Listen to this example of a speaking test. Although the speaker is native so the band score is high, you can take many of the expressions provided and practice them to use in your speaking.
Listen to the audio, and follow the tape-script.
How far is it far from here?
Wow! I don’t even know the number of kilometers, but it’s quite a hike (very far) there. It’s located in South America. It shares borders with Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, and Bolivia.
Please describe your hometown a little?
Where do I begin? My hometown is marvelous. It was the heart of (the center of) the Inca Empire, and is home many ancient Inca ruins, especially Machu Picchu. It lies at 3,100 meters up in the mountains. You can do a lot of trekking, site seeing, visit incredible natural landscapes, etc. It’s a perfect mixture of the ancient and modern world.
How long have you been living there?
I was born and raised in Cusco. I’ve lived there for my entire life, except for when I went to Lima, the capital city, to study my Bachelor’s Degree. After that, I needed to escape the hustle and bustle (noise from a big city)and come back to my lovely town.
What do you like (most) about your hometown?
I love that it’s a mix between the ancient and modern world. Furthermore, I like the mix of the indigenous (native people) and Spanish influence. Sometimes it feels like I’m walking in the shoes of the Incas. Furthermore, there is definitely a warm, friendly feel to the town which makes it a pleasant place to live.
Would you like to live there in the future?
Although my city is magical, I would consider moving somewhere else in the world. I think sometimes people become too accustomed to (used to) their daily routine. So, perhaps when and if I have a family, I would consider moving to another country in South America or to Spain. It would be our adventure!
What is your job?
I’m the founder and project manager for a volunteer organization called Corazon de Apus. We find local children living in poverty or with difficult family situations and bring them to a safe place after school where they can learn English with the volunteers from Western countries, get homework help, and simply play and escape their problems. We also pitch in (everyone gives some money) to provide them with school supplies, dental care, and uniforms.
How long have you been doing your job?
This is my 4th year on the job. Actually, at university I studied Finance, but I realized a 9-5 isn’t for me. I knew I needed to do a job that helps those in need. However, my finance skills do come in handy (are useful) in this job!
How was your first day at work?
I felt a little overwhelmed with all the volunteers coming to me asking all the ins and outs (all the details), but very excited at the same time. All of the stress was worth it when I saw the smiles of the children. Actually, they tackled me (to jump on and push to the ground) to ground with hugs!
Do you prefer part time or full time job? Why?
Well, of course I would rather have a part-time job! If I had a part-time job, I would invest the rest of my time to do the things that truly interest me, such as yoga, meditation, see family and friends, etc. I’m sure we would all feel happier if we were able to do this. Unfortunately, the problem is the money though!
Do you do any physical exercise?
You could call me a couch potato (a lazy person who sits on the sofa a lot. “Couch” is another word for sofa). I’m naturally thin without any exercise, so I’m quite lazy when it comes to exercise. I do go for mountain hikes, but I should definitely do more to gain muscle.
Do young people in your country like to do exercise?
Gyms are not very popular in my country because of the cost, but I would say that people get their fair share of exercise everyday because of the hills in the city. Many people climb a mountain to their home every single day! I used to live in a house that was unreachable by car and a total of 200 stairs to get there!
Do you think people are keen on doing physical activity? Why?
Well, I think they are quite accustomed to it. I don’t think they would be too keen on ( like) going to the gym, but they really enjoy going on mountain hikes. Since our religion is based upon the Mother Earth and the Mountain Gods, these treks are a spiritual journey.
Who the actor is
How you know him/her
What kind of person he/she is
and explain why he/she is popular in your country
I would like to tell you about a silly, versatile (can do many different things) actor from my country called Jim Carrey. He’s an American actor. I first saw him in the movie “Dumb and Dumber” when I was about 8 years old. I thought the faces he made were really hilarious. Since then, I started following his movies. What I like about him is that he can nail (to do a good job) both a serious and comedy role in movies. In real life, I hear he leads a hippy sort of life. He discusses the universe a lot and says that he wants a simple life opposed to the luxurious life he could have. I’ve seen recent photos of him with a long, unkept gray beard. This makes him appeal to me even more because he’s not the average star. He’s popular for all of his hit films, and especially his over-the-top (crazy) faces and voices he is able to do. I think others also appreciate that he can make you crack up (laugh a lot) laughing in one film, then make burst into tears (to start to cry a lot) in the next.
Why do some youngsters try to copy film stars? Is it good or bad?
I guess we assume that what the media portrays is what we should be. As youngsters are quite impressionable and unsure of their identity in most cases, they latch on to these stars to try to be someone. I think it’s a bad thing, but also normal for young people. However, if older people try to do this, I feel sorry for them because they must not be comfortable in their own shoes (with who they are).
Are famous personalities rich in your country?
Way too rich! Those in the entertainment industry are among the richest in the country, better yet in the world. Furthermore, the athletes are incredibly rich. Kudos to them (kudos= to congratulate or respect) for their talents, but also sometimes this makes me feel a bit ill because there are other professions that are poorly paid, such as teachers, which really deserve more. This doesn’t make sense to me.
Do you think they spend their money wisely?
I guess this depends on the individual. I know that some famous people, like Bill Gates for example, are huge philanthropists (people who help humanity). He invests money to disadvantaged (poor and/or unlucky) countries so that they can get vaccines for preventable diseases. However, I’ve heard that some celebrities such as Justin Bieber, throw away every outfit after they wear it once which is just plain (is simply) wasteful and sinful. So, I would say that most famous people probably spend some of their money on unnecessary luxuries, but many also donate to charities.
What is difference between film stars in the past and film stars nowadays?
In my opinion, I felt like stars in the past were famous because of their talent, like acting or singing. Nowadays, it seems like people get fame from their over the top reality show personalities or just simply by their business tactics of getting their name out there, like the Kardashians (a famous reality family). Furthermore, I think stars in the past were more glamorous and reserved, like the images of Marilyn Monroe.
Do you think film stars have the right to privacy?
Of course! I think all people deserve privacy. At the end of the day, celebrities are humans like us. They have feelings and private affairs too, so I don’t think that the paparazzi has the right to infringe upon (not follow) this. Of course stars have chosen this path, so they must accept that some matters in their life will be publicly shared. However, I don’t think each and every one of their moves should be snapshotted. I can imagine that this must be one of the biggest downfalls (disadvantages) of being famous! You can’t even go to a private beach villa without someone following you.
Use some of the expressions, but make sure that you understand them before you use them.