New IELTS Speaking Topic February 2017: Riots

Riot: New IELTS Speaking Topic Feb 2017

The topic of Riots is a new IELTS speaking topic for February 2017. It appeared this month in IELTS speaking part 2 and part 3. Below are sample questions and ideas for the topic.

I’ll upload a pdf file to download later this week with the vocab and tips below.

Meaning: Riot & Demonstration

Lets look at the meaning of “riot” and “demonstration”.  Below you can see two pictures, one of a riot and one of a demonstration.

Riot:a violent disturbance by a crowd of people (in public areas), sometimes a violent protest

ielts riot topic 2017

Demonstration or street protest: an action by a mass or group of people in favour of or against something. This is often in the form of a peaceful march (a walk) with signs and messages.

deomonstration vocab ielts

Connection between demonstrations and riots

As you can see there are similarities, they both involve a group of people gathering in public. A demonstration might start peacefully but as strong emotions rise and people become angry, it may turn violent and become a riot.

Most people go to demonstrations because they want to share their message to the world and have peaceful intentions. However, some people go there because they want to start violence and their intention is not related to a message but an opportunity to start trouble. So, people’s intentions and aims are deeply involved in the difference between riots and demonstrations.

Reasons for riots

  1. people are provoked by police and turn angry
  2. society has broken down and rules no longer count
  3. an opportunity for violent people to enjoy themselves and cause trouble
  4. poverty and unemployment which creates desperation and anger towards the government and state
  5. government brutality towards a person or a group of people causing anger and violent protests
  6. once there is a trigger and anger turns violent, it starts building and grows in violence becoming a riot
  7. sometimes violent people see this as a chance to be violent because their identity is hidden in a group

Recent Riots and Demonstrations Worldwide:

France Riot: Violent protests over alleged police brutality that began in the mainly immigrant suburbs earlier this month spread to central Paris and other cities on Wednesday night (15th February 2017) and 49 people were arrested. Link: A newspaper article with video about this riot: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/16/french-police-arrest-49-people-violent-protests-spread-paris/

Greece: A protest which turned violent due to austerity measures in Greece, Dec 2015. Link: A newspaper article: http://www.ibtimes.com/greece-anti-austerity-protests-2015-video-photos-athens-riots-break-out-tear-gas-2181485

USA: Protests and demonstrations caused by Trump’s inauguration as President. Link: World Wide Protests: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/01/20/donald-trump-inauguration-world-reaction/96834322/. Riots in America: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/trump-win-sparks-riots-across-9225317

Sri Lanka: The information below was written by a student called Thoshanka, who posted it on my Recent IELTS Exams Questions page. Thanks, Thoshanka.

Sri Lanka

I would like to share the following on riots if it may help anyone for their speaking test. I’m from Sri Lanka. My country accounts for a tale of woe in riots in 1983. In brief, the dominating ethnic group in the country Singhalese started attacking the minority of Tamils in the country based on the reason where an ambush by the LTTE (Tamil militant group) killed a number of Army soldiers. 

The violence in the country created such horrific consequences on people they burnt people’s houses and it was called “race riots”. People encountered great inconveniences due to the curfew that was imposed every now and then. It was an era of darkness until the Govt intervened and took necessary measures to control the situation.

Vocabulary and Collocations for Riots and Demonstrations Topic:

tear gas = gas that irritates the eyes and is sometimes used by police in riot control

police brutality = violence by the police

the protest drew people = the protest attracted people

normal life skidded to a halt = normal life stopped abruptly

molotov cocktails = a bottle which contains liquid that is flammable and acts like a fire bomb

looting = stealing goods from shops and houses during a riot or war

clash (between police and protesters) = violent confrontation

placards = signs which are carried and contain a message

outbreaks of violence = sudden occurrence of violence

participate in a demonstration = take part in …

This topic is very difficult to deal with in IELTS speaking so you definitely need to prepare for it. Hopefully the above comments will help you in part 2 and 3. Below are typical questions with some suggestions for ideas.

Riots: IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topic 2017

Riot: IELTS Cue Card February 2017

A time when you heard about riots in another country

  • what did you hear
  • when did you hear it
  • how did it make you feel to hear about it
  • what suggestions can you make for reducing riots

what you can talk about in your talk:

  1. talk about the news program when you heard about it or a person who told you about it
  2. talk about what happened in the riot
  3. when you heard it, where you were, who was with you
  4. talk about how you felt (confused, angry, frightened) and why you felt that
  5. talk about if you agree with riots or think they are wrong
  6. talk about why demonstrations are better as a way to deal with social problems and problems of justice
  7. talk about common attitudes in your country toward violence
  8. talk about how social problems or justice problems can be solved to reduce riots
    1. increase employment
    2. increase benefits
    3. investigate injustice
    4. control and monitor known violent people who participate in riots and encourage others to violence
    5. better police training to deal with riots and violence
    6. harsher punishment for those who participate in violence

You can add any information you want to your talk. Although there are only about 4 prompts, my suggestions create 8. Always expand your talk.

What happens if you can’t remember any riots in speaking part 2?

You can choose to talk about something close to the topic but explain that at the start of your talk “I haven’t been following news and don’t know about riots, so I’m going to tell you about a problem which happened recently in my country…” You won’t lose marks for doing this!!

Riots 2017: IELTS Speaking Part 3 Questions & Sample Answers

What are the advantages and disadvantages of riots?

There are few advantages but one is that sometimes social or injustice problems are solved quicker and more attention is brought to the issues. On the whole, riots are wrong and this is because they disrupt social order, cause damage to property, can result in deaths or serious injury. Also there are economic drawbacks, such as businesses having to close and lose business or tourists deciding not to go to that country.

Notice: If you think there are no advantages, just say that. The examiner is looking for you to take control of the question and express your views clearly – that will give you a high score.

How do riots affect society?

Riots have a really negative impact on society. People feel that rules are breaking down which means they feel threatened and feel less confidence in their police or government. Another problem is that riots can increase prejudice against groups of people which in turn can make people feel unsafe and sometimes lead to more violence.

IELTS Tips and Model Answers

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kids or children/ teens or teenagers? Which is best to use in IELTS?

Should you use formal or informal vocabulary in your IELTS writing and speaking?

For example, in IELTS writing task 2 and speaking, should you use…

  • kids or children
  • teens or teenagers?

IELTS Writing Task 2

You should always use formal vocabulary in your IELTS essay. This means you can’t use “kids” or “teens”, you must use “children” or “teenagers”. If you use informal vocabulary, you will be marked down.

IELTS Speaking

Your IELTS speaking test is informal. All parts are informal. Part 1 is based on short answers questions, part 2 is a talk and part 3 is a discussion. It is all informal, friendly and chatty.

This means you use all kinds of language in your speaking test. You can use children and kids. You can use teens and teenagers.

Paraphrases

  • children = youngsters, minors
    • an infant or a toddler is not a strong paraphrase for child because it refers to only very young children
  • teenager = juvenile, adolescent, youth, minor

General Training Writing Task 1

In the General Training test, there are two main types of essays: formal and informal. In an informal letters, which means a letter to a friend or someone you know well (not a boss), you can use informal vocabulary, such as kids and teens. See this page for more tips about GT writing task 1

IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips & Model Essays

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IELTS Speaking Tips & Model Answers

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IELTS Vocabulary

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IELTS Band Scores

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Jan 2017 Model Answer for IELTS Speaking Part 2

The January 2017 model answer for the IELTS speaking part 2 topic below was produced by an ex-IELTS examiner. It shows how you can extend your ideas to showcase your English for a high band score. The topic was reported in the IELTS test by students this month.

If you want to see more topics that are currently bring used in IELTS speaking, please click on this link: Speaking Topics Currently Used 2017 . If you want more help with other parts of the IELTS test (listening, reading and writing), please click on the link at the bottom of the page.

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Cue Card Jan 2017

An occasion you received a good service from a company or shop

You should say:

  • who provided the service
  • when you received the service
  • who was with you at the time
  • and explain how you felt about receiving the service.

Model Answer for January 2017

I’d like to tell you about a recent purchase I made and the service I received which I thought was outstanding.

I bought a necklace from a small online shop that I found whilst surfing the net. It wasn’t a shop that I had bought things from before so I was slightly apprehensive about it. The shop didn’t have a wide range of gold jewellery but what it had was unique in style without doubt.

So, about three weeks ago, I selected a gold necklace to buy from this shop and within just three days it arrived through the post. The delivery came beautifully wrapped in fine Japanese style wrapping paper along with a gift voucher for a discount on my next order. I was truly impressed with the care that had been taken in wrapping it and the personal note that also came with it. But what impressed me the most was the free gift that arrived as well. I wasn’t expecting that at all. Along with my necklace was a matching bracelet which was also exquisitely made.

I remember the day it all arrived because my best friend was visiting me at the time. When I opened the parcel, we were amazed at both items of jewellery. My friend immediately went online and put in an order of her own. So, I suppose it goes to show that good customer service has its own rewards.

It’s hard to describe how I felt. Of course, as I said, I was amazed but it was more than that. Life can be tough sometimes and when you get such a lovely, unexpected present, it makes you feel as though anything is possible in the world. I’m pretty sure that small shop will do very well in the future. I know I will certainly order from that shop again.

Comments:

Fluency: a full talk, delivered without unnatural pauses and without effort.

Grammar: past simple, past perfect, past prefect passive, past continuous, present simple, future form, frequent complex sentences. Error free

Vocabulary: flexible, an awareness of collocations and with a strong range of words: slightly apprehensive, unique in style, beautifully wrapped, Japanese style wrapping paper, matching bracelet, exquisitely made, put in an order, it goes to show, good customer service, its own rewards

Tips for Speaking Part 2

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January 2017 IELTS Speaking Topics

Below are reported IELTS speaking topics for January 2017. These topics will probably be used from January to April 2017 so it’s worth preparing ideas for them and practising them. You can also find useful tips and links further down this page.

Speaking Part 1  Topics for Jan 2017

Indoor Games

Hospitality / Visitors

Bags

Celebrities

Future Plans

Teachers

Holidays

Photography

Colour

Books

Shoes

 

Speaking Part 2 & 3 Topics for Jan 2017

A decision you disagreed with / Making Decisions

A place to live for a short time / Living and working in different places

A good service from a company / Business and services

A garden/ Growing food and the Environment

Best Holiday / Tourism and Travel

Starting a business / Business Success

A time you couldn’t use a mobile phone / Technology

An interesting advert / Advertisement

An appointment you forget / Time Management

Your favourite movie / Film Industry and Cinema

A tall building / Buildings and Town Planning

A person you met recently / Making friends and Socialising

A time you worked in a team / Team work & Leadership

Two people who were related to each other / Family

A foreign food / Food Industry, Culture and Foreign Products

Tips and Useful Links

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IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topic: Shoes

“Shoes” is a current topic in IELTS Speaking Part 1. Below are some typical questions for this topic and two model answers.

Here is a link to learn useful vocabulary for types of shoes: SHOES VOCAB LIST

There are useful links for IELTS speaking at the bottom of this page.

Questions for the Topic of SHOES

  • What kind of shoes do you usually wear?
  • Do you have a favourite pair of shoes?
  • How often do you buy shoes?
  • Where do you usually buy your shoes?
  • What do you look for in a pair of shoes?
  • Would you ever spend a lot of money on a pair of shoes?
  • Do you think the type of shoes someone wears reflects their character?
  • Do you think men and women have the same attitude towards shoes?
  • Are there any shoes in your country that shouldn’t be worn at work?
  • Do people usually wear different types of shoes in different seasons in your country?

Model Answers

  • Q) What kind of shoes do you usually wear?
  • A) I mostly wear flat shoes rather than high heeled shoes because I find them more comfortable. I also go for shoes that aren’t lace-ups so that I can slip them on and off whenever I need to.
  • Q) Do you think the type of shoes someone wears reflects their character?
  • A) Yes, I do. People say that first impressions are important and I think that goes for shoes too. If you see a person wearing a worn out pair of shoes, it gives you the impression that they that are sloppy. On the other hand, if you see someone wearing brand name shoes that cost a fortune, you know that the person has plenty of money to splash around and doesn’t care about costs. So, shoes can tell you a lot about someone’s character.

Useful Vocabulary

  • lace-ups = shoes with laces
  • to slip something on and off = to put them on and take them off easily
  • worn out = tatty, shabby, the worse for wear, tired
  • sloppy = not tidy, lazy, slovenly
  • cost a fortune = cost an arm and a leg, expensive
  • have money to splash around = have money to waste, to throw around

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Going Off Topic in IELTS Speaking Part 2

Is it wrong to go off topic in IELTS speaking part 2? Will you get a lower band score if you go off topic? Do you get a higher band score if you stay with the topic and follow the prompts given in IELTS speaking part 2? See the tips below to learn how your IELTS speaking is marked.

  • Is it essential to follow the prompts on your cue card for speaking part 2?
    • No, it isn’t. The prompts on the cue card are guidelines and support to help you build your talk.
  • Will you get a lower score if you don’t complete the cue card prompts?
    • No, you won’t. You can choose which prompts you want to use. You can ignore some and use others. You don’t get a lower score if you don’t complete the cue card prompts.
  • Are there questions to answer on the cue card?
    • No. There are no questions on your cue card. There are only prompts which are suggestions that will help you give a full talk. It is your choice to use them or not.
  • Can you add information in speaking part 2 that isn’t on the cue card?
    • Yes, you can. It is recommended that you add information to expend your talk. You will not get a lower score if you go off the topic by adding extra information that is not on your card.
  • Is the examiner marking your ability to use the prompts on the cue card?
    • No. You are not marked on ideas at all. You are only marked on your use of English language.
  • I heard that going off topic will reduce your score. Is that true?
    • Not for IELTS speaking. It is true for IELTS writing. In IELTS writing, you are marked on your response, ideas and being on topic. This is not the case for IELTS speaking. You can learn how band scores are marked on the links below.
  • Should you follow the prompts on the card?
    • I recommend that you use the prompts and also add extra information. The prompts are useful and provide a structure to your talk which will help your score. Adding extra information is a useful way to showcase your English language for a higher score.

Learn about how your speaking and other skills are marked: IELTS Band Score Explained

Prepare ideas for Common IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics

Learn more tips for IELTS Speaking on the Main IELTS Speaking Page of this website.

Learn How to Start your Part 2 Talk

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Nov 2016 IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topic: Chocolate

Below is an IELTS speaking part 1 topic currently being used in the IELTS test this month. It is a new topic and has been taken from the main topic of Food.

I’ve listed the questions and provided some model answers and vocabulary. You can find more current speaking part 1 topics listed below.

Chocolate: IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topic

Questions with model answers:

  1. Do you like chocolate?
    1. Yes, I do. I like both blocks of plain chocolate as well as chocolate bars, such as Mars bars.
  2. Do you often eat chocolate?
    1. Unfortunately, yes I do. I eat it everyday even though I know I shouldn’t.
  3. Is chocolate popular in your country?
    1. Yes, it’s extremely popular, almost everyone eats chocolate. It’s probably the most common snack for children and adults, and certainly much more popular than fruit.
  4. Did you eat chocolate when you were a child?
    1. Yes, I did but I didn’t eat it as often as I do now as an adult. My parents were careful to ration the chocolate to twice a week only.
  5. Are there any occasions when people give chocolate as a present?
    1. Yes, there are a number of times in the year when that might happen. Some people give chocolates to each other on Valentine’s Day, while other’s give it at birthdays. Easter is also a common date to give a chocolate egg as a gift.
  6. Do you think it is healthy to eat chocolate?
    1. Not really. I’ve heard that if the chocolate is plain, without added milk or sugar, it is fine to eat a small amount each day but it’s certainly unhealthy to eat the quantities and types of chocolate that most people eat today.

Other Current Speaking Part 1 Topics

  • Colour
  • Hats
  • Mobile Phones
  • Weather
  • Art
  • Gifts
  • Walking
  • Flowers
  • Singing
  • Advertisements
  • Phototgraphy
  • Transport

Also check the common Speaking Part 1 Topics which are also being used:

Speaking Part 1 Topics Commonly Used

You can get more tips for IELTS Speaking and more Model Answers on the Main IELTS Speaking Page of this site.

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Using Body Language in IELTS Speaking

How does using body language affect your score in IELTS speaking? Should you use body language in your speaking test? Read below to get useful tips.

Does body language affect your score in IELTS speaking?

No, it doesn’t. Your speaking test is marked on four criteria which are related only to language:

  1. fluency and coherence
  2. grammar
  3. vocabulary
  4. pronunciation

The means the examiner will not mark your body language, your appearance or even your ideas. Your score will depend only on the level of English language you produce in the test.

Is it ok to use body language?

It is fine to use body language. It won’t affect your score at all.

Do you recommend using body language?

I recommend that you do what is natural to you. If you usually use body language when you speak, then continue to do that in your test. It is important that you relax and be yourself. In some countries, such as Spain or Italy, it is very common for people to use hand gestures while speaking and it is also fine to do this in your test.

Warnings

Don’t replace verbal language with body language. This is a language test, so if you use a gesture or action instead of a word, you won’t get a high score. At all times, use language to boost your score.

More Tips for Speaking

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