Part One – Introduction/interview
[In this section, the examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Q. What games are popular in your country? [Why?]
A. Thank you for the question. In Kuwait, football is the most popular form of sport. In fact, Kuwait has a great national football team and the number of success of this team is also remarkable. Football has become popular in Kuwait for many reasons and people love to watch the game on the playgrounds as well as live on their TVs.
Other popular sports in Kuwait are basketball, cricket and hockey.
Q. Do you play any games? [Why/Why not?]
A. Yes, I do play different games and sports in my free time. I take part in basketball, which is my favourite sport and I play football sometimes. Both are interesting sports and I find them more interesting due to the health benefits associated with them. Apart from that, I play handball, table tennis and chess once in a while.
Q. How do people learn to play games in your country?
A. Umm…. actually, people in Kuwait learn to play games and sports from their childhood and their relatives and friends often teach them how to play a game. And the educational institutions play the greatest role here. The children go to the playground and take part in different sports and their parents have an unparallel contribution to that activity as well.
Q. Do you think it’s important for people to play games? [Why/Why not?]
A. Yes, it is absolutely important for people to participate in different games and sports. In fact, they play an important role in keeping our physical fitness and mental well-being. Games are also important to refresh our minds and to eliminate our worries. Besides, competitive sports which are played in a team teach us how to become a team member and how to devise strategies to win. This has a profound impact on our decision-making ability and success in life. So, I think it is important for everyone to take part in different games and sports.
Part 2 – Individual long run (Cue Card/Candidate Task Card)
Describe an open-air or street market which you enjoyed visiting.
You should say:
- where the market is/was
- what the market sells/sold
- how big the market is/was
and explain why you enjoyed visiting this market.
[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.]
[Examiner: All right? Remember you have one to two minutes for this, so don’t worry if I stop you. I’ll tell you when the time is up. Can you start speaking now, please?]
My recent visit to Hong Kong was extremely pleasant and exciting, and I will always remember my time there especially for the unique experience I have had in this city. I did some shopping at the “Temple Street Night Market” and I have never seen anything like this before or after!
It is an open-air market in Hong Kong and comes with a great variety of products and commodities for the people. This is the liveliest market in the city of Hong Kong which is quite large and diverse in my opinion. This is a great place for bargain hunters, and shoppers can get products of their choice at a reasonable price.
When the sun goes down, the traders lay out their wares, and the opera singers and fortune tellers begin to emerge. It was named after a “Tin Hau” temple located in the centre of its main drag, and a place so steeped in local atmosphere that it has served as the backdrop to many memorable movies.
This is a street market where you will get anything, absolutely anything, you need. Footwear, trinkets, teaware, cookware, electronics, clothes, electronic gadgets, DVDs, watches, menswear, jade and antiques are scrutinised and haggled over, while clay pot rice, seafood, noodles and other treats are consumed with gusto.
The market is big enough and holds a huge number of shops. The market starts from “Temple street” and covers a few other streets in different directions. The shops are arranged in a well-managed way and there are sections for specific goods and products. The shops are set in different directions under the sky and in case of rain or other disastrous conditions, they are covered with makeshift sheds.
Earlier, I had no idea how a traditional Chinese open-air market was, especially one that operates at night. So, it was a great experience for me and I was thrilled to see how the buyers were bargaining with the sellers and after a satisfactory haggling, they were purchasing the desired goods. I also loved the street food stalls in the market. I bought a few souvenirs from the market and enjoyed a few traditional Chinese dishes which were mouth-watering.
“Temple Street Night Market” is an enduring example of the theatre and festivity of a Chinese market and it’s on show nightly. Being there was something extraordinary and how can I ever forget my experience of this exhilarating place!
Part 3 – Two-way Discussion
Discussion topics: Shopping at markets
Q. Do people in your country enjoy going to open-air markets that sell things like food or clothes or old objects? Which type of market is more popular? Why?
A. Umm… the number of open-air or street markets in my country is pretty low. You can, however, notice many small to large scale shopping malls covered with walls or glasses and those are mostly air-conditioned. Since Kuwait has a really hot summer, shopping complexes are more comfortable for shoppers than those of street markets. Rich people mostly prefer those large shopping centres.
However, the traditional markets still continue to attract business in Kuwait. The souk area of Central Kuwait City retains some of its labyrinths of covered streets, with the passageways lined with shops and stalls. The shops specialize in particular items, including hardware, clothing, spices, that are still open for business.
Moreover, several open-air Friday markets operate from early morning till evening on Fridays, selling everything from second-hand furniture, to clothes, carpets, livestock of various types, and more.
Q. Do you think markets are more suitable places for selling certain types of things? Which ones? Why do you think this is?
A. Yes, markets are suitable places to sell some particular types of products. In fact, such markets are more convenient for sellers and buyers who prefer open and large space than a building. Thus livestock, second-hand furniture, different spices, vegetables, fruits, carpets, and street food are more suitable to be traded on an open market than a confined shopping complex. In particular, different types of livestock can’t be purchased and sold inside a building and a market is more suitable for it.
Q. Do you think young people feel the same about shopping at markets as older people? Why is that?
A. No, I do not think that the feelings of young and older people are the same while shopping in a market. Basically, young people want to have a comfortable shopping environment and feel luxury while shopping – at least in my country. They also want to have several other amenities like a food court, playground and theatre in a shopping mall. They do not like to bargain much and thus they often avoid going to an open market. A luxurious shopping mall is their first preference.
On the contrary, older people want to get the value for the money they pay and compare a product from different sellers. Since markets offer this facility they prefer markets over luxurious shopping malls.
Discussion topics: Shopping in general
Q. What do you think are the advantages of buying things from shops rather than markets?
A. Well, “convenience and comfort” is the first thing that comes in my mind whenever I think of buying something from a large shopping mall. Products in such a shop are found in a well-organized manner while a market sells various types of goods together and you will need to search extensively to get the product you want for you. A shopping mall is cleaner and more comfortable. Besides, a large shop sells products at a fixed price while it is almost impossible to purchase something from a market without bargaining.
From my personal experience, I can say that sellers in a market try to push goods to the customers which I really dislike.
Q. How does advertising influence what people choose to buy? Is this true for everyone?
A. Advertisements try to influence people in some creative and some tricky ways. Frequent adverts on different media cast an impact on our minds, particularly on our subconscious minds. So, when we go to buy something, we remember the advertisement and ask the seller if they could provide us with the products of a particular brand. Since advertisers always publicise the benefits of a product, we tend to believe that those products are far better than others.
Being influenced by advertisements is a common phenomenon but this is not true for everyone. Many people do not rely on advertisements, they rather take decisions based on their real-life experiences and recommendations from people they trust.
Q. Do you think that any recent changes in the way people live have affected general shopping habits? Why is this?
A. Yes, modern lifestyle has some profound impacts on our shopping habits in general. Most of the people are now fond of renowned brands. They try to get the branded products for their regular use and they do not care about the price of such products at all. I think this has happened due to the extensive advertisements all around us.
Besides, people nowadays buy products online more than ever before. The old way of “touching and feeling a product before deciding to purchase it” is no longer applicable to the young generation. They order their favourite pizza online and wait at home to eat it with friends. I believe the technological advancement and our busy life schedule are somewhat responsible for this.