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Sample Responses toSpeaking Questions Part 1
1. How do children celebrate birthdays in your country?

Children are fond of parties and lovely gifts. Also they like celebrate it with friends like getting together and have a great meal.

sample (2) They like to invite family and friends for a feast or they may buy every guest a movie ticket and book the whole movie room just for their own celebration and enjoyment.

2. How did you celebrate your last birthday?

My last birthday was held in a restaurant. I invites my best friends and We had birthday cake, sang and danced together. My parents and my friends gave me some nice and beautiful presents.

3. What kinds of birthday gifts do you like to receive?

I'd like to receive some intellectual gifts, such as electronic dictionary, notebook computer and so on.

4. Is there a difference between the way you celebrated your birthday in the past and in the present?

Sure, I think there's a big difference. When I was a child, my parents always prepared a birthday party for me, and we sang birthday song and ate birthday cake together. But now I seldom celebrate my birthday and sometimes I even forget it, because I'm so busy and I have no time to celebrate it.

5. Do people in Iran celebrate birthdays/ have birthday parties?

Yes, the majority of young people in my country celebrate almost every single birthday, and some of them even do it twice a year as they use both solar and lunar calendars.

6. Are people’s birthdays very important in Iran?

To some people, it’s fairly important. If they can’t celebrate for some reason, they would regret for the rest of year, which I think is a bit weird though.

7. Do you think it's important for people to celebrate birthdays?

Before one turns 18 years old, every birthday is a milestone of the person, but after we have started our adulthood, I don’t think birthday is as important as other things.

8. Are birthdays more important for children or for adults?

Children are likely to see their birthdays as the annual event in their lives, so they may think about their gifts and celebration ideas for a long time, but for adults things could be different as they may not pay much attention to it.

9. Do people in Iran do anything special to celebrate birthdays?

Eating cakes is the most special thing that I've heard so far. In general people who are older need this part of celebration for it's a good wish for longer life expectancy.

1. How often do you take the bus?

Usually only for special occasions. Like 3 times a month or so. This is because I prefer traveling by subway if I have to go somewhere.

Sample(2) About once a week. I take a bus every Saturday to the city center from my school.

2. What do you do when you are on a bus?

Oh, I just listen to music in order not to listen to conversations between people as more often than not people speak so loudly that you can’t help hearing everything they say.

3. How good is the bus service where you live?

I wouldn’t say the bus service in my city runs like clockwork, but it is efficient, at least, compared to that in other cities in my country. There is an extensive network of buses and there are both short bus lines and long ones.

1. Do you like history?

Yes. I love history very much. According to my first history teacher, there are many branches in history including war history, political history, economic, social, international and ancient. My favorite is the Chinese ancient history.

sample(2) Although I am terrible at remembering dates, I am very much interested in learning about history. I am especially keen on world history as I think that learning more about the background of each country helps me to understand its people’s culture and traditions.

2. Do you think history is important?

Yes, of course. From history we can use knowledge of past events to study things that aren't currently happening. for example, we sometimes need to learn about war while we are still in peacetime. Also history helps us know how our culture is developed so that we get a better understanding of our present.

sample (2) Yes it is. There is no present and future without history. It paves the way to the future of each country, and therefore everyone should understand his or her past. History is taught in school not just for us to remember, to celebrate or to commemorate.

3. Does Iran have a long history?

Yes, definitely. Iran is one of the four great ancient civilizations. It has five thousand years of history. It has two thousand and six hundred years of history.

4. Do you think you can learn history from films or TV programs?

By some means yes. But I can’t agree with it completely. There’re many documentaries and forums dedicated to tell us about real history, meanwhile some films and TV series that tell stories in the past actually don’t have anything to do with history. Some audience might get confused or even misled by them.

5. Do you think the internet is a good way to learn about history?

Yes, I think so. We can get lots of information from the internet, including old photos and films, articles and books written by famous people and so on. All these are good ways to learn about history. And we can get them free instantly. With that we no longer need to buy tons of books or go to the library.

sample(2) Yes, but with caution. Not everything posted on the Internet is reliable information and everyone should be vigilant on false information online.

6. What historical event do you find most interesting?

I find it especially interesting to learn about the World Wars. It was a horrible event in history but looking at their origins and their impact on the modern world gave me a chance to learn more about the differences between the lives back then and now.

7. What historical event do you think was most important?

That’s a tough question. There are too many historical events that are considered important by historians and anthropologists. But I guess the most important one depends on the person’s perspective and how such even affected him or her personally.

8. Do you like to watch programs on TV about history?

Yes, I do. In fact, I am fascinated with historical documentary programs that I always want to be there in front of the television while my favorite program is on air.

9. How do you get information about history?

With the accessibility of the Internet, historical information can now be easily accessed online through online documentary programs, history magazines and e—books. In addition to history classes offered in schools, we have a lot of history books and printed materials available.

1. Do you usually do any housework?

Well, I live alone, so I need to do all the chores by myself to keep my room clean and tidy. I sweep the floor every night, no matter how tired I am on that day. Also, I often do the laundry on Saturday and do some grocery shopping on Sunday.

sample(2) Yes, I do. I suppose we ought to share housework duties, especially when doing spring cleaning in some public holidays.

2. Do you like to do housework?

Sure, I’m a tidy person and I love to keep everything in apple-pie order, so I have a rigid routine to do my household chores. Actually, I usually spend my Saturday afternoon finishing all the cleanings, including mopping the floor and cleaning the windows to keep my home in the best shape.

3. What housework do you least like doing?

Actually, I hate wiping the tub, it takes plenty of time for me to finish washing it. It takes up all my energy to clean the tap, tub mat, and water pipes. Sometimes I really don’t know why my parents always want to take a bath instead of a shower!

sample(2) Actually, I hate doing dishes, and I’m not the only one, because our whole family all dislike it. So, we’ve bought a dishwasher.

4. Do you think it’s important for children to do some housework?

I guess, yes, doing household chores, like make their own bed, keep their toys in order can help kids learn to be a responsible person. It’s really a good start for them to do a task, and then change to be a habit of a lifetime.

5. Have there been any changes in the housework people do?

Well, thanks for the advancement of technology, there’re more household gadgets, like the vacuum cleaner, micro-oven and so on to make housework become an easier task than it used to be decades ago.

6. Do you think men and women should share housework?

Of course, I, personally believe that the best marriage is one where the husband and wife both take care of the household.

7. Did you help your parents to do housework when you were young?

Yes, I did. Since I had plenty of time when I was young, so I was happy to help.

1. Do you play any indoor activity?

I like to play badminton, which is usually played indoors.

2. Do you prefer to play indoor activity or outdoor activity ?

I actually prefer outdoor activity, as I love to be in the fresh air, but the weather is not always appropriate for playing outside, so I do quite a few indoor activities, such as badminton and I go to a gym.

3. What indoor activity did you play when you were a child?

When I was a child, I liked to play basketball, I was not very good, but I used to enjoy playing with my friends.

4. Is there any particular indoor activity that you liked (when you were a child)?

Yes, I liked basketball, and table tennis. We had a table in our house, and my brother and I liked to play together.

5. What sorts of indoor games do children play now?

Nowadays, children do not play as much sport as in the past, and many like to sit at home and play computer games.

1. Do you write many letters or emails?

Yes, I usually write e-mails. It is really convenient to use. Especially, when you need to write a long content to specify some things. Besides, unlike letters, it can be sent and received quickly.

sample(2) Actually no, there’re not many occasions that require me to write emails, since I stay in touch with family and friends by phone calls and video chat.

2. How often do you write an e-mail or a letter?

Actually ,it is uncommon for me to write letters. But I would also write some postcards to my friends when I travel to some tourist attractions.

sample(2) About once a month, when I have to hand in papers to the professors via email.

3. What do you usually write about?

I would say yes coz I am the monitor of my class, so at work I need to write various kinds of emails to convey the public affairs of our college. And,sometimes, I will write emails to some companies to look for a part-time job.

4. What kind of letter/email do you think is the hardest to write?

Break up letter is the hardest to write. Face to face hurts but writing a break up letter is hard to get started also it is hard to end. Also, feeling is hard to express in logic. Moreover, waiting for a reply is miserable.

sample(2) I think the hardest kind of email to write is the application for schools. Because I’ll have to think really hard to include things which would leave a good impression.

5. What kinds of e-mail(or letter) you received that make you feel happy?

I will be ecstatic when I receive a handwritten letter. Most people don't receive personal letters anymore due to technology, so I am sure the letter will lighten my day up.

sample(2) When I receive emails from my best friend who is now studying abroad, I can’t control my excitement.

6. Do you prefer to write letters by hand or to use a computer?

Well,it depends. If I was writing a letter for my sweetheart it would be hand written. I feel there is something more personal about it. I would send it and maybe put heart-shaped paper works. And I feel the time you wait for a response is very special, like sweet pain. But otherwise I use email. It's just faster. If you are far from home then you wouldn't want to wait for 2 weeks for a letter. If it hadn't been for the long wait I would write letters. Waiting for people other than sweethearts is not fun.

7. Which do you more often write, emails or letters?

I send emails everyday but I only use a pen and paper to write letters to my grandparents who don't have a computer. Other than that, I e-mail everyone.

8. What are the differences between emails and letters?

It is just more personal and intimate for a handwritten letter but it takes more time to deliver and waiting for a letter is miserable. Emails are fast and effective, not sentimental but normal, so they are suitable for work.

sample(2) On one hand, I think emails are faster and more environmentally friendly. The recipients can get the emails instantly. And since it doesn’t require a pen and paper, it causes less waste. But on the other hand, letters can be more intimate and personal.

9. Who do you usually write to?

I often write to catch up with my friends to talk about my life, in particular some interesting news. As well as that, I write to my teachers to talk about some problems of my study.

10. Is it hard to think of what to write?

Yes. I have no problem with having ideas and contents for writing but I am a terrible organizer. It is hard for me to write it in logic and clear. Also, it is hard to end a letter and email.

11. Do you think people will still write letters in the future?

No. Most people won't write letters due to technology. Emails are effective and convenient. Snail mails take a lot of time and no one likes to waiting. It seems sending email is more suitable in modern society.

12. How do you feel when you receive emails?

Normally, I feel excited because I don’t usually get emails. When I see the red sign on my inbox, I’m always eager to click it.

1. How often do you look at yourself in the mirror every day?

HAHA. To be honest, I look at myself in the mirror almost every day.
Maybe I am a little narcissistic.
Actually, I look myself at the mirror quite often because I am a big fan of makeup. So I would like to treat my face as a model to draw things on so mirror is helpful.

2. Have you ever bought mirrors?

Yes, I have bought one. I can still remember the time we move into the apartment we live in now, I carried a delicate mirror to my room which is really suit the decorations. This mirror is clean and can help me to check the suit I wear. I really like it for it is Iranian style.

3. Would you use mirrors to decorate rooms?

Yes I think I will. Although I used to regard mirror are not the things as decorations, you know they are more like tools. I do think using mirrors to decorating rooms is pretty cool. Because I have been to a restaurant which is decorated by different kinds of mirrors, and it is pretty awesome.

1. How much do you know your neighbours?

To be honest, my neighbours and I only have a nodding acquaintance We don't really communicate that often because there are not many common activities to do together in my neghbourhood.

2. Do you think neighbours should help each other?

Absolutely, neighbours are the people who live just next door to you.If you have any kind of emergency,they are the people that actually will jump up and give a hand to you. In this regard,neighbours should help each other.

3. Do you see your neighbours often?

Not really. My neighbours are all busy businessmen.I don't see them too often.I probably only see them twice a week in the corridor.

4. Do you get along with your neighbours?

Yes, I really respect my neighbours. There are not any problems between us. In Iran, we have an old saying that goes like this,"a far-off relative is not as helpful as a near neighbour". From that old proverb you can see people really respect their nelghbours in Iranian culture.

5. What would be the problem between you and your neighbours?

There is not really a problem between my neighbours and me. If I had to mention one,I would say it would be the amount of noise I hear from them. One of my neighbours always likes to play music really loud.Sometimes, it can be disturbing. Apart from that,everything else is fine .

6. Do you know your neighbours?

Yes. My family lives in a relatively old neighborhood and my neighbours have lived there for a long time. So I know most of them.

7. Do you like your neighbours?

Yes. They are really friendly and nice. One neighbour looked after our dog for a week when we were on holiday last year.

8. What do you think of your neighbours?

They are friendly and helpful. In the summer evenings, we would chat in the garden and when we need help, they are always happy to offer.

9. How often do you see (or talk to) your neighbours?

I go to university in another city, so I only get to see my neighbours when I come back home, about once every two months.

10. When do you meet your neighbours?

When I go out for a walk after dinner, I may come across them in the yard. Oh, and sometimes I meet them when we take the same elevator.

1. What is politeness in your opinion?

Mmmm… for me politeness is treating other people like you would want to be treated, and remembering to say please and thank you, that was something my grandmother always reminded me about.

2. When you were child who taught you to be polite?

My parents, and especially my grandmother, she was always telling me to say please when I asked for something and to remember to say thank you when somebody gave me something or did something for me.

3. Why is it important to be polite to people?

It’s one of those things that just makes life nicer, isn’t it? When people are polite, or courteous, it’s just nicer than if they’re not. It makes everyday activities better… if people weren’t polite then maybe we wouldn’t speak to so many different people every day or help people… or ask for help either.

4. Do you think people became more or less polite in your country compared to when you were a child?

I believe, people have become more of open minded, less formal and more bold in making statements. So, they tend to just say as it is. But, this does not necessarily mean that they don’t respect their parents or elders. I think the problem is that people are not able to express what they feel in a better way.

5. In your country’s culture, how do you show that you are being polite?

To start with, a simple but convincing indicator of good manners, in my opinion, is saying “thank you” to those who help us, “sorry” when we’ve done something wrong and “please” when we ask someone for a favor. What’s more, as you probably know, Vietnam is a hierarchical society, which means it’s crucial for the people here to be respectful of their seniors, by using honorifics for instance.

6. Are we less polite with members of our families than with people we don’t know

I suppose it's normal to be a bit more relaxed about politeness with family members. Most people tend to speak in a more informal way at home; in the UK, we still say "please" and "thanks", but it's fine to use colloquial language and things like nicknames that you would never use with someone you didn't know.

7. Do you think we should be polite to those who are not being polite to us?

I remember reading somewhere that we should be pleasant to everyone, not because they’re nice, but because we are, and that “manners maketh man”. Just because someone is misbehaving doesn’t necessarily mean we should act as badly in return. There’s no point of downgrading our manners! This only makes other people look down on us.

8. Who taught you to be polite?

Like most people, politeness was taught to me by my parents. I remember them explaining to me when I was a child, why I needed to treat everyone with respect, especially the older people and those in authority.

9. How do Iranian people show politeness?

Iranian people show respect in words and in gestures. We address older siblings, teachers and older people in a special way by adding a respectful word before their names.

10. What rules of politeness has changed in Iran?

Fortunately, I don’t see anything that has changed recently in terms of politeness in Iran. Most people still respect each other the same way.

1. Do you want to be a pop star?

To be honest, I don’t. I think pop stars don’t have much privacy. With the media always spying on their lives, they must be under a lot of pressure.

2. Do you like to go to concerts?

Yes. At concerts, I can listen to my favorite singers singing live and I can meet many other fans that I can become friends with.

3. Do you prefer live music or recorded music?

I like live music better. Though recorded music usually has better sound effect, it’s less exciting to listen to compared with live music. I can enjoy the lively atmosphere while watching the singers creating the song on the spot when I hear live music.

1. How do you remind yourself to be on time?

I will set a reminder or an alarm on my cellphone for important lectures or appointments, in case I forget.

2. Why are some people always late?

Maybe because they don’t have a good sense of time. Or perhaps they simply don’t know how to respect others.

3. Do you think it is important to be punctual?

Yes, it is. Being punctual shows your respect for other people. While unpunctuality can sometimes have serious consequences, like losing a job opportunity.

4. What will you do if you are waiting for someone?

It depends on who I’m waiting for. If I’m just waiting for someone to hang out with, I would urge him or her to hurry up and then listen to some music to kill time. If it’s an important appointment, then I would go over the details for the appointment in my mind.

5. Do you think people these days are as punctual as they were in the past?

Yes. I think so, because punctuality is always considered important in both business settings and social life. Besides, now everybody has a watch or a mobile phone, so they can keep track of time even better than before.

1. Do you like sunny days?

Yes,well,It depends,I sweat a lot in sunny days ,but in winter ,it gives me a warm feeling and put me in a good mood for the whole day .I really like the feeling when seeing the sunshine through the window in winter .It is fantastic!

sample(2) Yes, I do. I feel quite comfortable in the sun days because I like lots of sunshine, it's so energetic and vibrant.

2. What do you like to do when it' s a sunny day?

Well ,on sunny day .I can do some outdoor activities such as swimming ,camping ,hiking or have a bbq with my friend in the park or even flying kite with my little cousin

3. Would you like to stay at home or go outside when the weather is great?

Personally, I prefer going outside. Especially in summer, I like to go to the beach and I can swimming in the sea and lie down on the soft sand ,enjoying a wonderful sunbath and the nice view of the sea and sky.

sample(2) Of course, I would like to go outside when the weather is great. Personally, I'm an active and sporty type, including hiking and mountain biking. So, if the weather is good, I will definitely go outside with a bunch of friends.

4. Are there many sunny days in your hometown?

The weather is quite extreme in my hometown, actually. I mean in spring and summer, there are many sunny days, and it’s scorching. While in autumn and winter, it's always rainy and freezing cold.

sample(2) No. Actually, my hometown is the north of Iran, so it rains mostly in winter, buckets of rain at a time. There are many sunny days in spring and summer.

1. Do you think you could be a teacher?

I don’t think I am suitable to be a teacher, I am not a patient man and cannot bear to repeat the same things frequently. Teachers’ job is really boring to me, you have to make your explanations as easy as possible for students to fully understand. It is a challenging job, I am afraid I cannot do it.

2. Do you have a favourite teacher?

My favourite teacher was my physics teacher whose name was Mr. Zhang in my middle school. He was the most influential teacher I had ever had. He told us a lot of physical background knowledge to encourage and motivate us because physics was quite complicated for us. I still remembered that he frequently gave us articulate speeches that the physics was the gymnastics for the brain, which inspired my enthusiasm to learn it well.

3. What are the qualities of a good teacher?

I should say a good teacher is one who always is well prepared for the class. And I guess if the person has a good sense of humour that would help because, you know, boring, ah, session, nobody would sit in the class, you know, hours after hours.

4. Should teachers use discipline in the classroom?

Coming from where I, um, am, I think yes, teachers should discipline students. In Korea, students would respect the teachers. My mum’s generation was more so, and my mum had to say one day, she thought teachers don’t eat, don’t go to the toilet, they are demi-Gods and wouldn’t even step on the shadow of the teacher, because you respect the teacher so much. But I don’t think same kind of respect is here and students sometimes misbehave during class hours and I just find it hard to understand.

5. Do you want to be a teacher someday?

sample(1) Umm! not really. I have not given it that much thought. But among my many career plans, entering in the teaching profession is not the one that ever attracted me.

sample(2) No, frankly speaking, I am not a person with good patience, and actually with hot temper. So I suppose I am not qualified as a teacher. And deep inside I feel the profession of teacher is a great job that I admire most.

6. Why people choose to become teachers?

People mostly choose to be teachers because this is the profession which is praised across the world. People always pay proper respect to a teacher regardless of geographical location. Moreover, when the knowledge is spread among the students, the teachers receive an unimaginable pleasure.

7. What kind of person makes a good teacher?

Teaching is considered as the best profession in the world. The teachers help the students to grow. So, to be a good teacher, one needs to be sincere and punctual. Moreover, vast subject knowledge is also required or you cannot share knowledge with your students. Behaving gently with the students is also a standard to be a good teacher.

8. What kinds of teachers do you like best?

Generally, teachers may be strict or indulgent. Personally, I may like the teacher with strict teaching style. Because I have relatively less
se|f-discipIine than others, so I really need someone to urge me, supervise me to do things, like studying.

9. Who was your favorite teacher when you were at school?

Actually, I do have my favorite teacher, which was my English teacher in my elementary school. She was just the type of teacher I like best; she was kind, patient and positive. Maybe someone may argue strict teacher will be better for teaching students, but I suppose my favorite teacher also delivered another kind of strict teaching for us in soft manners.

10. Have you ever had bad teachers before?

Luckily, the teacher I met, so far, was always nice to me, and brought lots of good stuff to make me an upright person. Otherwise, I may not become what I have become today.

1. How do you manage (or, organize, or plan) your time?

Sample 1:I normally use an app on my iPhone which allows me to program all the events I have for the week and their duration and then I know roughly how much time I have and when I have to be someplace at a certain time on a certain day and so on.
Sample 2:As I said, I don't have any specific system in place to manage my time. For example, if I am at work and I have a lot of cases, I just go through them each day and decide which I need to tackle first. At work we do have an online diary which I guess I use, so in that sense I do manage my time to an extent.

sample(3) I have a timetable in both my notebook and the cellphone to manage my time. At the beginning of every term I fill in the timetable firstly with the curriculum schedule. Then I can make proper plans of other activities according to the spare time I have.

2. Would you say you manage (or, organize) your time well?

Sample 1:Generally speaking, yes. I'm usually quite busy during the week so I need to be well organised, but on weekends I'm normally a bit more relaxed about how I use my time.
Sample 2:Actually I'd say I'm not too good! I don't really have a system in place to organize things. I know some people have an electronic organizer or use some device to plan what they are doing but I don't do that. But I always make sure I am on time for appointments and things like that, and I meet deadlines and get things done.

3. When is it most important for you to manage your time?

I think it is probably when you are at work. When out of work, it's not really going to affect things too much, or at least only yourself, if you are late to meet friends or for an appointment, or if you are getting things done in your house. But at work, it will cause problems if you don't manage your time effectively because you could miss deadlines or miss appointments. You could lose your job. So at work is when it is most important to manage your time.

4. Do you find it hard to manage your time?

I used to, a few years ago, and in fact I didn't do much planning, but as I got busier it became more important to be better organised, so I really made an effort to learn about time management and that's when I started using the app I told you about - that's what made the difference for me, and since then it's just become a habit, so now it's easy.

5. Where did you learn how to organize your time?

I taught myself really, just by reading some articles about time management and trying to find a way of doing it that suited me. It took a bit of time to get used to being disciplined about it, but eventually it became normal for me.

6. How do you think you could better manage your time?

At the moment, I really don't think I could. I mean, I organise all the things I have to do and try to optimise my time between work and studying and it works well for me - so I can't really think how I could improve on what I'm doing just now...but if I had some extra hours in the day, I'd probably plan those as well in the same way.

7. Do you think it's useful to plan your time?

Generally, yes, because you can get more done in the same time. But it's important to have some time free when everything's not planned, that's usually how I treat my weekends as long as there's nothing particular I need to do. I tend to be more relaxed about what I do or when I do it. I don't think it's a good idea to be clock watching all the time - you need some periods of time when you don't have things organised and can just go with the flow.

8. Are you ever late for anything?

Very rarely, it almost never happens nowadays.

9. If you had more time, what would you do with the extra time?

I'd probably use it to relax more and maybe do some kind of activity, maybe a sport or something like that to do something different, or learn something

sample(2) I would spend the time on reading because lately I’ve bought 10 books and I haven’t got around to them. What a shame!! I really want to get started on them, it’s just I’m too busy.

10. Do you like it when others are late?

Some people may mind it, but I don’ t really hate it when others are late. I think they must have their own reasons, or no one wants to be blamed for that.

11. In your country, do people forgive others when they are late?

Normally people would not blame the one who is late forever unless it's something important or something that comes with consequences.

1. Do you like travelling?

You bet! I am a big fan of travelling around. I spend months all together each year to go somewhere else. I feel that it’s not only an indispensable part of my life, but also can culture my mental development.

2. In which seasons do you prefer to travel?

I guess the autumn is the best time to travel, as it is neither too hot nor too cold, people will feel comfortable to go out. Besides, as the foliage of trees will turn yellow or red, you will find the picturesque views all around you. Wherever you go, you will experience a memorable trip.

3. Would you say your country is a good place for travellers to visit?

Yes, Iranian people are renowned for their hospitality to visitors. And there are also numerous tourist attractions around the country. For instance, you can visit the natural landscape to see the picturesque views, or you can go to the historical relics to know the events through the long Iranian history, or you can just stay at the metropolises to experience the local people’s lifestyle