Categories
Speaking

1- People & Relationships

CD1 Track 01

The person I’m closest to in my family is definitely my mum, Kate. We ‘ve always got on and we hardly ever fall out. I know that’s unusual! She’s really outgoing and sociable – she’s always going out with friends and colleagues. Everyone thinks she’s good fun. I look up to her because she’s so hardworking she never sits still and she works long hours. She can be a bit impatient, though – she gets annoyed when her colleagues aren ‘t as efficient as her. I take after her in that – I’m impatient, too. And she’s over-sensitive, often getting offended for seemingly no reason.

My cousin Kieran and I grew up together. We were inseparable. He was so creative – he’d always think of new games we could play and make up these stories to make me laugh. I was constantly amazed by his open-mindedness as well – he was never judgemental. I wish I could be like that. Unfortunately, we grew apart, slowly but surely, and by the time we went to uni we weren’t in touch any more. I haven’t seen him for years. It’s really sad. I would blame it partly on the fact that he’s not very reliable, so for example, if I email him he won’t respond. I’m not sure what he’s up to these days.

I know this is a cliche, but I don ‘t get on with my in-laws, especially my mother-in-law, Jane. She’s so nosy, always wanting to know what we’re doing and who we’re with, and she ‘s terribly blunt, which means she quite often upsets us with things she comes out with. And then she can be quite stingy. When we go out for a meal with her and my father-in-law, she never offers to pay, even though they’re much better off than us. I must say, though, she’s extremely clever and I do respect her for that. She set up her own business five years ago and it’s gone from strength to strength. She’s so self-assured and ambitious too, which I suppose is why she’s so successful in business.

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CD1 Track 02

Tell me something about your family.
What do you like doing most with your family?
Who are you close to in your family?
In what way is your family important to you?

Tell me something about your family.
Although I live abroad now, my mum’s family is from Paris and my dad’s family is from Toulouse. So I’m from a very French family. I would say I come from quite a small family, really. For example, I just have one older sister and four cousins, but it’s true that my extended family is fairly big.

What do you like doing most with your family?
I like having nice long meals with good food and good wine, and a few jokes for dessert!

Who are you close to in your family?
In my family? Well, I’m close to my Uncle Jacques. He’s a chef. He’s hilarious, always telling jokes, and he’s very enthusiastic about everything he does. We spent a lot of time together when I was growing up. In fact, he helped to bring me up.

In what way is your family important to you?
My family is everything to me. They are my best friends, they support me when things aren’t going well and when things are going well. I know they’ll always be there for me, no matter what.

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CD1 Track 03

One of my best friends is a guy called Raul. I met him at uni in Barcelona where we were in the same study group. When was that? I suppose it was over 10 years ago now, so, yes, we’ve known each other for a good decade. We got to know each other on the tennis courts because the first few days of our course were so boring that we both decided we’d be better off outside playing tennis.

What kind of person is he? He’s very active, a sporty type, involved in hiking and mountain biking – a bit of an adrenalin junky. He’s also a very determined person. When he gets into something, he gives one hundred per cent. And he changes passions often. That makes him a bit of a self-absorbed person actually, which I’d say is a drawback. And I think he comes across as full of himself sometimes; I mean a bit too sure of his own opinions! As for why I like him, well, he’s actually quite different from me. At uni, he’d often suggest doing something and I’d go along with it, and because I’m laid back I never felt overwhelmed by him. We’ve never fallen out or anything.

How often do you see your friend? Well, because we live in different countries, we don’t see each other that often, but we try to catch up on a fairly regular basis, say three times a year.

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CD1 Tracks 04-06

See pages 12-13 for text.

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CD1 Track 07

Modern families

In what ways have families changed in the last hundred years?
Should we rely heavily on our families or is it better to try to be independent?
The elderly are sometimes considered the wisest members of society. Wh-at do you think we can learn fromthem?

Friendship

What do you expect from a good friend?
Are friends as important to you as family?
Do you think friendships change as we get older? How?

In what ways have families changed in the last hundred years?
In Western countries, I would say families have become more widely dispersed and less close. People travel more, and then end up living far from their families. I think this is a shame because it means there is a breakdown of communities. I also think that because families are spread over a wider geographical area, elderly people tend to be forgotten
and usually live on their own.

Should we rely heavily on our families or is it better to try to be independent?
People seem to like living independently from each other these days, but I do wonder if that’s the best way. Relying on people is seen as a weakness by some, I think. However, having family nearby is invaluable when you have children, in my opinion. Who else can be called on to babysit at a moment’s notice?

The elderly are sometimes considered the wisest members of society. What do you think we can learn from them? Oh, an immense amount! They’re our living link with the past – of a family, a region, a country. They’re the keepers of local traditions, for example, and they provide a sense of identity to younger generations. It often seems to me that older people had harder lives and lived through more interesting periods in history, so I always enjoy asking my grandparents about their childhoods and how things have changed, Also, because they’ve got more life experience, older people are very well placed to give good advice on, well, any topic.

What do you expect from a good friend?
For me, a good friend has to be reliable. I can’t stand being stood up or having my emails and texts ignored. As well as that, a friend should be someone you can have good fun with. There are many things in life to be serious about, but friendship shouldn’t be one of them. I also believe that opposites attract, in friendships just as in romance, so a good friend will most likely be very different from you in many ways,

Are friends as important to you as family?
No, I wouldn’t ‘t say so. Friends come and go, but family are always there, whether you like it or not. You can even be rude to your family – not that it’s advisable, of course! – and they will forgive you. But sometimes you’ve known a friend for so long they can become like a family member – you can really be yourself with them and you may even argue quite often, like siblings do.

Do you think friendships change as we get older?
Well, I definitely find that I have less in common with some friends than I used to. I sometimes wonder what we used to find to talk about. And so you often grow apart from old school friends or old colleagues. The people I feel I have most in common with are friends I met at university. I’m not sure why but we somehow always have lots to talk about.

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CD1 Track 08

It’s by far my favourite sport to watch. I love the excitement that builds up as the match progresses, with the fans cheering and chanting. There’s always an amazing atmosphere.

My team usually loses, it has to be said, although last week they drew. When they play away I always try to go and support them. And I’ve got the latest kit, but they’re getting more and more expensive so I may have to stop buying them. I think the clubs take advantage of fans’ loyalty to push up the prices.

Team sports are a fantastic way for young people to improve their fitness. I coach a junior team at the weekend. We don’t train in a stadium, of course, just on a pitch in our local park. I was really delighted last week when our youngest player scored the winning goal with a beautiful header. I think he might prove to be a real up-and-coming talent.

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CD1 Track 09

What do you do to keep fit?
Are you good at sport?
What sports do you play?
What is the most popular sport in your country?

What do you do to keep fit? I go to the gym twice a week. I don’t really enjoy it, to be honest, but it’s an easy way to keep fit. I mainly do cardiovascular exercises, rather than muscle building.

Are you good at sport?
Not really, but I try my best. I prefer individual sports to team sports because if I do badly in a team game I always feel I’m letting everyone down.

What sports do you play?
I go kite-surfing sometimes. I enjoy it because it’s so exhilarating. I can’t go often, though, because there’s rarely enough wind where I live. I might take up another water sport instead.

What is the most popular sport in your country?
I’d say the most popular sport is football, as in most countries. Most people have a favourite team who they support through thick and thin. The teams are often English ones, and Manchester United is the most well-known.

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CD1 Track 10

Oh great, the match is starting !
Oh great, the match is starti ng.
Liverpool won. Fantastic.
Liverpool won! Fantastic !

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CD1 Tracks 11-12

See page 20 for text.

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CD1 Track 13

I’d like to talk about the most exciting tennis match I’ve ever seen. It was about six years ago just outside Bordeaux in France, and it was the boys’ final of a junior championship. My favourite player, a rising star, had got to the final so I wanted to see him. At the time, I didn’t know anyone else who was interested in tennis – all my friends preferred football so I went on my own. I set off really early to make sure got there on time, but I end ed up being too early and I had to wait for two hours for the match to start. It did ‘t matter, though, because this meant I got one of the best seats, right at the front in the middle of the court – I was delighted about that.

Other people gradually started arriving, the seats filled up, and we waited expectantly for the players. When the match started, it soon became clear that I was practically the only person supporting Jean Martin. Most people were there to support the other guy who had won the previous two years and was the favourite to win this year, too. Every time Paul Fernandez won a point, the crowd erupted into applause but I sat silently, getting more and more anxious.

Martin lost the first set, but then there was a dramatic turnaround. He suddenly seemed to find some self-belief and he started to win. That’s what I love about tennis – it’s a battle of the mind _ as much as the body. I find it interesting to see how some players may be highly skilled but don’t have the mental strength to win. Martin obviously did have this strength, and Fernandez was slowly falling apart. The atmosphere was electric. Martin showed off his amazing skills,
hitting ball after ball straight down the line. Martin served for the match – you could have heard a pin drop. When he served an ace, the crowd went wild! Although they had begun by supporting his opponent, they had grown to respect him for his cool head and control of the ball. When he was presented with the trophy, he cried with joy.

Do you play tennis yourself?
Yes, I’m a keen tennis player. I joined a club about two years ago and play all the time.

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CD1 Track 14

Keeping fit
What are the best ways to keep fit?
Do you think most people consider exercise a chore or do they find it fun?
What is the most popular form of exercise in your country?

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VOCABULARY

Direct link to the Game

Reference: Collins Speaking for IELTS

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