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 this country is
- what kind of climate it has
- how this climate might affect life in that country
and explain why you want to visit it.
Like most people aspiring to master English, the country I would very much like to see is England. Its climate is somewhat of a cultural thing, and a point of controversy. We are warned against discussing weather with the English – some say they would just rather not talk about it altogether. Or they would, out of politeness they are well-known for. Proximity to Gulf steam brings moist and mild air, making summers gentle and winters a bit chilly. The Englishmen themselves prefer spending their vacation on the sunny beaches of Spain because they are not very fond of the frequent precipitation back home. Whether any of this is true is unknown to me, and that is one of the reasons I want to go there so badly.
Just like its climate, denizens of the UK are rather sparing when it comes to emotions. They are not easy to be amused nor quick to lose their temper. Reserved and balanced, just like the seasonal changes with temperate summers and mild winters, they are the mirrored image of their nature. And this is the prime reason I would very much like to see all of it in person. I want to know first-hand whether it is the case or it’s all a figment of somebody’s imagination, a joke blown out of proportion.
IELTS Speaking Part 3
Climate and people
How can the climate people live in affect their character?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that colder climate makes people living in it more introverted. Most Nordic countries as well as Finland and the UK are living examples of that – nobody would argue with that. They are not in a hurry to make friends, most of them prefer the quiet of solitude, they have predisposition to rumination. Of course it would be foolish to assume that weather is the only factor, but it definitely contributes to that.
Conversely, people living in hotter climate zones are more jovial and extroverted. Spain and Portugal are known for their hospitality, loud parties and festivals. I guess when it’s boiling hot outside people want to escape the stifling indoors and go to the beach. All in all, it is easy to see certain correlation between temperature and temperament. The numerous examples suggest that it is not a coincidence or a statistical mistake.
Do you believe that climate change will affect people’s way of life? If so, how?
The effects of climate change impact on people’s lives are already visible, and frighteningly so. Rising temperatures, changing weather patterns and sea-level rise are causing significant social, economic, and environmental effects. For instance, both floods and droughts cause huge problems with irrigation, and it is usually the consumer who has to pay the price. They say Venice might end up underwater within our lifetime – a truly frightening prospect and a sign of things to come. Unless the current trend reverses, people living in the lowlands all over the world could be forced to leave their homes and move somewhere higher.
How do you think climate change might impact the global economy?
It can affect it on two levels – personal and global. Here’s one of the former: an eco-conscious consumer nowadays favours recyclable and biodegradable products. They are ready to pay extra to make sure their purchase doesn’t contribute to the problem. At the same time, the same consumer is likely to use things much longer – for all the same reason of saving the environment. For some it is a genuine desire of preventing global warming, others just feel good about being a part of a good cause.
A more global economic shift lies within increasing temperatures. Some scientists have a rather pessimistic outlook on the temperature trajectory. Specifically, they say that within the next century areas near the equator will have mean temperatures in excess of 50 degrees Celsius. This will lead to forced migration further north, which in turn will inevitably create house market deficit, driving prices up.
How has climate change affected the weather in your country?
It would probably be unfair to talk about the country as a whole, but I’d be happy to share what has been happening in the city I live in. Over the past fifteen years summers have become noticeably warmer, with less precipitation and more sunny days. The warm season now spans almost five months – mid-April to late October. May to early September are especially hot nowadays, with almost half of the period well into thirty degrees Celsius.
However, winters haven’t become warmer – in fact, they are markedly colder than they used to be. We get more snow and the wind year-over-year seems to be getting stronger. All in all, the seasons seem to have become more pronounced. So while climate change is definitely there, I can’t say that global warming has hit us hard, especially taking chilly winters into account.
Has climate change has affected biodiversity? If so, how?
The biggest issue on everybody’s mind nowadays is loss of habitat. The first species that immediately comes to mind is the polar bear. As the ice capes in the Arctic grow thinner, polar bears find themselves in increasingly higher temperatures. This of course affects all species singular to that region, which in turn ruins the food chain and leads to starvation, biodiversity collapsing like a house of cards. With so little food to spare, polar bears no longer produce offspring, leading to rapid decline of their population.
Similarly, the melting of sea ice is causing other ripple effects in the Arctic ecosystem. One case of that is how plankton and other microorganisms, that were once trapped in sea ice are now being released into the water, attracting a variety of new species to the region. However, as these new species move into the Arctic, they may compete with existing species for food and resources, ultimately leading to population decline. All of the above aggravates the dire situation.
Weather and climate vocabulary
Precipitation (n) – a general term for rain, snow, sleet, hail or any other form of water coming from the sky as a weather phenomenon. This summer has had unprecedented levels of precipitation.
Seasonal changes – changes in temperature, wind and other aspects characteristic to a particular season.
Temperate (adj) – (relating to weather or climate) not too extreme, either pleasantly warm or cool. Living in temperate climates for most of their lives, Europeans might find African dry, hot air rather oppressing.
Boiling hot – extremely hot to the point of being unbearable. The city was boiling hot all July, roads felt like molten concrete, with no people outside.
Stifling (adj) – hot and humid to such extent that it makes it difficult to breathe. These rooms get stifling hot if air conditioning gets switched off.
Irrigation (n) – man-controlled process of providing water to crops, trees and flowers. Modern irrigation techniques allow one man to oversee the process across thousands of acres.
Lowlands (n) – areas located at or below the sea levels.
Eco-conscious (adj) – aware of and concerned with the problems of ecology and the environment. To make youth more eco-conscious means to have more chance of having a brighter, greener future for everyone.
Mean temperature – temperature average over a certain period, i.e. 24 hours, a week, a season and so on.
Chilly (adj) – so cold that it makes you feel uncomfortable, as opposed to cool – pleasantly cold. It was getting quite chilly in late October so I wouldn’t normally leave the house without a hat.
Loss of habitat – situation when living creatures like animals, fish or insects can no longer live where they are used to because of changing conditions. It can be caused by change in temperature, deforestation, lack of food or prey and many other factors.
Ripple effects – a mistake, irregularity or disturbance in some balanced system that provokes chain reaction and leads to further destabilisation.
Aspiring (adj) – trying your best to achieve something. Aspiring students from all over the world came to Houston today to take part in a Science Fair.
Point of controversy – a divisive matter, a thing that people have several opinions about and can’t agree on. Employers’ unwillingness to hire older staff nowadays is a big point of controversy.
Warn somebody against something – to tell somebody that doing something is a bad or dangerous idea. Mother has always warned me against hanging out with kids who smoke even though they are in their early teens.
Denizens – people (or animals) that live in a particular area. Denizens of Rome have a great sense of fashion, but they rarely admit it.
Sparing (adj) – to be very careful or frugal with something, only using or giving very small amounts of it. When I was in school most teachers were pretty sparing with compliments and punishments alike.
Lose one’s temper – to get angry. Jack is quick to lose his temper, especially if he gets into an argument he can’t win.
Figment of imagination – an imaginary thing or situation, not real or true.
Anecdotal evidence – evidence based on personal experience or stories rather than scientific research or official data.
Solitude (n) – state of not having anyone else close to you. Not to be confused with loneliness when you feel the need for company. Solitude is usually voluntary and generally used in the positive sense.
Predisposition (n) – tendency to do something because of your preferences or character or qualities. She has predisposition to catching cold because of her weak immune system.
Rumination (n) – state of thinking or considering something thoroughly or carefully. I entered the room only to see Barbara in a deep state of rumination, so I promptly left not to disturb her.
Jovial (n) – friendly, full of life and cheerful. Her jovial manner won many friends for her during college years.
Prospect (n) – possibility or likelihood of something. I wasn’t too keen about the prospect of having to get another part-time job to cover my expenses.
Sign of things to come – something that points at or indicates about something that is likely to happen in the future. If we look back to the invention of the first iPhone it was a real sign of things to come, namely wide adoption of mobile Internet and general shift from desktops to mobile devices.
Outlook on something – (here) an expected results or what people think might happen regarding it. His outlook on life is very positive – after finishing university he has a couple of cushy jobs lined up.
In excess of – more than. Last month the company had revenue in excess of 8 million.
Span (v) – (here) to take, last or cover a certain amount of time. This academic course spans two semesters and by the end of it will give you basic understanding of medieval history.
Markedly (adv) – noticeably, considerably.
Pronounced (adj) – (here) very noticeable.
Singular to – unique to. They say that tortoiseshell pattern is singular to female cats. Although male cats can very rarely have it, they are sterile from birth.
Offspring (n) – children of either people or animals. Due to particularly warm and gentle summers, the volume of foxes offspring has risen considerably.