Friday, April 8, 2016

IELTS: Using Computers. Favorite Music, Toys (past & present), Educational Toys, Buying Toys, Children & Toys

IELTS Speaking Test | Part 1

What is your full name?

My name’s…

Can I see your ID?

Yes, here it is.

Where are you from?

I’m from…

Do you work or study?

I’m a student at the moment.

Where do you live now?

I live here with my family in [name of city].

Is it a house or an apartment?

It’s a house, in the suburbs, about 20 minutes from here.

Can you describe your place?

Yes, sure, it’s quite an old house, my family has had it for three generations and it’s quite big. There are 5 rooms, bedrooms that is, 2 bathrooms, a huge kitchen, then there’s a dining area, and also a living area, and some other smaller rooms for doing laundry and storage and things like that. We also have quite a large garden which is full of trees and plants and flowers, so it’s really nice.

What do you like about your house?

I like my room and the garden in particular, but I like the whole house. It’s old and has a lot of character and good memories attached to it, so I like everything about nit. My family has been very happy living there for a long time.

What would you like to change there? Why?

Nothing, really, I wouldn’t change anything – I think it’s perfect the way it is. It has everything we need, it’s in a nice neighbourhood, and we all love it, so I can’t think of anything I would like to change about it.

Do you use a computer?

Yes, every day, for studying and for fun, too.

Do you prefer working on the computer or in another way?

If I’m writing something I prefer to use a computer, I find it easier to organize things like that. But if I need to read a lot of things for my studies then I prefer to read books or printed documents rather than read a lot on screen or online.

So it really depends on what the actual task is. I don’t mind doing some research online, but if I know I’m going to have to do a lot of reading or it’s a big document – then I’ll usually print it off or download it and then sit and browse through the hardcopy, highlighting the parts that are important for me.

Why do you think computers are good?

Well, first, they’re essential nowadays. Second, they allow you to access anything and everything in terms of information and services, which makes life so much easier. And third, with a computer, or even a phone, you can contact anybody, anywhere, anytime, so it makes communication so easy and you can stay in touch with your friends and family if they are in different parts of the country.

And there are lots more reasons why they’re good – you could explain every benefit of every application; the list is so long it would take forever.

What would you like to learn about computers?

I’m not really interested in learning anything more about them, like how to fix them, or how they work, I’m happy just using them for whatever I need to do.

I’m not concerned about how something appears on the screen, you know, the technical processes which happen inside the processor or anything like that – I just want to use the app and the features it has. As long as an app has a help menu, I’m okay.

What kind of music do you like?

Lots of different types of music such as hip-hop and pop, but at the moment I'm listening to a lot of movie soundtracks while I’m studying.

How often do you listen to it?

Every day. I listen to music whenever I can, so it’s almost all day, every day. When I’m in class I can’t, but when I’m traveling I usually listen to music, and when I’m out walking, too.

In fact some nights I actually go to sleep listening to music, because it relaxes me.

Do you still listen to the same music as when you were younger?

No, it’s quite different, what I listen to now, my taste has changed as I’ve grown up – I think that’s quite normal though, isn’t it? I also listen to a much wider range of music now than when I was younger.

IELTS Speaking Test | Part 2

Talk about your favorite toy when you were a child

You should say:
  • what it was
  • who gave it to you and when
  • how you felt about it
and explain why you still remember it.

IELTS Speaking | Your favorite toy as a child

I had quite a few toys as a child over the years, but one that I remember well is an action figure which my parents gave to me. I think I was about 6 or maybe 7 years old, and it became one of my favorite toys for a few years.

I remember it well because of the circumstances. They gave it to me when I was in hospital. I was having an operation and I had to stay in the hospital for about 4 days in total, anyway, after the first day, and after the operation, they came to visit me and they brought me a present, which was a nice surprise. I unwrapped the present and it was an action figure – a soldier – which I thought was pretty cool at the time.

I liked it because the hospital was a pretty boring place and having a new toy was fun – it kept me amused playing with it and inventing all kinds of adventures that he could be involved in. I guess it was a kind of therapy because I didn’t really feel that well for a couple of days and I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed or anything like that until the last day – so it gave me something to pass the time, apart from reading a book.

At night when I was in the hospital and couldn’t sleep I used to imagine places where my soldier would go - like in the jungle and up mountains and to faraway places and get into all kinds of adventures and exciting situations, but of course he would always survive and return from his mission successfully. Thinking about it now, it’s quite funny how vivid my imagination was back then.

I really liked the toy for a few years but then I started being interested in other things and lost interest in action figures, but it’s still one of the gifts and one of the toys I had as a child that I remember well, probably because of the circumstances, being in hospital and everything.

IELTS Speaking Test | Part 3 Questions

Do you think toys are better or worse today than in the past?

In general, I think they’re almost the same. I mean there are still toys like in the past such as dolls, action figures, toy cars, puzzles and things like that and then there are some newer technology based toys such as video games.

Maybe the range of toys is greater now than in the past, but it’s not so easy to say whether they’re all better or worse than before. A lot of them are still the same as before, they’ve just been updated.

What types of toys should parents buy for their children?

Well, most parents tend to buy toys that their children want, or toys that they think their children might like playing with. It’s always been like that. When I was a child I can remember asking my parents for specific toys, I would see something I liked and I would want it – and tell them about it.

They also bought other toys for me which I didn’t ask for, and most of the time I liked them, too.

I don’t think you can just mandate to parents to buy just a certain type of toy – it’s important that toys are not just about fun but they can also be used to stimulate the interest of a child and each parent needs to take the interests of their child into account when considering which toys they are going to buy for their child to play with.

What would you prefer, fun or educational toys? Why?

I don’t think it’s that simple, yes there are toys which are designed to be just fun, and those which are designed principally as educational, but sometimes it’s difficult to determine exactly what’s educational and what’s not.

For example, when I was child I used to build models. Now, it might not be obvious whether building a model is fun or educational – I used to enjoy it a lot, so I would say it was fun; but it also taught me about construction, patience, manual dexterity, as well as paying attention to detail, understanding instructions and planning, so it would also be easy to say that the whole process of building a model was educational. Did I buy them because they were educational? No. I bought them because I enjoyed building them, for fun.

So the distinction between what is educational and what is fun is not always clear.

Do you think people spend too much money on toys nowadays?

Probably not. You could say that children in general have more toys now than in the past, but then we generally have more of everything than in the past, more clothes, more gadgets and so on, so it doesn’t really mean anything.

Do parents spend a lot more money than in the past on toys? Yes, that’s probably true also, but then we also spend more on other things also. There’s really no easy comparison or measure. I mean how much is too much? If parents can afford to buy a lot of toys then fine, and if they can’t then that’s fine also. Everybody has different levels of income and we spend it accordingly, whether it’s on toys, clothes, food or whatever item.

Is there an intellectual connection between toys and children?

Yes, there’s plenty of research that supports the idea of toys as learning tools. Toys can help children develop essential cognitive abilities, physical coordination, and many other skills which are important, for children as well as when they become older.

This is why some toys are classified as educational, because they target certain skill areas through their design and the functions or activities involved when playing with the specific toy.

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