Speaking Topics

Speaking Topics

The Speaking section comprises three sections.

PART 1: This includes introductory questions where the test taker can express his opinion and choices made in everyday life. This section concludes in 3 to 4 minutes and acts as a launching platform for further discussion.

PART 2: This section carries maximum weightage in the Speaking module. It is a monologue where the aspirant is expected to speak for about 2 minutes on a familiar topic. The key to ace this part of the test is to effectively prepare a Mind Map during one minute preparation time.

Mind Map

It is a simple way of brainstorming to generate ideas. It helps to organize the two minute monologue in a short time period in a schematic way to avoid repetition in speech. The student can draw a mind map keeping the below points in mind:

  • Place the main idea centrally.
  • Concoct a story based on the hint questions.
  • Answer the WH-questions: what, what for…., when, where, which, who, whom, whose, why, why not…, how, how far.., how long…, how much…, how long…
  • It is advised to summarize your speech by answering the last hint question.

For Instance:

Talk about a house or an apartment you would like to live in.

YOU COULD SAY (HINT QUESTIONS GIVEN ON THE CUE CARD SHEET):

  • What it looks like?
  • How big it would be?
  • Where it would be located?
  • And explain why you would like to live there?

MIND MAP:

home

SAMPLE ANSWER

I have always dreamt of having a house, or to be more specific a bungalow with slanting roof on the mountains. I remember, when I was young I had visited Shimla and stayed in one of my uncles home. From that time, I have always wanted to have a home in the mountains. It will be a 2-storey house having a kitchen along with a dining space. The ground floor will have the living room whereas; the bedrooms will be on the first floor. I have always dreamt of having a big lawn in the front of my home with a variety of flowers and ornamental trees. Also, in the backyard I propose to have a kitchen garden where I could grow fresh organic salads and vegetables.

Further, my home will have all the modern amenities and facilities with a well-equipped kitchen and latest gadgets with wooden flooring and a fire place in the living room. I also wish to have big French windows so that there is ample sunshine and the house will be painted in light subtle colors like grey, cream or beige but the roof would be either red or green in color, as it is prevalent in most of the hill stations.

Moreover, I would like to have balconies with the bedrooms, so that I can enjoy the morning sun-rays and the sunsets which are so very fascinating in the hill stations.

PART 3: The aspirant answers more abstract questions that reflect his opinion, although he may not be marked on his perspective. Inability to understand the question and correctly answer will be penalized.


An English lesson you enjoyed

SHOES

  1.  How often do you buy shoes?
    Not very often, maybe, after 2-3 months as according to need. In case of an event or celebration, I buy a pair according to my attire.
  2. What kind of shoes do you usually wear?
    In my daily routine, I prefer to wear shoes that are comfortable like sneakers or loafers. However, for any occasion or function, I love to wear fancy shoes.
  3. Some people spend a lot of money on buying shoes, would you do the same thing?
    One must wear good quality shoes but that does not mean they need to be expensive. Personally, I would not like to splurge my money on an expensive pair of shoes.

Music

  1. Do you like music?
    Yes, indeed, I love listening to music. I remember when I was young, I developed a taste for music, and since then it has become my favorite hobby.
  2. What kind of music do you like?
    The music that I listen to at a particular place and time majorly depends on my mood. I prefer listening soft music and blues but when I am with friends or at a party I enjoy listening to music with fast beats.
  3. When do you listen to music?
    Music is a huge part of my life. I love listening to music while driving, cooking, and writing and whenever I have some spare time. I love listening to soothing music before going to sleep.

An English lesson you enjoyed.

  • When did you attend this lecture?
  • Why was it so interesting?
  • Why did you like it?
  • How was this different from the other lessons?

When I was in school, our English teacher used to conduct various activities to improve our language skills. I vividly remember the day she read a short poem by Robert Frost, “The Road not taken” and then she wanted us to answer questions based on the poem. The question asked was related to the last verse of the poem which said, “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference”

The students were asked to choose a path from the poem as per their view. I was surprised to notice that the majority of the students answered excitingly, and they had a multitude of ideas. I responded that I wanted to go back in time because of my passion for literature and meet legendary writers like William Shakespeare, Jane Austen. I would also love to meet poets like Keats and Wordsworth and talk to them about the source of their inspiration for writing such beautiful dramas, novels, and poetry. In the end, I would like to say that such creative ways of teaching should be encouraged in the learning process as it helps the children to think creatively without cramming the subject. Also, such activities help in developing communication skills and make learning more enjoyable.

Follow-up questions:

Q1.      Do you think that English has become an international language?

Ans.     English is the most widely spoken language across the globe. Therefore, I believe it is an international language. From every major book and computer app to literature and cinema, English is omnipresent. Even the people who are not native English speakers use English in there day to day lives.

Q2.      Why is there a need for an international/universal language?

Ans.     The world has become a global village so there is a requirement of a language which can be understood by everyone in the world. We can take the example of international students traveling to foreign countries for education. These students use English as a means to communicate in a new land and not feel out of place.

Q3.      Why do you think languages are becoming extinct nowadays?

Ans.     This is primarily in the case of languages with an oral tradition and no written texts. It becomes difficult to preserve that language. The influence of popular languages and slangs also has an impact on people. We can see several people leaving their native language and opting to learn one which has better prospects and usage.

Q4.      What can be done to teach children about their native language?

Ans.     A parent must converse in their native tongue with their children and educate them about its history and importance. The value of their roots and nativity must be taught in students from the beginning.

Describe a rule in school you liked/disliked

Part 1

Did you enjoy your childhood?

Ans.     Yes, I had a very happy childhood. I grew up in a joint family with lot of love and laughter.

Did you have a lot of friends when you were a child?

Ans.     Yes, I had a number of friends during my childhood. There were few in my school and others in my neighborhood.

What did you enjoy doing as a child?

Ans.     Playing with my friends and watching cartoons on television was my favorite pastime.  I also liked to spend my time with my grandparents and listen to their interesting anecdotes.

topic2

School days, I believe are the best days of our life. From fooling around with friends to studying last minute for exams, school is an experience that shapes us forever. I remember, when I was studying in 6th standard, a new rule was implemented. The rule was that no student was allowed to speak in their native tongue in the school premises and was only allowed to speak in Hindi in their Hindi classes and English the rest of the time. All of my friends, including me, at first were really very upset with this rule as when talking to our friends we used to speak in Hindi/Punjabi (any other language) but slowly and steadily we found that our English had started improving. At first we used to laugh at each other if anyone started a conversation in English but at the time we were really afraid of our teachers and had no other option. The most testing time was during the lunch break when we were in a carefree mood and it was really difficult to converse in English. But with passing time, we developed a habit of speaking in English and when I reached my high school I spoke with confidence. Today, I feel grateful that the new rule was implemented and I was able to work on my English language.

school

 

Part 3

How has education changed in your country in the last 10 years?

Well, there has been a major transformation in the education system of my country. Earlier students had one particular aim in mind and would focus on it without exploring their interests. Today, a number of subjects are taught in schools and students are given opportunities to decide what they want for themselves.

Is school education more important to a boy or a girl? Why? 

I think there should be no discrimination between boys and girls in any way let alone education. Every individual whether a boy or a girl deserves to gain an education and build their future. I believe that education is of paramount importance and everyone must have a chance at it.

How important is it for schools to have computers for their students?

In today’s world, education is incomplete without computers as every piece of information, whether big or small, is available on the web. For example, there are subjects that can be made more interesting through computers like history, geography, and Science that provide a visual understanding of the subject as well as help students understand the facts.

How well do you think schools prepare students for the future?

In my opinion, schools lay the foundation of our entire life. Schools give us a learning experience that stays with us forever and enable us to learn new things as well as to reason and question. From our communication skills to our social and interpersonal skills, it is the experience and education we gain at the elementary stage of our lives that shape us forever.

Describe the best present you have ever received in your life

How often you go to the cinema?

Ans. I am not a movie buff, but once a month I go out with my friends to have a great time at the theatre.

Do you prefer to watch movies at the cinema or at home?

Ans.  I like to watch a movie in a theatre because of the sound and picture quality. Even though watching a movie at the cinema hall is a lot of fun, I also enjoy watching films from the comforts of my home.

Which film from your childhood do you remember fondly?

Ans.  I grew up watching Hindi as well as English movies. From Andaz Apna Apna to the Harry Potter series I have thoroughly enjoyed watching movies during my childhood. My favorite childhood movies will have to be Dil Chahta Hai, Stuart Little as well as the Harry Potter Series.

What sorts of food do you like eating most?

Ans.  I love eating traditional Indian cuisines such as daal and roti. My favorite vegetable is bhindi (okra or ladyfinger) along with curd and chapatti. I love eating rice, as well. But this does not mean I don’t enjoy eating junk food. I love burgers and pasta, but try to curb my fast food intake as it is not very healthy.

In your country is cooking a man’s job or a woman’s job?

Ans.  In my country, cooking has been labeled as a woman’s job for years immemorial. It has been customary that men are the bread winners of the family and women are the care takers. But as times are changing, men and women are working hand in hand professionally as well as while doing the household chores.

Do you watch cooking programs on TV?

Ans.  I do not particularly like watching cooking shows on television as I don’t find them interesting. However, my mother enjoys them and I keep her company while she enjoys them.

Cue Card

Describe the best present you have ever received in your life.

  • What was the present?
  • Who gave it to you?
  • When did you receive it?
  • Explain why it was the best present you ever received?

I remember that on my eighteenth birthday I received the best gift of my life and it was given

to me by my parents. It was an Apple MacBook and I was overjoyed to receive this gift. After graduating high school I had wanted to have this product but my parents were of the view, that I was too young to handle it. So I had to work on my desktop computer. I would constantly pester my parents to buy it for me. To my surprise on my 18th Birthday when I woke up in the morning there was a gift lying on my bed, wrapped in a beautiful gift paper. When I opened it I could not believe my eyes. It was a Mac Book and my parents were standing in my room to surprise me. I got up from my bed and hugged them. My joy knew no bounds and I thanked them for giving me such a wonderful gift. I really needed it for my studies and also for interacting with my friends on social media. Apart from being a source of obtaining information it can also be used to entertain oneself like listening to music and watching movies.

mp

Q1.     On what occasions do people in your country usually exchange gifts?

Well, there are several occasions when people exchange gifts. From the birth of a child to marriage, anniversary, and festivals, gifts are exchanged several times in our country. On kids’ birthdays, people love to give gifts like toys, dolls, teddy bears, etc. and for marriages; the offerings include gold jewelry or some household item. So for every occasion, gifts are exchanged.

Q2.    How important is it to wrap presents in an attractive way?

I feel that it is very important to wrap a present because it adds to the beauty of gift-giving. It increases the aesthetic of the gift and maintains the element of surprise. It also shows the effort and thought put into presenting the gift.

Q3.   What is the difference between the type of gifts presented nowadays and the ones in the past?

In yester years people led a very simple life and there was no extra money for luxuries, so even the gifts were not expensive. The major gifts exchanged were hand-made like knitted sweaters or hand stitched clothes. With the passage of time as the lifestyle has improved so has the spending potential. And today people spend a lot of money on purchasing gifts for others.

Describe a skill you want to learn

What is your favorite leisure activity?

Ans. My favorite leisure activity is to swim. I have been swimming since childhood and I enjoy it thoroughly. I try to find time to go for a swim whenever I’m free.

Do you think leisure time is important?

Ans. Yes, I definitely think that people ought to have some free time so that they relax and de-stress themselves.

Do you prefer to spend your free time with other people or alone?

Ans. Well, it depends on my mood. Sometimes I just prefer to be alone and read books or watch movies but at times I like to be with my friends, go out and enjoy.

MIRROR

Q. Do you prefer to look in the mirror?

Ans.     I do not look at the mirror very often. But when I get ready in the morning for work, I look at myself in the mirror before leaving.

Q. Do you often buy a mirror?

Ans.     No. I don’t do that very often. I don’t remember buying a mirror my entire life as there are mirrors in my home and at other places I have lived.

Q. Where do you think mirrors are a necessary decoration?

Ans.     According to me, salons are the places where mirrors add to the beauty. Apart from it, shopping malls and hotel lobbies are also sometimes decorated with mirrors. Nowadays, people use mirrors as pieces of decoration at home to increase the aesthetic of their place.

CUE CARD

Describe a skill you want to learn.

topic

 

 driving

Ans. I would like to learn driving after I taking the IELTS exam. I am very fond of driving and learning it has been my greatest passion. However, I was unable to do it earlier because of my studies and age. But now I have reached the right age when I can drive a vehicle. I am excited for it and I will join a driving school to learn this skill. There is a driving school near my home and the trainers out there teach how to drive and master the skills necessary for it. In the beginning, of the lessons the main control is with them and hence, one does not feel scared or nervous. After some time when I gain confidence, I will be able to drive a vehicle independently. Driving is an important skill if one wants to work because daily commuting can become very easy if one knows how to drive and you become independent.

Further, my parents have promised to buy me a car when I get a driving license, so I will make all the required efforts to be perfect in this skill.

PART-III

What skills can you learn in school?

Ans.     According to me, school is a place, where a person can acquire many skills directly or indirectly. First and foremost, we learn to adjust with our fellow students and teachers and this helps inculcate teamwork for the future. Moreover, our communication skills are polished as we learn how to speak and behave in an institution. Other skills learnt at school are sportsmanship, adaptability, obedience and discipline.

What skills do you think college/university provides you for your life?

Ans.     Well, in college or university we learn specific skills through which we can earn our livelihood in our upcoming life. Apart from the educational skills, you interact with people from places across the country, learn teamwork and open your minds to new ideas.

What do you think of traditional skills?

Ans.     Traditional skills are the skills which are passed from one generation to other. There are certain skills which we learn from our parents and grandparents by just observing them whereas others are taught to us by them. Some of the skills may not be of much importance in the present scenario but others can be beneficial for us. I can give you my own example, I had learnt knitting, stitching and cooking from my mother and I enjoy these activities whenever I’m free.

What according to you is the most popular skill that people want to learn nowadays?

Ans. In my country people wish to learn communication and computer skills. Computers are of paramount importance in the modern world. Majority of the people want to become tech-savvy so that their chances of employment and success increase. Communication skills are important for people who are hesitant about speaking in public and wish to improve their English speaking skills.

What kind of school would you send your children to? Why?

Ans.     I would send my kids to a school which offers a holistic development and encourages kids to pursue their interests. It should not be about cramming a subject but also understanding concepts and other behavioral skills which will help them in their future.

Describe facilities you think should be made available in your city

Part I questions

Q  Do you like flowers?

A. Yes I do. I have a small backyard at home which is always full of flowers, shrubs and other plants.

Q  Which is your favorite flower?

A. Well, it is difficult to name one. But I feel that I like roses a lot because of their different hues and fragrance.

Q  Do any flowers have a special meaning in your country?

A. I think marigold and jasmine hold significance. No religious ceremony is complete without these flowers and women like to adorn jasmine flowers in their hair in India.

Happiness

Q  Are you a happy person?

A. Yes, I am young and carefree. I often smile and have an optimistic view of events in life.

Q  What usually makes you happy?

A. Small things like helping someone in need, receiving appreciation for my work, watching my favorite T.V. Shows, rains and little children make me happy.

Q  Does the weather ever affect how you feel?

A. Yes, it does. Cloudy days make me feel gloomy and lazy but I am very cheerful on sunny and rainy days.

Describe facilities you think should be made available in your city.

  • What city do you stay in?
  • What are the facilities are required?
  • How would it improve the quality of life?

chandigarh

I am a resident of Chandigarh, which is also known as the city beautiful. It is the first modern city in India, and it has all the necessary facilities and amenities. It is full of greenery and is impeccably clean. However, the population explosion has hit Chandigarh as well, and it requires individual more facilities to cope with the growing needs. According to my discretion, it requires a metro rail to reduce the congestion that is increasing day by day. Especially during peak hours, traffic jams have become common in my city. This has led to a rise in anxiety and stress among people.

Moreover, the number of private vehicles is plying on the roads nowadays, which is adding to traffic jams and air pollution. All this has led me to believe that this damage can only be mitigated through metro rails. The use of public transport would lead to fewer cars on the road, which would automatically lead to fewer pollution levels. Also, it will be more convenient for the people living in the suburbs to commute daily to Chandigarh, and their life will be hassle-free. So, I feel that the metro necessary in my city for a better lifestyle.

Part III

Q  Would you like to live in the city you spoke about?

A. Yes, definitely, Chandigarh is a beautiful city without any pollution, so if I get a chance, I would love to settle in Chandigarh.

Q  What are the advantages of living in a big city?

A. In my opinion, big cities offer better lifestyle, educational opportunities and business opportunities. They help a person with a chance to turn their lives around and build a better future.

Q  What are the negative aspects of crowded cities?

A. Metropolitan cities are often polluted and there is a lot of traffic congestion. For example if we visit Mumbai or New Delhi, the traffic is unbearable, the number of resources is less and there is more competition for a single opportunity.

Q  Why so many people migrate to cities each year? What problems this causes?

A. Employment opportunities are the most significant reason people migrate to big cities. People from small towns and villages come to cities to build a future for them and have a better life. Even though this happens for employment reasons, it causes problems for people who migrate but to the city dwellers also as the cities become overcrowded.

Q  Would you prefer to live in a city or countryside?

A. If I get a chance, I would love to live in the countryside located in the vicinity of a city. Living in such a place will give me a pollution-free, peaceful environment, and its proximity to the city will provide me all the amenities.

Describe a couple you know who are happily married

couple1

Part 1 – Wearing Jewelry

Q What pieces of jewelry do you like wearing?

A. I usually don’t wear a lot of jewelry except on special occasions. However, I’ve been wearing a ring since the 8th grade and still love wearing it.

Q  Do you wear a lot of jewelry?

A.  No, I don’t like wearing a lot of jewelry. But there a few festive occasions when I dress up and adorn some jewelry.

Q  Have you ever bought a piece of jewelry for someone else?

Yes, recently I bought a pair of earrings for my mother. My sibling and I chose this gift for her 50th birthday for we wanted it to be special.

Q  Do you like history?

A. When I was in school, I used to enjoy history lectures and was intrigued by it. History has been one of my favorite subjects from school and it remains so till date.

Q  Have you ever watched a historical show/documentary on television?

A.  Yes, I have watched a number of historical shows and movies on television and on the web. I love shows such as Asoka, The Crown and various other documentary series that depict true events of the past.

Q  Why should people know about their history?

A.  It is only through history that we will be aware of our culture and traditions. History is the best means to explain our past and delve into the intricacies of civilization and its aspects.

CUE CARD

couple2

Describe a couple you know who are happily married.

Today, I am going to talk about my grandparents because I think they are the best couple I’ve ever come across. They have been married for the last 50 years now. Both of them complement each other, and they look good as a couple. My grandfather is tall and handsome, and my grandmother is a beautiful, strong lady. They are both very poised, and I have hardly ever seen them get into a fight. Both of them have served as government officers and retired from their respective jobs. My grandfather was an engineer in the Public Works Department, and my grandmother retired as a school principal. They have faced their share of ups and downs in life but been together throughout and kept calm. They understand each other entirely, even though they have entirely different personalities. They are like two best friends sharing and caring for each other. My grandfather is an extrovert whereas my grandmother is a quiet lady, who often loves to read and cook. People always surround him, be it his friends, neighbors, or family members. Moreover, I have never really seen them complaining about each other but what I have observes is that they try to cover up each other’s mistakes, and together they have raised a happy and well-educated family.

couple3

Follow-up questions:

Q  In your country how important is a wedding?

A.  Wedding is an important aspect among my people as it unifies two people who would from then on care and share for each other. Hence, wedding forms a very important part of my country’s culture.

Q  Do you think it is right to spend a lot of money on weddings?

A. Well, I don’t believe spending large amount of money on weddings is a wise decision. This money that is wasted for pleasing people should rather be put to some use be in personal or for charity.

Q  How has the concept of marriage changed over the years?

In my opinion, marriage is a confluence of two souls however, in today’s time it has become more of a business partnership. People sign up prenuptial bonds with a guarantee period and live in relationships are very common. People do not think of marriage as a compromise anymore and men are women are equal in this partnership.

Describe a TV mini series you like to watch

Q Who is your favorite Pop Star?

A. My favorite Pop Star is Selena Gomez. She is a very talented singer with a great voice. Over the years she has evolved into a wholesome personality who has achieved great success in the music industry.

Q Have you ever attended a music concert?

A. Yes, I have attended a number music concerts. Some of these were conducted by local bands and artists but nevertheless, were very interesting.

Q How does music affect your mood?

A. Well music definitely acts as a stress-buster and influences my mood. Whenever I am anxious or stressed out I listen to music, to alleviate my mood.

Rain
Q  Do you like rain? Why/ Why not?

A. Yes, I enjoy going out in rain and I feel that monsoons are my favorite season. I really love the freshness and the greenery around, while and after it rains.

Q  Do you think that rain affects peoples mood or behavior?

A. According to me, a number of things influence a person’s mood and the weather is one of them. Some people are overjoyed by the rains while others feel gloomy and irritated by them.

Q Does it often rain where you live?

A. Yes, it does rain plenty where I live. We have full-fledged rains for more than two months. It makes the weather cool and breezy but disrupts several activities.

Topic

tv

I love to watch Television and my favorite series is a, sitcom known as ‘Brooklyn 99’. It  is an American Television series produced that stretches up to 6 seasons and circles around the lives of a team of detectives at the NYPD. The main characters are called Jake Peralta, Amy Santiago, Terry Jeffords, Raymond Holt, Rosa Diaz, Gina Linetti and Charles Boyle. It is a comic show with a number of interesting cases solved by the detectives. The characters are extremely endearing and always stand up for one another and stand against wrong. The main character called Jake Peralta is a charming, funny and smart detective played by Andy Samberg who also happens to be the producer of the show. I love this show and everything about it as it leaves me with a sense of positivity and I really enjoy binge watching it.

Q Do you think daily soaps represent real life?

A. In my opinion, daily soaps and sitcoms are exaggerated versions of stories derived from real life. Even though these shows might not feel relatable at times, they have been exclusively designed to maximize the profits of the producers and entertainment for the viewers.

Q Why do people like to watch these shows?

A. Television has become a part and parcel of every household, throughout the world. The shows are presented in such a way that all of us are attracted towards them. Moreover, each individual has access to television and it has become an important source of entertainment.

Q Do men and women watch the same type of T.V. shows?

A. I do not think that gender plays a significant role in T.V. viewing habits. But yes, generally it is seen that women prefer to watch daily soaps/ movies whereas men watch sports channels and documentaries. However, again I would like to re-iterate that some people do not confirm to the norms and the choices are completely individual.

Q  Do you think television channels have any responsibility to send good messages across?

A. Definitely yes, as right from pre-school children to old people, all generations love to watch television. Therefore, channels have a social responsibility towards their viewers. If they portray negative issues or propagate superstition they must do it with careful discretion. So I firmly believe that the T.V. Production houses should air the programs which are progressive and not regressive.

Describe traditional attire you wore

PART 1

Q Is it important to be polite?

A. In my opinion, it is essential to be polite while conversing and in day to day activities. It reflects your upbringing and the ability to handle tense situations. Being polite to elders, teachers, neighbors and friends is taught by our parents from a young stage in life.

Q How do children learn good manners?

A. Children imitate what they see. A child’s first teachers are his parents. Hence, it is the parents who inculcate good manners in them. Also, in joint family systems, it is the responsibility of grandparents and other elders in the family, who teach ethical values and mannerisms to the youngsters.

Q. Who do you think are usually more polite: older or younger people?

A. It is not about age, but about your upbringing that defines our attitude towards others. I have seen many adults with great experience of life being impolite and small children being kind and well mannered. Hence, it is the environment that we live in that helps us imbibe these qualities.

Q. Why is it important to be polite to people?

A. I think it is important to be polite to people because people respond back to you in the same tone as you speak to them. Also, people tend to be more helpful if we speak in a polite manner.

PART 2

CUE CARD

Recently, I participated in a cultural show which was organized in my city by the Red Cross Society. It was basically held to collect some funds for charitable purpose and also to spread awareness about various water borne diseases. We were going to sing a patriotic song so the entire group decided to wear a traditional dress i.e. “sari.” All of our saris were black in color and tied to one side as we left our hair open an opted for similar makeup. We also wore a red colored bindi on our foreheads. At first I was nervous wearing the outfit but when I was complimented on how pretty I looked, it increased my confidence and I could concentrate on my performance. My nervousness completely vanished and we clicked pictures and had a gala time. We were not only appreciated for our performance but also liked on social media. From that day onwards, I decided that on such occasions I shall wear traditional clothes for I loved wearing a sari today and felt really beautiful and strong.

Follow Up Questions:

Q. What do you like to wear when you are at home?

A. I like to wear loose fitted, casual clothes that make me feel comfortable and relaxed. At home, I like to wear pastel colored light weight clothing so I can easily complete my chores. From working in the kitchen, practicing yoga, watching TV or reading a book, I like to wear clothes that do not hinder any activity I wish to do. While working in my garden, I prefer wearing a tee with pajamas so that I do not have to bother about my clothes getting dirty and also be comfortable.

Q. What do people in your country like to wear to parties?

A. People dress variably from traditional to semi-formal dressing while attending parties. It is an individual choice and the occasion they are attending. If the party is for some festivities, women prefer wearing traditional outfit raging from suits and saris to lehenga choli whereas men’s attire can be a traditional kurta pyjama or casual jeans with matching kurta.

Q. Do you like to try different kinds of fashion trends?

A. Personally, I like to wear trendy clothes but I do not blindly follow fashion. I like to wear clothes that I feel I am comfortable in and which suit my body type. I usually go for a casual look every day at work although some days I like to dress more formally. Otherwise on family and friends outing I prefer classic styling.

Q. Do you think people behave differently in different type of clothing?

A. I think people behave differently in different type of clothing. Your environment determines the way you dress up and the consequently influences your behavior. When dressed in smart casuals or formal attire, people behave more professionally while in casuals, one is more relaxed.

Describe a traditional product in your country

PART 1

Q. Is being late acceptable in your culture?

A. Well no, it is not really acceptable but people often get late because of various reasons.

Q. Are you ever late for appointments?

 A.No. I am very punctual. I try to reach 5-10 minutes early from the deadline whenever I have an appointment.

Q. How do you feel when someone is late for an appointment with you?

A. As mentioned above, I’m a very punctual person and therefore, I feel very annoyed and irritated if someone turns up late. In case of a genuine reason it is understandable, but if a person’s late due to negligence it is unacceptable for me.

Q. Is it important for you to eat healthy food?

A. Yes, I feel it is really important to consume healthy food. I often eat food which is less oily and spicy and try to eat more veggies and fresh fruits. It is very important to consume a healthy diet in recent times when our lifestyle has become more busy and unhealthy.

Q. If you catch a cold, what do you do to help you feel better?

A. Catching a cold is one of the worst and most annoying health conditions. When I suffer from a cold I wear warm clothes, take a heating pad and get in bed. I often take steam and apply Vicks but if it gets really bad I take a tablet to feel better.

Q. Do you pay attention to public information about health?

A. Usually I do not get to watch television so I do not have access to these infomercials. However, in case I’m watching TV and one of these ads pop up, I definitely pay heed to them and act like a responsible citizen.

CUE CARD

Today I am going to talk about ‘Ayurveda’ which is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian sub-continent. Various Ayurveda products have healed people of many ailments and helped in enhancing a holistic wellbeing of an individual since many centuries. The classical Ayurveda texts begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the Gods to sages, and then to human physicians. It is believed that Dhanvantari, the Hindu God of Ayurveda, incarnated himself as the king of Varanasi and taught medicine to a group of physicians. The tradition has been followed till now and people throughout the world use these therapies to treat various afflictions. Ayurveda regards physical existence, mental existence and personality as a unit, with each element being able to influence the other. It uses plant based treatments which may be derived from roots, leaves, fruits, barks or seeds of plants such as cardamom, cinnamon, basil, ginger, lemon etc. It is one of the few systems of medicine developed in the ancient times that is still widely practiced. There are many Indian companies like Dabur and Patanjali which are producing products based on Ayurveda and have grown immensely popular with the masses. Ayurveda is a part of the Indian National health care system with state hospitals for Ayurveda established across the country.

Follow-up questions:

Q. Are there any changes in modern and traditional lifestyles?

A. As we all are moving towards a globalized world there are drastic changes that are taking place every day. Our lifestyle today is centered on our work and therefore, nothing is well balanced. Even our eating and sleeping patterns have been disrupted hence, the increasing health problems.

Q. What are the advantages & disadvantages of leading a traditional lifestyle?

A. It would not be fair to draw a comparison between conventional and modern lifestyle. Traditional life style was normal in the past and the way people live nowadays is normal for the current time. However, people were more active and physically fit in the past, the modern lifestyle is devoid of physical work and life is full of stress and anxiety. So everything has its pros and cons.

Q. Do you think it is necessary to preserve ancient customs & traditions?

A. Well, it really depends from person to person. It ought to be good if we preserve them. It gives us a sense of belongingness and makes us feel proud of our identity and culture. However, there are certain customs which were not very progressive and so these should not be kept alive.

Describe your favorite food

PART 1

CLOTHES

Q. Are you interested in fashion and clothes?

A. I am not an avid follower of up and coming fashion trends. However, I do like to look presentable and well dressed as per any occasion. Owing to the social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest I am able to keep in touch with latest changes in fashion styles.

Q. Which type of clothes do young people prefer to wear today?

A. Today’s young generation prefers a variety of clothes and styles. Mostly, men and women like to wear casual yet fashionable outfits. However, most adults and the population from rural areas still wear traditional Indian clothes.

Q. Do you wear different clothes on different occasions?

A. Yes, my sense of dressing changes with the type of occasion. For instance, I wear casual outfits while at home or going out with friends. Formals are worn at work and any professional occasion. And for any festival or festive occasion I go for traditional Indian outfits.

Q. What are the reasons that people today have become more conscious of their appearance?

A. Fashion as an industry is spreading its colors’ on all types and classes of the people. Fast Fashion has become a global phenomenon which encourages people to buy more and more clothes in less span of time. Thus, there is an inclination in minds of people regarding existing trends and fashion. Moreover people want themselves to stay updated with the latest trends.

Q. What do you prefer, fashionable clothes or comfortable clothes?

A. I give priority to comfort. For me, comfortable clothes are much more convenient to wear. I don’t wear any fashionable clothes, if I am not comfortable in them.

Q. Do you prefer to have uniforms in schools?

A. Uniform plays a very important role in school. As uniform bring equality in the status of the students. School life is the formative phase of an individual, therefore, uniforms teach students to treat each other equally avoiding any kind of complexes within students.

CUE CARD

FOOD

I am a big foodie, and I like to try different kinds of cuisines in different places. My all-time favorite snack cum food is Pizza. It is an immensely popular Italian dish. I love to eat Pizza as I have been eating it since childhood, and I am fond of eating fast food. I have been to many places in my country, and I have tasted many things, but still, I consider Pizza to be my favorite food. I always have an uncontrollable urge to eat Pizza. Whenever I get a chance to go for outings with my friends or with family I always order a pizza for myself. I have been scolded several times by my family for this repetitive order of mine. My favorite pizzeria has to be Morgan’s Place in my hometown, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. This is a restaurant which specializes in serving delicious pizzas to the people of my hometown.
Coming to its preparation, it is a very simple dish. It comprises of a crust that is the base of Pizza. Often, many toppings including vegetables are used for garnishing it. Further, the most lovable ingredient in Pizza for me is mozzarella that is the cheese, which is used as a topping for baking it. It comes in lots of varieties. I always like to order cheese delight pizza for me in which the prime ingredients are cheese and onions. For me, every slice of the entire Pizza is mouthwatering. I think this is the food which is commonly eaten by people. Overall, I cannot think of myself without having Pizza at least once in a week.

Follow – up Questions:

Q. Tell me about the type of food people eat in your country?

A. India is a diverse country with numerous religions and cuisines. Most often, people of my country like to eat traditional food. While in North India people consume Chappatis/ Rice and Daal/Sabzi, in South India people consume Sambhar, Vada and Idli. For instance, in Punjab people like to eat mustard leaves with corn bread that is commonly called as makki ki roti and sarson ka saag.

Q. How are the eating habits of people in your country changing?

A. Well, talking about the eating habits of people in my country, people are becoming more conscious of their diets. They always prefer to have nutritional food that can make people healthier. On the other hand a lot of people are drifting towards unhealthy food and lifestyle mostly owing to the work pressure and lack of time.

Q. How has technology changed the way we prepare our food these days?

A. As technology has changed the world, likewise, it has an impact on our foods too. Nowadays, people are inclined towards ready to eat and micro waved meals which can be prepared infraction of seconds. Moreover, the food is now prepared very easily and conveniently.

Q. Are there many international restaurants in your city?

A. Yes definitely, as the fast food trend among people is increasing day by day thereby increasing the demand for it. Many international eating franchises are opening up in my city. For instance, MC Donald’s, subway, KFC are becoming most popular among people these days.

Q. Do you think the food we eat is healthy?

A. The people living with their families get access to healthy, highly nutritious food. But a lot of people who are pre occupied with work do not eat freshly prepared homemade food. This is the reason people are turning towards fast food as well as ready to eat food available at their disposal.

Q. Which types of restaurants are popular among the people nowadays?

A. I believe both traditional and fast food joints are popular among the people nowadays. If people are really busy they like to visit fast-food joints but for large family gatherings traditional restaurants are favored. For instance, when I go out with my friends I usually prefer fast-food chains but with my family it is always traditional Indian/continental restaurants.

Talk about a park near your home

PART 1

Books

Q. Do you read books?

A. I love reading books. Since childhood I was really interested in reading books and still continue to fuel my passion.

Q. What kind of books do you read?

A. I usually prefer to read classic novels and other award winning fiction works. I have also tried my hands at biographies and self-help books.

Q. Do you read the same kind of books now as you read in the childhood?

A. No, during my childhood I use to read fairytales, fantasy and comics but now I read novels, biographies as well as self-help books.

Q. Have you ever participated in co-curricular activities?

A. Yes, I have participated in various co-curricular activities like football, quizzes, elocution and many more during school as well as college time.

Q. How did they prove useful to you?

A. They have proved to be very useful to me in all aspects. These activities taught me various qualities like confidence, determination, team spirit and perseverance towards my goal.

Q. How are these activities different from those in the past?

A. Well, according to me there is a lot of change due to technology. Audio visual aids and smart classrooms have opened up a number of avenues for students.

CUE CARD
Describe your favorite park.
Chandigarh has a number of beautiful parks and gardens; my favorite is the floral garden in sector 15. Along with being one of the most attractive and well-maintained park in our city, it is special to me because of the countless memories I have made there. The park has two gates provided for entry and exit. A fountain with lighting system is situated in the center of the park which enhances its beauty. It is circumference by a long walking track, which is beneficial for people who like to go for walks and jog. In one part of the park, some rides like swings, merry go rounds, see-saw and so on are placed for children to enjoy. The park is abundant with extremely soothing and calm feeling. The evenings at the park are really pleasant with children playing, birds chirping, old people walking and the sun setting. Moreover, a flower show is organized every year in the park where exhibition of different varieties of flowers takes place and an open stage is constructed for cultural activities. Workout machines are provided in it for exercise which makes people physically fit. Also, it has benches for people to sit and relax after doing exercise. Further, a water purifier system is installed for drinking water and separate washrooms are available for men and women. It has been designed keeping in mind the needs of kids, youngsters, adults as well as old people.

Follow up Questions

Q. How often do you visit parks?

A. Actually, I rarely go to parks due to my hectic schedule but whenever I get time I visit a park near my house with my friends. I like to perform various exercises on machines which keeps me fit and healthy. Apart from this, I also go to the park during the flower festival and other such occasions.

Q. What sort of activity is popular in the park?

A. There are different kinds of activities popular in the park. Old people do yoga and walk on the tracks. Children play on rides and youngsters use gym machinery for exercise. People also have the opportunity to play games like badminton, football, cricket with their friends. Sometimes, people gather there to chit-chat, relax, and breathe-in fresh air as the park has lot of ornamental trees and flowers.

Q. Why is it important to have parks in a city?

A. Park work as green patches for a city and acts like a stress buster to help people relax. Cities are usually crowded and these parks are like a breath of fresh air to the people. It is a peaceful place and has a soothing environment which brings relief from pollution and noisy places.

Q. What are the various characteristics of a perfect park?

A. According to me, a park should be away from noisy places like market and must have shady trees, long tracks, benches and restroom. It should act like a buffer for people to relax from exercise along with hygienic water facility and well maintained washrooms.

Q. Which timings are usually preferred by folks to visit the park? Why?

A. Masses usually prefer early morning and evenings for going to the park as it is the time most people are free from work. It is the time when one is free of all responsibilities and can enjoy the calmness of nature. Although during winters I have seen people visiting the parks during afternoons to enjoy the warmth of sun.

Q. What are the basic rules and regulations which should be followed in a park?

A. According to me, the main regulations are the timings for which the park is open. No one should harm the plants. Littering should be prohibited. People should control their noise level near it. Parents should be mindful when their children are on swings and at last smoking should be prohibited in the park.

Describe an outdoor meal or picnic that you went for

PART 1

TELEVISION

Q. How much TV do you watch?

A. Well, because of my hectic schedule, I hardly get time to watch television. Nevertheless, I make sure not to miss the daily national and international news. Other than that, I enjoy watching movies and TV shows over the weekend.

Q. What is your favorite TV program?

A. I am not fond of daily soaps and reality shows. I love watching TV shows and documentaries on Netflix. This is a source of entertainment as well as knowledge for me.

Q. Did you watch much TV when you were a child?

A. Well yes, when I was a child, I watched many shows. As my parents were working, so I would often eat snacks while watching TV for 4-5 hours in living room.

Q. What types of programs did you watch when you were a child?

A. I was fond of cartoon shows during my childhood. I had always started my mornings by watching Scooby Doo, The Flintstones, Oswald and the Power Puff Girls, which then became a long-time obsession of mine.

CUE CARD

It’s been really long since I went on a picnic. The last time I went for a proper picnic was with my friends. We had taken a small trip to Kasauli and decided to go for a picnic during the day. We sat on a hill top overlooking the town, opened our baskets of food and basked in the sun.
We even tried our hand at bird watching and we went to the lake for boating, and then my uncle helped us and taught how to row a boat and paddle it. It was like a reunion we all craved for from a long time. We watched the sun set and finally left for our destination. It was a blissful day and I had a great time at the picnic.

Follow – up Questions

Q. What is the importance of picnic spots as recreational places?

A. Picnic spots are very important as everyone is leading a busy life and these places give the masses an opportunity to break the monotony of their lives.

Q. Say the names of recreational places/spots you have heard about?

A. The Garden of Fragrance, Japanese Garden, Butterfly Park, Shopping malls and Fun city, are some of the most visited picnic spots in Chandigarh. These are the places worth visiting places with family and friends.

Q. Why do we need recreation?

A. Recreation is essential for our personal health and wellness as it makes communities strong and inclusive. It helps in rejuvenating oneself and makes people feel more enthusiastic about life. I can give you my own example, I often go for outings, and travel to various places to keep myself fresh.

Q. Can you tell me about some recreational sports that are absent in your country but are common in other countries?

A. In my opinion activities like Frisbee, jumping on the trampoline and Ringlets have not received much attention from public of India. These sports are immensely popular in other countries like Netherland and Canada. I, often watch English shows where people can be seen playing these.

Q. What are the most important recreational places in your country?

A. Well, the prominent spots where people go to spend their leisure time are Taj Mahal in Agra, Amer Fort in Jaipur, Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar and hilly stations like Manali and Shimla.

Q. What kind of places do people like to go for a picnic in your country? Why?

A. People generally prefer vast open spaces like parks and hilly areas to go for picnics. These places offer a break from the monotonous life of cities and helps people rejuvenate.

Describe an important letter you wrote to someone

PART 1

CELEBRITIES

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity in your country?

A. My favorite celebrity is Salman khan. I really like his acting skills and physique. Also, he is a philanthropist as he founded The Being human foundation which is a charitable trust in Mumbai.

Q. How do celebrities influence their fans in your country?

A. I think the influence of celebrities on fans is extensive. It is somehow natural to follow them and try to be like them. It depends on a celebrity as to what kind of influence he wishes to have on his fans.

Q. Do you like any foreign celebrities?

A. I love listening to English music. The artist I really admire is Miley Cyrus. When I was a teenager, I was a big fan of her show “Hannah Montana.” I am still a big fan of her amazing voice and highly inspiring songs.

Q. Would you like to be a celebrity? Why?

A. Even though I never thought about it, I’m pretty sure that rising to stardom would never be one of my life goals. Actually, I like my privacy and life of celebrities is quite open for public scrutiny. So, I think it’s not my cup of tea.

CUE CARD

I still remember the day, two years ago, when I was looking for a job in the field of PR and Marketing. Based on my background and working experience, I could only apply for a position as an executive or a trainer. Finally, I successfully found a job in Unilever – the leading company in FMCG field. That job suited my profile and I made up my mind to write a letter for the position. According to the information in the recruitment post, I contacted HR Department to send my CV and also gave a telephonic interview.
In the letter, I wrote a lot about myself, my academic credentials and my existing work experience. Besides, I also included my strength, weakness and my expectations from the job. The most important content, I think, was my willingness to work and contribute to the organization. I tried to show them the most of myself and how I envision my future in the organization. Finally, I thanked them and expressed my hope to be able to meet them in person. Fortunately, I got the position I had applied for. Now, I’ve been promoted to a senior position and when I look back I definitely feel that letter made all the difference.

Follow – up Questions

Q. What are the different kinds of letters that the post office delivers?

A. I suppose that would letters as well as small packages and parcels, newspapers, magazines, flyers, newsletters, catalogs, brochures, utility bills, bank statements, credit card statements and multiple such documents.

Q. What should people do if they receive unwanted advertising in the mail?

A. I believe you can do a couple of things in case of any uncalled mail. You can contact the company which sent the mail and request in case they send out more of them and ask them to simply delete it form their mailbox.

Q. Why do people write letters to newspapers?

A. People helpfully want to point out a side issue that may not have been covered in a story, or add to the information that was presented. And sometimes people want to complain about how an issue was presented in the paper, which may include a request for a correction.

Q. Do you think it is better to apply for a job through a letter or by email?

A. I think it would be better to send a letter with resume to apply for a job as it sends a clear message and is more concrete than an email. Moreover, emails being digital can have problems like they could be sent to spam resulting in it not being checked by the employer.

Q. What do you think is the most difficult kind of letter to write?

A. I think complaining about something is quite difficult as it can seem rude or offensive to the one reading it. One must choose the language very carefully, setting the correct tone while being firm and clear about what you expect to happen.

Q. What arc the advantages and disadvantages of emails compared to handwritten letters?

A. Emails are quicker to write, send and they arrive instantly to the recipient. You do not have to buy paper, you do not have to buy an envelope, and you do not have to go to the mailbox or post office to send it. Emails are fast, free and environment friendly. As for disadvantages – I cannot think of any. However, obviously to send an email the other person must have an internet to receive it. That is about the only limitation.

Talk about a form of exercise you used to do but no longer do now

PART 1

HOMETOWN

Q. Where is your hometown?

A. My hometown is in the northern part of India. It is a beautiful city named Chandigarh.

Q. What kind of place is it?

A. It is a modern city with all the basic amenities available like good medical facilities, educational institutes and well-developed service sector. It has the moniker of city beautiful, as it is one of the few planned cities in the country and has also been referred to as one of the cleanest cities in the country.

Q. What is the most interesting part of your hometown?

A. The most interesting part of the city would be sector-22. The name does not suggest anything special but this sector is one place where all the parts of the society diverge. It is bustling with activity and has something to offer for all the parts of the society. There is a flea market where people can buy cheap clothes and articles along with food stalls offering street food. It also has one of the best hotels the city serving most exquisite delicacies and a shopping complex with designer clothes and jewelry.

Q. Would you say it is a good place to live? Why?

A. It is one of the best places anyone could wish to live in India. It has a lot of growth opportunities for all kinds of professionals and is incredible clean and green. Moreover, it is not crowded like other Indian metropolitan cities making it an ideal place to live and work in.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Q. What form of transport do you prefer to use? Why?

A. I prefer my own vehicle over any other mode of transport. I find it more convenient and time saving than using public transport. However, I am not against the idea of using public transport as it is really efficient in my city and I have travelled through the local transport from time to time.

Q. How often do you take buses?

A. Not as often as I would like to. I consider myself to be a person who works towards preservation of environment so it is a bit awkward to confess that I don’t use buses very often.

Q. Can you compare the advantages of planes and trains?

A. Planes are currently the fastest mode of transport available to mankind. They are fast; they don’t need roads or tracks and can cut through natural and human developments. However, trains although being really fast don’t share on those benefits they have to run on specified tracks and follow a strict course. They have many stops, cannot cross oceans so they come a bit short when compared to the planes.

Q. How much time do you spend travelling on a normal day?

A. I spend about One and a half hour on travelling each day. About one hour from my home to work and another half hour for my personal errands.

CUE CARD

Well, I have always believed in the dictum ‘a healthy mind resides in a healthy body’. However, because of the hectic schedule from last few years I have not been able to perform any form of physical activity. I was into a particular form of exercise routine and I stopped it for a particular reason.
The exercise I did was called Body Combat, and I enjoyed doing it. It was a period of my life when I was completing my post-graduation and was pretty busy. To help me stay fit and healthy I joined a local gym. Knowing I find it hard to motivate myself I signed up for some classes where there would be an instructor to keep a check on me. It was by chance I ended up picking this activity. It just happened to be scheduled for days and times that fit into my timetable.
The classes were hilarious but tiring. They were hard work, because they were extremely energetic and we worked through a number of routines to very loud music. The exercises were apparently inspired by the number of different disciplines and martial arts such as karate, taekwondo, tai-chi and boxing. It was a great way to be fit and lose weight as well, this routine makes burning calories easy as you kick and punch through the workout. Our instructor took it very seriously and ferociously demonstrated moves with high kicks and punching. Those of us, who attended the session, treated it a bit more light-heartedly. I think you need a sense of humour if you are as uncoordinated as me and trying to do a sequence of back high kicks and under-cut punches. I’m not even sure if I’m naming the moves correctly. The rest of the group felt the same as me; we often fell about with laughter as we tried to keep up with the routines, much to the annoyance of our fitness coach. I went three times a week for about a year, and it was the fittest I have ever been.
I was really sorry to give it up, but eventually, I finished my master’s degree and had to get a full-time job, then there just was no opportunity to get to the classes anymore. I did try one with a different instructor, but that wasn’t so much fun and it didn’t work as well. Then I ended up relocating to a different area and Body Combat classes don’t seem to happen where I now live.
I would love to do Body Combat again, though I’m older and stiffer now. The problem is I think it has rather gone out of fashion as an exercise format. Funnily enough, I was looking on the internet only last week to try and find a class that ran locally to me, but there was nothing. I think Zumba – a workout to dance music -is the new craze, but I miss my entertaining combat classes and fellow classmates, those were the days!

Follow – up Questions

Q. Do you think people pay enough attention to their health today?

A. Yes, I think at present people are conscious about their looks and health. So, they spend enough time working on them and eliminating anything that might be interfering with their routine. It is evident from the increasing number of gym memberships and regular checkups conducted by doctors nowadays. This trend has also made it important for governments to spend on education and training of professionals in diet and other fields that were deemed unnecessary in the past.

Q. What costs are covered if you fall sick in your country?

A. It costs a fortune to be honest! Governments have invested in many health schemes and medical facilities for people who are not economically fit but for everyone else it costs a lot to get treatments. Even a test as basic as ultrasound costs around 800 bucks. Medicines have become way too expensive and hospitals have become more like stared hotels nowadays.

Q. Do you think most people worry more about their health as they get older?

A. Not really, we might think that is the case but I believe it depends on an individual. Some tend have the mentality of letting things slide while others may become paranoid about even a single cough. Therefore, I don’t believe that age is really a factor in all this.

Q. How can people be encouraged to stay healthy?

A. There are many ways. Firstly, we can use the oldest trick in the book that is scaring them which we can see in the government issued circulars and advertisements. Other could be education and awareness; it is less effective but effective nonetheless. Lastly, it can be made mandatory, like banning certain articles and making it compulsory to get regular checkups.

Q. What are the most popular ways of keeping people healthy in your country?

A. I have never really taken interest in these issues but if I have to take a guess I would say that most of such activities are imposed on people by force. Most of the time government either bans things which it thinks are bad for health or use aggressive advertisements to make people take it seriously.

Q. Why do you think some people continue bad habits when they know they are damaging their health?

A. Life is like a day that doesn’t end till the day we die. In our day to day life we are attracted to virtues as well as vices. In our daily lives we pay no mind to these details and indulge in good as well as bad activities without thinking about the consequences. We can take an example of people who smoke and still know it is causing damage to their health.

Talk about a friend of yours who had to make a difficult decision

PART 1

FAMILY

Q. Tell me something about your family like in what ways is it unique or typical?

A. My family is unique in many ways, unlike other families we do not have to obey what our elders say without even presenting our opinions. We always tell our parents before doing anything and they always analyze our decisions, but nothing is forced upon us.

Q. How would you describe your relationship with your family?

A. I love my family and our relationship is really good. We sometimes have arguments on certain issues but by communicating with each other we resolve them quickly.

Q. In your opinion, is family more important than friendships? Why or why not?

A. In my perspective, both have their unique place in life; we cannot compare any one of them. Sometimes we cannot share certain things with our parents where only friends can come to rescue.

Q. How would you define what a family is? For example, do friends or extended family members come to mind when you think of family.

A. Family comprises of people who understand each other, my friends do fall in that criteria but I do not consider my extended family members my family, as am not able to express what I feel in front of them.

BAGS

Q. Do you like bags?

A. Yes, I love bags as they add an element to your outfit and are of great utility as well. I carry one every day for keeping my cell phone, books, and other daily need items.

Q. What types of bags do you like?

A. My choice of bags depends on the occasion I am headed too. I like bags according to my need and the time. If I have to carry a bag everyday it would be a handbag and for a party my choice would be a sling bag. And if I have to go for a tour I would prefer backpack.

Q. Do you usually carry a bag when you go out?

A. Yes, most of the times I carry a bag, it helps in keeping things I have in organized manner and there is less chance of losing them.

Q. Do you have different bags for different occasions and purposes?

A. Yes, I have different bags for different occasions and purposes. If I have to go for a tour I would carry a backpack, for a day out a nice day clutch would be fine and for office a handbag would do.

CUE CARD

Talk about a friend of yours who had to make a difficult decision.

You should say:

• What was the decision about?

• Why did your friend have to decide?

• What did your friend decide?

• And explain why you consider it as a difficult decision.

Decision-making can be regarded as a problem-solving activity terminated by a solution deemed to be optimal, or at least satisfactory. Some are easy to take and some are very difficult. My friend Neha was in such a fix and made a very tough decision. She had to decide whether she should choose her flourishing career or should leave it for the sake of her mother. After waiting for a long period of four years she got the promotion she worked hard for. She invested her flesh and blood in that job, but on the same day she got a call from her family doctor saying that her mother’s health condition was severe. She is a heart patient and got a heart attack that very day. She lives alone so she had to drag herself to neighbors place for help. Being a single child and having lost her father years back she is the only person for her mother to depend on. Unfortunately, she had to leave work and go back to her hometown.
Though that was very tough, my friend had to take prompt decisions, her dreams were about to get shattered but a mother means the world to everyone. Finally, she decided that her mother’s life should be given more priority than her career. She believed that she was only able to pursue her career and gain a great education because of her mother’s hard work.
There’s no doubt that, it was a hard decision to make, but what she did was appreciable. Today she runs her own catering business and has found her passion. She takes care of her household finances as well as her mother. She definitely is the biggest inspiration in my life and a prime example of the importance of being a good human being.

Follow – up Questions

Q. Why do some people find it hard to make decisions?

A. Difficulty in making decisions can be a sign of unstable mental health. Fear of making the wrong decision and suffering consequences or remorse inhibits some people. Worry about making a mistake and feeling guilty, makes people over think on a particular decision.

Q. How important is it to get advice from other people when making decisions?

A. In my opinion, it is essential to seek advice from others because sometimes we cannot see the darker side of a situation or vice versa. Sometimes you need an outsider’s view to understand what and how are you going wrong. Also source of advice must also be considered as we rely on them.

Q. Why is it difficult to accept advice sometimes?

A. In my opinion, it is difficult to take advice because we cannot explain our situation to a person who has not experienced it and feels the way you do. It is difficult for people to fit into someone else’s shoe and see the world from their perspective.

Q. What are some of the most important decisions young people have to make?

A. Young people need to make a number of crucial decisions regarding their career, choice of friends and their relationships. Be it friends or their love life, young people need to make numerous decisions trivial and huge throughout their lives.

Q. Do you agree that parents should make important decisions for their children?

A. Yes, parents should make important decisions for their children as children are immature to decide and could end up regretting their choices. Parents have more experience and have seen more of life; hence, they are capable of making better decisions.

Q. Is it better to make decisions as per what you want or according to what other people want?

A. You must think about your own self first but must also remember that their decisions must not hurt other people. Even though we feel our decisions do not affect others around us, that is are certainly not true. Therefore, we must make decisions weighing in every pro and con.

Describe a famous food from your hometown or country

PART 1

Q. What do you like to do on an ideal day?

A. I like to read books and also love to spend quality time with my family. We often sit together and talk about our lives with each other. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and going out and about the city.

Q. What is the one thing according to you that other people your age must possess?

A. I think people of my age group need to have tolerance and patience. The world we live in is becoming devoid of this virtue. If we want to live in a peaceful world these values are a must.

Q. In your opinion, is it important to have personal hobbies that are not work or family related? Why or Why not?

A. Yes. I think it is very important to have personal hobbies that are not work or family related. Cultivating a hobby is essential for refreshing our mind and enhancing our skills. Having a hobby relieves us from stress and other negative feelings.

Q. What was your favorite subject in school?

A. Political science was my favorite subject back in school. I used to love reading about the political changes that happened in the past and are currently happening in the world.

HANDWRITING

Q. Do you usually write by hand or use a computer and other sources?

A. I usually write by hand. As I am a student, most of my work comprises of making notes and noting down important things on paper.

Q. Nowadays, how do most people write things?

A. Most people these days write on their phones to keep a list of things they need to do. A few people still use the old school method of a pen and a paper. Children in their early age use pencils whereas adults and teenager use pens.

Q. Do you think computers might one day replace handwriting?

A. I do not think computers can ever replace hand written data. The handwritten notes and letters are a gesture of warmth that we have for other person.

Q. When do children begin to write in your country?

A. In my country, children begin writing when they are three to four years of age.

CUE CARD

Describe a famous food from your hometown or country.

You should say:

• What is it?

• What does it taste like and how is it prepared?

• And explain why this is famous food.
The famous food I am going to talk about is Gajar ka halwa. My mother makes it for me in winters and I really like it. It is a sweet dish made from carrots. The main ingredients are carrots, milk and some condensed milk. I have a sweet tooth and whenever my mother makes it for me; she makes sure that I am the first one to taste it in the house.

The preparation time usually takes about 2-3 hours as it requires constant stirring, otherwise it could have a burnt taste. As I have started living away from the house, this dish kicks in nostalgia in me. When I was a kid, making this dish on New Year’s Eve was a ritual. Whenever we did not go out to celebrate, all of us used to enjoy the dish while talking to each other.

So, whenever I have this dish now, I get flashbacks from my childhood as well. Whenever I go home to meet my family, my mother makes sure to prepare it for me. She has recently started experimenting with it as well. Last time she turned it into a pie and the taste was amazing. I enjoy other dishes as well, but the one that my mother makes for me has no match.

Follow – up Questions

Q. Tell me about the type of food that people eat in your country.

A. People in my country have lot of options in terms of food. Indian food is known for its spicy and flavorful taste. Every state has its own signature food prepared in a particular way.

Q. How are the current eating habits in your country different from eating habits in the past?

A. People these days tend to eat more unhealthy food as compared to the past. These days, most of the people are working so they do not get time to cook for themselves. They mostly rely on takeaways and precooked meals delivered to their doorsteps. This was not the case in the past as people consumed more organic and healthy food.

Q. How healthy is your country’s food?

A. My country’s food is quite healthy, our daily diet includes flour, rice, veggies and lentils. The food is freshly prepared and contains no preservatives.

Q. Why do you think different cultures have different table manners?

A. This is primarily because of distinct cultural habits. Every nation/culture has different values and this is reflected in the table manners as well. The eating habits and behavior of ancestors also is an important cause for variations in table manners.

Q. How do you think eating habits will change in the coming decades?

A. In the coming decades, I believe people are going to be a lot more dependent on takeaways and junk food. They will cook less and will spend most of their time working. They also will be bound to make lot of unhealthy choices as well.

Q. What one aspect of a foreign tradition you like about their eating habits? Why?

A. I really admire the ‘high tea custom’ of England. It is just another term for afternoon tea where people sit with each other and enjoy their tea. This is a very important part of their daily routine. The family members can sit and talk their hearts out with each other.

Describe an event that changed your life for the better

PART 1

Q. Do you participate in household chores?

A. Yes, I enjoy doing household chores. As I am living away from my family so I have to do everything on my own like cooking, cleaning and washing. And, yes whenever I get back home I help my mother in her daily tasks.

Q. What kind of housework do you often do?

A. I stay alone in the city and so I have no option but to work for myself. I do chores such as cooking, washing and laundry all on my own.

Q. Did you do housework when you were a child?

A. As a child I used to work sometimes but not often as I was a bookworm during my childhood. I used to spend most of my time reading books and did not really get into the household chores.

Q. Do you think that children should do housework?

A. Definitely, children should be encouraged to participate in household works as much as they can. It helps develop their personality and evolve into better human beings. It must be kept in mind that chores must not be based on gender, both boys and girls must be given the same treatment.

DREAMS

Q. Do you remember your dreams when you wake up?

A. Most of the time I don’t remember my dreams very vividly especially but I remember early morning dreams at times. They become faint as time passes and then we just remember it vaguely.

Q. Do you like hearing others’ dream?

A. Most of the times I don’t like to hear anyone’s dream as they usually these make no sense to me. But if I’m a part of a dream, I love to hear it and Imagine myself as a part of the story.

Q. Do you believe that dreams have meanings?

A. I don’t think that dreams have any kind literal meaning. They are just a result of what we see and what we think in our day to day life. It is scientifically proven that whatever a person sees during the day it gets saved in his subconscious mind and thus one has dreams.

Q. Do you think dreams affect life?

A. It varies from person to person, if you keep on thinking about what you’ve dreamt of then it obviously affects his life and if not then it doesn’t create any difference. It is all about the law of attraction” as mentioned in a famous book “secret” that what we think throughout our life it ultimately comes to us.

CUE CARD

Describe an event that changed your life for the better.

You should say:

• What was the event?

• What happened?

• When did it happen?

• And explain how it changed your life for the better.
A person throughout his journey from cradle to grave experiences goes through a lot of changes. There are a lot which don’t have a significant effect but on other side there are certain which change the life of a person dramatically. If I talk about myself, I too have encountered various such events which altered my life positively. It was around 5 years ago when I completed my senior secondary with good grades and got admission in a very good college. Since my childhood I used to be studious and everyone used to appreciate me but when I went to the college I joined a political party and thus made some new friends. I became an active member of the organisation because of which my whole focus got shifted to have campaigns and parties with these acquaintances and I hardly attended any classes. There were no hard and fast rules to be present in the classes so I became too careless.
But all these came to an end when there were annual exam I realised that I didn’t even had any book of the course , I asked some of my friends to help me but all were focusing on their exams and no one came forward. Although, I tried to make some notes, still syllabus was too vast and it was too late. It was for the very first time for me that the girl who used to make notes for others was not having anything even for herself. I sat the examination and the result was as predicted. I was not even able to get the qualifying scores, I failed the examination. It was the biggest set back of my life. My parents and teachers all were quite disappointed with my result but still they supported me and asked me to have a new a start. From this particular incidence i learnt the value of time .I learnt that “time and tide wait for none” so we should value our time. In order to achieve anything in life it is very important to plan and to have a particular schedule. Now I never waste my time .I always set my priorities and then work accordingly. so, this was the biggest lesson of my life which changed me for the better.

Follow – up Questions

Q. Do you agree that we learn best from our mistakes?

A. Apparently, a person learns from his mistakes. Whenever we make mistake and face failure, it gives us a chance never to repeat it again. Failures are the real mentors i believe so one should always see the failures of life optimistically and work harder to gain whatever he aspires for.

Q. What’s the best way to gain experience in life?

A. A person can learn best from his own experiences as i told you that failures are the best mentors but, yes, there are some ways that people opt to learn. There are some who learn from others’ mistakes be it their family members or the other famous people around them. They follow the footsteps of others by not repeating the mistakes that their role models have done.

Q. Can we gain life experience from books and movies?

A. Yes, we can. Both books are movies are immense source of knowledge. These always hold a hidden treasure of knowledge that one can get if he is an avid learner. For example there are a lot of movies which are based on the real life experiences of people like we have “Dangal” a famous movie by ”Aamir Khan” which teaches us the power of determination then there is a book named “Alchemist” which is all about hard work. So, I think we learn from books and movies.

Q. Which is more important, experience or potential?

A. Both have their own importance one can’t ignore the importance of potential and experience in the path of success. While experience gives us wisdom, potential is something that makes us go far. Without potential experience does not matter and vice – versa.

Q. What experience do you wish you had gained?

A. Life is all about learning and I want to learn till my last breath. There are a lot of things that i desire to be master of but yes something that I wish I would have learnt earlier was the skill of teaching as I am working as teacher so I need to have a deep knowledge of various teaching methodologies. Although I am working on it but I think an early experience would surely have added to my performance.

Q. Why do some people fail to learn from their experience?

A. The ones who ignore their mistakes and blame others for their deeds fail to learn from their mistakes. There are people who are always pessimistic towards the changes life brings to them also fail to learn from the lessons of life. For example, Amitabh Bachan after giving a series of flop movies became one of the accomplished stars because he learnt from his own mistakes he worked.

Talk about a thing that you would like to do each day of your life

PART 1

Cleaning

Q. Do you do dusting at your home?

A. I do participate in household chores like dusting. I live alone so I do it whenever I have time.

Q. Do you do your laundry?

A. I used to wash my own clothes, but now we have maids to do the laundry, as I and my family do not have enough time for it.

Q. How often do you sweep/ mop your home?

A. I do not get to sweep or mop regularly as I cannot seem to make time for it. I try to do it at least twice a week.

Q. Is it hard or boring to do cleaning work at home?

A. Household chores can be boring at times but when I play some music and do it, I find it fun and it takes lesser time.

Q. Is it expensive to keep a maid for household works?

A. It totally depends on their requirement and financial status. Working couples preferably prefer the maids as they do not have enough time for doing household chores.

Make up

Q. Do you prefer using cosmetics?

A. I do not use a lot of cosmetics on daily basis. However, I do like putting on make-up occasionally whenever I dress up and go out.

Q. What type of products do you use for grooming and personal care?

A. I’m not very conscious about the products I use on my hair. However, I try to make sure I do not use any excessively chemical based products on my hair.

Q. What are your preferences towards clothing?

A. I like to wear comfortable clothes in my day to day life. But again clothes depend on occasions and I also believe in dressing according to the occasion.

Q. Do you have any friend who uses a lot of cosmetics?

A. I have many friends who use large amount of cosmetics. One of them is quite fond of collection and use of latest fashion products.

CUE CARD

Talk about a thing that you would like to do each day of your life.

You should say:

• What is it?
• Why would you like to do it?
• What effort would it take?
There are various habits that people wish to inculcate for making their routine and overall life better. I also wish to adopt some good habits and exercising is the thing that i wish to do each day of my life. It is necessary to perform some physical activity each day for healthy body and its proper functioning for day’s tasks. We see nowadays that people have scarcity of time as all remain occupied in their jobs to earn a livelihood as it is hard to survive in today’s cutthroat competition. No one has enough time for oneself as work, study and travel takes the major chunk of it. I face the same issues as I am working a 9 hour job and find it hard to find time for exercise. Most of the people nowadays are facing health problems and I do not want to be one of them. So I have a strong desire that no matter what the circumstance , I should perform at least 30 minutes of exercise daily(preferably in morning), to activate my metabolism and provide sufficient momentum to my body. If I keep doing this for a long time, I would also improve my physique as well as I won’t have much problems in my old age, as physically active adults have lesser diseases in their later years. So this is one activity that I would like to do each day of my life till the end, as it would make me happy and also would be vital for the overall quality of my life.

Follow – up Questions:

Q. Would you do it alone or with someone?

A. It is always beneficial to have a partner to make the work easy, provided the partner is equally driven toward achieving that goal. So I think i would do it with my best friend as he is also very serious about his fitness and like to exercise daily. It would boost my motivation as well, and it would be helpful to be guided by a person who is already into this thing. However it would not be a problem if he is not available as I would also be happy doing it by self.

Q. What do most people of your country do to keep fit?

A. Most of the older people in my country prefer to wake up early to go for a morning walk and perform some light exercises or stretching. Younger generation however majorly is lazy and do not like to wake up early, so they do other activities during the day like playing any sport or going to gym.

Q. How can a person form a new habit?

A. It is quite a popular belief that doing a thing for 21 days straight without a break would make it a habit. I agree with that as it just signifies that consistency is the key to pick up a new habit. Apart from that, a person should be clear on why he wants to adopt that new habit, so as to give a clear aim and strong desire toward owning that habit. So in the end it boils down to strong desire and then persistence.

Q. What do you think is harder, to formulate a habit or to follow it?

A. In my view both require a strong will power and sincerity. Being disciplined toward a thing means sacrificing some things which are dear to us but which are hurdles to our new habits. Therefore forming required a lot of hard work and persistence which all starters of a new activity face, as well as continuing it also requires regular motivation and desire. It may mean ignoring some unproductive things which we once held dear.

Q. What kind of habits can be categorized as good or bad according to you?

A. Good habits are those which make one feel productive and which drives a person’s life toward a better direction. Bad habits on the other hand make a person feel helpless and generate feelings of guilt, which in a long term a quite malicious.

Describe a plant that you have where you live

Part 1

Q. What is your full name?

A. My name is Priyanka Wadhera.

Q. What do you do? (Study / Work)

A. I am a working woman and live on my own in the city.

Q. Where are you from?

A. I come from the city beautiful Chandigarh which is known for its green avenues and cleanliness.

Q. What are some of the nicest things about where you live?

A. The locality where I live has a lot of open areas like parks and play grounds which are surrounded by trees. Moreover, the basic amenities are also available nearby such as Hospitals, Schools, market and many more.

Q. Could you describe some of them?

A. The parks and playgrounds are the open areas as I mentioned, where people go and relax themselves. Children go there to have fun and to play with their friends.

Q. Which place would you recommend me to visit?

A. I would recommend you to visit Rose Garden as it has a huge variety of roses. It is one of the best tourist attractions in my city.

Q. How could I reach there?

A. It’s very feasible to reach there as the road connectivity is great in my city. It is located in the heart of my city. You can go by your own car else, you can take public transport.

Q. Should I go at any special time of the year?

A. You can visit it any time of the year. But I would suggest you to visit it in February as there is a three day festival organized during the last weekend of the month. It has a number of activities arranged for people to participate and enjoy.

CUE CARD

Describe a plant that you have where you live.

You should say
* Which plant is it?
* Where is it?
* What benefits/ drawbacks it has?
* Why do you have this at your place?
I have a small garden at my home as my mother is very fond of gardening. She has planted number of plants and herbs. These plants and flowers give a beautiful environment to my home. One plant which I would like to describe you today is Tulsi. It is one of the most common plants in my country and found in most of the houses due to the wide medical benefits. It is used for various purposes. It is also known as the queen of herbs and is also popular for its healing properties. The plant leaves are used to cure the usual diseases and health disorders. The plant needs natural conditions to grow perfectly. So, we have planted it in our balcony where natural light is available and air flow is smooth.
This is a small green plant. The leaves are small and have a peculiar taste. My mother makes herbal tea with its leaves and it serves other purposes also.
The plant is useful in many ways. The Tulsi oil is beneficial to control insects. Tulsi leaf juice is effective to cure respiratory disorders, coughs, cold and even fever. Prevention of malaria is another important feature of this plant. Often Tulsi is referred to be used during indigestion or preventing insomnia. Because of all these reasons we have this plant at our home.

Follow – up Questions:

Q. What other sort of plants are grown in your country?

A. As India has biodiversity, therefore, numerous types of trees and plants can be seen. Different types of plants are grown in the northern part where I come from such as tomato, eucalyptus, Money Plant, Hibiscus and so on.

Q. Do you think it is important for every member of the society to plant a tree?

A. Yes, in my perspective it’s vital for every individual to grow at least one plant in a year because global warming has increased manifolds due to cutting down of trees at vast scale for development. Therefore, for sustainable development every city and town should have green belt. Following this agenda we have a campaign also in my country each one plant one in which a lot of people are participating.

Q. Who is more interested in gardening – youngsters or older?

A. In my opinion older are more interested in gardening as it requires a lot of patience and time and youngsters in my opinion lack them. Older ones, however, because they have retired and are free from responsibilities adopt such hobby of gardening.

Q. Do you think festivals like Van Mohatsav should be celebrated in different parts of the world?

A. Yes, definitely, such festivals encourage and motivate everyone to think about the environment in which they live. It’s necessary on the part of every human being to do something for the environment through which they get so many resources to live a luxurious and comfortable life.

Describe your favorite bird

PART 1

HOMETOWN

Q. Where do you live? How far from here do you live?

A. I belong to a traditionally rich state of Punjab and I reside in Jalandhar which is known as sports hub at present. My house is approximately 15 km away from here.

Q. Do you like the place and city you live in and why?

A. Yes, I am very proud of my hometown because of its scenic beauty and presence of historical monuments like Shri Devi Talab Mandir. Also, it is an educational hub with institutes like Pushpa Gujral science city that offers lot of advance level courses for students.

Q. What is the worst thing about living in your hometown?

A. I feel that the worst part of residing in my hometown is escalation in ownership of private vehicles which is leading towards congestion on road. Also, there is a hike in ailments due to increase in pollution.

DICTIONARY

Q. Do you use dictionaries often?

A. Yes, I often use dictionary as I like to explore new words and enhance my vocabulary so, I regularly check latest lexical resource added in dictionaries to remain updated.

Q. Which dictionary do you prefer?

A. I prefer paper dictionary as it is handy and I come across different words and pictures while looking for a specific word. It’s just like an icing on the cake.

Q. How would you feel if somebody gave you a dictionary as a present?

A. I will be really happy to receive dictionary as a gift because I love to widen my horizon by exploring new words so. It will be best present for a bibliophile person like me who is addicted of reading books.

CUE CARD

Describe your favorite bird

You should say:

• What it is
• What it look like
• Is it a common bird in your country
• Explain why it is your favorite bird

Birds are the beautiful creation of nature however they can fly wherever they want to. Our earth is bestowed with a plethora of birds but my favorite bird is peacock, a national bird of India. I saw a peacock for first time in Mathura when I went for holy trip with my parents in third grade. It is a very beautiful bird of bright green blue color with a long beautiful neck. Its feathers make it special with moon like spots that are mixed with green, blue, yellow and golden colors. It has long leg and crown , also a very graceful bird that dances in rainy season. Peacock is found at many places within the nation so, it is rightly called ‘national’. It is recognizable to common man because of rich religious and legendary involvement in Indian tradition. Peacock is identified with goddess of wealth. So, people keep its feathers to bring wealth and prosperity. Moreover, it keeps home free from flies and insects. Apart from this, peacock is used as mode of conveyance by lord Karthikeya and its feathers are worn by Lord Krishna on his crown which makes the bird extremely significant. I admire that bird because it gives message that no one is perfect however despite of enormous beauty, peacock is bestowed with ugly feet. Above and beyond, its feathers are flawed and imperfect but collectively create magic.

Follow – up Questions:

Q. Do you like birds?

A. Well, I am nature lover so, I love to learn about different species of animal kingdom especially birds. They are truly fascinating creatures and come in all shapes and sizes. Also, different birds give motivation and inspiration to human beings so, I have keen interest in bird watching.

Q. Have you seen flock of birds together?

A. Well, living in the city, birds are a rare sight but I am fortunate to have a glimpse of plenty of birds collectively in a National Zoological Park Delhi when I went on my school trip which was in itself a marvelous and heart touching experience.

Q. How do people in your country feel about birds?

A. Overall, in my nation people like to keep birds as pets as they respect animal kingdom and know the utmost importance of these beautiful creatures. Especially, elderly people are fond of keeping birds as they are best companions.

Q. Why bird population is in danger?

A. In my perspective, the overwhelming culprit is habitat destruction via agricultural development as natural habitat of these creatures is destroyed by human beings in quest of fulfilling their needs. Moreover, radiations of mobiles are harmful that cause decline in populace of birds.

Q. What kind of birds do the people prefer in your country?

A. In my society, people like to get friendly, gentle, and well-suited birds to being a companion pet. Especially parrot as it can imitate human voice. Also, sparrows and pigeons are birds that can easily be found in homes due to uniqueness.

Q. Are there birds near your home?

A. I live in urban area where birds are not a usual sight but birds could be sighted near my accommodation in park where plenty of birds gather in the morning as it has lush green grass which is perfect place for birds and it is a worthwhile view to watch.

Q. Why it is important to protect birds?

A. It is an important question that often battles the mind of people yet answer is simple that birds are an important part of ecosystem which give indication of climatic change as their behavior helps in evaluating the danger to the environment. Besides this, insect outbreak is reduced with existence of birds and they convey important message to face hardships of life so, it is pivotal to save this indispensable creature of earth.

Talk about your favorite photograph

PART 1

Q. Tell me about any hobbies you have?

A. I think hobbies actually reveal the hidden talent of an individual. So, whenever I get some time I usually enjoy listening to music, surfing over internet and sometimes read a magazine. On weekends, I prefer travelling to new places.

Q. What type of hobbies are popular among teenagers of your country?

A. Everyone has one or other kind of hobbies such as reading books, spending time with friends outside, shopping and going to cinema and so on. I think it is completely a matter of personal choice. Also,few people have a very keen interest in painting or photography.

Q. Are hobbies of young and old people different?

A. Dramatic differences could be noticed in the kind of hobbies pursued by youth and elderly. As in this modern era young people are much busy with their gadgets, so they like to use them in their free time. While, older people like listening to news and reading newspapers.

Q. Do you think hobbies should be relaxing or should they be exciting? Why?

A. According to me, hobbies should be both relaxing and exciting. As hobbies give us a chance to explore different things. Likewise, people pursue their hobbies to have peace of mind and to be relieved from their stress and burden.

Q. Do you think hobbies are a waste of time?

A. In my opinion, hobbies are actually a kind of break for people – an escape from everyday routine of the people other stuff that’s going on in their life. Rest depends upon the hobby because involving into things of interest actually stimulates a person and provides a lot of personal satisfaction.

Q. Is technology having any impact on hobbies of people?

A. Definitely major transformation could be seen in terms of change in hobbies with advancement of technology. Youngsters are mostly engaged with their electronic gadgets and like to spend time on social networking sites.

Q. Are there any hobbies you would like to have in the future?

A. Yes, I would definitely want to learn guitar as I have a keen interest in music. Moreover, I love creative writing in my free time and I would love to have an opportunity to write a novel in near future.

Cue card

Talk about your favorite photograph.
• What is in that photograph
• Who and why it was taken
• How old is it

Capturing photographs is a way of capturing moments to remember them even after they fade away from our memories. That is why, I also like to click or get clicked various photos at different events. My favourite photograph is the one that was taken 2 years ago on the occasion of my sister’s wedding. I got a picture clicked with my grandparents, parents and siblings. It is beautifully taken from the perfect angle by a professional photographer. In this picture, every one of us looks so lovely in traditional attires. I think that is one of the reasons why I like this the most. I still remember my mother and I bought the designer dresses for this particular day. We all are perfectly posing in the photograph, my sister is sitting on the chair in the centre wearing her royal gown and all of us are standing behind her. So everyone is at their best. The smiles on everyone’s face reminds me how blessed I am to have such a happy family life. I have enlarged it and framed it in my room. I have seen it a thousand times and every time I look at this photograph, it gives me mixed feelings. The picture gives me sad feeling as my grandfather is no longer with us now . In this picture, he looks so handsome but I cannot be with him anymore. By and large, this is a priceless possession to me and I would like to keep it with me for the rest of my life.

CUE CARD

Q. On what occasions do people take photographs?

A. Photographs are taken mostly to capture any certain moment for future remembrance or on ceremonies celebrated with family or friends, festivals as well as parties. Some even like to click photos of natural scenes or scenic beauty during holidays or trips. However , photos serve the purpose of reliving certain moments.

Q. What are the developments in photography in recent years?

A. Due to digitization, dramatic changes can be seen in the field of photography as well. There is no need to carry cameras everywhere as with technological advancements, cameras with higher resolution are fitted in mobiles that enable a person to click photos anywhere. Different effects and editing as per requirement can be done in the pictures clicked.

Q. Do you like your photo taken by others?

A. Well, most of the times I like getting my photographs clicked by others because I am really not good in clicking my own photographs. Usually, I get many pictures clicked at a time to have a privilege of keeping the best and deleting few of them later if not liked.

Q. How do people preserve photographs?

A. In the modern technical era, people chiefly like to save their pictures on electronic device such as computer, phones so as to retrieve them at any point of time. Furthermore, framing them in a variety of frames available in the market is another way of saving them. Along with this, making an album or keeping in plastic covers could be another way to preserve them for long.

Q. Should photography be taught in schools/colleges?

A. Certainly, photography could be made a part of formal education as it is becoming a passion of many people these days. In order to equip the pupils with expertised skills of photography, they could be taught basic photography at earlier stage of life. It would lay a strong foundation for those who want to pursue this as a career further.

Q. What makes a good photograph?

A. The most important part of a good photograph is the background of the picture or the angle at which the photograph is clicked. Moreover, the quality of picture also adds on to the beauty of photo. For example, a beautiful landscape show casing bright colors could give a different sensation of delightedness to the picture than a photo taken with no theme.

Q. Do people prefer to take picture of people or of scenery?

A. Well, it is all about personal interest of any person as few like to escape from the artificial world and click pictures of natural beauty. Clicking the pictures of natural beauty helps in mind purifying however on the contrary there are people who like to capture various human facial expression or sometimes even try to convey different messages from pictures clicked at different situations.

Describe your favorite News source

Part 1

Neighbors

Q. Do you like your neighbors?

A. Yes, I have stayed in the same locality, since my childhood so I know my neighbors very well and they are like family.

Q. Are neighbors usually close to each other in your country?

A. In India, neighbors are like family members and always stand by each other through all thick and thin.

Q. Is it important to have good relationship with your neighbors?

A. Yes, I feel neighbors are like family. As we are living in nuclear families so are relatives are not around us. Therefore, I think we require good relationships with our neighbors.

Cue Card

Describe your favorite News source

You should say:
• When do you access it?
• What information can you get from it?
• When do you read it?
Favorite News Source

In today’s modern era people like to keep themselves updated and they are curious to get knowledge about the world and their surroundings. In the present scenario there are enormous number of sources from which a person can keep himself updated like internet, books, newspapers etcetera. But my favorite news source is newspaper. Reading a newspaper is one of the most important thing I do, to keep myself updated about the world . A newspaper covers many articles that are helpful to its reader and a person can gain knowledge about each and every thing which is happening all around our world. In fact, a person can even read his/her favorite articles which are printed in a newspaper even I like a particular article which is published every Wednesday in the Times of India. I read this article in the afternoon because I do not get time in the morning to read this article in detail. It is largely about corporate world and management skills and it is written by those people who are prominent in their field. However, apart from these articles there are plenty of things which are related to education and career which can help youngsters a lot in selecting their career or selecting their subject in tertiary education. At time we can even read about real life incidences and crimes which are happening all around us which makes us aware about such crimes and apart from this, this newspaper covers almost all the things for all age groups as there are some puzzles and general knowledge questions for children and according to me it is a must read newspaper and I recommend it to everyone because I have gained a tremendous knowledge from it.

Follow – up Questions:

Q. How is this newspaper useful to you?

A. It gives me detailed information about everything and in this newspaper I read an article which has proved to be very beneficial to me as it is about application of management skills, and I can apply the same in my profession. I found various tips from that article and improved my efficiency.

Q. Should we read a newspaper every day?

A. Yes if we want to stay connected with the latest developments in our city, country and the world , we should read newspapers everyday. Reading newspapers also enriches our vocabulary and it keeps us informed about everyday happenings.

Q. What are the other sources of news rather than a newspaper?

A. As we are living in 21st century and countless number of sources are available to get knowledge, some of them are, journals, magazines, e-news, television, internet etc. Technology has really proved to be a boon, and any important updates can be received via internet on our mobile phones.

Q. What types of articles do youngsters prefer to read?

A. Youngsters prefer reading articles on sports, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment industry like music and cinema because these are the most common interests at this age. For example, I am fond of sports, so I like to read articles on soccer and cricket.

Q. What type of articles do old people prefer to read?

A. Old people prefer to read articles on politics, business stock market and on religion because their interests change with the age and they settle on more abstract and social issues related to the country, economy and community.

Q. Can e-newspapers replace the paper ones?

A. According to me, e-newspapers cannot replace the traditional reading method as there are majority of people who have a habit of reading a newspaper so it is a bit difficult for e-newspapers to replace it, though they can become a substitute but they cannot replace traditional newspapers.

Q. Can a person rely on the information which is given on Internet and newspapers?

A. The accuracy of information depends upon the source from where the information is gained , also, if we talk about internet then we cannot totally rely on it however in case of newspapers we can rely on the ones which have good image and goodwill.

Describe a child you know

PART 1

Pets

Q. Tell me your views on pets and do you have any?

A. Yes, I do have a pet dog named, Rusky which is considered to be an actual member of the family. Pets provide the companionship and unconditional love which is really great for a person especially who is lonely so, I believe they play a very important role in a person’s life.

Q. Do you like animals?

A. Yes, a lot. I really love them; they are the most beautiful creation of god after humans. From them, even humans tend to learn a lot.

Q. What is your favorite animal?

A. I respect all kind of animals however my favorite animal is a dog as I already have one as a pet, moreover, they are smart enough to understand the human emotions and accordingly react.

Q. Why do you think people have pets?

A. There are many reasons for keeping pets; firstly, I suppose it is because of their great love towards the animals, also, dogs act as a good protector of their owner, they help to relieve stress and they are friendly until anyone misbehaves with them.

Q. What is the popular pet of your country?

A. In my country, people love to keep the dogs only as they easily become a good companion of each and every member of the family.
Cue Card

Describe a child you know.

You should say:

• How old is she/he?
• How do you know him/ her?
• Why do you like him/her?
I have a niece whose name is Misha. She is my brother’s only daughter. We live together under one roof. She is only four years old. Also, hardly speaks the words correctly. Nowadays, I am teaching her to pronounce the numbers. Misha is very friendly and never refuses to go out with anyone who asks her. This particular quality of Misha helps her mother a lot to do all the household chores quickly until she comes back. She loves to play with people around her rather than playing with toys but of course, sometimes she prefers to play with gadgets as well. The best thing of her is that she eats whatever her mother feeds which is incredible as parents mainly have trouble when their child does not eat properly. We have a very strong bond like as whenever I call her name, she can recognize my voice even without looking at me. She leaves everything and comes to me as soon as she hears her name. She knows very well that I will take her out if I am dressing her. There have been many situations where she gave me more priority than her mother which makes me feel amazing, but certainly, not her mother. I just love her as she is not only a niece but like a daughter to me. I bathe her, feed her, take her out most of the times, and also, I select the clothes for her. We are very much attached to each other. I hope to have this kind of relationship with her throughout my life.

Follow – up Questions

Q. Tell the nature of most of the children in your country?

A. In my country, mostly children are notorious. They do not listen to their parents as they have a nature of being rebellious and definitely do something for what they are stopped. But the good thing is they are friendly to everyone, they do not get irritated quickly.

Q. Are they different from western countries, if yes, then how are they different?

A. Yes, they are quite different up to some extent like in my country, they remain childish till their teenage and they do not get mature early, but, in western countries, children till the teenage get mature enough to handle many of the responsibilities.

Q. What the children mostly like to do in the free time?

A. In my country, we people prefer art and craft a lot so; the children are also engaged in these activities only when they are free. They love to paint and their parents hang the paintings on the wall after framing it.

Q. At home what should be the strategy for a child to study?

A. I believe there should be a proper timetable for the children so that they are habitual of it and do everything on time as time is precious. Their parents should take the responsibility and make them study regularly. Also, they should be provided with enough free time so that their day is not hectic.

Describe any situation when somebody annoyed you

Part 1

Planting of Trees

Q. Do you plant trees?

A. Yes, being a nature-lover, i love to plant trees. I have a big garden in front of my house where I have grown different kinds of plants.

Q. Have you ever planted any tree? If Yes, which one?

A. Yes, last month, it was my birthday and I went with my father to a nursery and bought a sapling of mango tree which I have planted in my garden.

Q. Why people grow flowers in their houses?

A. As flowers have sweet fragrance so everybody loves to grow them in their houses even if they don’t have enough space in their houses, they grow on the terraces of their houses. Moreover, flowers add a tremendous beauty to the houses with different colors of petals.

Q. Does your country have any forest?

A. Yes, of course, India has many forests as its Northern part is covered with Himalayas, popular mountains across the world, having dense forest area. These forests are habitat of numerous wild animals such as tiger, lion, deer etc.

Q. How forests are beneficial for a country ?

A. Forests offer ample amount of benefits as they are full of food, firewood, and greenery which makes a country richer economically. Life without forests is beyond imagination because forests act as a lifeline for all the species on the planet.

Cue Card

Describe any situation when somebody annoyed you

You should say:

• Who annoyed you
• When and why he/she annoyed you
• Explain how you reacted in the situation

We all get annoyed by different things when somebody does something which is unusual or disturbing. I also get irritated very easily especially by loud noise. Last week, one thing made me irritate very much and that was the extremely noisy leaf-blower sound coming from my neighboring lawn. Actually, the family living next to my house just returned from USA after 6 months and their park was full of weeds and grass because nobody looked after it. Therefore, Mr. Mehta whom I call Uncle had started mowing the lawn since last Sunday and it happened for the entire week. He used to start mowing the lawn early in the every morning for 45 minutes and this really interrupted my sleep and studies and I could not tolerate. One day I started shouting and my mother calmed me down with a suggestion to buy a pair of earplugs for the time being. So I did the same and eventually got rid of such terrible noise coming from my neighbor garden.

Follow – up Questions:

Q. Do you think the level of patience has decreased in people? How ?

A. Yes, I believe that people are less patient now than in the past. This can be easily seen in case of adults and teenagers as they are short- tempered and less submissive. These days, relationships at work, home have weakened due to the lack of patience and tolerance. However it is very important to have patience as a high degree of patience brings mutual understanding and compromises.

Q. Do you think the elderly people are more patient than the young generation?

A. Yes, it is true that old people are more patient and humble because they have experienced many ups and downs in their life and mastered the art to handle things more carefully and wisely and this happened over time, it can be witnessed that the older the person is , the more patience he has. On the other hand, young people are more impatient due to the lack of experience.

Q. What situations make people angry in your country?

A. In my opinion, it varies from person to person, some feel annoyed when they have excessive workload or maybe when they have to deal with nasty things such as traffic congestion, pollution. Whereas the others find themselves in pickles and get angry when they have some family conflicts.

Q. How patience can be improved in people?

A. There are numerous ways to raise the patience levels and one of them is meditation which is highly beneficial . Apart from it, some kinds of exercise can also divert person’s mind and help to forget bad incidents of life. Moreover, stress management training programs can also be advantageous in offices to overcome short -tempered problems.

Q. How do you think meditation can help people improving their patience levels?

A. As far as my opinion is concerned, I would say, it is the most effective way to enhance tolerance power and this is extremely beneficial at dawn time because it is scientifically proven that early hours of morning are the best time to meditate on. Through meditation, all the negative thoughts wipe out and person enjoys more happy life.