IELTS Speaking: a future plan


Here is a recent IELTS Speaking Part 2 topic question:

Describe a future plan which is not related to work or study
You should say:
    What the plan is
    When you thought of the plan
    Who is involved in the plan
And how you think you will achieve the plan

The following sample and comment are given by an IELTS instructor that I work with.

One minute notes:
ummm, lose weight, saw doctor, lost w before, mainly me, also wife who cooks, I’ll do it one kilo per five weeks, snacks as rewards, measurin on a wall chart perhaps

Here is his scripts:
I have always been someone who likes his food. I’ve always been someone who enjoys sweets and things like that, and recently I’ve discovered that I’m about ten kilos overweight, I mean ten kilos heavier than is healthy for me. I have a plan to get down to my ideal weight within the next year.

I think it’s a pretty realistic plan. I’ve done it before. I once saw a doctor who recommended that I lose weight, because he was worried about the effect on my liver, and I was so scared by that that I did everything he said. His advice was nothing special – he just said to only eat three meals a day. He also recommended that I exercise, that I go running three times a week and I followed his advice religiously and got down to my ideal weight about a year after that.

I guess I put the weight back on because I really enjoy eating and sometimes I get lazy. I really enjoy eating and also I’m lucky to have a wife who cooks for me and I’m going to lose the weight one kilo every five weeks…………….

My plan is to do what I did before – only have chocolates once every five weeks, stick to a plan not to have second helpings and also I think keeping track of the weight I’ve lost by measuring it is a very good idea because if I do that –I think if I measure my progress that’ll be encouraging, and I think that will help me stick to it. I think I can definitely do it. Principally it affects me, but it also affects my family a little bit .cause they need me to be healthy. I think I can definitely do it.


His notes: I think ‘stick to a plan’ is a good idea, but I repeat it a bit too much. Notice that I didn’t have much to say about who would be involved apart from me, and only brought my family into it at the very last moment, when I was running out of things to say.
Useful vocabulary here includes:
I followed his advice religiously – if you do something religously, you always do it and you always do it at that time – people can have their morning coffee at 8am religiously, people can religously do their exercise before they start work
his advice was nothing special – it was good advice but not unusual
Principally it affects me – this means it mainly affects me
I also think I used a good tactic here – I talked about the past a lot. So if you are not sure if there’s much to say about a future plan, you can talk about what caused it (past tense), what you would like to do once the plan is over (when I finish cleaning my room, I’m going to watch all of Game of Thrones) and so on. Past is easier for me, because I don’t have the present/past issue that a lot of Non-English speakers have, but it’s a useful tactic for getting the whole two minutes anyway.

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