[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Q. Do you have any hobbies or interests? [What are they?]
Answer: Yes, I have various hobbies like riding bicycles, fishing in the lake and playing badminton with my friends. I also like to watch movies at the theatres with my friends whenever I get a chance.
Q. How did you become interested in (whatever hobby/interest the candidate mentions)?
Answer: I became interested in riding bicycles since my early childhood when my parents bought me one nice bicycle. I became crazy about fishing about a few years ago after watching how one of my uncles managed to catch some fishes at a nearby lake. Finally, I became interested in playing badminton when I was in my college as it used to organize badminton tournaments every year.
Q. What is there to do in your free time in (candidate’s hometown/village)?
Answer: There is plenty to do where I live during my free time. From going to some really nice restaurants in order to enjoy some of the mouth-watering dishes to watching movies at some nice and cosy theatres, you name anything and my hometown just has them! My hometown also has a large and nice shopping mall where you can buy pretty much anything you need. Finally, if you are interested in fishing, you have many options for doing so.
Q. How do you usually spend your holidays?
Answer: I spend my holidays by usually hanging out with my friends or family, watching some movies with them or enjoying some great food at some of our favorite restaurants. But, if there is nobody to hang out with, I simply take my little car and ride to visit some old countryside’s which I have never visited before.
Q. Is there anywhere you would particularly like to visit? [Why?]
Answer: I live in a place which is neither too big nor too small, but it is a very nice country with so many places to visit which I have never visited before. One such place, which I would really like to visit, is a city that sits high in the mountainous part of my country in the west. I would like to visit that place because I want to see some of the greenest tea gardens, in my opinion, in the world there.
[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 river, lake or sea which you like.
You should say:
and explain why you like this river, lake or sea.
[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.]
Model Answer 1:
Visiting a river site is one of my most favorite things to do during the summertime, and if I am visiting a calm river, as opposed to the “violent” ones, that’s even better. Today, I would like to talk about one such calm river that I visited about a couple of years ago.
The river, I visited, was located about 50 kilometres away from my hometown in the countryside. It was a public place, so anybody could visit the beautiful river site. In fact, I would say that it is one of the most beautiful and scenic river sites, as well as one of the longest rivers in my country. Originally, starting its journey from one of our neighbouring countries, the river has left its traces of sediments on both sides of the sandy river while passing through a number of cities and regions of my country.
Anyway, the side, which I was visiting with a few of my friends during the summertime couple of years ago, was protected by brick-built embankments. There were a number of restaurants and café on the riverside in order to provide refreshment facilities for its visitors. There were also many beautiful trees on the riverside which offered enough sitting arrangement for a significant number of visitors. Anyway, after arriving at the riverside, we first rented a large machine-operated boat to ride along the river water. After that, we also walked on the sandy bank of the river before resting at a café and enjoying some delicious snacks. By the way, I would recommend this place for others to visit because this could offer them a great escape from the busy city life.
Anyway, I liked this particular river site because it had all the ingredients to make me feel very closed to Mother Nature. I also liked this place because I didn’t have to spend a fortune in order to enjoy the beautiful nature. Finally, I liked it also because it allowed me an opportunity to spend some quality time with some of my best friends.
Sample Answer 2:
I have once been at Cox’s Bazar for about a week and really enjoyed my visit there. Cox’s Bazar is considered to be the largest sea beach in the world and it is beside the Bay-of-Bengal. We had the trip to visit the sea, beach and natural beauty of this place.
Three of our friends including me went there in 2010 probably around June. This was a good time to visit the sea beach. We stayed at a hotel which was very close to the sea. We could hear the roaring sounds of the sea from our hotel, especially at night. The sea seems endless and this was my first time to see the vastness of the sea. I tried to imagine the position of the other shore of the sea and the depth of it and after sometimes abandoned this silly idea! I was really surprised when we took a motorboat to visit a nearby island. All I could see was water around us. The waves were so enormous and high that I thought this would hit us hard and our boat would sink. I am not ashamed to disclose that I was a bit frightened about the big waves and our small boats.
At night I walked beside the sea, I watched the lives surrounding the sea, people and their culture. The moon looked like a hanging light in the wall on the other side of the sea. The sea looked less formidable at night, except the sound which was louder at night. Tourists from different locations, local people, fishermen, long sea beach and the sea itself exposed the aspects of life and places that we never knew about. I enjoyed fresh foods and fishes, different cultures of people, the vastness of the sea, the hotel, the working-class people and their mildness and have planned to visit the place again whenever possible.
Tips for answering this cue card question:
You can either talk about your visit to a sea or to a place near a river. Do not describe only the sea or the river as the cue card expects you to describe your whole trip, not the river or sea only. But as part of your trip, you have to describe how was the sea/ river, where it is, what you did there, how long you stayed there, a bit about your journey and stay, what different things you observed there, what things you have enjoyed there and who was/ were with you.
If you describe a sea, you should talk about a real sea and give some factual information as people would already know about this sea. On the other hand, if you talk about the river, you can mention any river you have seen.
Some common things people do on their trip to a sea:
1. Enjoy the vastness of the sea.
2. Take sunbath on the sea beach.
3. People do some surfing and riding near the sea beach.
4. They walk beside the sea beach.
5. They enjoy the heavy tide and the sound of it.
6. They eat fresh seafood.
7. They get down in the seawater and take a bath.
8. They take photos and enjoy the sunrise and sunset.
Some common activities people do on their trip to a river:
1. Enjoy the sweet breeze.
2. People catch fishes from the river.
3. They swim in the river.
4. They enjoy the natural beauty near the river.
5. They sit near the river and enjoy the scenic beauty.
6. They arrange a picnic there.
Your preparation for this cue card would help you answer the following cue card topics as well:
1. Describe a place near lots of water.
2. Describe your experience of the boat journey.
3. Describe your experience of visiting a sea beach.
4. Talk about a trip you had.
5. Describe a journey you recently took.
Water-based leisure activities:
Q. What do people enjoy doing when they visit rivers, lakes or the sea? Why do you think these activities are popular?
Answer: It all depends on what time of the year they visit a river, a lake or a sea. If they are visiting those places during the summertime, they most probably want to enjoy swimming and playing some water sports while also cooling themselves down in hot summer days at the same time. It is also possible that they want to enjoy camping during the summer nights. If they are going to rivers and lakes during the winter time, they probably either want to enjoy some fishing or they just want to get close to “Mother Nature”. These activities are popular to people because they want to take some time off from the stress and tiredness of their daily working life.
Q. What benefits do you think people get from the activities they enjoy in the water?
Answer: There are several benefits of the activities which are enjoyed in the water. These benefits may include enjoying a good time with friends and families away from the regular hectic and stressful daily life schedules. Besides, these activities allow people to connect with nature which is always good for our overall health and well-being. Finally, of course, activities like swimming and playing water sports help people keep physically fit and healthy.
Q. What are the different advantages of going to the sea or to a swimming pool to enjoy yourself? What do you think the disadvantages are?
Answer: It is always good and refreshing to go to a sea or to a pool (mostly in city areas where large rivers and sea beaches are not present). It is also true that there are differences between the advantages of swimming at a pool and swimming in the sea. Swimming in an ocean brings one closer to the natural environment. Besides, salt water is better for physical health and immune system. On the other hand, one of the main advantages of swimming in a pool is that it is perfectly secured with almost no dangers on life because of its clear water and shallow depth. When it comes to disadvantages, swimming in the ocean may be dangerous because of sharks and snakes while swimming in a pool can give you rash and make your skin itchy because of the existence of harmful chlorine in its water.
The economic importance of rivers, lakes and the sea:
Q. How does water transport, like boats and ships, compare with other kinds? Are there any advantages/disadvantages of water transport?
Answer: There are a number of advantages of water transports, like boats and ships, such as they are way cheaper than other modes of transportations, and they have the capacity of carrying large and heavy cargos by saving a great deal on the fuel cost. Besides, water transports create very little or no traffic congestion, and they create very little air pollution in comparison to road transportation and aircraft carriers. However, one of the main disadvantages of using water transports is that they can be considered sometimes painfully slow, especially when travelling long distances as well as when carrying perishable goods.
Q. How important is it for a town or city to be located near a river or the sea? Why?
Answer: It is very crucial for a town or city to be located near a river or the sea primarily because it makes the availability of water resources very easy for the consumption of its citizens. Besides, having a river or sea, close to a city, helps improve the socio-economic condition of that particular city by having a sea/river port in it in order to facilitate more and more business transactions. Finally, having a river or ocean close to a city ensures pleasant weather condition most of the times, and when you have a river close by to a place, the lands there are usually more fertile.
Q. Have there been any changes in the number of jobs available in fishing and water transport industries, do you think? Why do you think this is?
Answer: As some recent reports and pieces of evidence suggest, the number of jobs in fishing industries are decreasing as lesser and lesser fishes are being found in the rivers and oceans due to some really alarming level of water pollution. However, as far as the number of jobs in water transport industries is concerned, I would say that it is increasing as more and more countries have started to capitalize on their water resources, by building more seaports and river ports, in order to increase the number of freight shipments, not only domestically but also internationally.