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IELTS Speaking Blog
Mock IELTS Speaking Test 1
This recording is copyright EnglishRyan.com. No part of this recording is endorsed by or has affiliation with The University of Cambridge ESOL examinations, the British Council or IDP Education.
My name is Elizabeth, and I will be acting as Ryan’s examiner.
In this recording, Ryan will demonstrate how to engage the examination at a band 9 level. You will hear the recorded examination two times. The first time, you are only expected to listen. The second time, pauses will be placed after each of Ryan’s responses. You are expected to repeat Ryan’s responses to better hone your speaking ability.
Now we shall begin. Remember, this first time you are only expected to listen.
Could you tell me your full name please?
Good afternoon. I’m Ryan Higgins.
What should I call you?
Please call me Ryan.
Thank you. What country are you from?
I’m from Canada.
Please give me your identification.
Here you are.
Now, in this first part, I’d like to ask you some questions about yourself. Let’s talk about the city you come from. What kind of place is it?
Well, I come from a small farming community called Smithson. It’s a charming town with friendly people and a main street with little shops. The homes are fairly old and antique looking, and I think this adds to Smithson’s charm. Because its population is only about 2000 people, Smithson is known for being fairly quiet. Many young people choose to build their careers outside of Smithson, so the demographics of the town are aging. So I guess Smithson could be described as “sleepy”.
What’s the most interesting part of Smithson?
The most interesting part…well, the main street that runs through the centre of the city has a small clock tower at one end. This clock tower was once a railway station, but the station has been out of use for several decades. Now the clock tower is used as the post office. But aside from this, the only other really interesting thing would be the scenery. Smithson has several farms, and the farming fields are beautiful during the warmer months of the year.
What kind of jobs do people in the town do?
As I mentioned, farming is pretty central to the community. The farms are predominantly maize farms, so people work in this area. But people also work in the little businesses along main street and in the post office and police office.
Would you say it’s a good place to live?
That’s an interesting question. I would say it is a good place to live for certain types of people. If you like a quiet lifestyle, then you would love Smithson. I can see why the aged enjoy it. For me personally, I find the town a little slow. I completely understand why so many young people choose to move closer to a bigger city.
OK. Let’s move on to talk about work. Tell me about the kind of work you do.
I manage Quality Assurance for a technology company, PAL Computing. Our company produces voice recognition technology to clients that build products requiring voice recognition. My job involves a lot of task management, so this means I spend most of my day in meetings to ensure our projects are moving along as planned.
What do you enjoy about your work?
I’ve always liked working with people, so the social side of meeting coworkers every day to discuss problems appeals to me. I’m also enthusiastic about our products at PAL. I think the technologies we build are exciting.
What things do you find challenging at work?
Hmm, let me see. Well, every month I have to present a progress report to our board. That can sometimes be challenging, especially if we’ve had a slow production month. On rare occasions, I have to cut people from the team that underperform. This can be challenging, of course. Nobody likes to do this, I don’t think. I suppose those would be the main challenges of my position.
Let’s talk about workplace relationships. For the sake of your work, how important is it for you to have good rapport with your team members?
It’s important for my team members to feel I am an approachable person. If they have a problem and they don’t tell me about the problem, it could affect the entire team. So I try to be a warm and approachable person so everyone at PAL Quality Assurance feels they could comfortably talk with me.
What methods do you use?
I’m sorry. What do you mean by “methods”.
I mean what methods do you use to show your team members you are an approachable person?
I try to be friendly with everyone. My team is only about 15 people, so it is easy for me to greet each person in the morning and ask them how they have been. I share information with them about my family. So, I feel, this personal touch makes people feel they know me and can trust me and come to me with any issues they have.
Thank you. Now I’d like to ask you to speak for one to two minutes on a topic. Normally, you would have one minute to plan your answer, but for the sake of this recording we are going to skip this step.
Your cue card reads:
Describe a trip you made by public transport.
Where did you go?
Why did you choose public transport?
How did you feel about the trip?
Share some details about the trip.
Remember, you have one to two minutes to deliver this monologue. I’ll tell you when the time is up. Start speaking now, please.
Recently, I took a coach from Toronto to Montreal to visit my brother. It is a journey that normally takes about 5 hours, but this bus company stops halfway for a 30 minute break.
I chose to travel by public transportation because I don’t like driving long distances. When I travel via bus, I can read or work on my computer or sleep. I find this helps me arrive relaxed. In fact, I often opt for the public transportation option if I can.
Overall, I felt the journey was quite comfortable. Because it was a coach, the seats were very spacious and reclined enough that I could get some sleep. There was also a Wi-Fi connection, which is something I haven’t seen on a bus before. I didn’t use it, but I saw several other people connect to it. Travelling in the spring also means it was a very scenic journey. To get to Montreal from Toronto you spend a lot of time on highways surrounded by lush green nature, so that was nice.
The price, however, was a little steep. I think I paid $110 for a return ticket, which, to me, is quite expensive. I suppose it would have been cheaper to drive, but I feel arriving fresh is money well spent. So, on the whole, the entire experience was a positive one. I would highly recommend public transportation to anyone.
Thank you. Why do you think some people would rather drive than travel by bus?
I suppose it is probably a privacy thing. If you drive, you can stop whenever you like or listen to the radio as loud as you like. Yes, I would imagine privacy is the main reason. But I suppose others may choose to drive to save money or to give themselves a certain flexibility.
And what do you mean by “flexibility”?
Well, for example, had I driven to visit my brother in Montreal, I would have had a car with which to drive around city. I could also have been flexible with the time I came back to Toronto. If I wanted to stay with my brother an extra day, I could.
We’ve been talking about travel. I’d like to discuss with you one or two more general questions relating to this topic. What do you feel a city needs to attract tourists?
Hmm, let me see. Well, I suppose having recognizable landmarks doesn’t hurt. Paris has certain iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, for example. Sydney has the Opera House. New York City has the Statue of Liberty. In addition to this, most tourists want nice weather, so places like Hong Kong and Sydney may have advantages over places like Glasgow. I suppose basic things like safety and accessibility are important. Cost is always a factor, too.
You mentioned “safety” as something that can attract tourism. Can you expand on that?
I think countries with track records of being welcoming to foreigners build up reputations. The last thing people want on their vacation is to have to worry about being robbed or worse. So I feel countries that take tourist safety seriously will always be attractive to prospective travelers.
Are all aspects of the tourism industry positive?
Not all aspects, no. I think tourism can sometimes be damaging to the local traditions of a city. In Shanghai, for example, many of the historical temples have McDonald’s restaurants and Starbucks restaurants next to them to service tourists. I feel this tarnishes the image of these ancient locations. It can dilute the experience a little bit.
What do you think about this, that people are willing to tarnish the image of historical locations in their city in an effort to profit from foreign visitors?
I do not think people are actively working to damage their city, it is more a question of economics. Tourists travel to other countries with money to spend. Fast food restaurants only spring up in tourist hotspots because tourists are willing to spend money there. I suppose it is more the tourists’ fault for altering the image of these historical landmarks than the locals’.
Can you tell me about something you purchased while travelling that holds special meaning to you?
Well, several years ago, perhaps almost an entire decade ago, I travelled to Paris. My grandmother is French Canadian, so she was especially excited for me to go to France. My grandmother also collects little bells, which she displays on a shelf in her family room. Anyway, while at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, I came across a man selling brushed steel items with images of the Eiffel Tower on them. Among his goods, I found a little bell. I gave this bell to my grandmother, and I know it came to mean something special to both of us.
Why do you think people buy souvenirs?
Most people likely buy souvenirs because they help you recall a place or an experience. For example, when I see that bell, I remember spending the day walking around Paris. I think souvenirs also help a person show their friends and family that they care about them and think about them. Those are probably the main reasons why people buy souvenirs.
Thank you. That is the end of the speaking test. Students listening to this recording may now play the second version of this test to practice their speaking.