Speaking Test - Part 1 (Question set 3)

Topic: Newspapers and Magazines

Q. Which magazines and newspapers do you read? [Why?]
Q. What kinds of article are you most interested in? [Why?]
Q. Have you ever read a newspaper or magazine in a foreign language? [When/Why?]
Q. Do you think reading a newspaper or magazine in a foreign language is a good way to learn the language? [Why/Why not?]
 

Q. Which magazines and newspapers do you read? [Why?]
Answer: I read the Indian Express, which is a daily newspaper, every day, and the magazine I like to read the most is “The Week”. I like reading newspapers and magazines whenever I get an opportunity in order to keep myself informed of what is happening in my part of the world as well as the rest of it. I like reading the magazine because I get to learn about the various subjects of my interest.  

Q. What kinds of article are you most interested in? [Why?]
Answer: I am into learning important tips about how to remain healthy both physically and mentally, so I read health-related articles. I am also interested in learning about the latest trends in computer technologies since I am a student of computer science, and as a result, I never like to miss any technology related articles. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t like to read other kinds of articles such as those which talks about sports and foods.  

Q. Have you ever read a newspaper or magazine in a foreign language? [When/Why?]
Answer: I have always wanted to read and communicate in a different language(s) other than English and Hindi. But, I have found out that it’s not really easy. However, I know “Bengali” (mother tongue of a neighbouring country of India called “Bangladesh”) a little which has helped me to read and understand some “Bengali” texts on their newspapers lately. I became interested in reading Bengali newspapers after meeting a Bangladeshi girl who happens to be one of my best friends now.

Q. Do you think reading a newspaper or magazine in a foreign language is a good way to learn the language? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Of course, I think reading a newspaper or magazine is a foreign language is an excellent method to learn the language because it helps us to understand the texts of a particular language and their meanings at our own pace and also at a time of our convenience. In fact, English is also a foreign language to me, and I have learnt it by reading English newspapers and journals in addition to following the language on radio and television.
 

Topic: Living Place

Q. Which part of your country do most people live in?
Q. Tell me about the main industries there.
Q. How easy is it to travel around your country?
Q. Has your country changed much since you were a child?


Q. Which part of your country do most people live in?
Answer: German is an urbanized country. In other words, most German people live in urban city areas as opposed to living in rural areas. Anyway, most Germans live in the state of Berlin, followed by Hamburg and Bavaria States. However, of all the states, Bavaria is the most densely populated area.

Q. Tell me about the main industries there.
Answer: Germany is one of the most industrialized nations in the world, and one of the richest in that because of its spectacular industrialization efforts over the last century. German is famous for its heavy manufacturing industries, but the main among them are automotive, chemicals, metals (iron and steel), electrical equipment, ships and machine tools.  

Q. How easy is it to travel around your country?
Answer: Having one of the best road transportation systems, if not the best, in the world along with one of the fastest and reliable rail services, Germany makes it incredibly easy to travel around the country at an affordable cost. Besides, Germany also has a very efficient air travelling system in place for those who don’t want to travel by road and railway system.

Q. Has your country changed much since you were a child?
Answer: Germany is not the same country anymore as it was 30 years ago or so. One of the most noticeable changes is, in my opinion, Germany has more foreign-born population now than at any time in its history. Besides, Germany has also become more industrialized and developed over the years and playing a crucial role in shaping the future of this world.

 

Topic: Laughing

Q. What kinds of thing make you laugh?
Q. Do you like making other people laugh? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Do you think it’s important for people to laugh? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Is laughing the same as feeling happy, do you think? [Why/Why not?]
 

Q. What kinds of thing make you laugh?
Answer: They say that laughter is a great medicine, and I also believe it. So, I like to laugh whether my friend is cracking a joke or watching a comedy movie with my family and friends. But, what really makes me laugh the most is the funny activities of my pet cat. In fact, my cat makes so many “funny” moves to make me laugh that I even record them in my video camera.

Q. Do you like making other people laugh? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Well, it depends on how much I actually know them, and what kind of circumstances is prevailing. But, in principle, I don’t really like to make people laugh because sometimes, the humorous act might actually offend them, since I wouldn’t really know what they have been going through, or what kind of mood they are really in.

Q. Do you think it’s important for people to laugh? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I do think that it is important for people to laugh whenever an opportunity arrives because a good laugh almost always helps us relieve physical and mental tension and stress. Besides, laughter also helps promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain in us. Finally, laughter is important also because it brings us closer to each by remaining positive about ourselves and our lives.

Q. Is laughing the same as feeling happy, do you think? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: I do believe that we like to laugh when we are happy and that is a universally accepted expression for us- the human.

But, that does not mean that laughing is the same as feeling happy. In fact, people can be in pain and sad and still they are able to laugh to cheer others. Then, there also are many people in this world for whom laughter is just an “expression”. For example, we can laugh in a “party” or some other social gatherings in order to just go along with the “flow”, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are happy.

 

Topic: Food and cooking

Q. What kinds of food do you like to eat?
Q. What kind of new food would you like to try? [Why?]
Q. Do you like cooking? [Why/Why not?]
Q. What was the last meal you cooked?
Q. Do you prefer home-cooked food or food from restaurants? [Why?]
 

Q. What kinds of food do you like to eat?
Answer: I like to eat pretty much all kinds of food whether they are European, American or Oriental. But, since I am an “Aussie”, I mostly like to eat meat or fish no matter what kind of dishes I am being offered to eat. However, my most favourite dishes are chicken parmigiana, a classic Aussie chicken dish, and a burger with “the lot” with lots of “goodies” in it.

Q. What kind of new food would you like to try? [Why?]
Answer: I have heard a lot about Indian foods, and I would really like to try them sometimes because, as I have heard, they are not really fatty like the other food. Besides, I would like to try them also because they taste really good because of using different kinds of spices in perfect combination, and the dish I would really like to try is “palak chicken curry” made with spinach and chicken.

Q. Do you like cooking? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Cooking is like a great hobby to me, and I do like to cook once in a while as it allows me to cook my favourite dishes just the way I like them! Besides, I like to cook also because it allows me to be creative and to indulge in some “fun and play” time by getting busy in chopping, stirring and tasting. Finally, I like cooking because it gives me an opportunity to express my love and care for them.

Q. What was the last meal you cooked?
Answer: The last meal I cooked was a chicken parmigiana, which is one of my favourites, about a week ago. Of course, it took me a while to prepare the food, but it was just perfect in its taste and texture at the end of the day.

Q. Do you prefer home-cooked food or food from restaurants? [Why?]
Answer: While I enjoy eating at restaurants from time to time, I certainly prefer home-cooked foods primarily because they are usually more healthy with less fat and more nutritional values. Besides, eating at restaurants can be expensive. Finally, enjoying a home-cooked meal over dinner with family members, while enjoying laughs and chats with them, is way better than eating some food, being surrounded by some completely unknown faces.
 

Topic: Daily Routine

Q. What would you like to change in your daily routine?
Q. Are all your days the same?
Q. Tell me about your typical weekday and your typical weekend.
Q. What is the balance of work/study and free time in your normal day?
 

Q. What would you like to change in your daily routine?
Answer: Spending too much time in watching too much television after coming back from my work has become like a daily routine to me for the last several months, and I would really like to change it. It is not that only my wife dislikes this terrible routine, I also dislike it a lot because this extra television watching habit/routine doesn’t allow me to have enough sleep at the end of the night.

Q. Are all your days the same?
Answer: No, all my days are not the same just like a day in the winter time and a day during the summer season are not the same. And, as a result, I remain happy some of the days while “not-so” happy during the others. Also, some days, I become very productive at my work while some other times, I only wish that I could be more “productive.”

Q. Tell me about your typical weekday and your typical weekend.
Answer: My typical weekday starts with paying little “tribute” to my “Goddess” mother (which I do every day regardless of the weekday or the weekend). Then after taking my shower and breakfast, I hit the road in my motorbike to go to my work and arrive there at around 9 am. I finish my work at around 6 pm and then go to a nearby and local market place to buy some fresh groceries and meats/fishes. By the time, I return home, it is almost 8 pm in the evening. I finish my meal after that and immediately start watching TV and continue watching it until I go to bed after midnight most of the days.  

My weekends are pretty much the same as the weekdays except I don’t go to work on the weekends. Of course, sometimes, during the weekend, I do take my wife and family out to a nearby park or restaurant to enjoy some quality time together.

Q. What is the balance of work/study and free time in your normal day?
Answer: I like to believe that my work life and free time for leisure and other activities in a normal day is pretty balanced since I almost always have enough time at my disposal, after my work hours, in order to interact with my family members and attending other important things, like doing grocery shopping and worshipping at temples.
 

Topic: Travelling to work or college

Q. How do you usually travel to work or college? [Why?]
Q. Have you always travelled to work/college in the same way? [Why/Why not?]
Q. What do you like about travelling to work/college this way?
Q. What changes would improve the way you travel to work/college? [Why?]


Q. How do you usually travel to work or college? [Why?]
Answer: I usually travel to work on my motorbike since I live in a remote village area where we don’t really have any reliable public transportation system to commute back and forth from our works.  Besides, I like my little motorbike as it is convenient to use, and I can park it anywhere very easily.

Q. Have you always travelled to work/college in the same way? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I have always travelled to my work in the same way with my bike mainly because using a bike is very convenient for me since I have the freedom to go anywhere at my own pace. Besides, I have found out that travelling on my bike costs me significantly lesser than travelling in a public bus which, by the way, is not very reliable because of the poorly-built roads in the area where I live.

Q. What do you like about travelling to work/college this way?
Answer: The best thing, which I really like about travelling with my little motorbike, is that I can reach my destination within a short period of time which certainly wouldn’t be possible if I was to commute by a bus. Besides, after finishing my office works, I have to go to different places sometimes, such as visiting my relatives and doing grocery shopping, and doing those things on time would be really difficult for me if I didn’t have my bike with me.

Q. What changes would improve the way you travel to work/college? [Why?]
Answer: As far as changes are concerned, I would certainly like to see a much better public transportation system in the area where I live because, sometimes, on the rainy days, it becomes really difficult and dangerous to commute on a motorbike. Besides, the roads in my areas need to be rebuilt since they haven’t been repaired or rebuilt in a long time.
 

Topic: Cold weather

Q. Have you ever been in very cold weather? [When?]
Q. How often is the weather cold where you come from?
Q. Are some parts of your country colder than others? [Why?]
Q. Would you prefer to live in a hot place or a cold place? [Why?]
 

Q. Have you ever been in very cold weather? [When?]
Answer: I live in the Southern Bhutan area bordering India where the weather is hot and humid with the effects of a monsoon season. However, I did live in very cold weather for some times when I visited the northern part of Bhutan, bordering with Tibet, in order to live with my paternal aunt for sometimes when I was about a 10 years old boy before almost 20 years ago. Of course, I loved the snow there, but it was just way too cold for me probably because I am born and raised in a different kind of weather.

Q. How often is the weather cold where you come from?
Answer: Where I live in Bhutan, the weather remains cold for about 3 to 4 months from Mid-November to February, sometimes stretching till the month of March. However, our winter period can be really dry where temperatures can vary from 10 degree Celsius to 25 degree Celsius.

Q. Are some parts of your country colder than others? [Why?]
Answer: Bhutan is a rather small country, but its temperatures can vary extremely from the North to the South as well as valley to valley, depending on the elevation. For example, the northern part of Bhutan, bordering with Tibbet, can be extremely cold, and can be covered with snow because it sits on a rather high altitude while the western, the eastern and, central Bhutan (cities like Ha, Paro, Thimphu, Wandue, Tongsa, Bumthang, Trashi Yangtse, Lhuntse) mostly experience European-like weather because of its little lower altitude where winter typically lasts from November to March.

Q. Would you prefer to live in a hot place or a cold place? [Why?]
Answer: Sometimes, I feel cold even during the summer time (probably because of my low body temperature, I suppose). Therefore, the hotter the weather is, the better it so for me. Besides, I feel that putting on too many clothes every time I go out, and then take them off after coming back to home, is just a terrible waste of time. Then again, I could be wrong too about this “whole practice” of changing clothes!
 

Topic: Keeping in contact with people

Q. How do you usually contact your friends? [Why?]
Q. Do you prefer to contact different people in different ways? [Why?]
Q. Do you find it easy to keep in contact with friends and family? [Why/Why not?]
Q. In your country, did people in the past keep in contact in the same ways as they do today? [Why/Why not?]
 

Q. How do you usually contact your friends? [Why?]
Answer: I usually contact my friends by phone or email if they are far from me because it is more convenient and easy than meeting them in person. However, if my friends live within the close proximity of where I live, I always try to meet them in person because the practice helps create a stronger bond of friendship.

Q. Do you prefer to contact different people in different ways? [Why?]
Answer: No, I don’t try to contact different people in different ways. My preferred method of contacting people, be them my friends, family members or relatives, is to call them on their phones because it helps me to convey my message and feeling in a more direct and effective manner. Of course, if there is a situation where no phone number is listed to reach, and if somebody prefers me to contact him/her in email for more formal reasons, then I don’t mind using email to contact.

Q. Do you find it easy to keep in contact with friends and family? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: With the advent of mobile phones and the internet, contacting friends and families has certainly become very, very easy. In fact, contacting with friends and family has become much more personal also these days because we can not only talk with them but also “view” them at the same time on our phones or computers, no matter whether they live next door or in another corner of the world.

Q. In your country, did people in the past keep in contact in the same ways as they do today? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: No, people in my country didn’t exactly keep in contact with each other in the same ways in the past as they do today. In fact, in the past and before the arrival of smartphones and the internet, people used to contact each other via postal mails and land phones. And, if there was a situation where one would need to contact the others on an urgent basis in the past, people would choose to take the help of “telegram” as well.
 

Topic: Visitors

Q. What would you suggest a visitor should see and do in your country?
Q. Are there any traditional arts or music you would recommend?
Q. Tell me about the kind of foreign visitors or tourists who go to your country.
Q. In what ways has tourism changed your country?
 

Q. What would you suggest a visitor should see and do in your country?
Answer: Bhutan is a very beautiful country to visit, and there are just too many things to do there. Once you visit this Himalayan country, you will be able to see some of the most beautiful and, of course, the tallest mountain ranges in the world apart from the Himalaya. One can also see beautiful forests and ancient Buddhist architectural sites.

Once arriving in Bhutan, one chooses to do a lot of things, but one thing which almost everybody wants to do is to hike The Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Paro Taktsang), which certainly is one of Bhutan’s most iconic landmarks and is located at the side of a steep cliff wall in the Paro valley. But, if you are really into learning the festivals of the Bhutanese people, you can always enjoy some religious festivals (called “Tsechus”) from up close apart from meeting the locals and enjoying their traditional foods.

Q. Are there any traditional arts or music you would recommend?
Answer: Bhutanese arts, culture, traditions and music are well-rooted in the religion of Buddhism. As far as music is concerned, I would recommend folk songs (traditional music) which can be classified as Zhungdra and Boedra. Zhungdra is sung by the use of extended vocal tones and relatively simple instrumental melody. I would also recommend “Cham” dance which involves a series of masked dances by wearing colourful costumes during the religious festivals.

Q. Tell me about the kind of foreign visitors or tourists who go to your country.
Answer: Most tourists, who come to visit Bhutan, arrive on a short term basis, and they are mostly the nationals of Asian countries, followed by the Europeans and the US. Since tourism began in Bhutan in 1974, the number of visitors to this Himalayan country has only increased with 260,000 people arriving in the year of 2018.

Q. In what ways has tourism changed your country?
Answer: Tourism has changed Bhutan in many ways. Because of tourism, seeing teenagers in jeans and hooded sweatshirts, smoking cigarettes, instead of wearing the traditional Gho (a knee-length robe) is a normal phenomenon these days. It is because of tourism that Bhutan has seen better roads being built,  instructions in English for schoolchildren is being mandated, as well as the television network and the Internet service being introduced.
 

Topic: Travelling

Q. How did you reach the examination centre?
Q. Do you like travelling?
Q. How do you usually travel?
Q. What are the most common types of transportation run on the streets in your country?
Q. Which types of transportation do people in your country often use to move?
 

Q. How did you reach the examination centre?
Answer: The examination centre is far from where I live. So, I had to take a bus to reach the examination centre by road.

Q. Do you like travelling?
Answer: Yes, I do like travelling, whenever I get an opportunity, to see what my country and the rest of the world has in store for us. So far, I have travelled to India, Nepal, Turkey, Malaysia and Bangladesh outside of my country.

Q. How do you usually travel?
Answer: I usually travel by road on a bus unless I am going to my work, in which case, I take my motorbike. In case I am travelling to a foreign country, then I, of course, take a plane.

Q. What are the most common types of transportation run on the streets in your country?
Answer: The most common types of transportations in my country are public bus and Taxi. We also do have a railway system and the government is planning to expand our water transportation system.

Q. Which types of transportation do people in your country often use to move?
Answer: People mostly use public buses and four-wheel-drive pickups to move around. A large number of them use their own bicycles and motorbikes while affluent people use private cars.

 

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