IELTS Speaking: an antique or an old object

Here is an IELTS Speaking Part2 topic:

Describe an antique or an old object that your family has kept for a long time.

You should say:

 - what it is

 - how your family first got this thing

 - how long your family has had it

and explain why it is important to your family.


Here is an sample answer given by John, an IELTS teacher from Australia.


Ok right then, well after a bit of thought, the object that I’d like to talk about is my piano, as it’s probably the oldest thing we have in our family.


And as for how we first got it, well I’m honestly not that sure, because it’s been in the family for as long as I can remember. Butthink I’m right in saying that my grandparents bought it, although I never actually asked them. And they passed the piano down to me, because I’m the only one of their grandchildren who plays the piano, so I feel very fortunate and grateful to have it.


Anyway, regarding the importance of it, well, simply speaking, I’d say it’s extremely important, at least for me personally, the main reason being that it has a very strong sentimental value to me. You know, whenever I play the piano, it reminds me of my grandparents, especially my grandma, who used to always play it and sing to me when I was little.


So it really means a lot to me, and although it doesn’t sound as good as lot of pianos, I wouldn’t change it for any other! Because um, how can I put it……um… I guess what I’m trying to say is thatto me, it’s more than just a piano, you know, it’s a kind of memento and something to remember my grandparents by.


So yeah, that’s pretty much it.

IELTS Speaking: “competition” topic

Here are some IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions and and sample answers about 'competition' topic from an native spearker.

Is competitive sport very popular in your country?
Yeah, I’d say it is. You know, if you look on TV for example, you get competitive sports shown the whole time, especially basketball, and then on the school level, it’s very common for classes to compete against each other in various sports. So yeah, I think this kind of shows that competitive sport is pretty popular.

In your opinion, how beneficial to society is competitive sport?
Well I’m not really all that sure to be honest, but I suppose it’s fair to say that it is pretty beneficial, because if you think about it, competitive sport is really a kind of entertainment for people, you know, it (just) adds something more to people’s lives. So if we didn’t have it, I’m sure you’d agree that our life would be a lot more dull as a result.

Continue reading

IELTS Speaking: improve your vocabulary

Here is some suggestions from John, and ex-examiner from Australia, about IELTS Speaking vocabulary.

Improving your Vocabulary

  • Bands 7 & 8 speakers can use idiomatic phrases quite well. Phrasal verbs  (sometimes called 'two-word verbs') are especially good examples of idiomatic phrases. Some examples of these are: 'look after' somebody; 'come up against' difficulties; 'look forward to' something in the future. Even if you believe you are a Band 5 level English speaker, try to increase your knowledge of phrasal verbs.

Continue reading

IELTS Speaking: Places near water

Here are some IELTS Speaking questions and sample answers given by John – a native IELTS instructor.

1. Why do so many people like going to places with water, such as lakes, rivers or the ocean?
Well I guess the main reason is that water has a kind of calming effect on people. And when you consider all the stress that people are under these days, then I think it’s easy to understand why people gravitate to places near water.
(gravitate: be attracted to)

2. What kinds of leisure activities do people like to do in places such as on the ocean, or at a beach?
All kinds of things really, you know, some people like doing exciting things like jet-skiing or scuba diving, while others prefer doing more relaxing things, such as just lying down on a deck chair with a book. So it really kind of varies!

Continue reading

IELTS Speaking: a house or apartment

Here is an IELTS Speaking Part 2 topic:
Describe a house or apartment that you have (recently) visited.
You should say:
Where it was (or is)
When you visited it
    – What it looked like
And explain why you visited it.

Sample answer:
Ok then, well the place that I’d like to talk to you about was actually a show home that I went to visit with my parents, which was in a newly developed (off-plan) apartment not far from the CBD. And I suppose it must have been about two or three weeks ago when we went there.

As for why we went there, well it was simply because we’re thinking of buying a flat (an apartment) as an investment. You know for Chinese, this is a very common thing to do, because investing in property is seen as being relatively risk-free. And some friends of ours who had already been there to have a look recommended that we also check it out .So we thought, why not!

Anyway, with regard to what the flat/apartment looked like, well basically, it was really nicely decorated, as you can probably imagine, what with it being a show home and all. For example, the floor was mostly marble, and there was a huge chandelier hanging above the dining table. So yeah, it all looked pretty impressive. I mean, even the wallpaper was nice, you know, it was, um… I’m not quite sure how to best describe it, but you could just tell it was really good quality from the feel and texture of it.

The only downside was the price, because I think it was something like ten grand a square meter, so the whole flat came to about 720K ($720,000), or somewhere thereabouts, which was a bit above our budget unfortunately!

Continue reading