Part One – Introduction
[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Q. Do you enjoy dancing? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Unfortunately, I don’t really enjoy dancing mainly because I have never really been good at it. Besides, I was never really interested to learn dancing either. But, most importantly, I have always felt that “dancing” is such a “domain” which should be dominated and ruled by those who really enjoy this art.
Q. Has anyone ever taught you to dance? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Actually, nobody has ever taught me how to dance simply because I was never really interested in learning to dance. Besides, learning Japanese traditional dancing is not really that easy since they usually require a strong back and strong legs, neither of which I possess, to perform, in my opinion.
Q. Tell me about any traditional dancing in your country.
Answer: Most Japanese traditional or folk dancing is related to food producing activities such as planting rice and fishing. One such traditional dance (neither slow nor fast) is called “Noh Mai” which is done to the tune of music, made by flutes and small hand drums. A woman usually performs this dance.
Q. Do you think that traditional dancing will be popular in the future? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I do think that traditional dancing will be popular in the future since more and more people all over the world are becoming interested to learn about their “national heritage” in order to revive some of their old traditions and cultural aspects as a symbol of their “national pride”.
Part 2 – Cue Card
[The topic for your talk will be written on a card which the examiner will hand you. Read it carefully and then make some brief notes.]
Describe someone in your family whom you like/admire.
You should say:
- how this person is related to you
- what this person looks like
- what kind of person he/she is
and explain why you like/admire this person.
[ You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
[Examiner: All right? Remember you have one to two minutes for this, so don’t worry if I stop you. I’ll tell you when the time is up. Can you start speaking now, please?]
Model Answer 1:
I am never really a kind of person who likes to admire other persons (well, for a girl, I am a rather “free-spirited” person) even when they should be. But, when it comes to my elder sister, I can’t help admiring her even on her worst days.
My sister is about 5 years older than me, and since my childhood, she is the person who looked after me in the absence of my parents (they were both working parents). I can still vividly remember those days when I was allowed to play outside with my friends, and I didn’t want to return home, but it was my elder sister who had pulled me up with her two hands and pretty much “snatched” me from the playground. I can also remember those special times when my elder sister kept playing cartoon movies one after another until I actually chose the one which I decided to watch in the end. My elder sister and I loved baking chocolate cake together, and this memory goes back to those days when I had just probably learned to write a full sentence and draw an elephant without any help. Anyway, I don’t really see my elder sister now because we both have different work and school schedules these days.
I really admire my sister mainly because she is a truly loving and patient person for her age. In fact, in my 25 years of life, I have never seen my elder sister get mad at me even though I have done plenty of things to annoy her. As an elder sister, she knew her role perfectly well in the absence of our parents as I remember her cooking for me and feeding me even during the days when she fell sick. Finally, I admire my elder sister because of her sheer determination which made her study for a PhD degree at night after having a full-time job during the day time.
Model Answer 2:
I have got a nuclear family that has only five members. All of us love each other very much and we share a strong bond and affection. It’s quite hard to pick someone among them I admire the most. Well, if I have to choose someone, it would be my mother. I would like to thank you for this nice topic and for the time you have allowed me to talk about the person in my family I admire deeply.
I love my mother from the deepest core of my heart. I revere my mother for her adorable behaviour on top of her smartness and loving nature. She is the person I can share everything with and that’s the reason I worship her so much. She is perky, charismatic, optimistic and the ray of sunshine in my life.
Possibly she is the first person I saw when I opened my eyes to this world. Someone’s relationship with his or her mother is divine. I can still remember a childhood day when I was late to return home due to a programme at the school I did not know about. After an hour or so, I noticed my mother at my school. I was horrified that my mother would be angry with me and she would punish me. But, when my mother saw me, she had a warm smile on her face. Then she hugged me passionately. At that very moment, I realised how much she loves me and cares for my safety and wellbeing.
To describe her more, I would say she is kind to all in a unique way and yet proactive and in control. She loves cooking, decorating homes with innovative ideas, helping others and reading. O. Henry is her favourite writer. She hates speed driving and liars, you know what I mean!
I spent my 19 years or so with my parents but I now stay in a metropolitan city for my higher education. Whenever I get a vacation, I visit my family. On an average, I spend 2/3 months in a year with my family, hence with my mother as well. But I talk to her over the phone almost every day.
The reason I admire her, well – she is caring, compassionate, and possesses kindness and love for everyone. She is an ideal mother who raised three children and ensured their quality education and moral values. She has sacrificed a lot and had never complained about anything to us. She is the person who reminds me of the power of love and affection. How could not I admire her unconditionally?
Sample Answer 3:
A person I admire is my “mother” because she is a fighter. You may ask why? To start, my mom got pregnant with me at the age of 18 and she did not have the support of my grandparents. Her own parents wanted to kick her out of the house when they found out. She convinced them to let her stay, but she could not ask them for any help when raising the baby. Knowing all this my mom still decided to have the baby – and that’s baby is me. How could I not adore her with my every breath!
Besides not having the support of her parents, she did not receive any help from my father either. Although my father cared about me, he never gave my mom money or clothes to help her maintain me as a baby. She had to provide for me on her own. Going to school and working was killing her, but she wanted me to have a good life, so she did anything that she could. My mom got pregnant again two years later, with the same man. The only difference was this time – it was worse! He abandoned her completely and her dad was sick. Now, not only did she have to provide for her two babies, but also for her parents. She was overwhelmed by everything happening; she didn’t know what to do.
Finally, she decided to attend a college and become a teacher to support the family. It was not an easy thing to do. After she finished college, it took her a while to find a job. It is not easy to find a job in Nicaragua. However, my mom never quits, no matter how hard things get for her she fought through it. To provide for her offsprings and parents. I see her every single day and I wish to be with her for the rest of my life. I have never seen anyone so determined and caring and she deserved to be admired and loved.
Part 3 – Two-way Discussion:
Q. In what ways can people in a family be similar to each other?
Answer: Similarities among family members are a common phenomenon in pretty much every family. While these similarities can be evident in many physical features, including eyelashes, eyebrows, hair, nails and physical builds, they are more noticeable in facial features such as nose, eyes and the shapes of the faces. People can be also similar in their behavioural patterns, such as tempers and other human emotions, and talents when they belong to the same family tree. Even some “medical conditions”, like blood pressure and diabetes, can be carried on to the gene structures of people as well if they belong to the same family tree.
Q. Do you think that daughters are always more similar to mothers than to male relatives? What about sons and fathers?
Answer: No, I don’t really like to subscribe to the “conventional thoughts” which suggest that daughters are always more similar to mothers than to male relatives nor do I think that fathers and sons are more alike. If contrary to what I just told holds true, we wouldn’t exactly be able to see sisters in a family look and behave differently from each other just as brothers in the same family who are completely different from each other. In fact, children can look like either parent or other relatives in their family tree. Many children can even look completely different from any of the existing family members.
Q. In terms of personality, are people more influenced by their family or by their friends? In what ways?
Answer: In my opinion, people generally are more influenced by their families than friends primarily because a family is where a person spends most of his or her time, especially, when growing up as a child. And, whatever people learn from their families, as children, remain with them one way or another for the rest of their lives. As a primary caregiver to children, it is the family who teaches children how to talk, and how to behave with others. Sometimes, children just naturally tend to pick up the behavioural patterns and personality traits, such as talking, humouring and criticizing, of their family members just by watching them from up close.
Q. Where can people in your country get information about genetic research?
Answer: Japan started its Human Genome Research in 1989 to lead the International Human Genome Project, an initiative taken by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), in order to uncover the role of the human gene in human health and diseases. So, apart from NHGRI, people also can get genetic research related information from the National Institute of Genetics in Mishima, Shizuoka in my country. Besides, some leading universities in Japan like the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University and Osaka University can also help people with genetic research related information.
Q. How do people in your country feel about genetic research?
Answer: People in our Japanese society, in general, are very much in favour of scientific and technological advancements. And, as a result, when we see that DNA home testing is gaining popularity, since more and more people seeking answers to their “risk” of diseases, we, Japanese, are not really that surprised. However, we are also in favour of following scientific ethics at the same time, and that’s exactly why our government has strictly forbidden any kind of genetic editing in fertilized human eggs in order to give childbirth.
Q. Should this research be funded by governments or private companies? Why?
Answer: I like to think that genetic research, or any other research for that matter, should be run and funded by the governments only mainly because the governments will be able to have better oversight and control of the research programs than private companies. Besides, if private companies are allowed to fund such types of researches, they will most likely “abuse” the research findings by doing something totally “unethical” for the “profiteering” purposes, just as it has happened on many occasions in the past with other research programmes.