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IELTS Speaking Practice Test 14 - Topic: Furniture

IELTS Speaking Practice Test 14 – Topic : Furniture

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Topic: Furniture

Audio for IELTS Speaking Practice Test 14

Speaking part 2

Cue Card

Describe an item of furniture that you use often.

You should say :

  • what it is
  • where it is
  • what it looks like

and explain how or why you use it.

 

A piece of furniture I use often is a small folding chair. It’s made of green canvas, and because it is a folding chair, I can easily put it away and out of sight when I’m not using it. It is convenient for me because my room is small and I don’t have space for a lot of furniture. I also don’t like clutter, so by putting the chair away after I use it, my room looks a little tidier. My bedroom is the only place in the house that I have to myself, so I spend a lot of time there either studying or working.

I am in my last year of university, so I have many writing assignments and individual research to do. I do most of my writing on my laptop, so it’s convenient and comfortable to sit in my chair with my computer on my lap, either typing or reading or both. As I said, the chair is made of canvas and the frame is aluminum so it’s lightweight and easy to put away and take out whenever I need it. Surprisingly it is very comfortable for a folding chair, and that was the most important factor for me when I chose it. It was also inexpensive. It’s not a very beautiful piece of furniture, but it has definitely been one of the most practical things I’ve bought in a long time.

[speaking eBook]

IELTS Speaking ebook CTA Speaking part 3

Buying Furniture

 When, in what situations do people in your country buy furniture?

Most people buy furniture at a few main points in their lives. Naturally when people are getting married is one of those times. Another time is when they buy a new flat.

 How do people decide what furniture to buy for the home or office? What factors do they consider?

Well, they will consider what kind of furniture is needed. They will also look at which room it will go in and how much space they have. The women especially will think about color and style and what design looks best to them. I’d say price is probably the deciding point. They might like something very much, but if it’s too expensive they won’t be able to buy it.

[store banner]

 In Chinese families, who usually decides what furniture to buy for the home?

I think it varies from family to family. Nowadays, couples are making more decisions together. In my family, my parents even ask me what I think or like. In the past, often the men made decisions that concerned money, but some of those things are changing now.

 Do people in China prefer traditional or modern styles of furniture?

That also depends on the people and the families. I don’t think there is any set preference. From my experience though, I would say many younger couples prefer modern furniture. I think it goes along with other trends in our country. What I mean is that modern or foreign fashions are often more popular and interesting, especially for young people. Maybe I’m different in this way though because I think many pieces of traditional furniture in our country are very beautiful. They are also often made better than the modern things.

 Have there been any recent changes in the kinds of furniture that people in China use?

Well, as I said a lot of foreign influence has come into our country and this is affecting what people buy, including furniture. A very popular furniture store right now is IKEA, this is a store from Sweden and its style of furniture is a big change from the recent and distant past. I think that if people have the money they may return to the quality furniture from years gone by. Over all, though, the predominant style of furniture that people in China use is modern.

Furniture Design

 What factors should a furniture designer consider when designing a piece of furniture?

The use of the particular piece would be the first consideration. A designer would also have to think of the market he is targeting. This would usually indicate the cost of the finished product. This in turn will influence what materials he can use within that  price range.

What are the qualities of a good furniture designer?

I’d say he needs to be artistic and imaginative. At the same time a designer also has to have quite a bit of practical sense. It’s generally no use to design something that is beautiful but impossible to construct. Or maybe the designer can figure out how to build it, but it ends up so expensive that no one can afford it. In any design field, there are people who design something more for art’s sake: they don’t really expect anyone to buy it or they hope to find a collector to buy it as a piece of art more than as something useful.

Housing

What kinds of housing are there in China?

There are many kinds of housing just as in other countries. There are flats and houses and also villas, but of course most people can’t afford anything other than flats. That is at least the case in the cities. In the rural areas, there are many people who live in houses, but these are usually very simple houses and these people are usually farmers.

How do people decide on the kind of housing they choose to live in?

In reality I don’t think most people have a lot of choices. Unless they are very rich, and these people are few in number compared to the general population. Most decide on flats because that is all they can afford. Usually people will try to choose something as close to their workplace as possible. Unfortunately, even in that there is not much choice and many people still have to spend a lot of time travelling to and from work.

For most Chinese people, what is an ideal house?

I think if most Chinese people could choose any house they wanted, they would choose a private individual house rather than a flat. They’d also want something with a garden where they could have flowers and trees and even grow some vegetables. They would also want something big enough that they could have members of their family live with them or at least a place they could stay if they came for a visit.

 How has housing changed in China?

Nowadays people live in flats and often these are in tall buildings if in big cities. In the past most lived in houses even if they were small. Some cities had courtyard houses where many family members lived together, and there was a garden in the middle where they could enjoy the outdoors together. You’ve probably heard of these. They are interesting to foreigners.

 How will housing change in the future?

I can imagine there will be more flats in the big cities that will be in taller buildings and with more modern facilities and equipment built into them. I hope though that some designers will do something to see that there are more park areas in between the buildings. I think city planners are making a big mistake by cramming in so much concrete. More green areas would be an important change to make in the future.

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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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