Part 1 – Introduction & Interview:
Q. Did your parents read to you when you were a child? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: My parents didn’t read to me very often when I was a child primarily because they both were very busy professionals. But I can remember my father read storybooks to me once in a while. Of course, they did want to read to me at times, but I wasn’t really very interested about it as I had rather have them play with me or talk to me about other stuff like their childhood, playing footballs, going for fishing or planning for a holiday.
Q. Do you read for pleasure very often? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: No, I don’t really read for pleasure very often primarily because of my crowded work schedules and other family priorities. Besides, I am not really very much into reading unless I am researching, trying to look up for important information, or trying to heal myself “spiritually”.
Q. What kind of books or magazines do you buy? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: I like to buy mostly storybooks, novels, and books on spiritual development because I think that they are the best kinds to give to friends and families as gifts on various occasions. Besides, I also like to read a book on spiritual development, when I am really, really ‘down’, which, by the way, happens only on some rare occasions.
Q. Which do you find easier, reading in English or writing in English? [Why?]
Answer: I would say that I find reading in English is much easier than writing in English or for that matter any other languages, primarily because it usually takes more time and efforts to be able to write something in a coherent manner in order to convey a particular “message”.
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 an elderly person in your family whom you enjoy talking to.
You should say:
- who the person is
- what he/she is like
- how often you see him/her
and explain why you enjoy talking to 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.]
I really enjoy talking to my grand-uncle who is the older cousin of my father and lives in the countryside, enjoying his farming works. I, along with my other cousins, like to call him “grand-uncle” because of his old age – old as in really, really old in his late 80’s – with his “snow-white” hair and wrinkly face.
It was roughly 25 years ago, when I met my “grand-uncle” for the first time, and, of course, when I was really, really young. And, if my memory serves me well, he is still the same laid back kind of person, with a very relaxed approach towards his life, and he also doesn’t like to deal with any “nonsense”. Sometimes, I feel like he is really struggling to fit in a society which cherishes the “youth” even though, I must say, I find him to be way more active, doing many kinds of house “choirs” and other farming activities, than an “average” young person today.
My “grand-uncle” doesn’t exactly have a very “bubbly” personality, but when he is really in a “mood” to open up and talk, he would “surprise” you with his “repertoire of wisdom” while “abruptly” falling asleep in the middle of his talks at times, probably because he gets a bit too tired of “talking” more than usual. Anyway, unfortunately, I don’t really get to meet or talk to my “old uncle” that often because he lives far away from me, but when I do meet or talk to him, I make sure that I make the “best use” of the opportunity.
I enjoy talking to him because, honestly speaking, I have never really seen anybody telling the stories from his olden days, especially about the days when he was going to school, in such interesting and articulate manner. I also enjoy talking to him because of many of his “unyielding” views on many things that are destroying our family bonds. Finally, I also enjoy talking to him because of many of his “real life” experiences and wisdom which can certainly change the life of a person for better, especially, if he/she wants to grow up as an “independent” and “respectable” person.
Part 3 – Two-way Discussion:
Let’s go on to talk about elderly people who live with their families.
Q. In your country, do most grandparents live in the same house as their children and grandchildren? Why/Why not?
Answer: Unfortunately, most grandparents, in my country, do not live in the same house with their children and grandchildren mainly because- some would argue, we have grown way too much ‘self-centred and selfish’ not to love and care for the people around us who have otherwise been very “dear” to us. Of course, some people would also choose to “argue” that life these days has become too complicated where we just don’t have the time, energy and the finances to live a “happy and comfortable” life with the grandparents.
Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of grandparents living in the same house as their children and grandchildren?
Answer: There are a number of advantages to living with grandparents. First, grandparents usually have a “fun and pleasant” relationship with their grandchildren which can be inducive to maintain a positive and happy environment at home by sharing their love and affection. Besides, grandparents also can help raise their grandchildren and guide us in our busy work lives. Finally, grandparents can also share some of their “wisdom” and “life lessons” in order to improve the lives of their children as well as grandchildren.
A few disadvantages of living with grandparents may include curtailing own plans for other social lives and holidays, disagreements with parents over trivial matters such as discipline and food habits of grandchildren, and making time to look after their health and other issues.
Now let’s talk about retirement.
Q. Do you think some people retire from their jobs too early? Why/Why not?
Answer: It depends on how one would define “too early”. Anyway, some people would retire from their jobs because they have probably made a “substantial” amount of money or ‘assets’ in order to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. Some people may also retire from their jobs “too early” because of “poor health”. Choosing a different kind of “profession” could also be a reason for early retirement. Finally, some people would choose to retire from their jobs also because of ‘family reasons’ in order to care for some “elderly” or “seriously ill” family members.
Q. Why do you think some people feel unhappy when they first retire from work? What types of hobby do people enjoy doing after they have retired from work?
Answer: I think that some people feel unhappy after retiring from their work for the first time mainly because they lose “part of their identity and purpose” of their lives. Another reason may be that they find it really hard to “fit” into a different kind of lifestyle with different schedules and different kinds of “crowd” to live with. Finally, some people may also feel unhappy because of facing “financial challenges” due to the lack of a steady source of income.
Talking about hobbies after retirement, some people choose to get involved with some voluntary and community works in order to help other people. Some others choose to do gardening in order to keep themselves busy. Then there is another group of people, a wealthy group of people in that, who choose to travel around the world.
Now let’s consider old age in the future.
Q. What kinds of problems can be caused when the proportion of elderly people in a country keeps rising?
Answer: Any kind of demographic changes, such as the increase in the number of elderly people disproportionately, may cause an imbalance in social and economic life. To start with, if the number of elderly people keeps rising, a society or a country won’t have enough “young and productive” citizens to do the necessary works. Besides, it would put downward pressures on the economy as people would need to spend more and more money in order to treat many age-related illnesses among the ‘elderly’ citizens while the government would need a higher budget to offer retirement benefits to these elderly people.
Q. In what ways might the lives of elderly people be different in the future? Why/Why not?
Answer: In my opinion, “elderly” people in the future would live even longer because of tremendous improvement in the medical science, which probably would be a good thing, except, of course, they would also feel more “lonely” in future because their families and children would probably be too “busy’ to spend their time with the elderly. Then again, who to say that they would feel “lonely’ either because the chances are, with the changes in technology and genetic engineering, again of course, that the so-called ‘elderly’ people would be able to remain ‘active’ until the days, they die!