model answers-ielts-speaking-test-questions-part 1

IELTS speaking questions and model answers for part 1. The following model answers have been prepared in response to typical part one of the IELTS Speaking test.

Work

 [students will do the study questions below]
Do you like your job?
I really do enjoy my occupation. Not only do I get satisfaction of being involved in the creation of meaningful building projects, but I’m able to go and visit building sites, which is very interesting.

Does your job require the use of technology?
Most definitely, as all the design work is done using very complex modern software installed on the most up-to-date computers. Even when I have to visit building sites, I use a tablet to make notes. In fact, if I want to stay ahead of the game and secure a promotion, I need to constantly keep up with the technological advances.

Do you work better in the mornings or afternoons?
To be perfectly honest with you, I always waste away the morning and really don’t start being productive until the afternoon. At the start of the day, I am more interested in getting coffee, chatting with co-workers, and catching up on emails. Once the afternoon rolls around, I become very motivated and do lots of work. In fact, I even stay late a lot of nights because I’m in the zone and I’m often one of the last people to leave the office.

Will you keep doing this job for a long time?
I have to say I love my current position and I’m working hard to get promoted. But I’m also concerned about the long working hours that I’m forced to work. I’m sure you’ve heard about the 996 work style. Don’t repeat this, but in the future. I’m seriously considering going back university and studying to become a teacher, in order to achieve a better work and life balance.

Study 

[workers will do the work questions above]
What are you studying?
I am currently undertaking a bachelor’s degree in social studies, so there are a lot of different subjects. Many of the subjects involve the study of psychological theories, communication techniques, as well as interpersonal skills.

Does your study require the use of technology?
Most definitely, whether it is researching for information or completing assignments. The use of the Internet and computers are essential. Not only this but all the textbooks nowadays are available as e-books, which is great as I do not have to carry a bag of heavy books around with me all day.

Do you study better in the mornings or afternoons?
Whenever I wake up, I am full of energy and my mind is very receptive to acquiring new knowledge so I would have to say that I prefer studying in the morning. Once I had a shower and a nice healthy breakfast, I find that it is very easy to concentrate. However, by the afternoon, my mind is fatigued and it just seems that it is much harder to maintain my focus.

Are you looking forward to working?
I really am in two minds about it. Being a student has been fun and I have made a lot of new friends, but the trouble is that I never had two pennies to rub together. What will be really good about working is being financially independent. It would be nice to be able to afford some of the finer things in life.

Home

Do you live in a house or apartment?
Neither, as I actually live in the student accommodation provided by my university. It was fun at the beginning, but I’m getting a bit tired of always having to share a room. Of course, with the cost of living Nowadays, I have no doubt there when I leave university,. I will end up living in an apartment.

Which room do you like the most?
I would have to say my bedroom. I know it sounds funny but that is where my bed is and I really do cherish the quiet time at the end of the evening when I am lying in bed and reading my favourite novel. Besides, my room is like a safe haven where I can get away from it all.

Are there any shops or other facilities near your home?
My actual home is located in a residential complex, So everything is within reach. There is a gym, a park, as well is a wide variety of shops which are more than enough to cater for all the residents in my area. As well as this there is a new shopping centre that has just opened, and it is within walking distance, so that centre has everything from restaurants to cinemas.

Do you plan to live there for a long time?
Well, my roommate Kevin and I get on like a house on fire so currently I see no reason to find somewhere else to live. However, I do want to study my Masters in Business Management overseas, so I don’t view this living arrangement as long-term but I intend to enjoy it while it lasts.

The area you live in

Do you like the area that you live in?
Yes, I really love it. As I live in the old historic centre of Shanghai and it has its own unique charm. What I especially like is that there is easy access to the shopping malls, restaurants, medical clinics, entertainment centres and nightlife. This is because of the really good public transport that comes from being close to the commercial areas.

What are some changes in the area recently?
To be perfectly honest, I have only recently moved into the area so I am no expert, but some of my work colleagues are very quick to point out that there is rapid development. One thing they tell me is that it used to take ages to get around whereas the public transport has developed extensively now making it very simple.

Do you know any famous people in your area?
I’m sorry, but no I don’t, and I really have not been living in this area long enough. I guess a lot of famous people have very humble beginnings, so it’s quite possible that there are some well-known celebrities that used to live in my area, but I’m sure that they would have moved out to much more resplendent surroundings.

Where do you like to go in your area?
I do like to go shopping and I am completely spoilt for choice in Shanghai. So, whenever I get a chance. I like to go and explore the various shopping centres. What I really like about shopping in Shanghai is its well-known tradition of offering the best of the east and the latest from the west.

Hometown or place you grew up in

Is your hometown a big city or a small place?
Tsingtao was to my mind relatively large with a current population of around 9 million people. However, since I’ve moved to Shanghai for work after my graduation. I have now come to realise it is not as large as I used to think it was, but it has been named China’s most livable city by the Chinese Institute of City Competitiveness.

What do you like most about your hometown?
I would have to say that I’m especially fond of the awesome Korean barbecue restaurants. Not only that but the lovely seaside setting, and temperate weather make it an idyllic place to live. With its many parks, beaches, and sculptures as well as the unique mix of German and modern architecture that lines the shore. What is not to like!

Is there anything you dislike about it?
To my mind the biggest issue is a condition of the air. Even though it is a coastal city,  the air quality is deteriorating. They’re even bad air days when it is recommended that you wear a disposable respirator. Having said that, I would have to admit that there are a lot of places that have far greater problems with this issue.

How do you think it can be improved?
There are so many wonderful features that it is very hard to single one out. However, a very significant issue has emerged recently with Tsingtao suffering the worst ever allergy infestation and this has been an issue for over 15 years. The government is working hard to address this environmental problem, so I really hope they can get on top of the soon

Apps and applications

  1. What apps have you recently used?

Without a doubt that would have to be Wechat as I often use it to talk to friends, colleagues, and even clients. Another one is candy crush which is a game that is great to play when you’re waiting in a queue. Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention I also have a calendar app that I use constantly, so that I never miss an appointment.

  • What kinds of apps are you usually interested in?

Well, as I was just saying social media games and the ones that help to plan your day are all very important to me. I have to admit that I am also fond of some camera applications that let you add funny faces to your pictures. So, I guess I am saying that there are a mix of practical and fun apps that I have an interest in.

  • What was the first app you used?

That is easy to answer. It would have to be the game called snake, which was an app installed on the old Nokia phones. It is actually said to be one of the first apps to appear and there is no doubt that mobile applications have come a long way with so many choices available to us now.

  • What kinds of apps would you like to use in the future?

To be perfectly honest with you I have no idea. I have all the applications I need installed on my phone. Having said that it would not surprise me if some new one came along and caught my attention. It really is a field that is developing at an amazing pace.

Colors

  1. What’s your favorite color?

Without a doubt that would have to be blue. I find blue to be very calming and there are many different shades of blue. I prefer those that are in the mid range which are not too dark or too light. My second choice would be red as it is the colour of chilis and I like spicy food.

  • What colors do you dislike?

I would have to say that brown is not my cup of tea, all shades of brown look sort of dull to me in terms of fashion. It is really hard to find a brown item that looks good. When it comes to clothing I think brown is very old-fashioned and even a brown belt does not really match with any other kind of attire.

  • What colors do your friends like most?

It depends as everyone is different and has their own tastes. My friend Mike seems to be a fan of bright colours, such as greens and reds and he and his girlfriend, often buy matching T-shirts that are very colourful. Actually, come to think of it, I cannot think of anyone in my social circle that does like dark colors.

  • Are there any colors you would not paint the walls of your home?

Generally speaking, I would be loath to have any walls in my house painted with white or light green. I like neutral and relaxing colours such as beige, but white and light green give me the shivers as they both reminded me of a hospital. I really do not like hospitals, so both of these make me feel uncomfortable.

Getting lost

  1. Have you ever lost your way?

Yes, I must admit that I have. when I was living in Tsingtao I used to take long walks just to explore and immerse myself in the atmosphere of the suburbs. I would generally do this after work and I often found myself somewhere strange and with no idea how to get back to my apartment.

  • How do you find your way when you are lost?

As I was just saying I often had issues finding my way home. At first I used to get in a taxi and phone one of the local staff from the office and ask them to tell the taxi driver where my home was, however, I did not like to take advantage of them like that. So, when they asked someone to write my dress down in Chinese on a card which I kept in my wallet and I would just show that to the cabdriver.

  • Can you read a map when you get lost?

Of course I can. Map reading using a paper map has become a bit of a lost art I think. But, I can also use map applications on my smart phone. One trick I used when I get separated from my friends, was to use social media to send them a message and ask them to send me a pen of their location and then I just set my map applications to take me to them.

  • Have you ever helped someone who got lost?

Most definitely. As someone who has got lost many times and often relied on the kindness of strangers, I feel obliged to help others if I can. It is easy to spot someone who is lost. In fact, just the other day, a met a tourist who could not find his hotel, he had just arrived in town and went to a convenience store and got completely disorientated. He was only a block away from the hotel, so I just escorted him back.

Handwriting

  1. Do you like writing by hand?

As far as I am concerned, writing is just a tool. Albeit whether its handwriting, or using typing my handwriting is not that good, and sometimes I even find it hard to read what I have written. I guess what I am trying to say is that I do not have strong feelings either way.

  • How often do you write with a pen?

I hardly ever use a pen and if I do, it’s normally to make a short note to remind me to do something. Just about everything I write nowadays is done using a computer. In fact, I used to be able to handwrite for hours on end, but currently if I write for longer than five minutes my hand really starts to hurt.

  • Do you prefer to handwrite or type?

To be perfectly frank, I am sitting on the fence with this question. Handwriting can be done anywhere and at any time as long as you have a pen and paper and enough light. Using a computer on the other hand is limited by the availability of electricity. Even if you are using a laptop there will come a time when the device needs charging. Therefore, as far as I’m concerned. Both have a place in my life.

  • Is your handwriting easy to read?

Sadly, no, it is often hard for people to decipher. My handwriting has never been legible and in fact it has got worse because I seldom need to write nowadays. However, I have found that if I use a really good quality pen, the quality of my writing gets to be a lot easier to read.

Headphones

  1. Do you use headphones?

Actually, yes because I teach English online so I need to use them every day. I specifically use them because they limit outside noise so I can concentrate on what the student is saying. Unlike earphones which might be more comfortable, yet they are not good at shutting out the background sounds.

  • What type of headphones do you use?

Currently I am using a headset that comes with a microphone and a USB connection to the computer. I prefer the USB connection, as the headphones do not require batteries. When I am in the middle of the class the last thing I want to happen is a failure due to a flat battery.

  • When do you wear headphones?

To expand on what I just said in the previous answer. I am an online English teacher, hence, I would have to say that I only use them during classes. After class I take them off and switch the computer back to the loudspeakers so that I can play music while I do other work.

  • In what situations would you not use headphones?

Without a doubt, there are a wide range of scenarios where I wouldn’t use them. Headphones, unlike earphones are bulky and are not really suitable when one is in a crowded bus, train or subway. Another issue that springs to mind is the danger of them as it cuts out all of the outside noise and would reduce my situational awareness when I’m out and about, which could see me being hit by a car if I were to cross the road without paying attention.

Holidays

  1. Where did you go for your last holiday?

Sadly, due to covid 19 it has been a long time. but I do cherish the memory of my trip to Chengdu. Not only did I get to see pandas but the food there was to die for. The Sichuan cuisine uses garlic chilis as well Sichuan Peppers to create the areas signature spicy food.

  • Who do you like to go with on holidays?

To be honest with you, I prefer travelling alone, because there are fewer arguments and I can go where I want and when I want to. Of course, sometimes it might get lonely, but it is always easy to make friends with other travellers. In fact being alone encourages me to be more outgoing and expands my outlook on life.

  • Which public holiday do you like best?

Of course the spring festival would have to be my favourite. I really like it, as I get to go back to my hometown and spend time with my family. It is also a good time to catch up with childhood friends.

  • What do you do on holidays?

Without a doubt that depends on how long I have off. if I had a long time off, then I will try to take a trip overseas and explore some other part of the globe. If it is only a short holiday, then I am not likely to want to spend a lot of time travelling so I might just stay at home and relax. If the weather is good, then I will most likely head down to the beach.

Pets and Animals

  1. What is your favorite animal?

I would have to say that I am in two minds about this. On the one hand, cats are independent and very easy to take care of, but is still very affectionate, whilst on the other hand, dogs are loyal and great fun but they can be a bit of a handful and require more care and attention. I guess I am saying that I find it hard to choose between the two.

  • Have you ever had a pet before?

Well, yes, I have had many pets, including a dog and I’ve even had some guinea pigs, other pets I’ve had include budgies and fish. Nowadays, I don’t have time to have a dog and I would never keep a bird in a cage any more as a prefer to see them flying around free where they belong.

  • Would you like to have a pet in the future?

That depends on whether I have the time and the space I think I would really like to have another dog. The problem is that as much as I would love to have one. It would tie me down too much. This is because my work involves a lot of travel. An I would have to change jobs so that I could be home more often in order to take care of the animal.

  • What is the most popular animal in your country?

You know, there are many people in China who love animals. During my time in China the pet dogs that I saw were all pampered and well cared for and loved so much. In fact, just the other day my friend was telling me how there is now even a fashion where animals have their hair dyed to make them look like other animals such as poodles looking like tigers or camels, which shows just how much time the owners devote to looking after them.

Public gardens and parks

  1. Do you like to go to public gardens or parks?

I must admit that I love spending time in those kinds of places, but it often depends on the weather. It is a lot of fun to go out and sit in a park, but doing so when there is inclement weather is no fun at all. In that case I am more than happy to be tucked up safely inside amusing myself with the Internet or watching TV.

  • What do you like to do when visiting a park?

There are so many things I enjoy doing such as just taking a gentle stroll and watching the world go by. I am especially fond of going in the early morning as there are lots of people exercising and that encourages me to do so as well. In fact, just the other day I was lucky enough to see a group dancing with little umbrellas. It really was colourful and interesting.

  • How are the parks today different from those you visited as a child?

Without a doubt the key difference is that nowadays the parks are free. I remember that parks were privately owned and run, and unless you were prepared to pay the entry fee you were not permitted to go in. Nowadays the government has reclaimed them and we no longer have to pay any entry fees. I think that is fantastic.

  • Are there enough parks where you live?

To be completely honest, I don’t think there is adequate numbers. This is because we cannot ever have enough parks that provide children with something to do other than having a sedentary lifestyle. As a result of their addictions to computers and mobile phones. Parks are also great for community health. The reason I say this is when people are outside and there is sunshine, their bodies actually are able to make vitamin D from the sunlight which we all know is essential to good health.

Science

  1. Do you like learning about science?

Yes, definitely. I really get a kick out of learning the sciences because it helps me to acquire an in-depth understanding of the world that I am living in. Science is now a big part of our lives and everything around us can be linked to. Well, I can’t understand why there are some people consider the subject boring as I find it so interesting.

  • Did you study science at school?

If my memory serves me right, I didn’t study it in primary school and I only started to study subjects related to the sciences, when I was in secondary school. This is because it was part of our curriculum. I was never any good at the humanities subjects so I was only too happy to avoid them and immerse myself in science related content.

  • What kind of science classes did you take at school?

I studied chemistry, physics, and biology. I would have to say biology was my favourite one out at those. This is because a person gets a chance to explore the human body as well as nature even now, I prefer to read books about biology, chemistry was also an interesting class but physics was the most challenging. I decided to take up biology as my major in university and I am planning to study further in order to acquire a master degree in biology.

  • Do you think science is important?

As far as I am concerned, it is essential because we have learned many things through the sciences and another fact is that at present most of the industries are related to science and technology, so I believe that if I know about science and technology, it will be very helpful when it comes to getting a job in this competitive era.

Shoes

  1. Do you like buying shoes?

Honestly speaking, I would have to say no, because as far as I’m concerned shoes are a functional necessity. If my sneakers are worn out, then I will go and buy a new pair and I will do it as quickly as possible because I see it as nothing but a chore.

  • Have you ever bought shoes online?

Yes, I did once, and I will never do it again. I find it very hard to find a pair of shoes that are a perfect fit, and I often have to try on several pairs before I find one that fits like a glove.

  • How much money do you usually spend on shoes?

It’s hard to say because I don’t normally buy shoes and only look at making a purchase once in a blue moon. If my shoes need replacing, I will generally look for ones that are of superior quality, so that they will last; and consequently I do not mind spending a little bit extra.

  • Do you prefer wearing fashionable shoes or comfortable shoes?

Without a doubt comfort is something I view as being of utmost importance. However, I would not want to be seen in a pair of really ugly shoes so I can’t wear shoes that are not too outlandish. I guess I’m saying that I try to find shoes that are smart, while conservative; but at the same time, they must be a good fit. Poorly fitting and uncomfortable footwear can lead to long-term health problems.

Spending time with others

  1. Do you like talking with people?

Generally speaking, I am more than happy to talk to others, whether it is an in-depth philosophical conversation or just a casual chinwag. I am equally content. However, I really have no time for malicious gossip, as this can be hurtful and is really pointless.

  • How do you like spending time with your friends?

I would have to say that there are a variety of things I enjoy doing just hanging out at a local café and having a cup of coffee together can be a great way to catch up with a plan and I think the main point worth noting is that it is one of the few real pleasures in life. It really does not matter what you are doing with your friends as long as there is a lot of good conversation and laughter.

  • Would you prefer to study alone or with others?

To be completely honest with you, my preference is to be by myself. I have my own methods that worked really well for me and I find that studying with someone else when a group is distracted. Call me selfish, if you like, but I find it a complete waste of my time.

  • How often do you need to cooperate with others?

As far as I’m concerned, there is a constant need to get along with other people. The only thing that has changed is the way it is done. Nowadays, with covid 19 and the rapid development of communication technology, many are being forced to turn to telecommuting instead of sharing a physical workspace. We are now working together over the internet.

TV programs

  1. What kind of TV programs do you like?

I seldom watch television as my free time is very limited. Consequently, if I get a chance to sit back and unwind, I really prefer to look at comedies or any program that is entertaining and does not require any mental effort. For instance, I love to binge watch returns of the Big Bang theory.

  • Do you watch TV or on your cellphone?

That is not something I am in the habit of doing. If I am home, I can always use a television or my computer which has dual monitors and when I’m out and about, I might use my smart phone to play a game if I get stuck in a queue. Other than that, I find the smartphone screen too small to watch any television.

  • Do you like watching the same kind of program all the time?

As I said previously, I am a fan of comedies, in particular the Big Bang theory. However, there are also times when I’m keen on other genres, such as documentaries, detective stories, or even historical dramas, especially ones about the mediaeval times, such as Nightfall,

  • Do you talk with your friends about the program you watched?

It depends on who the friend is. I have some who have similar tastes to me and then if I watch something really good that I think would be their cup of tea, I will be very quick to share it with them. Whilst there are others, who are more interested in computer games, so it would be pointless to talk to them about TV programs.

Weather

  1. What kind of weather do you like most?

I seriously like it when it is warm with the temperature being around 25 to 30°, on average, nothing beats lying down the beach in that kind of weather. Also, I get depressed in the wet season. I find often end up catching a cold, especially when you get those rainy, wet and cold days where there is too much humidity in the air.

  • What’s the weather like in your hometown?

In the city where I was born and grew up it was tropical with high temperatures all year round and lots of rain. In fact, the daily rainstorm was so regular you could set your watch by it. The climate was also very humid and whilst I was used to it, I noticed that visitors found it very uncomfortable.

  • Do you like the weather in your hometown?

Quite honestly, no, because it is very humid. However, I have to admit that I used to love it. But that was before I moved up north and experienced drier weather. Now whenever I go back to visit my parents, it often takes me a while to readjust back to the humidity and that seems to take longer every time

  • Do you prefer dry or wet weather?

Well, honestly, I much prefer a drier environment. The reason for my preference is that I am a motorcycle enthusiast. I also ride to commute to work and back, and wet weather makes life very difficult as it impairs my vision and I have to be really careful of other road users who often don’t see me. People in general seem to have more accidents in the wet, and that scares the living daylights out of me.

Weekends

  1. What do you usually do on weekends?

I love hanging out with my friends as that’s the only time we can see each other and spend a great time updating each other about our life. Generally, on weekdays we all have a hectic schedule and we find it difficult to even catch up for a short time like just having a coffee, it is impossible.

  • Did you do anything special last weekend?

Honestly, I was kind of lazy last weekend. I didn’t do anything productive or unusual as I just wanted to get a good rest. I just lay in my bed for hours on end and spent time binge watching my favourite TV series. I don’t usually do that, but for some reason I wasn’t inspired to do anything. I guess just doing nothing special.

  • What will you do next weekend?

Actually, I have a plan to go shopping. You see my shoes are worn out, and I need to get a new pair of sneakers, and I don’t like shopping for shoes online, so I’m probably going to go down to the local shopping centre, and see if I can find a nice pair. I might even try get hold of one of my friends and see if they want to come with me so we can go and have a meal together.

4) What do other people in your city usually do on weekends?

I guess it depends as everyone is different. Just because they are from my hometown doesn’t mean they all do the same thing on weekends because my hometown is quite small and close to the countryside. A lot of people do like to get out of the city and go and have a picnic in the wide-open spaces. Other than that, some people actually like just hanging around at the shopping centres. So, I don’t think people in my hometown are any different from any other people in the world.

Let’s talk about parks
Q1: How often do you go to a park?
I try to visit my local park frequently on my way home from work, weather permitting. Fortunately, my local and favorite park is close to home. It is usually quiet and peaceful.
Q2: What activities do you do in a park?

After a long day at work, I usually enjoy a quiet spot on many of the benches beside the pathway. It’s a good place to watch people and observe the activities. I’ll also enjoy a snack and beverage.
Q3: Do you prefer small parks or big parks?

My daily park visits are at a small park near home. On the weekends, however, I like to go to a large park as there are lots of activities and things to do and see.
Q4: Do people in your country like going to parks?

In the village where I come from there are few parks nearby but lots of green spaces for people to enjoy. People in the cities love to get out of the house and frequent parks.  I often see small groups enjoying a picnic, chilling out and relaxing.

Now let’s discuss breaks from work or study
Q1: What do you usually do during a break?
At work, I get two coffee breaks and a mid-shift break. The coffee breaks are short and I like to stretch my tight muscles before grabbing a cup of tea and resuming work. Mid shift breaks allow me to have a bite to eat and relax for a while.
Q2: Do you prefer a long break or several short breaks?
I work at my desk and stare at my computer monitor for long periods of time. I therefore, prefer a number of short breaks. I like to get up, stretch, move around to get the blood moving and freshen my coffee before returning to my cubicle.
Q3: How often do you take a break?
At work my employer allows breaks which are scheduled every two hours with morning and afternoon breaks and a longer break mid shift to allow for a rejuvenating meal and a little bit of exercise. Although breaks are design to allow employees to get away from their desks, many of my colleagues prefer to continue working to meet their deadlines.
Q4: Why do you need to take a break?
Breaks are necessary for me to get away from my desk because gives me an opportunity to relax my muscles and sometimes massage my shoulders and neck. Also, they give my eyes a chance to rest from staring at my computer monitor.

Let’s now discuss numbers and maths
Q1: Are you good at maths?
In secondary school I did well in math especially in algebra and trigonometry however when I went to university I found the curriculum more difficult. I had to study intensively as math was more complex. I especially had difficulty with calculus.
Q2: How often do you need to use maths?
I use math and arithmetic every day especially to calculate my daily spending. I rarely use a calculator for simple addition and multiplication, at and away from the office. For difficult calculations, I will use my computer or smartphone.
Q3: What is your favorite number?
Seven is my favorite number as it has been a recurring number in my life. I hit a triple seven on a slot machine once which paid a sizeable jackpot. I away buy a lottery ticket with one or more sevens.
Q4: Are you good at remembering phone numbers?

In the past before cell phones, telephone numbers were only 7 or 8 digits and easy to remember. Today with most people using mobile phones remembering number are not necessary. I also rely on my cell and don’t remember numbers.

Let’s talk about science classes
Q1: Do you like learning about science?
When I was in elementary school I was fascinated with dinosaurs and had many dinosaur figurines. My fascination with science continued as I watched many space and nature shows on TV. As an adult, I still love science and watch documentaries and other science shows.
Q2: Did you study science at school?
In secondary school, I did not do well in the arts such as language nor did I do well in math. The sciences is where my interests lied. I enjoyed studying and science projects in the classrooms.
Q3: What kind of science classes did you take at school?
In high school, I preferred chemistry and physics as there were a lot of hands-on experiments in the classroom. I had teachers that were very good at demonstrating and explaining how science worked. My least favorite science class was biology which was interesting but I didn’t enjoy dissecting animals.
Q4: Do you think science is important?
I believe science is very important we understand our earth’s history, weather and climate. Science, of course, has led to the development of technology which we enjoy today such as transportation and communication. Sciences has also enabled us to explore our solar system and the universe beyond.

Now let’s discuss history
Q1: Do you like learning about history?
I find our history fascinating and I very much enjoy our evolution from prehistoric animals to our modern civilization. Unfortunately, history is riddled war and violence however hopefully we are learning from our errors and will become more peaceful. I watch historic documentaries as often as they are available.
Q2: When was the last time you read about history?
Since I am planning to travel to Europe next year, I thought it would be a good idea to research European history during the 20th century. I recently finished reading about the events leading up to, during and after the 2nd world war. It was interesting and I think it will be beneficial for me when I visit historical sites in Europe.
Q3: Did you like history when you were young?
When I was still attending school I was not interested in history. I was too busy hanging out with my friends and discovering my surroundings. Now I have respect for history as it is fascinating and educational. I also enjoy watching historical dramas and documentaries.
Q4: Have you ever been to any history museums?
When I was in elementary school my parents took me to a historical museum. It was an inexpensive and fascinating trip and I especially enjoyed the old tools and equipment. Nowadays I regularly go to museums and historical sites to relax and be entertained.

Let’s talk about scenery
Q1: Is there good scenery in the area you live in?

I live and commute in the city and the scenery is minimal at best. Therefore on my days off, I like to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and visit the countryside. There I can enjoy the fresh air, quiet places and take in the scenery.
Q2: Do you like to take photos of scenery?

When I escape the pollution and congestion of the city, I have my smart phone to snap pictures of my surroundings. For example last month I went to the beach and watched the sunset. I got some amazing pictures of the ocean and the setting sun.
Q3: What scenic places are there in your country?

There are many places to adventure and enjoy the scenery. Many people in my county travel to the beach, mountains and historical sites. Just last summer, my friends and I climbed up a mountain.  The scenery along the way and the view was spectacular.
Q4: When you travel, do you like to stay in hotels with scenic views?

Hotels with views are nice but not a necessity for me as I spend very little time there. I mainly sleep and freshen up in the morning to go to the places or activities I have planned. At home, I live in a high-rise apartment building and do enjoy the scenery and city view from my balcony.

Now let’s discuss cakes and desserts
Q1: Do you like to eat dessert?

For me, when I was growing up, mom would try to make healthy desserts. Sliced fruit with milk or ice cream was a common dessert, which I enjoyed. My mom would also make sweet-breads containing dried fruit which were a favorite of mine.
Q2: Have you ever made any cakes?

When I was young, I would help my mother in the kitchen preparing meals. She believed it was important to teach me to cook so I could look after myself when I left home. I helped her make cakes for special occasions, but I have never made one myself.
Q3: Do you like eating cake?

Myself, I am not a big dessert fan. I try to eat healthy; and cakes and desserts are too sweet for my taste and are full of sugar and calories. I will indulge in cake at birthday parties and wedding celebrations however.
Q4: What desserts do people in your country like?

Where I live dessert is not a regular part of a meal offering. People will at times have a dessert like cakes and pies when they are out at a restaurant. Other sweets that people like are ice-cream, chocolates and candies which are very popular.

Let’s talk about art
Q1: Do you like art?

I am not an artist myself, but as a kid, I painted and drew as part of art classes in elementary school. I do appreciate and admire the creations of artists. When I get more leisure time I may take up painting.
Q2: Have you ever visited an art gallery?

There are many museums and art galleries that tourists and Chinese people like to visit for example The China Art Museum in Shanghai where historical and contemporary art is displayed. I was fortunate to have some time off and me and my friends visited the China Art Museum last summer.
Q3: Is there any artwork on the wall in your home?

I don’t have any original artwork in my apartment. I do however have some photographs that I had enlarged and framed that are hanging in my living room. They were taken during my trip last year to the beach and during the previous year climbing a mountain.
Q4: Have you ever had any art classes?

A few years ago, my girlfriend convinced me that we should do more activities together. Perhaps inspired by the movie “ghost”, she convinced me that pottery classes were the best choice. I still have some vases and bowls from those classes.

Let’s now discuss pens and pencils
Q1: Do you usually use a pen or a pencil?

Today pencils are not commonly available in general stores. If you want one you need to shop at a stationery store. My writing tool of choice is my computer but for quick notes I have a pen handy. I prefer a quality ball-point pen rather than the disposable pens that are available.
Q2: When was the last time you bought a pen or pencil?

I recently went to an art store in my neighborhood to purchase some pens. My much younger cousin enjoys coloring pictures, so I thought colored pencils would be an excellent gift for her. I have them gift wrapped and will give them to her as a birthday present.
Q3: Have you ever received a pen or pencil as a gift?

When I graduated from university, one of the special gifts I received was a ball-point pen with the school colors and engraved with the year of my graduation. I was excited and appreciated the thoughtfulness of the gift. It is a special souvenir that I cherish and keep safe.
Q4: Do people in your country prefer to use pens or pencils?

Where I live, pencils are rarely available. You usually need to go to a specialty store to purchase one. Ink is more durable than lead pencils so pens would be the choice for the vast majority of people.

Now let’s discuss spending time by yourself
Q1: How often do you spend time by yourself?

I am single and don’t have a special person in my life therefore I spend a lot of time by myself. When commuting back and forth to work, I take public transfer transit, so I share the bus with many people and at that time I am not by myself. Most of my time alone is during the evenings.
Q2: What did you do last time you were by yourself?

I live a routine in scheduled life when not at work. Last night after a couple of hours of studying, I watched some television. Last night’s show I watched was a documentary on space and our solar system.
Q3: Do you like spending a lot of time by yourself?

I actually enjoy being single as I can schedule my activities when I want. I like being alone during my studies and have the flexibility with time. I enjoy being able to relax, read a book or watch television.
Q4: When do you usually spend time by yourself?

My time is pretty well scheduled between my commute to and from work and my long working hours. On the way home I usually go shopping and may go to a restaurant for a casual meal alone. Most of my time being by myself would be in the evenings, studying, reading or watching a movie.

Let’s talk about laughing
Q1: How often do you laugh?

I have a laugh or chuckle every day. It might be a funny post on social media or cartoon in the paper that I find humorous. On the weekends I will get together with my friends to relax, chill out and exchange some jokes.
Q2: Do you like to watch funny movies or TV shows?

My preferred television and movie shows are drama and documentaries. To relax, however, I do enjoy watching comedy on television but I rarely go to a theater. I enjoy comedy centered on families and friends rather than slapstick humor.
Q3: Are you the kind of person who makes other people laugh?

I am certainly not a stand-up comedian. I do, however, enjoy meeting up with my friends at a restaurant or bar and exchanging stories and jokes. I am not a person that likes to be the center of attention but I can tell a pretty good joke and make people laugh.
Q4: Do you think it is important to laugh with friends?
I believe that having a good sense of humor and enjoying laughter is good for your health. I love to meet up with my friends and enjoy their company as we always have a few laughs over a meal and drinks. I believe having a good sense of humor that you share, builds friendship and comradeship.

Let’s now discuss water sports
Q1: What water sports do you like doing?

When I was a child I played with my friends at the local lake, swimming, fishing and splashing each other which was a lot of fun. In university, I competed on the swim team. We won a few tournaments and I enjoyed the comradeship and celebrations. I also enjoyed the competitiveness and challenges of swimming when I was a student.
Q2: What kind of water sports do you want to try?

While watching the Summer Olympics hosted in Beijing, I was amazed by the talent and competitiveness of diving. I have always lived near the water and have participated in many water sports with the exception of diving. I would like to participate in this sport in the future.
Q3: Have you ever done any dangerous water sports?

I have great concern for my safety and with the power of the ocean and rivers, I always ensure safety gear is handy should an emergency arise.  When on small boats I will always wear a life preserver as I never know if there might be an accident. With these issues in mind, I have never participated in any dangerous sports.
Q4: Are water sports popular in your country?

Chinese people have a very busy lifestyle with work and studying therefore leisure or free time is infrequent. Popular water sports in China would include swimming, diving, dragon boat racing and other rowing activities. On the beaches, you may also see people surfing and wind sailing.

Let’s talk about running
Q1: How often do you run?

I have a busy life with working and studying so the opportunities to go for a run after work are few. I do however put time aside to jog at least three times a week which helps me relax and keep fit. On the weekends I would have a longer running workout.
Q2: Where do you usually go running?

There are some different choices to go running near where I live. My local park offers a green space where joggers get together and run a predetermined course around the park. There is also a track and field facility that allows for more competitive running.
Q3: Did you like running when you were a child?

When I was in elementary school, we had many sports days during the year that would involve running as one of the activities. I loved the running sports and although I wasn’t the best runner, I was competitive and enjoyed the company and interactions with the other kids.
Q4: Do you think running is a good way to stay healthy?

I believe running is an excellent way to stay healthy and improve your fitness. Not only does it help build muscles and endurance, it also is a good cardio exercise. However many people have difficulties when running with their knees and joints and alternate exercises including rowing and swimming may be better suited for them.

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR JOB…
What kind of work do you do?
Well now, I’m an athletic trainer in a small gym, and I also have to help out at the reception desk and also in the retail shop we run. I guess you can say that I have to wear many hats.

Why did you choose that kind of work?
Ok, that’s quite an easy question. It’s because I’ve always been keen on sports, so when I was trying to find a job, I decided to look for something I’m familiar with. Luckily I found a golden opportunity at the gym just down the road from my house.

Is there anything you don’t like about your job?
Well there are some things I don’t like, but it’s not related to the job itself. I mean this job is great, I love to guide people about how to exercise, it’s meaningful. However, the one thing I don’t like is that there is not much team spirit amongst my co-workers. I guess you could say that my gym has low workplace morale. I think this is the only thing bothering me.

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR STUDIES…
Where are you studying?
I’m studying at Sydney University. It’s a very prestigious university, and the lecturers are really demanding and give lots of assignments, so I often have to study until the wee hours. [Underlined words are explained below in the idioms section.]

Why did you choose to study there?
Actually I chose the school for a few reasons. Most importantly, I chose to study there because it has the most up-to-date knowledge in my area. As well as this, the University has a student centered approach, so I feel my learning needs are really taken care of.

What would you like to do after you finish your studies?
Well I think it depends. I think that my course will help me to set the stage for my future career. I’d like to join one of the top five accounting companies, but if my grades aren’t high enough I will go to work at my uncle’s accounting firm.

LET’S TALK ABOUT WHERE YOU LIVE:
Do you live in a house or in an apartment?
I live in a modern high-rise apartment complex. It’s a wonderful place to live because it has lots of amenities such as a gym, sauna, and swimming pool.

Which room of your apartment do you like most?
Oh, it’s definitely the living room. I live on the 25th floor and it has lots of windows that give me a bird’s eye view of the city. I love to sit on the sofa and drink my coffee in the morning and enjoy the fantastic view.

If you could change one thing about your home, what would it be?
There are a couple of things. I guess the main thing is that it has become a bit run down. My dad really needs to renovate our apartment…you know…paint the walls…that sort of thing.

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR HOMETOWN
What’s the name of your hometown?
Perth is my hometown it’s a city located in the west of my country.

Is it a big or a small place?
Actually, it is a small city with slightly over than 1 million people. It has beautiful beaches. In addition, due to the increasing economy, a number of businesses, especially in mining, are investing in my hometown that turns it into a promising area.

What do you like most about your hometown?
I like the hospitality and the goodwill of people there. Everyone is willing to give others a hand when they need help. In addition, There are a lot of parks and recreational areas.

LET DISCUSS SINGING
How often do you sing?
I absolutely love singing. When I’m into a song, I can’t help myself from singing it all day and night. Although my family hate it when I sing and they complain that it’s not sounding great.

When do you like to sing?
I sing whenever I feel like to, you know, when I’m bored or when I’m in a good mood. And since I’m not that type of a so-called performer, most of the time I sing for myself.

Do you like to hear other people sing?
Well, it really depends who it is. My mother has an excellent voice and I love to hear her sing. However, my little sister has an annoying high pitch tone and I can’t stand to hear her sing.

Have you ever wanted to be a singer?
Well, from what I’ve known, being a singer is not easy at all. It’s not just about performing, but it also involves in interaction with fans and other colleagues. Based on what I’ve known about showbiz, and even the music industry in general, I think that I don’t belong to that world.

LET’S TALK ABOUT SUNNY DAYS
Do you like sunny weather?
I definitely love sunny days, on which I can hang out with friends or do some sports. It is even better when the winds blowing. Sunny days are also good days to hang out laundry as well as cleaning both inside and outside the house.

What do you like to do when it’s a sunny day?
I love to participate in some outdoor activities under the sun like meeting up with some friends or do some sports, especially swimming. Or I grab the chance to do some photography. Everything becomes so clear and stunning on sunny days, no matter it’s early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as long as the sun shines, I’m sure I’ll find inspiration almost everywhere.

Do you do anything to protect yourself from the sun?
Absolutely, I know all about skin cancer and when I go out I always like to put on sun screen and wear a hat. As well as this, to protect my eyes from the glare and UV rays of the sun I wear sunglasses.

Are there many sunny days where you live?
It is a modern big city so unless it’s our rainy season, otherwise the sun would shine most of the time, either during one day or the whole year. Sometimes the temperature rises so high that it feels like burning, that’s when people prefer staying indoor enjoying the cool air produced by air conditioners.

NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT WEEKENDS
What do you do at the weekend?
Usually I prefer staying at home, I spend my spare time on my hobbies such as gardening and pottery. Usually, in the evening I like listening to some music and going onto some social networking site such as Facebook or Instagram.

What did you do last weekend?
Like every weekend I had a big sleep in both Saturday and Sunday mornings. I spent most of Saturday chilling out and cooked myself a big yummy meal and watched some TV. Besides, Sunday I spent most of the day online chatting with my friends and at night I went to bed early.

What are you going to do next weekend?
I don’t have any actual plan for this weekend, to be honest. If the weather is nice, I will probably have a barbeque and chit chat with my friends, since we don’t see each other often during weekdays. Otherwise, if it’s wet I’ll just stay home, continue with my homework and watch a bit of TV.

Do you feel that weekends now are more important to you than when you were a child?
Yes, weekends or day offs are becoming more important to me. Since working time accounts for higher proportion of my schedule, I barely have time for family or friends, not to mention taking care of ourselves. Back then I was of course more relaxed. There were no pressure, no deadlines and I have my parents take care of me.

LET’S MOVE ON AND DISCUSS ART
Do you like art?
I have had a lifelong passion for art since I was a child. Beside official art class in school, I also participated in some drawing competitions back then. Until now I still draw in my free time, although not as often as I used to do.

How often do you visit art galleries?
To tell you the truth, I have never visited art galleries before. Unless I had a guide to acknowledge me, art galleries would be quite boring for me. Well, I suppose if I went overseas I might visit some of the famous galleries.

Do you think art should be a compulsory school subject? 
Yes I do. Learning arts, especially at a young age, can help stimulate children’s cognitive development and encourage them to think outside the box. So, I think it’s important for every student to take this subject.

What kind of paintings do people like in your country?
In my opinion, people love hanging landscape paintings at home. Bringing in the beauty of Mother Nature somehow ease people’s mind after a long day at work. Another style that most people like is portraits. It could be portraits of someone important to them or even their lovely pets.

LET’S TALK ABOUT HATS
Do you like to wear hats?
Although hats help shield your hair and face from direct sunlight, to be honest I don’t really like wearing hats daily. My hair is always a mess after I take them off. Instead of wearing hats, I think I prefer bringing an umbrella with me.

What kinds of hats do you have?
Well as I’ve mentioned, wearing hats is definitely not my daily style, so generally I don’t have any hats at home. There is the only type of hat I’m particularly fond of, which is baseball caps. This kind of hat can give me a sporty and strong look, you know.

Did you wear hats when you were a child?
Yes. My school uniform had a grey cap in it and we had to wear our cap to and from school, but we did not wear it when we were inside the classroom.  My mother also used to make me wear a hat when I went to the beach to prevent sunburn.

Is wearing a hat popular in your country?
Well in my country motorbikes are the most common means of transportation, and we must wear a helmet whenever we ride a motorbike for safety. Other than that it’s not common to wear anything on our head.

See my part 2 model answers

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