Sep 28, 2011

Speaking Part 1 & 3 Sample questions

1. How has education changed in your country in the last 10 years?
2. What changes do you foresee in the next 50 years?
3. How do the expectations of today’s school leavers compare with those of the previous generation?
4. What role do you think extracurricular activities play in education?
5. What method of learning works best for you?
6. How beneficial do you think it is to group students according to their level of ability?
7. Do you think the cinema has increased or decreased in popularity in recent years?
8. In your opinion, will this trend continue into the future?
9. What are the advantages and disadvantages of making films of real-life events?
10. How important do you think it is for a film-maker to remain true to the original story?
11. Should films and television be censored or should we be free to choose what we see?
12. How do you think censorship laws will change in the next 20 years?
13. How important are ceremonies in our lives?
14. Do you see the role of private and public ceremonies changing in the future?
15. Have attitudes to marriage changed in recent years?
16. In what ways do men and women feel differently about marriage, in your opinion?
17. What sort of national events make headlines in your country?
18. Do the media in your country pay more attention to global or national events?
19. What kind of possessions shows status in your country?
20. Do you think it was different for your grandparents?
21. Modern society is often called ‘materialistic’. Why do you think this is?
22. Do you think consumerism is a positive or a negative development?
23. What is the role of advertising?
24. How do you think the Internet will affect buying patterns in the future?
25. How do people in your country feel about protecting historic buildings?
26. Do you think an area can benefit from having an interesting historic place locally? In what way?
27. What do you think will happen to historic places or buildings in the future? Why?
28. How were you taught history when you were at school?
29. Are there other ways people can learn about history, apart from the school? How?
30. Do you think history will still be a school subject in the future? Why?
31. Do you think having a hobby is good for people’s social life? In what way?
32. Are there any negative effects of a person spending too much time on their hobby? What are they?
33. Why do you think people need to have an interest or hobby?
34. In your country, how much time do people spend on work and how much time on leisure?
35. Is this a good balance, do you think?
36. Would you say the amount of free time has changed much in the last fifty years?
37. Do you think people will have more or less free time in the future? Why?
38. What do people enjoy doing when they visit rivers, lakes or the sea?
39. Why do you think these activities are popular?
40. What benefits do you think people get from the activities they enjoy in the water?
41. What are the different advantages of going to the sea or to a swimming pool to enjoy you? What do
you think the disadvantages are?
42. How does water transport, like boats and ships, compare with other kinds? Are there any
advantages/disadvantages of water transport?
43. How important is it for a town or city to be located near a river or the sea? Why?
44. Have there been any changes in the number of jobs available in fishing and water transport industries,
do you think? Why do you think this is?
45. What effect has the internet had on the way people generally communicate with each other?
46. Why do you think the internet is being used more and more for communication?
47. How reliable do you think information from the internet is? Why?
48. What about the news on the internet?
49. Why do you think some people use the internet for shopping?
50. Why doesn’t everyone use it in this way?
51. What kinds of things are easy to buy and sell online? Can you give some examples?
52. Do you think shopping on the internet will be more or less popular in the future? Why?
53. What kind of people become famous people these days?
54. Is this difficult from the kind of achievement that made people famous in the past? In what way?
55. How do you think people will become famous in the future?
56. What are the good things about being famous? Are there any disadvantages?
57. How do the media in your country treat famous people?
58. Why do you think ordinary people are interested in the lives of famous people?
59. What kinds of music are popular with young people in your culture?
60. What do you think influences a young person’s taste in music?
61. How has technology affected the kinds of music popular with young people?
62. Tell me about any traditional music in your culture.
63. How important is it for a culture to have musical traditions?
64. Why do you think countries have national anthems or songs?
65. What do you think are the most important qualities for friends to have?
66. Which are more important to people their family or their friends? Why?
67. What do you think causes friendships to break up?
68. What other types of relationship, apart from friends or family, are important in people’s lives today?
69. Have relationship with neighbours where you live changed in recent years? How?
70. How important do you think it is for a person to spend some time alone? Why/Why not?
71. Why do you think festivals are important events in the working years?
72. Would you agree that the original significance of festivals is often lost today? Is it good or bad, do you
73. Do you think that new festivals will be introduced in the future? What kind?
74. What role do the media play in festivals, do you think?
75. Do you think it’s good or bad to watch festivals in TV? Why?
76. How may globalization affect different festivals around the world?
77. In what ways can people in a family be similar to each other?
78. Do you think that daughters are always more similar to mothers than to male relatives? What about
sons and fathers?
79. In terms of personality, are people more influenced by their family or by their friends? In what ways?
80. Where can people in your country get information about genetic research?
81. How do people in your country feel about genetic research?
82. Should this research be funded by governments or private companies? Why?
83. What do most people do to keep fit in your country?
84. How important is it for people to do some regular physical exercise?
85. Why do some people think that modern lifestyles are not healthy?
86. Why do some people choose to lead unhealthy lives?
87. Should individuals or governments be responsible for making people’s lifestyle healthy?
88. What could be done to encourage people to live in a healthy way?
89. How have games changed from the time when you were a child?
90. Do you think this has been a positive change? Why?
91. Why do you think children like playing games?
92. Do you think competitive games are good or bad for children? In what ways?
93. How can games sometimes help to unite people?
94. Why is competition often seen as important in today’s society?
95. What are the typical choices people make at different stages of their lives?
96. Should important choices be made by parents rather than by young adults?
97. Why do some people like to discuss choices with other people?
98. What kind of choices do people have to make in their everyday life?
99. Why so some people choose to do the same things every day?
100. Are there any disadvantages in this?
101. Do you think that people today have more choices to make today than in the past?
102. What are the main reasons why people organize family parties in your country?
103. Do people spend lot money on parties that celebrate special family events?
104. Do you think this is a good trend or a bad trend?
105. Are there many differences between family parties and parties given by friends?
106. Why do you think this is?
107. What kinds of national celebration do you have in your country?
108. Who tends to enjoy national celebrations more: young people or old people? Why?
109. Are national celebrations a waste of government money?  Why?
110. Do you think that education should be about memorizing the important ideas of the past? Why?
111. Should education encourage students to have their own new ideas? Why?
112. How do you think teachers could help students to develop and share their own ideas?
113. Should employers encourage their workers to have new ideas about improving the company? Why?
114. Do you think people sometimes dislike ideas because they are new? Why?
115. What is more difficult: having new ideas or putting them into practice?
116. Which is more important for a successful company?
117. Why do you think some school teachers use competitions as class activities?
118. Do you think it is a good thing to give prizes to children who do well at school? Why?
119. Have schools for young children become more or less competitive since you were that age? Why?
120. What are advantages and disadvantages of intensive training for young sportspeople?
121. Some people think that competitions lead to a better performance from sports stars. Others think it
just makes players feel insecure. What is your opinion?
122. Do you think that it is possible to become too competitive in sport? In what way?
123. What kinds of machine are used for housework in modern homes in your country?
124. How have these machines benefited people?
125. Are there any negative effects of using them?
126. Do you think all new homes will be equipped with household machines in the future? Why?
127. What kinds of equipment do most workers need to use in offices today?
128. How have developments in technology affected employment in your country?
129. Has technology brought more stress than benefits to employed people nowadays? Why?
130. Do young people and old people have different attitudes to routines where you live?
131. What are the benefits and drawbacks of having a daily routine?
132. What factors influence most people’s daily routine?
133. Do you think people get enough choice in their daily routines? Why/why not?
134. How are work or study schedules today different from those in the past? Why?
135. Is this a positive or negative development? Why?
136. How do you think people’s routines and schedules will change in the future?
137. Why do you think people want to visit other countries?
138. What makes some places very attractive to tourists?
139. Do people travel abroad more or less than they did in the past? Why/why not?
140. Will international tourism increase or decrease in the future? Why?
141. How can tourism benefit local people and places?
142. Are there any drawbacks of tourism?
143. Does tourism help to promote international understanding? Why/why not?
144. How reliable is tourism as an industry?
145. How do people usually meet new friends where you live?
146. Is it easier for adults or children to make new friends? Why?
147. How are relationships with friends different from relationships at work/college?
148. Is it possible for people to be close friends with their boss or teacher? Why/why not?
149. Some people think that friends can never be as important as family. Do you agree?
150. How are responsibilities towards friends and family different?
151. Will the relative importance of friends and family change in future societies?
152. Are there more goods available in shops now than in the past? Why/why not?
153. Do people generally prefer to bur products from their own or from other countries?
154. What kinds of products are most affected by fashions from other countries?
155. Will overseas trends and fashions have more or less impact on what people buy in the future?
156. What kind of techniques do advertisers use to persuade people to buy more?
157. Who should be responsible for the quality of products: producers, shops or customers?
158. How could governments protect the rights of consumers?
159. What type of special occasions is generally celebrated in your country?
160. How important is it for families to celebrate occasions together? Why?
161. Are family occasions as important today as they were for former generations?
162. How has the role of elderly people in the family changed in recent times?
163. Who has more power and influence in the family today, young people or grandparents?
164. In the future, what kind of units or groups will people live in, do you think?
165. What impact have modern lifestyles had on neighbourhood communities? Why?
166. In your country, which do people prefer: watching TV or listening to radio? Why?
167. What kind or programmes are most popular?
168. Do men and women tend to like the same kind or programmes? Why/why not?
169. Some people think that watching TV can be a negative influence. Would you agree?
170. What benefits can TV bring people?
171. What priorities do you think TV stations should have?
172. What kind of ‘interactive’ programmes are there in your country?
173. Are these a good or a bad development? Why?
174. What kind of programmes will there be in the future, do you think?
175. Do you like cities generally?
176. Do you like to stay in a city that you have mentioned?
177. What are the advantages of living in a big city?
178. What are the negative aspects of crowded cities?
179. What are the architectural designs in a city that you have visited?
180. What are the services that you have paid in that city?
181. What are the transport systems of that city?
182. Do you enjoy entering competitions?
183. Have you entered any other competitions?
184. What are the competitions at a young age?
185. What are the competitions held at schools?
186. What are the values of international competitions?
187. What is the psychology of competing?
188. What do you understand by competitive spirit?
189. Do you value the experience you had in a job you had?
190. Would you consider doing the same type of job again?
191. What are the advantages of young people working?
192. What are the types of part-time work available in your country?
193. How do people in your country choose a career?
194. What motivates people to work?
195. Having a job security or having more than one career is better? Why?
196. Do you like museums/art galleries?
197. Would you recommend the museum/art gallery that you have visited to other people?
198. What is the need for museums and art galleries in our society?
199. How museums can be made more interesting?
200. Which is better: museum art or popular art?
201. Is graffiti* an art or vandalism?   [*drawings made with spray paint in public spaces]
202. What is the role of public artworks, e.g. statues and buildings in a country?
203. Did you enjoy your time at school?
204. Would you recommend your school to others?
205. What are the advantages and disadvantages of single sex and co-educational schools?
206. What is the importance of school uniforms?
207. Should the teacher be an authority or a friend?
208. What is the role of the teacher in the language classroom?
209. Which is better: education or training?
210. As well as lending books to borrowers, what other services are provided by a good library?
211. Does a library serve any other function the community?
212. How has access to information changed over the last hundred years or so?
213. What are the advantages of using the Internet over visiting a library?
214. Are there any advantages of using a library in preference to searching the Internet?
215. Do you think that the Internet disadvantages some people over others? In what way?
216. Many people cannot read or write will in their own language. How can this be solved?
217. People are reading less and less these days; why do you think this is?
218. How can people be encouraged to read more?
219. What about electronic books – do they have a future?
220. How do you think people’s attitudes to life have changed over the last hundred years or so?
221. How is your behavior different to your parents’ behavior?
222. What do you think has caused these changes – why have people changed so much?
223. How is modern life better that in the past? In what ways?
224. Describe the main problems that people face living in the modern world?
225. Are there any solutions to these problems?
226. Do you think the way we live will continue to change in the future? In what way?
227. What do you think will be the greatest influence on young people in the future?
228. What are the greatest dangers that young people will face in the future?
229. Who are the best role models for young people these days?
230. How has the ceremony changed over time?
231. Whether you expect the ceremony to survive in the modern world, and why, or why not?
232. What changes you might expect the ceremony to undergo in the future.
233. What is the ceremony’s importance in your culture now and in the future?
234. Who might support the ceremony, and how might be happy to let it die away?
235. What role do traditional ceremonies play in the social life of people in your country?
236. What traditions were important for your grandparents, say 50 years ago?
237. Which traditions will continue to be celebrated in the future?
238. How would you describe young peoples’ attitudes towards tradition?
239. Are customs and traditions changing these days? Why do you think this is happening?
240. Do you think traditions and customs are affected by advertising?
241. Do some countries celebrate traditions more than others?
242. Are films popular where you come from?
243. Are people going to the cinema more these days compared with 25 years ago?
244. What films are popular with young people?
245. Do people’s taste in films change as they grow older?
246. Has technology made a difference to the quality of modern films?
247. How will technology be used to improve films in the future?
248. Why have the forms of popular entertainment changed over the years?
249. Will people still go to the cinema in the future?
250. Are people taking more holidays and traveling far away these days?
251. Where did people go for holidays in your grandparents’ time – say 50 years ago?
252. Where do people usually like to go for a holiday away these days?
253. Why do people want to travel, to go away, for a holiday?
254. Is tourism having an effect on the environment?
255. How important is the tourist dollar for the economy?
256. Will the tourist industry grow in the next 10-20 years? Why?
257. What do you think of tourism designed not to damage the environment?
258. What makes a person famous?
259. What kinds of people were famous in your grandparents’ time?
260. In your opinion, is being well-known easy to live with?
261. What kinds of people will be famous in the future?
262. What responsibilities to society do famous people have?
263. Do you think the children of famous people have an easy time?
264. Would you like to be famous? Would being famous change you?
265. Should the media be able to invade the privacy of famous people?
266. What are the qualities of a good teacher?
267. What differences in teaching styles have you experienced with different teachers?
268. Should teachers use discipline in the classroom?
269. Can students learn from computers?
270. Can you describe the education system in your country?
271. When should children start formal schooling?
272. Has education changed since your parents’ day – in the last 25 years?
273. Should education be free?
274. Is sport popular in your country?
275. What is your favourite sport?
276. Do you prefer to watch or play sport?
277. Do you prefer to play an individual or group sport?
278. Do any of the sports teams in your country compete internationally?
279. Can people get too emotional or excited about their favourite team?
280. Based on present performance and past history, will Brazil win the next World Cup?
281. Do more people watch sport than play it in your country?
282. Why do people enjoy watching others play competitive sport?
283. Which is more dangerous – football or basketball?
284. Give some examples of dangerous sports.
285. Why are exercise and a good diet important?
286. Do you think playing sport can make people become too competitive?
287. Why do you think people like travelling?
288. Why do you think so many people want to visit China?
289. Do you think tourism is a well-developed industry in China?
290. Which is better – travel alone or with a group of friends?
291. Which do you prefer – backpacking or travelling first class?
292. Tell me about a recent short holiday you took.
293. Describe the most beautiful place you visited.
294. Do you live in a house or an apartment?
295. Do you like where you live?
296. Are you sharing or living alone?
297. What are some of the problems with sharing?
298. Can you describe your accommodation?
299. Which is your favourite room?
300. Do you plan to live there for a long time? Why? Why not?
301. Is it important for young people to visit different places before they go to university or college?
302. What sort of challenges do you think you would have, going on a gap year as a student?
303. Do you think it’s useful to work, for other reasons as well, besides money?
304. What sort of jobs do you think would be the best sort of jobs to do?
305. What sort of preparation should a student make before they go on a gap year, do you think?
306. What sort of advantages are there to reading about a country before you visit it?
307. Do you think there are any disadvantages?
308. Do you choose to have a guide, when you go to a very unfamiliar place?
309. Do you think that improves the quality of travel experience?
310. Do you think you learn more from visiting important sites or from meeting local people?
311. What kind of food do you like to eat?
312. What kind of new food would you like to try? Why?
313. Do you like cooking? Why? Why not?
314. Why do you think people go to restaurants?
315. Do you prefer home-cooked food or food from restaurant? Why?
316. Discuss the role of movies in society today.
317. Discuss the role of advertising in modern culture.
318. Discuss how important tourism is in your country these days.
319. Discuss the importance of role models for the youth of today.
320. Discuss whether you think books are too expensive to buy.
321. Discuss what you think makes a good school.
322. Compare movies made in your country with movies made in America.
323. Compare products made in your country with those made overseas.
324. Compare travel in the past, say a hundred years ago, with travel today.
325. Compare the differences between students in your own country and those from overseas.
326. Compare the differences between reading a book in your language and in English.
327. Compare the education system in your own country with that of your host country.
328. How often and where do you go to the movies? Describe the cinema you usually go to.
329. How do products made these days compare with those made in the past?
330. How might the tourist industry in your country change in the future?
331. How can students improve their performance at school?
332. How useful are books translated from English or from other languages into your language?
333. How have schools changed in the last hundred years?
334. What are the advantages of being a movie star or director?
335. What are some of the advantages of advertising?
336. What are some of the advantages of travel?
337. Are there any advantages of being popular at school?
338. What are the advantages of a book compared with a movie version of a book?
339. What are some of the advantages of doing well at school?
340. What are the disadvantages of being a movie star or director?
341. Are there any disadvantages of seeing advertisements everywhere?
342. What are the disadvantages of in the increased popularity of tourism?
343. What are the disadvantages of being unpopular at school?
344. Are there disadvantages of making books out of paper? Are there any alternatives?
345. In what ways does a bad teacher disadvantage students?
346. Do you think television has helped to make the world a better place to live in?
347. Do you think banning advertisements for alcohol and smoking is worthwhile? Why?
348. What do you think is the best way to plan a holiday? Why?
349. Do you think it is harder to study when you are young or when you are older? Why?
350. In what ways do you think being a writer might be an interesting job?
351. What sort of equipment do you think is useful in a language school? Why?
352. Explain what you think movies might be like in a hundred years from now.
353. Explain some of the differences between a consumer society and a primitive society.
354. Explain what we can do to protect nature in the future.
355. Explain the most effective methods of punishment for bad students.
356. Explain why you cannot learn English only from a book.
357. Explain how schools might look in the future.

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