IELTS Cue Card: Describe a photograph you like in your room

IELTS Cue Card: Describe a photograph you like in your room


Describe a photograph you like in your room.
You should say:
  • What is in the photograph
  • Where it is
  • How you got it
And explain why you like it.

Part 3:
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking a photo with a phone?
  • Do you think photographers are artists?
  • What are the benefits of children learning how to paint?
  • Can anyone become a famous artist through hard work?

Part 2 — Sample Answer:

I’ve very much been the kind of person to prefer to have all my photos stored on my phone and in the cloud. I’ve had far too many prints in the past end up damaged or lost and feel that if I’m going to take a photo, I’m going to want to keep it for as long as possible.

However, I have so many photos on my phone that it’s sometimes hard to remember all the ones I have, and somewhat difficult for me to quickly find the ones that matter to me the most.

Not long ago I moved to a new country and left behind all my friends. Although I was really excited about moving to a new place, I was naturally quite sad about saying goodbye to people who’d meant the world to me.

Before I left, my friends organized a huge farewell party in my apartment. Almost everybody that could attend came, and I was blown away by how much people cared.

Right before the house party ended, we took one last group photo. Everyone looked really happy and like they were having a good time, and there was me in the center smiling from ear to ear.

A month after I’d moved into my new apartment I was looking through my photos and came across this one from my leaving party. It made me smile yet again, and I decided that I was going to have it printed and framed so I could look at it with nothing more than a passing glance. I wanted to be reminded of that place I called home for so many years, and this was the perfect way to do it.

My bedroom isn’t really very big and there isn’t a lot of space to hang photos on the walls, but there was a free space, just large enough on one of my shelves for me to put this photo, which is where it sits to this day.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

End up (phrasal verb)
If you end up somewhere, you go somewhere unexpected or unplanned. If you end up in a situation, it means something happened to you that you didn't expect.
Example A: I ended up in Rome for one more night because the flight was cancelled.
Example B: I ended up choosing to study computer science.
Example C: The cake ended up in the trash because it was bad.
Example D: She didn't want to end up like her father, so she moved to Paris.
Example E: The restaurant was too busy so we ended up going to a different one.

Meant the world to me (idiom)
A phrase that’s used to emphasize that someone or something is very important to you.
Example: My cat means the world to me — I’m absolutely obsessed with them.

Farewell party (noun)
A party that is held because someone is leaving a job, a city, etc.
Example: Almost all of her friends and family came to the party to say goodbye.

Blown away (idiom)
If you’re blown away you’re thoroughly impressed, overwhelmed, or excited by something.
Example: I’m blown away by how good the movie was.

Smiling from ear to ear (idiom)
If you’re smiling from ear to ear, you look extremely happy and have a broad, enthusiastic smile.
Example: Chris was smiling ear to ear when his bosses praised him during the ceremony.

Come across (phrasal verb)
Something that you come across is something you find by chance. It can also also mean that you behave in a particular way that makes people believe you have a certain characteristic.
Example A: I came across a word I’d never seen before.
Example B: He comes across really well on TV.

Part 3 — Sample Answers:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking a photo with a phone?

There are definitely more pros than cons in my opinion.

One of the key advantages is that phones are small, light, and extremely portable. Most people are carrying their phone with them at all times, and therefore they’ve always got a camera with them. They don’t need to think much before taking a photo — just get it out and take the photo.

In the past, people would have to deal with film, both loading it into the camera and getting the photos developed at a professional studio. Nowadays this is a non-issue, and film cameras are exceedingly rare; they’ve become almost a collector’s item. This is a strong benefit to using a phone to take photos.

I think one of the major disadvantages is quality. Although the lenses and cameras have come a long way in recent years, they’re not as good as a professional grade camera. It’s rare for a camera on a phone to outperform a traditional camera, but sometimes it happens.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Pros and cons (phrase)
The pros and cons of something are its advantages (pros) and disadvantages (cons). You'll usually think about the pros and cons when making a decision. It's often used with the phrasal verb weigh up and people will weigh up the pros and cons of something.
Example A: They thought for hours about the pros and cons of starting their own business.
Example B: He weighed up the pros and cons of studying abroad.

Key (adjective)
Something that’s key is very important and has a lot of influence on other people or things.
Example: She was a key figure in the art world.

Portable (adjective)
Something that is easy to carry or move, and can be used in different places.
Example: Computers are becoming lighter, smaller, and more portable every year.

At all times (idiom)
This idiom is a phrase that means always or constantly.
Example: Grandma is pretty unsteady on her feet, so please stay with her at all times.

Develop (verb)
If you develop a photo you take a film from an analog camera and treat it with chemicals to produce the photo.
Example: We developed the photos from my parents’ wedding day.

Non-issue (noun)
A subject that’s a non-issue is one that isn’t very important. Maybe it used to be important in the past, but it no longer is.
Example: Whether a candidate is a man or a woman should be a non-issue nowadays.

Exceedingly (adverb)
It’s a formal way of saying extremely.
Example: Someone of the children have done exceedingly well.

Come a long way (idiom)
If something has come a long way, it has improved a lot, or a lot of progress has been made.
Example: Computers have come a long way since the huge mainframes of the 1950s.

Professional grade (noun)
The term is a marketing term to separate a product from a consumer grade product. It’s intended to communicate that it will perform better and have more features.
Example: Professional grade cameras are usually three times more expensive than normal consumer ones.

Outperform (verb)
To do something better than something else or someone else.
Example: Technology stocks are outperforming the rest of the market.

Do you think photographers are artists?

Sure, of course I do!

Photography has long been regarded as a form of art, and even photographers that use their camera on their phone can definitely be regarded as artists.

In my opinion, photographers don’t need as much skill as a painter, although to compose a good shot would require a lot of practice and training. Understanding what makes a good photo is a skill in itself, and a lot of people take classes in photography to sharpen their skills even further.

Like painters, the skill of a photographer doesn’t determine whether they should be considered an artist or not. There are some painters that are pretty poor at their craft, but few wouldn’t consider them to be a real artist. Similarly, I believe that everyone who takes a photograph is an artist in some way. Perhaps the photo isn’t very good, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t art.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Compose (verb)
To compose a photo means to arrange the parts in a way that will make it look the best. It could be getting objects in a particular place, or people to stand in a particular way. It could also mean to point the camera at a particular place to get the best angle or view.
Example: He did a lot of research online about different ways to compose a photo.

In itself (idiom)
It’s the short version of the full phrase, “in and of itself” which means without considering anything else. It’s used for emphasizing that what you are saying about one particular thing is true without considering anything else.
Example: Some of the medicines were out of date, which was in itself dangerous.

Sharpen (verb)
To sharpen your skills means to improve them.
Example: The program will give young athletes the chance to sharpen their skills.

What are the benefits of children learning how to paint?

I think all skills are beneficial in some way. Very few children aspire to be professional painters, but it can be fun nonetheless.

Painting and drawing can help a child learn hand-eye coordination, which is an important skill for them to learn as early as possible.

Painting can be a really fun activity for kids too. Most kids find painting relaxing and really enjoyable. It can also be a way for parents to spend quality time with their kid.

I think another benefit is it can help a child express their emotions and creativity. Through the use of different colors, they can express themselves without using words.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Aspire (verb)
If you want to achieve something or be successful, especially in your career, you’re said to have aspirations.
Example: A number of film students aspire to make documentaries.

Hand-eye coordination (noun)
The ability to do things that involve your hands and eyes working together, for example, when catching a ball, or drawing a picture.
Example: He improved his hand-eye coordination through a lot of diligent practice.

Quality time (noun)
This is time you spend with someone, giving them your full attention because you value the relationship.
Example: He spends quality time with his children every day.

Can anyone become a famous artist through hard work?

I’d say yes. Becoming well known for one’s art is definitely possible but would be an uphill battle.

There are very few artists that are household names today, and they’re usually the classical painters and artists. There are a few contemporary artists that people tend to know about, but they are few and far between.

I do believe that most things in life are possible through hard work. A little bit of luck is always helpful, but it’s the effort that pays off.

It may be easier than ever, with social media and the internet to become well known. With an effective online marketing strategy, combined with real world efforts most people can become well known.

I think it’s something that would snowball though. Once someone has a little bit of recognition, it would be easier to get more and more faster and faster.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Uphill battle (idiom)
If a task that is very daunting from the beginning and continues to be challenging, it is said to be an uphill battle.
Example: I’m terrible at math so I have a real uphill battle ahead of me if I want to improve my grade.

Household name (noun)
A person or thing that is very well known by most people.
Example: The most famous movie stars from the 1980s are still household names today.

Contemporary (adjective)
Something that is existing or happening now, something that’s modern.
Example: People like contemporary movies more than ones from a hundred years ago.

Few and far between (idiom)
Something that doesn’t happen very often or doesn’t exist in many places.
Example: Opportunities for promotions are few and far between.

Pays off (phrasal verb)
If something you do pays off, it is successful and brings you some benefit.
Example: All his hard work paid off in the end because he finally got that promotion.

Easier than ever (phrase)
If something is easier than ever, it’s easier than it was in the past, usually indicating something is very easy.
Example: Finding information quickly is easier than ever because of the internet.

Snowball (verb)
If a plan, problem, idea, etc snowballs, it quickly grows bigger and more important.
Example: I suggested a few drinks after work, and the whole thing snowballed into an office party.

How long will these questions be valid?

At least until the end of April 2020.
Three times a year the British Council changes many of the topics and questions they ask. Sometimes they decide to keep a topic for another four months, but oftentimes they decide to replace it. This one is very likely to be replaced with a new topic at the beginning of May 2020, but it won't be known for sure until then.

Just to let you know, there are 49 possible part 2/3 topics on the current exam. Sometimes there are more, sometimes there are less, and this number changes when the British Council updates the questions.

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I help students with two things: ✅ Day to day speaking practice ✅ IELTS speaking test preparation I correct everything and will help you learn where your mistakes are and how to fix them. I don't ignore your mistakes! I have all the current questions that can appear on the IELTS speaking test. Preparing with me won't be a waste of time, and you won't be practicing questions that are years out of date. I've helped hundreds of students get the score they want on the IELTS speaking test, which can be an incredibly difficult test sometimes. I can help make sure you're as prepared as possible for the questions that examiners can throw at you. Many of my students have commented that they've practiced the very same questions that appeared on the exam, and were happy to have thought through some tricky topics in advance. Let's get started! Book a class and I'll see you soon!
Flag
English
globe
United Kingdom
time
27
Speaks:
English
Native
I help students with two things: ✅ Day to day speaking practice ✅ IELTS speaking test preparation I correct everything and will help you learn where your mistakes are and how to fix them. I don't ignore your mistakes! I have all the current questions that can appear on the IELTS speaking test. Preparing with me won't be a waste of time, and you won't be practicing questions that are years out of date. I've helped hundreds of students get the score they want on the IELTS speaking test, which can be an incredibly difficult test sometimes. I can help make sure you're as prepared as possible for the questions that examiners can throw at you. Many of my students have commented that they've practiced the very same questions that appeared on the exam, and were happy to have thought through some tricky topics in advance. Let's get started! Book a class and I'll see you soon!