Your hometown is a common part-one topic in the IELTS Speaking test. You might be asked, “What is your hometown like?”
Let’s look at how to give an excellent answer to this question. Below, you can also see 10 good example answers (go straight to the answers here).
Common Mistake: Two Different ‘Like’ Questions
The word ‘like’ is used in different ways. Remember that these two questions have quite different meanings:
Question one: “What do you like about your hometown?”
This means thinking of something you like about it and talking about that thing.
Question two: “What is your hometown like?”
This means: describe your hometown. Here, you don’t have to say what you like or don’t like, just describe it (although you can say what you like and dislike if you want to).
In this post, we’re talking about question two (describe your hometown).
What You Can Say About Your Hometown
In your answer, just describe one or two things, not more. You only want to speak for 10 or 20 seconds in your part-one answers.
It’s a good idea to picture your hometown. Imagine it in your mind’s eye. Then just describe the first thing that comes into your mind.
You might describe:
- Its size (large, small, medium-sized)
- The best things about it
- What it’s well-known or famous for
- What you most like or dislike about it
- What you can do there
- Famous sights to see
- Natural features (rivers, mountains, beaches…)
- The food (local cuisine, famous dishes…)
- The climate and weather
- The people (their character, hobbies, pastimes…)
- The pace of life (fast or slow)
- The atmosphere (busy, peaceful, energetic, lethargic, industrious, anxious, friendly…)
- The shopping streets
- How good it is for work and job opportunities
- How good it is for business
- The public transportation
- Anything else that comes to your mind
Focus on Fluency
In your part-one answers, just focus on fluency: try to speak quickly, without hesitation.
Your English can be quite simple in part one.
Don’t worry about using a very advanced vocabulary. You can begin to do that in part two.
The Three-Step YES Method
You can use the YES Method in your part-one answers like this one. Just say:
- Your answer (describe one thing)
- Explain your answer, or add more details
- Stop talking (wait patiently for the next question)
This simple YES Method will make sure don’t say too much. It’s not a good idea to talk for too long in part one.
Here are 10 good answers to this question.
Fast Pace of Life
1. My hometown is a very big capital city. It’s a huge bustling metropolis with a very fast pace of life, and millions of people rushing around.
2. My hometown is a small, quiet village near the mountains in the middle of Sweden. It’s really laid back and everyone knows each other. It’s got a friendly atmosphere, which I really enjoy.
3. I’m originally from Crete, which is a Greek island. It’s an extremely hot place with stunning beaches, and the cuisine is amazing. The local cheese and olive oil and tomatoes and other ingredients are all fresh and absolutely delicious.
4. My hometown is called Harpin, in the northeast of China. Its most notable feature is that it gets very, very cold in winter: as low as minus 35 degrees. That’s why it’s known as the ‘Ice City.’
5. I come from a large city in The Philippines called Quezon. It’s one of the best places in my country for work opportunities. You can easily find a job there.
6. I grew up in a suburb of Mexico City. Mexico City has many fantastic historical sights to see, which attract many tourists each year, such as Constitution Square, and the Temple Mayor.
7. I come from Krakow in Poland. It’s a really beautiful city, with many old buildings and wonderful architecture. The only problem is the air becomes quite polluted in winter because people there burn a lot of coal to keep warm.
8. My hometown is Dubai, in the UAE. It’s a super-modern city with many world-famous buildings and skyscrapers. The shopping malls are enormous, with so many luxury shops.
9. I actually left my hometown because I found it very small and boring. It’s a rural town in Colombia, with lots of agriculture and farms. There’s nothing to do there, so I left a long time ago.
10. My hometown is nice because it’s very green. There are so many parks throughout the city, and there are also some gorgeous mountains nearby, which are great for climbing in summer.
Your Turn To Answer
Now, it’s your turn. Try to describe your hometown in quite a simple way.
Focus on fluency: speak as quickly as you can, without hesitation.
Choose just one thing to talk about. Then describe it.
Don’t talk for too long. Use the three-step YES Method to keep it short and simple.
Record yourself. Set up your voice recorder and ask aloud, “What is your hometown like?”
Then answer. Listen to your answer. Find any mistakes. And repeat the process.
Keep doing this and you’ll soon be ready for part one of your IELTS Speaking test.