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

Special Gift -artwork by

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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IELTS Speaking Section Part 1, 2 and 3 - Animal

IELTS Speaking Section Part 1 - Talking about Familiar topics


Do you like animals?

Yes, I do, especially fluffy animals. A friend of mine has a hedgehog as a pet. He showed it to me and I fall in love with it. It seems like a very good companion for those who like cute animals.

What types of animal do you have in your country?

My country is known for its high biodiversity level. There are various species of plants and animals here. Some of them are very famous, like orang utans that live in the rain forest of Sumatra and Borneo. We even have endemic animals, one of them being the komodo dragons, which can only be found in the komodo island.

What types of animal do people in your country have as a pet?

The most common pets here are cats and dogs. Dogs are very active and playful, they like doing outdoor activities like walking in the park or playing catch. Cats tend to be an indoor animal, and they spend most of their time sleeping. But cats can be a very good companion when you are at home. They can be playful sometimes, if they feel like playing with feather stick or playing catch. But most of the time, cats would rather spend their time sleeping.

Do you think animals are supposed to be kept in a zoo?

No, animals are supposed to live in their natural habitat. Humans are not supposed to interfere with the nature, unless they really have to. For example, some animals suffer from a habitat loss and they may have to be put in conservation area. Take orang utans for example. Orang utans are losing their habitat because of forest fires. When this happens, the conservationists will have to help relocate them to a safer area. The problem is, some of these orang utans are baby orang utans that lost their mom in the fire. Because the babies cannot live by themselves, they have to be taken care of. When they have grown up and can live by themselves, they have to be released. I support animal conservation, but I don't like the idea of displaying animals in a zoo. Animals have to live in the wilderness because that's where they belong.

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

Favorite Animal

Describe your favorite animal

What is it?

Describe it briefly

Why do you like this animal?

Explain why it becomes your favorite animal

What is it?

My favorite animal is a cat. I always have a cat as a pet. Sometimes a neighbor gives me a cat to adopt because they have too many of them. Sometimes, I just found a stray cat and adopt them. One day, I found a cat that was severly injured and barely able to walk. I took care of it until it fully recovered, and released it. But the cat always came back to my home bringing decapitated mouse, snake's head, and other stuff that sort of became a gift or something like that. I thought, may be the cat was just trying to be thankful. But I didn't want it to keep bringing me dead animals, so I ended up adopting it as a pet.

Describe it briefly

A cat is a very cute animal. They are so fluffy and have smooth fur. Cats have mustache and eyes that are glowing in the dark. Seeing their eyes at night can be startling for people who spook easily.

Why do you like this animal?

Cats are human's best friends. They can be grumpy at times, and want to be left alone. But when they have a good mood, they they will definitely be friends again. Cats always keep their personal hygiene and for some unknown reason, they like rubbing their back on a pile of clean laundry. When a cat feels like being cute, they may keep rubbing their body on your feet or sitting on your lap or biting your hand. When hungry, cat will ask for food, although they can hunt for mice if they feel like playing chase with them. When a cat is messing around, scratching your sofa or breaking a vase, they will show you their innocent face, which is why you can never be mad at them.

Explain why it becomes your favorite animal

Cats always become my favorite animals because they are so energetic and chill at the same time. When feeling energetic, cats are fun to play with. You can play feather stick and cats will chase it, jump and roll as if they were in an action movie. When they don't feel like doing physical activities, they will just lie down in the couch minding their own business. This is why cats often become a perfect partner for a movie night. They won't disturb you as long as they can have their personal space and there is some food around them. I always let my cat sleep in my bed because I like to hear them snore while they are asleep. Somehow, their rhythmic snoring can make me feel relaxed and drowsy and thus, help me with my acute insomnia. 

IELTS Speaking Section Part 3 - Discussion

Animal Protection

Is there any endangered animal in your country?

Yes, there are some endangered animals in my country. Orang utans, rhinos, and Sumatran tigers are all endangered. Well, we used to have Javan tigers or Panthera Tigris Sondaica and Balinese tigers or Panthera Tigris Balica, but these subspecies of Indonesian tigers are already extinct. Now, we only have Panthera Tigris Sumatrae. So far, deforestation and illegal hunting are the most prevalent threats to animals. Other than these illegal activities, some animals' survival is threatened by the fact that their reproduction is very low, like that of orang utans.

Can you mention some of the inappropriate use of animals?

There are so many types of animal abuse, but the most recent case that I heard is the case of labor monkeys. The monkeys are allegedly exploited, and used to fetch coconuts from tall trees. These monkeys should live in their natural habitat, not working in plantation or circus or anything. Monkeys are not the only animal being exploited though, since there are other animals that are also exploited for economic purpose or entertainment, which is sad. 

What do you think of dangerous animals?

We should not get near them, especially animals that have predatory nature like tigers, or venomous animals like snakes. I don't think people will be foolish enough to taunt these animals. The problem is, we often see animals that do not seem menacing but are actually dangerous. Dogs can bite you if you anger them, although they may not look aggressive at first. It's best not to mess around with animals with fangs, claws, poison, and venom.

Why do some people refuse to eat meat?

I'm not really sure, actually. But some of my friends who don't eat meat told me that slaughtering animals just because we like eating their meat is morally wrong and unjustifiable. So, I guess they don't like eating meat knowing that there's so much cruelty being done to animals. Some other friends do not eat meat for health considerations.

Well, I personally think that it's okay to eat meat because it is critical to our survival as a human. I understand that some people do not want to harm or kill animals to get food, but that's how the nature works. Herbivores eat plants, carnivores eat meat, omnivores eat both. Tigers are carnivore and they eat meat. There's nothing wrong with that because that's how it works. Tigers eat other animals for the sake of survival and it is important for the balance of the nature. If all human eat plants, then it will eventually be a problem too, just the same way if all human eat meat, excessively. It's not about who eat what, it's about how we eat and survive while maintaining the balance in the nature. We need to have a self-control when it comes to eating and hunting, and to always remember that we hunt to survive, not for fun.

Some people have a tremendous self-control when it comes to food consumption. They don't eat excessively, because they know that an animal has to be killed so that they can survive and thrive. Excessive fishing, excessive hunting, and excessive eating will only be a boomerang someday. When food resource is depleted, people will literally fight over food, which doesn't sound like a very good idea. 

Do you think being cruel to animals is the same as being cruel to other people?

Yes, actually it's pretty much the same. Think about animals being put in a cage, stacked in some dirty wet market just to end up being served in a restaurant. Then, imagine you are being put in a confined space with little air circulation, no room to move freely, not even to sit up straight. It wouldn't be that comfortable, I believe. Imagine when somebody is telling an animal to do a circus stunt. The animal doesn't feel like doing it and refuses, but then the trainers don't give them food until they do what they were told to do. It's the same as human forced labor and slavery. Animals suffer from habitat loss because some people burn the forest to open land for plantation. How is that different from having your house burnt down by an arsonist? We really should stop being cruel to animals.

People go to the zoos for educational purpose, or watch animal circus for entertainment. What do you think of it?

I'm not a big fan of zoos, actually. I just don't like the idea of animals being displayed for entertainment, animal being used to do labor works, or animals being trained for circus, especially if it is against their will, especially when the process involves torturing and starvation. We see several cases of circus elephants being distressed and end up attacking their trainers. It is dangerous for humans and  the animals themselves, and that's why we should stop doing it. If people really want to do it for educational reason, to see how animals live in the their natural habitat, instead of going to the zoo, or watching animal circus, it would be better if we go to national park.

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