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IELTS Speaking Topics: Where Do You Come From?

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​Summary: IELTS Speaking Topics

​Today in this Adept English podcast we talk about a question I might ask you in conversation or as part of an IELTS speaking exam. We will use English vocabulary to practice speaking in English about where you grew up and where you came from.

It is such a common thing for someone to ask you it’s worth thinking about what you might say. Everyone has a story about where they grew up, it may be fun, or exciting, sad or boring but someone will ask you about it so prepare yourself with the right English vocabulary.

You can save yourself a lot of worry if you think about English conversation questions in advance. Even learning the English words and knowing the difference between a village, town and city can save confusion and smooth the conversation.

​Audio Transcript: IELTS Speaking Topics: Where Do You Come From?

​Hi there, and welcome to this Adept English podcast. And happy new year for 2019. I hope you had a great new year celebration and that 2019 is going to be a good year for you.

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IELTS Speaking Topics: Where Do You Come From? Audio 7.87 MB

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​Let’s tackle a topic today, which will help your English Speaking Practice. It’s also an IELTS speaking topic. So IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. So it’s perhaps useful in our podcasts to cover IELTS speaking topics which you might be asked to speak about in an exam, an English language exam. But let’s also make it interesting for those listeners who don’t intend to take exams in English too. If there’s a demand, we could do a whole course on IELTS topics. If you think that’s a good idea, if that’s a course that you would buy because you’re learning for an IELTS English speaking exam, then let us know on Facebook!

​Talking about your home town – village, town or city?

​Anyway, one of the IELTS speaking topics – and a subject which is good generally for your English speaking practice – talking about your home town. Your home town is the place, the village, the town or the city where you grew up, where you lived when you were a child. So just a word first of all about vocabulary. I just said ‘village, town or city’. So what’s the difference in meaning between those? Well, they’re different sizes mainly. A village is a very small place, a few hundred to a couple of thousand people might live in a village. Villages are usually rural – that means in the countryside, not in the city. Rural is a word which English learners find difficult to say. So good English speaking practice – just have a go at saying that word a few times. Rural, rural, rural. The word town you probably know already – that’s a place much bigger than a village. Examples of towns in the UK are Bolton, Cirencester, Doncaster, Epping, Reading. And cities are on the whole much bigger. All the capitals of the countries in the world are cities – and in the UK cities are places like London, Leeds, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester.

So if you’re talking about your home town as an IELTS speaking topic, you might first of all talk about whether your home town is a small village, a medium sized town or a big city. It may be that you’ve moved around in your childhood, so that you don’t really have a particular home town. But talking about that would still give you chance in the test, to show your speaking ability. Or you could just pick a place that you’ve lived in that you like. So think about whether you like your home town. Do you still live there? Do you still visit it, or are you really glad that you don’t live there any more?! Do you have relatives still living there, family still there or is it years and years since you’ve been back? For some people their home town is a part of them and you can tell it by their accent. Has your home town changed since you grew up there? What sorts of things are different now? Do you think your home town was a good place to bring up children? Would you like to bring up your own children in a town like that? Or would you be determined to choose somewhere different to bring up your own children?

​What sort of place is your home town?

Well, my home town is
, near Manchester, in the north of the UK. You may have heard of the football team – that’s Bolton Wanderers. Now Bolton is a very big town. It doesn’t qualify as a city, even though it’s bigger than some cities. In the UK, the king or queen decides when a town can become a city. And a city has to have a cathedral, which Bolton does not. Bolton is an industrial town. It grew up out of the cotton industry in the 1800s and 1900s. So it has lots of old cotton mills. ‘Cotton’, C-O-T-T-O-N is a material that grows on a plant. It’s probably what your jeans are made out of. And a ‘mill’, M-I-L-L is an industrial building where things are made. So Bolton also has lots of old cotton mills and mill houses. If you’ve ever watched the TV programme ‘Coronation Street’? I know that goes out in all sorts of different places in the world. Well parts of Bolton look a bit like that. And other parts of Bolton are really beautiful – stone cottages and barns converted into houses.

A photograph of a super modern city skyline with blight lights making it very beautiful. Used as an article image for the article ” IELTS Speaking Topics: Where Do You Come From? Article Image”

​So to practise for this IELTS Speaking Topic about your home town, have a think about it – what sort of place is your home town? Is it an industrial town? If so, what does it or what did it make? What sort of industry? It might be a wine-growing town, or a coal-mining town. It may be by the sea – a fishing town, or it could be that the tourist industry is the main thing. Also the weather and the climate may determine a lot about your home town. If it’s really hot in the summer and it has a beach, that’s likely to be its main industry. Or if it’s really cold and you can do winter sports, that will determine what it’s like too. In the UK, you may have grown up, in a small coastal village, where there’s just one post office and one village shop. Or you might have grown up in a busy area of south London. Which it is will make a lot of difference to your experience.

​What is there to do in your home town?

Bolton, my home town also has access to lots of beautiful countryside. It’s near the Pennines, which are a range of mountains up the middle of the UK, so there are lots of beautiful moors for walking or horse riding. ‘Moors’, M-O-O-R-S are a particular type of countryside, where there are few trees but it’s land that’s high up. It’s quite wild, with beautiful views. But being in the north of the UK, the weather is a bit more rainy and a bit colder and more windy than in the south. But that’s actually part of what’s enjoyable. People from Bolton would still go out for a walk in the rain. There’s a saying in English ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothes’. See if you can work out the meaning of that phrase is!

So if you asked me ‘Are there a lot of things to do in your home town?’, then I would say yes. There is a lot of opportunity for shopping, and for outdoor activities like walking and horse riding. There’s a good theatre in Bolton called the Octagon Theatre and there’s also a Steam Museum. If you like industrial engineering, then the Steam Museum is a good place to visit. There are also plenty of good restaurants and lots and lots of pubs, where you can go to drink alcohol, but which are also open in the day for coffee, and hot chocolate and food. I was in one of them the other day, with my friend’s dog. So you can take your dog in there as well. So for your home town, think about what there is to do there. Imagine yourself as a tourist in your home town. What would you think of it? Or if you had a foreign visitor, what would you take them to see in your home town?

​What is transport like in your home town?

​Another IELTS speaking topic question might be ‘What is transportation like in your home town?’ This means ‘how do you get around?’. In Bolton, there are buses, but they take a long time. There’s also the train, but the service isn’t great. So most people just use their cars.

Bolton is only 20 miles from Manchester Airport, so if you want to travel internationally, that’s quite good. So what is the transportation like in your home town? Is it easy to get around? Are there lots of public transport systems or do you have to have a car? Is there any work under way to improve the transport links in your home town?

​What are the people like in your home town?

​If you asked me ‘What are the people like in your home town’ – that’s one of the IELTS speaking topic questions – I’d say that the people in Bolton, my home town are very friendly and a phrase that we use often in English ‘down-to-earth’.

If you say someone is ‘down-to-earth’, it means that they are honest and friendly and they don’t look down on other people. So think about what the people are like in your home town? Are they friendly? Are they relaxed or are they very busy all the time?


​So hopefully all that’s got you thinking about the IELTS speaking topics, especially the possibility of being asked about your home town and what you might answer in response. It’s a good thing to be able to talk about in conversation anyway. If you’d like more help from Adept English with IELTS speaking topics, let us know!

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

​PS: If You Want More IELTS Speaking Practice Just Ask

​IELTS is quite a well known and many of you will try to pass the IELTS exams which prove you have attained a level of skill in the English language. So we hope this podcast will help you with the speaking part of IELTS.

We have had podcasts listeners ask us to do more on IELTS speaking topics and if you want this to happen, please just speak to us on Facebook or email us. We don’t mind as long as it’s interesting, is still useful to people learning to speak English who do not care about IELTS.

We have many podcasts which focus on English-speaking practice here. We recently did a podcast about speaking exams here as well which may interest you.

As always, if you don‘t like this article or you already know about wonder and wander there are many more articles on common English phrases to listen to here.

You can always find more interesting learn English articles .​


Hilary is an Adept English Editor and a founding member of the company.

This content was originally published here.

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