IELTS Cue Card Sample 5 - A website you often browse

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a website you often browse.

You should say:

  • what is it
  • how long have you been using it
  • give details information about the website

and explain why you often browse this website.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Follow-up Questions:

  • How long have you been using the Internet?
  • How the Internet has changed our lifestyle?
  • What would be the possible uses of Internet in the future?

Describe a website you often browse

 

Model Answer 1:
I have just a few minutes to tell you about a website I often browse. I will tell you what the website is, how long I’ve been using it, a bit about what is on it and why I visit it so often.

The website is the BBC news website. You can find it at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news but I just have it as a favourite on my toolbar. I am a complete BBC junkie! I visit the website several times a day if I can, and have been using it for as long as I can remember. Possibly for as long as the website has been in existence but definitely for the past ten years or more.

The BBC news website is massive. It contains rolling headlines of breaking news, and from the landing page, you can jump to sections on different types of news categories. For example, there are tabs for world news; health issues; environmental reports; education; sport; education and science as well as entertainment and arts stories. You can read just text based articles illustrated with a few pictures – which is my preferred way of accessing news and information – or you can opt to see news film or audio clips. I think the website is really comprehensive and easy to use too.

The BBC news website, for me, is a one-stop location for all current affairs and news items. I really like that I can see headlines of breaking news almost instantaneously, but it also includes more thoughtful reporting. Detailed online articles with considered analysis about global or local events.  I can also find out what the weather forecast is – always handy in the UK where it can change so quickly, plus I like to be able to keep an eye on what is happening locally to me in Sheffield where I live. I also trust the BBC website to give balanced reporting, I think it has journalistic integrity, so I feel if I read it every day, I will have a good perspective on what is going on in the world, and enough information to come to my own conclusions on current affairs across the globe.The only downside of the website is that I find it can be a bit addictive! Because it is updated frequently it is tempting to keep going back and having another look if there is some running news item that I am following. It can lead me to procrastinate when I am supposed to be working, but I tell myself it is important to keep up to date with what is going on in the world, even though I know that really, it wouldn’t hurt to limit myself to a news ‘fix’ just a couple of times a day!

I wonder if you use the website too, and if you do, whether you might as avid a follower as me!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris | Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]

Possible Answer 2:
I've been using the internet for more than 10 years and from the very beginning till now there are some websites those I use almost every day. Yahoo.com is one of those websites and possibly I'll use this site forever.

Yahoo.com is basically an e-mail service provider and a very popular search engine. I can still remember my first day at a cyber cafe where I opened the first website of my life and that was yahoo.com and the cafe owner helped me to open an e-mail address and I still use this email address to send and receive e-mails and for chatting.

Yahoo.com is a popular search engine, possibly next to google.com but as an e-mail service provider, it is more popular than www.google.com in my country .This website has many other useful features. For instance, the homepage contains up-to-date news and newsfeeds. It also gives the option to open free blog, host a website etc. www.my.yahoo.com is a very popular service and recently the www.answers.yahoo.com has become one of the most popular questions and answers website which is used by millions of people around the globe. Yahoo.com is owned by an American multinational technology company named Yahoo Inc. The headquartered of this company in is Sunnyvale, California. It was founded around 24 years ago and it is still one of the most visited websites in the world.

I open this website more than twice a day on an average. The email service it offers is quite excellent. I also participate in the answers.yahoo.com website to post my questions or to answer questions posted by others. The pointing system of this answer-question based sub-domain of yahoo website makes it quite remarkable and popular.

Alternative Answer 3:
I use the internet daily and there are lots of websites that I often browse for different reasons. But probably www.facebook.com is the one I most often browse. It is a social networking website and probably is one of the top 5 most visited websites in the world. The website mainly facilitates me stay connected with my friends and helps me update and broadcast my news as well.

Though the primary purpose of this website is to let people communicate friends and known people but there are lots of other features as well. It offers games, eCommerce facility, emailing, chatting, making new friends, social marketing, different campaign, fan page opening etc. I have been using the website from 2004 and it is important to me because all of my friends and relatives are connected there. If a friend has a birthday, the website notifies me and I can wish him/ her a birthday, if someone has a new photo or news to share, I can see it from my account. I can share my photo, video, updates, thought as well. If someone opines on an issue, others can comment on it. For me, the website is important because my childhood friends, adolescence friends, college & University friends are connected there. I get their updates regularly and can let them know what's happening over here. In no other way, I could have been connected to the people I am now connected via facebook. I use this website from my computer and from my cell phone as well. For me, this is a social networking website where I remain close to my friends and relatives. But with its own right it has become a powerful eCommerce platform, gaming place, marketing channel, and many more other business related platform.

Nowadays everybody owns a facebook ID. Making new friends is easy on facebook and that helps people grow their friends beyond the boundary. Millions of people use facebook and it is almost impossible to connect with people you care and know without this website.

Tips for answering this Cue Card question:

Pick a website which is popular and you often visit. If you prefer to talk about a website which is not known to all, mention that this is not a very popular website but I visit it for this particular reason. You can pick a social networking website, email service providing website, news channel website, your university or office website, a website you have developed and visit for updating it, Wikipedia type website etc. If you pick a website which is popular, do not give any fictitious information. Giving false information about a well-known website like Google, Yahoo or Facebook would create some doubts in the examiner's mind as s/he might also be a user of this website.

Do not worry if you do not know every detail of the website even if the question asks you to describe it. If you do not know the owner name, operation since, technical aspects of the website, simply skip those parts instead of giving imaginary information. You can focus on what the website offers to the visitors and what you do from this website. For instance:

Social Networking websites:
Most of my friends are also connected in this website/ social network and I get their updates.
I can publish my updates and let my friends know about it.
It helps me finding my old friends/ family members.
It offers me to use third party applications and play games.
I can share my images and videos.
Help me find out information related to my education/ job.
Chat with my friends.

Email Service providers:
I send emails from this website.
I check the emails sent to me.
I can send attachments.
Has a good spam filtering and threat detection service.

Wikipedia like website:
Helps me finding reliable and details information on various topics.
Loads faster and has a subscription option.
I can contribute on updating the information.
Most of the topics are covered and you can get almost all of the information you need.

News websites:
Provides updated and latest news.
Both local and international news are served.
Has email notification service on my selective topics.
Gives sports news and events.
Offers interesting supplementary and magazines as well.
News presentation is outstanding and sources are very reliable.
Covers last minute news as well.

Part 3: Details Discussion:

Q: How long have you been using the Internet?
Answer: I have been using the Internet since I bought my first personal computer in 2007. At first, I didn't know how to use it properly but as time went by I became aware of it. I use it constantly every day either for studies and work or for entertainment. I check my e-mails, read the news, watch movies and TV series, listen to music. It's instantly accessible and I can find a massive amount of information on various topics such as health issues, environmental, economy, sports, education et cetera. I have become really dependent on that and I consume almost all of my spare time surfing the internet.

Q: How the Internet has changed our lifestyle?
Answer: This is a really controversial issue. On the one hand, the Internet has made our lives better and simpler as everyone nowadays seems to be moving online. It provides reliable and accurate information on many topics. It is user-friendly because you can find anything you need by just sitting on a chair rather than going to a library and of course it has made communication much easier and faster as it connects people across the globe. Furthermore, it results in developing our cognitive skills because we can gain or even expand our existing knowledge and this knowledge can be shared instantly. On the other hand, the Internet has led to a kind of addiction and it declines the ability of interacting and socialising. This leads to isolation and feelings of loneliness because we deprive of social interaction. Last but not least, the Internet can be risky in some cases, especially for kids, and for online transactions. Hacking, identity theft, and online crimes are some common drawbacks of Internet.

Tip:
Positive sides of the Internet- it fosters communication around the world, helps people make more friends, creates opportunities for business and e-commerce, online shopping at better prices, fosters tolerance and understanding, creates positive changes in attitudes, brings information at our finger tap, makes business transactions easier and helps in learning things in a better and efficient way.   

Negative sides: Widespread use leads to isolation because people have online friends only and they lose their friends they see in the flesh, identity theft, hacking, spread of malware & virus, dependency on the internet kills our social skill, chances of plagiarism etc.

Q: What would be the possible uses of Internet in the future?
Answer: My personal opinion is that driving is an activity that will be controlled entirely by the Internet in the future. Furthermore, it will be able to trace any kind of shortages of necessary goods in our houses, for example, if we run out of sugar, coffee, fruits and vegetables etc. The Internet will place online orders for those items automatically. It will have a predominant role in the field of medicine as well by making all kinds of surgeries and check-ups and doctors will only have to press a button. Another use that comes to my head is in universities. In the next twenty years or so, lectures will only be online and every student will have to attend university from their own personal computer. Moreover, people will primarily communicate using the Internet, landlines and cell phone networks would no longer be required. Finally, more interactive software and websites would be available that would connect the world data and would serve to the users.

[Part three question answers were written by Mary, UK]

Some similar cue card topics that you should be able to answer as well: 

1. Talk about a famous social networking website.
2. Describe a helpful website that you have visited.
3. Describe a website you and your friends often browse.
4. Talk about a worth visiting website.
5. Describe a website that you would recommend your friends.

 

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