IELTS Speaking Part 3 Questions - The Environment

In this post, you will see one of the most common IELTS speaking topics for part 3 (The Environment) and sample answers.

Please remember that in the actual test you should give honest answers and talk about your own experiences, thoughts, feelings and opinions. Do not try to memorise answers, as the examiners will probably be able to guess and you will lose marks.

However, you are able to make up information to extend your answers, but be sure that you are confident when speaking about the chosen topic and that it is believable.

TIP >> Listen to the questions the examiner asks you and think about the structure of the question. Are they asking your for your opinion? or to say how something has changed from the past to the present?

TIP >> Learn about the most commonly asked question types used in the part 3 questions. This will help you to identify how you should respond and what to look out for when you are practising.

TIP >> It is common for many people to say 'I don't know' or to lose focus when they get a question they know little about. Always answer the questions and if you feel as though you don't know about the topic, then buy yourself some time by saying; 'I haven't really thought about that before.... but in my opinion......' then give your opinion, etc. 

TIP >> Don't try to answer the questions as quickly as possible, take your time and answer them to the best of your ability. Give your opinion, the reasoning behind it and support with specific examples. 

Take a look at the questions and sample answers below on the topic of 'The Environment' >>


Q. What causes environmental problems?

A: I think that there are many things that are harming the environment, including greenhouse gases, fossil fuels and pollution. One of the main causes that I have an interest in is pollution caused by plastic. This is a huge issue that is making the environment suffer, on beaches, in the sea and in other places. People not choosing to use reusable shopping bags is having a huge effect on the amount of plastic that is going to waste.

Q. What should the government do to protect the environment?

A: In my opinion, they should make more incentives for people to learn about how they can help at an individual level. If they could educate people and make more rules about recycling or using plastic bags, then perhaps we would see a difference. I read in the news recently about how Kenya has passed a law, making it illegal to use plastic bags. In the UK they have a price for a plastic bag. But maybe this type of law, making them illegal should be implemented everywhere. The governments should unite and work together to combat these problems before it is too late. 

Q. What should we do to protect the environment?

A: Obviously we all have a responsibility to do something to prevent the deterioration of the environment. Ever little bit that we can do as individuals could help, for example by recycling our household waste, donating clothes to charity, going on litter clean-ups and using reusable shopping bags. I always use cotton bags for my grocery shopping instead of plastic bags and recycle as much as I can. 

Q. What other measures can you think of to protect the environment?

A: We can all do something to help, for instance, get together with groups of friends to collect litter from beaches or other public places. We can also walk or cycle more, rather than driving, use less electricity, recycle waste and limit the use of plastic bags. On a wider level, the government should impose more laws that protect the environment.

Q. How should we educate children to protect the environment?

A: Children should be taught in school about the effects of things we do that can be harmful to the environment. They can complete projects and work together to learn about how to recycle and the importance of it. They could also complete work outside, looking at how to preserve wildlife, plants and flowers. It is really important that they learn about this at an early age so that they can grow up with some awareness of the impact their actions can have. 

Q. What’s the difference between the old and the young as regards environmental protection?

A: In my view, I think that older people seem to be more aware and have a larger concern about protecting the environment, whereas younger people are very self-obsessed nowadays. They are more interested in looking at their social media apps and taking selfies, than about caring for the environment. Older people run groups that meet and pick up litter, clean beaches of plastic waste and run charity events. Some younger people may also do these things, but most are too self-involved to actually do something that can make a difference.


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