IELTS Speaking topic - city and the country 1

IELTS Speaking topic – City and the country #1

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

Talk about a time you had to live in the countryside.
You should say:

  • where it was
  • how much time you had to live there
  • what you liked about it

and say if you would like to go there again.

Model answer

This is a story from my adolescent years, I think I was in my early teens. It was summer school break and my parents decided it would be good for me to spend the summer at my grandparents’. The place is a short bus trip away from Munich, but it would surprise you how much different things are out there. If I had known I would enjoy my stay there so much, I would have gone there every single summer!

To start with, people in the country have a very different attitude. They are not as eager to befriend you at first, but once you get to know them better it turns out they are much more frank and friendly than the urbanites. If you were to compare these two kind of people you would soon find out that the latter are much more superficial and less involved in your friendship. Secondly, and this should go without saying, is the nature. Lush fields and rolling hills, the peace and quiet of the place really set the mood. You simply feel more comfortable and safe.

As I have said, I’d gladly go back there again and again. Sadly, free time is at a premium for me at the moment as I have to study and have a part-time job. I hope to visit my grandparents again in the foreseeable future.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Urbanisation

Do people in your country tend to live in smaller towns or bigger cities? Why?
One would assume that people all around the globe are concentrated in big metropolitan areas. While this is generally true for most countries, mine is a pleasant exception. There is no disproportionate number of population living in the city, the distribution is pretty even here. I am sure this is owing to much higher living costs in bigger urban agglomerations and the undue levels of stress associated with living there. While living in the country might not be as exciting, it seems well worth it seeing just how many people choose it as their permanent residence.

How can be people encouraged to live in the country?
The easiest way and the one that is most likely to succeed is making people more informed about the innumerable benefits of living out of city. Once people realise that life has so much more to offer than city hustle and bustle they will think twice before moving there. Some born in urban areas might even consider moving to the country to see if it is really their thing. This should be especially easy in the current working environment. What I mean to say is quite a bit of people nowadays work from home – there is no commuting, no having to turn up at the office. As we know, work is the main reason many live in cities, so take care of that and folks will flock to the rural areas!

Will urbanisation increase further in the future? Why/Why not?
Not necessarily. As we become less dependent on the location where we work from, we might choose to relocate and enjoy a much less stressful lifestyle of the countryside. In fact, this could be welcomed by the law or regulations of some kind. As we will likely be facing overpopulation in the future, people will have to be spread across the glove more evenly, so it makes a lot of sense to incentivise relocation.

City and the country

What are the differences of living in a city and in the country?
First and foremost it has to be the pace. People in the city are always in a hurry. They have to be in time to work, a meeting, their yoga class and a dentist’s appointment. Then they drive at excessive speeds, honking at each other, probably enjoying the rush. They live like that day in day out and eventually they forget that it doesn’t have to be that way. The country folk are usually more in touch with nature. It is no secret there that life is not a race so the rhythm is much more regular, even sedated. This takes time getting used to and it is not to everyone’s liking.

Why do young people tend to live in bigger cities?
Work, education and entertainment. When they graduate from high school they have to get a degree and a smaller town normally just doesn’t have that – so they have to move. Once they graduate, they have to put the degree to good use, and a smaller town is unlikely to need it – so again, they have to move. Finally, when you are young and eager and adventurous you want to have fun! And while fun is not about just bars and night clubs, for many it is. So yeah, I believe these are the reasons they go to live there.

Do you think that more people will move to the countryside in the future?
Yeah, probably. As I have said, we grow less attached to the place and everybody uses computers for work nowadays. There is no reason to believe that we will get less dependent on technology, the opposite is likely to be the case. As a result cities will lose their significance as the business centres of the world. With growing decentralisation and more even distribution of talent we will see people leaving cities to pursue more comfortable lives.

City and the country vocabulary

Urbanite (n) – a person living in the city
Lush fields – fields that are rich with grass, flowers and other vegetation
Rolling hills – hills that flow evenly from one onto another
Urban agglomeration – a general term for big city and its immediate surroundings
Hustle and bustle – state of being busy or full of activity
Relocate (v) – to change the place where you live, usually for a long time or permanently
In touch with – close to, not losing connection with something

General vocabulary

Adolescent (adj) – aged 10-19
Grandparents’ – possessive case used here to mean somebody’s place.
If I had known… – a Third Conditional sentence here is highlighted to emphasise how IELTS Speaking assessors like more advanced vocabulary to be included in your answer
Attitude (n) – approach to or opinion of something
Frank (adj) – honest, telling the truth
Superficial (adj) – not real, appearing as something else on the surface
At a premium – if something is at a premium, it is rare or difficult to find (and/or costly)
Owing to – because of or thanks to
Undue (adj) – unneeded or more than necessary
Flock to – rush to, come to in great numbers
Incentivise (v) – give reason or stimulus to do something e.g. by giving money
Sedated (adj) – slow and calm, can be used negatively
To put smth to good use – to find usage or application for something

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