Part 1: Introduction & Interview
Q. What is your full name?
A. My full name is Huan Ruan. You can, however, call me “Ruan” if you like.
Q. Can I see your ID?
A. Of course, here you are.
Q. Tell me about your hometown.
A. I was born in a small city called “Yangshuo” located in Guangxi Province in China. I have been living there ever since and its unique and beautiful scenery make it one of the most beautiful places in the entire country. Surrounded by karst peaks and bordered on one side by the Li River it is easily accessible by bus or by boat from nearby Guilin. Li River, Moon Hill, Yulong River and Silver Cave are some of the most prominent landmarks in my hometown. The area of my hometown is about 1,428 km2 and three hundred thousand people live there.
Q. What is it famous for?
A. Well, nestled amongst the verdant mountains and beside the rippling waters of the Li River, “Yangshuo” is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in China which attracts a large number of tourists each year. Yangshuo is well known as one of the largest populations of English speaking Chinese people and foreign expats in the whole country. This small city has two main tourist streets, known as “West Street” and “Diecuilu”, and they boast a large number of the souvenir stalls. Not only is Yangshuo a perfect place to tour the Karst Mountains and the Li River, but it is also a popular cycling and rock-climbing destination. Finally, the town boasts a variety of Western-style restaurants, cafés and bars that you will hardly find in other Chinese towns.
Q. Did you play any sports when you were a child?
A. Well, I was mostly a quiet girl and not very sporty in my childhood. But I did play some sports, such as badminton and ping pong. I was quite good at them actually but I did not continue practising these sports when I grew up.
Q. Why did you like this kind of sport/activity?
A. Like I have said, I was a quiet girl, so I was not very interested in team sports like football or basketball. Other sports like swimming, bicycle riding and so on were not much popular at that time, so badminton and ping pong worked out to be the best choice for me I guess. I also liked to read books a lot and often visited a library to read as many books as I could.
Q. Do you think boys and girls nowadays can play the same sports? Why?
A. Of course, both boys and girls can play any game or sport they like in China. In fact, I do not hear about any sport these days that is restricted to one sex rather than the other in my country. There are some differences in terms of choices and popularities of sports due to natural gender differences but there is no restrictions or popular belief that a particular game is suitable for boys or girls only. For a long time, boys and girls in China have participated in the same games and sports and our society does not have any discriminatory views about this.
Q. Do you think your children will play sports? Why?
A. Yes, I would like to believe so. I am not expecting my children to be quite excellent in sports, but I definitely will encourage them to play because playing sports helps build up physical strength and interpersonal and social skills. Moreover, most parents in my locality encourage their children to take up some sort of sports or outdoor activities which I believe would be even more important in the future.
Part 2 – Cue Card/Candidate Task Card
Describe something you bought, that you had to save money for.
You should say:
- what it was
- how long you saved money for it
- how you saved the required money
and explain how you felt after you bought it.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you’re going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
Sample Answer 1:
Mobility is one of the most wanted things for the people who remain highly busy with their respective business. Only a car of own can remove the problem. Now, here I will describe how I bought my first car and thank you for the chance to describe the event here.
I have always dreamt of having a car of my own. But it was not so easy for me to afford the price of a car. In fact, being a small businessman, it was really hard for me to arrange all the money required to buy a new car. So, I started to save money for the purpose. Since I had to manage all the expenses of my family from my small income, it was hard for me to save money. But, by cutting and reducing my own expenses, I managed the entire cost to buy a car of my own.
It may sound strange to you. But this is true. I had to wait for long eight years. In each of the day of these years, I have saved the money. It was difficult indeed to save money and hold the attention for the purpose. Besides, there were no fixed amount to save. I have saved the money after my capacity. Often I have deposited cash and coins in the depository of my own which I made solely for this purpose. Interestingly, it was not me who saved money at the depository, rather my wife, kids and other family members also had their contribution to increasing the fund for having a car of my own. I am truly grateful to them for their selfless contributions. After passing around eight years, I found that I have gathered the required amount of money to buy a brand new car.
In these years, I have experienced that saving money is the most difficult task for me. In fact, the range of expenses was on the rise but my business was not expanding in consideration of the expenses. But, I was determined to buy a car for me. It was becoming harder day after days to reach my business stations (I deal with export and import of poultry feed in Delhi and also own a small superstore in the city). I was unable to meet deadlines to meet with clients and others. Sometimes, I also have missed some deals with my clients for being late in the meeting place. There are many such other events are available to describe. Hence, I pledged to buy a car for me and I did it. I saved a small amount each day and finally I was able to accommodate the entire expense of my own car.
The feeling of having the car cannot be explained in words. It took me eight years to make my dream come true. In fact, it was not my dream, it was something more than a dream. It was a necessity for me. By the time, my business started growing and I needed to travel from one place to another. But I was determined that I would not take loans from a bank or any individual. It was my necessity and I will meet it no matter how long it takes. At last, I was able to get a car and when I brought it home, it appeared that it was the family member of mine for whom we all waited a long time.
Model Answer 2:
There were a lot of things that I had to save money for, but the one that I can remember very clearly was my first laptop. It was ten years ago when I was in the first year of university. I wanted to buy a laptop for my study; however, my parents would only pay for a desk computer, which was much cheaper at the time. So I had to save up the gap between a PC and a laptop, which was a huge gap for a uni student.
But I was determined to save up for my laptop, so I started to work part time as a private English tutor for high school students. The hourly rate was generous, but because I only had 2 students, I was not able to save up as quickly as I wished. Because I lived on the campus, so I could not cut down my accommodation cost. Instead, I cut my food spending, so for a few months, I did not have proper dinner.
I felt like I had done everything I can to save up as quickly as possible, but in the end, it still took me almost a year. Because I had put so much effort in it, I felt incredibly proud when I finally had my laptop in my hands.
Part 3 – Details Discussion
Q. Do you think children should be taught to save money from their childhood? Why?
A. Yes, I think children should be taught to save money from a very young age and there are primarily two reasons for that. First, when children are taught to save money, they learn to appreciate their parents’ hard work and dedication to put food on the table. When they understand the value of money, they acknowledge the life their parents have provided for them. Second, saving money is a great way to learn how to be independent, frugal and responsible. Children who learn to save money from an early age often become more adept in money management and possess positive attitudes about investing money rather than spending it all.
Q. What can parents do to teach children to save money?
A. Saving money is a great habit, and parents can do several things to teach children to save money. For example, they can first give some “allowance” to their children once in a while and monitor their spending choices. Then, parents can also offer some advice on the benefit of saving money. Besides, parents can choose to set an example for their children by actually saving money themselves and talk about their actions in front of their children. Finally, parents can encourage them to save money in a “money-saving jar” and then offer them some kind of “rewards’ for being able to save up a certain amount of money.
Q. Should parents buy everything their child asks for? Why?
A. Absolutely not! Firstly, most children do not know what they really need and what they don’t. If they always get what they want or wish for, they would take everything for granted. It will affect their life when they grow up because as an adult, we can’t have everything we want, or rely on someone else to fulfil our wishes.
Secondly, as I’ve already said, children should be taught how to become independent and frugal from an early age. They should be taught to save money now and then for something they really want rather than being provided with everything they fancy or wish for.
Q. What do young people in your country like to buy?
A. Young people in my country are no different from the young people of other countries. However, depending on what kind of money they and their family have, sometimes, they like to buy things which they “need”, and then, some other times, they buy things which they “like” but don’t necessarily need. Anyway, typical young people in my country usually like to buy fancy clothes, expensive perfumes, nice shoes, fine-looking sunglasses/eyeglasses, fashionable and branded watches, smartphones/iPads of the latest models and other kinds of electronic gadgets of their choices.
Q. How do people pay for things they buy online?
A. There are usually three different modes of payment for buying things online in my country. First one usually is paying by debit or credit cards or an electronic payment system like PayPal. The second one is paying through bank checks which either use eCheck (electronic check after being verified by a “check verification system”) or paper-check which is sent through postal mail by the customers. The third one, of course, involves paying cash or “COD” (cash on delivery). However, this “cash on delivery” thing applies only when the customers are in close proximity to the online stores.
Q. Which do you think is more important, the cost of a product or the quality of the product? Why?
A. I would say that for an “informed and smart” customer, the quality of a product is more important than the cost of a product for a couple of reasons. First reason, from a customer’s point of view, of course, a better quality product would most likely last for a longer period of time and thus saving some money in the long run because they won’t need to spend extra money in buying another product within a short period of time. Secondly, it usually takes great efforts and time to choose and buy a product, which can be frustrating as we would rather be busy taking care of other important priorities.