Level 0Example Speaking Questions
What’s your name?
How are you?
How old are you?
What do you like?
What colour is it?
Do you like reading?
Where do you live?
Is this a dog?
What can you do?
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
ch sh th ph ing er
1. Hello. My name is Dave. I am 29 years old. I live in New York. I like to read.
2. He is Phil. He is 42 years old. He lives in London. He likes to play tennis.
3. She is Anna. She is 27 years old. She lives in Shanghai. She likes to watch TV. She doesn’t like to cook.
1. Write the first 10 letters of the alphabet.
2. Write 2 sentences about yourself.
Level 1Example Speaking Questions
Introduce yourself? (what’s your name? where are you from? Who is in your family?)
What do you like to do?
What does your ….like to do?
What day is it today?
How is the weather today?
What time is it?
What are you doing?
Whose pen is this?
Where is the pen?
What are you going to do after this test?
Hi. My name is Dave, and I am 29 years old. I like to read, watch movies, and travel. I don’t like to play basketball. Every Monday I go to a book club, and every Friday at 3 o’clock I play football with my friends.
I have a cat named Oscar and a dog named Fido. They are both very cute, but Oscar is a bit fat.
Shanghai is a very big city in China. It is on the east coast, and the weather is usually hot in the summer and a little cold in the winter. Some people say that Shanghai is not a beautiful city – all the tall buildings and cars make it a bit ugly – but people come to Shanghai to work, not to come on holiday.
1. Write 3 sentences about yourself.
2. Write 3 sentences about the place that you live.
Level 2Example Speaking Questions
What’s the date today?
What did you do yesterday?
How often do you…?
What are you going to do tomorrow?
Can you cook? What can you make?
What season do you like? Why?
What does your father look like?
What did you used to enjoy when you were younger?
Is there anything you do now that you didn’t use to do?
What is near your house?
Last Wednesday Dave went to the cinema to watch a film. The movie started at 7pm, but he got there a little late so missed the beginning. There were a lot of people, and as he walked into the theatre everyone got very angry with him. They were even angrier when, after 5 minutes, he opened his packet of sweets and ate them very loudly. When Dave got up after 20 minutes to go to the bathroom, everyone in the cinema wanted to kill him. Next week Dave is going to go to the cinema again.
The Beatles were one of the most famous pop groups in the world. In the 1960s and 1970s they were very popular: many of their songs reached number 1, and their concerts sold out. They were also especially popular with teenage girls, who thought the boys rather handsome.
Today their albums are still popular, and many of their songs are still famous (at the Olympics, the Opening Ceremony finished with Paul McCartney playing ‘Hey Jude’). Newspapers sometimes publish lists of ‘The Best Albums’ ever, and there are always Beatles’ albums on them.
1. Write about something that happened in the past.
2. Write 3 sentences about someone famous.
Level 3Example Speaking Questions
How long have you studied English?
Compare you and a friend.
Who is the cleverest person in your family?
Can you drive?
Can you describe your house?
What do you think is the best restaurant in this city?
What was the last holiday you went on? Where did you go, and did you enjoy it?
What do you do well?
Do you have any plans for the weekend?
Do you like this city? What are the good things, and what are the bad things about it?
My family is a large one: as well as my immediate family (2 brothers, sister, and parents) I also have a large extended family. 3 of my grandparents are still alive – unfortunately my grandmother on my mother’s side passed away three years ago – and I have 4 uncles and 3 aunts.
Two of my siblings are married (my older brother and my sister) and now are making their own families. My younger brother has been dating a girl for three years, so he will probably get married soon too. Last year my brother and his wife had a son, so I now have a nephew (and I am an uncle, which makes me feel old). However, I think it will be a few years before I want to have my own family.
In 2007 Anna decided to quit her job and travel around the world by herself. It was a big decision, and some of her friends thought that she had gone crazy: why give up working and go on a long holiday? However, when they started reading about her trip and seeing her photos as she travelled through America, Brazil, parts of Africa and across Russia, they soon changed their minds.
At the end of 2008 Anna returned to the UK. She was broke, had no job or apartment, and some of her friends had moved away or got married. However, Anna was not disappointed: she had made one of her dreams come true, and had seen some of the most beautiful places in the world. She had made memories that would stay for the rest of her life. That definitely beat working.
1. Write a short paragraph about your family.
2. Write about your dream.
Level 4Example Speaking Questions
Why do you want to learn English?
How long have you been living in…?
What haven’t you done yet today?
Describe your daily routine.
If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
Is there anything you would recommend to a visitor to the city?
What chores do you do around the house?
Do you have any regrets?
What are the biggest problems in your country at the moment?
If you hadn’t come here today, what would you have done instead?
Philip’s employment history is a long and varied one: he has done numerous different jobs, in a number of different areas. In some ways he has become a ‘jack of all trades, and master of none’.
After he left school he took a job working in a vet’s office because he used to like animals; he quickly realized, however, that working with animals messy, hard work, and doesn’t pay very well. He soon left and decided to work for an airline because he wanted to see the world. This too was hard work, and Philip began to think he wanted to visit places on holiday, not work.
For five years he then had an office job, which was very comfortable. It paid him quite well, and he never had to do too much work. After half a decade, however, he began to think his life wasn’t going anywhere, and that he needed a change. Once again he entered the job market, and after doing some part-time jobs working in a factory, on a farm, as a PA, and finally as a vet’s assistant.
For visitors coming to Shanghai, there are a few things I would recommend, and a few things I wouldn’t. Obviously, everyone has different tastes, so maybe other people would disagree.
The first thing I would recommend is that, before even coming to the city, one takes the time to buy a Chinese dictionary or phrase book; of course it is possible to buy such a thing here, but it is far easier to come off the plane with one already in your possession. When a visitor arrives they should also try to pick up a map – this is easy to do at the airport, but harder to manage if arriving by train or boat. Almost every other everyday item can be bought once in the city.
For places to go I would take a trip up one of the tall towers in Lujiazui. This lets a visitor see just how massive the city is, and how many skyscrapers there are. Unfortunately the air can be a bit smoggy, so it may not be possible to see very far. I would also take a look around People’s Square and People’s Park because that is the heart of the city. People should also enjoy the city’s subway system, one of the best in the world.
I wouldn’t waste my time with Nanjing Dong Lu, although since it is next to the Bund one may as well have a look. That street is basically a tourist trap that people are told to visit, but it has nothing of interest.
Finally, for a strange piece of Shanghai a person can visit the Tourist Tunnel. This tunnel runs beneath the Huang Pu river and is a slow, expensive and bizarre way to cross the river. However, with its strange lights, and being nearly empty, it is so bad that it is something a visitor should see.
1. Write about your work experience
2. Write about your city.
Level 5Example Speaking Questions
Could you tell me what you do for a living?
What responsibilities do you have at work?
When was your company started?
What is in the news at the moment?
Last week I told my friend I was sick because I didn’t want to go to his party. What would you have done?
What advice would you give to a person who wants to learn Chinese?
What types of movies do you enjoy?
Are you a fan of electronics? What electronic devices do you regularly use?
What do you hope to have done by the time you retire?
If you were in charge of the country, what changes or laws would you make?
When Daniel was at school he was fond of studying; he enjoyed the feeling that he was becoming more intelligent, and when he received praise from his teachers it made him feel confident. He used to like his geography class in particular: learning about the world fascinated him, and Mr. Jones was the most interesting of his mentors.
As he got a bit older, however, Daniel began to become less interested in studying. He passed a degree, but during his time at university he spent more time hanging out with friends, trying to meet girls, and getting drunk. Of course, he didn’t tell his parents this, but they probably knew.
When he went into the world of work he found there was almost no time to study; every day his time was spent making money for the company, holding meetings, and solving problems. Months, then years, would go by in which he would not read a book. He forgot what studying was all about.
Now that he has retired, however, Daniel has started learning again. By the end of this week he will have been studying art for a year, and by the end of this month he hopes to have started a French class. He is also thinking about re-starting his geography studies, although he will miss Mr. Jones’s teaching style.
The computer games industry has grown a lot in the past twenty years, changing from a world aimed mostly at teenagers and young men to one that involves both sexes and a larger audience. Indeed, the games industry is now competing with the movie industry to be the largest in the entertainment world.
The variety of computer games has expanded a huge amount in recent years. There are also now games aimed at babies and very young children, and also ‘games’ that are simply exercises in creating art rather than playing. These artistic exercises appeal to people who previously had no interest in games, believing them to be all about explosions and shooting things. Computer games designers are also now more aware that some gamers want to create their own environments: in many games now – although the backbone of the game is the same – the player is free to create a world suited to their own ideas.
As well as this, a new world of computer games design is opening up in countries previously outside the games market. This is not only in the idea of sales, but also in design: increasingly people in different countries want to make games that represent their worlds and experiences, and so the computer game industry will enter a new stage of multi-cultural development.
1. What were your favourite classes at school? And what do you hope to learn in the future?
2. Write a paragraph about a hobby you have.
Level 6Example Speaking Questions
What are your interests, and what are your pet hates?
What skills and qualifications are needed in your job?
What do you hope to achieve in work before you retire?
What would you say your best and worst characteristics are?
What would be your dream job? Why?
What do you do to unwind?
Do you drink alcohol? What is your preferred tipple?
How do you think your life would have been different if you had born in a different country?
If your friend told you that he/she had committed a crime, would you tell the police?
Are you more arts-minded, or science-minded? What do you find interesting?
Dave’s ex-girlfriend was a real nightmare: bossy, picky, and exceedingly high maintenance, she basically irritated everyone with whom she came into contact (I guess her one redeeming feature was that she was easy on the eye). The fact that Dave dated this harpy for two years was a case of masochism. Last month he finally plucked up the courage to dump her; that said, she isn’t completely out of the picture yet, so Dave’s friends are aiming to set him up as quickly as possible in order to help his transition back to a pain-free life.
One option about which these friends are unaware is Penny, who has suffered an unrequited love for Dave for the past 18 months. Actually, she has known Dave for the past 8 years, but whilst they were friends before, it was only after some time that Penny came to realize she held deeper feelings. Naturally, the departure of Dave’s partner has raised her hopes that he might become her beau, although she is equally worried about moving too soon and destroying the relationship they already possess. In her mind there is a battle between caution and ‘carpe diem’; which would you recommend?
Although the sandwich derives its name from the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu (1718-1792), it has been in existence for far longer; as bread has been around for at least 10 000 years, people were certainly placing things within it long before the 18th century. Oddly, it is also likely that the wrap – which has recently become trendy in cafe culture – is probably even older than the sandwich
Despite Sandwich being a British town – and the Earl being an Englishman – many people in the UK have some misconceptions about the etymology and history of the sandwich, whilst other widely held beliefs are based on shaky evidence. One of these is that the sandwich was used by the Earl as a snack food whilst he enjoyed playing cards; whilst the sandwich was certainly very popular with men who enjoyed games at the time, there is no strong evidence to say that John Montagu was the first to use it in this way. Indeed, it is just as likely that Montagu ate sandwiches at his desk whilst he worked. Another, slightly more unusual error, is the Earl’s name: thanks to the television comedy ‘Blackadder’, which changed the name to ‘Gerald’ because it sounded funnier when Blackadder asks to eat ‘a round of Geralds’, many believe Gerald, Lord Sandwich, was a real man.
The range and variations in its formation makes the sandwich hugely popular at home, with different breads and fillings making endless possibilities; the swiftness with which it can be put together and delivered has made it an office favourite, picked up from the local deli or delivered by the sandwich shop; and its easy-pack shape and ability to be stored also makes it a convenience food at supermarkets. It is hard to think of another food that can as simple or complex as required, and eaten at any time of day. Whoever did make the world’s first sandwich certainly was onto a good idea.
1. What advice would you offer someone who finds him/herself in Penny’s position?
2. Describe a recipe that you know.