bought the book from a bookstore and started reading it.

The book was first published in 1979 in the United Kingdom and in the USA in 1980. The book was the international success and reached No. 1 position on the New York Times best-selling book list. The storyline started with the birth of two infants named Kane and Abel in the year 1906. One of them was born to a life of prosperity and ease in the USA in a rich family while the other one to a world of hardship and struggle. On different sides of the Globes, they grew up: one shaped by a luxurious upbringing, fine schooling and history he read, the other one who lost his mother at the time of his birth and did not know who his father was, well tempered by war, slavery and history he was part of. The story telling of Jeffrey Archer is magical and enchanting. Most of his story simply mesmerises the readers and for Kane and Abel the attraction worked even more. Every page I turned tempted me to read further. Not for a single moment, I could have stopped thinking about the events and characters of the books and that had a major influence on me. The characters have their own charismatic powers and followed their own paths. One is gold, meritorious while the other one is steel and have forfeited the Dead himself. On their journey in life, they confront each other and became the ultimate adversary of each other. In their relentless battle, both men knew that there could be only one victor- and one vanquished.

Across three generations and around a rapidly changing world, their war rages unchecked, for the love of a dream, the loss of an empire, and the lure of a fortune. Kane became the owner of the largest bank in the USA while Abel came to the USA as a penniless emigrant after the World War I. With intelligence Kane started flourishing the banking business, while Abel made his fortune at last in Hotel business. The first time they confronted each other as a bank owner and a debtor. Though Kane wanted to help Abel regain his business by financing further, but could not do so because of the bank’s board members’ decision. After that, Abel considered Kane as his greatest enemy and sought to destroy Kane. As time passed both had to fight their own fates but the vendetta remained in their hearts. When both men finally grew older, their son and daughter fell in love and got married. They never agreed on the marriage because of their personal hatred of each other. Abel succeeded to buy the bank stocks of Kane’s Bank to hold the power to veto Kane. At the end of the story both confronted each other for the second and last time. After that Kane died and after his death, Abel learned that it was Kane who backed him financially to start his hotel business. The story was told like a magician and is a powerful portrait of a world and two men that a reader would never forget.


Part 3 Questions

  • Is reading as pleasurable in digital format?
    • Personally I prefer reading a paperback or hardback … especially if I’m reading a classic which I don’t think feels right as an e-book … but I can see it can be good for others … my grandmother has an e-reader and she loves the way you can enlarge the text …
  • Do you think bookshops will survive the digital revolution?
    • I think so … at least I hope so … I love flicking through books in a bookshop … online shopping is useful … finding out on Amazon if a book you want has got a good review … maybe getting one that is difficult to find … but I still love the experience of being in a bookshop …

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a book that you enjoyed reading. You should say:
    • When you first read it
    • What it was about
    • Why you enjoyed
    • And say whether this book is popular in your country.

Although reading books is not my cup of tea, there is a book that I consider priceless in my life. That is “Twenty Forver”, a gift given to me by my father on my 18th birthday. It was written by a young student at University of Hanoi, Nguyen Van Thac who gave up his studying to join the army against US-backed South Vietnamese forces. The diary is about what he saw, what he felt on the way being moved to the South battlefield as well as in the fierce combats.
I still remember the time when I read the very first pages of the book. I was so fascinated by his sophisticated and polished writing style. Not to mention the vivid images about the daily life of young soldiers devoting their youth for national liberation.
futhermore, what I’m quite into this book is its truthfulness. you know, since it’s a diary, there is neither plot nor creation. Everything is real and seen under the , the optimistic vision of the student-aged soldier.
Um, in Vietnam, “Twenty Forever” has been so popular, so well-known that it became a bestseller in Vietnam and was adapted into a film in 2009, if my memory serves me right. This diary is a valuable source to stir the patriotism among the young generation.


Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think it’s a good idea to teach children to read when they are very young?

    • In my experience, I think teaching children that reading is fun–and not boring–from when they are young is very important. My grandmother used to say one’s education is finished by third grade–meaning once a kid knows how to enjoy reading and finding out information through text, they will learn on their own.
  • How do you think reading habits will change in the future?
    • Well.. the change has already begun, I think. We are consuming so much information on computers and phones, and we are no longer reading every details of a story but scheming through and moving onto the next topic. Maybe in the future, we don’t even need to read anymore; the information is fed into your brain directly!

Wrap-up

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

cambly-practice-button2

IELTS Topic: Advertisement

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

advertising agency (n) a company that creates adverts for other companies
brand awareness (n) how well people know a particular brand
call to action (n) something that encourages someone to take a particular action, such as making a purchase or clicking a link on a website
celebrity endorsement (n) to have a well-known person promote a product
commercial break (n) the short period during TV programmes when advertisements are shown
to go viral (v) to quickly become extremely popular on the Internet through social medi
mass media (n) large media outlets like TV, newspapers and magazines
to place an advert (v) to put an advert somewhere
prime time (n) the time during the viewing schedule when most people watch TV or listen to a broadcast
target audience (n) the people a company want to sell their product or service to

Part 1 Questions

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

Topic

  • Are there any TV channels in your country that don’t have adverts?
  • Do you enjoy watching adverts on TV?
  • What are the best ways for ordinary people to advertise something they want to sell in your country?

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 an advert you once saw that was very effective. You should say:
    • where this advert appeared
    • when you saw it
    • what it was advertising
    • and say why you thought it was so effective.

Part 3 Questions

  • What is it that makes an advert effective?
  • What kinds of media are available for advertising in your country?

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe an advertisement that made you want to buy a product . You should say:
    • Where you saw the advertisement
    • What was the product?
    • What was the advertisement about?
    • Why did it make you want to buy that product?

Part 3 Questions

  • Are there any other traditional kinds of media for advertising other than TV and the Internet?
  • What things do advertising companies do that might give it a bad name?

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe an unforgettable advertisement that you saw or heard . You should say:
    • What the product was
    • What the advertisement was about
    • Who was in the advertisement
    • Why it was unforgettable.

Part 3 Questions

  • In general, what are the pros and cons of advertising?
  • Do you think there’s too much advertising in our daily lives?

Sample Answers

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

Part 1 Questions

  • Are there any TV channels in your country that don’t have adverts?

    • No … they’re all commercial channels and show adverts all day long … too many really … and there’s also a lot of product placement going on … especially in soap operas where they place an item just behind the actors.
  • Do you enjoy watching adverts on TV?
    • No … not really … I hate commercial breaks during a film … it really spoils the flow … and during prime time viewing they seem to squeeze even more ads in than usual … celebrity endorsements also get on my nerves … everyone knows they’re only doing it because they’re getting paid.
  • What are the best ways for ordinary people to advertise something they want to sell in your country?
    • The simplest way is to place an advert in something like the classified ads section of a local paper … or there’s the Internet of course … there are lots of sites like eBay where you can buy and sell things online.

Part 2&3 Answers

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

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe an advert you once saw that was very effective. You should say:
    • where this advert appeared
    • when you saw it
    • what it was advertising
    • and say why you thought it was so effective.

OK … well this was about 4 years ago … I was looking for some software to create videos … one day I got an email from a mailing list I’d signed up to … there was a link in it to a press release … a company had written something about a new product that was similar to what I was looking for … at the end of the press release there was a link to the sales page … I hadn’t heard of the company but I was interested and clicked the link to the ad …. what caught my attention immediately were the number of testimonials from people who had bought the software … I think testimonials are like the online equivalent of word of mouth advertising and are really persuasive … anyway … when I got to the bottom of the page there was a great big call to action button inviting me to buy … I was totally persuaded and ended up making a purchase … what made it so effective I think was the power of those testimonials … they’d been written by people very much like me … they’d had a need and the software had obviously turned out to be just what they were looking for … when you think that this was a newish company they wouldn’t have had any brand awareness at all … they probably wouldn’t have had much of a budget for advertising … obviously you wouldn’t advertise a product like this through the mass media on TV … they probably didn’t even have an advertising agency to support them …and yet they’d managed to create a great deal of brand loyalty from previous customers … I think that was really effective.


Part 3 Questions

  • What is it that makes an advert effective?

    • Well … when a company launches a product they have to consider the Internet … especially how it can be used to spread the word on social media … so in this context a video that goes viral is probably the most effective type of advert you could make.
  • What kinds of media are available for advertising in your country?
    • To name a few, I think TV, radio, and social media are some advertising channels that are big in my country. Although people are watching less TV than before, commercials with celebrity endorsement always has somewhat big impact on products’ or companies’ brand awareness. Also, recently I’ve been seeing a lot of online ad placements on social media such as Facebook.

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe an advertisement that made you want to buy a product. You should say:
    • Where you saw the advertisement
    • What was the product?
    • What was the advertisement about?
    • Why did it make you want to buy that product?

There are several advertisements that we see on the TV daily and some of them are very boring and others are average while some are very interesting and creative. One such advertisement that I really liked was regarding the unmatched contributions of mothers for their kids which I saw a few months back. The advertisement was broadcasted for the ‘Mother’s Day’ and it was not for any product. The ministry of child & mother care of health department was the sponsor of this ad and I saw it 3-4 days before the last ‘Mother’s Day’.

This ad was a very creative one and it was not like the most other ads that publicise or advertise their products. Rather it was an advertisement dedicated to the mothers and it reminded us that the toughest job in the world is the job done by mothers. They take care of their kids with the utmost care and dedication. They sacrifice their own wished and will to properly bring up the kids.

I saw this ad in the (…say a channel name..) UR TV channel. This was a creative ad that effectively delivered the message it intended to. It has shown some successful person in the history at the end and before that it showed how mothers are taking care and inspiring their kids to do good things and in the end, it shows the tribute to the mothers of the world for their valuable and second to none contribution.


Part 3 Questions

  • Are there any other traditional kinds of media for advertising other than TV and the Internet?

    • I’d imagine the main advantage is you can reach your target audience much more effectively … if you bring out a niche product for example … or you have a tight advertising budget … you can advertise on particular sites that the people you want to reach visit … that’s not something you can do on TV.
  • What things do advertising companies do that might give it a bad name?
    • For me the most irritating is cold calling … we must get two or three of these every day at work … then there’s junk mail that gets posted through the letterbox … and of course the online equivalent of this … spam emails … I think it’s this kind of advertising that tends to annoy people.

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe an unforgettable advertisement that you saw or heard. You should say:
    • What the product was
    • What the advertisement was about
    • Who was in the advertisement
    • Why it was unforgettable

I’m going to talk about an advertisement for Coca-Cola, which is one of the biggest brands in the world. I’ve seen Coke advertised everywhere, on posters and TV commercials. The advert shows a picture of Santa Claus smiling and holding a bottle of Coke. I think the aim is to target children and associate (link/connect) the brand with Christmas time. The advert is interesting because the company is deliberately trying to influence and attract children. The marketers are trying to capture young customers. They are presenting the drink as something special, a gift for Christmas. However, Coca-Cola is not necessarily a healthy drink for children; it contains a lot of sugar. Maybe this kind of advertising manipulates children and encourages them to pester their parents.


Part 3 Questions

  • In general, what are the pros and cons of advertising?

    • Well, looking at the advantages, I’d say that the main one is that it can help increase the awareness of a product or service, and in a lot of cases, you can reach a very wide target market through advertising, for example with TV and Internet ads.

      And as for the drawbacks, well I suppose the most obvious one is the cost, because as I’m sure you know, advertising isn’t cheap, and you have to pay for it up front, before you can start enjoying the benefits. So in other words, there’s quite a big element of risk to it, because you know, you could end up losing quite a lot of money if your advertising campaign isn’t successful.

  • Do you think there’s too much advertising in our daily lives?
    • Yeah, I’d say there is, because it seems that wherever we look nowadays, there’s something being advertised. You know, it’s almost impossible going anywhere without seeing an advert of some sort. So it kind of feels like we’re being constantly bombarded with information, left, right and centre! And for the most part, people don’t have the slightest desire to see any of it. So yeah, I think there’s way too much advertising at the moment!

Wrap-up

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

cambly-practice-button2

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.

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IELTS Topic: Music

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

a catchy tune a song that is easy to remember and makes you want to sing it
to download tracks to obtain music from the Internet
to go on tour to go on a planned series of performances around a region or country
a huge following a large number of fans
to be/sing out of tune to not be in harmony/to sing the wrong notes
a piece of music an item of music
to read music to understand and follow written musical notes
a sing-song to sing informally, often with other people
taste in music the music someone likes
to take up a musical instrument to begin learning a musical instrument

Part 1 Questions

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

Topic

  • Which types of music do you like? Why?
  • Do you play any instruments?
  • Have you got any hobbies or interests?

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 concert that you went to . You should say:
    • when it was
    • where it was
    • who you went with
    • and what you enjoyed the most about it

Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think there will be further changes in the music industry in the future?
  • Should music be treated as seriously as subjects like maths or sciences at school?

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Talk about a song that reminds you of a particular time in the past. You should say:
    • what the song is
    • who the singer is
    • what it reminds you of
    • and explain how you feel when you listen to the song.

Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think the music young people listen to in your country is becoming more globalized? Why/Why not?
  • Is the Internet a good or bad thing for the music industry?

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe your favorite musician. You should say:
    • who he/ she is
    • when you found out about him/ her
    • what type of music he/she sings
    • and why you like this person

Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think that the language of the song matters? Why do you think that?
  • Why do you think that some local singers or musicians aren’t as successful as some from other countries?

Sample Answers

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

Part 1 Questions

  • Which types of music do you like? Why?

    • I’m a big fan of classical music … it doesn’t make me very popular with my children … their taste in music is completely different … they always want to listen to their favourite rock bands …
  • Do you play any instruments?
    • No I don’t … I’ve always wished I’d taken up a musical instrument … I’d love to be able to play the guitar … but I think I’m a bit tone deaf so perhaps I’d find it hard …
  • Have you got any hobbies or interests?
    • I’m really into live music … I go to a lot of music festivals … I think a live performance always sounds more exciting than a recorded version … as long as the performers can sing and play well of course …

Part 2&3 Answers

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

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a concert that you went to. You should say:
    • when it was
    • where it was
    • who you went with
    • and what you enjoyed the most about it

 

I went to see Big Bang’s concert last year. If you don’t know this group, Big Bang is a famous K-pop group that has many good musics and amazing performance. To be honest, the first time I listened to their music, I didn’t really like it. It was in a language that I didn’t understand, and for me understanding lyrics is the most important thing. However, my perception has completely changed when I saw their performance on the TV. I thought the dance moves were completely in sync with the music, and the beat felt completely different from what I had previously heard. After that, I have been following the group, watching more concert recordings and listening to their music online.

My sister knew I was a big fan, so last summer when Big Bang was on a world tour, she told me she got two tickets for us. On the day of the concert, we were the first ones to wait in line, and I think this is why the concert was so much more fun. I mean, I really like the music but the concert was hundred time more fun because I was excited with my best friend in the whole world and share this amazing memory.


Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think there will be further changes in the music industry in the future?
    • Yes, I think piracy, file sharing and streaming will have a detrimental effect on the industry. In addition, technology has now replaced a lot of the talent which was associated with creating music. Most pop songs today are created by a computer program which creates a song in such a manner that it is instantly likeable and memorable, like following a recipe with all the right ingredients. Then a singer is chosen to sing it and this is the reason why so many pop songs sound almost identical. It’s a formula, not a creative process and that’s kind of sad. But some things will never change. There will always be an increasing fixation on the private lives of musicians, especially the younger ones with paparazzi hounding them and their love lives splashed across the front pages of tabloids.
  • Should music be treated as seriously as subjects like maths or sciences at school?
    • I think it should … I don’t think it should be taught in a boring way … I mean making children read music … but I do think they should be encouraged to play instruments and to play things by ear perhaps … to keep the lessons fun …

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Talk about a song that reminds you of a particular time in the past. You should say:
    • what the song is
    • who the singer is
    • what it reminds you of
    • and explain how you feel when you listen to the song.Question. You should say:

Okay, so a song that I have listened to over the past few decades is Mama Mia by Abba, a Swedish rock band from way back. It has to be one of my favorite songs of all time … great beat and very uplifting. This is what I call feel good music. I remember the first time I heard it, I was on holiday, on an island, with my family and it was playing on the beach, through some old fashioned speakers hooked up to a wooden pole. I was mesmerized by the sound and the feeling it gave me. At the time I was looking lying on the beach, building a sandcastle, loving the feel of the sun on my back and the sea at my feet, with clear blue skies above and angel fish darting around my ankles …. and suddenly this song blasted through the silence! It was loud and catchy and vibrant and the locals who walk along the beach selling sarongs and stuff started dancing to it. I recall dropping my bucket and spade and joining them. Interestingly, I was at the train station in Milan recently when I heard the song again … I soon realized that the musical, a live rendition, was being staged that very week. I immediately booked my tickets and spent an amazing Saturday night singing Mama Mia along with some very enthusiastic Italian fans. It is a very powerful piece that takes me back to a different time, a different world – it’s a really powerful piece of music. I still listen to it regularly and every time that I do, I am back in time, to Mauritius, to the beach, dancing with locals … a simpler time … a thrilling time, an enchanting world.


Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think the music young people listen to in your country is becoming more globalized? Why/Why not?
    • Definitely, thanks to the internet, Twitter, You Tube, more and more young people are sharing the same culture across the world. Nowadays, you can be living anywhere and listening to the same songs and music, watching the same TV series and movies as another person on the other side of the planet. In the 70s, 80s and 90s, that wasn’t really possible; culture, and music was much more localized, but technology now allows the same culture to be shared across the globe. I think that this is the aim of the big labels like Sony, to distribute their products on a global scale, in a global market, through the creation of global culture – it’s better business for them and it’s all about the bottom line, isn’t it?
  • Is the Internet a good or bad thing for the music industry?
    • On the one hand it’s good for marketing new musical talent or particular bands but it’s so easy to share and download tracks for free I think it is costing the industry a lot of money …

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe your favorite musician. You should say:
    • who he/ she is
    • when you found out about him/ her
    • what type of music he/she sings
    • and why you like this person

Well, I am actually going to talk about a singer, creator, songwriter and dancer who is no longer with us … the larger than life Michael Jackson who passed away a few years ago. Though he was a tormented soul with many issues, he was, in my opinion, a creative genius. I remember when I first heard his music … I think that I was in high school and his smash hit Thriller had just been released. It was mind blowing … a break through … the first time that a full length video accompanied a song. Michael started singing at the age of five which means that he had a very long career, an impressive body of work, even though he had a short, chaotic life. He started out as a clean cut guy but that changed. Despite all the allegations and rumors, I consider him to be one in a million. I’d like to add that I went to his concert sometime in the nineties. The tickets cost an arm and a leg but it was worth every penny, an unforgettable night, a once in a lifetime experience. I was left in awe. He was inventive and kept the audience on their toes … So yes, I am an adoring fan of the King of Pop 🙂 Talking about him really brings back memories., especially the Grammys when he won all those awards! Multi platinum albums … If he hadn’t died so young, who knows what else he would have accomplished?


Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think that the language of the song matters? Why do you think that?
    • Yes, maybe it shouldn’t but it does seem to matter in terms of the amount of commercial success that the artist enjoys. For example, take Shakira, who was tremendously popular in her own country and the rest of Latin America, but became even more famous and sold more songs when she began to sing in English. She appealed to more people than when she used to sing in Spanish only. The English speaking market for songs is the biggest globally so it makes sense that if you want to sell as many songs as possible worldwide – you sing in English.
  • Why do you think that some local singers or musicians aren’t as successful as some from other countries?
    • Well, there might be several reasons, for example, not all singers or musicians are interested in creating commercial music and that’s the main kind that the music industry promotes because there’s a lot of money involved. Then there’s the issue of language, English is the main language of the most successful and most promoted popular music and English speaking countries such as the USA and the UK in particular have a long history of creating and exporting music all over the world and the music industry has grown up based on this. So although there may be some local singers and musicians who are excellent musically and extremely popular in their own country – they never become famous worldwide either because their music doesn’t have a universal appeal or their songs are not in English.

Wrap-up

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

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