IELTS Speaking Part 1

Q&A short answer series

IELTS Speaking Topic # 1- Work

  1. Do you work or study?
    • I graduated a few years ago and I’m now in full-time employment.
  2. What is your job?
    • I’m currently an English teacher working for the British Council in Ho Chi Minh City.
  3. Why did you choose that job?
    • I was previously a lawyer and found it to be really stressful and never had any free time, so after quitting that job I thought teaching might be the complete opposite of being a lawyer, you know not as stressful and more time off.
  4. Are there lots of English teachers in Ho Chi Minh City?
    • Oh yes! There is a such a big demand for English as a second language here and it’s also quite a cheap place to live compared to many other big cities in Asia.
  5. Do you enjoy your job?
    • Most of the time. It’s very rewarding to be able to help people every day and the students here are very hardworking and fun to teach, but you sometimes have lessons that do go so well and the money could always be better.
  6. Do you get on well with your co-workers?
    • Yes, fine. I don’t really see work as part of my social life, so I don’t socialise with them, so I suppose I could be more friendly, but it’s just my nature to be a bit colder with colleagues. I think it’s more professional to be that way.
  7. What was your first day at work like?
    • There were lots of teachers starting at the same time as me, 10 I think, so we all had a big induction day. The more senior teachers ran workshops with us to familarise us with the different systems they had and then we went for a team dinner in the evening.
  8. What responsibilities do you have at work?
    • All of the teachers main responsibility is to plan good lessons and then teach them to the best of our ability. On top of that we have several admin. tasks to carry out like mark homework, fill out attendance sheets and write reports.
  9. Would you like to change your job in the future?
    • Yes, as I said before, I like working by myself, so I would like to be my own boss. I’m currently developing my own website, so if it’s successful I will leave teaching and work on it full time. This will also give me more time to work on other projects.
  10. What is your typical day like at work?
    • I normally have 2 or 3 classes in the evening and I start the day by doing all the planning at home. This normally takes between an hour or two depending on the lessons. I then take the rest of the day to spend with my family, before going to work around 3 to print off my materials and then I teach all evening.
  11. What would you change about your job?
    • As with most English teachers, we have to teach what is on the curriculum and this can mean that you are teaching some things that are quite boring or not very useful for your students, so I would like to have more freedom to teach outside the syllabus.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 2- Study

  1. Do you work or study?
    • I’m currently a student at Queen’s University, Belfast.
  2. What do you study?
    • I study law because it’s a really well thought of degree and I’m hoping to pursue it as a career in the future.
  3. Is it a popular subject at your university?
    • Very popular, in fact, it’s one of the most sought-after courses. I think there are about 350 people reading law at Queen’s. I think lots of student’s parents want them to study law so they can get a good job after they graduate.
  4. Do you enjoy studying it?
    • It’s such a huge subject that there will always be parts you like and parts you don’t like. I find Human Rights fascinating because it can really make a difference to peoples’ lives. On the other hand, modules like Land Law and Equity are really boring.
  5. Do you get along with your classmates?
    • Yes, they are all really great. Most people like to socialise together in the evenings and this makes us a very tight group. If you know someone socially, it is much easier to work together in class.
  6. If you could change to another subject, what would it be?
    • I planned to study medicine, but then when I went on work experience I fainted at the first sight of blood, so definitely not that. I’m a real history buff and read books about World War 2 all the time, so I suppose it would have to be Modern History.
  7. Do you plan to use the subject you are studying in the future?
    • Yes, I’ve already started to apply for jobs as a lawyer. We normally have to secure a job a year before we graduate and then work very hard to get a high overall mark. After that, I will probably do a Masters in law to become a specialist in one particular area.
  8. What is the most difficult part of your subject?
    • You have to remember lots of legislation and cases and not only remember their names but also how the effect each part of the law and how they interact with each other. Physically it can also be exhausting because we have to read very dense texts for a few hours every day.
  9. What would like to study in the future?
    • As I said before, my favourite type of law is Human Rights, so I would like to do a masters in International Human Rights Law. it’s right at the cutting edge of my field and there are also lots of very high profile cases in the media, so it’s really exciting and something I would like to become an expert in.
  10. Why did you choose your university?
    • Mostly because it is close to my hometown and most of my friends were going there. I kind of regret it now. It’s a great university, but because it’s so close to home it doesn’t give you much of a chance to experience new things and meet new people. If I were to choose again, I’d study abroad.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 3- Hometown

  1. Where is your hometown?
    • My hometown is on the south-east coast of Northern Ireland. It’s called Dundrum and it’s about 1 hour south of the capital city.
  2. What do you like about it?
    • It’s an area of outstanding natural beauty and for me, one of the most beautiful places on earth. It has everything; fantastic beaches, rolling mountains, dense forests and picturesque countryside.
  3. What do you not like about it?
    • It can be a little bit boring because it’s really tiny. There are only a few small shops and a couple of pubs and that’s it! In the summer, it’s OK because you can enjoy the outdoors but it would be nice to have a few more indoor facilities for the winter.
  4. How often do you visit your hometown?
    • Not as much as I should. I only get to visit about once a year now to see my family because I’m really busy with work and it’s quite far away, but I hope to visit more in the future.
  5. What’s the oldest part of your hometown?
    • There is an old Norman castle that sits on top of the highest hill of the town. It’s a ruin now, but there are some breathtaking views from it and it’s easy to see why they chose that site for a castle because you can see for miles around.
  6. Do many people visit your town?
    • Thousands of tourists visit every summer. They come from the capital city mostly to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the peace and quiet. There are more and more international tourists visiting because lots of scenes from the TV show ‘Game of Thrones’ were shot just outside the village.
  7. Is there any way your hometown could be made better?
    • As I said before, the best thing about the town is its rural beauty and you can’t really improve that. If I had to say something, it would be to improve the roads, they are in a terrible state and cause a few car accidents every year.
  8. How has your hometown changed over the years?
    • Since I was a child the town has almost doubled in size and population. It used to consist of just one main street, but now there are many new housing developments and apartments next to the water. With all these new people moving in, it has changed the character of the town a little bit, people are not as friendly as before.
  9. Are there good transportation links to your town?
    • The public transport system consists of just buses that pass through the town on an hourly basis. One bus goes north to the capital city which is really convenient if you need to do any shopping and the other bus goes south where you can switch buses and go across the border to the Republic of Ireland, so you could say we have international transport links which is not bad for a little town like ours.
  10. Would you recommend the town to people with children?
    • Yes and no. It is obviously a great place to bring up kids because there are so many things for them to do like swim in the sea, play in the forest and run on the beach. However, the good schools are pretty far away and I remember having to get up really early every morning to catch a bus to school that was 20 miles away.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 4- Your Home

  1. Where do you live?
    • I live on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, in a district called Tan Phu, about 15 km from the city centre.
  2. Do you live in a house or a flat?
    • I live in a 3 bedroom flat on the 11th floor of a big apartment building.
  3. Who do you live with?
    • I live there with my wife and little baby son.
  4. Is it a big place?
    • It’s pretty big for a flat. It has 3 large bedrooms, one for my wife and I and one for my son when he gets older. It also has a smaller bedroom that I use as a study and to store things in. The kitchen is small but it is part of a big open plan living room, so there is lots of space for the family.
  5. What is your favourite room?
    • That would have to be my study because it’s the only room that I can get peace and quiet in. When I’m in there my wife knows I’m working, so she leaves me alone and I can concentrate on my work.
  6. How is your apartment decorated?
    • I don’t like lots of over the top decoration, so I guess you would describe it as minimalist. The walls are all white and the furniture is also either white or black. There are very few ornaments or pictures because again, I like to keep things quite minimal and I hate clutter.
  7. Is there anything you would like to change about your flat?
    • I would like to have a big balcony. We have a sort of balcony at the moment, but we mainly use it for washing and drying clothes. It would be really nice to have some tables and chairs on a proper balcony, with maybe a few plants, so we could sit there in the evenings and relax.
  8. Do you plan to live there for a long time?
    • I really like where I live but it is really far from where I work in the centre of town. It takes around 45 minutes to drive there by motorbike and in the hot season and wet season it can be really uncomfortable, so we will consider moving closer to the centre in a year or so.
  9. Do you have a garden?
    • That’s the best part of where we live, we have a huge garden. It takes around 40 minutes to walk around it. It has a few play parks for the kids, a number of gyms and four small lakes. We are really lucky to have it and I try to go for a walk around it every day, if I have time.
  10. Are there many amenities?
    • Not really, because it is on the edge of town. If you want to go for a nice meal, use a swimming pool, go shopping or head out for a drink, you really have to drive for about 30 minutes. That’s the major drawback, but if you are organised and buy everything when you are in the centre of town, it’s not so bad.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 5- Fashion

  1. Do you care about fashion?
    • I used to in my younger days, I remember always looking to see what my favourite musicians were wearing and then try to copy them, but now that I’m older I don’t really care as long as I look smart.
  2. What kind of things do you normally wear?
    • It depends what I’m doing really. If I’m working I always wear a dress shirt and trousers, but we don’t have to wear a tie. If I’m going out it will be more casual like a polo shirt and jeans and if I’m at home it will be really relaxed, just a t-shirt and shorts.
  3. Are there any traditional clothes in your country?
    • I have no idea. There might be but I can’t recall ever hearing anyone talking about them or seeing someone wearing them.
  4. Where do you usually purchase your clothes?
    • I used to go to the trendy shops when I was a student, but now I’m older and have little time I just like to go to a big shopping centre or department store and buy everything there. It’s more convenient that way and it means I don’t have to run all over town just for a few clothes.
  5. Have you ever bought clothes online?
    • No, because I don’t trust their clothes to always fit me. I know a few people who order lots of clothes online and order a few different sizes and then send the ones that don’t fit them back, but I can’t be bothered with all that. It’s much quicker to go into a proper shop and try the clothes on there and make sure they are a proper fit.
  6. Do people from your country think fashion is important?
    • More so these days. Our country wouldn’t be very high on the list of international fashion hot spots, but I notice people following certain trends more. Last year, there was a red trouser craze and everywhere you looked people had red trousers on.
  7. What is your favourite item of clothing?
    • Probably my leather jacket. It cost a fortune and it makes me feel really confident when I go out in it. I normally get a few compliments also because it is quite slimming.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 6- The Internet 

  1. How important is the internet to you?
    • Extremely important. I depend on it for work, research, study, and entertainment, so without it I’d be completely lost.
  2. How often do you use the internet?
    • I use it constantly throughout the day, every day. I check my emails when I get up in the morning, I use it for work all day and then I watch videos, read books or listen to music through it at night.
  3. Do you use it more for work or in your free time?
    • I’d say both really. About 50% of my job involves researching and writing on the internet so I would use it for about 4 hours a day. When I get home, I’m normally too tired to go to the gym or play sports so it is really easy to download a movie or stream some music and I normally do that until I fall asleep.
  4. What are your favourite websites?
    • For work, my two favourite sites are WordPress and Google. WordPress is a blogging tool that allows you to publish blogs easily and maintain a professional looking website. Google, of course, allows me to find the information I need quickly and accurately. In my spare time, I, of course, use Facebook like everyone else in the world, but my favourite site is The Guardian because it allows me to keep up to date with everything that’s happening.
  5. Do you use apps?
    • I’m a bit of an app addict. My favourite app at the moment is one called Stitcher. It allows you to listen to podcasts and helps you discover new podcasts. You can download them and then listen to them whenever you have time.
  6. Do you think you use the internet too much?
    • I think most people do these days. My problem is that there are so many sites and apps that you end up checking them way too often and this wastes lots of time. It can also be a bit anti-social if you are checking your phone all the time when you are with other people.
  7. How will the internet develop in the future?
    • I think it will be more on mobile phones than computers. Smartphones are becoming more powerful and more affordable all the time, so I think we will see a shift from people using the internet on desktop computers to mobiles and apps rather than traditional websites.
  8. Are there any negative things about the internet?
    • Being connected all of the time is not a good thing. Before you had to sit down at your computer and log on and that took time, so you didn’t do it so much. Now all people have to do is look at their phone and this is too much for me. I’ve been trying to leave my phone at home when I socialise with friends and family to stop myself from focusing too much on the phone rather than them.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 7- Weather 

  1. How is the weather today?
    • It’s really lovely today. There were a few showers this morning and it was a bit chilly, but it has brightened up this afternoon and I think it will stay that way for the rest of the day.
  2. What’s your favourite kind of weather?
    • It depends what I’m doing really. If I’m doing something outside, I like the weather to be sunny but not too hot because it gets a bit uncomfortable after a while. If I’m inside, I love listening to the rain beating against the window and the wind howling outside.
  3. What is the climate like in your country?
    • I’m from Ireland, so the thing people always complain about is the rain. It is right on the edge of Europe so we get lots of rain rolling in off the Atlantic. However, because we are an island it means that we don’t get very harsh winters and it hardly ever snows. I think temperate is the word to describe our climate- not too hot, not too cold.
  4. Does the weather affect people’s lives in your country?
    • Yes, very much so. In the winter it is really grey all the time and it gets dark very early in the afternoon. The lack of sunlight leads to some people getting a bit depressed and I imagine that’s why people drink much more wine and whiskey in the winter to cope with how dull everything is.
  5. Do people change in the summer?
    • Absolutely, as soon as the sun starts to shine and it gets warmer, people start to have barbecues, do more outdoor activities and are generally happier. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last very long but people definitely make the most of it while the weather is good.
  6. Is there any type of weather you really don’t like?
    • I don’t mind when it’s raining or windy and I don’t mind when it’s cold, but when it’s cold, windy and raining all that the same time, well that’s horrible, especially if you have to work or do something outside. I remember when we were at school we would have to go outside in horrible weather to do P.E. and I detested every minute of it.
  7. Does bad weather ever affect transport in your country?
    • As I said before, it rarely snows, but when it does the transportation system collapses. People are just not used to driving in the snow and the whole country pretty much grinds to a halt. Buses and trains normally stop running completely until the snow thaws.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 8- TV

  1. Do you like watching TV?
    • I don’t get time really to watch TV and I don’t like the fact that you have no choice about what to watch, so no I would say I don’t really like watching normal TV, I much prefer streaming something on my iPad and watching it when I like.
  2. How often do you watch TV?
    • I’d say maybe only a few times a month when there is a good football match on. I prefer watching football on TV with other people around because it’s a great atmosphere, but if it’s a normal TV show I will just watch it alone at home on my tablet.
  3. What kind of TV programmes do you like to watch?
    • I like dramas and thrillers. I don’t really like anything that is not set in the real world, so I’m not a big fan of sci-fi or fantasy, although I have been getting into the latest season of Game of Thrones. I also really like to watch documentaries about military history, especially anything to do with the Second World War.
  4. What are the most popular TV shows in your country?
    • The two most popular genres are soaps and reality TV. Soaps like Coronation Street have always been popular because people get to know the characters really well and the storylines can be quite gripping. I’ve no idea why reality TV is popular, I can’t stand it, all those C-list celebrities trying to become popular again. I would rather watch paint dry, to be honest.
  5. Do you like watching TV shows from other countries?
    • Yes, most of the programmes I watch are from the United States. Networks like HBO and Netflix have the biggest budgets and as a result, can make some really high-quality shows. I don’t think Game of Thrones could be made without a huge budget and America is probably the only country that can make a TV show on that scale.
  6. Has the internet affected your viewing habits?
    • Absolutely, I watch most TV shows on the internet now, rather than a normal TV. There are so many streaming services like Netflix offering on-demand TV and it suits me to be able to watch what I want when I want. I also like to binge-watch a series of TV shows, just watch a whole series in a day or two rather than waiting for the next episode.
  7. What is your favourite TV show?
    • There was an American show called Fargo that I really loved. It was an adaptation of a film made about 15 years ago. The plot lines and characters were really interesting and the dialogue was well written. Unfortunately, there has only been one season of it so far, so I have to wait another year to see the next season.
  8. What was your favourite show when you were a child?
    • I was a bit of a strange child because I didn’t really like cartoons like most of the other kids. But there were a few shows I loved like The A-Team, Knight Rider, and Air Wolf. They were so cool and always had great action scenes. I was a bit obsessed with violent action films when I was a kid. When I think about them though they weren’t really all that violent compared to shows these days, I don’t think one person was ever killed in any of those programmes.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 9- Sport

  1. Do you play any sports?
    • Not as much as I should. I’m really busy with my job these days, so I don’t get the chance to do as many sports as I would like. I try to play basketball on Saturdays for a couple or hours and I occasionally play golf.
  2. Have you played basketball for long?
    • Since I was about 10 years old. I remember playing a computer game about basketball when I was about 10 and it made me obsessed with the sport. From then on I played basketball every day until I went to university and then other things took priority, but I regret not maintaining it because it was something I loved doing.
  3. Do you watch sport on TV?
    • Football is my favourite sport to watch on TV. I’m terrible at football but I love watching it on TV, especially big games like the Champions League. I follow Liverpool Football Club and so do a few of my friends, so we normally go the pub every weekend and watch whoever Liverpool are playing and a few of the other big games in the Premiership.
  4. What is the most popular sport in your country?
    • In my country, there are two dominant sports Gaelic Football and Hurling. Gaelic is a little like soccer but you are allowed to pick up the ball with your hands and you can kick the ball over the bar for one point or in the goal for 3 points. Hurling is played with sticks and a smaller ball and involves hitting the ball over the bar or in the goal. Both of them are really fast-paced and a bit brutal at times. You can tackle someone much harder than you can in soccer.
  5. How do people in your country stay fit?
    • We are blessed with beautiful countryside and a nice temperate climate so most people either go running or walking. Lots of young people play field sports, but more and more people are joining gyms. Gyms have really taken off recently as people worry more and more about their appearance. I think it has much more to do with how good people look rather than actually keeping fit.
  6. Is it important for children to play sports?
    • Definitely. Sport not only keeps them healthy, but it also teaches them discipline and keeps them out of trouble. For instance, in my school, the kids who were dedicated to sport also achieved the highest grades in school and went on to good universities where they continued to work hard.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 10- Food

  1. What’s your favourite food?
    • I would have to say that it’s definitely steak. It’s quite expensive, so it’s a real treat when I get the chance to have steak and I love all the things that come with it like pepper sauce, chips, mushrooms, and onions.
  2. Have you always liked steak?
    • I didn’t really like meat when I was younger. My mum said that I only liked to eat sweet things or breakfast cereal when I was a child. Naturally, Coco Pops were my absolute favourite.
  3. Are there any foods you dislike?
    • I like most foods, but if I had to pick some I don’t like, it would have to be vegetables, especially green ones like broccoli or cabbage. They either taste of nothing at all or really bitter. Although, I try to force them down when I have to because they are very healthy.
  4. What are some traditional foods in your country?
    • Everything seems to revolve around the potato where I’m from, but there’s much more to Irish cuisine than just one vegetable. If you come to Ireland you have to try a full Irish breakfast. It’s made up of lots of fried meats, plus a range of bread like wheaten, soda and potato bread, of course.
  5. Do you have a healthy diet?
    • No, not at all. I like all of the things that are unhealthy like sweets, fatty foods, and junk food. I don’t really have a lot of discipline when it comes to my diet, which is probably why I’m a little overweight.