IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|4. Career plans

pic1_IELTS|Upper-Int|L4

Choose the category that applies to you and answer the questions

  1. What are your favourite / least favourite school subjects?
  2. Does your attitude to a subject depend on a teacher’s personality? What kind of a teacher motivates you to study?
  3. What factors do you take into consideration choosing a profession?


  1. What are you studying at university?
  2. Who or what has encouraged you to choose the current university course?
  3. What career goals have you set?


  1. Are you a team player or a self-starter?
  2. What skills attained at school/university do you regularly use at work?
  3. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?


  1. What aspects of your life are you satisfied with most of all?
  2. How should school contribute into person’s ability to adapt to the changing life conditions?
  3. What factors will you take into account choosing a school for your child?

Listen to four students answering some IELTS Speaking Part 1 questions. Match the examiner’s questions A-D with the students 1-4

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Student 1

Well, a couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to work in the hotel industry. I used to have a casual part-time job as a waiter when I was 16. So that’s why I’ve been doing a hotel management course for the past two years. I like dealing with the public — I think I’m quite an outgoing person. Yeah, I’m looking forward to graduating and getting into full-time employment.


Student 2

Yes, when we were children, we used to have a very affectionate black and white cat. She would sit on our laps at night and … well, I know that cats don’t talk, but this one did! She would make these high-pitched noises when we came home after school. I guess she wanted food or something, but as children, we used to think she was a real person.


Student 3

I’ve never been very creative, but… but, er, I’ve got a nephew. He’s two — he’s a toddler now. And last month, while I was looking after him, er, we built a house together out of this old cardboard box. He absolutely loved it, and my sister and her husband were really impressed. They were used to seeing me as someone who couldn’t play or make things, but I proved them wrong!


Student 4

As a teenager, I didn’t use to do very much exercise at all, I just got used to being lazy! But now I’m older. I’m more aware of my health. I joined a gym last year and I’ve been making use of its facilities — you know, the pool and the tennis courts. I think my fitness level’s a bit better than it used to be!

Listen again and complete the extracts with a word or a phrase

pic2|GE|Adv|L18

Student 1

Well, a couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to work in the hotel industry. I used to have a casual part-time job as a waiter when I was 16. So that’s why I’ve been doing a hotel management course for the past two years. I like dealing with the public — I think I’m quite an outgoing person. Yeah, I’m looking forward to graduating and getting into full-time employment.


Student 2

Yes, when we were children, we used to have a very affectionate black and white cat. She would sit on our laps at night and … well, I know that cats don’t talk, but this one did! She would make these high-pitched noises when we came home after school. I guess she wanted food or something, but as children, we used to think she was a real person.


Student 3

I’ve never been very creative, but… but, er, I’ve got a nephew. He’s two — he’s a toddler now. And last month, while I was looking after him, er, we built a house together out of this old cardboard box. He absolutely loved it, and my sister and her husband were really impressed. They were used to seeing me as someone who couldn’t play or make things, but I proved them wrong!


Student 4

As a teenager, I didn’t use to do very much exercise at all, I just got used to being lazy! But now I’m older. I’m more aware of my health. I joined a gym last year and I’ve been making use of its facilities — you know, the pool and the tennis courts. I think my fitness level’s a bit better than it used to be!


As the examiner is talking to you, they consider these questions:

1. Lexical resource

How varied is your vocabulary? How advanced and accurate is it?

2. Pronunciation

How well can you use standard features of pronunciation to enhance communication?

3. Fluency and coherence

How long are your answers? How well can you link your ideas and structure your points?

4. Grammatical range and accuracy

How varied and complex are your grammatical structures, and how accurate are they?


Match the words or phrases with their definitions

Listen to the recording and underline the words in the sentences that the speakers stress

pic2_IELTS|Upper-Int|L4

Sentence stress

Speakers often stress nouns, adjectives and verbs when they answer questions.

However, other words (pronouns, contractions, etc.) can be stressed if they are important to your message.

Student 1

Well, a couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to work in the hotel industry.

So that’s why I’ve been doing a hotel management course for the past two years.

Student 2

I know that cats don’t talk, but this one did!

Student 3

He’s two — he’s a toddler now.

Student 4

I think my fitness level’s a bit better than it used to be!

pic3_IELTS|Upper-Int|L4

Underline the words in each sentence that you think should be stressed, and say why. Then listen to the recording to check your answers

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  1. I really don’t like having animals in the home.
  2. I go running in the afternoon because I feel more energetic at that time of day.
  3. I think everyone’s too busy these days to make anything by hand!
  4. I tried sewing at school, but I just couldn’t do it.
  5. My brother did badly at school, yet he earns more than I do!

Underline the words and phrases which are used to link ideas together

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Read the passage below and choose the appropriate linking device

Choose the correct verb form in these extracts

pic6_IELTS|Upper-Int|L4

Used to VS Be/get used to VS Would

Used to + infinitive Example
is used to talk about past states or repeated activities which no longer happen in the present It used to be a technical college, but now it’s a university.

(a past state)

She used to call her mother every day when she was in Australia.

(a past habit)

the negative and interrogative forms require auxiliary did Flora didn’t use to be a nurse.

Did you use to play the piano?


Be/become/get used to + a noun or phrase Example
means to be, become or get accustomed to something; can be used in any tense You’ll soon get used to living in Toronto.

I’ve become more used to city life now.


Would + verb Example
is used to talk about past habits or repeated activities Every day, he would get up early and go for a run.


Complete these sentences so that they are true for you

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Answer these IELTS Speaking Part 1 questions. Use the hints after the questions in case you need some ideas for extending your answer

1. Which teacher did you like best at school? Why?

reason: personal qualities, attitude to kids and work

details: name, subject, personal details (like age, appearance, features of character, anything special)

2. What did you particularly dislike about your school days?

details: a particular person, events (tests, exams, competitions), behaviour of other people (bullying, truancy)

reasons: being nervous, afraid of the failure, embarrassment, negative consequences in the future, etc.


Exam tips

Speaking Part 1

1. You can expect to be asked questions on a range of familiar topics. Prepare yourself for this by thinking of a range of higher-level vocabulary you can use with these topics.

2. Aim to answer questions using two to three sentences, giving reasons and extra details.

3. Use stress to emphasise important information.

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Choose the card and answer the IELTS Speaking Part 1 questions

Part 1 Questions

  1. Can you describe your home town/village?
  2. What does your family usually do at the weekend?
  3. What sort of food do your parents like to eat?
  4. What do you like doing in your free time? Why?
  5. Are there any new hobbies that you would like to take up? Why?


Part 1 Questions

  1. Do well behaved children deserve more of a teacher’s attention than badly behaved children?
  2. Should a teacher encourage children to treat him/her like a friend?
  3. What did you look forward to most at school?
  4. What skills did you learn at school that might be useful in your work?
  5. Do you think the amount of money you have is a sign of how smart you are?


Part 1 Questions

  1. What kind of food do you enjoy eating?
  2. What are the kinds of food you never eat? Why?
  3. What are some reasons that people eat at restaurants?
  4. Do you like going out with your family? Why?
  5. What do you do to keep fit?


Useful language

  • a bond
  • a continuous assessment
  • convenience food
  • a job satisfaction
  • to fulfil a lifelong ambition
  • a role model
  • sedentary
  • a strain
  • a toddler
  • a work/life balance

Exam tips

Speaking Part 1

1. You can expect to be asked questions on a range of familiar topics. Prepare yourself for this by thinking of a range of higher-level vocabulary you can use with these topics.

2. Aim to answer questions using two to three sentences, giving reasons and extra details.

3. Use stress to emphasise important information.

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Answer the questions based on the speaking assessment criteria. Decide what were your strong points and which aspects still need improvement

If you open the lesson plan you will be able to assign separate pages as homework or all the homework pages at once.

  • Warm-up
  • Personal questions
  • Words and phrases
  • Stressing important ideas
  • The best teacher you know
  • Complete the sentences
  • Your school days
  • Let's talk about you
  • Answer the questions
  • Homework
  1. 1. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 1|1. Information overload
  2. 2. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 1|2. The mind. Vocabulary practice
  3. 3. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 2|1. Human nature: character, psychology
  4. 4. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 2|2. Only a game
  5. 5. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 2|3. Planning an essay
  6. 6. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 3|1. Brands
  7. 7. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 3|2. Time for a change. Business and marketing
  8. 8. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 4|1. Spotlight on communication
  9. 9. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 4|2. Fame and the media. Media bias
  10. 10. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 5|1. Is plastic fantastic?
  11. 11. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 5|2. Energy. Natural resources
  12. 12. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 6|1. IELTS Speaking and Listening tips
  13. 13. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 6|2. Striving to achieve: study, work
  14. 14. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 7|1. Music matters
  15. 15. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 7|2. The arts. Writing practice
  16. 16. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 8|1. Worlds to explore
  17. 17. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 8|2. Science and discoveries
  18. 18. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 9|1. Culinary tools
  19. 19. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 9|2. Modals in conditional sentences. Revision
  20. 20. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 10|1. Old and new
  21. 21. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 10|2. The Garden City
  22. 22. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 11|1. In your dreams
  23. 23. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 11|2. The selling of the Senoi
  24. 24. IELTS|Intermediate| 13. Old innovation
  25. 25. IELTS|Intermediate|1. Dream city
  26. 26. IELTS|Intermediate|10. On board
  27. 27. IELTS|Intermediate|11. Travelling around
  28. 28. IELTS|Intermediate|12. Different ways
  29. 29. IELTS|Intermediate|14. At an exhibition
  30. 30. IELTS|Intermediate|15. Electronic devices
  31. 31. IELTS|Intermediate|16. Inventions
  32. 32. IELTS|Intermediate|17. Wild animals
  33. 33. IELTS|Intermediate|18. In the zoo
  34. 34. IELTS|Intermediate|19. Animals in our life
  35. 35. IELTS|Intermediate|2. Booking an apartment
  36. 36. IELTS|Intermediate|20. Animal life
  37. 37. IELTS|Intermediate|21. It makes difference
  38. 38. IELTS|Intermediate|23. Human memory
  39. 39. IELTS|Intermediate|22. Successful people
  40. 40. IELTS|Intermediate|24. Talent and success
  41. 41. IELTS|Intermediate|3. Talking about your hometown
  42. 42. IELTS|Intermediate|4. Where to go?
  43. 43. IELTS|Intermediate|7. Family and childhood
  44. 44. IELTS|Intermediate|5. Explorer and writer
  45. 45. IELTS|Intermediate|6. Travelling companions
  46. 46. IELTS|Intermediate|8. Families around the world
  47. 47. IELTS|Intermediate|9. Machines in our life
  48. 48. IELTS|Intermediate|Exam: listening and writing
  49. 49. IELTS|Intermediate|Exam: reading and speaking
  50. 50. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 1
  51. 51. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 2
  52. 52. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 3
  53. 53. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 4
  54. 54. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 5
  55. 55. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 6
  56. 56. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|1. Being a high achiever
  57. 57. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|12. Leading a healthy life
  58. 58. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|10. Placebo effect
  59. 59. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|11. Changing life expectancy
  60. 60. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|13. Works of art
  61. 61. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|14. Aboriginal art
  62. 62. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|19. The Earth's interior
  63. 63. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|15. Being good at arts
  64. 64. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|16. What is a masterpiece?
  65. 65. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|17. Collecting fossils
  66. 66. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|18. Evolution and survival
  67. 67. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|2. University life
  68. 68. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|20. A valuable possession
  69. 69. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|21. The role of technology
  70. 70. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|22. Film making and technology
  71. 71. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|23. The impact of IT on society
  72. 72. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|24. Number one website
  73. 73. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 6
  74. 74. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 8
  75. 75. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 7
  76. 76. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 5
  77. 77. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|9. In therapy
  78. 78. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 4
  79. 79. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 3
  80. 80. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 2
  81. 81. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 1
  82. 82. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Exam Part 2
  83. 83. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Exam Part 1
  84. 84. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|8. Adding colour
  85. 85. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|4. Career plans
  86. 86. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|7. The best colour
  87. 87. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|28. A symbol of a nation
  88. 88. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|6. The art of colour
  89. 89. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|29. Exploring space
  90. 90. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|5. Perceiving colours
  91. 91. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|27. Endangered species
  92. 92. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|32. Extraterrestrial phenomena
  93. 93. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|26. Wildlife wonders
  94. 94. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|25. Environmental issues
  95. 95. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|31. Space tourism prospects
  96. 96. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|30. Observing the stars
  97. 97. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|3. Getting a qualification