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IELTS Speaking Practice Test 13 - Topic: Books

IELTS Speaking Practice Test 13 – Topic : Books

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Topic: Books

Audio for IELTS Speaking Practice Test 13

 Speaking Part 2

 Cue Card

Describe a book which you enjoyed reading.

You should say:

  •     what the title is
  •     what it is about
  •     why you read it  and explain what effect the book had on you.

I am fond of reading selected works of Jack London. It is a collection of the writer’s works including three novels and forty short stories. It is mostly about different characters in the Klondike region of Alaska during the Gold Rush, but also tells about people’s struggles in different situations. I was given the book as a present, and I was immediately fascinated by the raw, beautiful but very real world the writer experienced and wrote about. One story in particular, “The Sea Wolf” is about a man who was born into a comfortable life and is suddenly thrust into a dangerous, harsh and pitiless environment aboard a seal hunting ship under a cruel, despotic yet charismatic and intriguing captain. He is faced with a moral dilemma: whether he should fight to survive without regard for others, or hold on to values he grew up with in easy circumstances, such as altruism and self sacrifice. In the end he finds strength to stand against the merciless captain.

When I first read the book I was most impressed with the exciting action and imagery in the stories, but as I grew older and read them again the most striking features to me were instead the deeper qualities of character hard to find and to define. It caused me to look further into people, both in books and in real life, for the qualities that made them truly interesting and enduring.

Speaking Part 3

Reading in China

 Do Chinese people like to read?

Like most countries it depends on individual preference, but I would say it is not so popular an activity as in countries where the pace of life is slower. Most readers in China are students who have to read technical subjects. But reading is becoming more common especially among the young. I imagine that as books find a wider audience, reading will become more common.

Do young and old people like to read the same books?

No. The interests of young and old vary greatly. Young people mostly like fantasy and fiction best. Older people often prefer serious or historical works.

What kinds of books are most popular in China?

I think martial arts stories are favorites. Some Chinese classics are famous and widely read as well. Of course, knowing what is the favorite of many people is difficult.

 Compare reading habits today to those of the past.

Today education is widely available so many people can read. Also, these days, printing is faster than it once was so many books of different kinds can be printed. In the past, fewer people could read and there were fewer books so people enjoyed and appreciated reading more. Modern inventions have also made more time for reading.

How do you think reading habits will change in the future?

I am not sure. Maybe reading will become more widespread. Maybe it will become less common as new technology, such as virtual reality, becomes more readily available. Of course people who like to read simply because they can get along with their thoughts will continue to read.

Children and Reading

Do you think it’s a good idea to teach children to read when they are very young?

Yes. They can learn more. Also they may be able to enjoy a new pastime. Many children, instead of playing games which develop social skills or doing things which promote good values such as reading good books, play computer games and watch TV, which often causes  anti-social behavior.

 What do children like to read?

Children especially enjoy reading stories. They also like reading books about nature. If a book has pictures, children will really enjoy it. Many children like reading stories with silly themes often because they were never given anything else. If parents or teachers introduce their children to a wider variety of choices, children will enjoy a broader range of books.

 Do parents read stories to their children in China?

Some do and some do not. My parents read to me when I was a child, they were teachers. Some of my friends’ parents did not read to them. In poor families, the parents may not be able to read at all. Of course with their parents being so busy, to even have the time to read is a real challenge in this day and age.

 How do you think these stories influence children?

Children are very much affected by the stories their parents read to them. These stories are sometimes the first education a child receives. I can remember many of the stories my parents first read to me. Values found in children’s books will often affect the young readers. Because their parents are reading the stories, the children will listen more.

 Why do you think people sometimes idealize characters in stories?

People need to have heroes they can look up to and learn from. Role models are very important in life, as many teachers can tell us. Children often imitate what their heroes or older people do. Idealistic characters in stories have a great effect on individuals; even whole societies have changed to imitate a famous character in a story.

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Written By

Nafia Zuhana is an experienced content writer and IELTS Trainer. Currently, she is guiding students who are appearing for IELTS General and Academic exams through ieltsmaterial.com. With an 8.5 score herself, she trains and provides test takers with strategies, tips, and nuances on how to crack the IELTS Exam. She holds a degree in Master of Arts – Creative Writing, Oxford Brookes University, UK. She has worked with The Hindu for over a year as an English language trainer.

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