Speaking topics

IELTS SPEAKING TOPICS

Lesson 1: Holidays

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: What kind of holiday do you like?
Miguel: I try to avoid tourist traps … I like to get away from it all and prefer going somewhere off the beaten track … last year I had the holiday of a lifetime … a two-week wildlife safari in Kenya.

Examiner: What do you like to do when you’re on holiday?
Anna: I enjoy visiting the local places of interest … I like to go sightseeing and always sign up for guided tours as it’s a chance to be shown around and take photographs … one of my hobbies.

Examiner: Do you have many tourists in your country?
Amy: Yes … we have a lot of holiday resorts along the coast that are popular with tourists … most people come on package holidays and stay in one of the many hotels and self-catering apartments.

Part 2-style task

Describe a beautiful place you once visited. You should say:

  • when you went to this place
  • where it was
  • who you went with

and say why you liked it so much.

Sally: A few years ago, I went on a long weekend to the Lake District in the UK … it’s a very popular holiday destination in the north of England … I went on my own and had a wonderful time … I stayed in a youth hostel and met some really nice people … but the most memorable thing about the holiday were the breathtaking views … and lovely picturesque villages … it can get very busy with hordes of tourists so I decided to go out of season in the autumn  … the weather was fantastic and the shops were full of local crafts … a really great holiday … it’s certainly not the kind of short break for someone looking for a busy nightlife but if you want to relax in the middle of stunning landscape I would certainly recommend a holiday to the Lake District.

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: What do you think has led to the growth in the tourism industry?
Miguel: It’s much easier and affordable to travel now … nowadays you can get cheap charter-flights or all-in packages … to somewhere near or to a far-off destination.

Examiner: How do people tend to choose a destination?
Anna: The Internet is a great source of information and high street travel agents are still very popular … that’s where I like to go to get holiday brochures for the place I’m interested in.

Examiner: People sometimes say flying is the most glamorous form of travel. Do you agree?
Amy: I’m not so sure really … flying can be quite boring … queuing up at the check-in desk … going through passport control … sitting for ages in the departure lounge … then the flight itself can be quite uncomfortable … no … I’m not sure I agree.

Definitions

  • all-in package/package holiday: a holiday where you purchase the travel and accommodation together
  • breathtaking view: an extremely beautiful view
  • charter-flight: a cheaper form of flying than a scheduled flight
  • check-in desk: the place at the airport where you register for your flight and deposit your luggage
  • departure lounge: where you wait for your flight to be called
  • far-off destination: somewhere a long way away
  • to get away from it all: to take a holiday to escape a busy or stressful lifestyle
  • guided tour: an organized group shown around a place of interest by an expert
  • holiday brochure: a glossy publication with details of holiday packages
  • holiday destination: where you go for a holiday
  • holiday of a lifetime: a special holiday that you are unlikely to repeat
  • holiday resort: a place where lots of people go for a holiday
  • hordes of tourists: crowds of tourists
  • local crafts: objects produced locally
  • long weekend: an extended weekend holiday including Friday or Monday
  • out of season: outside of the main holiday period
  • picturesque village: very pretty village
  • passport control: the place where your passport is checked
  • places of interest: sites of interest to tourists
  • wildlife safari: a holiday, often in Africa, to observe wild animals
  • self-catering: a holiday where you supply your own food
  • short break: a short holiday
  • to go sightseeing:  to look around the tourist sites
  • stunning landscape: extremely beautiful countryside
  • travel agent: a shop that specializes in booking holidays
  • tourist trap: somewhere where too many tourists go
  • youth hostel: a cheap form of accommodation

Lesson 2: Relationships

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you see your friends very often?
Louisa: Yes … we meet up most weekends … we all get on really well and have a lot in common so we’re always happy doing the same things and going to the same places.

Examiner: What do you like about your close friends?
Anna: I think we enjoy each other’s company … we see eye-to-eye on most things so we rarely fall out with each other.

Examiner: Have you known each other long?
Amy: Most of them yes … although my closest friend Carrie … we struck up a relationship at college and got on like a house on fire … but yes … my other friendships go back years to when we were at school.

Part 2-style task

Describe a person you are very close to. You should say:

  • who this person is
  • when you met them
  • where you met them

and say what it is about them you like so much.

Reiko: I’d like to talk about my boyfriend … Jose … we got to know each other at University almost 4 years ago … we were in the same department … initially we were just good friends and used to go out in a group with our other friends … when Jose went back to Spain for the holidays we would keep in touch with each other … then one year he invited me to come to Spain with him …  and that’s when we fell for each other I think … so you couldn’t really say it was love at first sight as it had been over a year since we’d met … but we really hit it off and by the time we got back to university in September we were able to tell all our friends that we were in a relationship… what do I like about Jose … well he’s very kind … very funny … and very supportive … and we’re really well matched in our interests … he hasn’t popped the question yet though … we’ve talked about getting married and I think we’re both ready to settle down and have children  … we’ll just have to wait and see …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Do you think marriage is still as important as ever?
Cristine: Yes … it certainly is in my country … I think the problem for some people is a lack of commitment … all relationships have their ups and downs …. but some people prefer to break up rather than working at the relationship.

Examiner: What do you think is the ideal time to get married?
Terry: Personally … I think you should wait until you’ve found yourself first … decided if you want a career … perhaps do some travelling … you should do this before tying the knot … although if you fall head over heels in love plans like these can easily be forgotten.

Examiner: Is it important to keep in contact with our friends when we’re in a relationship?
Maria: Absolutely … it’s so easy to drift apart from your friends when you fall in love … but I think both partners should try not to lose touch with their friends  … that’s the best way to have a healthy relationship with your partner.

Definitions

  • to break up: to end a romantic relationship
  • to drift apart: to become less close to someone
  • to enjoy someone’s company: to like spending time with someone
  • to fall for: to fall in love
  • to fall head over heels in love: to start to love someone a lot
  • to fall out with: to have a disagreement and stop being friends
  • to get on like a house on fire: to like someone’s company very much indeed
  • to get on well with: to understand someone and enjoy similar interests
  • to get to know: to begin to know someone
  • to go back years: to have known someone for a long time
  • to have a lot in common: to share similar interests
  • to have ups and downs: to have good and bad times
  • a healthy relationship: a good, positive relationship
  • to hit it off: to quickly become good friends with
  • to be in a relationship: to be romantically involved with someone
  • to be just good friends: to not be romantically involved
  • to keep in touch with: to keep in contact with
  • to lose touch with: to not see or hear from someone any longer
  • love at first sight: to fall in love immediately you meet someone
  • to pop the question: to ask someone to marry you
  • to see eye to eye: to agree on a subject
  • to settle down: to give up the single life and start a family
  • to strike up a relationship:  to begin a friendship
  • to tie the knot: to get married
  • to be well matched: to be similar to
  • to work at a relationship: to try to maintain a positive relationship with someone

Lesson 3: Technology

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you enjoy using technology?
Stephan: Well … I wouldn’t call myself a techie or a computer buff but I enjoy using computers … I’d like to find out more about how they work … when my computer crashes, I never know what to do.

Examiner: Do you use the Internet for your studies?
Sophie: Yes … I’d be lost without it … I do lots of video conferencing to practice speaking and social media like Facebook is a good way to meet up with other students … and I download podcasts that teach English vocabulary and grammar.

Examiner: Do you have your own computer?
Tania: Yes … I have a MacBook Pro … I use it all the time … for word processing … browsing websites and catching up with TV programs I’ve missed.

Part 2-style task

Describe an item of technology you have that is very important. You should say:

  • what the technology is
  • when you got it
  • how often you use it
  • and say how different your daily life would be without it.

Mattie: I don’t have many gadgets … just a computer … a laptop and my mobile phone … but I’ll talk about my computer as it’s so useful … it’s funny really … 2 years ago I was still learning to use computers … how to use email … send attachments how to access websites … then I decided to do a digital editing course for video and photography … and so I bought the laptop when I started the course  …  my husband had a desktop PC but it was very slow so I decided to upgrade to a powerful one because we do a lot of video editing on the course … it’s a high-spec laptop … very fast … the latest operating system … it boots up really quickly and it’s  fun to use so it makes working a pleasure … I’ve become a competent computer user now … if I didn’t have it I daresay I’d have to spend more time at college using their computers … but on the positive side I suppose I’d read a lot more if I didn’t have it …  I probably waste a lot of time surfing the web … but hopefully I won’t have to be without it …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: What do you think are the important things people need to learn when they start using computers?
Alejandro: Well … there are things like how to use the Internet  … how to enter a web address … how to navigate websites … that kind of thing but it’s also important to know how to back up your files in case your computer crashes … and all about Internet security.

Examiner: What kind of technological developments have made the biggest impact on our lives?
Faydene: In my lifetime it has to be the Internet of course but I also think wifi has made a huge difference to how we interact with the Internet … wireless networks at home and public wifi hotspots mean we can go online easily … access our mail … log into our work intranet and basically be connected wherever we are.

Examiner: Do computers make it much easier to study?
Jane: Definitely yes … researching information is much easier with the Internet … you can bookmark webpages for future reference and writing essays is much easier … being able to cut and paste sections of text means you can experiment with organization … so yes … compared to years ago when you had a pile of books on your desk and a pen and paper … it’s now much easier.

Definitions

  • to access websites/email: to locate
  • to back up files: to make a copy of files in case of a computer problem
  • to boot up: to start a computer
  • to bookmark a webpage: to mark a webpage for future reference
  • to browse websites: to look at websites
  • a computer buff: an expert computer user
  • to crash: to suddenly stop working
  • to cut and paste: to move text or images from one place in a document to another place
  • a desktop PC: a computer that isn’t portable and remains in situ on a desk
  • digital editing: to edit digital materials like audio or video files
  • download (podcasts): to save a copy of a file from the internet to your own device
  • to enter a web address: to type the address of a website into the address bar of your browser
  • a gadget: a technological tool like a mobile phone or camera
  • to go online: to start using the Internet
  • high-spec (laptop): powerful computer with top quality components
  • Internet security: Internet safety
  • intranet: a network of connected computers within an organization that is not accessible by unauthorized visitors
  • to navigate a website: to find your way around a website
  • operating system: the software that tells the computer how to work
  • send an attachment: send an email with an accompanying file
  • social media: media used to interact with other people such as Facebook or Twitter
  • to surf the web: to look at a series of websites one after the other
  • a techie: somebody who has an interest in technology
  • to upgrade: to obtain a more powerful or feature-rich computer or piece of software
  • video conferencing: to see and hear people from different locations using the Internet
  • wireless hotspot: a public place where you can access the Internet
  • wireless network: a network where users can access the Internet without the use of fixed cables
  • word processingproducing written texts on a computer

Lesson 4: Sport

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you do any sports?
Loiuse: Not really … no … I always say I’m going to take up exercise and try to get into shape but I never seem to get started … I sometimes wonder whether I should get a personal trainer … someone who will sort out a fitness program for me and make me train hard ….

Examiner: How do you spend a typical weekend?
Stella: I’m a big football fan and weekends always center around a football match … I support FC Utrecht and have a season ticket so I go to most of the home games and quite a few of the away games too … I’m really looking forward to the new football season starting soon …

Examiner: Have you got any hobbies or interests?

Theo: Yes … I’m really keen on sports … I do judo once a week and play tennis in the summer … I think it’s really important to keep fit … it makes you feel good and energized for work and your studies ….

Part 2-style task

Describe a place you like going to in your leisure time. You should say:

  • what this place is
  • when you go there
  • what you do there

and say why you enjoy it there so much.

Maurice:  I’d like to talk about my local sports center … it’s a place I spend a lot of time in … it’s a new building with all the latest sports facilities … I probably go there at least twice a week … sometimes more often … it’s a huge place … there’s an outdoor athletics track and some football pitches … I play football so I’m often out there … there are several indoor squash and tennis courts that I use occasionally … a big swimming pool … although I don’t use that very often … I’m not a very strong swimmer … there’s a gym … lots of things really … why do I enjoy going there … it’s just a really fun place to be … there’s a good social side to it all … you can enter competitions … meet up with other people who want to do the same sports … and because there are so many activities on offer it gets you interested in different things … for example I was listening to some people talking about training to run the marathon and I’ve decided I might even think about that … I go jogging a couple of times a week so it would give me something to aim for … so yes … the sports center … that’s the place I really like to visit …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Should people be encouraged more to take up sport?
Alejandro: I think young people should be given the chance to discover which sport they might like … watching sport is sometimes a good way to get people started … not on TV but actually getting out … take athletics for example … they could go to an athletics meeting … there are so many different sports on show one might interest them …

Examiner: Why do some people enjoy participating in sport more than others?
Florrie: That’s a good question … I suppose some people are more concerned about their health … they can’t stand the thought of being out of condition … other people might be driven to excel … they want to set records or get personal bests …

Examiner: Which sports do you think are best for people who aren’t used to physical activity?
Julie: Well … I think people like this should avoid strenuous exercise so things like circuit training are definitely out of the question … maybe just doing a brisk walk every day … or swimming is always a good way to get started …

Definitions

  • an athletics meeting: an event where various athletics sports are held
  • an athletics track: a running track
  • an away game: a football match played in the opposing teams stadium
  • a brisk walk: a fast walk
  • to do judo: (not go or play)
  • a football fan: someone who likes football
  • a fitness program: a schedule of activities to keep fit
  • a football match: a game of football
  • a football pitch: the surface on which you play football (as opposed to a stadium, which is the building)
  • a football season: a period in the year when football is played
  • to get into shape: to become fit
  • to go jogging: to run around the streets
  • a home game:  a football match played in the team’s own stadium
  • to keep fit: to stay in good physically condition
  • to be out of condition: to not be physically fit
  • a personal best: to achieve the best personal result so far in a sport
  • a personal trainer: a sports coach that helps you on a one-to-one basis
  • to play tennis/football: (not do or go)
  • to run the marathon: to run a distance of 42.195 Kilometers
  • a season ticket: a ticket that gives you entry to most of a team’s home games during the sporting year.
  • to set a record: to achieve the best result in a sport
  • a sports center: a public building where people can do various sports
  • sports facilities: the equipment and services needed to do a sport
  • a squash/tennis/badminton court: the surface where you play these sports
  • strenuous exercise: exercise that needs a lot of physical effort
  • a strong swimmer: a good swimmer
  • a swimming pool: the place where you swim
  • to take up exercise: to start doing exercise
  • to train hard: to train with a lot of effort

Lesson 5: Food

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you like to cook?
Mandy: Not really no … most of the time I eat ready meals and take-aways … that’s one of the reasons I love visiting my mum … you can always guarantee lovely home-cooked food …

Examiner: What time do you usually eat dinner?
Michelle: We have our main meal at around 7.00 … I’m usually starving hungry by then … in fact I often grab a bite to eat as soon as I get home from college … a sandwich perhaps … but not too much to spoil my appetite …

Examiner: Are there any types of food you don’t like?
Lionel: No not really … I’m not a fussy eater at all … actually I eat like a horse … I do a lot of sport and work up quite an appetite …

Part 2-style task

Describe a restaurant that you like to use. You should say

  • where this restaurant is
  • what kind of food it serves
  • how often you go there

and say why you like eating there so much.

Howard:  OK … this is a nice topic to talk about … there’s a restaurant just around the corner from where I live … it’s an Italian restaurant so as you’d expect you can eat various pasta dishes and pizzas and I usually go there with my family for a slap-up meal if we have anything to celebrate … it’s quite a posh restaurant … the kind of place you would take someone if you wanted to wine and dine them … we usually order a 3-course meal … a light starter then a main dish … and I have quite a sweet tooth so I always look forward to the dessert … I usually order Tiramisu … it makes my mouth water just to think about it … I’m always totally full up by the end … why do I enjoy it there … well … it’s not cheap … my parents always foot the bill and we couldn’t afford to go there regularly so it’s always a nice treat …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: How can we encourage people to eat more healthily?
Anna: I think the best approach is to have everything in moderation … processed food won’t kill you if you only eat it occasionally … but people should also be encouraged to eat a balanced diet… try to cook fresh ingredients at home a few times a week …

Examiner: Do you think people enjoy their food as much as they should?
Florrie: I don’t know really … I suppose it’s true that people will often eat a quick snack because they’re bored not because they’re dying of hunger … and often they just bolt it down and don’t savor it … so yes … perhaps we could take more time over our food …

Examiner: Do you think cooking is a pleasure or a chore for people who have busy lives?
Julie: Well … whether you follow a recipe or make something up as you go along … I think cooking is a very creative process … and cooking for other people is a particular pleasure … there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing people you love tucking into something you’ve cooked yourself …

Definitions

  • to be full up: to eat to the point that you can no longer eat any more
  • to be starving hungry: an exaggerated way of saying you are very hungry
  • to bolt something down: to eat something very quickly
  • to be dying of hunger: an exaggerated way of saying you are hungry
  • to eat a balanced diet: to eat the correct types and amounts of food
  • to eat like a horse: to eat a lot
  • to follow a recipe: to cook a meal using instructions
  • to foot the bill: to pay the bill
  • a fussy eater: somebody who has their own very high standards about what to eat
  • to grab a bite to eat: to eat something quickly (when you’re in a rush)
  • to have a sweet tooth: to enjoy sugary food
  • home-cooked food: food cooked at home from individual ingredients
  • the main meal:  the most important meal of the day, usually eaten in the evening
  • to make your mouth water: to make you feel very hungry for something
  • to play with your food: to push food around the plate to avoid eating it
  • processed food: commercially prepared food bought for convenience
  • a quick snack: to eat a small amount of food between meals
  • a ready meal: see ‘processed food’
  • a slap-up meal: a large meal
  • to spoil your appetite: to eat something that will stop you feeling hungry when it’s meal-time.
  • a take away: a cooked meal prepared in a restaurant and eaten at home
  • to tuck into: to eat something with pleasure
  • to wine and dine: to entertain someone by treating them to food and drink
  • to work up an appetite: to do physical work that leads to you becoming hungry

Lesson 6: Education

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Are you studying English at a school?
Michel: Yes … I’m taking an intensive course at a local private language school … I attend classes three times a week …

Examiner: Would you say you are a good student?
Susan: I’m OK, I think … I’m pretty good at meeting deadlines and I’m keeping up with my studies… plus I find it quite easy to learn things by heart which is useful when learning a language …

Examiner: When you were younger did you enjoy your time at school?

Theo: Yes … I liked school … it was an ordinary state school … nothing special … a single-sex school … which I’m not sure I liked … but the teachers were great … I had lots of friends and I never played truant like some pupils there …

Part 2-style task

Describe a time during your education that you really enjoyed. You should say:

  • when this period was
  • where you were
  • what you were studying at the time

and say why you were so happy.

Caroline:  I’d like to tell you about my time at university … I was a mature student … I didn’t go to university until I was 25 … and it was my first time away from my parents so it was very exciting … I was doing a Bachelor’s Degree and it was a bit of a challenge … some people take a year out but I’d been away from education for 8 years … plus I had to work my way through uni so I was very busy … and sitting exams at the end of each year was a new experience for me as well but I really enjoyed higher education  learning about a subject I loved … history … and the social life was great as well … I don’t think I’ve ever had so many friends … I had my graduation ceremony last year in the local cathedral and I know my parents were really proud … so yes … that was a really happy time … I’m thinking of doing a Master’s Degree soon … though that might be through distance learning as I have a full-time job now …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: What qualities do you think a good teacher has?
Anna: They should be patient … they should be subject specialists and be able to explain the subject clearly … they should give feedback quickly … for example not hang on to essay for ages like some of my teachers …

Examiner: What are the advantages of studying on a distance learning course?
Florrie: It’s a more flexible way of studying especially if you have a job … tuition fees are usually cheaper … but you have to be very motivated … and I would imagine more people fall behind with their studies compared to  face-to-face classes …

Examiner: Do all children get equal opportunities in education?
Julie: In my country I think it is quite equal but in the UK I’ve heard that most people who go to the top universities have studied at public schools … you have to be very rich to study in a school like that  … they’re usually boarding schools as well so the fees are enormous …

Definitions

  • to attend classes: to go to classes
  • bachelor’s degree: an undergraduate course which usually lasts 3-4 years
  • boarding school: a school where pupils live during term time
  • distance learning: a way of studying where tuition is carried out over the Internet or by post
  • face-to-face classes: as opposed to distance learning the traditional way of studying in a classroom with colleagues and a teacher
  • to fall behind with your studies: to progress less quickly than others
  • to give feedback: to offer guidance on a student’s work
  • a graduation ceremony: an event where a successful student receives his or her academic degree
  • higher education: education, usually in a college or university, that is followed after high school or secondary school
  • an intensive course: a course that offers lots of training in order to reach a goal in as short a time as possible
  • to keep up with your studies: to not fall behind
  • to learn something by heart: to memorize it
  • a mature student: a student who is older than average and who has usually returned to education after a period at work
  • master’s degree: a period of study which often follows the completion of a bachelor’s degree or is undertaken by someone regarded as capable of a higher-level academic course
  • to meet a deadline: to finish a job or task in the time allowed or agreed
  • to play truant: to stay away from classes without permission
  • private language school: an independent school run as a business concern
  • public schools: exclusive independent schools in the UK
  • a single-sex school: a school where only boys or girls attend (as opposed to a mixed-sex school)
  • to sit an exam: to take an exam
  • state school: a school paid for by public funds and available to the general public
  • subject specialist: a teacher who has a great deal of knowledge about the subject they teach.
  • to take a year out: to spend a year working or travelling before starting university
  • tuition fees: the money paid for a course of study
  • to work your way through university: to have a paid job whilst studying to support yourself financially

Lesson 7: Work

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: What do you do?
Sasha: I do a job-share with a friend in a boutique … I enjoy it … I like working with customers … unfortunately it’s only temporary work but one of the perks of the job is I get a discount on the clothes …

Examiner: Do you have any career plans yet?
Carly: Yes … I’d like to be my own boss one day … I’m interested in programming and I’d like to create apps for myself or for other companies … I know being self-employed would be a challenge but the idea of doing a nine-to-five job doesn’t appeal to me at all …

Examiner: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years’ time?
Marie: I’d hope to be working … not a high-powered job … but I’m quite a creative person so something where I can work with my hands would be nice … as long as I’m not stuck behind a desk doing something boring  in a dead-end job I’ll be happy …

Part 2-style task

Describe your ideal job. You should say:

  • what this job is
  • whether you would need any qualifications
  • whether it would be easy to find work

and say why you would enjoy this job in particular.

Max:  I’ve always loved watching wildlife programs on TV and often thought how much I’d enjoy working with animals … perhaps in a safari park … something like that … you’d probably need a degree to have any chance of being called for an interview and whether there are many full-time jobs I don’t know … I’m sure a lot of parks rely on voluntary work so it might not be easy … and it probably wouldn’t be well-paid either but money isn’t everything … I’d get so much job satisfaction … I can’t imagine it being the kind of job where you get stuck in a rut … and I think I’d be good at it as well … I’d love to work with animals I enjoy manual work and I’m a good team player … so even though the working conditions might not be the best I think that would be my ideal job …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: If there are a limited number of jobs available who should be given priority, young people or older people with more experience?
Anna: Things are so different these days … a few years ago older employees would often take early retirement or go onto part-time contracts and there were always opportunities for younger people but now jobs are so scarce … I think younger people need to be given the chance whenever possible …

Examiner: What are some of the important things a candidate should find out before accepting a job?
Ali: Well  … you’d need to know about your area of responsibility … and your salary of course and then there are things like holiday entitlement … maternity or paternity leave … if you’re thinking of having children … and what the situation is regarding sick leave … that kind of thing …

Examiner: What are the advantages of having your own business rather than working for someone else?
Julie: Well … unfortunately being an employee at the moment is very stressful … people have very heavy workloads … they’re always under pressure to meet deadlines … running your own business isn’t easy … but I do think it would be far more satisfying …

Definitions

  • to be called for an interview: to be invited to attend an interview
  • to be your own boss: to have your own business
  • a dead-end job: a job with no promotional opportunities
  • to do a job-share: to share the weekly hours of work with another person
  • a good team player: somebody who can work well with other people
  • full-time: the number of hours that people usually work in a complete week
  • a heavy workload: to have a lot of work to do
  • a high-powered job: an important or powerful job
  • holiday entitlement: the number of days holiday allowed
  • job satisfaction: the feeling of enjoying a job
  • manual work: work that requires physical activity
  • maternity leave: time off work given to a woman about to have a baby
  • to meet a deadline: to finish a job by an agreed time
  • a nine-to-five job: a normal job that consists of an 8-hour day (approximately)
  • one of the perks of the job: an extra benefit you get from a job
  • part-time: working less than full-time
  • to run your own business: see ‘to be your own boss’
  • to be self-employed: see ‘to be your own boss’
  • sick leave: time allowed off work when sick
  • to be stuck behind a desk: to be unhappy in an office job
  • to be/get stuck in a rut: to be in a boring job that is hard to leave
  • to take early retirement: to retire early (retire: to reach an age when you are allowed to stop working for a living)
  • temporary work: work done for a limited time only
  • voluntary work: to work without pay
  • to be well paid: to earn a good salary
  • working conditions: the hours, salary and other entitlements that comes with the job
  • to work with your hands: to do manual work

Lesson 8: Health

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Have you got a relation you’re particularly fond of?
Sinita: Yes … my granddad … he’s 94 years old but generally he’s as fit as a fiddle … we’re very close and see each other a lot … whenever he goes down with a cold or is under the weather I make a point of visiting him …

Examiner: Do you do any sport?
Jon: Yes … I’m keen on skateboarding … but I haven’t done it for a while … I had a bad fall recently and pulled a muscle and had a few cuts and bruises … but I’m on the mend and hope to be doing it again soon …

Examiner: Is there anything you’re particularly afraid of?
Davide: The dentist … I hate going to the dentist … I only ever go if I have a toothache so it usually means I have to have a filling or even have a tooth out … I really don’t like it …

Part 2-style task

Describe a time when you were ill. You should say:

  • when this was
  • what your symptoms were
  • how long the illness lasted

and say how it affected your life at the time.

Pierre:  This is a tricky one really as I’m usually quite healthy … I’ve never been seriously ill … like everyone else I sometimes get a few aches and pains or catch a cold … I can remember a few months ago I had to have time off work with a heavy cold … I had the usual symptoms … a blocked nose … sore throat … it lasted quite a while … about 2 weeks I think though I didn’t have that much time off work … for a few days I remember feeling poorly but I was over the worst of it after a few days and went back to work … I always find it’s better to be active when you feel ill as it keeps your mind off your symptoms … I think my family get a little fed up with me when I’m ill though … I tend to feel sorry for myself and lie on the sofa all day as if I’m at death’s door … but as I said earlier … on this occasion it was nothing serious and didn’t really cause me any problems …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: What costs are involved when you are ill in your country?
Anya: Well … people have to pay prescription charges which can be quite expensive … but fortunately general healthcare is free … unless you want to go private of course and then you can pay a fortune for your treatment …

Examiner: In your experience are people too quick to take time off work when they’re ill?
Alicia: Yes. I’ve got friends who have a day off work if they wake up with a runny nose … and in most cases they seem to make a speedy recovery after they’ve phoned in sick …

Examiner: Do women pay more attention to their health than men?
Julie: I think so yes … women are more likely to see their GP for a check-up if they’re concerned about something … men tend to avoid facing up to any health problems they have … my dad always seems to have a very chesty cough but refuses to go to make an appointment to see the doctor …

Definitions

  • aches and pains: minor pains that continue over a period of time
  • to be a bit off color: to feel a little ill
  • to be at death’s door: (informal) to be very ill indeed
  • to be on the mend: to be recovering after an illness
  • to be over the worst: to have got through the most serious or uncomfortable stage of an illness
  • to be under the weather: (informal) to not feel well
  • a blocked nose: when the nose has excess fluid due to a cold
  • to catch a cold: to get a cold
  • a check-up: a physical examination by a doctor
  • a chesty cough: a cough caused by congestion around the lungs
  • cuts and bruises: minor injuries
  • to feel poorly: to feel ill
  • as fit as a fiddle: to be very healthy
  • to go down with a cold: to become ill
  • to go private: to choose to be treated by commercial healthcare rather than by services offered by the state
  • GP: General Practitioner (family doctor)
  • to have a filling: to have a tooth repaired
  • to have a tooth out: to have a tooth removed
  • a heavy cold: a bad cold
  • to make an appointment: to arrange a time to see the doctor
  • to make a speedy recovery: to recover quickly from an illness
  • to phone in sick: to call work to explain you won’t be attending work due to illness
  • prescription charges: money the patient pays for medicine authorized by a doctor
  • to pull a muscle: to strain a muscle
  • a runny nose: a nose that has liquid coming out of it
  • a sore throat: inflammation that causes pain when swallowing

Lesson 9: Books and Films

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you like to read books?
Marie: Yes … I love reading … I like nothing more than to be engrossed in a good book … I regularly take out books from the library and usually read them from cover to cover in no time … and I can’t go to sleep at night without some good bedtime reading …

Examiner: How often do you go to the cinema?
Jemma: Unfortunately, we don’t have a cinema near us so we have to go into the nearest town to catch the latest movie … I usually avoid seeing popular box-office hits which I’m not always keen on seeing … I prefer low-budget films … sci-fi especially … and there’s a great cinema I go to that has frequent showings of films like these …

Examiner: Do you prefer reading books or watching films?
Louisa: I’m not really a big reader … I find books quite heavy-going … so I much prefer to see a film … perhaps it’s the special effects or the soundtrack … I don’t know … I just prefer a film …

Part 2-style task

Describe a book you have read or a film you have seen. You should say:

  • what this book or film was
  • when you read or saw it
  • why you decided to see the film or read the book

and say if you enjoyed it and why.

Pauline, I like reading … especially English novels … it’s a great way to improve your vocabulary and there are so many fantastic authors to choose from … one book that came highly recommended by my teacher was The Mayor of Casterbridge … I was studying at a school in The UK at the time and she said it would give me a picture of what life was like years ago in the area I was living … well I have to say I absolutely loved it  … it was a real page-turner … it’s a historical novel and the setting was a fictional town called Casterbridge … but actually it was based on a town near where I was studying called Dorchester … it had such a great plot … to cut a long story short it tells the story of the downfall of a man called Henchard the central character who lives during a period of great social change around the time of the industrial revolution … the reason I enjoyed it so much … apart from the great story … it gave me a picture of what life had been like in the place I was studying at the time … I really couldn’t put it down … a fantastic story …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Is reading as pleasurable in digital format?
Alise: Personally I prefer reading a paperback or hardback … especially if I’m reading a classic which I don’t think feels right as an e-book … but I can see it can be good for others … my grandmother has an e-reader and she loves the way you can enlarge the text …

Examiner: Do you think bookshops will survive the digital revolution?
Thomas: I think so … at least I hope so … I love flicking through books in a bookshop … online shopping is useful … finding out on Amazon if a book you want has got a good review … maybe getting one that is difficult to find … but I still love the experience of being in a bookshop …

Examiner: Statistics show that visits to the cinema are up despite the availability of DVDs and online downloads. Why do you think this might be?
Jamie: I think it’s the whole experience that the cinema offers … going out to see a film when it goes on general release … and seeing it on the big screen is more exciting than watching the film at home on TV … especially if it’s an action movie … and watching it with others makes it even more special …

Definitions

  • an action movie: a film with fast moving scenes, often containing violence
  • to be engrossed in: to be completely focused on one thing
  • bedtime reading: something to read in bed before you go to sleep
  • to be a big reader: someone who reads a lot
  • to be based on: to use as a modal
  • a box office hit: a financially successful film
  • to be heavy-going: difficult to read
  • a blockbuster: a film that is a big commercial success
  • to catch the latest movie: to see a film that has just come out
  • the central character: the main person in a film or book
  • a classic: of the highest quality
  • to come highly recommended: to be praised by another person
  • couldn’t put it down: wasn’t able to stop reading a book
  • an e-book: a digital book
  • an e-reader: a device for reading e-books
  • to flick through: to look quickly through a book
  • to get a good/bad review: to receive positive or negative feedback
  • to go on general release: when a film can be seen by the general public
  • hardback: a book with a rigid cover (see ‘paperback’ below)
  • a historical novel: a story set in the past
  • a low budget film: a film made with a small amount of money
  • on the big screen: at the cinema
  • a page turner: a book that you want to keep reading
  • paperback: a book with a flexible cover (see ‘hardback’ above)
  • plot: the main events in a film or book
  • to read something from cover to cover: to read a book from the first page to the last
  • sci-fi: science fiction
  • to see a film: to see a film at the cinema (see ‘watch a film’ below)
  • the setting: where the action takes place
  • showings: performances of a film
  • soundtrack: the music that accompanies a film
  • special effects: the visuals or sounds that are added to a film which are difficult to produce naturally
  • to take out (a book from the library): to borrow a book from the library
  • to tell the story of: to outline the details of someone’s life or an event
  • to watch a film: to watch a film on TV (see ‘to see a film’ above)

 Lesson 10: Accommodation

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you live in a house or an apartment?
Callum: Actually, I live on campus … in a single room in halls of residence … all first year students are encouraged to do that as they’re close to the university … next year I plan to move into student digs in town …

Examiner: Tell me about where you live.
Julia: I live with my parents in the suburbs of Madrid … we only moved in recently … in fact we had a house-warming party just a few weeks ago …

Examiner: What kind of accommodation do most people live in in your city?
Maria: In the city itself the majority of people live in apartment blocks … that’s what surprised me about England … most people seem to live in terraced houses with lovely back gardens 

Part 2-style task

Describe a house or an apartment you would like to live in. You should say

  • what kind of accommodation it would be
  • where it would be
  • who would live there with you

and say why you would enjoy living in this place.

Paolo:  I think most people when answering this question would say they’d like to live in a big detached house with spacious rooms … views of the countryside and so on … but actually my ideal home would be a lot different … I’ve always loved the idea of having a mobile home … a really expensive one with all the mod cons … so I could live wherever I wanted or at least have lots of holidays and be able to take all my home comforts with me whenever I travelled … I realize this would have to be a second home as I’d need a base … a permanent address … but the mobile home would be the accommodation I’d find it exciting to live in … I suppose once I settle down and have children, I’ll want to get on the property ladder … I’ll be like everyone else … saving up to put down a deposit on a house or an apartment … I don’t think my family would want to live in a mobile home … but I like to think I’ll still keep that dream home in mind ….

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Is it better to own your own home or to rent?
Ana: I think both have their advantages … living in rented accommodation isn’t necessarily a bad thing … you don’t have a huge debt like you do when you take out a mortgage but I suppose the property market offers you an investment for the future … I’m sure that’s why most people prefer to own their own home 

Examiner: What options are available to young couples looking for accommodation in your country?
Toni: If they want to buy their own home it isn’t easy for first-time buyers … mortgages are hard to get so most people live with their parents or in rented accommodation … but that can also be very expensive … you often have to pay rent in advance … and if the accommodation isn’t fully furnished you have the expense of buying furniture …

Examiner: What are some of the pleasures involved in making a home for ourselves?
Suki: I suppose it starts with house-hunting … finding your ideal home … some people enjoy doing up an old property … giving a property that’s old and tired a new lease of life … others like making wherever they live feel like home with some home comforts …

Definitions

  • (all the) mod cons: technology at home that makes jobs easier such as a washing machine, dishwasher etc.
  • apartment block: a large building made up of smaller units of apartments
  • back garden: a garden at the rear of the house
  • detached house: a house that is not physically connected to another property
  • to do up a property: to repair an old building
  • dream home: a home you regard as perfect
  • first-time buyer: someone buying a property for the first time, especially when taking out a loan (mortgage)
  • fully-furnished: a rented property with all furniture included
  • to get on the property ladder: to buy a property with the aim of buying another bigger or more expensive one later in life
  • hall of residence: a college or university building where students live
  • home comforts: things that make a home feel comfortable to live in
  • house-hunting: looking for a property to live in
  • house-warming party: a party to celebrate moving into a new home
  • ideal home: a perfect home
  • to live on campus: to live on the university or college grounds
  • mobile home: a home that can be moved by a vehicle or one that has its own engine
  • to move into: to begin to live in a property
  • to own your own home: to have bought the property you live in
  • to pay rent in advance: weekly or monthly rent paid at the beginning of the week or month
  • permanent address: a fixed address
  • property market: the buying and selling of land or buildings
  • to put down a deposit: to pay an amount of money as the first in a series of future payments
  • rented accommodation: property owned by someone else and for which a person pays a fixed amount to live in
  • single room: a room for one person
  • spacious room: a large room
  • student digs: student accommodation
  • the suburbs: a residential area on the edge of towns or cities
  • to take out a mortgage: to borrow a large amount of money, paid back over several years, in order to buy a house
  • terraced house: a house connected on both sides by other properties

Lesson 11: Clothes and Fashion

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you enjoy buying clothes?
Pedro: I used to … yes … like most young people I was a bit of a slave to fashion and I’d always have to buy that must-have shirt or pair of shoes … I’m not so bothered now though … I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing something old fashioned but I’m not as bothered as I used to be about what I wear …

Examiner: What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Marco: I prefer casual clothes actually … I hate getting dressed up for special occasions … personally I think it’s possible to look good in a pair of jeans … but that’s my opinion … I don’t think my wife would call me a fashion icon that’s for sure …

Examiner: Are there many clothes shops where you live?
Sylvia: Yes … there are lots in my town … apart from the big chain stores we’ve got a couple of really nice shops that sell vintage clothes … old clothes but in a classic style that never really go out of fashion … I love going there…

Part 2-style task

Describe someone you know who dresses well. You should say

  • who they are
  • how you know them
  • what kind of clothes they wear

and say why you like the way they dress.

Tomoko:  I’d like to talk about one of my teachers … Miss Evans … she teaches us English in the school I go to … we always look forward to seeing what she’s going to wear when our lessons start … she’s always very well dressed and takes a lot of pride in her appearance … it’s not that she dresses in very smart clothes … she doesn’t come to school dressed to kill or anything like that … but what she wears really suits her … and she has a great sense of style as well … we often ask her where she gets some of her clothes and most of the time they’re just off the peg … and she says she’s not interested in designer labels or anything like that … she doesn’t seem too concerned about keeping up with the latest fashion … she just wears clothes that are timeless … yes … Miss Evans is the person I think looks great in the clothes she wears …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: What factors do you think affect the clothes we choose to wear?
Maki: It depends … where we are or where we’re going is a big factor … if you are going out to a club or party you’re going to dress for the occasion … and then there are those who think it’s important to look like they’re on trend … they’ll want to wear the latest fashions … there are lots of factors really …

Examiner: What kind of things determine what is in fashion and what we should be wearing?
Martin: I suppose the big fashion houses and fashion shows must have an effect but the clothes you see on the catwalk don’t always reflect what normal people wear … so I suppose it will be things like what singers are wearing in videos or models are wearing in magazines … that kind of thing …

Examiner: Is it possible to look good without spending lots of money on clothes?
Corinna: I’m sure it is … yes … I suppose it’s about having an eye for what looks good … knowing how to mix and match different items of clothing that go well together … I think you can pick up great bargains in charity shops … sometimes for youngsters even hand-me-downs can look good …

Definitions

  • to be on trend: to be very fashionable
  • casual clothes: not formal
  • classic style: a simple, traditional style that is always fashionable
  • designer label: a well-known company that makes (often expensive) clothing
  • dressed to kill: wearing clothes that attract admirers
  • to dress for the occasion: to wear clothes suitable for a particular event
  • fashionable: in fashion
  • fashion house: a company that sells (usually expensive) new styles in clothes
  • fashion icon: a person who is famous for their sense of fashion
  • fashion show: an event where modals show off the latest in fashion designs
  • to get dressed up: to put on nice clothes, often to go out somewhere special
  • to go out of fashion: to not be in fashion any more
  • hand-me-downs: clothes that are passed down from older brothers or sisters to their younger siblings
  • to have an eye for (fashion): to be a good judge of
  • to have a sense of style: the ability to wear clothes that look stylish
  • the height of fashion: very fashionable
  • to keep up with the latest fashion: to wear the latest fashions
  • to look good in: to wear something that suits you
  • to mix and match: to wear different styles or items of clothing that aren’t part of a set outfit
  • must-have: something that is highly fashionable and therefore in demand
  • off the peg: clothing that is ready made
  • old fashioned: not in fashion any more
  • on the catwalk: the stage that modals walk along to show off the latest fashions
  • a slave to fashion: someone who always feel the need to wear the latest fashions
  • smart clothes: the kind of clothes worn for a formal event
  • to suit someone: to look good on someone
  • to take pride in one’s appearance: to pay attention to how one looks
  • timeless: something that doesn’t go out of fashion
  • vintage clothes: clothes from an earlier period
  • well-dressed: to be dressed attractively

Lesson 12: Personality

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: How would you describe yourself?
Paula: Everyone tells me I take after my mum as I’m quite laid-back … I think I’m good company but you should ask my friends if they agree …

Examiner: In which ways are you similar to your friends?
Manuel: I seem to be attracted to introverts … not people who are painfully shy but most of my friends are a little reserved … and I think that’s what I’m like …

Examiner: Are you similar or different to your brother(s)/sister(s)?
Mira: I think my brother and I are very similar … I’d say we’re fun-loving and tend to be a bit extroverted … my brother is certainly the life and soul of the party … I’m not sure that applies to me …

Part 2-style task

Describe a teacher you once had who you enjoyed being taught by. You should say

  • who this person was
  • when they were your teacher
  • which subject they taught you

and describe what it was about their character that you liked.

Carolina:  I’d like to describe my English teacher from school … Miss Thomas … this was a few years ago now and she was my teacher at a time when I was getting a little bored with being at school … unlike some of the other teachers Miss Thomas never lost her temper … she was very calm and easy-going … she was also very broad-minded … we were able to ask her questions about lots of subjects that some other teachers would refuse to discuss which made us respect her even more … she had a great sense of humor too … she’d laugh at our jokes as well as making us laugh … and she would also bend over backwards to help us with our work … she always put us first and often stayed around at the end of class to talk with anyone who needed help … apparently she was highly respected within her field but you would never know as she was the type that hid her light under a bushel … she was very modest and self-effacing … so yes … Miss Thomas was a teacher I have fond memories of …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner:  Which personal qualities do you think we most want to pass on to our children?
Martin: I certainly would want my children to be self-confident and self-assured … I really believe that people who feel good about themselves are in a good position to face what life has to offer them … and I’d hope they wouldn’t be self-centered … but remembered to think about others …

Examiner: Which characteristics do you think are the least appealing in a person?
Marianne: Well … people who are very narrow-minded are difficult to get on with … it’s nice when someone is open to other people’s opinion and willing to think about their own views … and people who are two-faced can be a little irritating … relationships are built on trust and without honesty there’s not much left …

Examiner: Which personality types do you think are less likely to suffer from stress or anxiety?
Sol: Probably people who are thick-skinned … who don’t let people or problems affect them too much … and if you are fair-minded you’ all be less likely to overreact to situations or be quick-tempered …

Definitions

  • to be the life and soul of the party: a fun person, someone who is the center of activity
  • to bend over backwards: to try very hard to help someone
  • broad-minded: prepared to accept other views or behaviors
  • easy-going: relaxed and not easily worried about anything
  • extrovert: an energetic person who likes the company of others
  • fair-minded: to treat people equally
  • fun-loving: to enjoy having fun
  • to hide one’s light under a bushel: to hide one’s talents and skills
  • good company: enjoyable to socialize with
  • good sense of humor: the ability to understand what is funny
  • introvert: someone who is shy
  • laid-back: see ‘easy-going’
  • to lose one’s temper: to suddenly become angry
  • narrow minded: opposite of ‘broad-minded’ (see above)
  • painfully shy: very shy
  • to put others first: to think of others before yourself
  • quick-tempered: to become angry quickly
  • reserved: shy
  • self-assured: confident
  • self-centered: thinks only of oneself
  • self-confident: believes in one’s own ability or knowledge
  • self-effacing: to not try to get the attention of others (especially in terms of hiding one’s skills or abilities)
  • to take after: to be like (often another member of the family)
  • thick-skinned:  not easily affected by criticism
  • trustworthy: can be trusted
  • two-faced: not honest or sincere. Will say one thing to someone to their face and another when they are not present.

Lesson 13: Business

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you work or are you a student?
Hati: I run my own business actually … I have an online business selling cosmetics … I set up the business 5 years ago and I’m really enjoying working for myself 

Examiner: What is your ideal job?
Kaori: I don’t think I’d enjoy working for a big company … I think I’d like to go it alone and be self-employed … I’m not sure what area of business it would be but I think I’d enjoy the process of drawing up a business plan and seeing if I could be successful …

Examiner: Is your town a nice place to live?
Monique: It’s OK … the main problem we have is our local high street … it used to be a busy center but lots of shops have gone bust … it must be very difficult to make a profit when you have huge supermarkets in the area and a lot haven’t been able to survive with such cut-throat competition

Part 2-style task

Describe a business you know that you admire. You should say

  • what this business is
  • what the business sells
  • how long you have known about the business

and say why you like it so much.

Magda:  Actually I discovered a business very recently that I like so much I’d like to do something similar in the future … it’s a small niche business that runs courses in how to cook … especially bread … the owner uses his kitchen for the courses and went into business with a local community shop and sells a lot of the bread and cakes they make in the shop … I first got to hear about the business last year … my wife paid for me to do one of the baking courses and I got to know the owner during the training … it’s a lifestyle business really … he doesn’t have plans to take on employees or expand into new areas … he’s happy earning a living doing the thing he loves … I really admire what he does and I’m sure a lot of people would love to do something similar … he has a web presence … in fact that’s how we got to find out about his company … and he uses social media to raise the company profile … but he’s the only person involved in running the business so he’s in complete control of where the business goes … that’s something that must make it really satisfying … as long as he’s managing to balance the books and the cash flow is healthy I’m sure he must be very pleased with what he has achieved …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner:  Why do some people decide to set up their own business?
Marion: I suppose it’s the idea of being in control of your own destiny … or of believing in a product or service idea you may have … plus it must be very exciting … launching products … winning contracts … and seeing your sales figures improving must be wonderful …

Examiner: What are some of the dangers involved in starting a business?
Hiro: Well … obviously you need to have a good idea … some people say you need to do  market research beforehand so you know what the market wants … if you don’t do this you could go under … and if it is a good idea the chances are someone else is doing the same thing so you could end up facing stiff competition …

Examiner: What are some of things you have to do when running your own business that might not appeal to everyone?
Katy: Personally I don’t like being in debt so taking out a business loan wouldn’t  suit me at all … and I know a lot of companies do cold calling to try and drum up business … that’s something I’d hate to do … and laying people off if the business gets into trouble … that would be horrible …

Definitions

  • to balance the books: to not spend more money than you are earning
  • to be self-employed: to work for yourself/to not work for an employer
  • to cold call: to make a sales call to someone without asking them for permission first
  • cut throat competition: when one company lowers its prices, forcing other companies to do the same, sometimes to a point where business becomes unprofitable
  • to do market research: to do research into what potential customers would or wouldn’t buy
  • to draw up a business plan: to write a plan for a new business
  • to drum up business: to try to get customers
  • to earn a living: to earn money
  • to go bust: when a business is forced to close because it is unsuccessful
  • cash flow: the money coming in and going out of a business
  • to go into business with: to join another person to start or expand a business
  • to go it alone: to start your own business
  • to go under: (see ‘to go bust’)
  • to have a web presence: to have a website or social media profile that showcases your business
  • to launch a product: to start selling and promoting a new product
  • to lay someone off: when a company ends an employee’s contract of employment
  • lifestyle business: a business that is set up to bring in a sufficient income and no more
  • to make a profit: to earn more money than it costs to run the business
  • niche business: a business that serves a small, particular market
  • to raise a company profile: to make more people aware of a business
  • to run your own business: to have a business of your own
  • sales figures: a report of the income a company generates through sales of products or services
  • to set up a business: to start a business
  • stiff competition: strong competition from other companies in the same area of work
  • to take on employees: to employ people
  • to take out a loan: to borrow money
  • to win a contract: when a business gets legally-binding work with an individual or company
  • to work for yourself: (see ‘to be self-employed’)

Lesson 14: Physical Appearance

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you look like any other people in your family?
Carlo: No … not at all … take my brother for example … he has short cropped hair and has quite a pointed face … he’s also quite fair-skinned compared to me …

Examiner: Tell me about your family.
Andrea: My father’s getting on a bit … he’s in his 60s … but he looks very young for his age … he still does lots of exercise and is quite well-built …

Examiner: What does your best friend look like?
Mandy: She’s the same age as me … she has shoulder-length hair … fair hair … she has a slim figure and is medium height …

Part 2-style task

Describe a person whose appearance you like. You should say

  • who this person is
  • what their relationship is to you
  • what they look like

and say what it is about their appearance you like.

Monique:  OK … I’d like to talk about my aunt … her name’s Marta and she’s quite a character … she’s middle-aged but has a very youthful appearance … she’s a little overweight I suppose but not too much … she has a friendly round face framed by thick blonde hair … she has a lovely complexion and she’s always well-turned out … she actually always looks like she’s going out for the evening to somewhere special … there’s never a hair out of place … I’ve always thought she bears a striking resemblance to someone on TV … I can’t remember the name now … she wears glasses and always seems to have a different pair on every time I see her … I like the way she looks because she wears clothes that are right for her age and manages to look glamorous without it looking like she’s too done up … yes … I’ll be happy if I look like her when I’m her age …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner:  Is it important to dress well whenever we go out?
Mark: It depends where you’re going … I know some people get done up just to go to the shops … but I don’t see the point … you shouldn’t go out looking scruffy with disheveled hair but I really don’t see the point in getting dressed up to the nines unless you’re going somewhere special …

Examiner: Do people worry too much about their appearance as they get older?
Mira: I’m sure they do … yes … but it happens to all of us doesn’t it … we all go grey eventually and get hard of hearing … we start to lose our figure … that’s why plastic surgery is so popular … personally I think we just need to grow old gracefully and not worry too much about how we look …

Examiner: Is attractiveness a quality worthwhile aiming for?
Phoebe: I’d like to say no … it shouldn’t matter what we look like in terms of our physical appearance … but unfortunately it seems women especially are taken more seriously if they are good looking with a slender figure with perfect make up and so on …

Definitions

  • to bear a striking resemblance: to look very similar to
  • cropped hair: very short hair
  • disheveled hair: untidy hair
  • to dress up to the nines: to dress very smartly or glamorously
  • fair hair: light-colored hair
  • to be fair-skinned: light skinned
  • to get done up: to dress smartly
  • to be getting on a bit: to be getting old
  • to go grey: to have hair that is turning grey
  • to be good looking: to be attractive
  • to grow old gracefully: to act in a way that embraces the fact you are getting older
  • to be hard of hearing: to find it difficult to hear
  • in his/her 30s/40s: to be 20/30 something
  • scruffy: dressed untidily
  • to look young for your age: to look younger than you are
  • to lose one’s figure: to have a figure that has lost its toned shape
  • complexion: natural skin color and texture
  • make up: cosmetics
  • medium height: average height
  • middle-aged: approximately between 45-65
  • to never have a hair out of place: perfectly styled hair
  • to be overweight: to weigh more than is regarded as healthy
  • pointed face: the opposite of a round face
  • shoulder-length hair: hair that comes down to the shoulders and no further
  • slender figure: a figure that is tall and slim
  • slim figure: attractively thin
  • thick hair: a lot of hair
  • to wear glasses: to use spectacles
  • to be well-built: to be muscular
  • to be well-turned out: to look smart
  • youthful appearance: to look young

Lesson 15: Town and City

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: What is it like where you live?
Christiane: I live in a residential area of a busy town in the south of Spain … we have all the facilities you need … good public transport … a good shopping center … it’s nice …

Examiner: Do you like living in the city?
Andrea: Yes, I do … I like going out with my friends and there are lots of lively bars and restaurants within walking distance of my apartment … I’m a bit of a culture vulture as well so it’s great to have access to art exhibitions and that kind of thing …

Examiner: Do you get many tourists visiting your area?
Mandy: Not really no … I live in the inner-city and the area is a little run down … it’s basically a lot of high-rise flats and many of the shops are boarded up … so nothing to interest tourists really …

Part 2-style task

Describe an interesting town or city in your country that visitors might enjoy. You should say

  • what the place is called
  • where the place is
  • what the facilities are like

and say why visitors might enjoy going there.

Monique:  Anyone who comes to my country really should spend some time in Barcelona … it’s a beautiful place … it’s not what you would call a sprawling city … it’s quite compact really and you could walk across the city in a couple of hours … but there’s no need to do that as we have a fantastic public transport system so it’s easy to get around … there are various districts all with their own character … you have the upmarket shops in the center … you’ll find lots of chain stores you’ll recognize from your own country but also local brands as well … we have the narrow streets in the Gothic district with lots of fashionable boutiques and tourist attractions … there’s the Olympic area and the beaches along the coast … and dotted around the city are some lovely public spaces … parks and squares in the city center and on the outskirts of Barcelona where people relax with their friends and family … and of course pavement cafes everywhere … all that and some great historical places of interest … so a great destination for tourists …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner:  What are the advantages of living in a city or big town?
Carrie: I think it’s having access to local facilities really … local shops as well as access to larger shopping malls in the city center … and if you’re well-off you can afford to live in the suburbs away from the busy traffic …

Examiner: In your experience are city centers usually attractive places?
Mary: Some can be yes … especially those with a historical interest … but sometimes they’re full of ugly office blocks … multi-story car parks … and residents living in poor housing … it depends on the city doesn’t it?

Examiner: What are some of the challenges facing towns and cities?
Penny: I suppose traffic congestion is a major problem … and the growth in out-of-town supermarkets and retail parks mean lots of town center shops are closing down … plus a shortage of good quality housing … I think these are the major challenges …

Definitions

  • boarded up shops: shops that are no longer doing business
  • chain stores: well-known brands with shops in multiple cities
  • to close down: to stop doing business
  • fashionable boutiques: fashionable clothes shops
  • to get around: to travel around
  • high-rise flats: multi-story apartments
  • inner-city: the central part of a city where people live and where conditions are often poor
  • in the suburbs: the outer area of large towns and cities where people live
  • lively bars/restaurants: bars or restaurants with a good atmosphere
  • local facilities: local buildings or services serving the public
  • multi-story car parks: car parks on several floors
  • office block: a large building that contains offices
  • out of town shopping center/retail park: large shopping centers outside of the town or city
  • pavement cafe: cafes with tables outside on the pavement
  • places of interest: buildings that have a particular interest for visitors
  • poor housing: housing that is not in good condition
  • public spaces: areas in a town or city that are open to the public
  • public transport system:  public vehicles such as buses and trains that operate at regular times on fixed routes
  • residential area: an area where people live
  • run down: old and of a poor standard
  • shopping center: an area consisting of multiple shops
  • shopping malls: large indoor shopping centers
  • sprawling city: a city that has grown over time and which covers a wide area
  • tourist attraction: a place of interest to tourists
  • traffic congestion: heavy traffic making it difficult to move around a town or city
  • upmarket shops: expensive fashionable shops

Lesson 16: Music

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: What kind of music do you listen to?
Katherine: I’m a big fan of classical music … it doesn’t make me very popular with my children … their taste in music is completely different … they always want to listen to their favorite rock bands …

Examiner: Do you play any instruments?
Jamie: No, I don’t … I’ve always wished I’d taken up a musical instrument … I’d love to be able to play the guitar … but I think I’m a bit tone deaf so perhaps I’d find it hard …

Examiner: Have you got any hobbies or interests?
Marco: I’m really into live music … I go to a lot of music festivals … I think a live performance always sounds more exciting than a recorded version … as long as the performers can sing and play well of course …

Part 2-style task

Describe a song you like to listen to. You should say

  • what the piece of music is called
  • how long you have liked it
  • when you like to listen to it

and say why you like it so much.

Millie:  Well … I’m a little older than most students and when I was young Abba the Swedish pop group were very famous … I don’t think it was cool to like them even though they had a huge following but I think now people have realized what wonderful songs they wrote … one piece of music in particular  is called ‘Slipping through my fingers’ … it wasn’t a massive hit but I love it … it’s a song for parents and it’s all about how quickly our children grow up … it’s a slow number and like a lot of their songs it’s a very catchy tune … the two women in Abba had great voices and it’s the kind of music you can also sing along to easily … even if you don’t have a great voice … I listen to Abba when I feel like a sing-song … and I especially like to listen when I’m doing the housework … it stops me thinking about the hard work …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner:  Is the Internet a good or bad thing for the music industry?
Thomas: On the one hand it’s good for marketing new musical talent or particular bands but it’s so easy to share and download tracks for free I think it is costing the industry a lot of money …

Examiner: Should music be treated as seriously as subjects like maths or sciences at school?
Carla: I think it should … I don’t think it should be taught in a boring way … I mean making children read music … but I do think they should be encouraged to play instruments and to play things by ear perhaps … to keep the lessons fun …

Examiner: Where do people usually enjoy listening to music?
Sally: In lots of ways or places … as background music when they are doing something else … at concerts when a band goes on tour … or in clubs or discos …

Definitions

  • adoring fans: people who love a particular band or singer
  • background music: music that is played while something else is happening
  • a catchy tune: a song that is easy to remember and makes you want to sing it
  • classical music: music that is regarded as part of a long, formal tradition
  • to download tracks: to obtain music from the Internet
  • to have a great voice: to sing well
  • to go on tour: to go on a planned series of performances around a region or country
  • a huge following: a large number of fans
  • live music: music that is listened to while it is performed (not recorded)
  • live performance: (see live music)
  • a massive hit: a record that sells lots of copies
  • a music festival: music performances at a venue often over several days
  • musical talent: skilled at music
  • to be/sing out of tune: to not be in harmony/to sing the wrong notes
  • a piece of music: an item of music
  • to play by ear: to play without reading the musical notes
  • a pop group: a small group of people who play or sing pop music together
  • to read music: to understand and follow written musical notes
  • a rock band: a group of musicians that play rock music
  • to sing along to: to join in singing
  • a sing-song: to sing informally, often with other people
  • a slow number: a song with a slow tempo
  • to take up a musical instrument: to begin learning a musical instrument
  • taste in music: the music someone likes
  • to be tone deaf: to be unable to distinguish the different notes in music

Lesson 17: Weather

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: What’s the weather like in your country?
Katie: It’s quite changeable really … we have periods of time with clear blue skies then all of a sudden, we’ll have torrential rain.

Examiner: Which months have the best weather in your country?
Ernst: Well … I suppose it’s a matter of personal taste really … I like it around the end of October and November … I’m not fond of the heatwaves we often get during the summer … it’s not freezing cold during these months and we still get lots of sunny spells.

Examiner: Does it bother you much when it rains?
Junko: It depends … if I get caught in the rain and I get drenched I don’t like it … but I’m a gardener so a drop of rain is good for my plants.

Part 2-style task

Describe a time when you experienced extreme weather conditions. You should say

  • when this was
  • where you were
  • what the weather was like

and say how you felt about the experience.

Cecilia: I was studying English in a language school a few years ago … we were in Cornwall in the UK … we’d been enjoying lovely sunny days … not a cloud in the sky … when all of a sudden there was a change in the weather … we were in town walking around the shops when it started to pour down … I’d never seen such heavy rain before … within about 10 minutes the roads were full of water … I think they call it a flash flood … it was like being in the middle of a tropical storm … the water was almost up to my knees … the weather forecast hadn’t predicted it so everyone was taken by surprise … I’m not sure you could call it ‘extreme’ weather as a few hours later it started to clear up … the sun came out and slowly the water level went down … but a lot of people’s houses were flooded so it would have been extreme for them … I found it all quite exciting … in my country we generally have a very mild climate and don’t often get floods like this so it was quite an experience for me.

Part 3-style questions

Examiner:  Do you think the weather affects how people feel?
Tierre: Absolutely … yes … I don’t mind the occasional cold spell but I think the winter months can make you feel down. I hate having to leave the house in the winter … there’s often a thick fog every morning and we sometimes get bitterly cold winds … the winter certainly makes me feel a little depressed … though having said that … it’s always nice to see the town covered in a blanket of snow. 

Examiner: Do you think the weather is changing due to global warming?
Ceri: I don’t know if it’s due to global warming or not but the weather in my country is certainly changing … we’ve been getting quite mild winters lately … the temperatures are sometimes below freezing but only occasionally … and then during the summer it can get boiling hot with a lot of older people even suffering from heatstroke.

Examiner: In which ways are weather forecasts useful?
Sinita: Well … if you’re planning a trip or going on holiday it’s important to know whether you’ll need to dress up warm or take an umbrella … farmers need to know what the long-range forecast is so they can plan their work … I suppose people who organize outside events need to know as well in case things get rained off.

Definitions

  • to be below freezing: below zero degrees Celsius
  • bitterly cold: very cold and unpleasant
  • a blanket of snow: a complete covering of snow
  • boiling hot: very hot (informal)
  • changeable: weather that often changes
  • a change in the weather: when weather conditions change
  • clear blue skies: a sky without clouds
  • to clear up: when clouds or rain disappear
  • to come out (the sun): when the sun appears out of a cloudy sky
  • a cold spell: a short period of cold weather
  • to dress up warm: to wear warm clothes to protect yourself against wintry conditions
  • a drop of rain: a little bit of rain
  • a flash flood: a sudden and severe flood
  • freezing cold: very cold (informal)
  • to get caught in the rain: to be outside when it rains unexpectedly
  • to get drenched: to get very wet
  • heatstroke: a serious condition caused by being too long in hot weather
  • a heatwave: a period of very hot weather
  • heavy rain: intense rainfall
  • long-range forecast: the weather forecast for several days or weeks ahead
  • mild climate: a climate without extreme weather conditions
  • mild winter: a winter that isn’t particularly cold
  • not a cloud in the sky: see ‘clear blue skies’ above
  • to pour down: to rain heavily
  • to be rained off: to be cancelled or postponed due to poor weather
  • sunny spells: short periods of sunny weather
  • thick fog: a dense fog that makes visibility very poor
  • torrential rain: see ‘heavy rain’ above
  • tropical storm: a storm typical of ones that you find in tropical climates
  • weather forecast: a TV/radio program or section in a newspaper/magazine which predicts weather conditions

Lesson 18: Shopping

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you often go shopping for personal items?
Maxine: When I can afford it yes … my college is in the city center and I do a lot of window shopping … but being a student I’m on a tight budget so I have to be careful with money …

Examiner: Are there many shops where you live?
Jenny: We’ve got a few local shops nearby and a few independent stores but none of the big high street names … I have to go into town for them …

Examiner: Do you enjoy shopping?
Marco: It depends … I hate it when the sales are on … crowds of people all trying to snap up a bargain … I find it all a bit stressful … I also get annoyed when shop assistants try to give me the hard sell when all I want to do is look around …

Part 2-style task

Describe a time when you bought something for someone. You should say

  • when this was
  • what is was you bought
  • who you bought it for

and say how you felt about buying it for them.

Coleen:  I’d like to tell you about the time … about four years ago … my husband and I bought a computer for our daughter  … she was about to go to university and we’d promised her we would treat her to one … at the time there had been a big advertising campaign for the latest Apple MacBook and our daughter was very keen to have one … she kept telling us they were value for money … even though they seemed very expensive to us … anyway we tried to shop around to see if we could pick up a bargain … this was in the middle of the summer sales and wherever you went prices were being slashed on big brand names … but unfortunately not Apple products … we ended up having to pay the full price … I remember my daughter justifying the cost by pointing out how nice the Apple carrier bag was … but it was lovely to see her so excited and the customer service she’s received during the four years she’s had it has been excellent … so it was value for money after all …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner:  Do you think we will stop using paper money in the future?
Louisa: I think it’s almost certain … at the moment it’s still possible to pay in cash but I’m sure this will change … the problem is people are more likely to get into debt and run up a credit card bill when this happens.

Examiner: How do companies encourage the consumer to spend their money?
Peter: Well … a recent development in my country is something called ‘Black Friday’ where people are encouraged to shop until they drop and buy the latest must-have products … then there are things like loyalty cards to get the customer back in the store …

Examiner: What do you think shops need to do to create a positive shopping experience?
Tania: The main thing for me is not being pressurized to buy … I appreciate that shop assistants are probably on commission but if I’m looking for clothes for example, I like to take my time … to try something on … and to ask for help if I need it …

Definitions

  • advertising campaign: a series of advertisements to persuade people to buy something
  • big brand names: large well-known companies or product names
  • to be careful with money: to not over-spend
  • carrier bag: bags (usually plastic) supplied by shops
  • customer service: the degree to which customers are treated well
  • to get into debt: to owe money
  • to give someone the hard sell: to put pressure on someone to buy something
  • high street names: well-known shops
  • independent stores: small shops independent of large companies
  • local shops: community shops
  • loyalty card: a card issued by a shop to allow customers to save money on the basis of what they spend
  • must-have product: a product that is very popular that a lot of people want to have
  • to be on a tight budget: to have a limited amount of money to spend
  • to be on commission: to pay someone in relation to the amount they sell
  • a pay in cash: to pay for something using coins or paper money
  • to pay the full price: to pay the full amount for something
  • to pick up a bargain: to buy something much cheaper than the normal price
  • to run up a credit card bill: to owe money on a credit card
  • to shop around: to try different shops to find the best deal
  • shop assistant: the person who serves customers
  • to shop until you drop: to do a lot of shopping
  • to slash prices: to reduce prices a great deal
  • to snap up a bargain: to buy something quickly that is being sold cheaply
  • summer sales: a period in the year when things are sold cheaply
  • to try something on: to see if an item of clothing fits or is suitable
  • to be value for money: to be worth the cost
  • window shopping: to visit a store to look at items without the intention of buying anything

Lesson 19: Environment

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Are there any environmental problems in your country?
Kelly: Yes … we have a serious issue with pollution levels in some of our big cities …  exhaust fumes from cars and lorriesare definitely one reason for the problem but we also have a lot of heavy industry in some areas and this also results in poor air quality …

Examiner: Do you take an interest in nature?
Jenny: Well … I’m a city person through and through and don’t get back to nature very often I’m afraid … but like everyone else I’m fascinated by the natural world and I like watching documentaries showing wild animals in their natural habitat …

Examiner: Do you or your family take steps to help the environment?
Mira: My parents have always tried to make us aware of our impact on the environment…  they’re really into energy conservation … and always try to buy environmentally friendly products if they have the chance …

Part 2-style task

Describe an environmental problem that has been in the news.  You should say

  • when this was
  • where the event happened
  • what actually took place

and say how you felt about this problem.

Martin:  Well … this is an interesting question … there are so many issues I could think of … natural disasters like earthquakes and floods seem to be in the news almost every year … but there was one story recently about some animals that were under threat … it wasn’t focused on one place in particular … it was looking at various animals that could actually become extinct in different African countries … if we don’t take steps to protect them … these were really iconic animals like gorillas … leopards … rhinos … and apparently they’re now listed as endangered species …  what made it really depressing was they were in danger thanks to us … in some cases it was due to a loss of habitat either because people need more agricultural production … or even worse I think … because of hunting and poaching … I hate to think of future generations being robbed of the chance to see creatures like these in their natural environment … it’s lucky we have lots of organizations that focus on wildlife conservation … hopefully with their help we can put pressure on those in power to do something to stop creatures like these dying out …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner:  What do you think is the main danger the world faces in terms of the environment?
Spencer: Well … climate change is a real issue … in my country we have flash floods and heatwaves on a yearly basis … so yes … I think global warming is the biggest issue.

Examiner: What examples are there of how we damage the natural world?
Stella: There are so many examples … there are factories that empty toxic waste into rivers and oceans … oil spills that damage the coastline …  the way we destroy vast areas of land and rain forests in search of fossil fuels or to increase agricultural production …

Examiner: In which ways do we respond well to environmental problems?
Mathius: Well … on the one hand there are various worldwide agencies that are always the first on the scene with humanitarian aid  after  natural  and man-made disasters … and on the other hand we have environmental pressure groups that are constantly raising awareness of issues and trying to stop disasters happening …

Definitions

  • air quality: the cleanliness of the air we breathe
  • to become extinct: to no longer exist
  • to be under threat: to be in danger of becoming extinct
  • climate change: the change in worldwide weather patterns
  • to die out: see ‘to become extinct’
  • endangered species: categories of animals or plants that are in danger of becoming extinct
  • energy conservation: the careful management of energy resources to ensure they last as long as possible
  • environmentally friendly: behavior and products that do not harm the environment
  • exhaust fumes: the toxic gases given off by vehicles powered by petrol
  • flash floods: floods that happen quickly
  • fossil fuels: energy resources like gas and oil that are produced deep below the ground over millions of years
  • future generations: the people who live after us
  • to get back to nature: to live a life that is closer to nature
  • global warming: the increasing temperature of the world brought about by gases such as carbon dioxide
  • heavy industry: the manufacture of heavy articles and materials in large numbers
  • humanitarian aid: the act of showing support to people struggling to survive
  • impact on: the effect on
  • loss of habitat: the decline in areas of land where animals and plants would normally exist
  • man-made disaster: widespread damage or loss of life brought about by the action of humans
  • natural disaster: an event such as an earthquake, flood or hurricane which causes widespread damage or loss of life
  • natural environment: the place where animals and plants would normally be found in nature
  • the natural world: the world of nature
  • oil spill: waste usually deposited in the seas and oceans after an accident at sea
  • poaching: to hunt and kill wild animals illegally
  • pollution levels: the amount of toxic waste
  • pressure group: a group of people who try to raise awareness of issues and try to affect the views and actions of people and organizations
  • toxic waste: poisonous, unwanted rubbish often produced by industrial processes
  • wildlife conservation: to protect animals and plants and their habitats

Lesson 20: Advertising

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Are there any TV channels in your country that don’t have adverts?
Loraine: No … they’re all commercial channels and show adverts all day long … too many really … and there’s also a lot of product placement going on … especially in soap operas where they place an item just behind the actors.

Examiner: Do you enjoy watching adverts on TV?
Karin: No … not really … I hate commercial breaks during a film … it really spoils the flow … and during prime time viewing they seem to squeeze even more ads in than usual … celebrity endorsements also get on my nerves … everyone knows they’re only doing it because they’re getting paid.

Examiner: What are the best ways for ordinary people to advertise something they want to sell in your country?
Marianne: The simplest way is to place an advert in something like the classified ads section of a local paper … or there’s the Internet of course … there are lots of sites like eBay where you can buy and sell things online.

Part 2-style task

Describe an advert you once saw that was very effective.  You should say

  • where this advert appeared
  • when you saw it
  • what it was advertising

and say why you thought it was so effective.

Max: OK … well this was about 4 years ago … I was looking for some software to create videos … one day I got an email from a mailing list I’d signed up to … there was a link in it to a press release … a company had written something about a new product that was similar to what I was looking for … at the end of the press release there was a link to the sales page … I hadn’t heard of the company but I was interested and clicked the link to the ad …. what caught my attention immediately were the number of testimonials from people who had bought the software … I think testimonials are like the online equivalent of word of mouth advertising and are really persuasive … anyway … when I got to the bottom of the page there was a great big call to action button inviting me to buy … I was totally persuaded and ended up making a purchase … what made it so effective I think was the power of those testimonials … they’d been written by people very much like me … they’d had a need and the software had obviously turned out to be just what they were looking for … when you think that this was a newish company they wouldn’t have had any brand awareness at all  … they probably wouldn’t have had much of a budget for advertising … obviously you wouldn’t advertise a product like this through the mass media on TV … they probably didn’t even have an advertising agency to support them …and yet they’d managed to create a great deal of brand loyalty from previous customers … I think that was really effective.

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: What is it that makes an advert effective?
Spencer: Well … when a company launches a product they have to consider the Internet … especially how it can be used to spread the word on social media … so in this context a video that goes viral is probably the most effective type of advert you could make.

Examiner: What are the advantages to companies of advertising on the Internet rather than TV?
Stelios: I’d imagine the main advantage is you can reach your target audience much more effectively … if you bring out a niche product for example … or you have a tight advertising budget … you can advertise on particular sites that the people you want to reach visit … that’s not something you can do on TV.

Examiner: What things do advertising companies do that might give it a bad name?
Raol: For me the most irritating is cold calling … we must get two or three of these every day at work … then there’s junk mail that gets posted through the letterbox … and of course the online equivalent of this … spam emails … I think it’s this kind of advertising that tends to annoy people.

Definitions

  • advertising agency: a company that creates adverts for other companies
  • advertising budget: the amount of money a company decides to spend on advertising
  • brand awareness: how well people know a particular brand
  • brand loyalty: the degree to which people continue to buy from the same brand or company
  • buy and sell: often used to refer to the buying and selling of items between individuals
  • call to action: something that encourages someone to take a particular action, such as making a purchase or clicking a link on a website
  • celebrity endorsement: to have a well-known person promote a product
  • classified ads: small advertisements often put in a newspaper or magazine by individuals
  • to cold call: to call someone with the aim of selling something without them asking you to do so
  • commercial break: the short period during TV programs when advertisements are shown
  • commercial channel: TV channels that make money from showing advertisements
  • to go viral: to quickly become extremely popular on the Internet through social media
  • junk mail: unwanted promotional leaflets and letters
  • to launch a product: to introduce a new product
  • mailing list: a list of names and contact details used by a company to send information and advertisements
  • mass media: large media outlets like TV, newspapers and magazines
  • niche product: a product that is aimed at a distinct group of people
  • to place an advert: to put an advert somewhere
  • press release: something written by a company for newspapers and magazines and websites to share and publish
  • prime time: the time during the viewing schedule when most people watch TV or listen to a broadcast
  • product placement: to advertise a product by using it as a prop in a TV show or film
  • sales page: a page specifically used to promote a product or service
  • to show adverts: to display adverts on TV
  • social media: websites that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
  • spam email: unwanted, promotional email
  • target audience: the people a company want to sell their product or service to
  • word of mouth: recommendations made by individuals to other individuals about a product of service

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