Part one of the IELTS Speaking test often begins by talking about your hometown. And you’ll sometimes be asked, “What do you like about your hometown?”
Let’s look at the best way to answer this question, with 10 good model answers (go straight to the answers here).
Hometown vs City Where You Currently Live
First, remember that your ‘hometown’ is the place you were born.
Many of us have moved away from our hometowns and live in different cities now.
If you answer by saying, “I live in a big city…” then the examiner might wonder: is he talking about his hometown or the city he lives in now?
To be 100% clear, you could start by saying something like:
“I like that my hometown is a big city…”
“One thing I love about my hometown is…”
“I’m originally from a big city…”
“I grew up in a big city…”
“When I was growing up, I liked how big my hometown was…”
Things You Might Like About Your Hometown
When you think of your hometown, what’s one thing you really like?
Just talk about the first thing that comes into your head.
Don’t try to think of something very clever to talk about. That will probably lead you to hesitate (which is not good in part one).
So, just say one or two short sentences about the first thing you can think of. And that will be great for this question.
Here are some possible things you might like, for ideas…
- How big and exciting your hometown is
- All the work opportunities
- How all your friends live there
- How much fun it is
- How quiet and safe it is
- How the weather is great
- The amazing local food (cuisine)
- All the entertainment
- The art and culture
- The live music venues and musical scene
- The nightlife
- The shopping streets and malls
- The art and culture
- The history and museums
- The good schools for your kids
- The prices, if it’s very affordable
- The clean air
- The convenient transportation
- The beautiful architecture
- The lovely people
- How easy it is to make friends
- Anything else you can think of
Use the Three-Step YES Method
Here’s one warning for this part one question: don’t speak for too long!
It’s easy to say a lot about your hometown, but in part one you should keep your answers quite short (10 to 20 seconds).
The examiner has many questions (10-12 questions) to ask you in a short period of time (four to five minutes).
So, try not to waste their time with long answers in part one.
Practice using the simple YES Method for your part-one answers. Just say:
- Your answer (one thing you like)
- Explain your answer (with one or two short sentences)
- Stop talking (wait patiently for the next question)
Keep It Short and Simple
Part 1 is only to warm you up.
You can use simple English. Just try to speak quickly and fluently, without hesitation.
Take a look at these 10 example answers for this question about your hometown.
Art and Culture
1. When I was growing up in my hometown, I always loved how much art and culture it has. There are many art galleries filled with beautiful paintings, and I’ve always enjoyed visiting them.
Quiet and Safe
2. One thing I like about my hometown is how peaceful and safe it is. There’s very little crime there. You can walk around the streets alone at night and always feel safe.
3. I like the schools in my hometown. They’re very good. I liked my teachers a lot when I was at school, and now I’m a mother of three, so it’s really important for me to have good schools nearby.
4. You know, my hometown is really great for shopping. There are so many malls with all sorts of trendy stores for clothes and shoes. It’s a very fashionable city.
5. Well, when I was growing up, I really liked the nightlife. I had such a good time going out to parties and clubs and bars with all my friends. It’s a very fun city for younger people.
6. One thing I miss about my hometown is that it has really clean air. Now I live in a big city and the air is quite dirty. But my hometown is a rural village with incredibly clean, fresh air.
7. My hometown is Chengdu, which is famous for having really laid-back and friendly people. They just like to relax and enjoy life and play mahjong and eat really good spicy hotpot.
8. I’m lucky because I grew up in Munich, which is a great town for business and jobs in Germany. So after I graduated, I found a job easily and I didn’t need to leave my hometown.
9. I love the weather in my hometown. I’m from Lagos in Nigeria and it’s never cold there. The sun is always shining and I reckon that makes a big difference to everybody’s mood. People are always quite cheerful there.
10. Without a doubt the best thing about my hometown is the food. I’m from Valencia in Spain and Valencia is the home of Paella and many other amazing dishes, including plenty of excellent seafood.
Now, It’s Your Turn!
Set up the recorder on your phone and ask yourself out loud, “What do you like about your hometown?”
Remember to just say the first thing you think of. Talk about that. Answer as fluently and quickly as you can.
Use the three-step YES Method.
When you’ve finished, listen to your recording. Write down what you said.
Then try to see if you made any mistakes.
Answer the question again. Try to improve a little each time.
This is a great way to prepare for part one of your IELTS Speaking test.