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IELTS Speaking Part 3
IELTS Speaking Part 3: answer structure
Did you notice how I structured my answers in last week’s lesson?
- Answer the question – “it depends”
- Explain one side
- Explain the other side
- Give an example
- Firstly – first characteristic of a good listener
- Secondly – second characteristic
- Finally – third characteristic
- Answer the question – “it’s a mixture of both things”
- Explain one side
- Explain the other side
Basically, I’m using Idea, Explain, (Example) or Firstly, Secondly, Finally, just as I do when I’m writing main paragraphs for writing task 2. The more you practise using these two patterns, the easier it becomes to give longer, more coherent answers.
IELTS Speaking part 3 : “ADVICE”
1. Is it better to get advice from a friend or from a family member?
I think it depends on the kind of advice that you need. Parents and grandparents probably have more life experience than a friend, and so you might get a wiser or more sensible answer from them. On the other hand, friends are less likely to become too worried if you go to them with a problem. For example, I probably wouldn’t want to burden my parents with a financial problem.
2. What would you say are the characteristics of a good adviser?
Well, firstly, a good adviser should be a good listener, someone who takes the time to understand the situation before offering advice. Secondly, an adviser should try to be objective, and avoid judging the person who is seeking help. Finally, I think the best advisers have the ability to ask the right questions and encourage others to find their own answers.
3. Should people make their own work and career decisions, or is it a good idea to ask for advice about this?
I’d say that it’s a mixture of both things. Most of us talk to family, friends, teachers or colleagues before we make career choices. However, I believe that the final decision should rest with the individual; we all need to take ultimate responsibility for the big life choices that we make.
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IELTS Speaking Part 3: “COMMUNITY”
1)What are some of the ways people can help others in the community? Which is the most important?
I think there are many ways to help others in our local communities. For example, where
I live, some people volunteer to run activity clubs for children, or they help out in
residential homes for elderly people. Others give money, food or clothes to
organisations that support people living below the poverty line. In my opinion, there isn’t
a scale of importance when it comes to helping others; all forms of help are positive.
2) Why do you think some people like to help other people?
Most people get a good feeling when they help others, and they understand that we can all experience difficult times in our lives when we might need support. For example, we all grow old, and we all run the risk of losing our jobs or having a health problem that affects our ability to look after ourselves. So, I think people help others because they empathise with them.
3) Some people say that people help others in the community more now than they did in the past. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
I disagree with that kind of opinion. It’s impossible to generalise about how much people help in their communities from one generation to the next, so I don’t think we should try to judge or compare how altruistic people are now or were in the past. There have always been those who help others and those who don’t.
IELTS Speaking Part 3: “holiday”
1) Do you think that it’s important for people to go on holiday?
Answer using ‘idea, explain, example’
Yes, I think we all need to go on holiday at least once or twice a year. It isn’t healthy to work all year round without some time off to relax; we all need to take a break and recharge our batteries from time to time. Last summer, for example, I went on holiday to France for a couple of weeks, and it was great to leave all of my usual responsibilities behind me. I came home feeling really refreshed and reinvigorated.
2) Why do you think some people prefer not to go abroad on holiday?
Answer using ‘firstly, secondly, finally’
I suppose there are different reasons why some people choose not to go abroad on holidays. Firstly, it’s usually more expensive to travel abroad than it is to stay at home. A second reason could be that some people find it stressful to spend time in a foreigncountry where they don’t speak the language, or where they feel that they can’t easily integrate with the locals. Finally, many people just love where they live, and don’t feel the need to travel abroad.
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IELTS Speaking 3: ‘hospitality’ topic
1. In your country, how do people treat visitors from abroad?
I think we treat visitors well. People in the UK are very open-minded and welcoming, and we enjoy the mix of cultures that immigration and tourism bring. Most UK cities, for example, are really cosmopolitan, and you can meet visitors from every part of the world.
2. Do you think hospitality towards visitors is less important than it was in the past?
In my city, maybe it’s true that hospitality is less important nowadays, but that’s only because we are so used to seeing visitors from different countries, so we treat it as a normal part of life and nothing too special.
3. What are the advantages of staying with a friend compared to staying in a hotel when visiting a foreign country?
If you stay with a friend, you benefit from someone with local knowledge of the best places to visit. You can also get to know the character and customs of the local people, and for me, this is one of the most interesting aspects of a visit to another country. On the other hand, if you stay in a hotel, you are forced to discover the new place on your own, so it’s more of an adventure.
IELTS Speaking: 3 simple tips
Here are three simple tips that could make a difference to your score:
1. Be confident
Although you might be nervous, try to speak clearly and confidently. Smile and be friendly* with the examiner. As you go into the exam, tell yourself that you have prepared well and that you’re going to enjoy the challenge.
2. Know that you are prepared
You will feel much more confident if you know that you have prepared and practised for the test. You should know exactly what to expect. For example, have you prepared some common topics (e.g. describe a place, a person, a hobby) for the short presentation? Are you ready for a past and a future question in part 3?
3. Speak naturally
Try to enjoy a normal conversation with the examiner. Instead of worrying about your grammar, listen carefully to the questions and try to give natural answers. Most of the questions are about you, your life and your opinions, so it’s best to be open. I used to be an examiner, and I always found the job more interesting when students spoke openly about their opinions and experiences
IELTS Speaking Part 3: add more detail
In this lesson I mentioned 3 techniques to help you give longer answers: ask yourself why, explain the alternatives, give an example.
Most students have no problem with the first step (explaining why), but they aren’t so good at giving alternatives or examples. Take the following question from last week’s lesson for example.
In your opinion, are newspapers important?
Example student answer:
Yes, in my opinion newspapers are very important (why?) because they give us information about what is happening around the world. (why?) They are a vital source of knowledge about education, technology, medicine and many other fields.
This is a good start, but let’s try to raise the answer to band 9 level.
Example answer with ‘alternative’ and ‘example’:
Yes, in my opinion newspapers are very important (why?) because they give us information about what is happening around the world. (why?) They are a vital source of knowledge about education, technology, medicine and many other
fields. (alternative?) If newspapers didn’t exist, I think the quality of news coverage would suffer because there would be fewer professional journalists.(example?) We would have to rely, for example, on unpaid bloggers who do not have the budgets to carry out detailed research before they write an article.
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IELTS Speaking Part 3: verb tenses
In part 3, the examiner often asks a question about the past and a question about the future. For example:
- Did people have more free time when your grandparents were young?
- Do you think the hobbies people have will be different in the future?
In the first answer, the examiner wants to hear some past tense verbs. In the second answer, you will need to use a future tense:
- When my grandparents were young, I think they had less leisure time. They didn’t have the gadgets we use nowadays, so they probably spent more time doing simple things. For example, nowadays we can cook meals in a microwave in less than 5 minutes, whereas in the past people had to cook everything themselves.
- No, I don’t think hobbies will change much in the future. I’m sure people will still play games and sports. On the other hand, maybe the Internet is changing the way we spend our free time. In the future, more and more people might have online hobbies.
IELTS Speaking Part 3: longer answers
Do you remember my advice about how to give longer answers in part 3?
- Answer the question directly
- Ask yourself why or how (and explain in detail)
- Give an example
- Mention an alternative or opposite answer
Do you think the seasons still influence people’s behaviour?
Yes, I do think the seasons affect how we behave. (how?) We still wear different clothes depending on the weather, and clothes shops change what they sell according to the season. We also adapt our habits and daily routines according to the time of year. (example) For example, people in my country like to eat outside in their gardens in the summer, but we can’t do that during the other seasons. (opposite) On the other hand, I don’t think we notice the change in seasons when it comes to food; the big supermarkets import food from around the world, so most people don’t buy seasonal fruit and vegetables any more.
IELTS Speaking Part 3: “it depends”
Many students answer questions in IELTS speaking part 3 by saying “it depends”. “It depends” is not a full answer. What does it depend on, and why? Example question:
Do you think it’s important to find a job that you love, or is it more important to earn a good salary?
“It depends. Some people prefer to find a job they love, but other people want to earn a good salary.” (This answer just repeats the question)
“Personally, I’d prefer to do a job that I really enjoy; as long as I earn enough to live comfortably, the salary is less important. However, I can see the benefits of doing a job that you don’t like if it pays well. With a good salary, you can probably do more enjoyable things in your free time.”
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