IELTS - Talk about an interesting tradition, work and studies, hometown, gifts/presents, customs & traditions, modern & traditional lifestyles, attitudes to lifestyles

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

What is your full name?

My name’s …

Can I see your ID?

Yes, of course, here it is.

Where are you from?

I’m from [name of city] in [name of country].

Do you work or study?

I’m a student at the moment.

Describe your hometown, please.

It’s quite a large city; about two million people live there. It’s quite a nice place to live because it has everything you need but it’s not as big as the capital city which is enormous in comparison. The quality of life in my hometown is excellent.

The people are also very warm and friendly, in general, and the weather is also really nice most of the year. It’s a typical city; there are some industrial zones and a lot of commerce as well as lots of parks and green areas in the suburbs also.

What facilities and services are available in your hometown?

Basically, everything you can imagine; there are lots of malls with a large variety of stores to choose from as well as the normal large supermarkets for grocery shopping.

There are around 10 multiplex cinema complexes dotted around the city in various areas, several sports centers and lots of independent gyms which are very popular at the moment.

There are both public and private schools, colleges and universities, and of course, hospitals and various different types of health clinics, again, some are public and others are private. Obviously there are lots of other places too, like restaurants, bars, clubs and other entertainment related locations.

There are all the normal services and facilities you would expect to find in a city that size.

Do you want to stay in this country for a long time?

Yes, when I’ve finished my course I would like to find a job here and stay for longer, maybe even permanently. It depends on the opportunities for employment in the longer term.

I’ll have to wait and see what’s available after finishing my studies - but I’d like to stay if it’s possible.

Do you like giving presents to people? Why?

Yes, I do. I think it’s nice to give gifts to people you like, or love, for special occasions or even just to show them that you think they are special. People always like receiving gifts, so it’s nice to make them feel happy whenever you can.

What type of presents do you like to give?

Honestly, I normally give different presents for different people and different occasions. For example, the type of gift I’d buy my mother is quite different from a gift I’d buy for a friend.

Usually I like to get something which is quite personal based on the personality, character or interest of the person, so that means that each time I look for a gift it’s a unique event.

The event or reason for the gift is important as well in deciding what to get; for example, birthdays, graduations, or special days, influence the type of gift I would choose.

And sometimes I give my friends small gifts for no special reason – just because I see something I think they’ll like.

Do you give presents that you made yourself to anyone?

When I was a child, I did, yes. I used to make presents for my mother and father and also my grandparents and other family members, typically for their birthdays or for Christmas, but not nowadays.

IELTS Speaking Test | Part 2

Talk about an interesting tradition that you have in your country.

You should say:
  • what it is
  • where it came from
  • when it occurs
and say why you think it is interesting.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2 Cue Card Topic Questions

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Answer | An interesting tradition you have in your country

Okay, so at the end of October and beginning of November each year, we celebrate the Day of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos, as we call it. It’s a national holiday, and it is based around the family coming together to remember and pray for all those relatives and friends who have died in the past – the prayers are supposed to help their spirits on the journey to the afterlife.

Many families gather together at family alters, or ‘ofrendas’, where they spend time with their loved ones honoring those who have died. They bring items like flowers, sugar skulls and often women in the family will prepare the favorite dish or food that a particular person loved to eat and take it with them when they visit the grave site. Some visitors to the family graves also leave items which belonged to the person who died; mementos of them.

The origins of this tradition go way back, hundreds of years to the time of the Aztecs and an annual festival they used to hold worshipping a goddess; I can’t remember her name now though.

And it became a national holiday back in the early 1960s when the government decided to consolidate the tradition of the indigenous natives to unify the whole country because apparently it wasn’t a special event in the north of the country originally, or something like that, but it gradually spread throughout the whole country over a long period of time.

The three-day event has separate parts to it. So the first day is when kids dedicate their prayers to children who have died, ‘angelitos’ they call them, and ask the spirits of the children to visit. The second day is dedicated to the spirits of adults who died, and then the final day is when families visit their family grave or cemetery with their special gifts, food and so on and spend time praying for the souls of their loved ones who have died.

I think it’s an interesting tradition because it involves all family members and all families across the country, so it really is a strong tradition and it brings families together every year.

IELTS Speaking Test | Part 3

Do you know any other interesting customs or traditions?

Yes, there are lots, like in most cultures. Most special days or holidays have some kind of tradition or custom attached to them. For example, at New Year people eat twelve grapes, one for each month of the coming year, as the bell chimes twelve times, one grape for each chime – because it’s supposed to bring good luck and prosperity for the twelve months of the new year.

Are there any changes in modern and traditional lifestyles?

Yes. It’s the same as in any country. Younger generations adopt slightly different ways of doing things or develop new traditions and different things become important to them.

There are still some traditions which everyone observes, because they are an integral part of our culture, but each generation changes their lifestyle a little and it’s slowly becoming a more globalized culture.

For example, you can see a lot of influence from the USA here, because it’s so close and so many people have been there and then come back and brought various aspects of the lifestyle back with them. You can see it in clothes, music and lots of different things in everyday life.

It’s quite normal; when people move around between countries, and technology has influenced the latest generations a lot, as it puts them more in touch with the world outside their own country – so it’s inevitable that this will influence the general lifestyle which people adopt.

I think if you asked an older person what the biggest difference is – they would say that the pace of life is much faster now than it was in the past.

What are the advantages or disadvantages of traditional lifestyle? Why?

Personally, I don’t think it’s simply a case of there being advantages and disadvantages, because you can’t really compare how things were and how things are fairly. Traditional lifestyle in the past was the normal at that time – and how people live today is normal for the current time. It’s not the case that one is better or worse than the other – they are simply different based on the circumstances of the time.

I mean, you could say that things were worse in the past because there was no internet, but that would be stupid because it’s not a fair comparison. Much of our contemporary lifestyle incorporates the most important aspects of traditional culture, such as the closeness of the family, respect and being a good person.

Yes, things have changed, but nothing stays the same forever. My grandparents would probably say that when they were young life was better, but if you ask my parents, they would probably say that the time when they were young was better, and I think that now is the best, so it’s all a matter of perception.

It just wouldn’t be possible to live a traditional lifestyle nowadays – because the whole world has moved on. It’s just not practical.

Why did the attitude towards traditional lifestyle change?

It’s just a natural result of progress. It’s not that people think that the old way of doing things was bad – it’s just that things have changed and progressed, evolved into something different. No country has stayed the same as it was, say 100 years ago; all cultures evolve over time and adopt the ways of the world at the given time. Attitudes change because society changes and new things quickly become normal and eventually become old things, as they are constantly replaced by newer things. It’s a non-stop cycle of evolution in the way we live.

Cue Card - A time you couldn't use your mobile phone →
Cue Card - A time you spent with a child →
Cue Card - First experience with foreign food →
Cue Card - A time you got up early →
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