It’s possible that you’ll receive a child cue card in part two of your IELTS Speaking test. The cue card might ask you to describe a child that you know.
Let’s look at how to give a good band-seven answer to this question. You can also read some example answers below (go straight to the answers here).
What You Can Talk About
Just think of any child that you know or that you knew in the past and use a good word group to describe that child. Here are some examples:
- One of your children
- A niece or nephew
- One of your friend’s children
- A student, if you’re a teacher
- Any other child you might know
- A child from a movie or TV show
- A child from a novel you read
- A famous child in your country
- A child you know when you were younger
- A child you’d like to have one day
- Yourself when you were a child
- Any other child that comes to mind
Focus on Vocabulary By Using Word Groups
Whenever you have to describe a person in part two of the test, you can use a ‘person’ word group to make it easier.
A word group allows you to focus on using interesting vocabulary and idioms, which is important if you want to achieve a band-seven score.
For example, you could use an ‘intelligent person’ word group to describe a clever child you know.
In this ‘intelligent person’ word group, you would have many interesting words and phrases like, ‘astute, resourceful, savvy, perceptive, a sharp cookie, a deep thinker, as bright as a button…’ and more.
You can use this ‘intelligent person’ word group to describe a child you know, or to describe anyone else you’re asked about in part two of the test.
Learn more about using word groups here. And you can see some great word groups being used in the example answers below.
Try To Tell a Story
Another good idea for part two is to tell a story (or two stories). When you tell a story, you:
- Keep talking easily for 30 seconds of more
- Show that you can use the past tense well
For this particular question, you might tell any story you remember about this child.
If you’re describing them as an intelligent child, tell a story about something intelligent they did.
If you’re describing them as a cheerful, happy child, tell a story about a time when they were very cheerful and happy.
It’s a good idea to prepare lots and lots of short simple stories while you’re preparing for the test (this is a wonderful practice for your English too!).
Here are three great example answers to this question. Study these answers and perhaps you can borrow a few ideas for your own answer!
Child Cue Card 1
Describe a child that you know.
You should say:
- Who this child is
- How old they are
- How you know them
And say what you think about this child.
I’m going to talk about my son. His name is Adam and he’s 12 years old, and he is a very well-behaved and clever young boy. I’m often delighted and awfully proud to see how clever and sharp-witted Adam is becoming.
He has a deep passion for learning for such a young child. He has an insatiable curiosity about the world around him. His perceptive nature and discerning eye for detail have helped him to excel in school, where he is often praised by his teachers for his insightful contributions to classroom discussions.
I am particularly proud of a recent incident where Adam demonstrated his resourcefulness and quick thinking. One evening, we were having dinner when our power suddenly went out. As we sat in the dark, wondering what to do, Adam calmly suggested that we use the flashlight on his phone to light up the room. Not only was he able to provide us with a source of light, but he also went to find some candles before his phone’s battery ran out.
Adam can also express himself wonderfully. I think he’s very articulate and eloquent for his age. And his teacher told me the same thing. I think it’s because of all the books he loves to read. He’s an avid reader with an insatiable curiosity. His teachers have often commented on his excellent writing skills too, which are also beyond his grade level.
He’s a fast learner and absorbs information like a sponge, always eager to expand his knowledge about the world. I’m very proud of him. I think he’ll have a great future.
Word Group Used: Intelligent Person
Here, a mother focuses on describing her child as very clever. We used lots of interesting words from the ‘intelligent person’ word group:
- Highly educated
- A sharp cookie
- A fast learner
- A quick study
- Absorbs information like a sponge
- Insatiable curiosity
- A walking encyclopedia
- A brilliant thinker
- A deep thinker
- A gifted mind
- As sharp as a whip
- As sharp as a tack
- A quick thinker
- As bright as a button
- Awfully clever
- Tuned in
Child Cue Card 2
Describe a child you know.
You should say:
- What their name is
- How you know them
- What their personality is like
And say why you like or dislike this child.
Well, to be honest, I don’t really personally know any children since I’m not a parent and I don’t have any nephews or nieces. So I’m going to talk about a child I remember from a movie I recently saw.
What stood out to me about this young girl was how kind-hearted she was. She was a very sweet and adorable character who was just a kid but still always wanted to try to help the other children and even some of the adults around her. It was a very endearing characteristic.
Despite her young age, this little girl demonstrated her considerate nature in simple but powerful ways. She was nurturing, often offering a toy or a hug to anyone who seemed sad or upset. She was thoughtful and empathetic, always sharing her treats and toys with her friends.
In one scene of the movie, the hero of the story was badly injured and lying on the ground, unable to move. Most of the other characters were too focused on their own survival to notice him, but this little girl saw him and immediately rushed to his side. She was caring and sympathetic, using her own blanket to cover him and offering him a sip of water.
Throughout the movie, this little girl’s tenderhearted nature shone through in every action and word she spoke. She was always willing to lend a hand, to forgive easily, and to show graciousness and love to everyone around her. Her generosity knew no bounds.
Because she was so likable, it made it very scary when she got into danger. But fortunately, she made it through until the end.
Word Group Used: Kind-Hearted Person
Here, we didn’t know who to talk about so we chose a girl from a movie. We described her as being very considerate and used words and phrases from the ‘kind-hearted person’ word group:
- Kind as a lamb
- Has a heart of gold
- Goes the extra mile for others
- Always ready to lend a hand
- Generous to a fault
- Generosity knows no bounds
- Would give the shirt off his back
- Always a shoulder to cry on
- Won’t let you down
- Takes someone under her wing
- A soft touch
Child Cue Card 3
Describe a child that you know well.
You should say:
- What their name is
- How you know them
- What kind of person they are
And say how you feel about this child.
I’m going to talk about one of my students. As a teacher, I have the pleasure of knowing many students who are disciplined and hard-working, but one girl in particular stands out. Her name is Anira, and she is incredibly committed to her studies, showing remarkable discipline and perseverance in all her work.
I recall one incident that really impressed me with Anira’s disciplined and hard-working attitude. It was during a group project. The group had to present a science experiment to the class, and Anira took charge right away, assigning tasks to each other group member.
Throughout the project, Anira displayed an incredible level of self-discipline and self-restraint. She was always focused and diligent, never getting distracted or off-task. She was really very methodical in her approach, carefully planning each step of the project and making sure that everything was done to the best of her ability. Whenever it’s time to start studying, Anira really knuckles down to get things done.
Her amazingly mature attitude really impresses me. I think Anira is a truly industrious student. She is motivated and determined to do well, and her persistence is also admirable. She is obedient and well-behaved in class, almost always attentive and eager to learn. She has great enthusiasm for learning, and I think her positive attitude is contagious to those around her. I’m delighted to have her as a student.
Word Group Used: Disciplined Person
Here, we chose a child who is hard-working and disciplined. We could use lots of interesting words and phrases from the ‘disciplined person’ word group. Here it is:
- Has great enthusiasm for work
- Knuckles down to get things done
- Burns the midnight oil
- Burns the candle at both ends
- Goes the extra mile
- Pull an all-nighter
- Blood, sweat, and tears
- No pain, no gain
- Does the work that needs to be done
- Works day in, day out to achieve her goals
- Sees things through
Your Turn To Try
Now, give this question a go yourself!
When you’re ready, set up the timer and voice recorder on your phone. And ask yourself to describe a child that you know.
Firstly, spend 60 seconds writing ideas about what you can say and also vocabulary ideas.
Then start speaking and remember to use lots of interesting vocabulary and try to tell a story or two.
When you’ve finished, listen to your recording and think of any ways you can improve your answer.
Then… do it again!
Repeating this process over and over is a wonderful way to prepare for part two of your IELTS Speaking test.