Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 264 - Describe an environmental problem

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

Describe an environmental problem that the world is facing.

You should say:

  • what environmental problem it is
  • why it is happening
  • what harmful effects it has

and explain what can be done to prevent this environmental problem.


Model Answer 1:

Today, the world is facing a number of environmental problems which are making our world a very dangerous place to live in. While we all are more or less aware of some of these environmental problems, today, I would like to talk about just one of them which is air pollution.

Well, I don’t really think that I need to define what air pollution really is since it is one of the most burning environmental issues in today’s world. Yet, in simple words, air pollution is a type of environmental pollution that affects the air and is usually caused by smoke or other harmful gases, mainly carbon dioxides, sulphur and nitrogen. So, air pollution is the contamination of air due to the presence or introduction of a substance which has a poisonous effect on our earth’s atmosphere.

This air pollution, of course, is something that our earth is dealing with thousands of years, but since the industrial revolution started about more than 250 years ago, it went from bad to worst very rapidly. And because of this dangerous air pollution, the world is not only facing global warming due to excessive carbon dioxide, destruction of the ozone layer, as well as causing dangerous acid rain, but also causing some serious health issues in humans. In fact, air pollution can make people very sick by making it difficult to breathe. Such air pollution can also cause diseases such as lung cancer, respiratory infections, and heart disease. According to the World Health Organization, 2.4 million people die each year from air pollution. Air pollution can be especially dangerous to children living in big cities with bad smog.

Now, if we really want to prevent this serious environmental problem, we should all try to use lesser and lesser energy, like electricity and gasoline, because they emit excessive carbon in our earth’s atmosphere. Besides, we shouldn’t also cause deforestation because that would increase greenhouse gases and thus resulting in global warming. Finally, we also need to reduce the use of vehicles since they emit dangerous smoke and pollutants in the air.


Sample Answer 2:

Speaking of environmental issues, I should own up to the fact that air pollution is the most lethal one. In the first place, this air you are breathing may be killing you or at least, it may exacerbate many already existing diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and allergies. In the second place, those who are most vulnerable to problems of air pollution are the elderly and children. Pollution has a direct link to pulmonary problems in developing fetuses, and damage to the immune system in adults. That’s why I believe it is highly imperative for governments to take steps to reduce this problem.

To prevent air pollution the government must make and implement strict laws and rules so that the citizens abide by those laws. The citizens have to realise the air pollution must be prevented for their own benefits and for a healthy life.

The number of industries and vehicles necessary for our lives cannot be controlled, but we must make sure that the CO2 and other harmful gas those vehicles and industries are omitting are not beyond the borderline. We need to plant more trees and make the environment greener to prevent the problems related to the air.


Tips for answering this cue card topic:

There are so many environmental problems and you can talk about one such problem for this cue card. Following are some of the prominent environmental problems that we all know and talk about. The list would help you brainstorm and select one such topic to talk about.

1.    Sound pollution
2.    Air pollution
3.    Water pollution
4.    Deforestation
5.    CO2 emission
6.    Global Warming
7.    Flood
8.    Land degradation
9.    Overpopulation
10.  Acid rain
11.  Electronic waste etc.

Since this cue card asks you to talk about a harmful environmental problem you should talk about a particular environmental problem rather than focusing on multiple issues.

First, clearly say the environmental problem and then give details how this is created, who is responsible for that, how this is impacting the environment and the severity of this problem in the future. Try to give some fact rather than giving all hypothetical data and to support your argument give a thought-provoking question like ‘Are not we already aware of the issues of the (air) pollution? Have not we noticed in recent years that this is getting worse than ever? From my own experience, I can see that this is getting even worse day by day and if we do not take the necessary steps to reduce it, we will be the ultimate victims.”

When you talk about an environmental issue, you need to present as an advocate of the environmental thinkers. After you describe the problem and the severity of it, now you need to move on the subject of proposing a solution to it. Mention that we are responsible for most of the pollutions that the environment is facing today and we should start working from right now towards the solution of it. Propose the importance of the awareness and humanity that we individual should apply to contribute reducing this problem and then say about the responsibility and the steps the government, social workers and authority should take to actually diminish the environmental issues.

Similar Cue Card Topics:

1. Describe a problem that you have in your community.
2. Describe an environmental issue that you think is important to focus on.
3. Talk about an alarming issue in your country.

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