- 14 minutes
- 3 parts
- Part 1: Answer questions about yourself and where you come from
- Part 2: Speak on your own for one to two minutes - one minute to prepare
- Part 3: Answer questions related to the part two topic
- You are graded on fluency, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation
IELTS Speaking tips: Topics: Culture
In the speaking test, you are often asked to discuss topics related to culture.
In Part 1 of the test, you may be asked to describe customs, traditional arts, music, or festivals that you like or that are popular in your country.
IELTS Speaking example question:
What kind of music is popular in your country?
This question is giving you the chance to display your wide range of vocabulary. If you just answer ‘Pop music’ you are missing a great opportunity to impress the examiner. If you try and mention a variety of different genres you will come across as being able to discuss the topic with ease.
- Music popular with different age groups – classical, easy listening, jazz
- Different fashions in music – hip hop, dance music, heavy metal
- Music in the past – rock and roll, folk music
- How the music sounds – exciting, monotonous, relaxing
- Locally produced music and foreign music
- Examples of bands
IELTS Speaking example answer:
'I personally like rock bands like Lnkin Park, although most of my friends like Hip Hop music from the states, and R&B, although I think it's a bit soft. A lot of people also like Taiwanese pop stars as well, like Joline. We also have Taiwanese aborigine folk music, and a lot of old people like 'yenge' which they sing on karaoke machines, but it's a bit dated and not many young people really listen to that kind of thing.'
IELTS Speaking Part 2
You may be asked to describe a cultural event or place you have been to, for example a museum, a festival or a concert. You have one minute to prepare, and have to talk for between one and two minutes. The examiner will give you a pencil and some paper to make notes while you prepare. You should make whatever kind of notes you find useful - they could be in English or Chinese – but you may find the ideas below useful.
Most tasks contain two main parts: describe the topic you have chosen, and explain your feelings about it. To do well, you have to include both.
IELTS Speaking Tips: Making Notes
- Read the task card carefully – if you don’t understand any part of it, ask the examiner.
- Think of something to describe as quickly as you can.
- Brainstorm related vocabulary you can use to describe it.
- Make notes under all the headings.
- Just write down keywords which you can talk about (you don’t have time to write full sentences)
IELTS Speaking Tips: Speaking
- Talk directly to the examiner – you and the examiner will both feel more involved and you will be more confident.
- If you make a mistake, it’s ok to correct yourself.
- If you forget one word, try to use other words to describe what you mean.
- Talk about all the points mentioned on the task card – students often stop talking before the time is up without having given a full answer.
- Try to keep going for the full two minutes, but if you have talked for more than one and a half minutes and feel you have said enough, you can tell the examiner you have finished.
IELTS Speaking Grammar note:
When you are describing a place you have been to, you can use past or present tenses. For example:
I went to the British Museum. It was great. (Past simple)
I saw the Egyptian collection. It's amazing. (Present simple)
If you talk in the past tense, you are focussing on your experience of the place. If you use the present, you are focussing on the place itself, which is still there.
Examiner: Alright Duke, remember you have two minutes for this, so don't worry if I stop you. I'll tell you when the time is up.
Examiner: Could you start now please?
Duke: Right, I'd like to talk about a gig I saw a few weeks ago. It was by a local band called Gold Seal. They basically play heavy rock music, although it's quite varied. Some of their songs are more like dance music. I saw them in a bar near where I live, Bliss, which has a lot of new local bands. It's quite popular with foreigners, but there were a lot of Taiwanese people there, too. I went with one of my classmates from university; he's quite into that kind of music and so goes to a lot of gigs in Taipei to see local indie bands.
It was the first time I had seen the band, but I personally thought it was a really good performance. The band played together really well and had obviously practised a lot. They played all their own songs, and there were some interesting lyrics – one song, for example was about killing mosquitoes. My friend thought it was pretty good, too. He doesn't speak English very well though, so prefers to see bands who sing in Chinese. He also said that the singer should …
Examiner: Thank you Duke. Would you like to go to a similar concert again?
Duke: Yeah, sure. I always enjoy going out, listening to new music and meeting new people.
READ MORE ABOUT IELTS:
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