IELTS Speaking Section Part 1, 2 and 3 - Birthday, Gifts and Party

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IELTS Speaking Section Part 1 - Talking about Familiar Topics


How did you celebrate your birthday when you were a child?

I never have a birthday party as a child. Birthday party is really not a common tradition in my family. Well, someone's birthday is celebrated, but in a more traditional way. It's not like the birthday party we commonly know, which is more like a western culture. 

How do you celebrate your birthday now?

Since my family does not consider birthday party as part of their tradition, I always celebrate my birthday party with my friends. We always have a little party to celebrate our friend's birthday. It's not like a fancy birthday party or anything. Basically we just hang out, my friends give their best wish, they buy me food and drink, and there will be some occasional gifts. The party does not include a real birthday cake, it could be any food with candles on top of it. My friends and I always say don't forget to blow the cake and eat the candles half jokingly, because the birthday cake is nothing but a formality. The most important thing is the fact that we're still hanging out and caring for each other, and that we always have the same fun party when someone in our circle celebrates their birthday.

Do you think celebrating birthday is as important as it was when you were a child?

Birthday party becomes more important as I grow up, which may sound pretty strange for some people. As I said, birthday party is celebrated with friends and not the family members. Now that we have become adults, my friends are getting busy working and we don't hang out so often anymore. Someone's birthday party becomes a reason why we gather, no matter how busy we are. That's why someone's birthday always becomes an important date, a special day within our circle.

Have you ever given someone a gift on their birthday?

Yes I have. I gave my girlfriend a watch on her birthday. But, that was a long time ago. We are no longer together, but it's good to see her still wear the same watch. We are just friends now, but at least the gift and the friendship are durable.

Do you think the price of the gift is important?

I don't think a gift has to be pricy. I prefer gifts that are durable, and focus more on their functionality. Of course, we don't get to choose gifts, people who give it to us will decide what is best for us. But when somebody gives me something that I can wear, like watch, or shoes, I will always wear it to appreciate those who gave it to me. It's better than receiving a present that can only be stored in a box and will end up in our closet or basement. So, what is given is more important than how much it costs.

IELTS Speaking Section Part 2 - Self-Presentation (Cue Card)

Birthday Present

Describe the best birthday present you have ever received

You should say

What it was

Who gave it to you

When did you receive it?

Explain why it is the best gift you have ever received

What it was

One of the most special gifts I ever received is a set of drawing tools. In my family, children always get gifts on the day they receive their academic report. One time, I became a class champion, and was given a chance to choose what gift I wanted other family members to buy me. I wanted to have a set of drawing tools because I really liked drawing, and that's it, I got drawing books, sketch books, and a full set of color pencils.

Who gave it to you

The gift was given by older family members, my uncle, my aunts, and grandparents. It has been a family tradition actually, now that I also gave my nephew and my niece some gifts every time they get their academic report.

When did you receive it?

The gifts were given throughout my school years, from elementary school to high school. I didn't have to be a class champion to get gifts. But if I became the class champion, I would be given a chance to choose whatever gift I want.

Explain why it is the best gift you have ever received

The gifts were so special because everyone had to work hard for it. When children in my family receive it, they know that their hard work pays off. It sort of became an appreciation for the hard work as well as an encouragement for us to study even harder in the next semester. Academic achievement is highly regarded in the family, and this is why we have the tradition of giving gifts.

IELTS Speaking Section Part 3 - Discussion

Attending a Party

Why do people hold a party?

People hold a party because they have special moments, like wedding, or birthday. There are some people who hold a party every weekend just for fun, but normally, people hold party only on certain occasions.

Sometimes, people spend a lot of money celebrating a party. Do you think it's a good thing or is it a bad thing?

It depends. If they can afford spending much money to hold the party, then it won't be a problem. Some people spend millions of dollars to celebrate their wedding, but it's fine because these people are old money, crazy rich, type of people. The problem is when someone spends too much money just to impress others. So, instead of enjoying the special moment, they force themselves to hold a spectacular party which eventually results in financial burden. It's not good because party should not be a competition, it's a celebration.

If someone is invited to a party and they decided not to come, would it be acceptable in your country?

Some people really can't attend party because of work or some other reasons, and it is acceptable. But, it is important for people to, at least, try to go to the party even for a moment. If they are busy and they have to attend a wedding party, for example, they can just go earlier than everyone else, meet the married couple, congratulate them, and ask permission to leave earlier. It is much better and considered more respectful than not coming to the party at all. 

Is receiving a birthday cake important in a birthday party?

Some people consider birthday cake as an important part of a birthday party. But personally, I don't see it as a must. As long as the party is attended by the ones that I love and care about, any food will do. Even if my friends come to my place bringing pizza to celebrate my birthday, I will still be very happy. It doesn't have to be a cake, really.

Is it true that everybody like to attend a party?

I don't think so. Some people do not like going to the party. These people are usually the ones who come late for no obvious reason and the first ones to leave the party as soon as the host says thank you for coming.

Why do you think some people hate parties?

People hate parties for various reasons. Some people do not like being in a large crowd. The introverts do not like the idea of striking up a conversation with strangers. Many don't really like small talks. Some people have to go to the party only to show respect, like when they have to attend the birthday party of their colleagues or superiors. 

If someone doesn't like attending a party, what should they do then?

One thing that some people do is coming to the party with someone that they know. That way, they don't have to mingle with strangers, or try to talk to them, because it can be quite awkward. Some people go to the party late, intentionally. They want to skip the opening speech, the formality, and all the boring parts of the party, and just go straight to enjoy the food and beverage. But, this is often considered disrespectful, so I won't recommend it to anybody. The best thing that we can do in a party is trying to enjoy it, no matter how uncomfortable it might be. Just find things that can comfort you, a good companion, a good conversation, whatever makes you feel better.

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