IELTS | Xochitl and Jack take the IELTS

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In this episode of The A to Z English Podcast, Xochitl and Jack offer some tips for IELTS test takers and then each of them answer an IELTS speaking question.


IELTS Speaking Part 3 involves a two-way discussion with the examiner, typically lasting 4-5 minutes. This part requires you to express opinions, discuss abstract ideas, and provide detailed answers. Here are some effective strategies to excel in this section:

1. Expand Your Answers

  • Develop Ideas: Don’t give one-sentence answers. Expand your response by explaining your points, providing examples, and considering multiple perspectives.
  • Structure: Use a clear structure. For example, start with a main point, provide a reason, give an example, and conclude with a summary.

2. Use a Range of Vocabulary and Grammar

  • Lexical Resource: Use varied and precise vocabulary. Avoid repeating the same words.
  • Grammar: Use a range of grammatical structures, including complex sentences, passive voice, and conditionals.

3. Linking Words and Phrases

  • Cohesion: Use linking words and phrases to connect your ideas smoothly. Examples include “however,” “moreover,” “on the other hand,” “for instance,” etc.
  • Signposting: Indicate the direction of your thoughts with phrases like “to begin with,” “another point to consider,” “in conclusion,” etc.

4. Express Opinions and Justify Them

  • Opinion: Clearly state your opinion using phrases like “I believe,” “In my view,” “From my perspective.”
  • Justification: Justify your opinions with reasons and evidence. Use phrases like “because,” “the reason is,” “due to.”

5. Speculate and Hypothesize

  • Speculation: When discussing future scenarios or possibilities, use speculative language such as “might,” “could,” “it’s possible that.”
  • Hypothesis: Use conditional sentences to talk about hypothetical situations. For example, “If I were in charge, I would…”

6. Stay Calm and Confident

  • Calmness: Stay calm and composed. Take a moment to think before you answer if needed.
  • Confidence: Speak confidently, even if you’re unsure. It’s better to attempt an answer than to stay silent.

7. Practice Common Topics

  • Familiarity: Practice discussing common Part 3 topics such as education, technology, the environment, culture, and society.
  • Current Affairs: Stay updated with current affairs as they can provide content for your answers.

8. Engage in Real Conversations

  • Practice: Engage in conversations with fluent English speakers or join language exchange groups.
  • Feedback: Seek feedback from teachers or peers to identify areas for improvement.

9. Time Management

  • Balance: Ensure your answers are long enough to show your language skills but concise enough to stay relevant to the question.
  • Pacing: Maintain a steady pace to avoid speaking too fast or too slow.

10. Active Listening

  • Understanding: Listen carefully to the examiner’s questions to ensure you fully understand before answering.
  • Clarification: If you’re unsure about a question, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Question 1: “How has technology affected the way people communicate?”


“Technology has profoundly transformed the way people communicate, making interactions more immediate and accessible. One major impact is the shift from face-to-face conversations to digital communications. Nowadays, people frequently use messaging apps, social media, and video calls to stay connected, even across vast distances. This immediacy allows for real-time communication, which is particularly beneficial for maintaining relationships with friends and family who live far away.

Moreover, technology has democratized information sharing. Social media platforms enable individuals to share their thoughts, experiences, and news with a broad audience instantly. This has led to a more interconnected world where people are more aware of global events and diverse perspectives.

However, there are downsides as well. The over-reliance on digital communication can lead to a decline in interpersonal skills. Many people, especially younger generations, may find it challenging to engage in face-to-face conversations and develop deep, meaningful relationships. Additionally, the prevalence of digital communication can contribute to a sense of isolation, as virtual interactions might not provide the same level of emotional connection as in-person interactions.

In summary, while technology has revolutionized communication by making it faster and more widespread, it also presents challenges that society must address to ensure healthy and effective interpersonal interactions.”

Question 2: “What role do older people play in society today?”


“Older people play a crucial role in society today, contributing in various significant ways. One important role is that of wisdom and experience. Older individuals often have a wealth of knowledge accumulated over their lifetimes, which they can share with younger generations. This can be particularly valuable in professional settings, where mentoring and guidance from experienced workers can enhance the skills and development of younger employees.

Additionally, many older people continue to contribute economically by remaining active in the workforce or engaging in volunteer activities. This can help alleviate some of the pressures on social security systems and provide essential services to communities. For example, retired professionals often volunteer their time and expertise in non-profit organizations, schools, and local communities, enriching society with their contributions.

Moreover, older adults often play vital roles within families, such as providing childcare for grandchildren or offering emotional and financial support to their adult children. This intergenerational support can strengthen family bonds and provide stability, particularly in times of economic or social hardship.

However, it’s important to recognize that older people also face challenges such as ageism and health issues, which can limit their ability to contribute fully to society. Therefore, it is essential for societies to create inclusive environments that value and support older adults, ensuring they have the opportunities and resources to continue playing active and meaningful roles.

In conclusion, older people hold a vital place in society through their experience, economic contributions, and family roles. Supporting their active participation can benefit both individuals and communities at large.”


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Intro/Outro Music: Debora by Jangwa

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