IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Question Types: Your Country

IELTS Speaking Test
Part 1 Question Types:
Your Country

The IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 features 12 Questions on 3 different topics.

Although the topics in Part 1 will be ordinary and familiar, it’s very difficult to prepare for every possible question. In the past, topics have ranged from Chocolate and Mirrors to Shoes and Magazines!

But don’t worry! 

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A much easier way to prepare for your IELTS Speaking Test, is by familiarising yourself with the IELTS Part 1 Question Types.

This is a very common Part 1 question because it helps you talk about something familiar to you. Candidates often feel a boost in their confidence when talking about their own hometown or birthplace, which hopefully makes for an easier transition towards more challenging topics and questions.

Example Questions:

  • “Who is your favourite celebrity in your country?”

  • “Do many people in your country own their own boat?”

  • “How do people in your country make friends?”

  • “What do teenagers in your country like to do?”

The examiner might replace “in your country” with “in India / in Vietnam / in Egypt”.

How to Answer 

Here are some natural and conversational phrases to answer this question. You can use a variety of them to avoid repetition.

Use your country’s name with these phrases:

  • “In my country”

  • “Here in [country]” (e.g “here in India)

If you’re not living in your native country at the moment

  • “Back home”

  • “Back in [country]” (e.g “back in Jordan“)

Use your nationality with these phrases:

  • “Indian / Chinese / Egyptian people love to…”

  • “In Indian / Chinese / Egyptian culture…”

  • “It’s a(n) Indian / Chinese / Egyptian thing to…”

‘A [British] thing’ is part of a colloquial phrase meaning, a custom, or a cultural trait.

‘We’ or ‘They’?

Some students might be confused about which pronoun to use, but it’s quite straightforward.

‘We’ includes yourself. You can also use it to talk about people in your family, friendship circle or country who do the same things as you. Also use when you describe things you do together.

‘They’ means other people – not you. This can include specific members of your family, generations, certain friends, regions and so on.

You can also change between the two pronouns during your answer. Check out the examples below:

“How do families celebrate birthdays in your country?”

#1 – “In my family’s case, we usually throw a big party for the birthday boy or girl. The parents will hire a venue and invite our friends and relatives to celebrate. We also love to shower our children with gifts and food to make it a really special day.”

#2 – “Most Korean families usually throw a big party for the birthday boy or girl. The parents will hire a venue then invite their friends and relatives to celebrate. They also love to shower their children with gifts and food to make it a really special day. But my family never really did that, we just had small celebrations in our apartment, then we went out for a meal in the evening.”

The Impersonal ‘You’

With ‘You’ it’s easy to explain what a visitor or a tourist might experience if they visit your country. ‘You’ isn’t one person, it’s anybody. This makes it a good way to describe what someone could see, do, try, eat, drink, watch and experience in your native country. It’s great for listing specific activities, landmarks or places of interest.

Here are some examples:

  • “If you come to London, and you can see how incredible diverse the city is. There are citizens and tourists from all over the world.”

  • “You don’t need a lot of money to explore Chiang Mai. A tuk-tuk or a red truck should only cost you 50 to 100 baht for short trips.”

  • “When you land in Malaysia, the first thing you will notice is the humidity. The weather gets incredibly hot during April and May especially.”

Full IELTS Part 1 Example Answers: 

  1. “How do people in your country make friends?”

Back home, adults often meet new people through friends of friends, school or through work. Striking up conversations with strangers isn’t really a British thing unfortunately, so instead we tend to reach out to people who we are already familiar with. Colleagues at work can become good friends in time, and the majority of my best friends from university were my housemates and classmates. I can’t speak for everyone in the UK, but it’s definitely a common way to make friends in my country.”

  1. How do you people in your country show politeness?

In my country, there are lots of different ways. People hold the door open for each other, they apologise if they disturb you, and say ‘thank you’ when someone else is considerate. It’s also polite to bring a small gift, or a bottle of wine to a dinner party if someone invites you, that’s a big gesture and a token of respect. So those are couples of ways to show politeness, in the UK.

  1. “Do many people in your country own their own boat?”

Back in England, I never met many people with their own boats. They’re obviously quite expensive, and it only really makes sense if you live near the water. I actually grew up near a small island called Mersea, where a lot of people had their own boats. Some of my parent’s friends had their own, and sometimes we got a chance to sail them, but very rarely. To be honest, I wouldn’t it’s a strong ambition for most English people, even though we are an island nation surrounded by water.”

  1. “What do teenagers in your country like to do?”  

“I suppose British teens like to do what all teenagers do – they hang out with their friends, play on their phones, and spend what money they do have on clothes, food or going to parties if they’re old enough.”

  1. “What’s the public transportation like in your hometown?”

“On the whole it’s pretty extensive actually. You can catch a bus into the city centre quickly and cheaply, no matter where you are in the city. Naturally the citizens of London rely on it quite heavily. If you take a train during rush hour, for example, you’re not going to get a seat! But I think that’s proof of how useful and reliable it is – there’s almost no point in owning a car in London, to be honest, because the public transport goes almost everywhere in the city.”

That’s it!

Now you can do two things:

  • Talk about your home country and its people

  • Make your own questions about your own nation! Then practice with a tutor, speaking partner or a friend.

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