Part 1 – Introduction & Interview:
Q. What’s your name?
A. My name is Marina Tun. My family, friends and relatives call me “Marina”.
Q. What nationality are you?
A. I am a “Malaysian” by birth. Though some people in my extended family possess dual citizenship, none of me and my parents has any dual citizenship and we are 100% Malaysian!
Q. What part of your country do you come from?
A. I am originally from “Johor Bahru”, which is the capital of the state of Johor in Malaysia. Johor Bahru, formerly known as ‘Tanjung Puteri’ or ‘Iskandar Puteri’, is situated along the Straits of Johor at the southern end of Peninsular Malaysia.
My house is located on the “Jalan Indah 23/2” street and it is a walking distance from some of the great attractions of the city.
Q. Can you describe your hometown/ village?
A. Sure. As I have already said, I come from Johor Bahru, which is the second-largest city in Malaysia with approximately five hundred thousand population. This is a fascinating city with lots of tourist attractions and many foreign tourists love to shop here because of the variety of shopping items and cheap price. The city was also once known as Little Swatow (Shantou) by the Chinese community. As this is the capital city of Johor, it plays a very important role in the economic welfare of the population of the entire state.
Johor Bahru features an equatorial climate with consistent temperatures, a considerable amount of rain and high humidity throughout the year. Malay is the main language in our city and the Chinese community prefers different dialects. Johor Bahru is one of the fastest-growing cities in our country and its specific location is one of the main reasons it became the main industrial and commercial centre for Johor. I love the lively streets and diverse culture of our city and I am sure a tourist would find plenty of things to do and numerous places to visit in my city.
Q. What do you like doing in your free time? [Why?]
A. I like to watch different TV programmes and read books in my free time. TV documentaries and historical movies are my favourites and I watch them because they are entertaining and equally educative. Reading books gives me immense pleasure and I can always learn new things from my reading habit. This habit of mine also helps me do better in my academic studies.
Sometimes I help my mother with her household chores and assist my little brother in completing his homework in my free time. I help my mother because I feel good when I help her and this reduces her burden of work to some extent. I help my little brother because I feel somewhat responsible for his studies.
Q. Are there any new hobbies that you would like to take up? Why?
A. Yes, I would like to start learning how to play golf. This is a game that fascinates me and I have never played it except in video games. I love to watch this game on TV and I feel very passionate about this game. My uncle and father often play it and I went to the golf course many times in my childhood. I am already 24 years old and I think I will learn to play this game very soon.
Part 2 – Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card
Describe a city you have visited and was impressed about.
You should say:
- where it is situated and why you visited it
- what you did there
- what was the most attractive part of this city
and explain why this city impressed you so much.
[You will have to talk about the topic for 1 to 2 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.
[Tips: Write down some keywords or ideas only. Do not write down everything you are going to say. Think of 2 or 3 things you really remember about the city. Try to fascinate the examiner in what you say.]
Sydney is my favourite city among the cities I have visited so far. Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales of Australia. This city is situated on the bank of Tasman Sea and has around 4.6 million people. I have visited this city in 2008 after I finished my graduation and loved my stay there. Sydney had many attractive natural areas, botanic gardens, parks, and high rising buildings. This city has many heritage listed buildings that attract the tourists and visitors. The Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognised landmarks in Australia and is a great place to visit.
This city is known for the dynamic cultural hub and it has many famous museums, galleries and art galleries as well. Because of the great architecture, warm weather and hundreds of tourists attraction more than 11 million international and domestic tourists visit this city each year. I had been there for about 15 days and I really enjoyed everything about this city. I stayed at a 20 storied hotel that offered a really amusing sight views. The transportation system of the city is better than many other cities and I could have been maintaining the track and time of my schedule because of that. I loved being at open & wide spaces in the gardens and parks. People are welcoming and friendly there. A tourist can get necessary help both from people and the authority and can roam easily without any interruption. I saw 2/3 art museum and some cultural festivals and those were awesome.
There are so many places to be, so many things to do in Sydney. Some of the attractive places are Royal Botanic Garden, Hyde Park, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney Town hall, Macquarie Lighthouse, Australia Square, Sydney Opera House and so on.
I had a tremendous vacation in Sydney and I liked most of the places there and I enjoyed so much that I did not even notice how quickly the 2 weeks scheduled time has passed.
Q. Would you like to live in the city you spoke about?
A. Yes, definitely. This is a stunning city with many beautiful places. People are nice and this city offers an excellent environment and lifestyle, not to mention the quality of education. So yes, I would like to live in this city for sure.
Q. What are the advantages of living in a big city?
A. A big city offers better job opportunity, entertainment facility, many excellent educational institutions, better shopping malls and business opportunity. The traffic and streets are strictly monitored and there are law-enforcing officers to help in case someone needs them. Also, the living standard is better in a big city and modern technology and facilities are easily available there. In my opinion, a big city is a better place to live in.
Part 3: Details Discussion:
Q. In your opinion what are the negative aspects of crowded cities?
A. A crowded city is often polluted and expensive to live in. In terms of sound, air and environmental pollution, a crowded city has a lot worse scenario than cities with less population. Many crowded cities have more crime rates and unbearable traffic congestion. Overpopulation increases the prices of daily commodities and it is comparatively expensive to live in a city with a higher population.
Q. What can the authority do to reduce traffic congestion in a city?
A. Umm… Traffic congestion is a usual problem across the world and I think a couple of measures would prove beneficial to reduce traffic congestion in a city. First of all, if there are scopes, the streets should be expanded. Some unscrupulous people grab the government streets for their own purposes and those places should be recovered to widen the streets. Controlling the number of private vehicles is the second potential solution to the problem. A huge number of private vehicles ply on the streets every day and they are the reasons for unbearable traffic gridlock in many cities. Commuter-friendly public transports should be introduced and it may give a better result to the problem. Finally, awareness among people is also a must so that they follow traffic rules when they are driving or walking on the streets.
Q. What facilities a city has that people in the countryside cannot enjoy?
A. Well, cities are always endowed with many modern facilities and better employment opportunities. Cities are technologically advanced while the countryside does not have such facilities. High-speed internet connection, modern shopping malls, large buildings for accommodation, specialised doctors, better schools and entertainment facilities in big cities could not be found in rural areas. Moreover, communication and daily commuting facilities are easier in a city than in the countryside. City dwellers can easily participate in recreational activities – they can go to a theatre, amusement park and so on, but the countryside is not so much blessed with modern amenities. Better treatment, better education, well-designed residential places etc. are some of the remarkable facilities that a city offers that are not present in the countryside.
Q. Do you think that the architectural design of a city is important? Why do you think so?
A. Yes, I do believe that the architectural design of a city is quite important and it represents the culture, history and tradition of the city. Unique architectural design also makes a city distinctive and attractive to tourists which helps bring more foreign tourists. The architectural design of a city reflects the tradition and heritage of a nation and thus it is important to preserve the history of a nation through the structural and architectural design of the city.
Q. Why so many people migrate to cities each year? What problems does this trend cause?
A. People migrate to cities for many reasons. But better employment opportunities is the leading cause here. Majority of the employment opportunities are in the urban areas which attract the migrants. Besides, higher education scopes are also limited to cities and this is why a notable number of students also migrate to cities each year.
But such migrations cause several problems. Accommodation of the growing population is a great problem and increasing population contributes to the higher crime rates and pollution. Prices of the necessary commodities rise and roads become more congested. Finally, the environment gets polluted whereas the city authority struggles to maintain a healthy environment for all.
Q. What can be done to reduce pollution in city areas?
A. I believe the government should make sure that cities do not become overly populated in order to fight pollution. If a city has to support more population than it can actually afford, it becomes highly crowded and more polluted. An increasing population is the leading cause of the sound, air, water and environmental pollution in many cities. Besides, the authority should make sure that the waste management system is operated perfectly and industries are located far away from the cities. As for sound pollution, people should be encouraged not to use hydraulic horns unnecessarily. Finally, strict laws should be made and imposed so that no one dares to litter in a city and contaminate rivers and lakes.