Part 1: Introduction & Interview
Q. What is your full name?
A. My full name is “Elruz Rehimli”, but you can call me by my surname which is “Rehimli”.
Q. Where are you from?
A. I am from “Baku” – the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan.
Q. Tell me about the apartment or house where you live.
A. I don’t live in an apartment as we own a large house. I live in this house with my family and we have eight family members in total. It is an L-shaped house with a nice garden in the backyard, and have plenty of rooms for us and our guests. We have been living in this house for the past ten years and we would love to live there as long as we can. Our house is beautiful and painted in white and green. It is a two-storied bungalow type building and gets plenty of fresh air and sunlight.
Q. What you can see from the window of your house?
A. Our house is a two-storey building, so it is not too high. The first thing that I can see from my window is the garden we have in front of our house. It is so refreshing to look at those beautiful garden and the flowers in it. I can also notice the street in front of our house and can see the people who walk on that street. If I see more closely, I can see many other houses in our neighbourhood and tall buildings which are not far away from our house.
Q. Do other houses in your neighbourhood look like your house?
A. Well, yes, most of the houses in our neighbourhood have similar outlooks. The exterior of these houses are strikingly similar and many of them are painted with white and green like ours one. Moreover, the total area of those houses are the same and they have identical boundaries and gates. In fact, if someone new does not look too closely, may mistakenly visit a different house than his/her intended one.
Q. Would you change anything about your house? [Why/why not?]
A. Well, I have not actually thought about it before but if I have to change something about my house, I would like to redecorate some of the rooms in our house and add a few more modern furniture in them. I would also like to convert the backyard of our house to a green lawn.
Part 2: Cue Card /Candidate Task Card
Describe a book you have recently read.
You should say:
- what book it is
- who is the author of this book
- what is the story/theme of the book
and explain if you enjoyed the book or not.
[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.]
The book that I recently read is ‘The Fortunate Pilgrim’. It is a novel by Mario Puzo which was first published in the year 1965. The writer Mario Puzo is well-known for his famous mafia book ‘The Godfather’ and was critically acclaimed for his book ’The Fortunate Pilgrim”. The writer had adopted the story of this novel based on his mother’s immigration struggling for respectability in the United States. Mario Puzo himself considered this novel to be his finest though Godfather earned him much more fame and earning.
The novel tells the story of an immigrant family living in New York City. The mother of the family, Lucia Santa is the protagonist. It is her formidable will that steers the family members through the Great Depression and early years of World War ||. The story, places and the characters became so real that the readers can’t stop wondering about them. The writer has been brilliantly able to tell a known story in a known tone that makes us feel them in our lives and that’s why the characters and stories got the power keep a reader awake whole night. Mario Puzo has shown literacy excellence in this story.
I liked the book very much and finished it within 3 days. I have always been a great admirer of Puzo’s writing and this one was a really different book than his famous mafia books. This is a book that touches the reader’s mind. The story and the storytelling ability were so attractive that I had a very hard time putting the book down. Whenever I could I read the book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Rounding-off/ Follow-up Questions:
Q. Would you recommend that book to anyone? Why?
A. Yes, I would absolutely recommend this book to any of my friends and family members. This book, in my opinion, is one of the best books I have ever read. It was so good a book that I could not leave it until I finished reading it. This book was highly praised by critiques, and I liked the important lesson this book tried to teach us. It was a fast-paced and compelling book.
Q. What types of books are popular among children and adults in your country?
A. Children, in my country, mostly read books that have compelling visual illustrations and interesting stories. Apart from that, fairy tales, comic books, detective and travel books attract them. On the other hand, the reading list among adults varies to a great extent ranging from fiction, romance, politics, poetry, history, and religion.
Part 3: Details Discussion
[The examiner will now ask several discussion questions about the topic given in the Cue Card.]
Q. 1. What impacts do you think our modern lifestyle has on our reading habit?
A. I think modern lifestyle and modern gadgets pretty much occupy our time and that is why many adults and children do not read books unless they absolutely need to. Watching movies, playing video games, and chatting with friends online are more interesting to them than reading books.
The modern world has given us so many options, nevertheless, to read and learn, and it only requires our willingness and passion to read. These days, it is far easier to read reviews on a book, get book recommendations, purchase any book online, read them on an electronic device and share our opinions to find other book lovers. Some people would say that we don’t have time to read books as we lead a very busy life. But I won’t agree with that as I still see many people read books when they are waiting in the line, waiting for someone in a café and so on. So enthusiastic readers always find time for reading no matter what.
Q. 2. Between books or movies which one, in your opinion, is better? Why is so?
A. Well, I like reading books and I also enjoy watching movies. They are not alternative to each other. Rather they both have their own appeals and values. In terms of “serious learning” and “knowledge enhancement”, books are better. But, in terms of entertainment and easy learning, movies are far better. While a book enhances the imagination power and creativity of a reader, movies present events and stories more vividly. In my opinion, both are equally important and I personally like both of them.
Q. 3. What problems, in your opinion, illiterate people in society face?
A. Illiterate people often face unavoidable and frustrating problems in their social life. In most of the cases, they are not socially admired unless they are really wealthy – believe me this is true even if it sounds a little strange. They are not offered important positions in a community and they often suffer from inferior complexity.
Moreover, due to their ignorance and lack of scientific knowledge, they fail to appreciate the world around us the way an educated person would do. Besides, they need to rely on others for such matters including reading a letter written by a family member. They might be deceived easily as they never know what’s been written. They can’t write to their dearest person and can’t read the extraordinary books others can read and enjoy.
Q. 4. How can we encourage our young children to become passionate about reading books?
A. We can encourage our young children to become enthusiastic about reading books in several ways. To begin with, we can surround our children with different kinds of books with interesting subjects and pictures so that they can read books of their choice whenever they like. Secondly, we can show more interest in what our children are reading by asking them what parts of the stories/books they like better than others. Thirdly, we can use different kinds of technologies like “e-readers” and “tablets” to engage our children on an “intellectual” level so that they can feel “smart” by reading different books. Finally and most importantly, we can become good role models to our children by becoming good readers ourselves in order to encourage them.
Q. 5. It is often said that reading habits come from the family. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
A. Yes, I do agree with the suggestion that reading habits come from the family primarily because it is the family with which we spend most of our times. So, when we see that our family members are reading books, we automatically pick up the habit sooner or later just like any other habit. Besides, usually, families are the legal authorities or guardians of the “growing-up children” in helping them to buy the books, or in helping them decide which kind of books to buy. And so, without the help of the families, it would be really hard to develop and carry on with the reading habit.
Q. 6. How can our reading skills help us in our career?
A. Reading skill is important as it can help us in our career in several ways. First, reading is directly linked to general world knowledge, reasoning abilities and improved vocabulary whereby critical thinking abilities and general world knowledge especially can help us deal with different kinds of difficult situations at our workplaces. Besides, reading skills can also increase our emotional intelligence, reduce stress and improve communication skills which can certainly improve our productivity and efficiency at work. Finally, we can learn new things and new techniques related to our works by reading different kinds of books so that we can keep ourselves up to date with the latest trends and technologies in the professional world.