Part 1 – Introduction & Interview
Q. Do you usually celebrate your birthday?
Answer: Yes, I do celebrate my birthday, not so much because I desperately look forward to it, but because my family and friends kind of “force” me to do it. Nonetheless, I enjoy celebrating my birthday because it allows me to spend some quality time with my friends and families in my otherwise busy life.
Q. What did you do on your last birthday?
Answer: My birthday is not exactly anything out of the ordinary as I don’t really do anything extra other than cutting my birthday cake, and hanging with my friends and families while also enjoying some guitar and snacks. Last year, my friends purchased a really big birthday cake for me and they also brought some gifts for me. My mother cooked for all of us and in the evening we went out to enjoy a movie together.
Q. Can you remember a birthday you enjoyed as a child?
Answer: Yes, if my memory serves me well, all of my childhood birthdays were celebrated in a very special manner. However, I can still remember one particular birthday- my twelfth birthday, when I got a lot of gifts from my family, and I was taken to an “amusement park” where I rode on “roller coaster” for the first time in my life and enjoyed the whole afternoon in a large amusement park with my family!
Q. Do most people celebrate their birthdays with a party in your country?
Answer: Yes, most people celebrate their birthday with a party and a group of people because it is usually more fun. However, one thing is worth mentioning here that we rather try to celebrate a birthday during the day time instead of the night time.
Q. Are birthdays considered important in your culture?
Answer: Yes, birthday celebration and for that matter, any kind of celebration is considered to be important in our culture because these are often the times to get together with friends and family in order to enjoy a “feast” and spend some quality time together.
Part 2 – Cue Card/ Candidate Task 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 TV series which you enjoy watching.
You should say:
- what the series is about
- who presents it/acts in it
- how often it is on
and explain why you enjoy watching this TV series so much.
[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.]
I love watching TV series, especially, the comedy TV serials, whenever I get an opportunity. Today, I would like to talk about one such comedy series, which I have watched on and off for more than 7/8 years, and the name of the serial is “Everybody Loves Raymond”.
“Everybody Loves Raymond” is an American “sitcom” show which is centred on the life of an Italian-American man named Raymond Barone, a sportswriter for one of the leading sports newspapers, who lives with his family on Long Island, New York. Being a very sarcastic person, Raymond only takes few things seriously, making jokes in nearly every situation, no matter how troubling or serious they may be. He often avoids responsibilities around the house and with his kids, leaving this to his wife, Debra. Being an indecisive person, Raymond always falls in the middle of family arguments which also involve his elder brother, mother and father. Raymond argues even with his twin sons and only daughter! On the other hand, his brother, Roberts, is really jealous about Raymond because he seems to be the favourite son of their parents. And, of course, his wife, Debra doesn’t exactly like her mother-in-law. Anyway, the funny comedy show is on every day except on the weekend. The main characters in this funny comedy serial are played by Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Madylin Sweeten, Doris Roberts, Peter Boyle and Monica Horan.
I like this TV series because it is, of course really funny and every character in it is really, really “unique”. I like this show also because it perfectly reveals the very intricate details of a regular American family which is actually typical of every other family in the world. This show has fun, arguments and fights and everything in between, but all is in the spirit of pure fun and entertainment. Finally, I enjoy watching this TV series because whatever happens in it, everybody does the right thing at the end of the day to keep the family of Raymond going, and that’s exactly what counts at the end of the day. It is indeed a very well-written series.
Q. Is this series popular with many other people you know?
Answer: Yes, this is a popular TV series and I know at least three friends of mine who also watch it on TV regularly. My younger sister and one of my cousins also like it very much.
Q. Do you watch TV often?
Answer: I do not watch TV very often, not like some people for whom watching TV is the main activity for the day. I watch the news programmes daily, two or three TV series in a week and some talk show on TV and that does not exceed one to two hours in the evening after I get back from my office.
Part 3 – Two-way Discussion:
Now let’s talk about foreign TV programmes...
Q. What kind of foreign TV programmes are popular in your country?
Answer: People in my country just love foreign TV programmes which may include foreign movies, comedy and drama serials, sports shows, cooking programmes and travel shows. People in my country also like to watch foreign news programmes which are aired on BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and other foreign news channels. Finally, people in my country also like to watch live sports, shows on wildlife, history and new discoveries.
Q. What are the advantages of having foreign-made programmes on TV?
Answer: There are many advantages of having foreign-made TV programmes. But the main advantage, of course, is that they teach us about the different cultures, traditions and lifestyles of other countries and people in order to help us understand each other better. Besides, I think that these programmes help us learn different languages, especially when we are trying to learn them for education or job purpose. Finally, another advantage of foreign-made programmes is that they can help improve the TV programmes of our own country by adding some varieties in them.
Q. Some people think governments should control the number of foreign-made TV programmes being shown. Do you agree? Why?
Answer: No, I don’t agree with the suggestion that governments should control the number of foreign-made TV programmes primarily because that would limit our abilities to learn from each other’s culture and traditions in a world which is otherwise full of hatred and animosities because of our differences. Besides, it would reduce our chances to enjoy some really nice programmes with some great entertainment values. Finally, even if the governments try to control the number of foreign-made TV programmes being shown on TV, they most likely won’t succeed because people could always view them on the internet.
Now let’s talk about changes in the media…
Q. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of having TV broadcast 24 hours a day?
Answer: The main advantage of having round the clock TV broadcast, of course, is that we can watch all of our favourite programmes whenever we like. It would also go to the advantage of TV broadcasting stations because they would be able to earn extra money through advertising. Of course, it would also help the advertisers because people would be able to see their advertisement more often. Finally, people from around the globe would be able to enjoy their favourite programmes on that channel no matter where they live.
On the other hand, the disadvantage of 24 hours broadcast is that people would spend too much time on watching TV by ignoring important priorities of life. Besides, watching too much TV would also be harmful to their health (because of not sleeping enough), especially, it would put too much strain on the eyes.
Q. In what ways have advances in technology influenced the way people watch TV?
Answer: Technology has influenced very significantly the way people watch TV, especially, with regard to the freedom of watching programmes anytime and superior picture and sound quality. With the help of technology today, we can actually watch smart TV by connecting to the internet. Besides, with the help of satellite or cable TV, we can watch TV programmes from other countries at will. Finally, today we can actually watch some interactive TV programs through the use of the internet where viewers can express their opinions on the show in real-time.
Q. What changes do you think will occur in broadcast media in the next 20 years?
Answer: In my humble opinion, all TV’s in the future will have an internet connection. Besides, I also think that there won’t be a physical TV in the distant future, and instead, there will be only “holographic” TV, and, as a result, the people would be able to watch TV anyplace and anytime. Finally, it is also possible that viewers would actually be able to view themselves on TV by using “viewpoint television” which uses signal processing in order to create the views without the need of any camera. I also think that people will have greater freedom after two decades or so in terms of choosing their favourite programmes and many TV channels will go ad-free.