IELTS Cue Card Sample 410 - An exciting competition or sporting event

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

Describe an exciting competition or sporting event you have witnessed.

You should say:

  • what the competition or sporting event was
  • when and where it took place
  • who won

and explain why it was exciting.

Model Answer:
Ooh, this is an interesting topic, because I can instantly think of the most exciting contest I’ve ever witnessed, but I have a feeling it isn’t quite the sort of example you might have been thinking of when you came up with the topic.  I hope you’ll agree it’s a reasonable spectacle to talk about though.  It was a battle for life or death, literally, and I was so caught up in watching it at the time I could hardly breathe, so surely you will want to hear about it too.

The competition was in the natural world.  It was a battle for territory, between two mighty creatures. I was going to say ‘insects’ but strictly speaking, that isn’t correct, they were two arachnids. One was a very venomous and aggressive scorpion, and the other a massive furry type of tarantula called a baboon spider.

I was working on a conservation project in South Africa, and after a communal meal with others in the camp where I was staying, I made my way back to my tent using a head torch to light my way. I knew there was a baboon spider living in a burrow near to where I was camping. It might sound a bit strange, but I was quite fascinated by this spider. I had learned that if you caught a moth (easy as they would crowd around the light of my head torch) then you could use it to tempt out the spider. I would do this by holding the moth with my outstretched fingers just outside the burrow’s entrance, and then, after a few seconds, the baboon spider sensing the movement would emerge and grab the moth and drag it back into the earth to eat. People who know me at home in England would be astonished that I did this as actually I’m quite scared of spiders in my house. However, this tarantula was different, so large, solid and furry solid it was almost like a mammal, and it moved in a predictable way, basically just staying in its burrow, just emerging at night to snatch unlucky prey that attracted its attention on passing by.

Anyway, I had got into the habit of taking a moth back with me after supper, so I could feed the spider as I went past. On this particular evening though as I caught sight of the burrow in the beam of my torch I saw the strangest thing. The great spider was out of its burrow – really unusual as they spend almost the entire time in their underground lairs – and it appeared to be somersaulting! As I watched I saw to my dismay that it was intertwined with a really dangerous scorpion of similar size. I could tell the scorpion was a deadly one, because it had a huge venom filled sting and relatively small pincers (I looked it up in a book later and it is one of the most lethal species in the continent!). The two were fighting ferociously, tumbling about in the orange earth and short scrub grass. I called over a friend to come and witness it too. It was astonishing to watch, the scorpion kept trying to sting the spider’s abdomen, but the spider was so big its legs kept the scorpion away. Over the next few minutes though, the spider began to tire. It was very sad to watch, the scorpion was victorious. The spider was left dying just a few inches from the burrow, and the scorpion entered the hole and took possession of it for itself. I carried on watching with my friend, the scorpion began to use the burrow as a base to hunt, lying in wait and then emerging to grab termites that were passing by. I felt so sad as I had lost my spider friend, but I also felt I’d witnessed something really remarkable. These, to us, small creatures, were mighty titans when in battle with one another, and I had, had absolutely no idea how their fight would end.

So this competition was between a scorpion and a tarantula. It took place on the plains of South Africa in the dark of night and the scorpion was triumphant. It was horrifying, but exciting to watch because it was a battle to the death and silly as it sounds, I felt like I ‘knew’ one of the competitors. Witnessing it gave me a renewed appreciation of the natural world and its wonders. What a remarkable place we inhabit, and what extraordinary creatures live alongside us the world over!

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

Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

Q.  What are the best ways to keep fit? What do you do to keep fit?

Q.  Are you good at sport?

Q.  What sports do you play?

Q.  What is the most popular sport in your country?

Q.  What is the most popular form of exercise in your country?

Q.  How can we encourage young people to stay healthy?

Q.  Should governments intervene to force people to be healthier?

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