IELTS Speaking Band 8.5 Example

Read Huda’s Part 1 Answers

Has your hometown changed a lot in recent years?

Well, not that much. But having said that, I think right now we are seeing more and more improvements in the infrastructure. And I believe that the government has started to build or have more buildings in my hometown. So yes, I think that’s an improvement, a good improvement.

Where is your hometown?

Well, my hometown is located in the southern part of the country. It’s the capital city of Syria, Damascus. And it’s a very old city. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world.

Would you consider your hometown to be a good place for children?

Yes, definitely. It’s a very good place for children to grow up. And it’s very safe to go out, even if it was late at night. I think it’s very safe for young people to go out and hang out with some friends if they want.

Now, tell me, let’s move on to talents. Do you have a talent or something that you are particularly good at?

Yes, I think I have. I have a knack for cooking and I think I make some delicious food. I know that because my kids tell me so. And I think I’m also good at baking. So I make or bake cakes and cupcakes. So yeah, I think I’m good at it.

Do you think this talent can be useful for your future work?

Well, I’m not sure, to be honest, but it could be helpful for my future only if I want to become a pastry chef.

Do other people in your family have the same talent?

Yes, I think I got this talent from my mum. She’s a very good cook. And I think also my aunts from my mother’s side are also good at cooking. So yeah, I think it is something inherited in the family.

Let’s move on. Let’s talk about collecting things. Do you collect anything?

No, I don’t. I know that some people like to collect stamps, others like to collect coins, but I don’t like or I don’t feel that I have that interest. I’m not interested in collecting things.

Were there any things that you collected or you kept from your childhood?

Yes, I think I still have my toys and my dolls. I used to play with them when I was a little kid and I still have them now. Yeah. And my kids now are playing with them.

Why do you think some people become extremely interested in collecting things like you mentioned, like stamps?

I’m not an expert, but the way I see it, maybe because it helps them to feel more relaxed or it helps them to relieve their stress maybe. So yeah, it could be anything.

Read Huda’s Part 2 Answer

I want to tell you about a time when a teacher gave me a really good piece of advice. It all happened when I was a student. I know it’s been a long time, but for me, it feels like it was just yesterday. So after my graduation, I took an English course to improve or work on my English skills. And the teacher asked us to make or prepare some presentations. So I decided to make one and I decided to talk about chocolate. So back then, I didn’t have the skills, let’s say the computer skills, to make that presentation and I had no idea how to use PowerPoint. So I just prepared some pictures and I just prepared the things that I want to mention. So before that presentation, I was so nervous. I guess I had some butterflies in my stomach. And one thing that helped me to speak and to do well was the teacher. He was very, very good. He gave me some positive comments on my work or on my presentation. And by the way, he now owns a language institute. He runs and owns a language institute. But I think he is an amazing teacher. He’s outstanding. I learned a lot from him. So back to the presentation. After I finished, he told me that your presentation was good, but it could be better if you can use PowerPoint. So he advised me to start working on my computer skills or on my Microsoft skills. And after that, I remember I took an ICDL course.

Read Huda’s Part 3 Answers

When do you think it’s a good idea to give children advice or feedback?

Well, that’s a tough question. I think some children cannot accept advice from older people, maybe because they are very young or they are at an age that doesn’t help them to grasp or understand the importance of the advice itself. So I guess it’s pretty hard to convince a young person or maybe to tell them that you need to do this and you shouldn’t do this. But overall, I think when they grow up, they will have that understanding and I think they will be more mature and that can help them maybe understand more about the advice.

What do you think happens if parents only ever give their children positive encouragement and positive feedback and never give their children negative feedback on the things that they do?

Well, I’m kind of on the fence. I mean, on the one hand, it is good to give positive comments, but just to encourage children or young people, I think it is essential to do this. But on the other hand, sometimes you need to give the negative ones just to help them improve. So for example, if you still or if you keep telling a young child, you are good, you’re doing great, your grades are very, very good, so you don’t need to work on your study. I think in that case, that child will kind of feel pretty confident that they can do well every time they do it. So I think the parents should, I think it’s the responsibility of parents to try to tell them that you need to improve, you need to work on your skills, you need to brush up on your skills and you need to keep that level. Because I think in this case, they may have some difficulties with their learning process.

Now, as we grow older, we still get advice and feedback, but in different parts of our lives. So what parts of our lives as we become adults would we get feedback and advice on?

Well, it’s really hard to know, you know, because things change sometimes in a very fast way. And you’ll never know what may happen or you will never know what will happen in the future. But my take on this is that we should do our best in order to give the best advice. So positive feedback is essential, as I mentioned, but sometimes you need also to criticise. So I think if you can criticise and if the criticism is kind of constructive criticism, I think that can help the person to improve and to have to try to have a better, let’s say a better version of themselves.

When it comes to giving advice and negative advice, and like you mentioned, constructive criticism, what’s a good way to deliver such kind of negative feedback?

I think it’s a good way to start first by the positive feedback, and then you can move on to mention the negative one. I guess teachers do this, or some teachers do this, they first mention the good things, and then they can move on to mention the bad things or the negative things. I think this way can help students or anyone to feel more confident. And maybe that can help them also to accept that criticism in a way. So yes, I think it’s a very good way to start with the good things first, and then you can mention the bad ones.

Let’s talk about learning more broadly. Do you think nowadays with things like YouTube and language apps and educational platforms, that we can learn without a teacher? That we can just self-study and learn anything we need?

I don’t think so, to be honest, because I still feel that we still need that human interaction between students and teachers. And I think this is something that is missing when you use AI applications and websites like ChatGBT or Copilot or whatever. So you are basically talking to a robot, and we all know that robots can make mistakes. They are not perfect or accurate all the time. I know that humans also make mistakes, but again, I want to go back to the human interaction idea. And I think that it is essential to feel that there is a human being interacting with you, smiling maybe at you or have that broad smile on their face. I think that can play a huge role in the process. Yes.

So what advice would you give for people getting ready for the IELTS exam?

Oh, good question. I think I’ve got lots of pieces of advice, not just one. I think the first thing is to understand the tests and how it goes, because some students don’t have that deep understanding, if I can call it so. Just understand the test, how it goes, and familiarise yourself with the different components. Learn the strategies that you need to learn in terms of listening and reading. I also think that practice is key when it comes to your other skills, speaking and writing. So yeah, I’ve got so, so many pieces of advice. Actually, I’m not sure if I can just squeeze them into one or two minutes.


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