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IELTS Preparation Series 3, Episode 21: Talking About the Family

September 4, 2016

 

(Bấm vào đây để chọn bài học kế tiếp)

 

Xem lời thoại bên dưới:

 

0:12

Hello, and welcome to Study English, IELTS Preparation. I'm Margot Politis.

0:17

The family is a common topic in IELTS, especially in Part 1 of the Speaking Test.

0:24

Talking about such a familiar topic might seem simple, but doing it well requires thought

0:30

and practice.

0:32

Let's listen to someone talking about their family:

0:35

My mother is a teacher and my father is an architect. I've got 2 brothers and one sister,

0:40

so that's all the immediate family.

0:42

She begins by identifying her mother and father, and then her brothers and sister. What did

0:50

she call all of them together?

0:53

My mother is a teacher and my father is an architect. I've got 2 brothers and one sister,

0:57

so that's all the immediate family.

1:00

The immediate family. Another term for this is nuclear family.

1:06

That's the parents - mother and father - and the siblings - brothers and sisters.

1:13

A male child is called the son of his parents and a female child is called the daughter.

1:22

Mother and father are the formal words. In informal English you say mum and dad, like

1:30

this:

1:31

Me and my mum we immigrated to Australia in 1991 to Perth and then I moved over to Sydney

1:38

to be with my dad, then dad moved back to Thailand, so yeah.

1:42

The family outside of the immediate family is called the extended family.

1:48

The parents of your parents are called grandparents - grandmother and grandfather. The brothers

1:56

and sisters of your parents are called uncles and aunts.

2:00

Listen:

2:01

Both my parents were only children, so I don't have any aunts or uncles. But I do have a

2:06

niece, my oldest brother's daughter.

2:09

If you refer to your mother's sister, you can say "my aunt on my mother's side". If

2:16

you refer to your father's father, you can say "grandfather on my father's side".

2:24

The children of your aunts and uncles are called "cousins", whether male or female.

2:30

The children of your brothers and sisters are called nephews if they're boys and nieces

2:37

if they're girls.

2:38

What did our first speaker say about her extended family?

2:43

Both my parents were only children, so I don't have any aunts or uncles. But I do have a

2:47

niece, my oldest brother's daughter.

2:50

She said her both her parents were only children. This means they were the only child of their

2:56

parents and didn't have any brothers or sisters.

3:01

If there are several children in your family you talk about them by order of birth, like

3:06

this:

3:06

I have one older brother, he's 22. I have, I'm in the middle and I'm 20 and I have a

3:14

younger sister who is 15.

3:14

The first child in the family can be called the oldest and the last the youngest. Sometimes

3:22

the youngest is called the baby brother or sister, or as in the next clip, the little

3:28

brother or sister:

3:28

I've got 2 sisters and a little brother.

3:31

The children of a family are a generation and the children they go on to have are the

3:37

next generation.

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For instance, when someone's parents immigrate to Australia and have children here, those

3:46

children are called first-generation Australians. When they grow up and have children, their

3:53

children are referred to as second-generation Australians.

3:57

Listen:

3:58

My parents were born in Italy but my brothers and sister were born here so we're first generation

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Australians. My niece is second generation.

4:07

A married couple are husband and wife. Each is called the spouse of the other.

4:17

The words for relatives by marriage are the same as with your immediate family, but with

4:23

-in-law added.

4:25

So your spouse's father is your father-in-law and their sister is your sister-in-law.

4:33

The plural of these forms is sisters-in-law and fathers-in-law.

4:41

Death and divorce mean that people remarry and have children with a different parent.

4:46

This parent by marriage is called your step-mother or step-father. Any children they may already

4:54

have become your step-brothers and step-sisters. The children they go on to have with your

5:02

actual mother or father are your half-brothers or half-sisters.

5:07

In the IELTS Speaking Test it is important to extend your answers. When asked about your

5:16

family, it's best to reply first by saying who is in your immediate family as our first

5:23

speaker did:

5:24

My mother is a teacher and my father is an architect. I've got 2 brothers and one sister,

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so that's all the immediate family.

5:30

Now listen to how you might develop a longer answer, like this:

5:36

My mum was born in Malaysia in a town called Bentong, which is just north of Kuala Lumpur.

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But her family origin is Sri Lankan Tamil. So racially I guess you'd say they're South

5:50

Indian. But they migrated to Sri Lanka and then her family …her elder sister was

5:56

born in Sri Lanka. But then her family moved to Malaysia and most of the other children

6:01

were born in Malaysia.

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First she says where her mum was born:

6:05

My mum was born in Malaysia in a town called Bentong, which is just north of Kuala Lumpur.

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But her mother isn't ethnically Malaysian, so she points this out:

6:18

But her family origin is Sri Lankan Tamil. So racially I guess you'd say they're South

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Indian.

6:25

She then explains how her mother came to be born in Malaysia:

6:29

Her elder sister was born in Sri Lanka. But then her family moved to Malaysia and most

6:34

of the other children were born in Malaysia.

6:37

When developing your answer, be careful to use the correct prepositions - in or at.

6:44

You are born 'in' a country and 'in' a town.

6:48

Listen:

6:50

My mum was born in Malaysia in a town called Bentong, which is just north of Kuala Lumpur.

6:58

If you decided to say where your parents were educated, you need to say 'at' - "my father

7:05

studied at university."

7:11

There are many possible questions that can be asked about families. The questions are

7:15

designed to make you use particular language functions.

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So, for making comparisons you may be asked: "Are nuclear families better than extended

7:26

families?"

7:28

And for giving an opinion, the examiner might ask: "Should children always obey their parents?"

7:35

If the examiner asked you: "What is the best age to get married?" They are expecting you

7:41

to identify and explain.

7:43

So it's a good idea to think about possible questions like these and try to make up some

7:48

more questions yourself. Listen to the way this woman responds to the question: "What's

7:54

a normal family?"

7:56

I don't think there's any such thing as a normal family, but, yeah my family gets along

8:01

well. It's got it's quirks but we get along well.

8:05

That's challenging the question, which you are allowed to do as long as you justify what

8:10

you say.

8:12

When answering questions about family, you need to be able to identify family members

8:20

and their relationships to one another with the correct words.

8:25

What family members does this woman mention?

8:27

I used to speak Cantonese at home when I was a kid and then when I went to school I spoke

8:33

English with all my friends, and a few of my cousins are here and things, so I spoke

8:38

English with them as well, and then slowly I lost learning Cantonese and I can't speak

8:43

it anymore.

8:44

She talked about her cousins, who are the children of her aunts or uncles.

8:50

You need to have something to say about your family, so be prepared to say where your parents

8:55

were born or where your brothers or sisters work or study, like this:

9:01

My oldest brother studied law at Flinders University in Adelaide and got a job at a

9:05

law firm in the city where he met his wife. They were married 2 years ago and last year

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they had their first child. My sister-in law is expecting another baby. I'm hoping for

9:15

a nephew this time.

9:17

She talked about her oldest brother, his wife who is also her sister-in-law and her potential

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nephew. She said when her brother was married, where he studied and what he does and even

9:32

where he met his wife.

9:37

That's all for now.

9:38

To find more information about the speaking test and to view other episodes, visit our

9:44

Study English website.

9:46

Good luck with your studies.

 

 

 

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