IELTS Speaking Topics and Answers

English Teacher Online researches and creates the best IELTS preparation materials so you can work or study in the UK. Our IELTS speaking topics and answers lesson is free and designed to help you become fluent in English.

Today’s lesson prepares you for part 1 of the IELTS speaking test. First, you will write answers to some typical part 1 questions. Then find someone (our teachers are available) to check your grammar and sentence structure before you do practice interviews with a friend. When you are ready to work with a teacher please email: Steve@englishteacheronline.org

IELTS Speaking Preparation

The IELTS speaking section consists of a three-part interview with an examiner; the introductory interview, short talk and a two-way discussion. The speaking test usually last for 12-15 minutes and the examiner will record your interview. You are expected to speak at length in response to questions on common and unfamiliar topics. You are assessed on a nine-band scale for fluency, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.

Interview (Part 1)

The first part of the speaking test lasts for 4 to 5 minutes and begins with an introductory interview. The examiner asks a number of questions about familiar topics such as your studies, work or hobbies.

The Long Turn (Part 2)

IELTS speaking part 2 lasts for 3 to 4 minutes and focuses on you talking about one subject. You are given a card with a familiar topic and several prompts. You then have one minute to make notes on what you want to say before speaking for two minutes on the given topic. You do not have a choice of subjects but you can base your answers on your own experiences, such as a person you know or an event you have experienced. The examiner may ask you a brief question at the end.

Discussion (Part 3)

The final part of the speaking test lasts for 4 to 5 minutes and is a discussion between you and the examiner. The questions in part 3 will be connected to the topic in part 2 but you will be encouraged to discuss more abstract issues and ideas.

This lesson today helps prepare you for part 1 of the IELTS speaking test and is the foundation for lessons 2 and 3.

What are IELTS Speaking Topics and Answers?
Warm-Up: “What’s Your Name?”

Familiarize yourself with these warm-up questions and prepare full sentence answers in a Word document. Make sure you ask someone to check your grammar before you start doing practice interviews.

Could you tell me your full name please?

May I see your identification card please? [hand the examiner your card and smile]

What shall I call you?

Does your name have any special meaning?

Is your name important to you?

Why do so many people change their names?

It is important that you answer in full sentences so write your answers for each question. Even if your answer starts with a no, try to give a good reason why not!  It’s impossible to know what questions you will get in your actual test so study them all. Remember that it all helps you to become fluent in English.

Hometown or Place of Birth

Where do you come from?

Where do you live?

What type of place is it?

What was it like growing up there?

Has it changed much since you were a child?

Can you tell me some famous landscapes or scenic spots in your hometown?

Please tell me some history about your hometown?

Personal Background and Information

Are you a student or do you have a job?

Practice answering this question with where you study or work and what you do too!

Depending on your answer, the examiner will ask follow up questions. It is always better to offer the information freely.

Studies

I’d just like to ask you some questions about your studies.

What are you studying?

Why did you choose that particular course?

What job would you like when you have completed all your studies?

If you can answer all of these questions in one paragraph, you will impress the interviewer and probably get a higher IELTS score.

Work

I’d just like to ask you some questions about your work.

What work do you do?

What do you enjoy most about your work?

What are your main duties?

Is there any other work you would like to do in the future?

Free Time Hobbies

I’d like to move on and ask you some questions about your free time.

What type of activities do you like to do in your free time?

How long have you been interested in these activities?

Do you like to do these activities alone or with other people? (Why?)

Always try to answer the 3 questions in a full paragraph. Show the examiner that you understand the lead question and that you are prepared to offer information freely. Be prepared for a follow up question, such as;

Do you think people have enough free time? (Why?)

Watch Out For The Curve Ball

These questions may be phrased in many different ways so (while your information won’t change) try rearranging your answers to fit each question.

What do you usually do in your spare time?

Do you prefer to be alone or with your friends?

What do you usually do on weekends or weekdays?

What do you like to do when you go out?

Turn the Question to Your Advantage

Sometimes you will get a question that really stuns you and may not have an answer for. We can practice and turn any question into your ideal lead in. For example, (the examiner may be planning to ask)

Do you like reading? (Why?)

What kind of books do you prefer?

You may not like reading or have a different answer prepared – so you could answer;

“Reading is an important activity that many people find rewarding. Personally, I just don’t have enough time to read these days because I spend most of my free time …….”

If the examiner were to push me and ask me another book question I could answer, “When I was young, I liked to read history books so I could read those again, however, because I do a lot of ……. I would probably spend my free time reading about that because ……..”

It is always possible to turn the question to your advantage but it does take practice. Here are some more topics you should study in depth.

Family

I’d like to move on and ask you some questions about your family.

How many people are there in your family?

Do you all live in the same house?

What things do you like doing together?

Who is your favourite family member? (Why?)

Timing

Let’s move on and talk about being on time for appointments.

Is being late acceptable in your culture? (Why?)

Are you ever late for appointments? (Why?)

What type of excuses do you think are acceptable? (Why?)

How do you feel when someone is late for an appointment with you?

Neighbours

Let’s change the topic and talk about your neighbours.

Do you know the people who live next door to you?

How often do you see each other?

What kind of relationship do you have?

How can neighbours be helpful?

What kind of problems can people have with their neighbours in a big city?

Food

Moving to a new topic, I’d like to discuss cooking and meals with you.

Do you enjoy cooking? (Why/why not?)

What type of things can you cook? (Why?)

What kinds of food are popular in your country?

Is it an important part of your culture to have dinner parties? (Why?)

Do you prefer to eat with other people or on your own? (Why?)

Dreams

I’d like to discuss your night time dreams with you.

Do you dream much at night?

Do you often remember your dreams?

Do you think we can learn anything from dreams? (Why?)

Do people in your country talk about their dreams? (Why?)

Do you think that dreams can come true?

Newspapers and Magazines

Okay, let’s change the topic and discuss magazines and newspapers.

Which do you prefer reading, newspapers or magazines? (Why?)

What type of stories do you like to read about? (Why?)

Do you think reading a magazine or a newspaper can help you learn a language? (Why?)

Why do you think some people prefer magazines to newspapers?

Humour

Let’s move to a different topic and talk about comedy and humour.

What type of programmes do you find funny on TV?

Which types of programmes are most popular in your country? (Why?)

What kind of things make you laugh? (Why?)

Do you like to make people laugh? (How?)

Do you think it is important to have a sense of humour? (Why?)

The Interviewer

Don’t be surprised if the interviewer is straight faced or serious – they don’t want to give an unfair advantage to particular students. They may not even know about the things you and are talking about. It doesn’t matter – their job to keep the interview moving along. Even if they really like you and are fascinated by your answers, they will probably just say, “Thanks, now I would like to change topics and …”

Just remember, it’s nothing personal, they are just doing their job. It’s your job to be ready for their questions and that’s where English Teacher Online can help.

What Next?

Don’t worry too much about what questions you will be asked in part 1. Start by identifying the common IELTS speaking topics and answers above. Write down your personal responses in full sentences. Try to make each answer a 5 sentence paragraph – it’s better to have too much than too little. Why not join our IELTS Study Partners group on Facebook?

IELTS Discount

When you are ready to practice with a teacher please email: Steve@englishteacheronline.org and ask for a discount using the “IELTS” discount code.

Google Hangouts is a great place to study because we can work with Google Docs at the same time. I will help you edit and refine your answers so that you are totally prepared for your IELTS speaking test.

Go to IELTS speaking part 2.

Author: Teacher Steve

Teacher Steve is 51 years old, happily married but has no children of his own. He's a fully qualified teacher who has been teaching English in sunny Thailand for over 15 years. Teacher Steve loves to write and decided to start English Teacher Online, in December 2016, to help students study English for free. He works tirelessly so that students can become fluent in English, empowering them to work and travel the world. You can also watch him teaching live at https://dlive.tv/Teacher_Steve?ref=teachersteve

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