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IELTS Speaking : Suggested Topics : Part 2 & 3

In the second section candidates are given a topic card and then have one minute to prepare after which they must speak about the given topic. The third section involves a discussion between the examiner and the candidate, generally on questions relating to the theme which they have already spoken about in part 2.

Describing things (1 test item)


1. Describe a piece of equipment you often use at home or at work.

You should say:

  • What it is
  • What you do with it/ How to use it
  • How long you have had it
  • How important it is to you

Discussion:

  • What are the impacts of electrical equipment on humanís life in the past ten years?
  • What are the differences of the life in the past and at the present?
  • What role does technological development play in peopleís life?
  • How will technology develop in the future?
  • Do you have a mobile phone? What are its advantages?
  • Why do many foreign countries develop faster than China?
  • Why does the Chinaís West develop faster than Chinaís East?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of computer and internet?

Describing people (3 test items)


1. Describe a well-known person.

You should say:

  • Who he/she is
  • What makes him/her famous
  • Why you admire him/her

Discussion:

  • Do you want to become famous?
  • How to become a well-known person in China?
  • What kind of people can become famous in China?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of being famous?
  • What do you think of the privacy of a well-known person?
  • What do you think of the relationship between a well-know person and advertising?
  • Would you be influenced by the well-known persons in TV commercials?
  • Do you often talk about singers with your friends? What do you often talk about?

2. Describe a friend in your school time you like most.

You should say:

  • Who he/she is
  • When did you became friends?
  • Why do you like him/her or why do you think that he/she is important to you?
  • How he/she influences you

Discussion:

  • What are the differences between adults and children in terms of making friends?
  • Can adults make friends with children?
  • What do you think are the most important factors when making friends?
  • What are the possible factors that cause the break-up of friendship?
  • Why is it difficult for adults to make friends?
  • What will the friendship become like when getting old?

3. Describe a person whom you like to work or study with.

You should say:

  • Who is he/she?
  • When did you work/study together?
  • What do you often do together?
  • Why do you like to work with him/her?/ What can you learn from him/her?
  • Why is he/she particular?

Discussion:

  • Do you like to work alone or with a partner?
  • What do you think of teamwork and team spirit?
  • What kind of people are good to work with?
  • Do you like group work or group learning?
  • What is your opinion on efficiency?
  • What are the advantages of studying by yourself?
  • What do you think of efficiency?

Describing places (2 test items)


1. Describe a restaurant or a cafe.

You should say:

  • Where it is
  • What it looks like
  • What kind of services are provided
  • What kind of food you like there/ What kind of food is famous?
  • Why you like it

Discussion:

  • Do you like cooking?
  • Will you cook for your friends when they visit you?
  • Who cooks in a Chinese family?
  • What do you think of the advantages and disadvantages of fast food?
  • Why is fast food so popular?
  • Where would Chinese go when they eat out?
  • What changes would take place in terms of Chinese eating habits?
  • What food is popular?
  • What is the difference between fresh food and canned food?
  • What can we do to solve the problem of food shortage?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of family food?

2. Describe an interesting building.

You should say:

  • Where it is located
  • What it looks like
  • What services are provided
  • How you like it

Discussion:

  • What role do old buildings and new buildings play in modern society?
  • What changes have taken place in architecture in the past two decades?
  • Do you think it necessary to protect old buildings?

Describing media and communication (4 test items)


1. Describe a kind of book you like.

You should say:

  • What kind of books you like most
  • What they are about
  • Why you like them most
  • What effect have books brought on you?

Discussion:

  • What is the difference between men and women when choosing what to read?
  • What kind books do children like? Why do they like reading?
  • What is the difference between reading and watching TV?
  • What is the relationship between reading and computer?
  • What are the advantages of reading books?
  • Why do children like pictorials?
  • What books are popular in China?

2. Describe one of your favorite books.

You should say:

  • What kind of books you like
  • What is your favorite book?
  • What it is about
  • When did you get it?
  • Why you like it

Discussion:

  • Do you like other books?
  • What kind of books do Chinese people like?
  • What kind of books do Chinese women like?
  • What kind of books do Chinese children like?
  • What kind of books do you recommend to others?

3. Describe a letter.

You should say:

  • When you received it
  • Who sent it to you
  • What it is about
  • Whether it is important to you

Discussion:

  • What is the difference between letter and e-mail?
  • Do you often keep diaries?
  • What is the difference between diary and letter?
  • What is the difference in the past and at the present as regards communications?
  • What is the role of letter 50 years ago and at the present?
  • What do you think of the role 50 years later?
  • What do you think of creative writing?
  • Would post office disappear 50 years later?
  • What role does computer play in our society?
  • What changes have been brought by the computer? What is professorsí attitude?

4. Describe a kind of music.

You should say:

  • Whether you like music
  • What kind of music you like best
  • What role music plays in peopleís life

Discussion:

  • How long do you listen to music everyday?
  • Why is it easier for children to learn playing a musical instrument?
  • What are the benefits of learning to play musical instruments?
  • Discuss the impact of western music on the world music?

Describing celebration and leisure time (4 test items)


1. Describe a traditional festival in China.

You should say:

  • What it is
  • When is it celebrated?
  • How to celebrate? / what you usually do on that day
  • What you like and what you donít like

Discussion:

  • What is the concept of holiday in China?
  • Why is holiday so important to modern people?
  • Do you think it is necessary to observe the traditional customs?
  • What changes in terms of spending festivals and holidays have taken place in the past decade?
  • What is the difference as regards celebration in different part of the country?

2. Describe a perfect trip/holiday.

You should say:

  • Where you would go
  • When would you go?
  • Whom you would go with
  • What you are going to do

Discussion:

  • What is the difference in the past and at the present as regards travelling?
  • How would the tourist industry develop in the future?
  • What should the government do to attract tourists?
  • What should the people do to attract tourists?

3. Describe an interesting trip you have taken.

You should say:

  • Where you went
  • When you went there
  • Whom you went with
  • What you did there
  • Why you like it

Discussion:

  • What is the difference in the past and at the present as regards traveling?
  • How would the tourist industry develop in the future?
  • What should the government do to attract tourists?
  • What should the people do to attract tourists?

4. Describe an interesting hobby.

You should say:

  • What it is
  • How long you spend on it
  • How often you do it
  • Why you like it

Discussion:

  • Do you think that surfing the Internet, watching TV, listening to music or keeping a pet are interesting hobbies?
  • Do you think it will cost too much time to do them?
  • Do you like hobbies requiring teamwork?
  • Why do people usually do in their spare time?

Additional test items (4 test items)


1. Describe an environmental problem.

You should say:

  • What it is
  • How long it has existed
  • What effect it has brought to peopleís life
  • What we can do to solve it

Discussion:

  • What causes environmental problems?
  • What should the government do to protect the environment?
  • What should we do to protect the environment?
  • What other measures can you think of to protect the environment?
  • How should we educate children to protect environment?
  • Whatís the difference between the old and the young as regards environmental protection?

2. Describe a kind of extreme weather.

You should say:

  • What it is
  • When did it happen?
  • Where you were
  • How you felt at that time

Discussion:

  • What should you do in a bad weather?
  • Will bad weather mould or change peopleís personality?
  • What is the relationship between weather and culture?
  • The climate has changed these 50 years. Have you noticed the changes?
  • What changes do you predict in the following years?
  • Are the people interested in gathering the weather information in your place?
  • How does weather influence peopleís personalities in your country?

3. Talking about learning English.

You should say:

  • When and where you began studying English
  • What is the most interesting thing in an English class?
  • What is the most effective way of learning English?
  • What difficulties you have when learning English
  • What are the advantages of learning English?

Discussion:

  • What problems do you have when studying English?
  • Do you think that English is the most important language in the world?
  • Can English take the place of Chinese in China?
  • What other languages are taught in China?
  • Do you think that age is the most important factor of learning English? Why?
  • What difficulties would a foreigner have when he learns your native language?
  • What problems would Chinese people have when communicating with foreigners?
  • When would be most suitable for children to learn English?
  • How will translation and interpretation develop in the future?

4. Describe different ways of getting news.

You should say:

  • Whether you get news every day
  • Whether the news is national or international
  • How you get news (via newspaper, TV, Internet, radio or other people?)
  • How do most Chinese people think about the importance of getting update news everyday?

Discussion:

  • Do you think the information on the Internet believable or not?
  • What is the most effective way of getting news?
  • How do reporters gather information?
  • What do you think of the importance of privacy?
  • How do journalists entertain their customers?
  • What role do media play in peopleís life?
  • How do Chinese people gather information?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of different media?
  • Do you think it necessary to control the news coverage?
  • What kind of news do you think should be controlled?

5. Describe a skill you want to learn.

You should say:

  • What it is
  • Why you think it is important
  • How you are going to learn it
  • What role it will play in you future life

Discussion:

  • What do you think of the traditional skills?
  • What skill do you think the university has provided for your job?
  • What skills can you learn in school?
  • What kind of skills have your parents learned?
  • What do you think of the role of family for children to learn skills?
  • What is the most popular skill that people want to learn?
  • What kind of school would you send your children to? Why?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of school education and family education?

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