Lesson 4 – Breakdown

Topic Progress:

Part 2: Breakdown

G’day, guys! Welcome to the second part of the travel and holiday IELTS video or videos, there’s going to be a few of them. So what are we doing in this one, Kel? We’re going to go through the different parts that you would have and in the IELTS and talk a little bit more about the kinds of questions you’ll get and why. So what are the different parts?

So, I think from the research I’ve done and from my experience with IELTS, they usually, the part one is usually much more personal than the rest.

So, they’re asking about you,.

You and your experices.

What you like, what you’ve done.

Yeah know they might start by asking ‘do you like travelling?’, which is a very simple question, but again if you only say ”yes, I do”, that’s not good enough.

Well, that’s it. And so you have to use them as a bit of a springboard, right? You’re kind of like using them as a starting point and then you just go with it so, if you were to say ”do you like travelling?” I’d be like ”yes, I am obsessed with travelling, I love travelling. I am very passionate about travelling, I’ve been overseas many times in my life. I would like to travel again as well in the future when I have time”, I would talk about the places, experiences, you kinda just have to keep going with it, right? Like ”one time I was in Indonesia. We met these people, it was amazing. I learned about the culture”, like you just keep going with it, right?

Another question might be ”what’s your favorite type of holiday?” and I think this one is interesting because that’s when they want to see if you can talk about different scenarios, like you might my mention ”I love going to the countryside.”. Oh you might be like ”Oh I would rather go sightseeing because I like urban scenarios” and that’s interesting just to see like how you can talk about different environments and use different vocabulary as well.

I would also be trying to contrast things here so, if someone were to say to you ”what is your favorite type of something?…’ this is where you can use two things and compare them, right? And be like ”look I like this and I like this thing so, on one hand I’m a fan of this, I like this thing and on the other hand I like this thing a bit more because of this” or ”less because of this ”and I’ve done this in the past and I want to do this in the future” and I would just expand out from there.

Yeah, great and the last one ‘are there many tourists visiting your country?” that’s a great question because even if you haven’t really travelled much, you can always talk about your country and, you know, for me it would be easy because from Brazil there’s a lot of tourism going on and so many things to see. So, I would definitely say things like ”oh most people tend to go to Rio, which is in the south sort of area, but I’m from the North and there’s so much more to see” and the beaches and the weather..and just mention all those things and just say you know what ourists tend do your country and inwhat they prefer.

I’d really try and flesh it out as well so, I would be thinking about words that I can add to sentence’s or collocations, right? Like ”oh man, absolutely! We have tons of tourists” right? Like ”oh man, absolutely” you agree with them or maybe you repeat the question that they’ve said and then you just talk about, I guess, what it means to you. You just keep trying to follow those ideas that come to you and even if you make mistakes, it doesn’t matter, but just keep going, keep talking and try and just describe different things, compare things…

The second part is when you get a card, like you get one question and you have some time, I’d say two minutes, one minute, to think about the question and, you know, formulate your answer. So, the example I have here is ”describe a tourist attraction you once visited”. So, they want to know about one experience you’ve had, you know, maybe you went overseas, maybe you went somewhere in your own country, but they might what they want to know is when you visited this place, where is it situated, and who you went with.

I think with this sort of thing you got to think about the question words, right? That who why when where and how, which and maybe just have three or two or three of them in your head and you’re thinking about as they’ve said ‘when you visited it, where it was, who you went with and you just effectively make a story around answering those questions. So, if that were me ”describe a tourist attraction that you once went to” and this is also a great chance to use different tenses, right? So, I have been to this tourist attraction many times in my life. I went there as a kid, I used to go all the time with my family and friends, it’s huge, it’s really beautiful, it’s in a picturesque location. I would love to go there again. You know, you just have to try and put in as many different aspects of English as possible in your answers.

Yeah and think about it…try to tell a story, like treat it as if you were telling a story to someone. So, you might say ”five years ago I went to London”, you know, and then you develop or then like ”last year I did this and that” just treat it as if you’re telling a story here and just follow the same sort of structure. It really helps.

And the third part is when they ask really broad questions so, because you’re talking about travelling and holidays, they might ask ”why do you think tourism is so developed now?” Why do you think it’s so developed now, which is, you know, something that really….

That’s a tough question.

But then you can mention like transportation, technology, you can say it’s much easier for people to organise a trip, to book flights and accommodation online.

And this is where you have to go broad, right? The Internet is now incredibly pervasive throughout society. People have more money than they did in the past. They have more spare time. So, you just have to think about those things. Do you have time to think about these questions or will you just be asked [00:06:11] (??). [0.0]

You’ll just be asked. You know, that’s when…It’s the last part. So, you know, they’re trying to develop the topic a bit more. You don’t have to be overly complicated, but it does, it is a bit hard, specially if you’re struggling with your vocabulary. That’s why those words are so, important and you know how to connect to them. Another question might be ”how people choose their destination when they wanna travel?” so, again you can talk about your own experience. You may say ”from my experience I tend to use the Internet’ or ”I tend to get a travel agent to help me out.”, but yeah it just use the vocabulary for this topic. It’s really useful and the last question here is ”do you prefer traveling alone or in groups?” and I even heard of it, that’s a very common question, ”do you prefer traveling with friends or traveling by yourself?”. It’s always on IELTS. You just have to you know explain, say yes or no and explain why.

Well, that’s it. So you could be like I love traveling alone because I’m very independent. I’m a lot more introverted. I like my spending time alone doing my own thing or you could say I love spending time with friends cause I’m social, I’m extroverted, I love partying. And then draw on experiences, ”that reminds me this one time where I went with all these friends that I had a great time” or maybe I had a horrible time or this one time I went by myself and it was terrible because I was lonely blah blah blah. So, you draw on experiences.

So yeah there’s a bunch of words and vocabulary you wanna use.

The good thing here is a lot of these are collocations so, one; that’s going to show off your English if you use collocations, things like picturesque view or breathtaking view or wildlife safari, but two; it’s just advanced, right? So, instead of describing things in a more literal translation kind of way, if you learn these you just going to sound a lot more advanced so, I think they’re looking for that as well when they are doing these tests, so you get marked up. So, I would practice these ahead of time and they’re obviously not just for travel and holidays, like you can use these when you talk about other things. So, they will bleed over into other topics too.

So, you might, you know, the basic sort of thing you book a flight, your book your accommodation, that’s really basic, but then you have things like wildlife safari as I said, local crafts and other more complicated sort of collocations.

So, do you want to go through these one by one and we can talk about how we would use them?

So, breathtaking view.

Well, that’s what I always talk about using…being as descriptive as possible, is really good to use a lot of different adjectives and you don’t just say ”it has a nice view” a ”good view”, try and get some more advanced adjectives like breathtaking view, breathtaking sights, picturesque view, picturesque sights, so I would play around with synonyms, right? And practice saying them aloud when you described different things so, that you’ve got multiple options and when you’re talking you can use multiple options. It has a beautiful breathtaking stunning views, you know, and that’s it, they know you’re doing that to show off your English, but it’s not wrong and that’s the whole point of it.

So, I would use it, for example, say a ”couple of years ago I went to Rio, and Rio is amazing. It really has a breathtaking view! You know, when you are like up in the Christ the Redeemer or visiting all the places around, Copacabana, you know, you just develop from there. Our next one is far-off destination.

A far-off destination. That’s a good one so, that’s anywhere that’s really long or distant and it’s far away, right? Far away, to far-off destination so, at the moment, from Australia, Brazil, where Kel’s from originally, is a far-off destination, it’s about as far as you can get from Australia. Have you been to many far off destinations, Kel?

Not really.

Just Australia.

That was mine, you know, extreme sort of holiday for me that became my life.

This is a good one: to get away from it all. When people ask you ”do you like to get away from it all?” or ”have you gotten away from it all recently?” they’re talking about taking a holiday to escape a busy lifestyle, right? If you work a lot, if you’re stressed with work and then you get some time off, you get a holiday, you are getting away from it all by travelling to a far-off destination hopefully a breathtaking destination and far away from where all that stress is so, it’s to get away from it all. When was the last time you got away from it all, Kel?

I don’t know, it’s been a while. Maybe last December? When I went to Melbourne for the first time and yeah It was really… just, you know, relaxing time and we were, you know, in Melbourne, in Ocean Grove.

You got to do some sightseeing, go to some restaurants….

Yes, got lost, it was great. That’s good, restaurants in Melbourne are beautiful, Definitely, if you’re looking for different cuisines and you know things thing to try, Melbourne is the place to go. Holiday destination, I think it’s very obvious that…


A place you go for a holiday and yeah…

There are many holiday destinations.

Holiday resort.

We would often just refer to these as resorts, but it’s always good to use of a holiday resort it’s kind of implied, you know, what a resort is, but that is a place where lots of people go for holidays and it’s generally like a big hotel. There’ll be pools, that’ll be near the beach. You know, you can, you might be able to arrive there by boat or by helicopter. So, they tend to be very expensive or very luxurious as well.

And you also have hostels?

Yeah, hostels would be.

Tend to be cheaper.

Smaller, yeah, that’s more just somewhere to sleep. So, accommodation where you can sleep in a shared dorm room with other people so you have like combining dorms there.

One of my best friends runs a hostel in Brazil so, in the Lençois Maranhenses, and it’s actually exactly what you’re talking about like, it’s a small place, people tend to be outside for the whole day and come back during the night to sleep wake up again…

I think they tend to be preferred by people who want on a budget as well. If you try to travel a lot of budget, you want to save money, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on luxurious hotels and everything you use hostels or motels even too.

Make what’s the difference?

Motels… well, a hostel you share the rooms with other people, generally, you probably can get your own room in hostels, but they’ll be the expensive version. Motels are… usually, you get the whole room to yourself and you have your own bathroom, you’ll have potentially a little kitchen and it tends to not be multiple stories, a hotel tends to be multiple stories, a motel tends to be spread out and it’s just kind of like individual rooms or houses.


We have here local crafts.

Crafts. Objects produce locally.

Is it the same as saying souvernirs?

You could say that, local crafts would be things that people have made locally, souvenirs would be things that you can buy to remind you of the place that you you’ve been, but they may not have been local crafts, they may have been made elsewhere, they might be made in China, right? Like if you go to France, to the Eiffel Tower, the little trinkets, the little souvenirs you get were probably made in China not in France so, they’re not going to be local crafts. However, you might find people making things like wristbands or necklaces and clothing and that’s local crafts.

It tends like alternatives sort of, you know, art and people selling…In Brazil you have like people selling things on the street. Like jewelery and, you know, that’s interesting.

A long weekend.

A long weekend in Australia would be anytime you have a normal weekend, but you have the Friday and/or the Monday off as well. So, instead of just having two days off you’ll have three or four days, so you might have Saturday to Monday, you might have Friday to Sunday or you might have Friday to Monday. That’s a long weekend and tha will tend to be the time that we go away because you get days off. You get more time yourself, so you might go camping, you might go travelling, you might go on a road trip, North, South, somewhere nice doing.

We were doing that when we were in Canberra, right? Every single long weekend we had, we’d drive to Ocean Grove to see your parents.

Exactly, we’d go on a small road trip.

That’s one of my favourites, wildlife safari. I’d love to do that!

This is just something you do in Africa, though. We don’t really have safaris elsewhere in the world, as far as I know. I would never talk about going around Australia to see the wildlife as a wildlife safari. It would be a bit strange.

But you can say wildlife?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. It’s wildlife, but I think the Safari thing, that word for the act of going around to see wildlife, tends to be associated with Africa. So, if you go to Africa to see rhinos, hippos, giraffes, lions on a safari, it’s when you get in one of those buses or in the cars to take photos and they show you the animals in a wildlife park or in a nature reserve somewhere.

What is the closest you can get to this experience in Australia?

That’s a good question.

I think you went to the zoo the other day and they had some…

So we have safaris at the Open Range Zoo that we have locally so, there is an African themed zoo nearby to where we live and you can go on a sort of short safari where they drive the bus in and out of different paddocks with different animals, rhinoceros and zebras, giraffes and stuff. But in Australia apart from seeing African animals at big zoos, you can just go four wheel driving, we’d probably say, four wheel driving, you might be able to pay people to take you on tours and we probably just call them tours, you might call it a wildlife tour. So, Wild Man, the guy that I interviewed on the podcast a year or so ago he is a wildlife…. he takes people on wildlife tours around Uluru, so he is a guide, he’s a tour guide.

And that’s a really good word, tour, because in Queensland… I think the first time I went to Maggie Island, they have the…you say remains? Like the ruins from the Second World War and so we had a guide to explain to us ”oh this is, you know, one of the canons, things they used” it was really interesting.

All the artifacts and everything lef tover. So, you went sightseeing which is the next here. So, sightseeing on Maggie Island to see the ruins of these different forts.

Yes. Initially I thought to go sightseeing would be only related to going to like museums and like art galleries, but actually, the definition I have here is to look around the tourists sites.

It’s some kind of loosely defined a world, where you can see the sights anywhere, right? If there is something worth seeing, it is a sight, right? Like you see it, you see it. It is sight. So, if you went to Melbourne for the first time and you just went for a walk around the city to look at a few buildings and things you could say ”I’m going sightseeing” or ”I’m going to see the sights”, so, it doesn’t necessarily need to be ”I went to this specific tourist site and that is why I’m sightseeing”, you could just be that you’re looking around at the place.

You’ve mentioned that before, a stunning landscape.

That it, that’s a good way of describing a beautiful countryside.

Is it similar to breathtaking view?

Exactly, well, the view is that you looking out on the thing, landscape is the actual land itself so, the mountains, the hills, the forests, the desert, that’s the landscape and the view of that landscape is obviously the way that you can see it.

And a travel agent? Someone who, you know, helps you to organize your trip.

That’s it so you might go to travel agency and you’ve got an idea in your mind I want to go here, I want to see this and I want to go to this wildlife safari. Can you make it happen? How much does it cost for that?

Yeah. And the last one is a tourist trap. So, somewhere where too many years go or then you might just feel like frustrated, is not as good as I expected. I think nowadays it tends to be that there’s so many people at one location, taking selfies and like you know just blocking the view, it might feel a little bit… I felt a little bit like that in Rio, ages ago, but still I can’t imagine how it is today, but you’re trying to get a photo of the Christ and eveythiing and it was like… way too many people.

That’s what I was going to ask, is it crazy in Brazil, especially in Rio?

It is crazy, it’s worth it, but be prepared to, you know, wrestle a little bit and try to get a good photo, it’s really really crowded.

Awesome. Good job, guys! Hopefully there was a heap of different vocab in here for you to learn and to hopefully use. I would just suggest begin having conversations with people about travelling, about these things you think you’re going to have on IELTS, if you are likely to talk about things like travel, hobbies, family, I would just go out and start talking to people about these things so, that you have that experience already talking about these subjects. But yeah, do some writing, use this vocab, learn it and see how you go. Good job! See you later.