IELTS|Intermediate|1. Dream city

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Read the quote and discuss the questions with the teacher

«The best hobby is collecting. I collect visas in my passport»

— Unknown author

1. Would you like to take up this hobby?

2. What countries have you already visited? What other countries would you like to visit?

3. What are advantages and disadvantages of travelling a lot?

Match the names of the cities with the photos


Which of the cities would you like to visit? Why? Use these ideas to help you

  • excellent shopping
  • friendly people
  • great food
  • lots to do
  • unusual buildings
  • lively festivals
  • spectacular scenery

You are going to read a passage about cities around the world. Before you read, decide if these are good or bad aspects

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Write some more aspects of cities which are good or bad

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READING

1 hour

  • three sections
  • 40 questions
  • a range of question types
  • Section 1: a passage with 13 questions
  • Section 2: a passage divided into paragraphs with 13 questions
  • Section 3: a passage with 14 questions

At least one passage contains arguments and/or views. This is usually Section 3.

  • Candidates are expected to read for / understand specific information, main ideas, gist and opinions.
  • Each section contains more than one task type. They include completion, matching, paragraph headings, True / False / Not Given and multiple choice.
  • Each question scores 1 mark; candidates receive a band score from 1 to 9.

Table_IELTS|Reading scores


Read the passage quickly and answer the questions

Scanning is another useful tool for speeding up your reading. Unlike skimming, when scanning, you look only for a specific fact or piece of information without reading everything.

How to scan?

  • establish your purpose,
  • locate the appropriate material,
  • get the knowledge how the information is structured before you start scanning is essential.

The material you scan is typically arranged in the following ways:

  • alphabetically,
  • chronologically,
  • non-alphabetically,
  • by category, or
  • textually.

Alphabetical information is arranged in order from A to Z, while chronological information is arranged in time or numerical order.


to conduct research — to do a series of tests to investigate some topic

an inhabitant — a person who lives in a city or a town

1. Which four cities are mentioned in the text?

2. Which is the friendliest?

3. Which of the good and bad aspects are mentioned?


The world’s friendliest city

A team of social psychologists from California has spent six years studying the reactions of people in cities around the world to different situations. The results show that cities where people have less money generally have friendlier populations. Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, which is often known for its crime, comes out on top, and the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe, comes third.

But what makes one city friendlier than another? The psychologists from California State University say it has got more to do with environment than culture or nationality.

They carried out a study into the way locals treated strangers in 23 cities around the world. The team conducted their research through a series of tests, where they dropped pens or pretended they were blind and needed help crossing the street.

The study concludes that people are more helpful in cities with a more relaxed way of life such as Rio. While they were there, researchers received help in 93 percent of cases, and the percentage in Lilongwe was only a little lower.

However, richer cities such as Amsterdam and New York are considered the least friendly. Inhabitants of Amsterdam helped the researchers in 53 percent of cases and in New York just 44 percent. The psychologists found that, in these cities, people tend to be short of time, so they hurry and often ignore strangers.

Adapted from an article by Victoria Harrison, BBC News

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Read the text, match the words which are highlighted in this table with the words and phrases highlighted in the passage. Complete the table

The world’s friendliest city

A team of social psychologists from California has spent six years studying the reactions of people in cities around the world to different situations. The results show that cities where people have less money generally have friendlier populations. Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, which is often known for its crime, comes out on top, and the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe, comes third.

But what makes one city friendlier than another? The psychologists from California State University say it has got more to do with environment than culture or nationality.

They carried out a study into the way locals treated strangers in 23 cities around the world. The team conducted their research through a series of tests, where they dropped pens or pretended they were blind and needed help crossing the street.

The study concludes that people are more helpful in cities with a more relaxed way of life such as Rio. While they were there, researchers received help in 93 percent of cases, and the percentage in Lilongwe was only a little lower.

However, richer cities such as Amsterdam and New York are considered the least friendly. Inhabitants of Amsterdam helped the researchers in 53 percent of cases and in New York just 44 percent. The psychologists found that, in these cities, people tend to be short of time, so they hurry and often ignore strangers.

adapted from an article by Victoria Harrison, BBC News


Exam advice

Table completion

  • Quickly look for words and phrases in the passage which mean the same as words and phrases in the table (for example: not many — few; well-known — famous), then read around those words carefully.
  • Copy the words from the passage into the table exactly as you see them.

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Discuss the questions with the teacher

  • Are you surprised that people in cities with less money are friendlier? Why/ Why not?
  • What is the friendliest place you have ever visited?
  • How friendly are people in your town or city to visitors?
  • What methods did the psychologists use to find out how friendly people were?
  • What would people in your city do in these situations? What would you do?

Look at the photos and complete the captions with the adjectives from the list

large / tiny / tall / suburban / quiet / main / pretty / industrial


Collocations and prepositional phrases

We often use the same adjectives and nouns together. We call these adjective-noun collocations.


Complete the phrases describing places where people can live by writing a preposition from the box in each gap

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Choose the topic you would like to talk about and discuss the questions with your teacher

  • Who do you often spend holiday with?
  • When you visit new places, what do you like to do?
  • Do you prefer travelling alone or in a group?
  • In which seasons do you prefer to travel?
  • What do you do while you are travelling?

  • Would you say your country is a good place for travellers to visit?
  • What is the best season to travel in your country?
  • What would you recommend a foreigner to visit in your country?
  • Do you think your hometown is a good place for a holiday?


Wordlist

1. conduct research

2. industrial

3. suburban

4. outskirts

Useful language

  • excellent shopping
  • friendly people
  • great food
  • lots to do
  • unusual buildings
  • lively festivals
  • spectacular scenery
  • friendly inhabitants
  • fast public transport
  • crowded streets
  • a high crime rate
  • people in a hurry
  • a relaxed lifestyle

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Read the passage below and answer the questions

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Read the text one more time and complete the table. Write one word or a number in each gap

The happiest country in the world

Children growing up in Costa Rica are surrounded by some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world. Preserving tropical rainforests isn’t Costa Rica’s only success, because the government also makes sure everyone has access to health-care and education. So when the New Economics Foundation released its second Happy Planet Index, Costa Rica came out number one. The index is a ranking of countries based on their impact on the environment and the health and happiness of their citizens.

According to Mariano Rojas, a Costa Rican economics professor, Costa Rica is a mid-income country where citizens have plenty of time for themselves and for their relationships with others. ‘A mid-income level allows most citizens to satisfy their basic needs. The government makes sure that all Costa Ricans have access to education, health and nutrition services.’ Costa Ricans, he believes, are not interested in status or spending money to show how successful they are.

Created in 2008, the Happy Planet Index examines happiness on a national level and ranks 143 countries according to three measurements: their citizens’ happiness, how long they live (which reflects their health), and how much of the planet’s resources each country consumes. According to researcher Saamah Abdallah, the Index also measures the outcomes that are most important, and those are happy, healthy lives for everyone.

adapted from Yes! Magazine


Exam advice

Note completion

  • Read the title of the notes first and find the right place(s) in the passage.
  • Carefully read the parts of the passage which deal with the key ideas in the questions — the answers may not come in passage order.

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Listen to the audio and choose the correct answer

Jeffrey Miller Carlos Garcia

Jeffrey Miller: Good evening! I’m Jeffrey Miller from the University of Nottingham’s Student Union. And in this week’s free class Carlos Garcia is going to tell us about safety around campus. Over to you, Carlos!
Carlos Garcia: Thank you, Jeffrey! And thank you all for your attendance today. Also, I’d like to thank the Student Union here at the University for organizing this lecture. Well, I’ve been serving and protecting the city of Nottingham for over 20 years now as a member of the Police Department. Does anyone know what type of crime is the most prevalent on campus? I heard someone saying ‘drugs and alcohol’. That actually isn’t too much of an issue. Violence? Nope. Actually, the biggest thing we worry about here is theft. The nature of crime on Nottingham’s campus is quite different from that of the surrounding areas. Crime rates across the East Midlands are very difficult to control. We’d like to see the rates stay the same for this calendar year, but it has been increasing steadily over the past 3 years. On campus, however, I’m happy to say that the overall crime rate has fallen this year. You wouldn’t think so, if you’ve seen the extremely exaggerated stories in the media. The media has done nothing but cause more concern about crime in our area. Even the crime shows you see today are a little bit far-fetched. But at least the viewers know these are not real events. We’d really like to see more factual news articles out there, so the public can have a rational sense of the safety level of our society. Okay, let’s move on to what to do when you see a crime. Do not get involved if at all possible and do not draw too much attention to yourself by running away in a conspicuous manner. Although most likely and hopefully, you will not have to experience this situation, if you are being mugged, please, do not try to resist. Instead, be compliant and seek help after the incident. Like I said though, it is highly unlikely that you will find yourself amidst a crime. But it is important to be prepared, should it ever happen. We find that educating students and staff on the correct precautions to take is the best way to increase your safety. Just remember to be smart when you’re out late at night and avoid any area or person that looks suspicious. I know it sounds obvious, but I cannot stress this enough. It’s also not a bad idea to have your mobile phone with you at all times. But be careful! If you’re chatting on your smartphone on your way home, you’re a prime target for thieves. I’d like to see a show of hands. How many people have left work or the library after 10 pm to go home before? A lot of you, right? If you do have to go home late at night, please, don’t walk home alone. More often than not, there’s someone there that will be wallking the same direction as you at some point. Walk home with a friend or co-worker. Even if you must use your phone to call someone that’s nearby to walk with you, it’s always safer to walk home with someone. So when you’re walking home, you may feel more comfortable with some sort of self-defense, such as pepper spray. Now, it’s your call whether you want to carry something like this or not. However, I absolutely advise against carrying a knife or any other offensive weapon. All too often, they can be used against you if you’re disarmed, putting yourself in more danger. For all those interested the recreation center offers a free self-defense class to all students every Thursday evening. Well, obviously, an introductory self-defense class may not equip you to fight off villains like a regular superhero, it does come in handy some times. After taking a self-defense class, you’ll surely be more aware of possible dangers and how to deal with them. So, hopefully, now, you have a more complete understanding of the nature of crimes committed on your campus and how to avoid being a victim. I know most students at the University of Nottingham are not the criminal types. But remember that there is no barrier like a wall or something keeping non-students out. There’s no army force securing the borders. And I doubt anyone once hid that way. The campus is generally safe place, but it’s not immune to small crimes once in a while. Alright, that’s all I have to say for today. Stay safe!



Exam advice

Multiple choice

  • Read the questions before the listening.
  • Underline the key ideas in the questions.
  • Listen for the correct idea or information — don’t just match words.
  • Make sure you answer all the questions.

Read the task and prepare your 3-minute speech on the topic «Cities and travelling»

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Speak no longer than 3 minutes

Cover all of the points, use the active vocabulary of the lesson.

Exam tip

  1. Give reasons for your answers.

  2. Offer extra details, extend your answer.

  3. Sound interested in what you are saying.

  4. Speak clearly so that the examiner can hear you easily.

  5. Use wide range of vocabulary.


  1. What is it like where you live?
  2. Do you like living in the city?
  3. Do you get many tourists visiting your area?
  4. Describe an interesting town or city in your country that visitors might enjoy. You should say: what the place is called, where the place is, what the facilities are like?

Wordlist

1. conduct research

2. industrial

3. suburban

4. outskirts

Useful language

  • excellent shopping
  • friendly people
  • great food
  • lots to do
  • unusual buildings
  • lively festivals
  • spectacular scenery
  • friendly inhabitants
  • fast public transport
  • crowded streets
  • a high crime rate
  • people in a hurry
  • a relaxed lifestyle

Allow your browser access to your microphone, press the button «Record» and record the speech you have prepared

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Lead-in
  • Good and bad cities
  • The friendliest city
  • Test on friendliness
  • Travelling around
  • Vocabulary practice
  • Travelling abroad or locally
  • City exploration
  • The Happiest City
  • Be careful in the city
  • Cities and travelling