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Hello, and welcome to Study English, IELTS Preparation. I'm Margot Politis.
A common topic in the IELTS Test is Festivals and Celebrations.
It's a good idea to be prepared to talk about a major festival in your country or the way
weddings and birthdays are celebrated.
By festivals, we mean things such as Chinese New Year or Christmas or the Water Festival.
How does our speaker talk about the Water Festival?
The Water Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Cambodia. There are about 430
boats from all over the country. Each boat carries between 40 to 70 people. They just
pack into these little canoes. There are quite a few aspects to the Water Festival.
It's best to introduce a topic so the listener knows what to expect. This is called the orientation.
The opening statement should tell us what to expect - here it is a description of the
Water Festival in Cambodia and some aspects of this festival.
What exactly are these aspects?
There are quite a few aspects to the Water Festival. It is celebrated every year and
its history is that the King would use the Water Festival to find the strongest men to
join the marine force to look after the country. I would say every Cambodian would consider
water the most important thing in their life.
There are two aspects. There's the history of the festival and the significance of the
festival to people now. It's a good idea to think of a major festival in your country
and then think of ways to expand your answer, like this:
I would say every Cambodian would consider water the most important thing in their life.
The majority of Cambodians live in the countryside and the rural population rely on water, you
know, to farm. So they basically almost worship water. And Cambodia's Water Festival coincides
with the full moon, a good omen that promises a bountiful harvest.
Notice that when you talk about customs you are talking about facts and so you would need
to use the simple present tense, like this:
There are quite a few aspects to the Water Festival. The majority of Cambodians live
in the countryside and the rural population rely on water, you know, to farm. They basically
almost worship water. And Cambodia's Water Festival coincides with the full moon, a good
omen that promises a bountiful harvest.
Now let's look at the way our speaker uses the words 'a' and 'the' in her speech.
'The' is used to identify something there is only one of, such as the Water Festival,
the King, the strongest men, the marine force, and the country. Listen:
There are quite a few aspects to the Water Festival. It is celebrated every year and
it history is that the King would use the Water Festival to find the strongest men to
join the marine force to look after the country.
'A' is used to identify one of many, so she says 'a good omen' and 'a bountiful harvest':
So they basically almost worship water. And Cambodia's Water Festival coincides with the
full moon, a good omen that promises a bountiful harvest.
When you generalise with words such as water no article is used: Water is uncountable,
as is air, knowledge and information.
I would say every Cambodian would consider water the most important thing in their life.
The majority of Cambodians live in the countryside and the rural population rely on water, you
know, to farm. So they basically almost worship water.
There she is talking about water in general and so uses no articles.
A good rule for articles is to not use them if you can say 'in general'.
But if you can say 'in particular', you should use 'the' - the water in the Mekong.
Another thing to say about festivals is how often they happen and at what time of year
as this speaker does in talking about Chinese New Year:
Chinese New Year is held every year, but it's not always on the same date in the western
calendar. Sometimes it's in late January and sometimes it's in February. It's to do with
phase of the moon and so some people call it the Lunar New Year.
Notice the time phrases - every year, not always, late January and sometimes. Listen
again:
Chinese New Year is held every year, but it's not always on the same date in the western
calendar. Sometimes it's in late January and sometimes it's in February. It's to do with
phase of the moon and so some people call it the Lunar New Year.
One way of describing a festival is to say what it resembles.
What sort of things do you do to celebrate? Oh, we, we - it's a family get-together. And
it's a bit like the English Christmas, but we Chinese in Australia, we celebrate Chinese
New Year just like the traditions back home in China and Asia.
But you also need to say how it is different:
It's a really noisy celebration with drums and fireworks and dragon and lion dances.
Now let's listen to someone describing in detail the customs of Chinese New Year:
The Dragon ushers in prosperity, health, wealth to everybody. The Chinese people worship and
pray to the Dragon because the Dragon brings in, as I said, prosperity, health and wealth.
That means it controls the element of the earth. So it controls like the rain, the sun,
and like we badly need the rain so we'd better pray hard today to the Dragon and ask for
rain. We pray to the Keeper God because the Keeper God has been keeping the Dragon safe
whilst the Dragon is resting and sleeping in his home. The Lion will awaken the Dragon
because the Dragon is supposed to be asleep. The Lion ward away all evil and then the Dragon
usher in all this good luck, you know, good health to all the people in Melbourne and
around the world.
She explains some of the customs that make Chinese New Year unique. You would be expected
to do something like this if you were asked about the biggest celebration in your country.
So practise explaining these things and try to say why people do things, like this:
The Dragon ushers in prosperity, health, wealth to everybody. The Chinese people worship and
pray to the Dragon because the Dragon brings in, as I said, prosperity, health and wealth.
When you are talking about a continuous action that begins in the past and continues until
the present, as our speaker does in talking about the dragon, you combine has with been
and the -ing form of the verb. The Keeper God 'has been keeping' the dragon safe. Listen:
We pray to the Keeper God because the Keeper God has been keeping the Dragon safe whilst
the Dragon is resting and sleeping in his home.
She also uses a word that means 'at the same time' - whilst. Another way of saying this
is while. So she talks about two things happening at the same time that began in the past and
continued to the present, the God keeping the dragon safe and the dragon sleeping. Listen
one last time:
We pray to the Keeper God because the Keeper God has been keeping the Dragon safe whilst
the Dragon is resting and sleeping in his home.
That's all for now.
You can't know exactly what you are going to be asked about in the IELTS Test, but thinking
about general topics such as festivals and celebrations and then practising talking about
them will increase your confidence.
To watch this episode again and all the Study English programs, visit our website.
The address is: australianetwork.com/studyenglish.
Good luck with your studies.
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

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Study English - Series 3, Episode 17: Talking about Festivals & Celebrations

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gec1002 2016 年 3 月 7 日 に公開
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