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IELTS Speaking part 1 questions IELTS-Cue-cards speaking intro questions speaking part 3 (follow up questions)

Speaking Tests IESP02

Tip: Throughout IELTS practice, keep doing efforts to Improve Self-Expression Skills

Emulate your favorite authors’ styles. Over time, you should develop your own style of expression, of course. Until you find your own, however, you should like to go through the style of authors you admire.

A few real tests and analysis of answers given by IELTS candidates (Practice Material)

For Audio of these tests, contact person in-charge at City Coaching Centre and quote reference number IE050TP03.

Transcripts of communication have been represented herein and a brief analysis is also written alongside. Students are advised to get an idea what a good answer should be like and What aspects of your speech are observed by examiner and what do’s and don’ts are to be taken care of.

Let’s go through this practice!

Test 1
Test 2
Test 3
Test 4
Test 5
Test 6
Test 7
Test 8
Test 9
Test 10

Test 1

Q1: Can we talk about an aspect of your home town? How easy is it to travel around where you’re from?

 A1:       Ah, yes. I’m from Mitchford. The most beautiful place on earth!  It’s quite a small coastal city.  There are about 230,000 people who live there and we have quite a good transportation system there.  I’d say most people travel by car – our roads are pretty modern and well-sealed but people who don’t have a car usually catch a bus.  The bus travels to most parts of the city and it’s quite cheap.  For example, to travel by bus from one end of the city to the other it costs about £2 and that’s pretty cheap compared to what I pay here in England.

 Q2: Ok.  Which kinds of public transport do you use most and why?

 A2: Actually, that’s a difficult question to answer because back home, I have my own car…I sure do miss that.  When I was younger I used to catch the bus to school.  In my city all students under 16 who lived more than four…maybe it was 3….anyway about 3 or 4 kilometers from the nearest public high school were given a bus pass which allowed them to catch the bus to school for free.  The problem was there was never enough seats to allow for all the students so usually most students had to stand up in the bus all the way until they arrived at school…but it was much better than having to walk I can assure you of that! Occasionally, I caught the taxi but it was a very rare thing…taxis are about 4 or 5 times more expensive than regular bus fares so taxis were only used if there was no other option.

 Q3: But what about here? Do you use public transport here in England?

 A3: Oh yes, here I mostly use the underground. It’s totally different from back home. At Mitchford we don’t have enough people to warrant an underground rail system…at least I think that’s the reason we don’t have one. That’s been a really interesting part about living here, getting used to the rail system.

Q4: How do you compare public transport here in England with public transport back home?

A4: Well, actually, back home public transport is always late. It’s not unusual for the bus to be…like 15-20 minutes late. We have a saying, “If you want to arrive on time and you’re catching the bus, prepare for one hour of travel”. Well, here the underground is always on time. It’s been interesting in that it’s always on time and extremely reliable.

 Q5: Ok, let’s move on to the topic of movies. Do you enjoy watching movies?

A5: Yes, I do enjoy movies…do you know anyone who doesn’t like movies? I don’t! I must say that I’m a bit of an action person. I love action movies…I like it when the tough bad guy gets beaten. I love happy endings…the hero’s always got to win!

Q6: How often do you watch movies?

 A6: Well, it’s actually been quite a while since I’ve been to the cinema to watch a movie. I think the last movie I saw was Action Force – a real action movie which I enjoyed immensely. It’s actually too expensive to go to the movies these days…and besides, if I wait for a while…I can watch it at home…besides I’m too busy studying at the moment…there’s really not enough time to watch movies!

 Q7: Ok. Let’s talk about what you like to do in your free time. What sorts of activities do you like to do in your free time?

A7: Free time…we’ll I don’t have too much of that nowadays…but when I do…I enjoy reading. I mostly enjoy reading business books and magazines…my father has a business back home and once I finish my studies, I’m going to return home and help him with the running of it…I enjoy studying about business and learning about new ideas and ways of making a business more successful and effective.

Part 2: Transcript 

Q1: Ok, good.  I’m now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say. I want you to talk about the best holiday you have ever had.

Ok.  You have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?

A1: The best holiday I have ever been on is a very difficult question to answer because I’ve been on so many excellent holidays…I guess I’ve been very lucky. In the summer time back home, when I was young, my family used to go to the beach and we’d camp under the stars…that have always been an excellent memory for me.  But, I’d have to say that the most wonderful holiday I’ve ever had was when I was 19, when I went to Minnesota in the United States for a summer camp experience.  It was just so much fun!  I met over 200 teenagers and we participated in some excellent camp activities!

Let me see…we had swimming in the lake, where the camp was situated.  We also had water skiing, which was excellent fun…it was really difficult to hold on to the rope while the boat pulled us around the lake!  Another fun activity was camping.  We…our dorm…went on a 3-day canoe trip…I think there were about 10 of us in our group…which took us to the Canadian boundary waters.  There I saw some of the most beautiful alpine scenery I’ve ever seen in my life!  The lakes were so clear and we could drink the water from them by dipping our cups as we canoed along…it was just amazing.  I wish everyone could witness the incredible beauty we saw on that trip. Let’s see, what else?  Ahh yes, there was basketball and volleyball which we played in the big indoor gymnasium.  Some of the Americans were really good basketball players…they even had cheerleaders at some of the games!  I got to know so many people, in fact I still write to some of the people I met there…you know, isn’t email a great way to keep in touch?  There were other things but I can’t think of them at the moment…I will say this: I would love to go back there again in the future.  Now, of course I’m too old to be a camper but it would be excellent to be a staff member, they are always looking for volunteers.  If you volunteer at the camp they pay for your food and accommodation for the whole summer – and that’s around 3 months in America.

Part 3: Transcript

Q1: We’ve been talking about the best holiday you’ve ever had and I’d like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this. Firstly, let’s consider the effect of holidays. What effect do holidays have on people?

 A1: I believe holidays have a big, positive effect on people.  For many, I know that holidays are the highlight of the year.  People wait all year – especially those who don’t like their job – they wait for the holiday periods…they plan and prepare for what they will do and they get excited by what they’re going to do on their holidays.  Typically people are in a good mood when they are on holiday. They’re smiling and alert, they show interest in their new environment.  I believe that for most people, holiday time is the best time of their year.

Q2: Many people refer to their holidays as ‘highlights’ of the year.  Why do you think holidays are highlights for people?

 A2: Yes..um..well, I think holidays are highlights for people because if a person doesn’t like his or her work, a holiday represents a break in what they would otherwise normally do.   You know, it gives people a chance to go in a different direction, to do something they want to do…instead of being a slave to their job. Holidays allow people to re-create, to refresh their mind and body.  I read somewhere recently that it’s actually a very healthy thing for a person to take a complete break from what he or she normally does and then to do something different.  I guess what I’m saying is, a holiday is a change.  It’s a change in location and activity.  That reminds me of the expression, ‘A change is as good as a holiday’ – it’s a good one, and I think it’s true.

Q3: Good.  Let’s talk about a related issue, the issue of tourism.  Do you see any negative aspects with regard to tourism?

A3: Yes, absolutely.  I come from a coastal town and there is a constant, steady stream of people who pour through it.  These people often cause problems in the accommodation industry which is obviously related to tourism.  They come in and kind of ‘let their hair down’ they show no respect for the facilities.  Often there is damage to the places where they stay.  I’ve heard of broken lamps and chairs, dirty marks on walls and carpets…you know those kinds of things.  They drink heavily and make a lot of noise, constantly in a ‘party mode’.  This has had a very negative impact upon our town and gives tourists a bad name in the minds of some of the local people.

Q4: What could be done to stop the negative aspects of tourism from happening?

A4: I guess stricter laws could be introduced. If people don’t obey the laws, then the consequences might be a financial penalty.  You know, an expensive fine, or perhaps throw the offenders into prison for a day or two.  That would certainly…I imagine.. have a big effect upon the bad behavior of people visiting a city while on holiday.

Test 1 (Analysis)

Part 1: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be understood. Pronunciation is clear and the candidate’s vocabulary is appropriate in relation to the questions asked. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate sounds very relaxed and friendly! At the very beginning, the candidate’s personality comes through – good use of humour (‘The most beautiful place on earth’).

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. The answers are well structured: the question is answered and additional, related details are given. The rhetorical question, ‘Do you know anyone who doesn’t?’ involves the examiner and demonstrates the candidate’s confidence.

Content: The responses answer the questions the examiner asks in detail (no one or two word answers!). He demonstrates a good, ‘conversational’ style. The candidate’s personality shines through right from the very beginning making the experience an enjoyable one for both candidate and examiner.

This is a good, confident start!

Part 2: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate’s use of words/vocabulary shows he can communicate on the topic effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate sounds quite relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate comes through by good use of vocal variety which made the topic more interesting.

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked on the Candidate Card. The first three questions are answered quite quickly leaving most of the time to expand upon question 4 (explain why it was such a good holiday). A point is made and then additional, related details are given.

Content: Remember the question required the candidate to discuss:

1. Where you went

2. When you went there

3. What you did there and;

4. Explain why it was such a great holiday.

All of these aspects of the question were answered. One of the interesting things about the presentation is that the candidate ran out of things to say – he had talked about the past and present and then he introduced ideas related to the future as a way of ending his presentation – which gave it a good ending. He used ‘P-P-F’ (Present past future).

This is a good, confident continuation of the test!

Part 3: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate’s use of words/vocabulary shows he can communicate on each topic raised by the examiner effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate continues to sound relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate continues to come through and builds upon the rapport established through Parts 1 & 2.

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. Firstly, he answers the question then conversationally, he expands upon the topic. In other words, a point is made and then additional, related details are given.

Content: The information presented in the conversation clearly answers the questions. Through use of idiomatic and colloquial expressions (‘a change is as good as a holiday’, ‘let their hair down’, ‘party mode’), the speaker demonstrates a very advanced knowledge of the language. Some good, academic words are used (eg negative impact, consequences, the offenders)

This is a good, confident conclusion!

Test 2

Part 1:

Q1: Can we talk about your home town?  Tell me about the biggest industries in your town.

A1: Yes um, I’m from Mitchford which is a coastal town. We’ve got a lot of white, sandy beaches and a pleasant climate all year-round…so, I’m sure you can guess what our main industry is?  Tourism.  Each year we get about a quarter of a million visitors to our town so as a result another big industry is building and construction…so all our visitors have got somewhere to stay! 

Um…restaurants…the food industry is another big industry in my town.  We have all kinds of restaurants – Indian, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Turkish, you name it, we’ve got it!  If you like eating out, Mitchford is a wonderful place to visit.  There’s one restaurant called ‘Curry in a Hurry’ which, you can probably guess, is an Indian restaurant…if you ever visit Mitchford I highly recommend it!

Q2: It sounds like you really like your home town.  Are there any things you dislike about it?

 A2: Mmm, that’s a difficult question.  Honestly, there aren’t many things I dislike about Mitchford….but….I guess…..I’d have to say one of the things I dislike about Mitchford is the fact that my grandparents don’t live there!  My grandparents live about 9 hours away…by car, so we don’t get to see them that often.  It would be great if they lived in Mitchford.

Q3: Fine.  Let’s move on to the topic of food and restaurants.  What kinds of foods do you like to eat?

A3: Food…my favourite topic!  Well, that’s an easy one for me to answer.  Ever since I was a child, my favourite food’s been Chicken Kiev.  Have you tried it before? [Examiner: No, I haven’t]  It’s made from the leg and thigh of a chicken.  The chicken is wrapped in butter and garlic.  It’s then covered in bread crumbs and fried.  The chicken comes out golden brown and when you cut it, the butter and garlic runs out…it’s absolutely delicious…probably not too healthy for you but the taste is incredible!

Q4: What about dislike?  Are there any foods you don’t like to eat?

A4: Well, the first thing that comes to mind is brussel sprouts!  I remember the first day my mother served them for dinner.  Needless to say, my brother and sisters complained loudly!  They have such a sharp taste…I don’t like them at all. Also, at times…um…zucchini has the same kind of sharp taste.  In fact, I had zucchini on top of a home-made pizza recently and in my opinion, the sharp taste of the zucchini ruined the pizza.

Q5: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of home-cooked meals?

A5: Home cooked meals…mmm…well, the first idea that comes to mind is home cooked meals are generally healthier.  The idea, I guess, is that if you’re cooking the meal at home, you know what ingredients are that have gone into making it…so the food should be healthier.  For example, if you’re using oil to cook your meal, it will be with fresh, unused oil.  I know that some restaurants reuse their oil over and over again…I don’t think that’s good for health.

[Examiner: Disadvantages?] Disadvantages…um…yes…well for a start, the kitchen is left in a mess!  I’m speaking from experience here!  At the moment I share a flat with 2 other people and every evening around dinner time, the kitchen looks like a total mess!  Pots and pans…containers half opened…the sink full of dishes and cutlery…stuff everywhere!  After cooking our flat looks like a danger zone.  So, related to this point is that it takes so long to clean all the mess up.  Most times, I couldn’t be bothered with all the hassle of cooking…I pick up some kind of fast food…it’s much more convenient!

Part 2: Transcript

Q1: Ok that was very good.  I’m now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say.  I want you to talk about a young person who has influenced your life.

Ok.  You have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?

A1: A young person who has had a big influence on my life is my niece…my sister’s child. I’ll never forget the day that I first met her…it was at the hospital and my mother and I went to visit my sister and it was only a few hours after she had the baby. She’s now six years old.  Her name’s Kate.  She’s got blonde hair and brown eyes – she’s so cute! My sister always dresses her in cute clothes and puts her hair in pig tails.  She has her mother’s personality too!  She’s quite shy and reserved around strangers but when she’s around my family, she really comes out of her shell…she starts talking and talking…and my sister is actually teaching her how to sing.  My sister’s always asking her to sing for people…you know, ‘twinkle, twinkle little star’, the ‘ABC/alphabet song’. My parents – her grandparents – delight in her performances, I’d say she’s become the ‘centre of attention’ at Dad and Mum’s place.

I do miss her.  In some ways, her being born reminded me that I’m growing up and…that I needed to start thinking more seriously about my own future.  I suppose I began to wonder what it would be like to have my own children.  For a long time, I didn’t care too much about kids, but after spending time with Kate, I realised that I’d love a child or two of my own.  Umm….let’s see…I’d have to say that I think there are more advantages than disadvantages with having children.  I’ve learned that of course, it’s not all easy looking after a child all day.  When Kate was really young, my sister seemed to hardly get any sleep and they never seemed to go out all that much.  But when you see her cute little face and her cute little smile, all that sacrifice seems to be worth it.  I’ve never seen my sister so happy since Kate came into her life.

Part 3: Transcript

Q1: Ok, that’s great. We’ve been talking about a young person and I’d like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this.  Firstly, let’s consider attitudes.  In your country, what is the attitude older people have toward younger people?

A1: Hmm…I think, the older generation tend to look at the younger generation as being in a hurry to go somewhere or do something.  I suppose this is pretty natural considering when a person gets old, they tend not to move so quickly…you know, instead of going out, most old people tend to just stay at home.  I don’t mean all old people are like this, but I think it’s probably true of a majority of the older generation [Examiner: Right].

Q2: In your country, what are the advantages and disadvantages of being younger?

A2: Well, I’m young so I obviously think it’s an advantage!  Um, the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that technology is changing so quickly, it takes an alert, young mind to keep up with it…um…there are benefits in keeping up with technology…um…you can do things quicker.  For example, if you understand email, then you can communicate faster with people…all around the world.  A lot of older people may use email but they may not know all the functions…um…to use it to their best advantage. If you don’t know how to properly use new computer software, you can end up wasting great amounts of time…um…the disadvantages…well…the disadvantage of being young…um….let’s see… well, I think one disadvantage is that you have a little life experience.  What I mean is that you don’t have much wisdom, you’re starting out.  You might make a lot of silly mistakes in your life because you don’t know any better um…that’s a definite disadvantage.

Q3: Good.  Let’s now consider young people and education.  Can you tell me about the numbers of young people in your country studying overseas?

A3: I’m not too sure about that…the total numbers, that is…um…I know from my high school…er…when I graduated there were 4 or 5 students who wanted to travel and study in England.  I’ve lost contact with them, I assume they went ahead with their plans. Considering my high school had around 1000 students…um… and we had 4 or 5 who wanted to study overseas, I assume there are a lot of students who had the same goal.

Q4: Do young people receive any government assistance in your country when it comes to education?

A4: Actually, yes and no.  Yes, because if they decide to study at university and they have no money – this is assuming they are accepted into a course – um, they can apply for a student loan.  What happens is the government pays the money for their education – that’s the good news…but the bad news – and this is the ‘no’ part of my answer – is you have to pay the money back once you get a job.  I believe if you don’t pay it back by a certain time, the government starts to charge you interest on the loan or something… [Examiner: Ok]

Q5: What future changes would you like to see in your country regarding young people and education?

A5: Oh, that’s another difficult question to answer…you sure seem to know how to ask difficult questions! [Examiner: Thank you!]  Um, I guess a change I would hope for is that the student loans would not have to be paid back!  I don’t think this is realistic, after all, it would be too expensive for the government…perhaps removing the repayment with interest part of the loan would be a good change for the future….oh yea…another thing that came to mind…I think education will become more ‘hands on’ – less theory and more practical.  I think ‘head knowledge’ is fine, but it must be backed up with practical application…I’d like to see this change in the future.

Test 2 (Analysis)

Part 1: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be understood. Pronunciation is clear and easy to understand. The candidate’s vocabulary is appropriate in relation to the questions asked. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate sounds very relaxed, friendly and confident!

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. The answers are well structured: the questions are answered and in all cases additional, related details are given.

Content: The responses answer the questions the examiner asks in detail (no one or two word answers!). The candidate’s friendly personality is evident right from the very beginning making the experience an enjoyable one for both candidate and examiner. The candidate answers the questions with good examples and involves the examiner with a rhetorical question.

This is a good, confident start!

Part 2: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate’s use of words/vocabulary shows he can communicate on the topic effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate sounds relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate comes through and through the use of vocal variety, the topic is made more interesting.

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked on the Candidate Card. The first two questions are answered almost immediately leaving most of the time to expand upon questions 3 & 4 (personality and influence of the person). A point is made and then additional, related details are given.

Content: Remember the question required the candidate to discuss:

1. who he or she is

2. how you met him/her

3. what his/her personality is like

4. explain how this person has influenced you.

All of these aspects of the question were answered. Good idiomatic expression (‘comes out of her shell’) and general expression (‘centre of attention’).

One of the interesting things about the presentation is that the candidate ran out of things to say. She decided to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of having children. The use of Advantages/Disadvantages was a good way to further elaborate on ‘how this person has influenced you’.

This is a good, confident continuation of the test!

Part 3: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate’s use of words/vocabulary shows she can communicate on each topic raised by the examiner effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate continues to sound relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate continues to come through and builds upon the rapport established through Parts 1 & 2.

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. Firstly, she answers the question then conversationally, she expands upon the topic. In other words, a point is made and then additional, related details are given.

Content: The information presented in the conversation clearly answers the questions. The candidate demonstrates very well that she has a diverse vocabulary on many different topics – a demonstration of a very advanced knowledge of the language. Some good, academic words are used (eg: functions, wisdom, assume, realistic, theory/practical) When she was not sure about an answer, she made a funny statement (‘you seem to know how to ask difficult questions’) which reduced the tension and allowed her a little more time to think about what she would say.

This is a good, confident conclusion!

TEST 3

Part 1:

Q1: I’d like to talk with you about what you do. Are you a student or do you have a job?

A1: Actually, I’m both.  I have a part-time job and I also study!

Q2: Ok!  You must be busy.  Can you tell me about your job?

A2: Sure.  I’m a waiter.  It’s not much…I don’t do too much…it’s only part time…not my ideal job but it does offer me a modest income.  I’m usually on the breakfast shift.  You see I work in a hotel and most of the guests of the hotel come to the restaurant for breakfast.

Q3: What is it you like most about your job?

A3: I guess it’s interesting to meet and greet new people.  Most of the patrons of the restaurant are from overseas so the restaurant is a good place to meet people from other countries.  It’s a good working environment; the restaurant is air conditioned which is also a plus.

Q4: Is there anything you don’t like about your job?

A4: Yes, it’s fairly repetitious work.  There’s not a lot of thought involved…you take away dirty plates and cutlery and you replace them with clean plates and cutlery and on and on the process goes.  You serve coffee or tea, the rest is up to the customer…it’s really a self-serve buffet.  I guess I’d like to do something which involves more thinking so that’s probably the main thing I dislike about my job.

Q5: Anything else you dislike?

A5: No, I guess not…oh…well, the boss.  The supervisor, is really quiet…in fact, he’s so quiet that he seems unfriendly.  I don’t really understand him…he’s an unusual man.  [Examiner: Unusual?] Well, he’s just so quiet.  I like people who are a bit more friendly and show a bit more enthusiasm.  He rarely smiles, he’s always so serious.  I guess that’s what I mean by ‘unusual’.

Q6: I see, ok.  Let’s change topics and talk about television.  Do you like to watch television?

A6: Yes I do watch television but I try to mainly watch the news and documentaries.  I don’t like watching a lot of the shows on television because they can waste a lot of time – especially soap operas!  Some people I know spend hours watching those sort of shows, especially when you get to know the characters and the story line.  I do like some comedy shows though, some are hilarious!

Q7: Tell me about your favourite television show.

A7: Actually I really don’t have one favourite television show but I do like watching nature programs – programs about animals and birds and things.  Last week I saw one on crocodiles.  I didn’t realise that crocodiles lay so many eggs!  I also remember one show about hummingbirds.  The camera showed the wings of the hummingbird in slow motion, and it was just amazing…they go so fast.  These are the sort of shows I like, I wish there were more of them.

Q8: How popular is television in your country?

A8: Television is very popular in my country and I imagine that nearly every home would have one.  In fact, I think that many homes in my country have more than one television.  Televisions are very popular when there is a big sporting event on – like a soccer match.  People will invite their friends over to watch the match on television and to cheer for their team.  Another popular television program which people in my country watch is the news, especially in the evening.

Part 2: Transcript

Q1:       Ok that’s good.  I’m now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say.  I want you to talk about something you have made which you are proud of.

Ok.  You have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?

A1: Something which I have made and am quite proud of is a shoe rack for my sons – a place for them to put their shoes, when they’re not wearing them.  Maybe you’re thinking, why are you proud of a shoe rack?  Well, the main reason I’m talking about it is because…honestly, my mind’s gone blank and I can’t think of anything else I’ve made!  Anyway there are a number of reasons why I was proud of this thing that I made.  Firstly, I’m not a carpenter!  I’ve never made anything before with wood, and also I solved a problem… One night, about 2 years ago, my wife walked into our son’s bedroom and it was a really dark night.  Anyway, she nearly sprained her ankle on one of his shoes.  They were always…their shoes…scattered around the bedroom.  Her ankle looked quite bruised the next day.  So at that time, I decided to make a shoe rack. With my oldest son, we took a tape measure and measured how long and wide it should be.  Next we bought a piece of timber. Anyway, we got home and I got out my….my saw and…a pencil and ruler. We measured the lengths and then cut the pieces. Ok, we cut the lengths, then we smoothed off the rough edges with a file.  Next we got some nails and a hammer and we nailed the pieces together.  My oldest son, Aaron said, “Dad we need to paint it”.  I agreed.  We got out some…ahhh…cream-coloured paint.  We put two coats of paint on that shoe rack.  I was proud of what the boys and I had accomplished.  We’d solved a problem and, at the same time, spent some quality time together.  We still have that shoe rack.  It’s still helping to keep my boy’s room tidy…and no more sprained ankles for my wife!

Part 3: Transcript

Q1: We’ve been talking about something that you made and I’d like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this.  Firstly, let’s consider hand-made versus machine-made items.  Can you comment on the popularity of hand-made versus machine-made products in your country?

A1: Unfortunately, these days hand-made items tend to be more expensive than machine-made and as a result machine-made items are more popular in my country…because they’re cheaper.  I think this is due to labour costs.  If a machine can produce large quantities of products automatically, this will always be cheaper when compared to human labour.  A person needs to be paid a wage, but a machine…well, it can work day and night, I guess.

Q2: Are there any things in your country which are only made by hand?

A2: Only handmade…well, I know that some types of furniture are only handmade. Of course this furniture is quite a lot more expensive and generally (of) better construction than the….umm…machine made.  Another thing that comes to mind is jewellery. Most women desire a unique piece of jewelry…I know my wife…when I got a ring made for my wife it was completely hand made…in fact, we gave the design we wanted to the jewellery and he made it by hand.  I guess there are other things but I can’t think of any others at the moment.

Q3: Do you think in the future that handmade products will no longer be made?

A3: That’s an interesting question.  Of course we understand that machine made products are cheaper to make.  The bottom line for companies is that they need to make profits.  If a company can make more and more products and pay less and less to make them, then I believe that mechanisation will win over hand-made products.

Q4: Ok.  I’d like us to lastly consider creativity in general.  Do you think people learn creativity or is it something that comes naturally?    

A4: Learn creativity…do people learn creativity…mmm.  Well, I know some creative people, especially artists, and I say to them, how can you draw like that?  You know I can only draw ‘stick figures’ but they can draw in such detail.  They usually say to me, I’ve always been able to draw and it comes naturally to me.  I think that if you’re good at something and if you like it, you spend time at it.  So what usually happens is the naturally good artists tend to draw more so they get better and better.

Q5: Do you think that there are more or less creative people living in your country today?

A5: Well…more or less creative…in my country we are often coming up with new inventions – especially in the area of ‘environmentally friendly products’. I saw in the newspaper recently that a new device for removing – or at least reducing – carbon monoxide in vehicle emissions was made available to the public.  I don’t remember how it worked but I remember thinking that there are still creative people around in my country so I guess I would have to say that there are still some around, but whether there are more or less than in the past, I couldn’t say with any certainty.

Q6: What might be the effects of reduced creativity in society?

A6: Well, if people are less creative, then I believe society as a whole suffers.  We need creative people, problem solvers who are able to find problems and devise solutions.  I guess if a society becomes lazy, you know, sitting all day and night in front of the television, if they have no goals or ambitions in life, nothing to drive them toward achievement, then creativity suffers and society, I believe would suffer.  People would loose the spark or interest in life, it would be a terrible thing for any society to lose its creative people!

Test 3 (Analysis)

Part 1: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be understood. Pronunciation is clear and easy to understand. The candidate’s vocabulary is appropriate in relation to the questions asked. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate sounds quite relaxed and friendly.

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. The answers are well structured: the questions are answered and in all cases, additional, related details are given.

Content: The responses answer the questions the examiner asks in detail (no one or two word answers!). The candidate demonstrates quite a wide vocabulary base: ‘work vocabulary’ (waiter): cutlery, plates, patrons, self-serve, buffet) ‘television vocabulary’: news, documentaries, soap operas, storyline, comedy. The candidate’s friendly personality is quite evident right from the very beginning making the experience an enjoyable one for both candidate and examiner. The candidate answers the questions asked with good examples and involves the examiner with a rhetorical question.

This is a good, confident start!

Part 2: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate’s use of words/vocabulary shows he can communicate on the topic effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate sounds quite relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate comes through and through the use of vocal variety, the topic is made more interesting through the recounting of an interesting story.

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked on the Candidate Card. The first three points are answered almost immediately leaving most of the time to expand upon the last point (why you were proud of it). A point is made and then additional, related details are given.

Content: Remember the question required the candidate to discuss:

1. what it was

2. why you made it

3. when it was made

4. explain why you were proud of it.

All of these aspects of the question were answered. Good expression used. The vocabulary was varied and descriptive. For example,’carpentry vocabulary’ [timber, saw, file, tape measure, (two coats of) paint]. He concluded the speech by returning to the original, main point (something he was proud of) and gave good reasons why he was proud [‘I’m not a carpenter (but I successfully made a shoe rack), ‘we solved a problem’, ‘we spent quality time together’] One of the interesting things about the presentation is that the candidate did not know what to say (‘my mind’s gone blank’). He decided to talk about a very ordinary thing but he did it in a very interesting way – he obviously quickly chose his subject material. He used the time to tell a story (the process of building the shoe rack) – an excellent way to extend the Part 2 Long Turn.

This is a good, confident continuation of the test!

Part 3: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate’s use of words/vocabulary shows he can communicate on each topic raised by the examiner effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate continues to sound quite relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate continues to come through and builds upon the rapport established through Parts 1 & 2.

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. Firstly, he answers the question then conversationally, he expands upon the topic. In other words, a point is made and then additional, related details are given.

Content: The information presented in the conversation clearly answers the questions. The candidate demonstrates very well that he has a diverse vocabulary on many different topics – a demonstration of a very advanced knowledge of the language. Some good, academic words are used and the candidate demonstrates his good vocabulary base by using a range of words which relate directly to the subjects asked (eg: mechanisation, of better construction, environmentally friendly, carbon monoxide, ‘as a whole’, to drive (people) towards achievement). He expressed ideas that were clearly his opinions and not a universal truth by saying, “I guess…”, “I believe…”, “I think” and “I would (have to) say..”

This is a good, confident conclusion!

Test 4

Part 1:

Q1: I’d like to talk with you about what you do. Are you a student or do you have a job?

A1: Well, I’m a student. I have been studying full-time, preparing for the IELTS but I’ve also been preparing in my own time for the university courses I plan to take.

Q2: I see. Can you tell me about your studies?           

A2: Yes. I’ve been preparing online for IELTS with Scott’s English Success and it’s been excellent. I’ve learned a number of academic study techniques which I will definitely be able to use in the future, when I begin to study full-time at the university… um… I’ve always felt that emersion learning is the best way to learn a language so I came here to England. If I don’t achieve a 7.0, I won’t be able to study dentistry… which is exactly what I want to do.                 

Q3: What is it you like most about the profession you’re studying?             

A3: Hmmm… well my father is a dentist and he and my mother always wanted me to become one. I guess one of the things I like most about it that you can help people to have good, strong teeth… we need our teeth and we’ll need them all our lives. Do you enjoy going to the dentist? [EXAMINER: Not really!] I know most people hate going to the dentist so my goal – when I become a dentist – is to make it an enjoyable, happy experience for people.

Q4: Is there anything you think you won’t like about your studies?

A4: As I said, I’ve been doing some study into the course in my own time, my own personal study… so I’ll be really ready if I’m accepted into the course…it really depends upon how well I do in this IELTS test! Anyway, I am aware… well my father told me about this…that part of my studies will involve dealing with cadavers – for study of the human anatomy – I don’t think I’m going to like that part of my studies!           

Q5: Ok, good. Is it ok if we talk about your childhood?          

A5: Yes, that would be fine.     

Q6: Well, can you tell me a bit about where you grew up?  

A6: Yes. I was actually born in Alaska in the United States and I grew up in a little town called Palmer… before my family moved to Poland. We lived in Palmer for um…let me think…9 years.              

Q7: Was it a good place to live?

A7: Well, the thing I remember most about living in Palmer was the cold weather that prevailed most of the time. Although it’s over 20 years ago that I lived there, I think that living in Palmer is a lot like living in England… and Poland for that matter! We did have some warm days… in fact on a few occasions in Summer I remember it was very hot, but for most of the year it was typically cold and wet.

Q8: What are some of the fond memories of living in your home town?

A8: Well, actually… I do have some happy memories of the place – playing sports such as baseball and tennis in the summer and football in the winter. But, as I said it was just so cold, the predominant memory I have is that it was cold and wet! However, I had some good friends in Palmer. In fact, one of them I still keep in contact with to this day… he’s married now and his wife just had a baby. Anyway, overall, I guess it was a nice place to live the first 9 or so years of my life.

Part 2: Transcript

Q1: I’m now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say.  I want you to talk about a beach, lake, river or dam you have visited.

Ok.  You have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?

A1: When I was 13 years old, um my family, and I went to Wisconsin in the USA to visit my relatives…um…we stayed at my uncle’s cabin on a lake for…2 weeks. It was during the summer so the water was so warm to swim in – which was different to where I come from it’s always cold and rainy. Staying on the lake was like having our own private beach.  The houses were so spread out that we weren’t close to anyone else. My sister and I and our cousins loved playing in the lake.  We would take blow up rafts out onto the lake near a floating platform and then jump or dive off of it to swim in the water. We tried not to touch the bottom of the lake since it was so shallow, because there were all these little crayfish all over the place and we were afraid that they would pinch our toes, like a crab. I also loved to go fishing on the lake with my Grandpa in a little tin boat.  We did this probably two or three times and we always seemed to catch some sort of fish – mostly bass which we cooked for dinner.  I also remember staying in the basement of the cabin, which to me was really scary because there were all these spiders all over the place and I’m extremely frightened of them! The worst part about the basement was when we had some…um…thunder and lightning storms in the middle of the night – it seemed the shadows of the spiders were enormous when lit up by lightning in the darkness but anyway, it was still a great holiday which I’ll always remember.

Part 3: Transcript

Q1: We’ve been talking about a beach, lake or dam you’ve visited and I’d like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this. Firstly, let’s consider the numbers of people in your country who like to holiday near water. Can you comment on the popularity of holidays near water in your country?

A1: Yes um, holidays by the water are extremely popular in my country. Many of the people travel long distances to holiday beside a lake or the ocean. A couple of times when I was a teenager, my family used to travel to a big dam which had a camping site next to it…and we’ve had many holidays at the beach in the past, too! The most popular time for the beach is, understandably, the summertime…so because people have to travel so far, in the winter most people tend to travel less distance and camp near a lake.

Q2: What do you think are the benefits of having a holiday beside a large body of water?

A2: Um. I’m not really too sure about that one…I could guess that people find it peaceful…different from their usual environment. Yes, I think people like to be close to a large lake or the beach because it is peaceful…Oh, and also the air. Yes, the air is fresher and cleaner…especially at the beach. I remember hearing somewhere that there are a lot of negative ions in the air which work in the body to make you feel good. Yes, I’d say the major benefit is fresh air – a peaceful, healthy atmosphere.

Q3: Can you compare the popularity of beach-side holidays to holidays in the mountains?

A3: Um…well…I think that holidays beside the beach will always be more popular…but maybe I’m being biased, because I prefer the beach to the mountains. I guess skiing holidays are very popular in many countries. However, I believe that if a comparison was done – between seaside holidays and holidays in the mountains – well I think, probably the beach would win, it would be more popular. It could be because there are more beaches than ski mountains, but I’m not too sure. People certainly continue to go on holidays, coastal communities seem to flourish around holiday time. I think beaches are more popular than mountains when it comes to holidays.

Q4: OK, thank-you. I’d like us to lastly consider the issue of water shortage. Can you describe the current water situation in your country?

A4: Well, fortunately in my country we have been blessed with an abundance of rainfall. In the winter, especially, the rains just come and come and come! It seems as though they never stop. Last winter, I remember it rained for nearly 3 weeks continuously! Not all areas receive such good rainfall, but I don’t remember there ever being a drought back home.

Q5: Can you identify ways in which water is improperly used?

A5: Um, well…since I’ve been living in Britain, I’ve been reading about the inappropriate ways people waste water. The number one reason that stood out in my mind was that people fail to simply turn off the tap when they’re finished. This is obviously a problem. Another seems to be people taking long showers or wasting water outside around their gardens…of course this is domestic use of water. I’m not really too sure about how water is misused in industry but I’m sure that it is – especially when waste is dumped into waterways making them unfit for human use.

Q6: Can you suggest ways we can use water more efficiently in the future?

A6: If people remembered the basics…you know, as I mentioned…maybe taking shorter showers or remembering to turn off the tap when they’re not using water. I think it starts with the small things, the individual households, it’s all about education, really. I think governments must also enforce penalties on companies and industries that pollute waterways. In some countries, people catch water in large tanks as it falls on the roofs of houses. Imagine if every household did this…I think this would be an effective use of water!

Test 4 (Analysis)

Part 1: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be understood. Pronunciation is clear and easy to understand. The candidate’s vocabulary is appropriate in relation to the questions asked. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate sounds very relaxed, friendly and confident!

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. The answers are well structured: the questions are answered and in all cases, additional, related details are given.

Content: The responses answer the questions the examiner asks in detail (no one or two word answers!). A good use of a question which involves the examiner in a more friendly way (‘Do you enjoy going to the dentist?’). A wide vocabulary is demonstrated: Study-related vocabulary: immersion learning, cadavers, human anatomy; Descriptions of home: cold weather that prevailed, typically cold and wet, predominant memory. The candidate’s friendly personality and conversational approach is evident right from the very beginning making the experience an enjoyable one for both candidate and examiner. The candidate answers the questions asked with good examples.

This is a good, confident start!

Part 2: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate’s use of words/vocabulary shows she can communicate on the topic effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate sounds relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate comes through and through the use of vocal variety, the topic is made more interesting through the recounting of an interesting story.

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked on the Candidate Card. The first three points are answered in the first sentence leaving most of the time to expand upon the last point (why you remember visiting it).

Content: Remember the question required the candidate to discuss:

1. where it was

2. why you went there

3. when you went there and;

4. explain why you remember visiting it.

All of these aspects of the question were answered. Good expression was used. The vocabulary was varied and descriptive. She concluded the speech by returning to the original, main point (why she remembered it) and gave good reasons why she did. Her concluding statement gave her speech a sense of ‘finality’. One of the interesting things about the presentation is that the whole speech was a recount of a story. Because it is usually easy to talk about a past experience (like a holiday), it is a good idea to recount a personal story.

This is a good, confident continuation of the test!

Part 3: Analysis

Why this answer would score well…

The Basics: The candidate’s voice is loud and clear enough to be easily understood. Pronunciation is excellent and the candidate’s use of words/vocabulary shows she can communicate on each topic raised by the examiner effectively. There are no grammatical inaccuracies.

Presentation: The candidate continues to sound relaxed and confident. The personality of the candidate continues to come through and builds upon the rapport established through Parts 1 & 2.

Structure: The candidate responds appropriately to the questions asked. Firstly, she answers the question then conversationally, she expands upon the topic. In other words, a point is made and then additional, related details are given.

Content: The information presented in the conversation clearly answers the questions. The candidate demonstrates very well that she has a diverse vocabulary on many different topics – a demonstration of a very advanced knowledge of the language. Some good, academic words are used and the candidate demonstrates her good vocabulary base by using a range of words which relate directly to the subjects asked (eg: negative ions, if a comparison was done, coastal communities seem to flourish, an abundance). It was interesting how when she was asked one question (the benefits of holidaying by the water) she had no idea about what to say and appeared to say the first things on her mind. She openly and honestly said, “I’m not really too sure about that one…”. However, as the time went on she quickly appeared to get her ideas together and ended up turning a negative situation into a positive one! She expressed ideas that were clearly her opinions by saying, “I believe…”, “I’d say…” and “I guess…”

This is a good, confident conclusion!

Test 5

Part 1:

Q1: Let’s begin by talking about your neighbourhood.  What kinds of activities are there to do in your neighbourhood area?

A1: My neighbourhood.  Well, let’s see…things to do…um.  Well, there are a lot of things to do in my neighbourhood.  I live in a suburb of Brisbane, Australia called Belmont.  Because many people are moving to my area from the colder southern climates, my neighbourhood is growing and so too are the facilities.  For example, construction on a new park with children’s playground and barbeque facilities was just completed.  It’s a great place for activities. Picnics, family games, walking the dog…that sort of thing.  Also, more and more shopping centers are being built so shopping is another popular activity in my neighbourhood area.

Q2: What is it about your neighbourhood that you like least?

A2: Do you mean things about my neighbourhood that I don’t like?

[examiner: Ah, yes]

Um, that’s quite a difficult question…Well, to be honest, I like everything about my home town!  Let’s see…well I guess one thing I would change um, that I don’t like…is the lights in the street – there are simply not enough of them!  When the night comes, it’s so dark in my neighbourhood that visitors have said to me that the place feels kind of unfriendly.  If it’s a cloudy night, it’s true, it’s very dark…so that is one thing I guess I like least about my neighbourhood.   Of course, we have lots of lights in our homes and outdoor lights in our yards, it’s just that when you are out on the road – driving or walking – my neighbourhood is too dark. 

Q3: Ok, that’s interesting.  What changes would you make to your neighbourhood?

A3: Well, as I mentioned, I think my neighbourhood – at night time – is a little too dark.  I guess one of the recommendations that’s made to our local government is to install some new street lighting.  So, if I was able to make a change in my neighbourhood, I guess it would be the installation of more street lighting…um…yea…some more lights would be good… 

Q4: Good.  Let’s talk a little about the topic of writing.  Do you enjoy writing? 

A4: To be honest, no.  I’ve never really enjoyed writing.  I find it incredibly boring!  It seems as though my brain works faster than I can write and I end up forgetting all my good ideas before I have a chance to write them down!  Of course, I am planning to go to university so I’m going to have to get used to more and more writing.  The funny thing is that I did quite well with my writing in high school.  Anyway, I’d rather be outside than stuck indoors writing stuff!

Q5: What is the best piece of writing you have ever written and what made it so memorable? A5: Best piece of writing?  Ah, that’s easy!  It was a poem I wrote, believe it or not, when I was in primary school.  The poem was included in our school yearbook – it’s a book that summarises the events that occurred in the school throughout the year.  My father and mother were so proud – they bought two copies of the yearbook!  Anyway, it was a poem about my new brother and sister…at the time I was 12 and my mother had had twins!  But that’s not the end of the story!  The next year, my…my first year in high school we had to write a poem on the topic of family.  Well, I copied my poem from the previous year and presented it to the teacher.  Well, the next week I was shocked to receive a 9 out of 10 for the poem – the best ‘A’ I’d ever received!  Later on the teacher told my mother that she would have loved to have had another child and that my poem made her cry! 

Q6: Do you think students are writing more or less these days?  What are some of the advantages of being a good writer?

A6: In my opinion, I think students are generally writing more these days.  Not necessarily with pen or pencil but I think typing on the computer – emails, Internet messaging, MSN…that kind of thing. 

I think it’s a big advantage to be a good writer.  A person who can write effectively and decisively has a tremendous advantage over those who can not.  A good writer, for example, who is studying in university will achieve higher scores for assignments.  If a student achieves higher marks for assignments, then it is a high possibility that he or she will get a better, higher paying job in the future.  Another advantage of being a good writer…it’s just come to my mind now…is that their writing is not confusing.  Sometimes I read, for example, the messages left for me by my sister and they’re difficult to understand because she’s a poor writer!

Q7: Ok.  Please tell me about your favourite piece of writing – it may be a book, magazine or a newspaper.

A7: My favourite piece of writing.  Well, I’m not a big reader but I guess one of my favourite pieces of writing is a book.  It’s called the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen Covey.  I heard that this book as written as part of his PhD dissertation.  I have read it several times and I feel that it’s a very valuable book in building better relationships with others.  Over the years, I’ve encouraged others to read this book.

Part 2: Transcript

Q1: Ok, that’s good.  I’m now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say.  I want you to talk about an effective commercial or advertisement you have seen…

Ok, you have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?

A1: The most effective television commercial I’ve ever seen was shown many years ago.  I remember it was for an insurance company.  I’ve seen many effective ads in my life but I decided to talk to you about this one because it was so effective that I still remember it today, even though I was a child when I first saw it. 

I remember sitting in the kitchen – I think I was doing some homework on the kitchen table – and all of a sudden I could hear this loud, uncontrollable laughter coming from the lounge room.  I rushed in to see what was going on.  My sister and my father were both laughing at an insurance ad that was being shown on TV.  I remember looking at the TV and seeing lots of different animals ‘talking’ to each other!  It was really, really clever and they were saying some funny things.  I’d never seen anything like that before.  Let’s see… there was a lizard, he was sitting outside the window, a cat, a dog and the most talkative animal was a beautiful, sulphur-crested cockatoo who kept squawking, “Who stole the TV?  Who stole the TV?”  All of the animals talking to each other made it really memorable and to this day I still remember the name of the insurance company, Eagle Insurance.

Over the years I’ve seen other companies feature animals in their commercials but for some reason, in my opinion…they’re not as effective as the Eagle Insurance ad.  To this day, when I think about this TV commercial, I can picture my Dad and sister laughing so hard…it still makes me laugh!

Part 3: Transcript

Q1: OK.  We’ve been talking about an effective advertisement that you remember and I’d like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this.  Firstly, let’s consider the effect of advertising.  What effect do you think advertising has on people today?

A1: Well, ultimately, the biggest effect that advertising can have is it makes a person do something – go out to a shop and purchase something, I guess.  Perhaps it was something that a person was not planning to buy, or even thought to buy.  This makes advertising a powerful medium…it can make people do something that perhaps they had no intention of doing – until they saw the ad.  And also, advertising can have the effect of educating people.  If an individual doesn’t know about a product – how, for example, it can help or satisfy a need – they can learn about the benefits of a particular product and this, I think, is a good effect. 

Q2: Can you give reasons why people pay more for certain brands and less for others?

A2: Yes.  This is an interesting question.  In my opinion, the reason people pay extra for a particular product is due to how the product is advertised.  Usually, for example, clothing companies like Ralph Lauren, Polo or Calvin Klein, use lots of beautiful people, you know, attractive or good looking people…sometimes movie stars…to advertise their products.  Somehow, I think people who see these ads – either on TV or in magazines – see these people and want to identify themselves with such people… they want to be like these people so they pay extra money on the clothes.  I guess the desire to ‘belong or identify’ with a particular group makes people pay more for certain brands and less for others. 

Some products are known to be cheap and so people don’t feel special when they buy them.  For example in the supermarket, there’s a brand called Black and Gold – everyone in my country knows that this brand is the cheapest type of product you can buy…so this product is associated with people who are not successful, who don’t have much money…so people don’t pay much for Black and Gold products.              

Q3: Good.  We see advertising everywhere – on TV, in the newspaper, the internet and many other places.  Which form of advertising do you think is the most effective and why?

A3: At the moment, I think TV is still the most effective medium for advertising.  The reason for this is the picture quality is very good and so is the sound.  Unlike Internet, even with broadband, there are delays while things download.  Oh, and those popup ads are so annoying!  Yea, TV is the most effective but I suppose in the near future, the Internet will become just as popular…maybe even more so…providing that information can be downloaded quicker than it does now.

Q4: OK.  Let’s now consider how advertising standards are set and maintained.  Who do you think should be responsible for standards in advertising?

A4: In my country, the government is responsible for advertising standards.  I’m not sure how they decide what is ok and what is not ok.  Some of the stuff that they show on TV for example is not, in my opinion, appropriate.  Some of the ads for example, use swear words…you know, bad language that people shouldn’t use.  I’m not sure exactly who in the government has the final say on what is or isn’t appropriate, I’m not sure about who decides the standard.  I think there is a diversity of opinion on this topic…I guess, overall they do a pretty good job.

Q5: Can you suggest how advertising should be regulated or controlled?

A5: Um…that’s a tough question…I’m not exactly sure about the regulations for advertising in my country.  As I said, I believe the government is responsible for controlling the standards.  But if the standards were up to me…if I was responsible for regulating and controlling the advertising standards, I would begin by drafting a…um…a list, yea, a list for example, that would clearly state what is ok and what is not ok.  For example, certain language such as foul language or content that’s termed ‘adult’ I think should be eliminated altogether from TV…in fact all print media, as far as I’m concerned.  I guess that this would have to be enforced by the government because if somebody broke the rules, it would be up to the government to enforce the law.

Q6: Ok.  One last question.  Do you think there are any dangers associated with advertising?

A6: Yes, I believe there are numerous dangers associated with advertising.  There’s an attitude that can occur amongst people who want to ‘keep up with others’ and they can become obsessed with each new thing that comes out.  The problem is that they’ll never be satisfied because there are always new products coming out…so it’s an impossible dream! 

Another danger with advertising, in my opinion, is that advertising can in a way, influence the standards of society – sometimes for bad.  People see certain advertisements and they – either overtly or subliminally – can feel compelled to buy the products.  Sometimes, these products can be harmful to society.  For example, cigarettes…in the early days, ads for cigarettes were popular on TV and they’re still advertised in print media.  This kind of advertising had…and continues to have…a real negative effect on the health of millions of people around the world!

Test 6

Part 1:

Q1: Let’s first talk about your country.  Describe a house you lived in, in your home country.  

A1: My house…umm, let’s see.  Well, I was actually born in America.  I lived there for 16 years.  My father worked for a mining company and so we moved around quite a lot.  Anyway, um, the house I remember most was a cedar house up in Alaska.  We lived there when I was…um…I guess most of my teenage years, from, from um, 8 years to around 20.  And the house?  Let’s see…it had three floors.  My bedroom was on the first floor.  You see, in Alaska it’s dark for almost half the year and the first floor was built into the ground…it was a great house.  Anyway, my sister and I had a room on the first floor.  Then on the second floor there was the main living areas and a spare bedroom…actually it used to be a study.  The third floor was basically my parent’s bedroom with a large, open, study area.  It actually looked like a loft because you could see down into the second floor from the top floor.  Anyway, it was warm in winter and cool in summer.  It was a great home to live in.

Q2: OK.  What about changes in your country?  In what ways do you think your country has changed over the past five or ten years? 

A2: Oh, changes in my country…hmm.  Well, the country has changed quite a bit actually.  New housing and retail buildings are being built.  New areas of real estate seem to be appearing everywhere.  Unfortunately, not all the changes are positive.  I was listening to the news the other day on the radio and the reporter was saying that crime had increased – especially theft, burglaries and shoplifting.  I guess one change I’ve noticed in my country is that people are more cautious and reserved…they don’t seem as friendly as they used to be.  People are, you know, kind of looking over their shoulders to see if…well…someone is going to steal something from them.  I think this is a real shame.  Yes, the country has changed…I don’t think it’s as friendly as it used to be…and that’s only happened over the past 5 or so years.

Q3: Do you consider that the changes in your country over the past 5 or 10 years have been positive or negative?  Why?

A3: Well, as I said, there have been both positive and negative changes.  Of course, if people are being robbed, then the impact of this is that people are less friendly and more ‘guarded’ if you know what I mean…obviously negative.  On the other hand, new infrastructure, you know, new houses and buildings being built I consider positive because…well it provides a lot of jobs for people.  When there’s more money around, people spend more and the country enjoys growth.  That’s definitely a positive!

Q4: Ok.  Let’s talk about living in another country.  What do you like about living in another country? 

A4: Well, living here in Canada has been good and bad.  Of course the experience of doing things that I normally wouldn’t get to do, like going skiing, is fantastic!  I went to Bamff for a ski holiday a few months ago.  But I miss some of the food from my country…but I find that for some reason I’m eating less!  I guess the food is…I don’t know…heavier or heavier in my stomach.  I’m not sure how it works but I’m losing weight so that’s great!

Experiencing another culture is also a really great thing.  It opens your eyes to the differences that exist in the world.  I think every person, especially when they’re younger…you know, in their 20s or 30s should take the opportunity to experience living in another country – it’s a fabulous thing to do!

Q5: Ok.  What do you dislike about living in another country?

A5: I thought you might ask this question!  I guess the first thing that comes to mind is the food.  It seems that food here in Canada is quite bland.  I don’t know why, but the food back home tends to be more…spicy, more full of flavour.  Umm…oh and I miss my family of course!  Even though I call at least once a week, I do miss my family a lot.  I know that it’s to be expected but it’s something I dislike about living in another country.

I definitely feel that there are more positives than negatives about living in another country…but I do miss my mother’s home-cooked food and my family.

Q6: Fine.  Let’s move on to the topic of study at home.  How do you usually approach your homework?

A6: I hate homework!  Do you know anyone who likes homework?  I’m a real procrastinator when it comes to homework and this is a real problem, I know, but I find that I can waste hours before I actually seriously start to sit down and do my homework.  Anyway, the teacher usually assigns us homework and I usually go to my room after dinner and try and complete it.  I try and eliminate distractions – sometimes I’ll even turn off my mobile phone!  If I’m under pressure…which usually happens because of my procrastination, I’ll be forced to work for one hour and then take a 10-minute break then study again for another hour and then another 10-minute break.  This continues on and on until the homework, assignment, project or whatever it is that I’m working on is finished…one hour on and 10 minutes off.  It’s worked ok for me in the past.

Q7: What are the advantages of studying at home?

A7: Well the big advantage of studying at home is you can stay in your pyjamas!  I tend to waste a lot of time getting ready for school and then there’s the travel to school – which takes me about 1 hour each way.  All the preparation and travelling is eliminated when you study at home – this is a real advantage.

When you’re at home, it’s possible to create a ‘distraction-free’ environment.  I guess you can be more in control of your environment.  No one walks by and starts chatting to you and you can turn off your mobile phone.  You can shut the door.  I think this is another advantage…yeah, being able to control your learning environment is good.

Q8: What about longer written assignments?  How do you plan and organise longer writing assignments? 

A8: Remember what I said before about being a procrastinator?  Well, assignments are not very happy times for me!  Usually I end up waiting until the night before and stay up all night.  Coffee becomes my best friend and I get no sleep.  It’s definitely not the way that I recommend planning for and writing assignments!  I suppose I should start two or three weeks in advance, but I probably won’t…

Part 2: Transcript

Q1: Ok that’s good.  I’m now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say.  I want you to talk about a sportsperson you respect.

Ok, you have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?

A1: A sportsperson I respect is a man I knew nothing about before coming to Canada.  He’s an ice hockey player who is a national hero in Canada even though he’s retired.  His name is Wayne Gretzky.  I first saw Wayne Gretzky not long after I arrived in Vancouver.  At that time I was living with my host family.  They had a show on TV about ice hockey and there was an interview with Gretzky.  During the interview they showed some of the highlights of his career.  Even though I know almost nothing about ice hockey, I could tell that he was a great player.  You could see him score many goals and the crowd was cheering so loudly and he won many, many awards. 

But this is not why I respect him.  You see, during the interview, they asked him about how he felt about homeless and disadvantaged children.  He told the interviewer that he was very passionate about homeless and disadvantaged children and how he had started a foundation to assist them in their difficult circumstances.  I was…um…very moved by his attitude.  I felt like I saw the ‘real’ Wayne Gretzky, a caring and compassionate man who wanted to help others less fortunate than himself.  I was very impressed.  Since then, I’ve been more interested in ice hockey, in fact I just bought a ‘best of Wayne Gretzky’ DVD.  I’ve become a real fan!

Part 3: Transcript

Q1: We’ve been talking about a sportsperson you admire and I’d like to now discuss one or two more questions that are related to this.  Firstly, let’s consider the role of professional sports.   What is the role of professional sports in your country? 

A1: In my country, professional sports are a major form of entertainment.  Sportspeople are idolised – especially the soccer players.  It’s amazing to see how people treat the sportspeople, it’s like they can do no wrong…they are treated better than the president of the country – like kings and queens!  Professional sportspeople are powerful people in our society.  They have a lot of influence…especially over the young people. 

I guess it’s the same in most countries – the young people want to grow up to be like their sporting hero.  In this way, the role of professional sports is an important one – they can have tremendous influence over the younger generation.  They can encourage the younger children to get out and be more active…too many young people are sitting at home in front of the TV.  Professional sports can motivate others to get out and participate in sports!  It’s also often an opportunity for families to go out together and enjoy the entertainment of professional sports…some families never miss a game!

Q2: Ok, what about salaries?  Please compare the salaries of professional sportspeople with those of other professions in your country.

A2: Well, personally, I think that professional sportspeople are paid way too much!  It’s ridiculous to me that a professional sportsperson could make so much money.  Why should a professional sportsperson make more money than, say…a teacher!  A teacher has a much bigger influence on the development of the younger generation and yet, you couldn’t even compare the salaries of the two professions.  The elite, professional sportsperson can make millions, the teacher only thousands!  I think that professional sportspeople are greatly overpaid compared to, say, even what a doctor or dentist makes.  I guess not all professional sportspeople make millions but, generally speaking they make more money than the other professions.  I guess sporting entertainment is big business!

Q3: In many countries, professional sports people are very highly respected and treated like national heroes.  Do you agree or disagree with the high status of sporting professionals?

A3: As I mentioned previously, professional sportspeople are highly regarded by the younger generation.  By the way, it’s not all the ‘younger generation’, there are a lot of older people who idolise professional sports people in my country. 

For me, I guess, as long as the sportsperson is encouraging others to be a better person, I think it’s okay for them to have a high status in society.  I think professional sportspeople should encourage others – especially the youth – to lead a healthy lifestyle, to get outdoors and participate in a sport.  To be even-tempered and play fair…good sportsmanship, this is extremely important. 

Unfortunately, however, too many sportspeople set a poor example.  Just recently, a well-paid soccer star in my country was found to have some illegal substances in his body – yes, he’d been taking drugs.  What kind of effect does this have on the younger ones who love him and want to be like him?  Maybe they think they can take drugs like him too?  So, I guess when it comes to high status – there’s good and bad associated with it.

Q4: Good.  Let’s now consider the role of advertising in sports.  Why do you think some companies spend such big money on advertising in sports?

A4: From what we’ve discussed so far, the answer’s fairly obvious, don’t you think?  Because so many people come to watch these sporting spectacles and thousands and thousands, perhaps millions, who watch them at home, it makes me think that this must be a great place for people to advertise their products and services.  I think this is probably why some companies spend such big money.

Q5: Are there any products that you think should not be advertised during sporting events?

A5: Yes.  Cigarettes.  That was a fast answer, wasn’t it?  No, seriously, I watched my grandfather slowly die from throat cancer due to smoking.  It made a very powerful impression on me.  I loved my grandfather and it was so devastating that he died as a result of smoking.  Since so many young people watch the sports, they may be influenced to purchase cigarettes.  In my opinion, any products that are harmful to humans should not be advertised during sporting events.

Q6: Can you comment on whether money spent on advertising will increase or decrease in the future?

A6: Well, as long as there is wealth in our nations, I believe the advertising revenues will continue to increase.  In societies where people have excess money and time on their hands, they’ll continue to spend it at sporting events.  This will, in turn, lead to big numbers of interested people at the stadiums and watching on TV.  Wherever there are lots of people, you will find advertising!  I believe the money spent on advertising will continue to increase as the years go by.  Of course, if there is an economic crisis, I think this would all change quite quickly.

Test 7

Part 1:

Q1: Can we talk about your country?  Tell me about the kinds of sports that are popular in your country.  

A1: Yes, I come from New Zealand.  In terms of sports there are two distinct seasons – summer and winter.  In the winter, Rugby Union is the most popular sport.  People are especially interested in their beloved ‘All Blacks’ – our country’s champion rugby team.  In the summer, there’s cricket.  Not as many people are as interested in the cricket…because our national team – the ‘black caps’ – are not as successful on the world cricketing stage.

Q2: Are there any sports that are only played by either men or women in your country? 

A2: Do you mean exclusively men or women?  [Examiner: Yes]  Well…of course, rugby is played only by men.  I’m not sure if we have any women’s rugby teams…I don’t think we do.  Rugby’s definitely dominated by men…the same is true for cricket – although we do have a national ladies team.  There is one sport that we are internationally famous for and it’s Netball.  Have you ever played netball?  It’s a bit like basketball except you can’t bounce the ball and the ball is a little bit smaller than a basketball.  To score a point in netball, a player has to throw the ball through a hoop – as in basketball except the goal has no backboard, it’s just a hoop at the end of a pole.  Netball is played only by women…our national team is called ‘The Ferns’ and I believe we are the best in the world, the world champions.  Everyone is really proud of our women’s netball team!  It seems no one can beat us well, for the moment, anyway!

Q3: Are there any sports in your country that are becoming more popular than they were in the past?

A3: I’d definitely say that Ruby League – one of our winter sports – is becoming more popular in New Zealand.  I don’t think it’ll ever become more popular than Rugby Union…but since we started participation in the national Australian Rugby League competition, New Zealanders have become more interested in this version of rugby.  I’d say that our New Zealand team, the Auckland Warriors, has brought more popularity to the rugby league code in New Zealand.

Q4: OK.  Let’s talk about housework.  Do you do much housework where you are currently living?

A4: Ha!  Housework what’s that?  At the moment, I’m sharing an apartment with 3 other guys…messy fellows they are!  Our apartment looks like a disaster zone most of the time!  Dishes in the sink, rubbish on the floor, beds unmade the place looks terrible!  I need to do more housework…you know, be responsible for my own living area.  One thing I’ve learned from living away from home…I really appreciate all the work my mother did to keep our house clean in the past.

Q5: Good.  What do you think is the most important household job?  Why?

A5: Most important?  Umm, well, that would involve keeping things hygienic, particularly with food.  Keeping food well looked after – things like chicken and other meats…but chicken in particular…can become very dangerous if it’s not kept refrigerated.  A friend of mine had food poisoning and it was a terrible thing to witness – it made me realise that good hygiene in relation to food is absolutely essential!

Q6: How did you share household tasks when you were growing up? 

A6: That’s easy!  My sister and I were responsible for doing the dishes – she washed and I dried.  I was always responsible for drying the dishes.  I got sick of this job…but now I still do it!  There’s no escaping the dishes!  Umm, let’s see…household tasks…well, Mum expected us to make our beds every day – especially as we got older.  In fact as we got older, we were given more and more jobs to do – that’s how it seemed anyway.  I ended up being responsible for folding all the clean washing in my house.  As the years passed, I gradually ‘branched out’ – no pun intended – into the garden!  I was the household’s chief gardener…and I must say I enjoyed it.     

Q7: What about changes in housework in the future?  Can you talk about why or why not housework will change in the future?

A7: Changes in housework…well…I can’t see it getting much more different than it is today.  I mean the electric dishwasher and the washing machine they’re pretty modern machines.  I guess if someone invented self-cleaning plates and utensils that would be pretty amazing…maybe a dishwasher built into the table where you eat…now that would be amazing.  But someone would still have to put them away once they are cleaned and dried!  I’m not too sure about how household jobs will change in the future, but I guess they will.

Part 2: Transcript

Q1: Ok that’s good.  I’m now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say.  I want you to describe a company or organization where a relative or friend works.

Ok.  You have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?

A1: Well, what I’m going to talk about is the organization my Dad works for.  He’s a school teacher and the name of the school he works for is Wellington High School.  Of course, as its name suggests, it’s located in Wellington, in the southern part of New Zealand.  Ever since I was a boy, Dad worked at Wellington…he started back…um well I think it was in the early 1980s…yes, in 1981…because they recently him a special watch celebrating 25 years of service at the school.  Anyway, Dad really enjoys his job he teaches Mathematics and Science and I’ve often wondered how a person can stay in a job for so many years but Dad says he’ll never leave – he loves being a high school teacher.

One of the things that I often hear him talk about is that ‘teachers can make a difference in the lives of others’.  When he says this it’s usually after a student has called or written to thank him for helping them to get into university or to achieve some other goal.  This really makes him happy.  I guess there are a lot of advantages to being a teacher.  Teachers in New Zealand, get quite a lot of holidays and the hours aren’t too long…and the pay is quite good too.  I guess a disadvantage in teaching is when the students don’t really want to learn the subject and they can tend to be badly behaved.  Anyway, Dad really likes his job and that’s great.  Perhaps one day I’ll follow in his footsteps…

Part 3: Transcript

Q1: We’ve been talking about a company in which a relative or friend works and I’d like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this.  Firstly, let’s consider what makes a job attractive or unattractive to people.  Can you suggest some of the most important things people look for in their jobs?

A1: Yes, well I’d have to say pay is one of the main things people look for in their jobs.  People want to be well paid for the work they do.  I think ‘working conditions’ is another area that people carefully consider when they begin working.  If the place has no basic facilities, people get upset.  In my country, workers must get access to a refrigerator; they must have a lunch room or a place to eat in peace and quiet.  They must have a safe working environment and our government has laws to ensure this is the case.  I think holidays are also a big thing people look for when it comes to work.  Everyone needs to take a break from work so holidays are a big consideration for many people.  Umm, some people look for after-hours employee activities.  You know, staff parties, sports days, that kind of thing.  I guess the most important thing is job satisfaction.  If a person is satisfied with his or her job, then usually, the other things naturally follow on.

Q2: Ok.  Let’s talk some more about working conditions.  Tell me about any changes in staff working conditions that have occurred in recent years in your country.

A2: Well…I’m not too sure about this one.  Working conditions…well, the government is responsible for making sure that the working conditions are fair for workers.  Um…come to think of it, there was a change that happened recently.  I’m not sure about all the details but it gave employers…you know, bosses, more power to terminate employees if they weren’t doing their jobs satisfactorily.  Of course, many people were angry that more power was being put in the hands of the bosses but, in my opinion, I think it’s fair.  I mean, if a person is not doing their job well enough and is given enough warning about how they should change, and they don’t…well, then they should be asked to leave…the job should be given to one who will do it well.

Q3: OK.  Good.  Could you please comment on any jobs which are no longer done in your country.

A3: Jobs no longer done.  Umm, (I’ve) never really thought about that before…jobs no longer done.  You mean, jobs that were done in the past but are no longer done today? [Examiner: YES].  Well, I guess farming has changed.  You know, the old-style farming with the ox and the plough.  Now we use machinery to do the job.  When I was a boy, we used to use horses and carts to deliver milk to homes in the morning.  Now, of course we use trucks.  I guess new technologies have changed industries.  The record manufacturers needed to change to CDs so that job has changed too!  

Q4: To what extent is the Internet and the computer a part of people’s jobs these days?

A4: Um, well the Internet and computer is very much a part of most jobs today.  I guess some occupations like a chef or a builder might not rely too much on the Internet however, I bet they use a computer when it comes to placing an order for new supplies.  Actually, I can’t think of a single job right now that wouldn’t make use of a computer.  I guess Internet usage would be less than computer use.  It probably depends on the job you do as to whether or not you’d use the Internet.  I mean, if you were a teacher, you’d probably use the internet to read up on the latest teaching methods or things like that.  If you were a banker, you’d use the internet for information about your job too.  I think both the Internet and the computer play a really big part in most people’s jobs these days.

Q5: Ok.  Globally, which industries do you think will employ the most people in the future?

A5: Well I’m interested in communications and I think that the communications industry will employ the most people in the future.  I mean look at the number of people who use a mobile phone these days.  Everyone, it seems throughout Asia, Europe, Australia the USA…they’re everywhere!  The Internet also comes under this category.  The Internet will continue to be used more and more all over the world.  It’s a cheap way to communicate and it’s great!  It’s fast and it’s effective.  Regular telephones in people’s homes are also part of the communications industry.  It’s so huge.  I heard a few months ago that a big telephone company invested, I think it was 2 or 3 billion dollars in the UK.  It made me think that communications are going to be very important in the future.

Q6: One final question.  Work takes up a lot of people’s time.  Can you suggest ways people can find a balance between work and leisure activities?

A6: A balance between work and leisure is very important.  Some people spend too much time at work.  When they’re old and about to die, most people regret all the time they spent at work and wish they’d spent more time on other things…particularly their family.

One suggestion that comes to mind is for people to take the time to actually schedule and plan their time.  Too many people let life happen to them, they tend to be reactive instead of being considered and well-planned.  To achieve a balance between work and leisure, we’ve got to plan to be balanced or we won’t be…and time will pass by and we’ll end up spending more time on one or the other.

TEST 8

Part 1: 

Q1: Can we talk about your hometown?  What kinds of activities do most people do in their free time in your hometown?

A1: Well, my hometown is a small town located in a place called Palmer which in Alaska, in the USA.  In the summer time, people often go to the tennis courts and play tennis.  Baseball is also very popular in my hometown – a lot of students play it.  Younger grade or primary school children join little league baseball and the bigger kids play for the junior baseball team – sometimes, we’d go and cheer them on.  A lot of people like to go for a bike ride to the corner shop for an ice cream or go fishing, but the most popular summer activity is going swimming at Lake Wasilla.  In winter, well that’s another story.  There’s much more to do in the winter!  Skiing – cross country or downhill; sledding – in your back yard or down a mountain; ice-skating; riding on a snow machine – as younger kids, we would take adventures in the woods just riding around for hours.  Um, ice hockey, ice-fishing that’s about it for the winter! 

Q2: What do you like doing best in your free time and why?

A2: I love to go swimming at the lake because it’s just my favourite activity.  Um, my friends are there, it’s good exercise, you get suntanned…um, and I like to look at all the interesting creatures in the water – crayfish, leeches and minnows…um, I like going fishing because I love catching fish and seeing the different kinds of fish I can catch, it’s a real challenge!  I really enjoy eating the fish after I’ve caught it.  I have to gut it and then I can cook it for dinner.  Sometimes we’d find gold specks in Montanna River which was my favourite fishing spot.  We go there with Dad in the summer and I’m really looking forward to our next fishing trip!

Q3: How important is free time to people in your country?               

A3: Well, in the summer, it’s very important because we only have 3 months of summer, to spend outdoors.  If people are busy working, then they don’t get much time to enjoy the great outdoors.  You see, for seven months out of the year, we have extreme cold and darkness so a lot of people work hard during the winter.  People only have the weekends to do activities.  In the summer the sun doesn’t set until around 11pm so people make the most of the extra daylight hours and enjoy their free time.

Q4: Ok.  Can we talk a little about your childhood? Tell me about the place where you grew up.

A4: The place where I grew up was a small town with a population of about um…5,000 people.  I lived in a small valley with lots of mountains and snow.  It is situated in the Matanuska-Susitna valley.  The name of the town is Palmer.  The valley has its own glacier…it is about a 1-hour drive from Palmer.  Ok, what else…um, the first colony arrived in 1930 so it’s a very historical town – they have the original train depot from the 1940s, in fact, my uncle was a child of one of the first colonists.  Um, my house.  My house was at the foot of a mountain called Lazy Mountain and my Dad built our house – it was made of timber, because timber keeps the house warmer than brick or concrete.

Q5: When you were a child, where did you usually play?

A5: I played on the gravel road just outside my house…’cause our roads weren’t paved…we played in the puddles, across from our house.  There was a big mountain of dirt that my sister and I always played on with the neighbourhood kids.  We’d play ‘king of the mountain’.  Sometimes we’d try and climb Lazy Mountain… actually it was a stream at the base of the mountain that we used to play in.  There was a huge field across from my house and in the winter we used to go cross-country skiing across it, it was great fun.  My skis were red and about half a metre long! 

Q6: Was your hometown a good place for children?

A6: Oh yes, definitely.  There was lots of space, lots of wooded areas…the forest.  My house was in the forest and we always used to go exploring there.  We’d look for wild berries.  We’d walk to the Matanuska River and sink our toes into the glacial silt.  There was lots of glacial silt which is very, very fine dirt, almost like mud.  It was like quicksand, you’d sink in it.  Actually it could be quite dangerous.  Some people actually died visiting the Matanuska River.  They’d get stuck in the mud when the tide was out and then the tide would come in and they couldn’t get free from the mud, they’d end up drowning.  This happens almost every year to this day.  It’s very sad when you hear of it on the news.  So it was good but also dangerous for children in my hometown.

Q7: Is childhood today different from when you were a child?

A7: Yes.  When I was a child we didn’t have computers or mobile phones, the Internet, Playstation, Nintendo…far less TV.  We did more outdoor activities.  We’d be gone for a couple of hours away from home playing in the woods and Mom didn’t even care!  The environment I grew up in was much safer than it is in the world today.  I think it was much healthier the way I grew up…safer and healthier.  I want the same for my own children. 

Part 2: Transcript

Q1: I’m now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say.  I want you to describe the best present you ever received.

Ok.  You have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?

A1: The best present I received – which is one I remember distinctly – was when I was girl of 5.  Of course, I’ve received more expensive presents over the years but I remember this one most clearly!  In fact, I’ll never forget it.  It was a BIG surprise…our family was celebrating a festival and it was the custom to give gifts to each other.  I remember we were feasting in a 6-bed R.V…um that’s Recreational Vehicle…at the famous Alaska State Fairgrounds.  We had just come home from a session during the festival and I remember the gift was sitting on the kitchen table in the R.V. all wrapped up with a bow on top.  My present was larger than my sister’s and I wondered what it could be!  I was so excited!  My sister opened her small gift and it was a Mickey Mouse watch with a red watch band.  I began to open mine and to my surprise, it was a brand new, shiny, little red cash register.  I was so happy!  You see, I loved cash registers.  I’m not really sure why.  Maybe it was because I loved money!  Anyway, it was made of red metal, with all the neat little buttons on it.  It actually opened when you pushed a particular button and all the fake money was sitting in the little compartments inside the register.  I used to play ‘cash register’ all the time. 

I’ve done a lot of jobs with cash registers over the years – which is probably as a result of my love for cash registers as a little child.  As a child, that little red cash register was certainly the best present I ever got!  

Part 3: Transcript

Q1: We’ve been talking about the best present you have ever received and I’d like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this.  Firstly, let’s consider giving presents and gift-giving.  When do people typically give gifts in your country?

A1: Well, the most popular time to give gifts is when a person has a birthday.  There are other times such as weddings, anniversaries…a lot of people in my country give presents at Christmas time too.  Other less popular times are for bridal showers, baby showers and bar-mitzvahs.  Of course, the gifts vary depending upon the budget…me, I usually give less-expensive gifts.  For example CDs or chocolates…those kinds of things. 

Q2: OK.  Can you comment on popular gifts children receive these days?

A2: Children’s gifts…um…well…these days, children often receive more expensive gifts such as video games – either Playstation or Ninetendo or Xbox.  Also, they tend to receive a bike or computer games or expensive toys.  Smaller children often receive popular action figures (superman, batman, those kinds of things) or stuffed animals that are popular TV characters — Thomas the Tank Engine, Winnie The Pooh, Mickey Mouse.  Actually, my little niece recently had a birthday and she got all kinds of gifts…I bought her a small doll and some clothes for her to dress the doll…it wasn’t expensive but she was so happy to get this gift!

Q3: How have gifts given to children changed since you were a child?

A3: When I was a child, I didn’t have video games or computers.  I remember receiving gifts that were more practical and that made me physically active or think and use my imagination.  Gifts such as a kite, baseball glove, or ice skates, and then crafty things like a children’s sewing machine, crocheting, artist sketch book with markers…a kind of gift where you learned to draw and paint.  I suppose you’d find these gifts given nowadays but back when I was a girl, there were definitely not computer or video games given.

Q4: Let’s talk about charitable gift-giving organisations.  Describe some of the charitable organisations that give gifts in your country?

A4: I can really only think of a few gift-giving organisations…the ‘Make-a-Wish’ foundation, for one.  This organisation, I believe, grants seriously ill children their greatest wish…for instance, the Foundation will send children to Disneyland if they have never been, and are desperately wanting to go…you know, if that’s their greatest wish. 

The other one I can think of is the Ronald McDonald House…which is a place where parents can stay to be near the hospital when their children are hospitalised for a serious illness.  I’m not sure if this is totally correct or not but I’ve heard that the McDonald’s hospital or Ronald McDonald house…it subsidises the cost of medical expenses, it saves people money so that they don’t have to spend a fortune on accommodation if a child is hospitalised for a few weeks or more…I might be wrong on some of the details but I know it’s a good service for people who don’t have much money.

Q5: Can you comment on how effective charitable organisations are?

A5: Oh that’s a difficult question…I don’t have much of an idea really…umm… well, I’m not so sure.  I guess it depends on those that are receiving the charity and I would ask their opinion if they were effective or not.  I have concerns that giving money to a specific organisation would actually reach the needy person at the end.  I often wonder just how much of that money goes to the organisation or the people they are supporting.  This worries me.  Yes, to be honest, I worry about – when I give my money to charities – I worry about whether or not they actually end up receiving the money I donate to them.  There are some crooks around and they like to take money that doesn’t belong to them…it is concerning.

Q6: Ok.  Lastly, can you suggest some new ways that money might be able to be raised for charities in the future?

A6: Sorry do mean new ways to raise money for charity…in the future?  [Examiner: yes].  Um, well…I think if I came up with a new and better way to raise money for charities, I would be a millionaire by now!  I think the ways to raise money for charities have been exhausted and there really isn’t anything new under the sun.  I’m afraid I’m not really full of ideas, here.  Perhaps donating money from online auctions…but that’s probably already been done…um…sorry I’m really out of ideas.

Test 9

Part 1:

Q1: Let’s talk about where you live at the moment.  Please describe the town or city where you currently live.

A1: Yes, I’m living in Sydney at the moment.  It’s a lovely city with so much to do.  You can enjoy going to the beach or theme parks – like Luna Park – or visiting the famous Opera House…I’ve been there a couple of times.  There’s shopping and an excellent transportation network throughout the city.  I’m really enjoying Sydney at the moment.

Q2: What are you enjoying most about where you live at the moment?

A2: I, I, think I’d have to say the beach.  Yes, the beach.  You see it’s always been a dream of mine to live near the ocean and I can’t believe that now I actually do!  It’s great in the morning when I wake up – I head down to the beach for a walk or a swim…I’ve even recently taken up surfing!  That’s a difficult sport to do!  There are so many variables – the size of the waves, the current – the natural conditions.  And then there’s the actual fitness required to paddle out to the sea and then the balance to actually stand up on the board…I’m amazed that anyone can surf, actually!  Anyway, I’m loving being near the beach!

Q3: What suggestions would you make to improve the house or apartment where you are currently living?

A3: Improvements to the house I’m living in now? [Examiner: Yes].  Well, I share a unit with 3 other guys and to be honest, we could all be a bit neater!  In fact, the unit is always too messy.  The kitchen looks like a ‘disaster zone’ – dishes piled up in the sink, all the usual mess.  As far as the actual apartment, I’m not sure that I would change anything…we’ve got 2 bathrooms er, a big living area, plenty of room for parties – it’s a great house!

Q4: Ok, I’d like to talk about holidays for a moment.  What is the most popular holiday destination for people from your country?

A4: Where I come from, the beach is definitely the popular choice for holiday destination, especially in the summer.  Most of my family and friends back home are typically farmers so the beach is a really big contrast for them.  Lots of people flock to the coastal regions in search of relaxation and enjoyment by the beautiful blue waters of the ocean!  Of course, not all people are drawn to the ocean – some prefer the mountains.  There’s a lot to do there as well.  There are some people – like my mother for example – who prefer a cooler climate and so they enjoy a mountain-style holiday.  But I’d say that the beach is the most popular holiday destination for people from my country.

Q5: When you take a holiday, what do you most like to do?

A5: Well, I like to relax.  I particularly enjoy reading in the sun…you know a good book and the warm summer sun…wow!  There’s nothing quite like it!  Very relaxing, very enjoyable.  Of course I prefer a beach-side holiday so surfing and swimming are high on my ‘to do’ list!  Let’s see…I like to watch some TV, go walking, do some shopping.  Yea, those are the main activities that I do on holiday.  Basically a real change in my normal activities.

Q6: Tell me about where you think is the best place in the world to take a holiday?

A6: Ha, that’s a difficult question!  There are so many beautiful places to go.  I’ve never been to the Mediterranean but I hear it’s beautiful.  I think I’d have to say Australia.  I’ve been reading about Tropical Far North Queensland.  I’ve been reading about all the Islands located in the Whitsunday Passage.  I’ve seen some photographs.  Wow!  How beautiful the scenery!  I’ve never seen such beauty.  I definitely want to visit this part of the world.  There’s an island called Dunk Island.  Apparently even the local people say it’s a beautiful island.  Although I haven’t been there I think if a person likes to be in a natural, tropical environment with warm temperatures and aqua-marine coloured waters, from what I’ve seen in pictures and read, I don’t think you could get much better than tropical far north Queensland!

Q7: How do you feel about taking holidays?

A7: I think they’re important!  They’re a great way to ‘take a break’.  To pause, to stop…you know, take time out.  I think it’s important for us to take a break from our normal work activities and really change our environment.  Holidays enable us to do this.  Personally, I don’t like a holiday that’s too long – I think one week is long enough.  I think it can become boring and counter-productive if a person takes a holiday that is too long.

Part 2: Transcript

Q1: Good.  I’m now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say.  I want you to describe an elderly person you know.

Ok?  You have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?

A1: Ok, an old person that I would like to talk about is my Father, my Dad.  Although I really don’t think of him as being old, he’s older than me!  I’ve known my Dad all my life…I guess I met him when I was born!  At the moment, he lives in Capetown, South Africa because he is doing some lecturing at university over there.  He wasn’t always a teacher, he’s an architect by trade.

Well, he’s my Dad.  He’s a great father.  He’s always been a wonderful provider for the family.  I have 1 brother and 2 sisters and he has always worked hard to provide for our needs.  I believe his love of teaching is why I’m preparing to go to university to commence my studies pursuant to a Bachelor’s degree in Education.

As a family we never went without much.  I grew up in a nice home and a safe, family environment.  My Dad taught me good values.  You know, the ‘golden rule’.

Dad has a great zest for life.  His laugh makes me laugh!  He’s a happy person and I hope that in the future, I will carry that humour into the lives of my friends and my family.  Actually, talking about Dad now has reminded me that I need to give him a call…I think I’ll do that tonight!

Part 3: Transcript

Q1: We’ve been talking about an older person you know and I’d like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this.  Firstly, let’s consider the role of elderly people in society.  Comment on the attitudes of young people towards older, senior citizens.              

A1: I think that generally there is a gap between the older and the younger generation today.  I’m not sure why this is – perhaps it’s because the younger generation aren’t taught to respect older people enough.  On the other hand, maybe they think older people don’t want to waste their time talking with younger people or vice-versa.  Of course, I’m just one younger person so my perceptions may not be correct, but I think a lot of older people tend not to relate well to younger people.  With technology changing so quickly you know, the older people just don’t understand all this ‘new stuff’…so, the perception is that when I’m with an older person, I can’t be myself, I have to ‘slow down’ and use different language…you know, behave differently.

Q2: What about the older person’s perspective.  Comment on how older people view younger people in society.

A2: I think…and again I’m only generalising, it’s only my opinion [Examiner: sure, that’s ok] that the attitude of the older generation toward the younger generation is that we are basically foolish.  I mean, some of them think that we make foolish decisions, that we waste our money and time…in a way I think they’re correct, I mean, I see a lot of people who waste their time and money on foolish things.  But yeah, I think older people must think that our youth is wasted on trivial things.

Q3: Ok, can you please suggest some of the benefits older people bring to society.

A3: Um, wisdom.  In many cases, older people are smart!  Of course, they’ve been around for a long time and they’ve experienced life.  They’ve got ‘life experience’.  This is very important for the future because it can help us to avoid making mistakes.  From them, we can learn what works and what doesn’t work.  You know, our governments would do a better job if they called more seriously on older people for advice.  The advice of the elderly might save us from making foolish decisions.  I guess older people also add variety, a special and unique dimension to a population, I mean…they remind us to ‘slow down’, to relax and enjoy life.  Umm, older volunteers are extremely helpful.  The other day I was at an airport and I was lost, an older volunteer at the information counter saved me from missing my plane flight!

Q4: Let’s now talk about some of the challenges which are unique to older people.  Please comment on the difficulties older people experience in society.

A4: Well, one of the difficulties that comes to mind is that our world is so fast-paced.  These days, technology, the speed of change is so fast that it even amazes me!  I wonder how difficult it must be for an older person to keep up with this pace of change…I believe it must be difficult for them.  My father called me the other day…he’s trying to set up a new fax/photocopier/scanner/printer… he’s been having a really hard time trying to work out how to operate it. 

Another difficulty, er, as the body gets older, well, it’s not as agile as it used to be…you know it’s difficult for older people to get around – in shopping centres, in and out of their cars, into restaurants, sometimes these basic activities – things that young people take for granted – are major activities that they have to do. 

I guess there are mostly younger people running society…you know, in supermarkets, retail shops…those kinds of places, so if these younger people are not patient and understanding – you know, when older people come into their shops – this could also be a difficultly for older people.

Q5: Ok.  Suggest ways that societies can help older people with their unique challenges.

A5: Well, I think the first place to start would be for younger people to slow down a bit, not be in such a hurry to do things and look at life from the perspective of an older person.  This would help them to be more sympathetic, that’s for sure!

Um, help older people…well…I can’t think of any other ways societies could help at the moment.  Um…just be kinder, I guess, more understanding that they are not as fast as they used to be.  I think it’s important for younger people to remember that old people used to be young people in the past…their thinking can be young, but their bodies are old!

Oh yes, my grandmother had a problem with her legs, she couldn’t walk up stairs.  Societies could make areas like shopping centres, restaurants, movie theatres…those kinds of places more accessible for older people who have problems walking.

Q6: Ok.  To conclude, I’d like you to compare the quality of life older people have now with the quality of life they experienced in the past.

A6: Well, now that’s a difficult question…considering that I’m not an old person!  You sure know how to ask tricky questions!  Well I guess since technology is improving and new things are being made all the time, life today should be a little easier for older people than it was, say 100 years ago.  I mean, today, we have cars which are comfortable…more comfortable I guess than the first types of transportation a long time ago.  Medicine today is prolonging life, so people in western countries are living longer…this can be a good thing, I guess…as long as they have a comfortable standard of life.Today, doctors can help older people live more comfortably…I guess.  For example, if an older person has a disease or some other problem with their body, I guess it’s possible for them to have this problem cured.  I don’t think medicine was so advanced in the past.  My grandmother, for example, had an arthritic condition in her hip.  She experienced incredible pain.  I remember seeing her crying it was so painful.  But the doctors gave her a new one!  She lived her latter years free of hip pain, which gave her a better quality of life.  In the past, this kind of thing would not have been possible.

Test 10

Part 1:

Q1: Let’s talk about your study plans for the future.  Please tell me about your current studies.

A1: Well, at the moment I’m enrolled in a language school.  I’ve been doing an English for Academic Purposes class trying to get ready for my university studies and, of course, before that, my IELTS exam!

Q2: What is it you like most about your studies?

A2: The teachers are very friendly at the language school.  They make all the students feel real welcome.  In fact, I’ve enjoyed getting to know many of the students at the language school.  We’ve got students studying from all over the world – Thailand, China, one man is from Russia…um, a couple of students from France and…yes, and one from Brazil.  It’s a really international class!

Q3: What do you like least about your studies?

A3: Like least?  Let me see…you know, that’s a difficult question because the teacher is great, the lessons are interesting and the facilities are also wonderful…not to mention the students!  Like least…um, well I guess I’d have to say the English grammar is not something I particularly like.  Our teacher described grammar as the engine of a car…you don’t need to be an expert mechanic to drive a car but it’s useful to know what is under the hood!  I rather liked his definition but it doesn’t mean I like grammar any better!

Q4: Once you have finished your studies, what do you plan to do?

A4: Well, once I’ve finished at the language school, I want to study marketing.  You see, my mother owns a marketing company and she’s been doing this for almost 10 years.  She tells me that one day, “I’m going to be the CEO, the big boss.”  But before that can happen I must get my qualifications…so, I’ll be studying marketing at university.  Actually, I’m very excited about marketing, it’s a very interesting subject with almost limitless opportunities.  You could say it ‘runs in my family’!

Q5: Ok.  Let’s change topics and talk about animals.  Can you tell me about some of the different kinds of animals you have in your country?

A5: Yes, I’m from the Philippines and the local animals there are quite unique.  I was reading the other day that we have almost 200 different kinds of reptiles!  I was amazed by that figure myself but I’ve seen a few Philippine crocodiles and of course there are hundreds of different kinds of lizards that inhabit the tropical rainforests! 

Did you know the Philippines is home to the smallest monkey in the world?  We are very proud of this!  The Tarsier is an amazing animal…he lives mostly on insects!  He grows…well most people could fit him in the palm of their hand…I think an adult can reach around 150mm.  But they are very fast little creatures!

Q6: What’s your favourite animal and why do you like it so much?

A6: I’d have to say that dogs are my favourite animal.  My family has a poodle and I love him!  His name is Peppi and he is such a smart dog.  He even acts as a kind of guard dog…if anyone comes near our house, he barks loudly – day or night!  Of course his noise is loud but he couldn’t really hurt anyone!

Q7: What’s your least favourite animal?  Why?

A7: I have to say that my least-favourite animal is the snake.  We have quite a few snakes in the Philippines and I must confess that I have a phobia of them!  They don’t um…they seem so unfriendly, they don’t have any personality.  Are they smiling or are they angry, you can’t tell by looking at their face.  I don’t like that, it scares me.

Q8: Tell me about the variety of uses for animals in your country.  For example, their use in farming, sports or other types of activities.

A8: Well, I know that in the country areas, the poorer areas, oxen are used for some farming.  Mostly however, my experience with animals is in the city and it’s here that they are used primarily as pets.  People love to keep dogs and cats and birds.  We have some very beautiful parrots in the Philippines which make beautiful pets – my family used to have a Cockatiel which we called ‘Charlie’.  Some animals are used in sports…um, for example horse racing, which is one popular type of sport…um…I can’t think of any more at the moment. 

Q9: Ok, now, let’s change topics again.  This time, I’d like to talk about games.  Tell me about some of the popular games people play in your country

A9: In my country, the popular games people play are….well, the most popular game is basketball.  Although Filipinos are slightly at a disadvantage in terms of height, they are, I believe, among the best basketball players in the world!  Every town plaza has a basketball court alongside the town hall and church.  Even from an early age, boys start playing this game using a makeshift basket…it’s very popular among the males in our country.

Um…as far a card games go, for example, Mahjong is very popular in the Philippines…but most people like outdoor games.

Q10: What is your favourite game to play?  Why?

A10: For me?  Well, I must confess I like volleyball.  I played it a lot in high school and I’m planning to continue playing it in University.  I really enjoy the game, it helps me to keep fit.  You know, it’s a very team-oriented kind of game.  You can’t really be an individual and do well in volleyball.  I like this aspect of the game, the teamwork element.

Part 2: Transcript

Q1: That’s good.  I’m now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes.  You can take notes if you want.  You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say.  I want you to describe a website that you enjoy visiting.

Ok?  You have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop.  Can you please begin speaking now?

A1: When it came time to prepare for the IELTS test, I looked around the internet, trying to find useful information.  I tried a lot of places – forums, chats, blogs, free videos….I’d have to say that the best site I found was Scott’s English Success!  I was having a very difficult time getting motivated to study for the IELTS exam so…as I said…I had a look on the internet for some ideas.  I came across Scott’s English Success about 3 months ago.  To be honest at first I was very sceptical about studying with Scott’s, but after looking around at all the other options on the internet, I decided to enrol and see if it would be suitable or not.  Wow!  It was very suitable…I have not seen anything like Scott’s English Success on the Internet.  It contains virtual classroom lessons that are easy to understand and focuses on the key aspects of the IELTS exam. 

It has a Practice Lab section with some very realistic exams…just like the real exams we did today!  I must have spent hundreds of hours studying with Scott’s English.  It really helped me to feel more confident. 

Um, it also has an area that they call the ‘Resource Library’.  There you can practice on areas that are difficult – especially reading and writing.  There are also many practical tips that you can apply.  It was a very great help with my IELTS preparation.  I’ve already recommended a couple of my friends to enrol!

Part 3: Transcript 

Q1: We’ve been talking about a website that you enjoy visiting and I’d like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this.  Let’s consider first of all the Internet as a means of communication.  Please compare email with traditional letter writing.

A1: Well, when email started, a lot of people thought that the postal service would go out of business.  Of course, the email option is a wonderful service…I just wonder what impact it has had on the numbers of letters sent via the post…or ‘snail mail’ as it’s now called?  I bet it cost the postal service quite a lot of money.  Anyway, email is faster, cheaper, more convenient – we don’t have to walk down to the post office to send it…email’s the best!  Traditional letter writing…well, the only real benefit of this method of sending information is that you can post things with a more ‘personal touch’ you know, things that are hand-written.  My grandma used to send me money in the post…she can’t do that via email.  Generally speaking, I think email is much less formal – which I like as well.

Q2: Good.  Please suggest any ways you think the Internet could be improved.

A2: Improve the internet…um…that’s a good question.  The Internet is fantastic but…well, I guess it could be faster!  Yes, it could be faster.  At the moment, I have to wait a long time for information to download.  It seems to take such a long time for video.  I was watching a newscast on a website the other night and it seemed to take so long to download that I closed the screen and went to bed.  It would be great if we could somehow make video play over the Internet as fast and as clear as it looks on the TV.  Maybe that will happen soon!    

Q3: Can you comment on the reliability of information presented on the Internet?

A3: Yes, actually I was talking about this topic with my friend just the other day!  I think that some people feel that if something is written on the Internet, then ‘it must be correct’ but…this is not true.  There’s so much information on the Internet that’s completely false.  The other day I was researching about a news story I saw on TV.  I went to several websites and all of them were a little bit different from each other.  It’s like no one agreed on the facts!  Yet it is written about as being factual!  This, I know, is important for me to consider when it comes to researching for my university assignments.  The information has to come from a credible, reliable source otherwise it’s completely useless information.  I wouldn’t be surprised if 20 percent of the information contained on the Internet was false.

Q4: What about the internet and retail shopping.  Compare shopping on the internet with traditional shopping methods.

A4: Well, this is of particular interest to me because I love shopping!  I’ve found that it’s possible to purchase almost anything on the internet.  I particularly love Ebay.  Have you ever tried it?  [Examiner: Yes, it’s great isn’t it?]  Yes, you can buy so many items cheaply.  I guess that an online or ‘virtual’ store is always going to be cheaper – you don’t have to pay for staff or rent or telephones…you know, all the things that are needed to run a ‘real shop’.  Of course, the downside is that internet shopping is a little impersonal.  You never get to physically meet the seller or buyer.  But I think the reduced price is more important!

Q5: Suggest reasons why people are reluctant to shop online.

A5: Well, as I said before Internet shopping is impersonal, you never meet the seller or buyer, so it is possible that the person is a crook.  It may also be possible with credit card fraud that crooks can get access to your computer and use your credit card to purchase items online.  This is the major reason why some of my friends are not willing to purchase items online – they’re scared that someone will take their money and never be seen again.

Q6: Ok.  To conclude, I’d like you to speculate on the future of Internet shopping.

A6: I think that internet shopping will grow and grow.   If connections to the internet get faster and video is possible, I think that people will have live shopping…um…I guess you could actually purchase products and see the shop assistant or owner and talk with him or her about the product.  I know sometimes I have questions about products – especially clothing – it’d be great to be able to click a button and ask questions to a live person online.  Yes, I think Internet shopping will continue to become more popular in the future.

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