The Language Expert

"Mr. Naeem is the Language Expert specialized in language trainings. He is the writer of NeoEnglish, IELTS Training and NeoLinguistics".
I love language because words create experience and experience makes change. Language makes us and defines our present, past and future. Language is the most powerful tool to break status quo and bring change in life.
Mr. Naeem is the director of NEO - Naeem Educational Organization. He is an MA English with PGD-Linguistics.

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NeoTips for discussion
Always give your opinion and expand it. Don't give a short answer. Develop your answer with reasons and examples.

Topic (1) Advertising

1. Why do you think some people prefer to buy products from their own countries rather than imported items?
(Statement) I suppose it’s because those people want to support the economy of the country they live in. (Reason) If they buy something that was made in their own country, they know that they are contributing to the salaries of workers within the same country, (Comparison) whereas if they buy imported items, a foreign company and its employees will benefit. (Example: 1) For example, if I buy some meat that originates from a local farm rather than a farm in another country, I’m helping one of my fellow citizens to carry on in business. (Example: 2) Also, I think that trust is an issue; people might feel that they can trust domestically produced items more than imported ones.

2. Do you think advertising influences what people buy?
Yes, definitely. If there were no advertising and you went to a shop, then you would just buy what you wanted based on maybe what others have told you, what the product looks like, or, depending on the product, what it says on the label. Advertising builds up a brand and people then trust a certain thing because they have seen it on television or elsewhere. Also, there is so much advertising around it must influence us. You can’t escape it as it is fed to us constantly in our daily lives – not only in magazines, radio and television, but on billboards, on TVs installed on trains and platforms, even in schools and universities. So yes, advertising influences what we buy.

3. Do advertisements give correct information or do they encourage people to buy things that they may not need?
I think some do and some don’t, but it’s difficult to know which are giving us the correct information. For example, the skin whitening products – I do not believe that these work but we see them everywhere in Asian countries, and we are encouraged to buy them even though they are not actually necessary. The adverts, though, tell us they are necessary as they will improve our lives and we will become more accepted and successful. This then, is an example of advertising encouraging people to buy something they do not need. I do think there are checks in most countries these days to make sure that adverts are giving the correct information and not lying to people, but I think it is still easy for advertisers to exaggerate or to do this without breaking the regulations.

4. Is advertising really necessary in modern society?
It could be seen to be necessary in terms of the fact that, as I mentioned before, there is so much choice that we need someone to guide us in what to buy or to give us some extra information about products. Without this, it would be difficult to know where to start. However, that said, I’m not sure that I would regard it as ‘necessary’ as overall I think it may do more harm than good. As we just discussed, advertising encourages people to buy things they possibly do not need. We live in a consumer society and many people are in debt because we are encouraged to buy and buy, and I’m sure advertising plays a major role in this. Without advertising we could just do our own research and decide what we really need. So no, I would not say that advertising in necessary in modern society.

Topic (2) The Internet

1. Do you think people take notice of advertisements on the internet?
Despite the fact that there are many adverts on the internet these days, I think actually many people tend to ignore them, or at least that is my experience. People usually go onto the internet to find something specific that they are looking for, which may be a product, or to read about something, so they will ignore what is not relevant to that. But of course there is no doubt that some people take notice of them. Advertising on the internet is a practice most companies partake in now, and they have to pay quite substantial sums to advertise on highly ranked sites. Of course they would not do this if it were not attracting customers for them.

2. How do you think it will change people's buying habits in the future?
Buying from the internet is becoming more and more popular. For example, we’ve seen many book shops close down because people can buy online at cheaper prices from sites such as Amazon. It makes life much easier if products can be delivered direct to our door, especially with our busy modern lifestyles. I think this will only increase in the future as more people feel safe to buy online and online shops make it easier to purchase this way. Also, I think our lives are only going to become busier, so more people will choose to shop this way.

3. Are there any disadvantages to shopping on the internet?
There certainly are some. Firstly, buying clothes can be a problem. When you go into a shop you can check what you are buying fits you and suits you, but it is obviously not possible to do this online. Shopping does not become less hassle if you have to send something back in the post. Another problem is the security. We have to give out our bank details to people we don’t know. There have been several recent reports in the press about sites that have had their security breached and credit card details have been stolen. So far this is fairly uncommon, but it is a risk none the same. Another disadvantage is to society as it could destroy local shops and businesses if people are not going out to shop in their local town.

Topic (3) Transport

1. How do most people travel long distances in your country?
I’d say that the main ways are cars, buses and trains. If someone has a car, I think this is their preference because to be honest the trains are not that much cheaper where I live. Also there are often delays with the trains which can be a real pain, so you may end up with a really long journey. The buses are a bit cheaper but I don’t think that is such a comfortable way to travel. There is the option to travel by plane as well of course, but most of the bucket airlines go abroad – you can’t really travel that cheaply by plane within the country. So then, cars are really the best option, and of course they give you the most freedom when you are travelling.

2. Have the types of transport people use changed much over the last few decades?
I don’t think they have really. We’ve had the transport I mentioned before for many decades now in my country, and it is much the same today. Of course cars have become much more popular as people’s incomes have risen which accounts for the problems we see on the roads today such as congestion and more accidents and pollution. This has probably led to some changes within cities. Many have now introduced environmentally friendly forms of transport such as trams and guided buses that don’t run on gas and mean that people can travel without the use of the car. There has also been an increase in air travel, but like I said, this is quite expensive in my country so most cannot afford it.

3. What kinds of improvement have there been in transport in your country in recent years?
There has been several ways that transport has improved. More major roads have been built which means it is easier to travel long distances, though of course some would argue that more roads are not an improvement. They can be an eyesore in the countryside and they have encouraged more people to drive which may mean these improvements ultimately don’t work because there are more cars using the roads. As I mentioned before, there has been the introduction of mass transit in many cities, such as trams and trains. In our capital city they have also extended the underground system so it now links many more areas of the city. This has helped many people as commuting times are horrendous if you have to travel on the roads. Those are the main improvements.

Topic (4) Friends

1. What do you think are the most important qualities for friends to have?
Maybe the most important things are that friends need to share common interests and be honest with each other. (Why?) Friends are people we spend a lot of time with, so it definitely helps if they enjoy doing the same activities or talking about the same topics as we do, and of course we need to be able to trust our friends, so honesty is vital for a good friendship. (Example?) I think I would struggle to become friends with someone who didn’t have anything in common with me, or who wasn’t reliable or trustworthy.

2. How important do you think it is for a person to spend some time alone?
I’d say that it’s essential to spend a bit of time alone, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. (Why?) When you have a few minutes to yourself, it’s a chance to take stock and reflect on things. (Why?) Most of us live such busy lives that our brains need time to catch up every now and then. (Example?) Personally, I try to have a bit of “me time” every day; I’ll go for a coffee or find a quiet place to sit and read the newspaper. If I never had any time alone, I think I’d go mad!

Topic (5) History

1. What do you think we can learn by studying events of the past?
I think we can learn a lot by studying history. Just as individual people learn from their mistakes, societies can learn from the mistakes made by previous governments or leaders. For example, from what I've read in the newspapers, many economists are looking back to the time of the Great Depression, around 80 years ago, in order to understand the financial crisis that is currently affecting many countries around the world. Even if we don't always learn from mistakes, I think it's fascinating to study history because it gives us an insight into who we are and where we come from.

2. What important events do you think might take place in the future?
It's really difficult to predict what will happen in the future; most of the big, historic events of the past would have been impossible to foresee. For example, I don't think that anyone living 100 years ago could have imagined that people would one day walk on the moon! If I had to guess what might happen in the future, I'd like to think that scientists will invent cures for diseases like cancer, and we'll all live longer and solve many of the problems that we are currently facing such as terrorism and poverty.

Topic (6) Values

1. What kinds of possessions give status to people in your country?
That’s a good question. Let me think…I’d say it depends on where you are and who you are with. If you are out in public, it’s things like the car you are driving. If you have the latest Mercedes Benz model, then in my country that is a sign of status, as most people can’t even afford a car at all, whatever the make. Property, or the house you own, and the possessions you have in it are also a sign of status. If you have a nice house in a nice area, then this shows you have money and are someone very important.

2. Has it always been the same or were different possessions thought of as valuable in the past?
I’m too young to remember exactly what it was like a long time ago, but yes, I think it was different. For example, cars as I mentioned before only really came to our country in the last 20 years or so. That kind of consumerism is a fairly recent thing so this couldn’t have been used as a representation of something valuable. I think it was things like gold and jewelry that were seen as valuable. Of course these are still seen as valuable today, but previously it was these things over anything else as a lot of the modern day possessions were not available.

3. Why do you think people need to show their status in society?
I believe that this is because it's important in society to show you have money or are successful – it is nature, or the way we are brought up, that makes us feel like this, but also the pressure that society puts on everyone to be successful. And showing status is basically showing that you have money and you have success, so this is what people want to do. Going back to the example of the car, driving around in a Mercedes is a very conspicuous show of status – it basically says to people, “Look, I am successful and I have money.” Another reason is possibly for respect. In many cultures, if someone has high status, then they will be respected by others and they may receive preferential treatment.

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IELTS Speaking Question Type (3) Discussion

NeoTips for presentation on cue card
Don't forget to make notes on the cue card. And speak based on the points given on the cue card. Speak more than 1 minute continuously without stopping. Speak English fluently with good vocabulary.
The Examiner:
That’s the end of part 1. Now, in Part Two, I am going to give you a topic and I want you to talk about it one to two minutes. I’d like you to describe a place you went on for a visit.

Describe a place you went on a visit.

You should include in your answer:

When you went on your journey
Why you went to this particular place
What did you do and with whom you went

And also explained why you enjoyed your journey or why not?

Before you speak, you have one minute to think about what you are going to say.

Candidate: Prepares the notes: 

1. Journey Place: 
2. When you went there? 
About 6 months ago in 2013.
3. Why you went to this particular place? 
Seen pictures of it and was inspired by the beauty.
4. What did you do and with whom you went?  
Visited small towns, walks, saw museums, did shipping etc. Went with my wife.
5. What you liked most?
Lots of different types people, good weather, great restaurants.

Examiner: You have a couple of minutes to speak. Don’t worry if I stop you.

“I would like to tell you about a journey I went on about six months last year. My wife and I took a trip to Holland. Both of us wanted to visit Amsterdam very much because we had seen pictures of this country and we were inspired by its beauty and further we had heard stories from friends about how wonderful and captivating Holland is. So finally we bought plane tickets, booked a hotel, packed our bags and our trip began.

We spent a lot of time before our holiday in research of all the interesting places to visit and all the sights to see. So we went to Amstell Beer museum, took a romantic sunset cruise in the water channels, drove to Volendam, a small prettiest fisherman village, visited a cheese farm. Every evening we took long walks along the channels, resting in small gardens, which Amsterdam has a lot of. Street artists were performing everywhere and a lot of people came to watch their show. Finally, we did some shopping. For example, I bought a pretty scarf for my wife and she bought me a beautiful cap that I loved so much.

What I liked most were two things: the weather that was so romantic and the people of Holland who were so friendly and sociable. We enjoyed very much everything we did and especially being together in such a beautiful country. Having my wife by my side on this trip made it even more fun.”

The Examiner:
That’s the end of part 1. Now, in Part Two, I am going to give you a topic and I want you to talk about it one to two minutes. I’d like you to describe some one who has had an important influence on your life.

Describe someone who has had an important influence on your life.

You should say:

  1. Who the person is
  2. How long you have known him/her
  3. What qualities this person has

Explain why they have had such an influence on you.

Before you speak, you have one minute to think about what you are going to say.

Candidate: Prepares the notes:

1. Person
My teacher

2. Who was she?
Her name, age, compared to other teachers

3. How long?
10 years.

4. What qualities.
Kind, humorous, taught well.

5. Why influence?
I was shy, Boosted my confidence and communication skills.

Examiner: You have a couple of minutes to speak. Don’t worry if I stop you.

The person I’m going to talk about today is my teacher from high school. (who) Her name was Miss Maria and she taught quite a few subjects at the school. She had been working there for quite a few years when I met her I think. (where) We met for the first time in my English class. (more about ‘who’) I remember this well because she was quite young compared to most of the other teachers in the school so I was surprised that she was a teacher. In fact she looked more like she could be one of the older students.

(How long) So I met her when I was 15, and that was 10 years ago. I don’t actually know her anymore as we lost contact soon after I left the school, but I still remember her very well for several reasons.(What qualities) Firstly, she was very kind. She always treated all the students very well in the class, and I can’t remember her ever shouting at anyone. Also, she had a really good sense of humor. She would make jokes in the class which most of the other teachers never did. The other teachers were very serious all the time. And she made the classes a lot of fun and very interesting, something that I think is very important otherwise you start getting bored. Oh, and also she explained things very well and very clearly. Often teachers are not able to do this in a way that students can understand, especially when it's a complicated subject.

So those are the qualities that she had. (why such an influence) The reason she had such an important influence on me is because I was quite a shy person at school and not very confident, but she helped me to change this. (tell a story) Each year, there was a school play that would be held in front of all the parents, and that year, when I was 15, Miss Maria was organizing and directing the play. I really didn't want to be in it because I was so shy, but Miss Maria insisted that I take one of the roles, and it was one of the main roles which meant that I would have to do a lot of speaking. I was so nervous. Anyway, I went ahead and did it, and on the night I did really well and really enjoyed it. And that really boosted my confidence and this has helped me to this day.

So my teacher Miss Maria is the person who has influenced my life and I will never forget her.

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IELTS Speaking Question Type (2) Pesentation on Cuecard

NeoTips for interview in the speaking test
You must speak English fluently without worrying about grammar mistakes. Maintain an eye contact with the examiner and use good vocabulary.

Topic (1) Personal Questions

1. Good Morning, My name is Naeem. Could you please tell me your name?
Good morning, my name is Zehra and I’m here for the IELTS Speaking Test.

2. Can I see your ID, please?
Yes, sure. Here you are, sir.

3. That’s fine. Thank you.
You are welcome.

4. Would you prefer me to use your first name or your family name?
You can call me by either name. I don’t mind.

5. Let’s the start the test. In the first part of the test, I am going to ask you a few personal questions.
Sure. Go ahead.

6. Do you work or are you a student?
Currently, I am a student. I am studying ACCA in a college because I want to be an accountant.

7. Tell me about your job.
Well, I work for a big firm /small company named TechSoft. It is located in Lahore. My job title is Software Designer. It’s a 9 to 5 job and I love it because it’s precisely the kind of work I have always wished to do.

8. Is there anything you dislike about your job?
There’s almost nothing that I don’t like about it; however, I do dislike my job for a short period of time especially when I have go for field work replacing some one who’s not on duty that day and it’s because I dislike outdoor job.

9. What are your plans for the future?
First of all, I’d like to get through the IELTS Test with the required band and then I will go abroad for my studies in business and finally, I will come back and either start my business or do a good job.

10. What type of transport do you use most?
There are two types of transport that I mostly use: Firstly, I drive my car especially when I have my family with me and I have to attend some important event such as weddings or birthday parties and secondly, I ride my mostly to get to my job and reach for my day to day commitments.

11. What kind of food do you like?
I prefer Asian cooking, mostly Chinese. My favorite dish is noodles with vegetables. It is very delicious and it can be quickly prepared.

12. How often do you go shopping?
Well, I don’t like going shopping much because mostly of the time my mother/wife shops for me. She knows my taste and I usually like what she buys. I am not very particular about that.

13. What is your favorite shop and why do you like it?
Well, my favorite shop is Readings because I love books and it has all types of books to offer. Further, it has a very good layout where it’s very easy to choose books that you want to get.

14. What problems are there with shopping in your area?
The area where I live has lots of problems with shopping because it’s a very populous area. The main problem with shopping in my area is the parking. There seems to be no place to park your car; further, there’s a lot of rush which facilitates pickpockets and the last but not the least is the price issue. There’s no price control in the market.

15. What is your major?
As you know that we have mainly broad-based education in our country so we study too many subjects. But after graduation, we do choose a major and I plan to do Master’s in English. It’s because I believe that English is the language of the future especially in the business world. What I mean to say is that when I am able to communicate well in English I will not only be able to go and study abroad and improve my qualifications, but also have mastered a very necessary tool for my future career.

Topic (2) Free Time

1. What do you like to do in your free time?
Well, in my free time, I love playing football because I am crazy about it. We have a local team of seven boys and we get together evening in the park and play football together. Football keeps me energized and healthy.
Well, I don’t have much free time because I am a very busy person because I have to attend to my business and the little free time I have, I spend it with my family watching TV.

2. What kind of television programs do you watch?
Well, I mostly like talk shows and watch the news. I find them very entertaining and informative because they keep me up-to-date with contemporary affairs and help me form my opinion on different political and social issues. For example, they help me decide which party to vote and which not.

3. Do you like reading?
Yes I do. I enjoy reading very much because it entertains me especially if something that I am reading is interesting and further it introduces to me new facts and information about the world and different people.

4. What kind of books do you like reading?
I enjoy reading news papers, magazines and of course my favorite novels. I always finish one or two novels a week because I got used to reading them novels since my childhood.
Although I think books are great ways to learn, and I know some people love to read, I’ve never been a great fan of them. I used to read books a bit when I was younger but not much anymore. I read a lot on the internet actually, articles on various topics. So I do read, but it’s just not usually books.

5. How has the way people spend their free time changed over the years?
The way people spend their free time has changed over the years significantly because there’s a sudden rise in technology. For example, people used to spend their free time playing tip-cat or flying kites but now they spend their free time surfing the Internet or playing video games.

Topic (3) Your Hometown, Friends and Family

1. Where do you come from?
I come from Lahore. It is a big historical city located on the river, Ravi and it is the capital of the Punjab.

2. What is your home like?
I rent an apartment. We have two bedrooms, one living room, one kitchen and of course one restroom. The apartment is not very big, about 70 square meters but it’s very comfortable and beautiful.

3. Where do you live?
Well, I live in a small village surrounded by hills and beautiful lakes. It’s three kilometers away from the capital city and it’s very beautiful. I have been living for twenty years; in fact, I was born and raised there.

4. Can you tell me something about your hometown?
My hometown is Karachi. It’s the largest city in Pakistan. It’s also known as the economic hub of the country as most of the country’s trade is carried out through the harbors. It’s also known as the City of Lights because the lights fill the whole city as night. It’s Mini Pakistan as people from all over the country live here and you will find a man of almost any nationality in this city.

5. Can you tell me some history of your home town?
Karachi is a very old city and it was a very important city when Muhammad Bin Qasim came into the Sindh and also when the Moghals ruled the Subcontinent. It’s rich in history and culture.

6. What the advantages and disadvantages your home has?
The advantage is that my accommodation has lots of sunlight from the windows that helps me keep warm in winter. And the disadvantage is that it is noisy because the centre of the city is near by and there’s a lot of traffic.

7. What jobs do people in your town do?
There many different kinds of people so they do different kinds of jobs. Some people are tailors, some are shopkeepers and drivers but most of the people in my town are students.

8. What do you like about your town?
The best thing I like about my hometown is its planning. There are wide roads and spacious parks and there’s a special market area. There are also hospitals and cinemas. So what I like about my hometown is its planning and all the facilities that it has to offer.

9. How has your town changed over the last twenty years?
My hometown has significantly changed over the last twenty years because of industrialization. There used to be a big park near my hometown but it has been allotted to a factory now. Because of new factories being built, my hometown is getting polluted day by day.

10. What kind of transport do people usually use in your hometown?
They use different types of transport. For example, people usually drive their vehicles such as cars and bikes but there is also a large part of population in my hometown, which travels by public buses.

11. Tell me about your family.
Well, I have a small family. There are four members in my family. I have a mother, a father and a brother. My mother is a social worker, my father is a civil engineer and my brother is a student.

12. What do your brothers like doing in their free time?
Well, my brothers are really easy-going. They spend most of their free time hanging out with their friends, they watch TV and listen to music; that’s it.

13. Do you live with your family?
I do live with my family because we are in a joint-family system. You know by living with your family, you can share many things with other members. For example, you can share your happiness and achievements and also your problems.

14. How many people are there in your family?
There are four. There’s myself of course. Then there’s my younger brother, he’s fifteen years old. And I have my mother and father who are both in their late 70s. I have two grand parents as well, but they don’t live with us.

15. Do you know the people who live next door to you?
No, I’ve never met them. The reason for this is that I’m away most of the time at university so I’ve never really had the opportunity. I know my family has met them on a few occasions, just for a quick chat, but they don’t know them well. I think they like to keep their privacy.

16. Do you have many friends? (How about close friends?)
Yes, I have many friends. In fact, I have twenty five friends and some of these friends are very close to me. You see, friends are very important in life especially close ones because they are the ones who help you out when you need some help or advice.

17. What do you usually do with your friends?
Well, we do many different things together. For example, we play many games such as cricket and football and we also enjoy parties together but most of the time, we study together because all my friends are in the same class and college.

Topic (4) Sports

1. What sports do you like?
I don’t like many sports. I just like football and Snooker. I love football because it exercises my body and I adore Snooker because it exercises my brain. Both the sports keep me fit physically and mentally.

2. How much time do you spend playing different sports?
Well, I spend about two hours weekly for football and approximately one hour weekly for Snooker because I am very busy and I don’t have much free time.

3. How are sports helpful for health?
Sports are extremely helpful to health. When you play a sport, it stimulates your blood and you get exercised. In this way, sports are helpful for health.

Topic (5) Traveling and Transportation

1. How did you come here today?
Well, I came here on my motor bike. I usually ride on my bike to travel in the city because it’s very convenient and cost-effective.

2. What is public transport like in your town?
Well, you know, public transport in my town is not very standardized. It’s both expensive and uncomfortable. For example, fares are touching the sky and getting beyond the reach of a common man. On top of that, the condition of public transport and roads is pathetic.

3. Do you like traveling?
I do like traveling because traveling is very important. For example, it helps you meet new people, you can visit new places which enhances your knowledge of the world and different cultures. Thus, I love traveling.

4. Do you like to travel alone or with your friends?
I usually like to travel with my friends because when you are traveling with your friends, you don’t get bored; you are enjoying the company and the sights at the same time. Furthermore, while you are traveling, you might have to face a mishap. For example, you might have some unpleasant incidents such as pick pocketing or a minor accident, in that case, friends are a great help, you know so it’s always better to travel with friends than traveling alone.

5. What changes in transportation have taken place in the past several years in your Country?
In the past several years, many different changes have taken place in transportation because technology has rapidly changed too. For example, people used to travel in slow cars and trains but now we bullet trains and highly speedy metro busses. Further, these trains and busses are more comfortable than the previous ones.

Topic (6) Daily Routine

1. What do you like to do everyday?
Well, I like to study and watch TV all day because I love my studies and TV at the same time. In fact, I cannot study with TV being played.

2. How do you spend your day?
I get up early in the morning, say prayer and get my breakfast. After that I get to my office and do my job and then I come back. After having my lunch, I study for some time and watch TV. And then I go for a walk and finally I go to bed at 11 p.m. That’s how I typically spend my day.

3. How do you manage time between your family and studies/work/job?
Well, I have distributed my day’s time between my studies and family. I spend most of time studying but I spend my evenings, Saturday and Sundays with family.

Topic (7) Accommodation and Job

1. Which do you prefer: rural or urban life?
I most probably prefer urban to rural life because I enjoy all the facilities in the urban life while there are no such facilities as medical, educational or recreational and entertainment. Further, an urban life provides opportunities for business and personal growth while the rural life is backward in this sense. Still, both the sides have their charms, if urban life is financially promising, rural life is spiritually sound.

2. Would you rather own a house or rent?
I’d rather own my house rather than rent one because owning is house gives you a sense of belonging; you are then able to turn the house into a home with a family. But if you rent a house, it becomes difficult for you to feel at home. So, I’d always go for my own house.

3. Would you rather have a job that was indoors, or would you prefer to work outdoors?
I’d rather have a job that’s outdoors because I am an outdoor man, I love to meet new people and meet new challenges. An outdoor job provides me an opportunity to socialize and learn more than I can do indoors.

4. Do you prefer to work as part of a team, or on your own?
I prefer to work as part of the team. Team working is far better than working on ones own because it teaches you how to communicate with people and solve problems in a collaborative environment. The second reason I’d go for teams is teams help you understand the nature work more effectively.

5. If you could take a holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
I would like to go to Scotland because it’s one of the most beautiful countries of Europe. Scotland is rich in culture and history. It has beautiful buildings and castles such as Edinburgh Castle. Scotland has exotic farms and village life. So, I’d like to take the holiday in Scotland.

Topic (8) Holidays

1. Would you like to work in a friendly environment or a strict environment?
Certainly, I’d like to work in a friendly environment because in such an environment, people work to their fullest potential. For example, if some body has a problem, he can easily discuss it with their seniors and find a solution whereas in a strict environment, you become a little hesitant and start avoiding your shortcomings because you know that they will not be accepted. While at the same time, in a friendly environment, people take your mistakes as feedback and train you avoid those mistakes so I’d most preferably go for a friendly environment.

2. How much do you think our working environment affects our mood?
Well, that’s a very good question. Our working environment significantly affects our mood because we are constantly affected by the type of environment we live in. For example, if we are working in a heated environment, we tend to become fretty but on the other hand if we work in a pleasant and cool environment, our mood will quickly orient to the same. So the environment we work in has a tremendous impact on our mood.

3. What do you do when you have a holiday?
I typically stay home and watch TV all day because I want to catch up with the latest movies but sometimes, I go and meet my relatives and friends. However, I spend my holidays at home watching TV.

4. Why are holidays important to you?
Holidays are important to me because they provide relaxation for me. If I don’t take holidays, I won’t be able to perform to my fullest potential. Rest is a universal fact; you do need to rest before you go next and if you keep going working without rest, you will get fatigued and will not perform better. Holidays provide a juice for me to get energized for the next assignment.

Topic (9) General Questions

1. What are the people like in your hometown? OR Can you tell me something about the character of the people in your hometown?
Well, they aren’t any different from the inhabitants in any other large city. For example, here we also have many wholesome families as well as some share of negative elements in the society. In addition, I believe that my hometown has not been to the same extent as a westernized city as New York or London. For instance, the people have not become materialistic in Lahore to the same extent as the inhabitants of any other metropolitan. In other words, in Lahore, you would still find many good fashioned (traditional) people who have strong principles and values about many aspects of life.

2. What are the main places of interest in your hometown? Why? OR What places should foreigners visit in your hometown? Why?
Sure. Firstly, I 'd like to mention the River Ravi, which you will find at the mouth of city. There are also the famous Royal Mosque and Lahore Fort along with the scientific parks and botanical gardens. In summer the zoo is a popular place to visit and see tigers, bears, wolves, even pandas and other animals in their natural environment. We also go to Northern Areas of Pakistan in summer and in winter we often go skiing there. Lahore Museum is another place I 'd like to recommend. It consists of a large building with many ancient statues and portraits and record of important historical events. In addition, the city's symbol of education as there are thousands of educational institutions. There are many other sites in the city that are worthwhile visiting, such as lush green valleys and sky-high mountains including the gigantic K2 Mountain.

3. What do you usually do on weekdays and on weekends?
On weekends I like to go out with my friends. We go and visit new shopping malls in the city. Then we would browse around all shops in the malls. Sometimes we sit in a restaurant and have something to drink while we watch the crowds of people go by and the rest of the time; I spend watching TV or playing video games.

4. Do you have a hobby?
Yes, I’m interested in stamp collecting because stamps provide rich knowledge. For example, the stamps from other countries often tell something about the countries and their people. I have been collecting stamps for two years. I regularly spend time on my collection, about two hours every week. This is mainly over weekends, as I do not have time during the week.

5. What are good hobbies, and what are bad hobbies?
In my opinion, good hobbies are those that give you the opportunity to develop a new skill. For example, collecting stamps teaches you how to be systematic. Bad hobbies, on the other hand, may make you lose the opportunity. For example, TV and computer games will waste a lot of your time, so you don’t have time and energy to do develop other skills.

6. How do you usually keep in touch with members of your family?
I mostly keep in touch with my family by phone, and I've started using the Internet to make video calls. I also try to visit members of my family in person as often as I can.

7. Do you prefer to speak to people by phone or by writing emails?
It depends on the situation. I use email and text messages to communicate with friends, but my parents prefer it if I phone them.

8. Which is better: living in the countryside or in the city?
I’d rather live in the city. City life offers modern living. There are many opportunities in terms of work, entertainment, leisure and dining. However, the countryside gives a very common and limited life style which is I guess preferred by people in their old age.

9. Do you think children’s lives are very different nowadays?
Yes, of course! With modern life style, children are similarly affected as with adults. Before, children were confined in their house. They were just limited to some activities such as playing indoor games of simple nature. However nowadays, they are faced with enormous challenges such as meeting deadlines for a school project, waking up early to beat the traffic and do homework using computers. These things are a few examples of the notable changes in the lives of the children.

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IELTS Speaking Question Type (1) Interview

NeoTips for writing argumentative essay
An argumentative essay takes one single opinion and proves it with arguments throughout the essay. It presents your own point of view only.

Task 2:
Some people think that human history has been a journey from ignorance to knowledge.
Do you agree or disagree?

Essay plan 
Creating a background link

Arguments in favour:
media/internet, etc. allow for knowledge to be shared much more easily / better education system means most people are much better educated than ever / we have so many more material things / our standard of living is so much higher / our life expectancy is so much higher / we have developed very complex societies.

Arguments against:
often ancient technologies have been lost, only to be rediscovered thousands of years later so not all knowledge is retained by the next generation / the ancients were not ignorant of their own world – they had the knowledge they needed at the time /millions of people in the world still live in poverty, are uneducated and have little opportunity to benefit from technological achievements / we’ve created the technology to destroy the planet – does that make us intelligent or stupid?

Your clear-cut personal opinion


Some people argue that people in the modern world are in possession of much more knowledge than people of ancient cultures. Others believe that this ignores the accomplishments of the past and places too much emphasis on present achievements.

While it is undoubtedly true that modern technologies, such as the internet could not have been imagined in ancient cultures, it is a mistake to view these ancient cultures as ignorant. Few would argue that the builders of the Sphinx were mere primitive cavemen, for example.

People at that time had the knowledge they needed to understand and deal with their world and in fact one argument that is sometimes put forward is that, even with all we know today, we do not have the technology to build the Pyramids of Egypt.

Even if we do accept that modern society is richer in technological terms, it is undoubtedly poorer in spiritual terms. Our societies have become so complex that people often become victims to the lifestyles they lead and must face a whole new variety of widespread modern-day problems, such as stress and obesity which affect people in developed countries worldwide. Furthermore, the number of uneducated people still living in poverty with little opportunity to benefit from technological achievements suggests that our modern society is not so advanced after all.

In my view, however, there is no comparison between what we can achieve today and what people even two hundred years ago could achieve as we now know so much more. The vast majority of people in developed countries are able to benefit from an education system, standard of living, healthcare and life expectancy that are so much more advanced than ever before. It is my personal opinion that although we must remember and respect ancient cultures, modern day achievements have brought us to the peak of human civilization.  
(308 words)
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IELTS Writing Question Type (13) Writing Argumentative Essay

NeoTips for writing discursive essay
A discursive essay talks about the two sides of one issue and discusses both the sides before reaching a final conclusion. Underline key vocabulary in the question and write words with the same or related meaning. Decide what kind of response is needed. Brainstorm key points for the answer. Decide on the structure of the essay.

Task 2:
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic.

Some people believe that there should be the death penalty for extremely serious crimes. 
Others believe that it is not morally correct to kill criminals 

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

You should write at least 250 words. You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.

 Essay Plan 

1. Introduction
a. Paraphrase the question
b. This essay discusses [SIDE A], and [SIDE B]
c. and then I will give my own opinion.

2. Body
a. Write topic sentences for each body paragraph. [SIDE A] On one side of the argument there are people who argue that…..
b. [SIDE B] On the other hand,…..

3. Conclusion
a. SIGNAL OPINION: “In my opinion….”
b. Usually you can say that both sides have merits
c. State which side is stronger and the reason

One of the most controversial issues today relates to whtehr to use capital punishment or not.In this essay, I am going to examine this question from both points of view and then give my own perspective on the matter.

On one side of the argument there are people who argue that the benefits of killing violent criminalsconsiderably outweigh its disadvantages. The main reason for believing this is that the fear of execution acts as a deterrent to commit serious crimes such as rape and murder. It is also possible to say that the execution of a criminal may bring relief to the suffering victims. One good illustration of this is when Sadam Hussein was executed. Many of the victims who were persecuted under his rule expressed joy and relief when he was finally captured and killed.

On the other hand, it is also possible to make the opposing case. It is often argued that in fact sentencing criminals to death is just committing another murder. People often have this opinion because they think that it is immoral to take another person’s life, no matter what the reason is. A second point is that many religions are opposed to any form of murder. A particularly good example here is from the bible, which lists killing another person as one of the Ten Commandments that should not be broken.

In my opinion, both arguments have their merits. On balance, however, I tend to believe that capital punishment is justified in cases of extreme crime and that deterring violent crime is more important than taking the moral high ground espoused in the bible.
[267 words]
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IELTS Writing Question Type (12) Writing Discursive Essay