In Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking test candidates are often required to speculate on how things could be, as opposed to how they are or how they were in their past experience. For example, they may be asked to talk about what facilities they think schools should have; whether people should have to pay to enter parks; what the best kind of environment is for a restaurant; or if it would be better to be employed or self-employed.
In my experience, candidates tend to struggle with speculating about the future and “My Perfect…” is a way for them to practise doing it.
The lists of topics and questions below can be used in a variety of ways but here are two suggestions.
●The teacher gives a copy of the questions (see below) to each student
●Students then read the questions and silently think about what they would respond.
●Then the students read the questions to each other in pairs or small groups and share their ideas.
●Before the lesson, the teacher prepares copies the list of topics and questions (see below) and cut them up to produce a small pile of papers each with a topic and questions.
●In the lesson, the teacher gives each student a stack of topic questions.
●Students read the questions and silently think about how they would respond.
●Then the students work in pairs and randomly pulling out a slip of paper and asking each other the questions on it.
As a way to conclude the activity, you can conduct a whole-class discussion could and asks questions such as “Who thinks schools shouldn’t give homework?”; “Who wouldn’t like to live in a big home?”; “Who thinks it would be really important to have a job that pays well?”
My perfect school
1. What time would you start and finish school?
2. Which subjects would students be able to study?
3. How many students would be in each class?
4. Would homework be given? If so, how much? If not, why not?
5. What facilities would the school have?
My perfect holiday
1. Where would you go?
2. Who would you go with?
3. How long would you go for?
4. How would you get there?
5. What would you do while you were there?
My perfect meal
1. Where would you eat? (E.g. restaurant / cafe / someone's home / somewhere else?)
2. Who would you eat with?
3. What would you eat?
4. What would you drink?
My perfect restaurant
1. What kind of food would it serve?
2. How big would it be – how many seats would it have?
3. How expensive would it be – how much would an average meal cost?
4. Describe its environment, e.g. would it be lively and noisy or quiet and relaxing? Would it be bright or dark? Would it play music?
My perfect city
1. What size city would it be – small / medium / big / mega city (more than 10 million people)?
2. What places would you be able to go to and what kinds of things would you be able to do there?
3. What would the weather be like?
4. What kind of public transport would it have?
My perfect teacher
1. What kind of person would they be – what personal qualities would they have?
2. Would they be funny?
3. What would you want to learn from them?
4. Would you care about how old they were or whether they were male or female?
My perfect park
1. About how big would it be - how many football pitches / basketball courts?
2. What facilities would it have?
3. Would people have to pay to enter it?
4. Would it be open 24 hours a day? If not, why not?
My perfect home
1. What kind of home would it be – house / apartment / villa / mansion / etc?
2. How big would it be – how many square metres?
3. How many rooms would it have? What would they be?
4. What would be inside it?
My perfect job
1. What job would it be? If you don’t know, talk about what jobs you think are cool and why.
2. What would be the best thing about this job / these jobs?
3. What would the working environment be like?
4. Would you prefer to work alone or with other people? Why? If with other people – how many? What kind of people?
5. How well paid would it be? How important is this to you?
6. Would you prefer to be self-employed or to have an employer?