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IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Question set 3

Question set 3: Two-way discussion.

Friends:

•  What do you think makes someone a good friend to a whole family?
A good person with better interpersonal skill, benevolent nature, amiable behaviours and humorous character can become a really good friend to a whole family. From my experience, I can say that such person has really good communication and interpersonal skills and that’s why they can become close to all family members regardless of their ages.

•  Do you think we meet different kinds of friends at different stages of our lives? In what ways are these types of friend different?
Yes, it is quite true. The type of friends we have in different stages of life greatly varies. In childhood, we make friends who live near us or study with us. The number of friends is quite high in childhood and they are mostly our playmates. We make comparatively fewer friends in schools and the preference is mostly based on common interests. In university level, we make many friends but the number starts reducing with the age. In old age, we have comparatively fewer friends but most of them are very close.

•  How easy is it to make friends with people from a different age group?
It is not that easy to make friends from different age groups in most of the cases. The age barrier sometimes brings issues that might ruin the friendship. The friendship among people of different age groups in adult age is common especially when people start their own career but this is comparatively fewer among students who mostly prefer to make friends of their age.

•  Do you think it is possible to be friends with someone if you never meet them in person?
Yes, it is quite possible and in fact, I have 3-4 friends from different countries whom I have never met. The pen friend is an old trend and making online friends is a comparatively recent trend. Though in most cases the friendship is not that strong, there are exceptions.

•  Is this real friendship?
Definitely. This type of friendship has every sort of bonding and characteristics that a real-life friendship has except the fact that they do not meet in person. The online and pen friends can share almost anything with each other, communicate frequently, exchange gifts, wish good luck each other, have common interests and topics to talk about, care for each other and share happiness and sadness. I would say true online or distance friendship is possible even though they do not see each other in person.

•  What kind of influence can friends have on our lives?
That’s a nice question indeed. I do believe that we can learn about a person from the company he keeps. In other words, we can define someone from the characteristics his/ her friends have. From this regards, it is true that friends have enormous influences on our life. They can make our life worth living, they can influence us to become a better or worse person and they can make differences in a person’s life.

•  How important would you say it is to have friends from different cultures?
It is quite important in my opinion. Having friends from different cultures gives us an excellent opportunity to learn about the cultural diversity. It broadens our perspective and let us experience things and activities which would have otherwise impossible.

Meeting:

•  What are the different types of meeting that people often go to?
Well, thank you for your smart question. Meeting refers to a gathering of some selected people to ponder over any specific issue. Generally, people need to meet to serve a large number of purposes and accordingly the meetings have been categorised into several stages and types. But the most notable and common forms of meetings include – decision-making meeting, innovation and creative information sharing meeting, status update meeting, problem-solving meeting, usual information sharing meeting etc. Moreover, the meetings are usually held in two types of environment – formal and informal. When it is about any decision making or information sharing meeting, the events are held in formal situations. If the meetings are of less importance, than those are held in informal situations as like two friends are planning for their next morning trip and they are deciding the entire issue on a street or at the porch of their house.

Meetings are organised by different people or organisations and in that cases and most often those meetings are held in the formal environments and joined by the invited people only. But there are some other types of meetings where people of all levels have their access. Whatever the types, meetings are held to take necessary and important decisions. It is also the way to let the other people know about your feelings and thoughts over any specific issues. The other reason for holding a meeting is that it helps to bring the ideas and innovative aspects of any specific issues. During the meeting session, people discuss different topics and finally appear to a conclusion that is agreed by all the members present at the meeting. Thereby, people have to go for attending meeting frequently.



•  Some people say that no one likes to go to meetings – what do you think?

Umm! The statement is partially true for a majority of the people. It happens mostly as the participants have to wait or sit silently in a meeting session. They cannot express their feelings or share their ideas frankly at the meeting. So, they feel embarrassed. But the situation is different for the people who are liable for conducting the meeting. They are to be occupied with lots of responsibilities and activities. They cannot point out that the meeting is boring or uninteresting. So, it appears that the view of attending a meeting is different and the intentions to attend meetings change based on the participants' perspectives. In fact, when you will be responsible for arranging a meeting, you will need to be aware of each and everything of the meeting. You have to be careful about the participants, availability of the logistics, venue and other necessary arrangements.

But if I consider the meeting from the perspective of a participant who has nothing to do except sitting idly, it would appear highly uninteresting. Further, in some cases, the meetings turn lively provided that the contexts or agendas are interesting. When the participants have their own interests and hold the meeting, all of them are seen active, naturally, as they are to gain their benefits. But, if the issue is about collective interests, some of the participants are seen less responsive. And in that case, they do not like attending the meetings. So, I think when people have some sort of benefits, they turn eager to attend and if they are to decide something with due responsibilities, they try to skip lest they suffer the negative consequences (if any).

•  Why can it sometimes be important to go meetings?

Yes, sometimes it becomes important to attend meetings for many reasons. Usually, meetings are held to take important decisions on many issues. When people need to take important decisions over any specific issues, they arrange for meeting with the relevant stakeholders or partners in their respective workplaces or sectors. When few people gather in a place to take decisions, they discuss the recent important matters and exchange ideas to reach a perfect solution. For instance, you need to take an important decision at your office and you cannot take that alone. You cannot take the decision alone for several reasons, and the first thing is that you are not authorised to take the decision but the required authority is also absent at the same time. If the decision is not made instantly, that may cause organisational damage. In such case, you are inviting everyone to attend a meeting. This is important.

People who are invited have to attend there because this is important. In fact, the level of importance depends on the situations. When it is an emergency, you cannot ignore or skip the meetings. In such cases, if you ignore the meeting call, you might have to regret later for not being at the meeting table. Emergencies are unwanted and uninvited. However, they have turned the part of human life. So, it is important to respond to such situations and to attend meetings.

•  Why do you think leaders often have meetings together?
Well, leaders are the individuals who lead the organisations or working bodies. They are leaders because they own the leading capacities which the common people do not possess. As a result, they are different. But it should be kept in mind that as human beings, they also have some sort of limitations and as a direct result, they are to act like the normal human beings sometimes. They need to meet often in meeting sessions to decide over important issues which are prioritised based on their level and importance. Usually, the leaders own some special qualities and they utilise their intellects to perform their best. So, when they meet together, they discuss and share ideas. But sometimes they need to meet together for their own benefits. For instance, there are five leaders in an organisation and one of them is suffering from his production output. So, he may ask suggestions or helps to the remaining four leaders and all of them will sit for a meeting at a convenient hour. It helps them to exercise their intellects and sharpen their wits and abilities. Moreover, the decisions that come out of such meetings are outstanding. If they had discussed the issues or problems with the ordinary people, I bet they would not have got such unique solutions. Moreover, it is another way to build a cordial relationship among them out of their professional life.

•  What possible difficulties might be involved in organising meetings between world leaders?
Uhh! Yes, it sounds great to arrange a meeting with the world leaders. I can imagine that all the global leaders are discussing different issues and matters of mutual interests with each other. Passing busy time and attending conferences, releasing their statements before the press and more other issues. Well, it is very good to dream so but it is difficult indeed to arrange such meetings. The key difficulty is the scheduling. The global leaders like the state chiefs of different countries are highly occupied with their respective countries and internal issues. They have pre-set plans and calendars to follow and they cannot break the rules even if they want. If they break a preset appointment, it becomes difficult for the leader to arrange or allocate time to the same party again into a separate calendar. Besides, the party desiring to meet the leader also becomes disappointed. It is, in fact, the violation of decency. So, the leaders do not take such risks as it brings defame to them as well. As a result, it becomes difficult to arrange a global meeting in presence of the global leaders.

But, sometimes, when ‘situations’ occur, they break the pre-schedules to attend the emergency meetings. When the UN organised global summit or conferences, they take schedule from all the global leaders and accordingly set plans and events so that the events appear convenient to the leaders. Secondly, the political situations in countries are not the same and the global leaders cannot be reached due to political conditions. Moreover, the meeting venue is another important thing to consider in this aspect. The venue needs to be convenient for all the participants and security is a great issue. When all such issues are met perfectly, the global leader meet together and it is very hard and complicated indeed to arrange so.

•  Do you think that meetings between international leaders will become more frequent in the future? Or will there be less need for world leaders to meet?

Thanks for your thought-provoking question. Ahh! I do not think that meeting among the international leaders will be frequent in the future days. This is the age of science and technology. A substantial advancement has been achieved in the sector of communication and people living in the remotest part of the plant could be reached within seconds. Virtual communication has brought about a revolutionary change in the society and accordingly, the international leaders now do not need to meet individually in any preset place to meet and discuss issues or situations periodically. Now they can meet virtually using various communication technologies. Consequently, they will meet less in person and will keep in touch with the virtual communication. Moreover, the virtual communication is free of all forms of troubles and save time and money. Thereby, I think it would be one of the leading communication modes to move ahead in line with the world.



Foods & Restaurant:

•  Why do you think people go to restaurants when they want to celebrate something?
People mostly go to restaurants to celebrate a special day or a special event because that gives them a different experience than staying at home. They enjoy the view and the environment. Also, they can enjoy different types of foods that they usually do not cook at home. They can invite others and many people can gather at that place and that is more convenient than inviting all of them to gather in a house. The foods and dining experience could be bought with money and the host does not need to take any extra hassle to take care of every invited guest.

•  Which are more popular in your country: fast food restaurants or traditional restaurants?
Well, that varies based on the age group of people. Fast food shops are more popular among the students, teenagers and low-income class people while traditional restaurants are well-liked by working class people and high-income group people. When people need to take a quick meal they often go to a fast food restaurant but when they plan to have dinner with his family, traditional restaurant is their choice.

•  Why do you think that is?
Well, having fast food is cheaper and does not offer a great dining experience. That is why people with less money mostly go to a fast food shop. On the contrary, a traditional restaurant offers a better dining experience but costs a lot of money.

•  Some people say that food in an expensive restaurant is always better than food in a cheap restaurant – would you agree?
No, I would not agree with this statement. Generally, expensive restaurants have better cooks, a better environment and offer better service but this is always not the case. From my personal experience, I can say that I have many times enjoyed my dinner in a comparatively cheaper restaurant than in an expensive restaurant. My friends also have similar experiences.

•  Do you think there will be a greater choice of food available in shops in the future, or will there be less choice?
I think the choices would be greater in the future. If I compare my childhood experience, I can feel that we have more choices these days than it was before. The satellite TV channels, globalisation, better transportation and migration facility will surely widen the number of menus offered in a good restaurant in the future. The choices have increased than the past and will definitely increase in the future.

•  What effects has modern technology had on the way food is produced?
The modern technology has redefined the way people produce foods. From irrigation till kitchen, modern technology has made food production easier and more convenient. We can taste foods from other countries, can preserve them for a long, or cook a whole new menu only because of the technological advancement in recent years.

•  How important is it for a country to be able to grow all the food it needs, without importing any from other countries?
This would make a country self-dependent. They would be able to export many food items and thus they would become economically stronger. However, it is not practical that a country will produce all the food items their countrymen need and this is because foods and crops productions are greatly dependent on weather, temperature and soil condition of a country. Some really large countries might become successful in producing all their necessary foods, but most of the countries would have to rely on importing foods that they do not produce.

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