This is a sample response for IELTS Speaking Part 2 and 3. In addition to the model answer there are highlighted words and phrases. Teal is for vocabulary relating to this topic, yellow is for generally useful words and phrases.
IELTS Speaking Part 2
You should say:
- what the animal is
- how popular the animal is in your country
- why it is associated with your country
and say if you think the association is fitting.
I am from India and the animal my country associated with is a Bengal tiger. It is a carnivorous feline that preys on deer, goats and cattle. Bengal tigers are a symbol of power and grace. The Bengal tiger has been depicted in Indian art, folklore, and literature for centuries, and is also the mascot of many Indian sports teams. Despite its popularity though it is an endangered species because of poaching and loss of habitat. India is home to the majority of the global population of Bengal tigers, making it one of the most significant habitats for these majestic creatures. The tiger is a symbol of India’s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage and is an important part of the country’s identity.
To be honest, I find it difficult to be totally objective regarding the question of whether the association fits. It definitely does if you take into account the geographic habitat of this animal. However, since depiction of this animal is omnipresent in Indian culture, you get really used to it and any constructive feedback on this matter can be difficult to give.
IELTS Speaking Part 3
Animals and people
How did relationships between people and animals change throughout history?
Throughout recorder history, mankind has been extremely reliant on animals. They were used for transportation, as sources of food and wool, they aided greatly in agricultural processes such as plowing, irrigation and harvesting. However, the more technology advanced, the less cost-efficient animal labour became. Eventually, machines took over in almost every single sphere except food provision. Nowadays, animals are mostly used for companionship and leisure. The former requires no explanation – most of us have a cat or a dog around the house. The latter can be exemplified by horse riding, visiting the zoo and safari tours. To summarise, animals have lost most of their pragmatic significance, but of course they still play a much greater role in biodiversity.
Some people argue that animal testing is necessary for scientific and medical advancements. What is your opinion?
There are two ways to look at the matter. Some believe that such tests are unnecessary and alternative methods should be used instead. Some examples are computer modeling or in vitro testing – both could be implemented to achieve similar scientific and medical advancements without harming animals. Naturally, it comes at a much higher cost, so researches might be reluctant to go that way.
Proponents of animal testing argue that many medical treatments and procedures were only achieved after animal research. Without it, we wouldn’t be sure of the safety of new drugs or medical procedures before they are tested in human trials. Such approach could also provide insight into the biological systems of animals and humans that cannot be obtained through other methods. Ultimately, I hold that because of ethical implications, researches should spare no cost at avoiding experimenting on animals, only using it as a last resort option.
Animals and pets
Some people see their pets as members of family. What do you think the benefits and drawbacks of having such close relationships with animals are?
The advantages of such situation is companionship. People who live solitary lives for one reason or another can find solace in their pets. Speaking from personal experience, having a cat around when your family is away feels very comforting. It’s also nice to have a sense of purpose – when you feed your pet or take them for a walk, it can feel quite fulfilling. Unfortunately, dogs, cats and other such pets have a relatively short lifespan. We don’t see many pets live past the age of 15, so you will almost inevitably see it die of old age. This experience can be extremely traumatizing as over the years you will have grown extremely attached to your pet.
Should people be allowed to keep exotic pets, such as snakes or monkeys, as pets? Why or why not?
In short – no they shouldn’t be. First of all, individuals interested in owning such an animal can easily underestimate the costs of owning it. Food, artificial habitat, regular vet check-ups can add up to a sizeable monthly payments. Secondly, people are quick to lose interest as the feeling of novelty inevitably wears off. I’ve heard of cases when people would simply let the animal loose after they have decided they don’t need it for whatever reason. Unless zoologists or other animal specialists manage to find and rescue said specimen there is no telling what can happen. And finally, most of such pets are exotic for a reason – they simply are not meant to be kept in captivity.
How can owning a pet impact a person’s daily routine or lifestyle?
For most pets the impact is rather minimal. You check if the pet has enough food and water, clean up after them and that’s about it. Dogs are a different story though. You have to wake up early in the morning to take them for a walk for them to do their business. Then you do the same in late evening. This disciplines the owner and makes the bond with the pet get stronger. Another lifestyle change I can think of is holiday trips. You can’t really take most pets with you, and even if you could you probably wouldn’t want to – having to feed and groom them on the road can be an inconvenience. So you have to find a person to step in for you to look after them. Usually it is much easier just not to take trips anymore and for many it is simply not an option, so there’s that.