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Speaking

Youth

CD2 Track 11

1- When I hear music from the 70s, it really takes me back. It makes me feel like I’m a teenager again, the memories are so vivid. So many things from that period of my life left a lasting impression on me, like meeting my first girlfriend and sitting my A levels in sweltering heat. It’s still fresh in my mind.

2- I can barely remember what I did yesterday let alone events from my childhood. Well, having said that, I have some vague memories. I remember a teacher I really liked called … Oh, the name escapes me. But she was so brilliant at explaining things and was really kind when my brother was taken ill. Oh what was her name? It’s on the tip of my tongue! Anyway, as I said, I have a bad memory.

3- I often reminisce about the good old days. You have to be careful though because it’s easy to get sentimental and see everything through rose-tinted glasses. Things weren’t perfect back then but you often only remember the good times. I love looking at old photos. They remind me of people I’d long forgotten about and then it all comes flooding back, like my old friend Alice who passed away ten years ago. Can it really be that long? Doesn’t time fly!

CD2 Track 12

1- Most children I know are well brought up.
2- I had a strict upbringing.
3- Good parenting is all about teaching a child to have good manners.
4- When I was young, I respected my elders.
5- When I was a child, my dad told me off more often than my mum.
6- I always did as I was told.
7- Children in my country generally help around the house.

CD2 Track 13

What is your most vivid childhood memory?
Are you still in touch with your childhood friends?
What was your favourite toy when you were a child?
Is it important for children to have fun? Why?

What is your most vivid childhood memory?
Without a doubt it’s getting my two pet tortoises for my sixth birthday. It was such a surprise and I was so pleased because none of my friends had such unusual pets. They were tiny – they could both sit in the palm of my hand – and I really enjoyed looking after them.

Are you still in touch with your childhood friends?
Some of them, yes. We’ve all moved on and have very different lives now, but it’s nice to catch up from time to time and reminisce. You may have more in common with more recent friends but childhood friends feel almost like brothers and sisters, and there’s something very special
about that relationship.

What was your favourite toy when you were a child?
I always liked toys other children had! For example, a toy-car garage with various levels and ramps. That was great fun. My best friend had it and whenever I went over to his house I would ask to play with it. Sometimes he didn’t want to, so I played with it on my own. I loved
making the cars whizz around the tracks and crash into each other!

Is it important for children to have fun?
It is important because I believe children learn a lot through play. They learn about the world around them, they learn how to interact with other people, they learn about possible dangers through acting them out. Children shouldn’t be made to grow up too fast, they should be allowed to experience the world of make-believe first. They spend long enough in the real world as adults.

CD2 Track 14

I grew up very far from most of my family so I only saw them once a year. Every summer I would go to stay with them, while my parents continued working. Although I missed my parents, I used to really enjoy spending time with my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. I spent all summer there, nearly two whole months, so from time to time my cousins and I would get bored, We would ask my grandparents if they had any ideas for interesting things we could do. Sometimes they suggested going for a bike ride, sometimes into town to do some shopping. At other times, they showed us a new game to play. Then we were happy again.

One day – it must be about 25 years ago doesn’t time fly!! – all of us got really, really bored and we kept complaining to my grandparents. They were tearing their hair out, trying to think up ideas of where we could go and what we could do, Suddenly, my granddad came up with the idea of going to a new water park that had opened that summer, I hadn’t heard about it but my cousins had, and they told me all about it. It was a park with vast numbers of different pools, some inside, some outside. There were water slides as well. And, on top of that, there was not one, but two playgrounds with swings, a merry-go-round, see-saws. We were so excited.

We set off and on the way we were all singing songs and laughing, We couldn’t wait to get there. When we arrived, my cousins and I ran into the park and changed into our swimming costumes. Then we went looking for the most exciting-looking pool, and we found it, one with brightly colored tiles and slides, we jumped straight in. We played all day in the park and had a lovely lunch, sat on some benches in the sunshine. My granddad loved a pool that was filled with spa water. It was dark brown and stank of rotten eggs. I didn’t want to go in but he eventually convinced me. I’m pleased he did because the water was really warm. I’d never swam in water that warm. I didn’t want to get out, despite the terrible smell.

I consider it such a happy memory because we enjoyed ourselves so much and I remember so vividly how I felt that day. But there’s more to it than just that. When I look back now, I understand how caring my grandparents were and how much they wanted us all to be happy. They would have done anything to help us have a good time. I appreciate
that more now that I’m older and have children of my own. I hope we thanked them; I can’t remember. But, anyway, they were content, I’m sure, to just watch us have an amazing time, playing and laughing in the water. So, as you can see, it was a wonderful day and is one of
my favourite childhood memories.

What other activity did you use to enjoy when you were staying with your family? I loved going for walks in the local park. There were people selling all kinds of delicious foods from carts, so my grandparents would invariably buy us some treat, like homemade ice-cream or cakes.

CD2 Tracks 15-18

See pages 66-68 for text.

CD2 Tracks 19

Childhood
Do you think people often idealise their childhoods?

How does a person’s childhood influence what kind of adult they become?

When does a child become an adult in your view?

Upbringing
Do you agree with the saying’ children should be seen and not heard’?

Is it good for children to be exposed to frightening and sad experiences or should they be protected from these as far as possible?

Are children in your country generally well brought up?

Do you think people often idealise their childhoods?
Candidate: Certainly they do. The older we get, the more nostalgic we get about the past. It’s only normal. And why should we dwell on the negatives? I don’t think it does any harm to idealise a bit if it makes us happy to remember things in a more positive light. The only danger is
that it may make us unhappy with our current lots to believe that everything was so much better back then.

How does a person’s childhood influence what kind of adult they become?
Well, I suppose the adult you become is influenced by three main factors: firstly, your childhood, that is ‘nurture’; then, your genes, that is ‘nature’; and last but not least, the choices you make as an adult. To my mind, of all three, nurture has the greatest impact. They’ve conducted research on twins who were separated at birth and, while there are
undoubtedly many similarities between them, they are also very different in many key ways: their success in the world of work, their relationships with other people. I think all this is influenced by the role models we have throughout our childhoods.

When does a child become an adult in your view?
That’s a difficult question to answer and all societies grapple with this issue. It is, of course, critical for the criminal justice system to define an ‘adult’ correctly, or at least try to, because if somebody commits a crime as a child, they get treated more leniently than if they commit a crime as an adult. So I suppose you have to decide when you think people become
fully responsible for their actions. I wouldn’t want to be the one making that decision. I just don’t know.

Do you agree with the saying’ children should be seen and not heard’?
I’m assuming this means that children should respect their elders and not create havoc by being noisy and answering adults back. I have some sympathy with this view. However, moderation is usually the best course to take in all things, as with upbringing. Children should respect their elders, which involves doing as they’re told. Too many children nowadays think they run the household, making demands, etc. However, it is also true that a child is part of the family, too and also deserves respect. I think this means they should be allowed to express their points of view and they should be listened to and consulted. Ifs a fine balance, I suppose.

Is it good for children to be exposed to frightening and sad experiences or should they be protected from these as far as possible?
I don’t think they should experience too many sad or terrifying experiences, if it can be helped. Nevertheless, what is very useful for teaching children about these darker sides of life without scarring them is stories. In stories they can learn about evil and the dangers in the world around them, but in a controlled way where the ‘baddies’ are punished and everyone ends up happy. This gives them a focus for the fears that all children have but it is a fictional one so doesn’t upset their peace of mind.

Are children in your country generally well brought up?
My instinct is to say ‘no’ because you see many misbehaving. children when you ‘re out and about. In reality, there are probably many more well brought up children than badly brought up ones, it’s just that the good children don’t attract your attention as much.

VOCABULARY

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Reference: Collins Speaking for IELTS

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