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
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.
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
- people are provoked by police and turn angry
- society has broken down and rules no longer count
- an opportunity for violent people to enjoy themselves and cause trouble
- poverty and unemployment which creates desperation and anger towards the government and state
- government brutality towards a person or a group of people causing anger and violent protests
- once there is a trigger and anger turns violent, it starts building and grows in violence becoming a riot
- 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.
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:
- talk about the news program when you heard about it or a person who told you about it
- talk about what happened in the riot
- when you heard it, where you were, who was with you
- talk about how you felt (confused, angry, frightened) and why you felt that
- talk about if you agree with riots or think they are wrong
- talk about why demonstrations are better as a way to deal with social problems and problems of justice
- talk about common attitudes in your country toward violence
- talk about how social problems or justice problems can be solved to reduce riots
- increase employment
- increase benefits
- investigate injustice
- control and monitor known violent people who participate in riots and encourage others to violence
- better police training to deal with riots and violence
- 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.
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