Describe the first time you used a foreign language to communicate.
You should say:
• who you communicated with
• what the situation was
• what you said (or wrote)
And explain why you would like to go to this country.
Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.
Sample Answer 1: With Foreigner
I have been learning English for a long time, but I haven’t had many chances to practice speaking English with native speakers. To the best of my recollection, the first time I used it was on Christmas Eve three years ago.
At that time, I was hanging out with my friends. Suddenly, a foreigner came up to me and asked for directions to a supermarket. Honestly, he spoke too quickly for me to catch everything. But after he repeated his words, I finally understood and showed him the way to the nearest supermarket. I used body language a lot to explain the directions to him, since I didn’t speak English well then. After that, he said “Thank you” to me and headed for the supermarket.
I realize that English plays an important role in our life, despite the fact that we don’t live in English-speaking countries. It is spoken globally and it’s becoming the dominant language. Therefore, I have been trying to practice speaking English daily so that I can have a good command of this language, and I can talk confidently with foreigners, whatever the topic of conversation.
Sample Answer 2: At Airport
A different language has its own importance in its own way. but the language which achieves great importance since last two or three decades. and it is the English language. whether I know three languages, Punjabi Hindi and English. I was good at the English subject at my school time but I always hesitate to converse in English with other people. Once I got a chance to communicate in English with some persons and It gave me a lot of experience and removed hesitation. It was the time when I was traveling from India to Manila with some persons via Hong Kong.
My brother lives in Manila and I was going there to spend some holidays when we reached the Hong Kong airport and were waiting for the boarding time, Unfortunately, we got the news that Manila is struck by a heavy storm and all flights to Manila were canceled. There was a great rush at the airport and all light times were jumbled up. So everyone was contacting the airline staff but my companions were a weak hand in English. So they requested me to talk to the airline staff. So, I went to the airline counter and talked with them in English and explain all the situation.
I gave all the details about me and my fellow passengers to the staff. they told me to come again to the counter after an hour. I again visited the counter but the whole staff,s duty was change and there was the new staff. I again explain the situation and finally, with God’s Grace I got the new scheduled time of flight. They also issued a new boarding pass to me and my fellow passengers. Finally, we boarded the plane. Everyone was happy and all my fellows thanked me for helping them. I felt very happy and satisfied at that time.
Sample Answer 3: When Foreigner visited
English is an international language and it is mostly used in every foreign country to communicate with each other. But I live in the Northern part of India. So, they’re mostly used Hindi, Punjabi, and Haryanvi language. Nowadays English is also used as a formal language but nobody can communicate in English regularly. Now I would like to share my old memory with you when I used a foreign language first time in an informal way.
Last year my cousin and his friend had come to India for a vacation and they stayed at our home. My cousin’s friend (Mack) was not able to understand our local language. So that was the first time when I was used English to communicate with him. As before I used English only for formal meetings and speeches but that was the first time when I used it properly.
On the first day when I communicate with Mack in English, I was a little nervous because I had never done this before but later on my hesitation had removal. I loved it and learned some new words from him. Mack also excited to learn our local language(Punjabi). So, I also taught him some words like “Sat Sri Akal”,” Haan ji” etc. experience of this is really awesome and new. I easily communicate with others. it gained e knowledge and confidence.
Sample Answer 4: When Foreigners visited
Here I would like to talk about a time when I used the English language for the first time to communicate with foreigners. Actually, 4 years ago, there was a marriage of my cousin brother. He has been living in Australia for eight years. During his marriage, he came to India with his fiance. They both organized their marriage functions in India. At that time, he invited some of his foreigner friends. He gave me the responsibility of their friends and requested me to take care of them. I said yes to my cousin’s brother.
First of all, I picked them from the airport and brought them to my home. I kept them at my own home according to my cousin’s brother’s wish. At that time, I just started college. So I was not an effective speaker of the English language. I was speaking English with some errors in front of foreigner friends.
But they were understanding my talks. I said to them that I didn’t have enough experience of speaking English. But they did not have any problem with my language barrier. During all programs in the marriage of my cousin’s brother, I took care of his friends. They were interesting as well as friendly by nature. They also became a friend of mine.
We enjoyed each and every moment a special program together. We danced together and clicked some photographs with each other. Now we are friends on social media Instagram. We do chat with each other during our leisure time. this talk helps me to know more about the English language part from it, foreigners helped me by teaching me some rules of the English language. They suggested me to go to Australia for my further studies. Also, they appreciated my courage to speak English. During that time which I passed with friends of my cousin’s brother, I became able to speak English fluently. This helped me most in my IELTS exam.
Overall, that was the time when I used a foreign language for the first time.
Sample Answer 5: In School
I think the first time I talked in a foreign language was when I was in 3rd grade. It happened at school. My English teacher made me speak about myself in English with another classmate.
I had learned about the English alphabets in kindergarten, and I could even write simple sentences in English by that time.
However, I had never spoken a sentence aloud. So, I was really nervous. My teeth were clattering, and my whole body was shivering.
It took me a lot of time to think what I should talk about. Eventually, I think I talked about the name, my hobbies, my parents name and their profession.
I think it was a short three-sentence introduction. My teacher guided me and corrected me whenever I made a mistake. The first sentence took me more than thirty seconds, but as I spoke more, I got more and more comfortable. After each sentence, my other classmates clapped, and that also boosted my confidence.
After my turn, my teacher made all the other students do the same. She made pairs and made everyone come to the front and talk about themselves. I could see that everyone went through the same feelings as me. My other classmates were also nervous like me, some of them were even sweating. But after speaking, we all felt so much better. I couldn’t wait to reach home and tell my mother how I spoke in English. Gradually, I got more and more comfortable with English. But that first time I spoke in English is something I can never forget.
IELTS Speaking Part 3 : Follow up Questions
Here some examples of follow up questions that you may asked during your speaking part 3 by examiner related to cue card “Describe the first time you used a foreign language to communicate”.
1. At what age should children start learning a foreign language?
With regards to learning a foreign language, I think the earlier, the better. So, I think primary school is the best stage to start learning a foreign language. Young children have less inhibitions and don’t hesitate while speaking. Also, there is a lot of burden of studies in secondary school.
2. Which skill is more important speaking or writing?
I think both are equally important. A few years ago, I would have said that speaking is more important, but with the coming of the internet, we have started communicating in the form of emails and chats and so writing today is equally important.
3 .Does a person still need to learn another language if he is good in English?
I think learning another language is always beneficial. Bilingual children are better at multitasking and thinking out of the box. Learning another language also helps in the mental development of children. I think I have read it at many places that bilingual children outperform monolingual children academically.
4. Do you think minority languages will disappear?
Unfortunately, yes. I think it is already happening. There are many reasons for it, but the primary reason is English is prioritized in most of the countries as it gives a competitive advantage in jobs. Moreover, linguists around the world are also not doing enough to protect minority languages. There is research into minor aspects of languages like English and French, while minority languages are completely ignored.