IELTS Cue Card Sample 447 - An importation occasion or event you have attended

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

Describe an importation occasion or event (such as a wedding or a celebration) you have attended.

You should say:

  • when and where you attended this occasion.
  • who else attended
  • what you did

and explain how much you enjoyed it.

Sample Answer 1:
Isn’t it interesting, that thinking of an important occasion or event, the examples given for this cue card are ‘a wedding or celebration’ yet when I thought of the most recent ‘important occasion’ I have attended, it wasn’t really either of these….  I’ll try and explain.  I’ll talk about when and where I attended this event, who else was there and what my role was.  I don’t know if ‘enjoy’ is quite the right word to use to describe how I felt about going, but I will tell you why I was pleased to be present for it and why it was so important I was.

So the occasion was just last month.  I had to go to the funeral of an elderly relative of mine, who early in the New Year had died at the age of ninety.  The funeral was held about a five-hour drive away from where I live, so it was a long way to go to be there to say goodbye, but it was very important to me to be there.  I was very close to her.  We were relatives, but only very distant ones.  I’d got to know her as an adult, and we had exchanged letters with each other on a regular basis for over 25 years – that’s a quarter of a century.   Our letters covered a multitude of topics from politics to travel and work.  She herself had lived a full and interesting life, travelling all over the world and publishing many eminent papers on a range of topics from scientific enquiry to classical art - but in her last few years was in great pain.  The last time I saw her was to join her for a celebratory lunch for her ninetieth birthday.  She was mentally strong, but physically frail, and it was clear she was treating this occasion as a farewell meal.  It wasn’t a surprise to me that she died a few weeks later.  Of course, I wanted to be at her funeral, it was really important to be there to ‘send her off’ with affection, and share memories of her life with others who knew her and cared for her too.

This relative had never married, and didn’t have children. Even so, there were many people there.  She would have been really pleased to see friends and neighbours, as well as family members join the goodbyes.  She did have some nieces and nephews, as well as me, a cousin, who were all at her last birthday meal.  Together we came up with memories of her to include in the Eulogy about her life that was read at the ceremony.   I suggested a range of readings that I thought were appropriate to her interests in the natural world and enthusiasm for literature.  The funeral itself was poignant of course, but it was also a joyful celebration and recognition of a full and unique life.  She had lived life to the full as the saying goes, and frankly was ready to go at the end.  Her passing will leave a huge gap in the world, but although it may sound strange the funeral was joyful too.  My role was to contribute ideas for the Eulogy, but also to start the service with a reading.  I chose one from The Tempest, one of Shakespeare’s plays.  It is quite a famous extract, and is probably used at funerals a lot as it is quite appropriate.  It starts ‘our revels now are ended’ and I think she would have appreciated it as she loved Shakespeare very much.

I don’t think I’d use the word ‘enjoy’ as such for a funeral, as it doesn’t seem entirely fitting.  However, I found the ceremony and the gathering for tea and sandwiches that followed it incredibly comforting.  It was lovely to hear stories of this relative that I’d not heard before from other people, and share happy memories.  Someone had even found some old black and white film of her playing on a beach with her father and siblings when she was just a toddler.  The footage was hilarious!  She and her two brothers are running unevenly along in the sand, their father is playing with them with real joy.  But it was a different time, so even though it is a hot day at the seaside, he is wearing a three-piece suit with a tie, a hat and smoking a pipe!  It was impossible not to laugh at the picture, and be pleased she had enjoyed that carefree day so many decades ago that we were seeing for the first time all these years later.  I think she would have loved it!  It brought this cousin back to life as we recalled with affection the adventures she’d had, the legacy she’d leave and the influence she’d had on all of us.  Her life did make a difference, and that is all any of us might wish for.  I believe as long as you talk about people and remember them they are still with you in a way.

Although perhaps you weren’t expecting me to choose to talk about a funeral as a celebratory event, I still think it is appropriate.  This funeral was indeed a celebration of the most remarkable life, and I was certainly an important occasion.  I think it is only apt that both she and her funeral should be remembered with affection and with a smile.

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

Sample Answer 2:
Well, it was a birthday celebration of one of my cousins and I consider it as an important and memorable event as I met so many of my relatives in a single day and I had a really great time with them. This was a rare event for me and I enjoyed a lot.

It was three or four years ago and the birthday party was arranged in a large party hall in our hometown. My uncle and aunt decided to celebrate their son- John’s birthday, as they were scheduled to leave the country in few months to permanently live in Australia. This was John’s 12th birthday and his parents invited more than 300 guests. The guest-list included mostly our relatives, John’s friends, my uncle’s colleagues, and some neighbours.

This was a special event and happy celebration for me basically because of two reasons. I said goodbye and wished luck to John and my uncle and I had a chance to meet so many of my relatives in a single evening. This was quite exciting to see all my close relatives and their children. Just after I reached the party hall I noticed that some of my cousins were gossiping together. It was a long since I had seen many of them. They were also happy to see me and they called other cousins and we enjoyed our time together. We talk about each other, took photos together, exchanged our phone numbers and enjoyed our dinner. On this very occasion I met some of my relatives after quite a long and meeting them in person was a very stirring experience for me.

I also bought a gift for John, the birthday boy, and congratulated him. I also invited my uncle to visit us with his family before they leave the country. My younger sister Sara and my parents were very happy and excited about the whole event and I could tell they enjoyed the event very much. I must say this was a very rare occasion and the excitement and delight it brought for me was boundless.

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