[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Keeping in contact with people:
Q. How do you usually contact your friends? [Why?]
Answer: I usually contact my friends over the phones by having a voice chat. I prefer this contact method over the others mainly because talking over the phones makes it more personal and engaging where I can express my emotions much more easily.
Q. Do you prefer to contact different people in different ways? [Why?]
Answer: No, I don’t necessarily contact different people in a “pre-defined” sort of different ways mainly because I don’t know for sure what methods of contact are more appropriate, based on the time, circumstances and location of both me and the other people at the other end.
Q. Do you find it easy to keep in contact with friends and family? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I certainly find it easy to keep in contact with my friends and family mainly because I can rely on more than just one mode of communication. If my phone is not working, I can always send email messages to them. But even if my emails are not functioning properly, I could always leave an online or offline message on different chat apps and messengers.
Q. In your country, did people in the past keep in contact in the same ways as they do today? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: No, people in Brazil didn’t use to contact others in the same ways as they do today. In the past, we used to rely heavily on the postal mails and land telephones (but only sometimes) to contact with others if they were far away from us. Sometimes, we even used ‘telegraphs” for urgent contact. But, today, we use mostly mobile/cell phones and the internet to contact others whether they live close by or far away from us.
[The topic for your talk will be written on a card which the examiner will hand you. Read it carefully and then make some brief notes.]
Describe a party that you enjoyed.
You should say:
whose party it was and what it was celebrating
where the party was held and who went to it
what people did during the party
and explain what you enjoyed about this party.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
[Examiner: All right? Remember you have one to two minutes for this, so don’t worry if I stop you. I’ll tell you when the time is up. Can you start speaking now, please?]
Model Answer 1:
My friend, Robin, is essentially a party animal. In fact, he likes to party whether he wants to celebrate his birthday or just celebrate buying a new bicycle with the money which his grandfather gives him. But, the party, I attended and am going to talk about here, was organized by Robin for a more serious and formal reason, and the reason was to celebrate his new job.
Anyway, Robin wasn’t just a party animal, but also somewhat a careless person when it had come to choosing a proper job or career. Of course, he would get a part-time job here and there, but he would stick to them only for a few months at maximum. However, this careless behavior of Robin became a serious issue for his parents, so they actually forced him to find a real job. So, Robin, at least for once, gave his best shot to search for a real job. For that, he even went to a number of employment agencies to learn about the interview tips and also how to write a great resume/CV. Finally, after trying almost 6 months, Robin did find a real job, and that too as a Senior Officer at a very prestigious bank.
Naturally, it was time for some party and Robin didn’t want to waste any time in doing it. So, he invited all of his friends, including me, to a nice restaurant to enjoy some great foods. The restaurant also had arranged live music for us. Apart from enjoying great foods and live music, we also had the opportunity to see the rare video of Robin in which he could be seen dancing for the first time at a high school party.
Anyway, I enjoyed pretty much everything about this party, but what I really enjoyed the most was the way how we all teased Robin for behaving like a “grown-up” person for the first time. Besides, I also liked the live music show which played some of my most favorite songs that I almost forgot about.
Sample Answer 2:
Ooh, parties! That conjures up so many different possibilities. Children’s parties with jelly and ice cream and silly games like ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ when I was little, or more ‘serious’ celebratory reception parties after a wedding. However, the most recent party I went to was neither of those things, and it was great!
I’m going to tell you what it was about; where it was held; what people did during the party (which might be a bit unexpected) and explain what it was that I enjoyed about this party in particular.
So, the occasion was a birthday, but not for a person, for an event. In the UK – and indeed in many other countries worldwide now, there is an organisation called ‘parkrun’. This umbrella group sets up free, inclusive running events all over the country. I think at last count there were 406 of these runs taking place every Saturday at 9.00 a.m. at different locations throughout the UK. Parkrun organize free, weekly, 5km timed runs. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. The initiative first started about 10 years ago, with just one run, now it has expanded and new runs start up all the time. It has become something of a tradition that every community-run celebrates their ‘birthday’ on the anniversary of the date on which they were first established. It is a good excuse for an annual prize-giving, conversation and lots of cake! This particular party was at a parkrun that is reasonably local to me, although not my ‘home’ parkrun, I made a special trip to their event to join in their celebrations.
The ‘party’ was held at a place called Graves Park in Sheffield. It is a lovely public open space, which also has a small animal park, so part of the 5km run takes you past an eclectic mix of animals including highland cows; alpaca; donkeys; pigs and a couple of curious goats. Everyone assembled in time for the usual Saturday at 9.00 a.m. starts to take part in the run, but because it was the Graves parkrun’s fourth birthday everything was a bit different from normal…
So in terms of what people did at the party? Well, we all ran 5 km for a start. That’s not what usually happens at a birthday party, but it is what always happens at a parkrun. In other ways though, the event was a bit more unexpected. The main change was that the course was run in reverse. This was quite comical, as it is confusing running in the ‘wrong’ direction, and meant some of the steep uphill climbs on the usual route were replaces with death-defying downhill scrambles! It’s a bit like trying to cross your arms the wrong way round, you’d think it would be easy or at least ‘no different’ from how you usually do it – until you actually try. Go on, have a go, you’ll soon see what I mean! The next difference was that lots of us were in fancy dress! I’ll wear fancy dress at any excuse. I have a child’s toy wrap-around pony costume. It looks great, like I’m riding a miniature pony, but is in fact incredibly light and easy to run in. Other people wore onesies (all in one jumpsuit made to look like animals). A few men wore drag (dressed in women’s clothes) some more imaginative runners came dressed up as Roman soldiers (complete with helmets and large circular shields) or various cloaked superheroes (Batman and Robin and Wonder Woman just for starters). It was great fun, we must have been quite a sight, some 250 runners or so storming round in ridiculous outfits. At the end of the run, lots of people had brought sweets or cake with them to share as part of the birthday celebrations. We all adjourned to a convenient café within the park for a good-humored prize giving. Lots of awards were handed out, not just for running fast but for humorous things too. Champion volunteer; fastest canine (there is a whippet that regularly takes park, and sometimes its owner’s even auctions the opportunity to run with the dog as it will drag the runners round and give them a chance of getting a really fast time!) I clapped in recognition as the prizes were awarded, but, most exciting of all, there was one extra prize. For ‘Best Fancy Dress Costume’, I won! My pony is called Roger, and we collected our prize of a big box of sweets together. I am not very athletic, so I’d never win any sports prize for actually running, but I was so delighted to win a prize within the parkrun community I thought I’d burst! After the prizes had been given out, we all stayed in the café, chatting, admiring each other’s costumes and most importantly of all drinking tea and eating cake. Someone had even made a special parkrun cake with the parkrun logo on it. It was a great party indeed!
Why did I particularly enjoy it? Well, I think it must be obvious surely. I got to spend my Saturday morning doing my favorite thing, which is taking part in parkrun, with a fantastic group of people, followed by tea and cake. What’s more, I got an excuse to wear a party dress, have a good old giggle with friends AND I won a prize. What’s not to like. Parkrun is great and parkrun event birthday parties? Well, they are better still!
[ Written by – Lucy Marris (2016): Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]
Sample Answer 3:
Luckily I was invited to a private DJ party last month arranged by one of my college friends. This was a different kind of experience for me. I will describe the event for this cue card topic as it was a great party.
The party was organized marking the birthday of Samantha, my bestie in college. We are at the undergraduate level at the American College of Greece. We both share everything between us which has created a strong bond between us, and accordingly, she invited me to this private party. I was amazed at the party arrangement. It began in the evening with light snacks and soft drinks, and then the show started. We took our supper during the DJ show and returned home safe and sound once the event ended. The show was extremely exciting and the invited guests were enjoying the music. I also danced on the rhythm and enjoyed the moments perfectly.
The party was held in the garden of Samantha’s house. In fact, she lives in a large villa with her family. Though it was difficult for her to arrange the show in the garden, she managed the permission from her dad after a lot of struggle. Some of her cousins helped to decorate the entire garden which finally looked like a football ground with a round boundary. So, it was really difficult for them to decorate the entire venue. The stage for the DJs was built with the help of outside professionals. The lighting system was unique. The food corner was set in a corner containing different delicious food items and beverages. I liked the arrangement most among the other features of the party because it was the first of its kind for me.
A limited number of guests were invited to the party. Before the DJ show begins, Samantha had cut the birthday cake. She stepped 18. The guests present there, including me, sang the traditional birthday song and wished for her very successful in the coming days. Then she distributed the pieces from her birthday cake. Really I have never had such a juicy and delicious birthday cake before. The DJs were not on time. So, the show was late. The people passed their time by gossiping with each other and taking photographs. I think the number of selfies was more than any other thing on that day. However, the DJ show began at around 7.00 pm. Then the people moved to take seats near the stage. But the majority of them stood before the platform to dance with the music. I went there as I could not manage a seat to sit.
I enjoyed everything at the party until the last moment. It was exciting for me. In fact, this was the first experience for me to participate in a DJ party and listen to live music. All of the people invited there were amazing and helped me to dance by showing some steps and moves. I loved the food and drinks. Some of the traditional foods of Greece were ordered (as her mother was unable to cook for this crowd) and we enjoyed them profoundly. The lighting of the venue was breathtaking. Some hidden lights were set that illuminated the entire ground from different parts. Overall, it was the very best experience of a party in my entire life.
More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card topic:
Topic: Describe a party that you enjoyed.
1. Usually, a birthday celebration is typically an event for cutting the birthday cake, singing the birthday song, giving presents and having a meal. But the birthday party of Maria was a bit exceptional when she turned 19 last month. So, she arranged for the party at her home, and it was a nice one I have ever joined. The invited guests arrived on time and they praised the elaborate preparation. I also enjoyed the party and it was the delicious foods that helped me to enjoy there. Interestingly, there was no birthday cake in the party. Besides, I also loved the company of other friends and this was a great one for me so far.
2. The sudden invitation at the tea party from my boss was unexpected. In fact, I did not have any idea why the boss was inviting me to a private party at his home. Later, I came to know some surprising facts. People who went there started arriving in time and I met some of the influential people in the industry. I enjoyed the party as I had the chance to meet new people and knowing them. Actually, it was a pre-planned party to make me familiar with the industry bigshots. So, I enjoyed the party in all the terms.
3. Attending a Christmas party was interesting and I enjoyed it a lot. The party was held on the night of Christmas Day at the rooftop of Sam’s home. The invited guests enjoyed the party very much and spend their time mostly by gossiping and eating the barbeque items. I enjoyed the party because it was held in the open air. It was snowing lightly and we all were enjoying the scenario. Besides, the company of such nice people gave me immense pleasure. Based on everything, I enjoyed the party.
4. It was a weird idea to participate in a game night party. But I enjoyed it to the last minute as long as I was there. The indoor party was held at the garage of Andrew here in Virginia. The invited guests took part in different types of games. I enjoyed the party as I won the games I played. I played mostly chess and card. Luckily, I won both the games which never had before in my life. So, I enjoyed the party to the extreme extent.
5. Indeed, the pirate parties are the best in the world. And I was thrilled to take part in this party arranged by Samantha at the large garden before her house. She invited all her classmates but some of them missed the party. I enjoyed it because finding out the treasures was exciting. Besides, I also played a certain role and it was interesting too. Finally, when all the treasures were revealed we all became excited and shared the treasures amongst us. So, I enjoyed the party very much.
Q. What are the main reasons why people organize family parties in your country?
Answer: We Brazilian people just love to celebrate and have fun whether we are having a private family party or any other public festivals. Anyway, some of the family parties, which we organize in our country, are birthday parties, wedding parties, Christmas parties, and “pregnancy craving” parties. While all of these family parties are celebrated by following the normal western and Christian traditions, “pregnancy craving” parties are little unique in Brazil where it is a tradition to give a small treat, along with a picture of the new baby, to people or family who come to visit when a baby is born.
Q. In some places, people spend a lot of money on parties that celebrate special family events. Is this ever true in your country? Do you think this is a good trend or a bad trend?
Answer: Like some other places in the world, unfortunately, Brazilian people also spend a lot of money on family parties. In fact, Brazilian wedding parties can easily be considered as some of the most expensive and extravagant in the world. But, I don’t really think that this is such a good trend since the extra money, which people spend in celebrating these parties, could actually be used by the newly-wedded couple in order to give them a good start in their new life. Besides, spending more money than needed is like a “waste” of money to me which could always be used to help out poor people.
Q. Are there many differences between family parties and parties given by friends? Why do you think this is?
Answer: No, I don’t really think that there are many differences between family parties and parties given by friends primarily because both kinds are aimed at providing fun and happiness to the participants of the parties. Besides, whatever we do in those parties in order to have a good time are pretty much the same. But, of course, it all depends on what kind of people attends the parties. However, family parties can be little lesser messy and more ‘solemn’ than the parties, thrown by friends.
Q. What kinds of national celebration do you have in your country?
Answer: Brazil is well-known for many of its festivals and national celebrations. In fact, no matter what time of year tourists visit our country, they are sure to notice the friendly ambience and merry characteristics of the Brazilian locals. Anyway, some of our national celebrations are New Year’s Day, Good Friday & Easter Sunday (March or April), Labor Day, Christmas, and National Carnival. While most of these celebrations are celebrated just like the rest of the western and Christian world, “Carnival” is the one which is pretty unique to Brazil.
Q. Who tends to enjoy national celebrations more – young people or old people? Why?
Answer: While celebrations are just “celebrations”, the reality is some of the national celebrations are enjoyed more by the young while some are enjoyed more by the old. Usually, old people, perhaps because of their “maturity”, tend to enjoy those celebrations more which have religious “fervor and tone” and which are “solemn” in nature. On the other hands, celebrations to young people usually are all about having fun and a good time without any “holding back”. Therefore, it is only natural that the young people would prefer celebrations which would allow them to dance, sing and drink to the full content of their hearts.
Q. Why do you think some people think that national celebrations are a waste of government money? Would you agree or disagree with this view? Why?
Answer: I would respectfully like to disagree with those people who tend to think that national celebrations are a waste of government money mainly because national celebrations bring unity and solidarity among the citizens of a country more often than not. Besides, national celebrations, or any other kind celebrations for that matter, get the entire nation into a happy mood which is certainly good for the mental health and spirit of all the people. And, the more spirited and happy a nation is, the more will it prosper in the national and international arena.