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IELTS Speaking Topics

Part 1

What do you do?

I work as a teacher actually in a local secondary school. I teach English and I'm also responsible for developing the new curriculum there.

I'm a full-time student at university and I am studying French and Japanese, and after graduation I really want to get into translating, I think it's a fascinating filed.

I'm a stay-at-home parent actually. So, I look after the kids, get them ready for school and that, and I also do some volunteering wokr in our local community.

Do you like your job?

Yes, I like it most of the time, I mean I really enjoy seeing my students learn and make progress but I must admit the hours are long and work often eats into my personal time.

What job would you like to do?

I haven't really thought about that very much. May be a pilot, I think it'd be exciting to learn how to fly, not to mention to have a chance to travel around the world.

What do you study?

Right now, I am doing a Master's degree in accounting. It's a part-time degree, as I am working as well, so it's always a balancing act between work and study, but I can just about manage it.

What kind of accommodation do you live in

I live in a flat, slap bang in the centre of town. It's a basic two-bedroom apartment, with a nice kitchen and one bathroom. It has all the main mod-cons.

Which part of your home do you like the most?

I'd have to say the lounge. There's a really comfy sofa and that's where I chill out and spend most of my downtime, as well as watch TV with my family.

What do you do in your free time?

Actually, I'm a bit of a film buff, so I watch lots of movies, but apart from that , I also like to go down the gym and work out on the treadmill and do some weights whenever I have free time.

Do you prefer to spend time with friends or family?

That's hard to say. I enjoy spending time with both to tell you the truth. I'd probabaly say, overall, I strive to spend more tiem with my family, and that means sometimes I do neglect my friends.

What's your morning routine?

I aim to get up around 7 am, I go for a brisk walk every morning without fail. Then I get back, I tend to have breakfast on my own, as everyone is still asleep. After that, I start work.

How do you stay fit and healthy?

As I mentioned before, I like to work out at the gym. On top of that, I do take care with what I eat. I like to cook healthy food at home, plenty of vegetables, we eat meat in moderation and I try to eat a piece of fruit every day.

Do you do any sports as a child?

Yes, we used to play football at school, that was the main sport, although I also played cricket in the summer, but I wasn't really good at it at all. I never really got the hang of it.

What kind of music do you like?

All sorts, to be honest. I used to be really into jazz, but nowadays I tend to listen to more classical music. I find it good for studying and relaxing. I often put some on in the background when I am working.

What's your favourite kind of weather?

I actually like code weather and I love it when it snows. So long as I'm wrapped up warm, I love to go out in the snow, and if my daugher is up for it, we will go and make a snowman together.

Which city would you like to visit in future?

There are so many, but if had to choose one, I'd say Lima, in Peru, and maybe one or two other neighboring cities. I've never been to south America, but I have seen so may breathtaking pictures of Peru, I think that'd be my top choice.

Are clothes important to you?

If I am going to be honest, not really. I don't think I am fashion consicous at all, for me clothes are just something practical, so lang as I look neat and tidy, that's fine. I don't pay much attention to coordinating colours or wearing the latest style.

Part 2&3

A person you met at a party

Q: Describe a person you met at a party who you enjoyed talking with.

You should say:

  • What party it is?
  • How you met this person?
  • What you talked about? And explain why you enjoyed talking with him/her.

Q: On what occasions would people be willing to make new friends?

Q: How do people start a conversation?

Q: Why are some people unwilling to have conversations with others?

Q: Do you think it's difficult for people in your country to talk with foreigners?

Q: Is it difficult for adults to talk with children?

An interesting old person

Describe an interesting old person you met.

You should say:

  • Who this person is?
  • When/where you met this person?
  • What you did? And explain why you think this person is interesting?

Q: Do you think old people and young people have common interests?

Q: What can old people teach young people?

Q: Is it easy for young people and old people to make friends with each other?

Q: Do you think people are more self-centered now than in the past?

Q: What benefits can people get if they are self-centered?

A person you want to work/study with

Describe a person you have met who you want to work/study with.

You should say:

  • Who this person is?
  • How you met this person?
  • How long you have known him/her? And explain why you want to work/study with him/her.

Q: Why should children be kind to their classmates?

Q: Can children choose their desk mates?

Q: What matters most about a colleague's personality?

Q: Are good colleagues important at work?

Q: What kind of people are popular at work?

An actor/actress

Describe an actor/actress (from your country) whom you admire.

You should say:

  • Who this actor/actress is?
  • What kinds of films/movies he/she acts in?
  • What you know about his/her life? And explain why you admire him/her.

Q: Is being a professional actor/actress a good career?

Q: How important is the theatre in your country's history?

Q: Do you think the theatre should be run as a business or as a public service?

Q: What are the most popular types of films in your country?

Q: What is the difference between watching a film in the cinema and watching a film at home?

A relaxing place in your home

Describe your favorite place in your home where you can relax.

You should say:

  • Where it is?
  • What it is like?
  • What you enjoy doing there? And explain why you feel relaxed at this place.

Q: Where do people spend most of their time in their home?

Q: Why is it difficult for some people to relax?

Q: Do you think there should be classes to teach (young) people how to relax?

Q: Do people in your country like to do exercise after work?

Q: Where are the benefits of doing exercise?

Q: Which is more important, mental relaxation or physical relaxiation?

A city you would like to stay for a short time

Describe a city (not your hometown) you would like to stay in for a short time.

You should say:

  • Where the city is?
  • Whom you will go there with?
  • What you will do there? And explain why you would like to stay there.

Q: Why do people sometimes travel to other cities?

Q: Why are historical cities popular?

Q: Do you think tourists may come across bad things in other cities?

Q: Do most people like to make plans before travelling?

A nosiy place

Describe a nosiy place you have been to.

You should day:

  • What it is?
  • When you went there?
  • What you did there? And explain why you feel it's a noisy place.

Q: Do you think it is good for children to make noise?

Q: Should children not be allowed to make noise under any circumstances?

Q: What kind of noise are there in our daily life?

Q: How do people respond to noises in your country?

A place where the air was polluted

Describe a place where you visited where the air was polluted.

You should say:

  • Where the place is?
  • When you visited there?
  • Why the air was not good? And explain how you felt about the place.

Q: Is there more pollution now than in the past?

Q: In what ways can air pollution be reduced effectively?

Q: Do you think cities are cleaner than the countryside?

Q: Do you think many factories should be forced to reduce emissions?

A new development

Describe a new development in the area where you live (e.g. shoping mall, park...)

You should say:

  • What the development is?
  • When/where you noticed it?
  • How long it took to complete it? And explain how you feel about it.

Q: What kind of transportion do most people use in your country?

Q: Is public transportion popular in China?

Q: What are the benefits of developing public transport services?

Q: What leisure facilities can be used by people of all ages?

Q: Do you think young people in your country like to go to the cinema?

A Piece of good news

Describe a piece of good news that you heard about someone you know well.

You should say:

  • What it was?
  • When you heard it?
  • How you heard about it? And explain how you felt about it.

Q: Is it good to share something on social media?

Q: Should the media only publish good new?

Q: How does social media help people access information?

Q: What kind of good news do people often share in the community?

Q: Do people like to hear good news from their friends?

A website

Describe a website you often visit.

You should say:

  • How you found it?
  • What it is about?
  • How often you visit it? And explain why you often visit.

Q: What are the difference between old people and young people when they use the Internet?

Q: What are the most popular and least popular apps in China?

Q: What's the difference between the Internet and television?

Q: Why do some people like to read news on the Internet instead of on TV?

Q: What kinds of people would still go to the library to read and study?

A movie character

Describe a character from a film you saw.

You should say:

  • What character it is?
  • Who played this character?
  • When you saw the film? And explain why you like/dislike this character.

Q: Is it interesting to be an actor/actress?

Q: What can children learn from acting?

Q: Why do children like special costumes?

Q: What are the differences between actors/actresses who earn much and those who earn little?

Q: What are the differences between acting in a theatre and in a film?

A historical period

Describe a historical period you would like to know more about.

You should say:

  • What it is?
  • What you are intersted in? And why you would like to know more about it.

Q: Do you think everyone should know about the history of their own country?

Q: In what ways can children learn history?

Q: What are the differences between learning history from book and from videos?

Q: Is it hard to protect hisotrical buildings?

Q: Who should be responsible for protecting historical buildings?

An activity you enjoyed

Describe an activity you enjoyed in your free time when you were young.

You should say:

  • What it is?
  • Where you did it?
  • Who you did it with? And explain why you enjoyed it.

Q: Is it important to have a break during work or study?

Q: What sports do young people like to do now?

Q: Are there more activities for young people now than 20 years ago?

Q: Can most people balance work and life in China?

Q: What activities do children and adults do nowadays?

Q: Do adults and children have enough time for leisure activities nowdays?

Something you want to learn

Describe something you would like to learn in the future.

You should say:

  • What it is?
  • How you would like to learn it?
  • Why you would like to learn it? And explain whether it would be difficult to learn.

Q: What are the most popular things to learn these days?

Q: Which influences young people more when they choose a course, income or interest?

Q: Should young people take their parent's advice when choosing a major?

Q: At what age should people start to make their own decisions?

A gift you got

Describe a gift you got.

You should say:

  • What it is?
  • How you got it.
  • What you did? And explain how you felt about it.

Q: Should employees have their own goals?

Q: How should bosses reward employees?

Q: What kind of gifts do young people like to receive as rewards?

A piece of technology

Describe a piece of technology that you feel difficult to use.

You should say:

  • What it is?
  • When you got it?
  • How often you use it? And explain how you feel about it.

Q: What are some technological devices do people currently use?

Q: Why do technological companies keep upgrading their products frequently?

Q: Why are people so keen on buying devices like iPhones even though they haven't changed much from one to the next?

Q: Does technological development affect the way people study? How?

Q: What changes has the development of technology brought about in our lives?

An advert you dislike

Describe an advertisement you've seen and dislike.

You should say:

  • What kind of advertisement it is?
  • What it is about?
  • When you saw it? And explain why you dislike it.

Q: What are the most advertised products in your country?

Q: Do advertisements encourage us to buy things we don't need?

Q: What are the benefits of advertising?

Q: What do you think of the use of celebrities in advertisement?

Q: What role does social media play in advertising?

Teaching a friend/relative

Describe a time when you taught a friend/relative something.

You should say:

  • Who you taught?
  • What you taught?
  • What the result was? And explain how you felt about it.

Q: What particular skills can young people teach old people besides technology?

Q: How can young people teach old people skills?

Q: Do you think older people have problems learning ner things? Why?

Q: Do you think showing is better than telling in education?

Q: Do people in your country like to learn things through watching videos?

An unusual meal

Describe a time when you had an unusual meal. You should say:

  • When you had it?
  • Where you had it?
  • Whom you had it with? And explain why it was unusual.

Q: Do people in your country prefer to eat at home or in restaurant?

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of eating in restaurants?

Q: Why do some people choose to order takeout instead of eating in restaurants?

Q: Do yout think fast food is popular in your country?

Q: Do people in your country value food culture?

Something you did with someone/a group of people

Describe something that you did with someone/a group of people. You should say:

  • What it was?
  • Who you did it with?
  • How long it took you to do this? And explain why you did it together.

Q: How do you get along with your neighbors?

Q: How do neighbors help each other?

Q: How do children learn to cooperate with others?

First day at school

Describe a first day at school that you remember. You should say:

  • When it was?
  • Which school you went to?
  • What happened that day? And explain why you still remember that experience.

Q: What would parents prepare for their kids when they first go to school?

Q: How do children socialise with each other?

Q: Is socialising important for children?

Missing a meeting

Describe a time when you missed or were late for a meeting.

You should say:

  • When it happend?
  • What happend?
  • Why you missed/were late for it? And explain how you felt about this experience.

Q: Are people in your country often late for meetings?

Q: Do yout think it is important to be on time?

Q: Why are some people often late for meeting or appointments?

Q: How can people avoid being late?

Something made you feel proud

Describe something you did that made you feel pround.

You should say:

  • What it was?
  • How you did it?
  • How difficult it was? And explain why you felt proud of it.

Q: Should everyone set goals for themselves?

Q: Which is more important, personal goals or work goals?

Q: Have your life goals changed since you were a child?

Q: What kinds of rewards are important at work?

Q: What makes people feel proud of themselves?

Making complaint

Describe a time when you made a complaint and were satisfied with the result. You should say:

  • When it happend?
  • What the complaints was about?
  • Who you made the complaint to? And explain why you were satisfied with the result.

Q: Which is more effective when making a complaint, talking or writing?

Q: Who are more likely to make complaints, old people or young people?

Other resources


Smartphones and social media

Q: So let's talk about smartphones and the amount of time that people spend online. How do you think that this can help or hinder kind of authentic connection with others.

A: I think, like many technoloies, smartphones can be a source of great benefit to people - individuals and communities - but also great harm. And as I talk about in the book, one of the worrisome ways social media and smartphones are often used, particularly by younger generations, is a kind of performace platform where we curate what we put on that platform to tell a very - what we think or guess is an attractive story about ourselves to increase numbers, likes and follows. And so you're not only performing - you are continually being judged by this unseen audience. And you start changing your, say, posting behaviour or your social media behaviour to try to accelerate the attention you're getting at the external persona level, if you will - your digital persona. And that often is different from how you truly feel inside. So that can be very lonely-making for people as they feel that, in order to truly connect, they have to not be who they are.

Now, there's other ways we could use social media, if we choose to tolerate the discomfort of authentic disclosure, to find people we share authentic interests with and then be able to share personal stories and respond in kind. And that's how we build more authentic, more sustainable connections. And we now have technology that can amplify that. Technologiy, in and of itself, isn's the problem. It's how we use it.


Government and society

Roles of government

  • Governments provide public services like healthcare and education.
    • Governments pay the salaries of public sector wokers like police officers and teacher.
    • The necessary money is raised by taxing people's income.
    • Free education and healthcare may be provided by the state.
    • Some governments control public transport systems and even TV channels; in other countries, these services are provided by private companies.
  • They support people who are living in poverty or unable to work.
  • Governments raise money by taxing working people.
  • They can introduce new laws
  • They can raise people's awareness of issues (e.g climate change / healthy eating)
  • They can create jobs.
  • They can regulate the activities of companies such as banks.
  • They are also responsible for the security and well-being of their citizens.

Social Issues

  • Traffic
    • Congestion is caused by commuters travelling to work.
    • Most people live in the suburbs outside city centre.
    • Commuters tend to travel at the same time of day.
    • They tend to travel alone in their private cars.
    • This causes traffic jams during the rush hour.
    • In order to reduce traffic we should change our working habits.
    • The internet can now be used to connect people (for example meetings can be held as video conferences) so many people could work from home.
    • Workers could be given flexible timetables.
    • Another solution would be to tax drivers so workers should share their cars and travel together - in London, for example, there is a congestion charge.
  • Traditions
    • Because of industrialization and global trade, many traditions have disappeared.
    • Global advertising encourages everyone to buy the same products.
    • Most products are now made in factories, where they are produced very quickly and in large numbers (Clothes are mass produced in standard sizes / People wear similar clothes like jeans and T-shirt throughout the world)
    • Historic buildings took skilled craftsmen years to build
    • Modern concrete, steel and glass buildings are built in only weeks or months.
  • Justice and crime
    • Fines are used as punishment for minor crimes.
    • If the crime is more serious, prison is the most common punishment.
    • Some criminals pose a threat to society so they are put in prison to ensure the safety of other citizens.
    • Punishment could make prisoners' behaviour worse.
    • Criminals are put together and they make friends with other offenders.
    • Many prisoners re-offend when they are released.
    • A criminal record makes finding a job more difficult.
    • Another aim of prisons is rehabilitation, to make them better citizens.
    • Prisoners receive education of vocational training.
    • Prisoners should learn personal skills and special job skills.
    • Rehabilitated prisoner are less likely to re-offend.
  • City life
    • People move to cities in search for job opportunities.
    • Cities offer gerater employment possibilities and a higher standard of living.
    • Life in cities has its drawbacks.
    • The cost of living is higher than in rural areas.
    • Housing is usually much more expensive.
    • Life in cities can be extremely stressful.
    • There are problems like traffic congestion and crime.
    • Cities lack a sense of community - people do not even know their neighbor.
    • Cities are sometimes described as "concrete jungles".


Money and society

  • Society has become increasingly materialistic.
  • People only hope to earn more moeny, bigger houses or a better car.
  • We connect wealth and material possessions with happiness and success.
  • Branks like "Armani" or "Mercedes" are status symbols.
  • Advertising creates new desires and needs, persuades us to buy the latest styles.


  • Consumerism creates employment.
  • It helps to reduce poverty.
  • It encourages innovation and creativity
  • We have a better quality of life.
  • Consumerist societies create more waste.
  • They use more natural resources and cause damage to the environment.
  • Consumerism creates a "throw-away" culture.
  • Advertisers tell us who we are and what we want.
  • Materialism causes greed and crime.


  • Companies need ads to tell customers about their products.
  • Advertisements inform us about the choices we have.
  • Without advertising we would have less choice.
  • Advertising is a creative industry that employs many people.
  • Advertising is a form of mordern art.
  • Advertising manipulate people.
  • It aims to persuade people that buying a product will make them happier.
  • We are persuaded to follow the latest trend.
  • We are encouraged to associate certain brands with a higher status
  • Children can easily be influenced by advertisements.

Family and gender

Family size

  • Families in many countries are not as large as they used to be.
  • We tend to live in a samll nuclear families rather than large extended families.
  • Parents tend to have fewer children.
  • Nowadays both parents often work.
  • It costs so much to bring children up.
  • It is more difficult to raise a large family.


  • Many fathers and mothers share their parenting and domestic responsibilities.
  • They contribute equally to childcare, cooking and cleaning.
  • Some women may have better career prospects than their husbands.
  • Paternity leave and "househusbands" are becoming more common.
  • Traditional gender roles are gradually changing.
  • Nowadays both parents often work full time.
  • Children may be left alone, or with nannies or babysitters.
  • Busy parents have less contact with their children.
  • Many families no longer eat meals together.
  • Children spend more time with friends or surfing the Internet.

Gender in education and work

  • Men and women should have access to the same educational opportunies.
  • Gender should be irrelevant in education.
  • Student's achievements should depend on hard work and individual merit.
  • Men and women should have access to the same professional opportunies.
  • Both men and women should be able to pursue a career.
  • They should earn equal salaries.
  • They should be employed according to their abilities, qualifications and experience.



  • Watching television is a good way to relax - it's many people's favorite way to wind down after a hard day at work.
  • Television programs can be entertaining and enjoyable.
  • They can also be informative and educational.
  • News program makes the public aware of event around the world.
  • Documentaries can make learning more interesing.
  • Some people like violence on television with crime rates in the real world.
  • Children copy the behaviour they see on the screen.
  • Watching TV is a waste of time.


  • It gives us instant access to information on almost any subject.
  • People can buy goods and services from the comfort of their homes.
  • The Internet is starting to replace other forms of entertaiment.
  • We can keep in touch by email or instant messenger services.
  • Video messaging is becoming common for business meetings.
  • Many websites conotain offensive content.
  • Some sites show violent or sexual images.
  • Parents find it difficult to control what their children see online.
  • They do not always know who their children are chatting to.
  • Criminals increasingly use the Internet to steal people's money.

Mobile phones

  • The mobile phone is the most popular gadget in today's world.
  • We can stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues wherever we are.
  • Users can send text messages, surf the Internet, take photos and listen music.
  • Mobiles have also become fashion accessories.
  • Mobile phones can be a problem in some public places.
  • Ringing phones cause disturbance in cinemas and school lessons.
  • Some people are not aware that others can hear their converstions.
  • Using a phone while driving reduces the driver's concentration.
  • Mobile phones are a popular target for theives.


General ideas

  • Education gives people knowledge and skills.
  • People with qualification are more likely to find work.
  • They can earn a higher salary.
  • They can contribute positively to society.
  • Schools aim to teach young people moral values such as tolerance and sharing.
  • Schools prepare children to be members of a society.

Studying overseas

  • Many students want to attent a prestigious university.
  • Qualifications gained abroad can open the door to better job opportunities.
  • Living abroad can broaden students' horizons.
  • Overseas students are exposed to different cultures and customs.
  • They become more independent.
  • They will learn a foreign language.
  • Living and studying abroad can be difficult.
  • The language barrier can be a problem.
  • Students have to find accomodation and pay bills.
  • Studying in a foreign language is challenging.

Using technology

  • Technology can make lessons much more interesting.
  • Students can do research using online resources.
  • Adults can take distance learning courses.
  • Students can study whenever and wherever they want.
  • Students also learn skills which are useful for their future jobs.
  • People rely too much on computers.
  • Young learners do not become proficient in some basic skills.
  • Technology is no substitute to a real teacher.
  • An experienced teacher knows what materials to choose.
  • Computers are expensive to maintain and can be unreliable.



  • Regular exercise is essential in maintaining a healthy body.
  • Exercise burns calories and helps to build healthy bones and muscles.
  • Doctors advise exercising at least three times a week for 20 minutes.
  • Most people nowadays lead a sedentary lifestyle.
  • We tend to walk less and do desk jobs.
  • Most adults relax by watching television.
  • Children paly video games rather than doing outdoor sports.
  • In the past, people were more active in their jobs and at home.


  • The human body requires a balanced diet.
  • An unhealthy diet can cause various health problems like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
  • Many people nowadays rely on fast food or pre-prepared meals.
  • These foods often contain too much fat, salt and sugar.
  • They are cheap to buy and very easy to prepare.
  • Many young people have grown up on a diet of convenience foods.

Weight problem

  • More and more people, including young children are seriously overweight.
  • Governments have a significant role to play in reducing obesity.
  • They are at risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • Governments should promote a healthy diet and regular exercise.
  • There should be more time for sports on school timetables.
  • Unhealthy junk food should be banned from school menus.
  • People need information about what foods contain


  • Modern lifestyles are increasingly stressful.
  • People work long hours with strict deadlines.
  • Our busy lifestyles mean we have less time to relax.
  • Children may be affected by their parents' relationship problems.
  • Tests and exams can also cause stress.
  • Stress can be reduced by taking regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.
  • People should work less overtime and take regular holidays.
  • School have started to employ psychologists.
  • They can offer emotional support to students like helping students to cope with exam stress.


Global warming

  • Gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat from the sun.
  • This causes global temperatures to rise.
  • This process is known as the greenhouse effect.
  • Human activity is a major factor in the rise of greenhouse gases.
  • Factories and vehicles produce emissions and exhaust fumes.
  • Many developing countries are becoming industrialized.
  • The number of cars on our streets is growing.
  • Cheap air travel is allowing more people to fly.
  • Global warming will have a significant impact on our planet.
  • Rising temperature will cause melting of the polar ice caps.
  • Sea levels will rise.
  • We can expect more extreme weather conditions.
  • Flooding and droughts may become more common.

Waste and rubbish

  • The amount of wastes we produce has increased.
  • This problem is a result of our consumer culture.
  • Products are not made to last.
  • If something breaks, we throw it way and buy a new one.
  • Advertisers is an important part of selling.
  • Most foods are sold in non-biodegradable plastic packaging.
  • The amount of household waste is growing.
  • People do not think about the consequences of dropping rubbish.
  • Companies should make goods that last longer.
  • They should not use so much packaging.
  • Governments should be stricter, about wastes produced by companies.
  • They should encourage waste-sorting.
  • Consumers should avoid buying over-packaged products.
  • We should recycle and reuse useful materials.
  • Households cna use several rubbsih bins to separate waste.
  • Recycling saves energy and raw materials.

Environment problems

  • The increasing world population is putting pressure on natural resources.
  • Fossil fuels like oil and gas are running out.
  • We are destroying wildlife habitats.
  • We have cut down enormous areas of rainforest.
  • This had led to extinction of many species of animals and plants
  • Governments could introduce laws to limit emissions from factories.
  • They should invest in renewable energy from solar, wind or water power.
  • They could impose "green taxes" on drivers and airlines companies.
  • Government campaigns should promote recycling.
  • Natural areas and wild animals should be protected.
  • Individuals should also try to be greener.
  • We should take fewer flights abroad for holidays.
  • We should take public transport rather than driving.
  • We should choose products with less packaging and recycle as much as possible.