Describe a time when you first talked in a foreign language

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card

Describe a time when you first talked in a foreign language.

You should say
Where were you?
Who were you with?
What did you talk about?
And explain how you felt about it?

Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

Model Answer

Introduction

  • India is a diverse country, and it is tough to learn all Indian languages because languages vary from state to state.
  • So in the case of a foreign language, it is a big challenge to learn and speak the other country’s language.
  • Today I am going to talk about a time when I used a foreign language to make conversation with a child.

Where were you?

  • It was the occasion of a family get together.
  • My maternal uncle came from France with his family four months ago for ten days.
  • He is doing a job in an IT company there.
  • There are three members in his family, uncle, his wife and five-year-old son.
  • My uncle and aunt speak and understand our language very well, but his son knows English and French.

What did you talk about?
Luckily, I know a little bit about the French language because I am planning to shift to France for further study, so I joined French language classes five months ago.
I know the basic words such as
Good morning =Bonjour
Yes = oui
No=non
Thank you = Merci

And explain how you felt about it?

  • So sometimes, when I was with my uncle’s son, I gave the answers to his few questions.
  • Even though the English alphabets are used in French, but it is not very easy than English.
  • I feel very nervous while speaking French.
  • So that was the first time when I spoke French first time.

OR

Introduction

  • I think the first time I talked in a foreign language was when I was in 3rd grade.

Where were you?

  • It happened at school.

Who were you with?

  • My English teacher made me speak about myself in English with another classmate.
  • I had learned about the English alphabets in kindergarten, and I could even write simple sentences in English by that time.
  • However, I had never spoken a sentence aloud.
  • So, I was really nervous.
  • My teeth were clattering, and my whole body was shivering.
  • It took me a lot of time to think what I should talk about.

What did you talk about?

  • Eventually, I think I talked about the name, my hobbies, my parents name and their profession.
  • I think it was a short three-sentence introduction.
  • My teacher guided me and corrected me whenever I made a mistake.
  • The first sentence took me more than thirty seconds, but as I spoke more, I got more and more comfortable.
  • After each sentence, my other classmates clapped, and that also boosted my confidence.
  • After my turn, my teacher made all the other students do the same.
  • She made pairs and made everyone come to the front and talk about themselves.
  • I could see that everyone went through the same feelings as me.

And explain how you felt about it?

  • My other classmates were also nervous like me, some of them were even sweating.
  • But after speaking, we all felt so much better.
  • I couldn’t wait to reach home and tell my mother how I spoke in English.
  • Gradually, I got more and more comfortable with English.
  • But that first time I spoke in English is something I can never forget.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 : Follow up Questions

Here some examples of follow up questions that you may asked during your speaking part 3 by examiner related to cue card “describe a time when you first talked in a foreign language”.

1. At what age should children start learning a foreign language?
With regards to learning a foreign language, I think the earlier, the better. So, I think primary school is the best stage to start learning a foreign language. Young children have less inhibitions and don’t hesitate while speaking. Also, there is a lot of burden of studies in secondary school.

2. Which skill is more important speaking or writing?
I think both are equally important. A few years ago, I would have said that speaking is more important, but with the coming of the internet, we have started communicating in the form of emails and chats and so writing today is equally important.

3 .Does a person still need to learn another language if he is good in English?
I think learning another language is always beneficial. Bilingual children are better at multitasking and thinking out of the box. Learning another language also helps in the mental development of children. I think I have read it at many places that bilingual children outperform monolingual children academically.

4. Do you think minority languages will disappear?
Unfortunately, yes. I think it is already happening. There are many reasons for it, but the primary reason is English is prioritized in most of the countries as it gives a competitive advantage in jobs. Moreover, linguists around the world are also not doing enough to protect minority languages. There is research into minor aspects of languages like English and French, while minority languages are completely ignored.

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