IELTS: hometowns & neighbourhoods. Speaking Test Part Two practice.

4th April 2022

Some London neighbourhoods

A typical, run of the mill IELTS question will be about your hometown or about your neighbourhood.

N.B. neighbourhood means the area in which you live; neighbours are the people living next or close to you.

First, some new vocabulary. I will expect you to learn these, to have them down pat:

gritty / industrial

quite / safe / residential

boring / peaceful / suburban

bustling / vibrant / city centre / lively / a happening place

apparently – something you believe to be true

conversely – the opposite, on the other hand, however

actually – saying something that is surprising or is the truth

New idioms

bear with me – please wait a very short time

bit of a sore point – something that makes you sad or angry

like a madhouse – a place or area that is crazy, too noisy, too busy etc

run of the mill – ordinary, typical, unusual, boring

you take your life in your hands – doing something that is extremely dangerous

NOW … your turn

Tell me about your neighbourhood

Remember, give me a great introduction, have a positive point, a negative point and a short conclusion. You should be able to speak for two minutes without pause or repetition

Tips: Use some of the adjectives listed above to describe the area.

Say what amenities you have close by; shops, restaurants, entertainment, transport links etc.

Try to tell an anecdote – a short true story about something that happened to you.

Real estate news: Outstanding Housing Projects Of Kien A Investors
An apartment block in the Cat Lai area of Sai Gon. Artist’s impression.
HCM city aims to reduce seaport traffic jams
The reality of living in Cat Lai, one of the busiest ports in south east Asia

Well, that question is a bit of a sore point with me because I live in a terribly noisy gritty industrial area. My apartment is near the Cat Lai port which is one of the busiest in Vietnam. Consequently, we have containers driving past, day and night which, as you can imagine, creates so much pollution.

However, allow me to talk about the good points. Firstly, it is significantly cheaper than, say, District 1 or 3, as it is quite far from the centre. The shops also tend to be on the cheap side. Additionally we have some street markets where I can pick up some very cheap food and fresh fish. We are well-served with several convenience stores although, in my opinion, Family Mart charges an arm and a leg.

Conversely, my friends avoid visiting me because it is so dangerous to ride a motorbike here, we really take our lives in our hands every time we go out. Furthermore, I love fresh air so I open my windows, but I have to dust and clean every day because so much dirt accumulates. Finally, we have open-air karaoke nearly every night and street wedding parties most weekends which means loud and terrible singing. It’s like a madhouse, I really detest this horrible noise.

I am lucky with my neighbours, who are all so friendly, and the apartment is really spacious. Having said that, the area is so bad that as soon as possible, I will leave and find somewhere cleaner and safer.

Landmark 81 in Sai Gon

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