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

See this page for IELTS Writing Task 2 Main Page

IELTS Speaking Tips & Model Answers

See this page for IELTS Speaking Main Page

IELTS Vocabulary

See this page to learn useful IELTS vocabulary

IELTS Band Scores

Learn about IELTS band scores in listening, reading, writing and speaking

All IELTS Information & Tips

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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

For more IELTS tips, model answers and practice exercises, see the Main Pages below:

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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

Read these useful tips and follow the links provide to learn more:

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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

Recommended

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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

You can find model answers, tips to improve your speaking at home and much more on this page: IELTS Speaking 

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Sept 2016 Speaking Part 2 Topics

Below are speaking part 2 topics reported in the exam this month (Sept 2016).

IELTS Speaking topics and questions are recycled which means it is possible to get the same topics and questions again in the test. So, prepare all the topics below as well as common speaking part 2 topics: Common Speaking Part 2 Topics.

You can also find useful links and a free video at the bottom of this page to help you with speaking part 2.

Current Speaking Part 2 Topics: Autumn 2016

Describe your favourite film or movie.

Describe something you shared.

Describe something interesting you have done recently.

Describe a country you would like to work in for a short period of time.

Describe a place affected by pollution.

Describe a difficult choice you made that was the right one.

Describe a lesson you’ve learned from your mistake.

Describe a time when you were busy.

IELTS Speaking Tips:

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Video: How to start your talk

Main IELTS Pages

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