IELTS Speaking Section Part 1, 2 and 3 - Clothes

IELTS Speaking Section Part 1, 2 and 3 - Clothes

IELTS Speaking Section Part 1 - Talking about Familiar Topics


Are clothes important to you?

Of course they are. Clothes protect us from harsh weather and become a way of showing our social status. Clothes can also have a special function like thick leather jacket that motorcyclists wear for safety reason. There are also clothes that are worn only for style.

What kind of clothes do you usually wear?

I always wear casual clothes, except when I'm at work. I work from nine to five so I wear formal attire quite often. I'm not a fashionable person so, there are only two choices of clothes for me, either formal or casual. Some people out there like to choose what to wear based on color, style, or whatever but I don't do that.

What's your favorite colors of clothes?

I only have three color preference for clothes, which are black, grey and brown. I also have clothes of other color, but most of them are dark colors. I don't wear clothes with bright color because they look kind of weird on me.

Where do you usually buy your clothes?

I buy my clothes in malls, mostly. I rarely buy clothes and if I do, I always buy clothes from brands that I already trust. So, I'm actually quite picky when it comes to buying clothes. I always buy clothes that are comfortable, durable, and simple, usually with no more than two colors. I don't like clothes that are too fancy or too tacky because they usually draw attention, and I don't like attention.

Have you ever worn the traditional clothes of your country?

Yes, I often wear batik, one of the traditional clothes of my country. Batik is a clothing that is suitable for formal event like family meeting or wedding. Besides, I am a Javanese and batik is a traditional clothing that Javanese are really proud of. It is also an important part of Javanese culture that needs to be preserved.

Is there any clothing that you personally dislike?

Yes, I don't like oversized clothes and clothes with bright colors. They may look good on other people but they don't look good on me. Some people like wearing oversized T-shirt or sagging pants just to follow trend. I don't feel comfortable just seeing them pulling up their pants every now and then.

IELTS Speaking Section Part 2 - Self-Presentation


Describe the time when you had to wear a uniform

You should say:

What uniform were you wearing?

When and where did you wear it?

For what event did you wear the uniform?

Explain what you feel about having to wear a uniform

What uniform were you wearing?

I wore uniform when I was a student, from kindergarten until high school. In my country, students have to wear uniform to school, and each education level has its own uniform. Elementary school students wear white shirt and red trousers or skirt, junior high school students wear white shirt and blue trousers or skirt, and senior high school students wear white shirt and grey trousers or skirt. There are also other uniform that students have to wear, such as batik, scout uniform, and even uniform for physical education.

When and where did you wear it?

I wear the uniform at school, Monday until Saturday, 7 AM until 5 PM. I always brought spare clothes because I have extracurricular activities or extra courses after school, and I was not supposed to wear the uniform because it will get dirty and messy. I also had to bring running shoes for outdoor activities. Students must wear black shoes and white socks when studying, but were advised to have spare shoes. I also joined the karate club in high school, so I had to bring the karate gi as well, because I wouldn't be allowed to enter the dojo unless I had the proper clothing.

For what event did you wear the uniform?

In my school, uniform was not worn only on special event. It was worn most of the time. Students who were not wearing the proper uniform would get punishment. Sometimes, they forgot to wear the accessories like tie, or hat, and would be sent to detention, meaning that they wouldn't be able to go to classes. If they happened to have a quiz and had to spend their time in detention, then they would be in a serious trouble. Not attending a quiz would often result in parents being called to school, which often meant that we would get a trouble at home as well. 

Explain what you feel about having to wear a uniform

was really proud of wearing my school uniform, because for me, the uniform was more like a reward rather than an obligation. My high school uniform is a case on point. I studied in one of the most prestigious schools in the city, and I had to compete with a lot of students just to get accepted there. When I first wore the school uniform, I felt like all of my hard work and preparation to enroll to that school had paid off. 

The uniform also motivated me to study hard because when I was wearing it, I was reminded that students there were very competitive. I realized that it wouldn't be easy for me to get good grades at school unless I did my best, considering the higher standard of the school and the capability of other students to meet the standard. Education is highly regarded here in my country, and competition among students is fierce. By wearing uniform, students can focus on what they are learning, instead of what they are wearing. 

IELTS Speaking Section Part 3 -  Discussion


Do people in your country follow fashion?

There are not so many people following fashion here in my country. Adults don't really follow fashion, especially male adults. They would rather wear something modest because adults already have a lot of things to think about, work, bills, family and whatnot. They don't really have the time or energy to choose what clothes to wear. As long as it is appropriate, then they will wear it. I know some people who like buying branded fashion products like gold watch, luxurious bags or anything like that, but they do it either for investment or collection. I wouldn't call it fashion per se, because in actuality, they don't like showing off their branded stuff. They like keeping it for themselves instead, and only wear that stuff on special occasions.

What kind of clothes do people in your country usually wear?

I live in a tropical country so normally, people wear clothes that are suitable for tropical weather. It's really hot in here, so you won't see people wear thick jacket indoor. They wear jacket when they are outdoor and travel by motorcycle, because they are afraid that their skin will burn on hot days. I've seen some people wear waterproof jacket in rainy season, because they don't want to bring an umbrella. They put their shoes in a plastic bag and wear flip flops because they don't want their shoes to be wet and dirty. People who drive a car don't need all these extra clothing and accessories because they won't catch the rain in rainy days or get burnt by the sun on hot days. They can just drive around and wear whatever they want regardless of the weather condition.

Do young people wear the same type of clothes as the elderly do?

Of course not. Elderly never look too dressy and tend to live in modesty, while young people like to look fashionable. Young people don't really mind wearing clothes that are a little bit uncomfortable to wear, such as skinny jeans or mini dress. Senior citizens would rather wear something that make them comfortable. I have never seen an elderly wearing a formal dress or traditional dress unless they are attending a very special event like wedding.

What do you think of branded clothing?

Branded clothing is good if we prioritize quality, beauty, functionality, and durability, and I really don't mind paying extra money if it's worth it. I have ever bought a watch with low quality and it was already damaged few months after I purchased it. Since then, I would rather buy branded products, because it can last for ten years or more. I don't buy a lot of stuff but when I do, I usually buy products with high quality. Some people buy branded products for prestige but I don't want to spend much money doing that.

Can clothes that someone wears tell us about their personality?

Yes, it can. People who wear modest clothing usually live a simple life. These people like practicality and comfort, and pay little to no attention to style because they want to focus on more important things in life like family, business or career. There are also people who always wear formal clothes because they are working people who have to look professional and have a responsibility of representing their company. However, the relationship between what people wear and their true personality is not always clear and straightforward. Some people wear fancy attire and look very classy, but turn out to be a bunch of shenanigans or even crooks. Clothes do not become a way of showing their personality but instead, disguising their true self. 

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IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2 and 3 - Traffic and Accident

IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2 and 3 - Traffic and Accident

IELTS Speaking Part 1 - Talking about Familiar Topics

How bad is the traffic in your country?
The traffic is pretty bad here, especially in major cities. During rush hours, we can see cars and motorcycles flooding the street. In my country, motorcycle is the most common mode of transport because it is cheaper. Riding motorcycle also enables us to travel much faster because we can take alternative routes to avoid congestion. However, this strategy doesn't really work in metropolitan cities, where alternative roads can no longer accommodate the sheer number of vehicles. Congestion can be much worse during an inclement weather or long holiday season.

What are the main causes of congestion?
Congestion occurs for various reasons. The most obvious reason is the growing number of private vehicles and the lack of transportation facilities like roads or public transport. In some cases, congestion can also be caused by inclement weather, accident, or road construction.

Are there a lot of private vehicles in the street?
Yes, and the number keeps increasing due to the better economic condition. People who used to live in poverty have turned into a middle class that can afford private vehicle. There have been some efforts to reduce congestion, like improving public transport, building more roads, raising the price of petrol or even raising tax on private vehicles. But, car ownership keeps rising because transportation has become an important part of people's life these days. People from the upper-middle class have higher mobility and they tend to choose private modes of transport because it is more convenient than taking public transport like bus or train.

How do most people commute to work in your country? 
Most of them are riding motorcycle because motorbikes are much more affordable and consume less gas compared to cars. If you ride a motorcycle, it will be much easier to find a parking place. The parking fee for motorbikes is also much cheaper. Besides, motorcycles have better maneuverability which helps riders avoid congestion.

How do traffic problems affect you?
It affects me in so many different ways. Because of the traffic, I need much more time to go to and from work. Sometimes, people stuck in a traffic and come late to work, which often puts them in a serious trouble. During peak hours, riding a motorcycle can be extremely exhausting. By the time we arrive at home, we will be extremely tired. Traffic also affects people's mood so very often, and they may get a little hostile due to stress and exhaustion. Bad weather makes driving experience even worse, especially for a motorcyclist like me. There will be puddles of water everywhere, I'll be soaking wet, there are a lot of road bumps or potholes that make it dangerous to drive at high speed, and there will always be reckless car drivers who splash water all over me. It only takes me thirty minutes to commute to work, but traffic can ruin my entire day by prolonging the journey to one hour and a half.

What do you do to deal with the traffic problems?
Most of the time, I will just avoid the main roads. I know my way around the city and I ride a motorcycle, so finding alternative routes would be much easier for me. I also have a habit of going to my destination half an hour earlier, just in case I get stuck in traffic and can't make it there on time.

IELTS Speaking Part 2 - Self-Presentation
Traffic Accident

Describe a minor accident that you had in the past
You should say:

Where and when did it happen?

What was the cause of the accident?

How did it happen?

What do you feel about the accident?

Where and when did it happen?
I had a little mishap when driving home from work one time. It happened a year ago, as I was driving in one of the alternative roads in my city. I was trying to avoid congestion in the main road, so I took the risk of taking alternative routes that usually have potholes.

What was the cause of the accident?
The accident was mainly caused by bad weather and potholes in the street. However, I have to admit that I also made a mistake by taking alternative routes and neglecting the weather condition. It was quite risky to take that route because I was riding a motorcycle in the middle of the rain, having a low visibility. As an experienced rider, I should have known better.

How did it happen?
Well, I was not speeding or anything, since it was raining and the road was slippery. But, there were some potholes in the street, and they were covered by puddles of water. My front tire hit a large potholes and lost its grip. I fell off the bike and busted my elbow because I wasn't wearing full protective gear, just helmet, vest and gloves. Luckily, there wasn't any cars coming from behind me, because they might run me over if they were driving at high speed. I lay down for a while to make sure that there's no broken bones or anything. When I was sure there was no serious injury, I got up and quickly killed the engine and pushed my bike to the side of the road. 

What do you feel about the accident?
I was shocked, of course. As my body was slammed on the paved road, I frantically looked around, fearing that a car might run me over from behind or anything. I crawled to the sidewalk because my legs were trembling uncontrollably. When I already recovered from the shock, I got up, I pushed my bike to the side of the road and tried to calm myself down. I later found out that my elbow was bleeding. My trousers, jacket and shirt were ripped off and I got some bruises all over my legs. Apparently, I was thrown off the bike so hard, I actually hurt myself pretty badly. The bike was sliding for several meters before stopping, and this was indicated by scratches all over the fairing. My front brake lever was tangled but I could fix it later. The accident not only resulted in physical injury but also cost me a lot of money to fix the bike. I was traumatized a little bit but thankfully the accident did not stop me from riding a motorcycle. It was just a bad luck and I definitely learned my lesson.  

IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Discussion
Driving Safety

What are the main causes of road accidents?
In many cases, road accidents are caused by reckless and distracted drivers, those who don't bother looking at the side mirror before changing lanes, nor using blinker before turning. Accident can also be caused by people who are going through the red light, or driving while texting. These are the most stupid reasons to have an accident because they are actually quite preventable. There are other factors that can cause an accident, such as vehicle malfunction, weather,  and other factors. However, these factors are less likely to become the reason why an accident happens and drivers normally do not have control over such factors. For example, a deer that suddenly crosses the street as someone drives at high speed can make them panic, swerve to right or left before crashing the vehicle into a tree or separator. Nobody knows a deer will suddenly appear in highway or anything, so we cannot blame the driver entirely because they only have control over the wheel, not the deer. Accident can also be caused by malfunction in vehicle, but this can be prevented by regular check and maintenance.

Do you think it's safe to ride a motorcycle?
It depends on who's on the bike. I have been riding motorbike all my life and everything is just fine for me and others because I'm always vigilant when riding a motorcycle. The only time I had an accident was when there was an external factor causing me to lose control over my bike, that is the potholes in the street. I don't ride a motorcycle carelessly just to look cool, and this is what bikers should do, especially when they ride a sports bike. Having a 1000cc bike without the right skill, mentality and self-control will only result in somebody getting hurt or killed.

Who should be responsible for road accidents?
It depends on who is being reckless. People will easily blame motorcyclist or car drivers for an accident, but we should realize that anyone who does not adhere to traffic regulation can also cause an accident, including pedestrians. For example, if I ride a motorcycle at 90km/h and suddenly there is some random person jaywalking, then I will have to make a quick decision. I can just hit the brake abruptly with a risk of having a fatal accident and possibly hurting myself or I can just try to slow the bike as much as I can with a risk of hitting the pedestrian. Either way, there's always a risk being involved, and it is more likely that I will have to take the blame despite the fact that I don't brake any rules.

What do you think of drink driving?
Well, I live in a country where drinking alcoholic beverage is often frowned upon and as far as I know, there are not so many accident involving intoxicated drivers here. If drinking itself is a big no no in this country, then leave alone driving while you are drunk. It can get you into a real trouble because it's illegal and somebody may get hurt or killed, so I'm definitely against it.

What loses do you think can occur when an accident happens?
The worst thing that can happen is the loss of life. People can be badly injured or even disfigured. If you get hurt, then you have to pay for the medical bills, and not all people have health insurance here in my country. We also have to pay a lot of money fixing our car or motorcycle if it is broken, so there's a financial damage too. In some cases, we will have to pay compensation for someone else's car damage. So, we better think of all the risks and loses resulted from an accident before doing anything stupid as a driver.

What can we do to reduce road accidents?
To prevent road accident, we have to be a responsible driver and stay vigilant. We also have to lower our ego when driving, because ego can make us do things without thinking, which is a perfect recipe for disaster. People who are proven guilty in road accident will face legal consequences, so we have to put this in mind and make sure that we always abide by the law and traffic regulations.

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IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2 and 3 - Newspaper

IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2 and 3 - Newspaper

IELTS Speaking Part 1 - Talking about Familiar Topics

Reading Newspaper

How often do you read newspaper?

I read newspaper almost everyday. The newspaper is provided by a coffee shop that I frequently visit, and customers can read it for free. However, since the pandemic hit the country, I can no longer go to the coffee shop and cannot read the printed newspaper anymore. So now, I read online news instead.

Do you prefer reading online news or printed newspaper?

I used to read printed newspaper a lot because it sort of became a habit, and I am the kind of person who always sticks to a routine, especially in the morning. But now, online news has become a new normal for me. Luckily, the paid subscription of some online news platforms has been waived during pandemic. There are also some online news platforms that we can access for free. Other than reading online news, I also watch documentaries on youtube and watch news on TV.

What kind of news do you usually read?

I read various news on newspaper, from economy to politics, from local news to international news, from a car accident that happened in my city to a political turmoil that's happening in a foreign country. I skip sport and entertainment news on occasion, but I still read news about the recent sporting events or recent movie release when I feel like doing it. I rarely read news about celebrities, if not at all.

How do people in your country get their news?

Pretty much the same way I get my news, I suppose. One thing that may be quite different is that there are more and more people getting news on social media these days. Mainstream media have social media channel and they often broadcast news there. There has been a growing number of citizen journalism too, meaning that some of the news that appears on social media is written by ordinary people like me. The news does not always appear in textual form though, because we can also find video footage, or photos explaining an event that took place somewhere and was documented by someone who happened to be nearby. I don't use social media very often, so I rarely get my news from there.

Do the people get their news the same way as they did in the past?

No, they don't. In the past, people get their news mainly from television. It was the most convenient way to get the latest news because there wasn't much effort required to understand what the anchor said whereas reading a newspaper would require a lot more energy and focus. People liked to just sit down and relaxed while listening to the news. Now, there is a wide range of information sources, from printed newspaper to online news, from television broadcast to online podcast. People also put much more effort to get the latest news these days. As the household income is rising due to better economic condition, people are willing to spend some money on paid subscription or buy a data plan to access online news. In the past, people would rather spend their money on food, housing or other primary needs.

How does news affect the society in general?

People now become more critical and outspoken because they have access to information and become more well-informed. In the past, not so many people in my country understood how government's policy could affect them, so they just went along and wasn't really aware of what's going on. Even if they had something to say, people wouldn't dare saying it because we were ruled by an authoritarian government. People who were brave enough to express criticism would either be dead or missing. There was no free press nor free speech until the authoritarian government was overthrown by the people in 1998, which marked the end of the New Order regime. Nowadays, government's policy is watched closely by the people and the media. Media has become an effective means of communication for the government, but it can also be people's way of questioning their decision and criticizing them openly. Free press also benefits the nation economically, I guess. Investors wouldn't take a risk investing their money in a country with no good governance, ease of doing business and transparency. They wouldn't be willing to deal with the inept and corrupt government either, which was the reason why the country was impoverished in the first place. With media transparency, the country can gain more trust and thrive.

IELTS Speaking Part 2 - Self-Presentation

Latest News

Describe the latest news that you read

You should say:

What is it about?

Where do you read the news?

Why is the news important to you?

Explain why you find it interesting

What is it about?

Recently, I read a lot of news about natural disaster that happens in my country, ranging from torrential flood to landslide. The government has warned the people about the extreme weather that currently hits the country and that it may cause disasters. 

Where do you read the news?

I read this news mostly on digital platform. Besides online articles, there are also video footage of people losing their home because of the disaster. There is a video footage of people asking for help because they were trapped in the middle of a flood.  

Why is the news important to you?

The news becomes very important to me because I realize that the disaster can bring destruction and misery. There may be some casualties, which is the worst case scenario that we can think of. Victims are suffering from hunger and illness. We haven't been able to deal with covid19 and the economic downfall resulted from the recent virus outbreak, and the disaster will make it even more difficult for the people to recover from the devastating impact of the global pandemic. The disaster will also make it hard for the authority to curb the spread of the virus because people may lose their homes to the disaster and will have to live in a shelter. If there is no enough shelter, then people will live in cramped tents, which is not a good idea during the pandemic. This is just my concern, but I'm really hoping that it's not going to be that bad

Explain why you find it interesting

I follow the news regarding the bad weather and disaster because it is extremely alarming with pandemic still ravaging the country. There was a huge earthquake in the eastern part of the country in 2018, and people tried to help by donating money, food, or clothes. I didn't have much money to help, but I could still be a blood donor back then. Now that we have a pandemic, donation and blood donor become extremely difficult because there will be a strict health protocols that have to be followed. Some people also have financial difficulties so they may not be able to give much to help. I don't know if this is actually the case, but I'm really worried about the current situation, which is why I always follow the updates on the recent natural disaster.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Discussion


Do people in your country always follow the latest news?

Yes they do, especially when the news concerns an event that will directly affect them or their livelihood. For example, many people always try to get the most recent updates on covid19 pandemic, paying attention to the fatality and infection rate in their region, and following the latest update on the  policies taken by the government because they will have to adhere to it. Social media makes it possible for the people to find the most trending news through hashtags, like the ones that we can find on twitter. Youtube has recommended videos, which works pretty much like headlines in newspaper.

What do you think of showbiz and entertainment news?

Sometimes they can be informative and entertaining. I often follow updates on a new movie release or the launching of a new album by talented musicians. However, entertainment news can also be extremely annoying at times. Sometimes it covers a domestic conflict of a celebrity, which has nothing to do with the interest of the public. The media coverage is often used by celebrities to gain fame and is full of sensational made-up stories which no one actually cares about. I personally think that there should be a clear difference between personal domain and public domain.

Do you think news can be misleading sometimes?

Yes, it can. There are a lot of fake news on social media, and this is extremely dangerous because it can lead to confusion, distrust or even actual conflict. News that appears on mainstream media can also cause paranoia during a stressful moment like global pandemic, even though the news is actually legit. For example, there was a lot of bad news concerning covid19 pandemic, which made people become extremely paranoid. People started stockpiling stuff from the store, which led to shortages. Luckily, the government was able to assure the people that panic buying was unnecessary at this point, and that some products would spoil if kept for too long.

Which do you think is more important? Local news or international news?

Both of them are important, but I myself always prioritize the local news. We have to be aware of what's happening around us, so that we can take precautions, make the right decision, and take actions. International news is also important because things that happen in other countries can have a snowball effect. For example, the covid19 outbreak started from one country and managed to spread to other countries, disrupting global supply chain and in turn, also affect my country in some ways. For instance, factories find it extremely difficult to manufacture their product because certain parts have to be imported from other countries.

Do you think government has the right to censor the press?

No, they don't, at least in a democratic country. Free press is one of the most important components of democracy, and becomes a tool for the people to express their thought freely. In some cases, people can even express dissent or distrust toward the authority, and this is actually an important feedback that enables government to evaluate their works. However, some people manage to control media for their personal interest or political agenda. I'm not saying that all media is full of vested-interest, because there are still some media that are independent and trustworthy. I have to point out the fact that certain media corporation actually has an affiliation to a political party, making it hard for them to become neutral, leave alone being reliable.

What do you think of the fact that in some countries, news is highly controlled by the government?

In a democratic country, government should not have absolute control over the media, although it becomes a common practice in certain countries with authoritarian regime. As for my country, I can say that people have better access to information these days. In the past, there was no technology that enabled them to get the latest news, so people relied heavily on media run by the government. There was only one national television channel, and only few people actually had television set. 

The fact that news was handled by the government was not entirely bad considering the political instability of that era. The world was in the middle of the cold war, and the country was forced to take sides, whether it wanted to align to communism or western liberalism. Even the slightest misunderstanding among different factions in the volatile society could ignite a nationwide conflict. The national TV somehow made it possible for the authority to give a linear information and minimalize conflicting interests, which is not entirely bad. The problem emerged when media became a tool for government's propaganda. Instead of serving the public's interest, the media ended up being a way to maintain the power of the authoritarian regime.

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IELTS Speaking Section Part 1, 2 and 3 - Children

IELTS Speaking Section Part 1 - Talking about Familiar Topics


Do you often come into contact with children?

Yes, I do. I usually play with my niece and nephew. When their father is too busy working and the mother is cooking, I will play with them so that they don't run around and annoy their parents. Sometimes, my cousin asks me to watch the children when they play outside and make sure they don't play in the street or talk to strangers. I tend to stay at home when I'm not working so, I don't mind helping her.

What do you do when you are with those children?

Most of the time, we will play football in the front yard. But when the weather is too hot or when it is raining, we just stay at home making origami or drawing. The children often ask to play video game on my phone but I rarely say yes to such request. Even if I say yes, I will always be the one choosing what game to play because I'm afraid they will choose a game that contains graphic violent or simply not appropriate for their age.

Do you get along with them?

Yes, I always do. I don't see my nephew and niece so often because I'm busy working, so they're always glad to see me, the same way I always feel glad to see them. I am a good storyteller and I can do some magic tricks, and these are the things that children like to see, I guess. I always find a way to entertain the children, and I think this is way I can get along with them.

Do children like to do the same things when they play?

Of course not. Children are easily bored and will do anything to entertain themselves. This is why my cousin often asks me to play with the kids. Children tend to be grumpy and behave badly when they get bored, like drawing in the wall or throwing stuff around. Personally, I would rather see them go outside to play, because it is much better than playing video games all day. Children like to run in the backyard chasing  a butterfly or just playing in the mud, which is fine as long as someone is watching them.

What's the difference between how children play now and how children played in the past?

It is extremely different. When I was a kid, I always played outside, far away from home. I liked riding bicycle, fishing in the nearby lake, making and flying a kite, swimming in the river, playing football when it is raining, and climbing the tree to pick mangos or avocado. I spent most of my childhood playing outside, and wouldn't go home until the sun sets. My mother often scolded me for playing in the mud or catching grasshoppers in the rice field, because my shirt would be dirty. Nowadays, kids spend most of their time at home or at a daycare. They would rather play video games or watch youtube, which is a little sad. Childhood will be much more fun when you get to play with peers and do outdoor activities. 

Do you think children benefit from modern technology?

Yes they do, to certain extent. Some people may argue that children tend to have problem developing social skills because they are too busy with smartphones, but it's not always the case. Sometimes, technology can also help children build a good relationship.  For example, when one of their parents have to work far away from home, children can still interact with them through video calls. I couldn't do that when I was a child, because smartphones were not so common those days.

IELTS Speaking Section Part 2 - Self-Presentation

Children's Behavior

Describe a time when you saw a child behaved badly in public

You should say:

What was the child doing?

Where did that happen?

How did other people react?

How did you feel about it?

What was the child doing?

So, one day, I saw a little boy who did not want to share a toy with his little sister. The boy was playing with a new action figure that his parents just bought him and his sister wanted to play it too. The boy wouldn't let his little sister play with his toy or even touch it, because the last time she borrowed his toy car, she broke it. He started yelling at his little sister and was scolded by his mother.

Where did that happen?

It happened in the city park. The family went there to see the famous dancing water fountain. The parents bought the boy a toy in the street vendor near the city park, because his sister damaged his car toy. The two children kept yelling at each other and the sister was crying because she knew she wouldn't be able to borrow her brother's toy anymore.

How did other people react?

People didn't see the children as a nuisance or anything, because it is pretty normal for children to fight over a toy, food, or other trivial matters. The other parents who also watched the dancing water fountain just glanced and didn't seem to mind the children. They know what it's like to have children, so, they didn't complaint or anything. 

How did you feel about it?

I was a little annoyed at first, but then I realized that they were just children. Children tend to behave badly when they are upset, so I tried to just shrug it off and enjoyed chatting with my friends instead.

IELTS Speaking Section Part 3 - Discussion

Educating Children

What kind of bad behavior children usually have?

When children feel uncomfortable, they will cry and yell at their parents. Sometimes they can throw things around when they feel upset. There are times when children won't listen to their parents, running and playing in the street or playing paper boat in the dirty puddle of water. They will stop doing what they do once they get yelled at, but may repeat it the next day because they're having so much fun and forget what their parents told them.

Do you think children tend to behave badly when there are no strict rules?

Not necessarily. I was from a very strict family, but I grew up being a rebellious kid. I never listened to anyone's advice. I often broke the rules, despite the consequences that may follow. My mother often scolded me or even whipped me with a rattan stick because I did dangerous things like climbing up a tree or playing football in the street.

How should parents stop their children from behaving badly in public?

Parents should give a real example when it comes to teaching their children how to behave in public. Children's bad behavior is the result of a bad parenting, or bad example from adults in general. There's no point of telling children what to do, scolding them for not taking our advice, or even punishing them for behaving badly. Their behavior is the reflection of adults around them. If parents want their children to have a good behavior, they have to be the exemplary figures.

Do you think school can help children learn good behavior?

Yes, it can. In school, children not only study, but also learn how to interact with their peers, how to show respect to older people and authority, and how to be a good member of the society. I remember watching a documentary about Japanese elementary school students who are taught to be independent by going to school by themselves. They are also taught to keep cleanliness by cleaning their class and to keep solidarity by working on a group project. These students learn how to be a responsible individual in the earliest stage of their education as much as they learn to excel in various subjects.

Well, the documentary explains that independence, responsibility, and good behaviors need to be taught, appreciated and reinforced. We can't let children do whatever they want while expecting them to be responsible and have good behavior.

Can media affect how children behave?

Yes, it can. I said that children tend to imitate adult's behavior, and this includes those that appear on media, like television, for example. Children shouldn't see a program that is not appropriate for their age. Instead of seeing the glamorous life of a celebrity, children better watch educational program. Rather than seeing politicians debating on TV, yelling at each other without giving a viable solution, it's better for the children to watch cartoon programs. The most horrible thing that children should never see on TV is a program that depicts violence. Children are not mature yet to distinguish what is good and what is bad, and seeing violence can make them think that it is normal to hurt people, verbally or physically.

What do you think of corporal punishment to children?

Somehow, I think it is necessary sometimes. I do not condone violence or anything, but you can't just let your children do whatever they want expecting them to learn that their actions have consequences. Sometimes, it is necessary to show them that bad behaviors are simply not appreciated. But we have to remember though, corporal punishment is not meant to hurt the children. We should also talk first to our children, telling them to behave in a more persuasive way. Corporal punishment should be the last option for parents.

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Contoh Soal dan Pembahasan TOEFL Structure and Written Expression - Subject - Verb Agreement

Hari ini, kita akan melanjutkan materi TOEFL Structure and Written Expression. Materi pembelajaran hari ini berkaitan dengan soal Subject-Verb agreement yang sering diujikan di TOEFL. Ada banyak variasi soal yang mungkin diujikan, dan beberapa variasi soal itu  sudah saya rangkum dalam sesi latihan berikut. Kerjakan latihan di bawah ini, lalu baca pembahasan yang ada di bawahnya. Hitung berapa soal yang sudah bisa sobat jawab dengan benar dan soal yang seperti apa yang sekiranya akan menjadi hambatan di tes yang sesungguhnya.

Latihan Soal TOEFL Structure and Written Expression

1. Two of the most common characteristics of a hardworking individual ___________________ consistency and perseverance

(A) are 

(B) is

(C) are being

(D) will be

2. Much of the the money that people earn ___________________ for consumption

(A) are allocated

(B) is allocated

(C) allocated

(D) allocating

3. Due to habitat loss, some rare species face serious threat of extinction and only few of them ___________________

(A) survives

(B) survive

(C) survival

(D) survivor

4. The majority of earth surface __________________ with water

(A) is covered

(B) are covered

(C) covered

(D) will be covered

5. Surface water only __________________ a small proportion of all freshwater, but it serves most of our life's needs   

(A) make up

(B) makes up

(C) making up

(D) is making up

6. A (A) healthy diet consist of (B) some essential nutrients (C) such as carbs, protein, fats (D), vitamins and minerals   

7. Displayed (A) at the National Archives Building are (B) the Bill of Rights, which comprises (C) the first (D) ten amendments of the US Constitution

8. Mathematics are (A) a compulsory subject (B) that students (C) have to learn at school (D)

9. More than half (A) of world (B) population lives (C) in some of the most populous (D) countries on earth 

10. Web developer (A) is one (B) of the most sought-after (C) jobs which promise (D) high salary and career prospect


Pembahasan Soal Nomor 1

Soal nomor satu adalah jenis soal yang berkaitan dengan penggunaan plural Subject, yang ditandai dengan frasa two of the most common characteristics of an individual. Soal ini bisa sangat mengecoh karena beberapa orang mengira bahwa kata individual adalah Subject kalimat. Kata individual memang sebuah kata yang merujuk pada benda berjumlah satu, namun kata tersebut merupakan bagian dari Prepositional Phrase of a hardworking individual, dan bukan merupakan Subject kalimat. Subject two of the most common characteristics of a hardworking individual bisa diartikan sebagai "dua dari sebagian ciri-ciri seorang pekerja keras", yang berarti Subject kalimat merupakan plural Noun (karena berjumlah dua). Jawaban yang tepat bagi contoh soal di atas adalah opsi (A). Opsi (C) dan (D) kurang tepat karena general fact seharusnya dijelaskan dengan Simple Present Tense, bukan Simple Future Tense atau Present Continuous Tense. Opsi (B) juga kurang tepat karena tidak bersesuaian dengan Subject kalimat yang berbentuk jamak. Kalimat tersebut secara lengkap ditulis sebagai berikut

Two of the most common characteristics of a hardworking individual are consistency and perseverance

Mungkin ada sebagian orang yang bertanya-tanya, mengapa Subject kalimat di atas bukan a hardworking individual, tapi malah kata yang ada di belakangnya. Perlu diingat bahwa Subject kalimat biasanya terletak sebelum Prepositional Phrase, dan Subject itulah yang menentukan jenis kata kerja yang ada di kalimat. Pada contoh soal di atas, kita bisa sedikit merubah struktur kalimat untuk membuktikan bahwa Subject kalimat bukanlah frasa a hardworking individual. Perhatikan contoh berikut ini.

  • Consistency and perseverance are two of the most common characteristics of a hardworking individual (benar)

Tentu kalimat akan menjadi sangat janggal kalau kita salah meletakkan frasa a hardworking individual di posisi Subject, seperti pada contoh berikut:

  • A hardworking individual are the two of the most common characteristics of consistency and perseverance (salah)

Oke, sekarang sobat tahu kan, alasan mengapa Prepositional Phrase tidak bisa dijadikan sebagai Subject kalimat? 

Pembahasan Soal Nomor 2

Soal nomor dua berkaitan dengan penggunaan uncountable Noun sebagai Subject kalimat. Perlu diingat bahwa aturan Subject-Verb agreement pada uncountable Noun sama persis seperti aturan Subject-Verb agreement pada singular Noun. Kita bisa langsung mengeliminasi opsi (C) dan (D) karena sebuah kalimat pasif seharusnya memiliki Auxiliary dalam bentuk to be. Opsi (A) juga kurang tepat karena Auxiliary yang digunakan seharusnya is, agar bersesuaian dengan Subject kalimat yang merupakan uncountable Noun. Kalimat tersebut seharusnya ditulis sebagai berikut:

Much of the money that people earn is allocated for consumption 

Pembahasan Soal Nomor 3

Seperti soal nomor satu yang sebelumnya sudah kita bahas, soal nomor tiga juga menghadapkan kita pada Prepositional Phrase. Frasa few of them sendiri memiliki arti beberapa dari sekian banyak, yang berarti kita tahu bahwa kata kerja yang mengikutinya harus kata kerja yang bersesuaian dengan plural Subject. Kita tahu bahwa opsi (C) dan (D) bukanlah jawaban yang tepat, karena kalimat rumpang tersebut membutuhkan kata kerja, bukan kata sifat (survival) atau kata benda (survivor). Opsi (A) juga kurang tepat karena survives bukanlah kata kerja yang bersesuaian dengan singular Subject. Jawaban yang tepat bagi contoh soal di atas adalah opsi (B). Secara lengkap, kalimat seharusnya ditulis seperti berikut:

Due to habitat loss, some rare species face serious threat of extinction and only few of them survive 

Pembahasan Soal Nomor 4

Soal nomor empat sebenarnya sama persis seperti soal nomor dua yang tadi sudah kita bahas. Kalimat yang ada di soal adalah jenis kalimat pasif yang memiliki struktur S + Aux + PSTPRTCPL + [by + O], sehingga kita bisa mengeliminasi opsi jawaban (C) yang tidak memiliki Auxiliary. Karena Subject earth surface merupakan uncountable Noun, kita tahu bahwa opsi (B) juga salah. Opsi (D) kurang tepat karena general fact seharusnya dinyatakan dengan Simple Present Tense dan bukan Simple Future Tense. Dengan demikian, jawaban yang paling tepat bagi contoh soal di atas adalah opsi (A). Yang perlu sobat waspadai dari contoh soal ini adalah frasa the majority yang bisa sangat mengecoh. Hanya karena ada keterangan "majority" pada Subject, bukan berarti itu adalah plural Subject. Subject kalimat adalah uncountable Noun, dan tetap dianggap sebagai singular Subject sebanyak apapun jumlahnya. Kalimat seharusnya ditulis sebagai berikut:   

The majority of earth surface is covered with water 

Pembahasan Soal Nomor 5

Soal nomor lima memiliki cara pengerjaan yang sama persis dengan soal nomor dua dan empat. Subject kalimat adalah uncountable Noun, dan kata kerja yang menyertainya harus bersesuaian. Karena kalimat rumpang tersebut membutuhkan sebuah kata kerja, kita bisa langsung mengeliminasi opsi (C). Opsi (D) juga salah karena general fact harus selalu dijelaskan dengan Simple Present Tense, bukan Present Continuous Tense. Opsi (A) juga kurang tepat karena kata kerja make up tidak bersesuaian dengan Subject kalimat merupakan uncountable Noun. Jawaban yang paling tepat bagi contoh soal tersebut adalah opsi (B). Kalimat secara lengkap ditulis sebagai berikut: 

Surface water only makes up a small proportion of all freshwater, but it serves most of our life's needs 

Pembahasan Soal Nomor 6 

Soal nomor enam sebenarnya sangat mudah ditebak, karena Subject menggunakan Determiner a yang mengindikasikan benda berjumlah satu. Kesalahan ada di opsi (B), karena kata kerja yang digunakan harusnya consists of, bukan consist of. Meski demikian, soal ini bisa jadi tricky bagi sebagian orang, karena kesalahan yang ada sebenarnya sangat sepele, yaitu tidak adanya infleksi -s pada kata kerja consist of. Kalimat tersebut seharusnya ditulis sebagai berikut:

A healthy diet consists of some essential nutrients such as carbs, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals 

Pembahasan Soal Nomor 7

Soal nomor tujuh adalah salah satu jenis soal inversion yang sering membuat kita pusing. Bagaimana tidak, jika kalimat dalam bentuk S + V + Adjunct saja sudah bisa membuat kita berpikir keras, apa jadinya jika posisi Subject dan Verb mengalami inversi? Sobat yang mengikuti penjelasan saya sejak awal materi TOEFL Structure and Written Expression mungkin masih ingat beberapa alasan mengapa posisi Subject dan Verb bisa di-inverse. Salah satu alasan yang sebenarnya cukup jarang muncul di soal adalah adanya bentuk past participle di awal kalimat, seperti yang ada di contoh soal nomor tujuh. Past participle displayed at the National Archives Building adalah alasan mengapa Subject the Bill of Rights dan Verb are mengalami inversi.

Perlu diingat bahwa aturan Subject-Verb agreement akan tetap berlaku meskipun posisi Subject dan Verb di-inverse. Sobat juga harus ingat bahwa Subject kalimat tidak lagi ada di posisi awal kalimat, namun di tengah, tepat setelah kata kerja. Pada contoh soal di atas, Subject Bills of Rights yang merupakan singular Noun harusnya disandingkan dengan Verb is, bukan are seperti yang ada di opsi (B). Kalimat seharusnya ditulis sebagai berikut:

Displayed at the National Archives Building is the Bill of Rights, which comprises the first ten amendments of the US Constitution 


The Bill of Rights, which comprises the first ten amendments of the US Constitution, is displayed at the National Archives Building 

Selain inversi posisi Subject dan Verb, sobat juga harus jeli menentukan Verb yang tepat untuk kalimat tersebut. Beberapa orang mungkin terkecoh dengan Subject the Bill of Rights yang sekilas terlihat seperti plural Noun karena memiliki infleksi -s, namun sebenarnya merupakan singular Noun. Ingat bahwa yang dijadikan pedoman untuk penggunaan kata kerja adalah kata yang ada sebelum Prepositional Phrase of rights, yaitu kata bill (undang-undang, yang jumlahnya hanya satu).

Pembahasan Soal Nomor 8

Contoh soal nomor delapan adalah salah satu soal yang tidak bisa dijelaskan dengan rumus, tapi bisa dengan mudah dihafalkan. Kesalahan gramatikal pada kalimat tersebut dapat ditemukan di opsi (A), karena Subject kalimat adalah singular Noun mathematics. Mungkin sobat bertanya-tanya, mengapa kata kata mathematics masuk ke dalam kategori singular Noun, sementara ada infleksi -s di akhir kata tersebut. Perlu diingat bahwa tidak semua kata berakhiran -s adalah plural Noun. Ada beberapa aturan pengecualian untuk beberapa kasus. Kata yang berkaitan dengan pengetahuan seperti mathematics, physics, economics, linguistics, politics masuk ke dalam kategori singular Noun meskipun ada infleksi -s di akhir kata. Kalimat di atas seharusnya ditulis sebagai berikut:

Mathematics is a compulsory subject that students have to learn at school 

Pembahasan Soal Nomor 9

Soal nomor sembilan berkaitan dengan Subject yang berbentuk fraction atau pecahan. Sobat harus jeli mengerjakan soal jenis ini, karena fraction bisa digunakan untuk plural Noun maupun uncountable Noun, yang tentu saja akan membutuhkan dua jenis kata kerja yang berbeda. Pada contoh soal nomor sembilan, kesalahan gramatikal ada di opsi (C). Subject kalimat adalah half of the world population, yang berarti lebih dari satu orang (ingat bahwa orang adalah countable Noun,  karena bisa dihitung per jiwa). Karena Subject kalimat merupakan plural Noun, maka kata kerja yang seharusnya digunakan adalah live, bukan lives. Kalimat tersebut seharusnya ditulis sebagai berikut:

More than half of world population live in some of the most populous countries on earth 

Pembahasan Soal Nomor 10

Soal nomor sepuluh berkaitan dengan expression of numbers satu dari sekian banyak. Karena kita hanya membicarakan satu benda saja, berarti Subject kalimat berbentuk singular dan kata kerja yang muncul di Adjective Clause which promises high salary and career prospect juga harus bersesuaian. Kesalahan gramatikal ada di opsi (D). Kalimat tersebut seharusnya ditulis sebagai berikut:

Web developer is one of the most sought-after jobs which promises high salary and career prospect 

Demikianlah materi Subject-Verb agreement yang sering muncul di soal TOEFL Structure and Written Expression. Jika sobat masih memiliki pertanyaan mengenai materi di atas, silahkan bertanya di kolom komentar. Untuk membaca materi TOEFL Structure and Written sebelumnya, silahkan ikuti tautan berikut ini:

Materi TOEFL Structure and Written Expression - Determiners