Part One – Introduction
[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Q. Have you ever been in very cold weather? [When?]
Answer: Yes, I have been in very cold weather about a few years ago when I visited Manitoba, Canada. We all know, of course, Canada is one of the coldest countries in the world. But, then, Manitoba is also one of the coldest places in Canada! Now, imagine how cold I really felt! Of course, the snowfall was just too beautiful to watch!
Q. How often is the weather cold where you come from?
Answer: Where I live, we mostly have mild to moderately cold weather, and the winter season runs from November to March. November and December have mild cold weather while January and February are usually the “coldest”, but certainly nowhere close to the “bone-chilling” cold winter of Canada!
Q. Are some parts of your country colder than others? [Why?]
Answer: Yes, some parts, especially the northeastern part and the northwestern part, of my country are colder than the rest of the country because of their close proximities to some of the coldest mountains in the world. But, thankfully, this cold wave doesn’t usually continue for long.
Q. Would you prefer to live in a hot place or a cold place? [Why?]
Answer: I would rather prefer to live in a place which is neither cold nor hot, but unfortunately, nature chooses to behave in its own terms without worrying about what humans prefer or wish. But, if I am asked to choose, I would go for a “moderately cold place” mainly because putting a few warm clothes on my body is a much more “respectable” thing to me than remaining “semi-naked” in order to avoid extreme heat and moistures.
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 a competition (e.g. TV, college/work or sports competition) that you took part in.
You should say:
- what kind of competition it was and how you found out about it
- what you had to do
- what the prizes were
and explain why you chose to take part in this competition.
[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.]
It was an inter-department annual indoor sports competition at my office and a circular was issued for all notifying the issue. I am an accountant and work for a locally reputed manufacturing company in Argentina. The company manufactures plastic materials for daily use. I feel lucky to have this cue card topic and I will explain the matter briefly.
I took part in an indoor game. My office organizes the competition annually to make the employees feel relaxed. In fact, this is really tough to work round the year without any reliable break. So, different competitions were held marking the event. I took part in chess and cards. There were some other competitions like passing the pillow for the female employees. Table tennis was the other important competition that I did not dare to take part in. However, the prizes were attractive. The company arranged for home appliances for the winners – a large screen television set for the first prize winner, a washing machine for the second and a microwave oven for the third position. But all the participants received some other awards for their participation. Actually, the authority did not disappoint anyone of the participants. I won the third prize and another small prize for my participation. It was an enjoyable event indeed.
I took part in the competition for some reasons. The prime motivation behind participating was to check my skills on indoor games. I was skilled in chess when I was a student but had not been in practice for a long time. The notice for the annual competition brought the chance for me to repair my skills. Moreover, I enjoy playing chess and cards. And participating in the competition was enjoyable too. Considering the reasons, I took part in this competition and won two prizes.
Part 3 – Two-way Discussion:
Competitions in school:
Q. Why do you think some school teachers use competitions as class activities?
A. Some school teachers use competitions as class activities in order to bring out the “best” among their students, as well as to realize their “full academic potentials”. Besides, they believe that the sense of “healthy competition” among the students, if used effectively, will help them remain engaged and interested in their lessons, not only in the schools but also at home since children just love winning things.
Q. Do you think it is a good thing to give prizes to children who do well at school? Why?
A. No, I don’t necessarily think that it is a good thing for teachers and the school authority to offer prizes to children who do well at school primarily because the practice goes against the “spirit” of healthy competition. In fact, those, who fail to receive prizes, generally feel “inferior” to the prize-receiving children, which certainly is not good for the tender minds of those young children. Besides, children should be encouraged to do well, with or without prizes because they should be able to understand that there just may not be ‘prizes’ always for the things they will do in their lives when they grow up.
Q. Would you say that schools for young children have become more or less competitive since you were that age? Why?
A. I would say that schools for young children have become more competitive since I was of the same age primarily because of the “commercialization” of education in general. Besides, the children and their parents these days expect more from schools, in terms of more tests and more activities, even if it means compromising with the “quality” of education as well as the “quality” of “after-school” life of the young children.
Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of intensive training for young sportspeople?
A. There are a number of advantages of intensive training programs for young sports people, but the main one is that it helps them become physically and mentally tough to face the challenges in the real world. These training programs also help bring great team spirit among the young people by making them more helpful and generous to others in general. However, one of the major disadvantages of such intensive programs is that they can inflict serious bodily injuries, sometimes life-threatening, on young people. The young people may also suffer from a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety due to the serious nature of these intensive training.
Q. Some people think that competition leads to better performance from sports stars. Others think it just makes players feel insecure. What is your opinion?
A. Feeling a certain degree of “insecurity” in our physical world is a human reality whether there is a competition or not. Therefore, in my opinion, when there is a competition, it is only natural that the players will feel insecure because they try to prove something to someone by performing better than others. And, unfortunately, it is the very pressure of “performing better than others” which makes players feel insecure in life in general even if they succeed in displaying better performance from time to time.
Thus I believe that “healthy” competition should be encouraged in a positive way to bring out the best among the sportspeople.
Q. Do you think that it is possible to become too competitive in sport? In what way?
A. Of course, I think that it is possible to become “too competitive” in sports since some “players” would want to win at any cost even if it means using some “unfair means” to achieve their goals. And, that’s exactly why we get to hear the news of “performance enhancing drugs”, used by some sportspersons, almost on a regular basis. In fact, it is because of this type of “too much competitiveness” sometimes that we see “players” abusing each other physically and verbally on the fields, which is absolutely an unacceptable behaviour by any standards.