Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 497 - Place you visited that has been affected by pollution

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

Describe a place you visited that has been affected by pollution.

You should say:

  • where it is
  • why and when you went there
  • how it has been affected by pollution

and explain what are the reasons for this pollution.

[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.]


Model Answer 1:
Air pollution is a big problem in many, many cities around the world, where the authorities just don’t seem to know how to deal with it effectively. Today, I would like to talk about one such place – a residential area rather - which is also struggling with this air pollution problem.

Anyway, the place, I want to talk about, is located close to one of the major industrial areas of Cairo which I visited about a couple of years ago in order to meet a good friend of mine. I met this good friend of mine on my first visit to Egypt when I went there to see one of the 7th wonders of the world – The Pyramid.

By the way, since I had visited Cairo a couple of times before my most recent visit, I was already aware of the terrible – I mean, really terrible - air pollution situation of the city, but little did I know that the air pollution problem in the particular area, where my friend lived, was even worse. In fact, within only a few days of arriving at my friend’s place, I started to have a mild cough, along with a blocked nose, due to harmful particles like dust, dirt, soot smoke and liquid droplets that could found in the air of that residential area.

Besides, I also noticed that a number of trees there looked colourless and lifeless because of the negative effects of air pollution there. In addition to that, a very thin layer of “dust-like” thing could also be noticed on many buildings there which made the buildings look essentially old and worn out.

Anyway, one of the main reasons for such air pollution of that residential area was that it was a bit too close to one of the major industrial areas of Cairo where dozens of heavy and large industries could be found operating. After all, the smoke and other toxic chemicals, released from the industries there, spread not only over the residential area of my friend but also all over Cairo City.


Sample Answer 2:
Thank you for letting me talk about this topic. Last year I went to visit (...say an area name in your city/country...) with two of my friends and thought we would enjoy our trip. We heard from a teacher that this was a beautiful place to visit and after that, we planned to go there. To our surprise, this place was severely affected by pollution and instead of enjoying our trip, we cut it short and returned home immediately.
It was early summer last year and visiting a place near a river which is surrounded by natural beauty and recommended by one of our favourite teachers was an excellent idea, at least at that time. I am sure the teacher who suggested this place had no idea about the severity of the pollution there and how things have become worse.
The water pollution was quite severe there and the black and greasy elements that were floating on the water created a shocking scene. Uncontrolled waste management, toxic elements from factories and industries, motorised vehicles running on the water and the lack of proper maintenance of the riverside are the main reasons the water has got polluted. More shockingly, the air pollution was also noticeable. I saw many industries and factories that were exhausting black fumes and that has made the air polluted more than any other part I know about.  

Uncontrolled urbanisation, the establishment of new factories & industries without proper planning, lack of strict policy and corruption in government offices are so far the main reasons for increasing pollution in our country. I wish this will stop and we will be conscious enough not to destroy our own inhabitants.


Cue Card Answer 3:
My recent trip to Mumbai gave me a horrific experience! The water of the Mithi River has been polluted to its greatest extent for several reasons. The river, also known as Mahim River, is connected to the Arabian Sea and it was formerly used as a bird sanctuary.

The river is located beside the Salsette Island in Mumbai. This is a seasonal river that swells up during the monsoon only and remains like a creek around the other months of the year. Presently, the condition of the river has deteriorated for the discharge of different chemicals and wastages from different sources that fall on the water of Mithi River. Before being polluted to this extent, the river served the role of the stormwater drain for Mumbai city.

I went to Mumbai to take part in an admission test at a college. I have completed my secondary level and now aim to get admitted to any reputed college in Mumbai. I live with my family here in Kolkata and some of our intimate relatives live in Mumbai who invited me to attend the entrance exams. As this was my trip out of the Kolkata, my living place, my cousin took me out to show the entire city of Mumbai. But it was not possible for us to see all the notable things in a single day, and thus we made a plan to visit only the most remarkable places at a time. As part of the plan, my cousin took me near the bank of River Mithi. I was astonished by the current scenarios of the river. Thinks have changed negatively than the last time I saw this river!

It seems that the residents of the city have no idea how the water of the river got polluted. Most of the polluting sources are the raw sewage that had been discharged into the water from sources like mills, factories, households etc. Moreover, the river water is also being polluted for cleaning animals on water, water vessels, releasing unsafe chemicals, organic wastes, animal wastes from cattle sheds, scraps, industrial waste, dumping garbage etc. Those have seriously contributed to the pollution of the water. As a result, the water is unusable now. Besides, the pollution is a great threat to the marine life of the river. But before the pollution, the river was a great place to visit and the banks were occupied in the evening hours by crowds to enjoy natural beauty. Unfortunately, those days are over and now the river bank stinks.

The pollution of the water is the outcome of some unplanned activities by both the government and residents of the city. A substantial number of industries have been set in the city and they discharge all their chemicals, garbage and other wastages on the water of Mithi River. Besides, there are some unplanned establishments near the river bank which also contributed to polluting the water by throwing waste materials here. The river is always seen busy with the cleaning of vessels, oil drums and some parts of the river is covered with water hyacinth. The combination of industrial wastes, sewage and other garbage dumped on the water has made it almost dirty, unusable and unhealthy. It appears that this is the detrimental impact of urbanisation and industrialisation together.

More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card topic:

Topic: Describe a place you visited that has been affected by pollution.

1. My recent visit to Zabol in Iran has given a different experience to me. The entire region is filled with air pollution. I went there for some business purpose and found that the air is heavily mixed with dirt. It is hard to breathe in the air. Besides, the localities are also polluted with some other types of pollutants that cause habitation troublesome. The lack of awareness of the locals is the key cause of pollution, I believe.

2. Tangshan in China is a highly polluted area in the country. I had to visit the area for some commercial purposes and set some strategy to expand my business in the region. The locality is affected by air pollution. Smokes emitted from the mills and factories are the key pollutants. The indiscriminate establishments of mills and factories in the region basically are responsible for the environmental pollution here. Some other causes of overpopulation also contribute to degrading the environment.

3. Water pollution is a great concern for Dammam in Saudi Arabia. My office sent me there to make some background works for establishing a branch and I was unhappy with the environmental concern. The entire city is suffering from water pollution and even the drinking water is also polluted to some extent. Unplanned urbanization, the indifference of the municipality to check the matters are behind the pollution. The rise of shallow water may also be a potential concern in the coming days.      

4. Lahore is a crowded city in Pakistan and I went in the city last week on a trip with my friend. The trip was intended to shop for the marriage ceremony of my friend’s elder sister. But I found the city filled with pollution. Almost all types of pollutions were there including noise and air. The cars and other vehicles on the streets were largely responsible for noise pollution while the factories polluted the air. I think unplanned urbanization is largely responsible for the pollutions.

5. I gained a weird experience in Greater Cairo in Egypt. I went to visit the pyramids of the country and experienced noise pollution there. The city appeared overcrowded to me and thus the level of noise is out of tolerable limit. A good number of noise sources are active there including the vehicle horns, use of loudspeakers, shouts of street sellers among others. People are not careful about the matter and they behave insanely while creating the noise.    

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