Part 1 – Introduction & Interview
Q. Do you like shopping?
A. Yes, I do like shopping a lot. I am not a fanatic shopper but when I need to buy something for me or my family, I love to browse different shops to compare the products and price, and then finally purchase the one I need.
Q. What is the name of the shop you often go to?
A. The shop where I most frequently visit is called ‘PAM Super Shop’. This is basically a large grocery shop and provides almost all the necessary grocery and household items for our daily needs. I sometimes even take my mother to this store so that she can buy grocery items she likes.
Q. What are the types of shops that you or your family usually go to?
A. I and my family, most of the time, go to a grocery shop or a super mall to purchase grocery items, fruits, vegetables, different kinds of fish and meat, milk, crockery items, tea, bread and other necessary items for us and the family. Besides, I also visit clothing stores, cosmetic selling shops, shoe stores and gift-shops around two to three times a month. Whenever someone in my family needs to buy some medicine or fill-up the empty medicine-container, I visit a drugstore in my locality. Once in a while, I enjoy a cup of coffee and a few of my favourite dishes in a cafe, though I am not sure if this is counted as a shop!
Q. What changes have you seen in those shops these days?
A. Uhh… No significant changes have taken place to those shops during the last couple of years. However, if I compare these shops with the ones I used to visit in my childhood, the changes are obvious and significant. These days most shops are bigger – often occupy multiple floors, offer a better environment, have a greater range of products and have more sales representatives and security personnel than that of the past. They also accept credit and debit cards and offer discounts and promotional offers besides using computer-based sales software for maintaining their sales and accounts.
Q. Do you spend a lot of money on luxury items?
A. I would say “no”. My family does not have the luxury to spend a truckload of cash on luxury items whenever we wish. We sometimes buy designers clothes, perfumes, electronic gadgets, expensive shoes, expensive gift items, but that does not happen too often. Besides, my parents are frugal in their expenses and that’s something I, and my siblings, have learned from them. We would rather take an expensive vacation to a distant city and enjoy our time as a family than buying a new pair of shoes every month or buying a new car every year.
Part 2 – Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card
Describe a typical day in your life when you were a child.
You should say:
- who was/were around you
- what you usually did and ate
- who took care of you
and explain what you most enjoyed doing then.
[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 was born in a nuclear family in Milan, Italy and thus did not have the chance to see and meet intimately with the other relatives or family members of my family. I just saw my parents and siblings with me. But they were really careful about me and I enjoyed a huge number of benefits from them in my childhood. This is a nice cue card task for me. I would love to answer the remaining questions.
I took the usual foods in my childhood. I loved the breakfast and lunch but was reluctant to have my dinner. In the breakfast, used to take a juice or milk and some cookies. Sometimes, I used to eat cakes as well instead of cookies. But the routine was different in the holidays. Taking pasta during the lunch was my habit. Sometimes, it was altered by roasted potatoes and meat. I never liked fishes. But mom used to force me into having the fishes for supper. Sometimes, I took pizza instead of fishes.
It was a small family. There were no external members to look after me. But my elder siblings were kind to me and they helped me greatly. In fact, my elder sister was the representative of my mom in her absence. She used to take care of me. She prepared me for the school, often fed me in supper and did many other activities that I will remember always.
Outing with my family members on the weekends in the attractive spots of Milan was the most enjoyable thing for me. In those evening, I used to take part in various types of activities. Besides, watching the cartoon shows was the other important and enjoyable task for me. Alas! The days are gone and I miss my childhood.
More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card topic:
Topic: Describe a typical day in your life when you were a child.
1. I used to spend most of my time with my pet, Tom when I was a child. It was a nice looking cat. But during the meal hours, I used to move to my mom or the maidservant. I took some simple foods in the meal and preferred milk. In fact, my mom was highly busy with her own activities. So, Merry took care of me. I enjoyed playing with my pet most in my childhood.
2. My siblings were around me when I was a child. Actually, I was the youngest of them and thus they took great care of me. My elder sister fed me and I loved to take the chicken. The habit is still going on. But I got most of the care from my elder brother. He used to take me out of the home. I also used to play with toys. And had gathered a remarkable number of toys.
3. I have spent my childhood in Japan and mostly was surrounded by relatives. I loved taking noodles at all time of the day. My mother was a housewife and she took great care of me. I cannot forget the childhood days because I enjoyed riding my dad’s bicycle most. He used to take me to different places and I sat behind him. I also learned to ride the bicycle from my dad in my childhood.
4. My parents lived in a remote place in Sri Lanka and I spent most of the time of a day with them. I loved eating the fish curry more than any other curries with plain rice. A maid used to help my mom and she also took care of me. She helped me in bathing, getting prepared for school etc. But I enjoyed playing in the school ground most. We played various types of outdoor sports there.
5. Admission at a boarding school is tough but spending the entire childhood there is extremely undesirable. I spent the childhood with my teachers and friends. I had to take regular meals provided by the school authority. The school was located in the southwest corner of Jakarta – far away from my residence. So, the attendants from the school took care of mine. But bunking the classes was highly thrilling to me.
6. My parents were with me in my childhood. In fact, I was their only daughter and they loved me much. I loved taking foods made from vegetables and still, the habit is on. In day times, mom used to take care of me and even accompanied me to school. I enjoyed different things in my childhood and reading comic books was the most notable one. I had a huge collection of comic books.
Part 3 – Details Discussion:
Q. In your opinion what is the role of parents in raising children?
A. “A family” is the very first institution for children, and parents act as caregivers, teachers, mentors and guides in a family. So, parents need to play the most important role in raising their children to help them become honest and good citizens. They should slowly but steadily implant ethics and morality inside their children so that they can determine the right from the wrong in the future. Children constantly learn from their parents and often mimic them. This is why parents should always be careful about what they say and do. Finally, parents should ensure proper diet and good education for their offsprings while instilling righteousness in them by leading a good life themselves.
Q. Has the role of parents to raise their children changed in recent years?
A. Yes, we can say that the modern era has redefined many concepts of parenting while keeping the university accepted parenting practice intact. For example, according to traditional belief, only mothers are responsible for upbringing children. This is no longer prevalent in the modern era, and both motherhood and fatherhood are equally emphasized these days. However, despite such social changes, we still value the way parents teach their children morality and work hard to ensure their proper growth.
On the downside, due to increasing divorce rates in many countries and the growth of single-parent families, many parents are going through a different experience to raise an offspring than that of their grandparents and parents. Moreover, an increasing number of nuclear family means that children do not have their grandparents with them and in case of both working-parents, they are often looked after by a nanny instead of their parents.
Q. Who do you think is responsible for disciplining children?
A. Well, young children who are yet to get admitted to the school, remain at home all day long and in this case, their parents should be responsible for their behaviours, manners and disciplines. However, once they start their schools, teachers should take the role to a great extent. While teachers have a role to instil good human qualities like morality, discipline, truthfulness, kindness and honesty among school-going children, parents should play their parts as well.
Q. How the activities of a child from a city differ from that of a child from a village?
A. The environment, social condition, entertainment facility and family type in a city is often different than that of a village and that is why many differences could be observed among the activities of a child living in a city than a child residing in a village. Generally, children in the city are busy with their studies and other extracurricular activities. They watch TV, read comic books or play video games in their leisure hours and spend their time indoors most of the time. Their parents take them to amusement parks, museums, and restaurants during the weekends and they are not allowed to go outside alone.
On the other hand, children in a village usually have less academic pressures, and they take part in different outdoor sports with other children most of the time. Their parents do not forbid them to go outside and play with other kids and these kids stay outdoors more than they remain indoors. They are free to swim in a pond, go fishing, play and run as long as they want, and stay much closer to mother nature.
Q. Children learn from their parents, relatives, teachers and friends. Who do you think should take the sole responsibility of teaching morality to a child?
A. Ahh… I think parents are more responsible than anyone else to teach their children a sense of morality. Value and morality that a child learns at an early stage in their life have a great impact on their personality and future character. Since children spend their early childhood with their parents, they should take the leading role to teach their offsprings to become a good human being.
Teachers can also play a big role in it. However, their primary objective is to teach academic lessons to young students. Since they teach many students in the classroom, they can’t always deal with mental growth and moral qualities of all students.
Q. Children these days are less responsible than the past? Do you agree with it? Why/ Why not?
A. Umm… I would agree with this proposition to some extent because children, these days, generally are not as responsible as their parents or grandparents used to be in their childhood. I think children are not entirely to blame for this trend. They have been growing up in a world that does not teach them to take responsibilities and do their duties. In many cases, parents overindulge them all the time and do not share some important responsibilities with their children. In other cases, parents are busy with their professions and leave their kids alone to be looked after by a nanny. As a result of this modern lifestyle, children suffer from depression and start spending time in the digital world rather than taking up important responsibilities.
Having said that, not all children are irresponsible as I have been amazed on many occasions when I have noticed how young children dutifully perform their tasks and behave so rationally that they seem quite responsible and strong.