Can you describe the place where you live?
Sure, I guess I should mention that I live in a small apartment which is about 80 square
meters. There are 2 bedrooms, but only one bathroom so sometimes my parents and I
have to fight over who gets to use the toilet first.
What do you usually do in your house/flat/room?
In fact I spend most of my time on the Internet. I don't go out much and normally I
communicate with my friends online rather than meet them face to face. To be honest I'm
so fond of the net that I even do 70 percent of my shopping online.
Please describe the room you live in.
Well, my room is small but quite cozy. It consists of a bed, TV, computer and a wardrobe.
I usually spend most of my time on the computer cuz my favorite pastime is to chat online
with my friends. My wardrobe is quite small, I'm thinking about throwing out some of my
clothes or buying a bigger one.
Is there anything you don't like about the place where you live?
If I really had to say something I guess I'm not too fond of the fact that it’s too high - I live
on the 14th floor so I usually have to wait for the elevator for quite a long time. Also I
guess I'm not that keen on the color of the wallpaper - blue is not my color.
What kind of decorations does it have?
Well, my mother decorated the living room with a Christmas tree one year and it has
been there ever since. Also on the wall there are a ton of family photos to show others
what a loving family we are.
How do you think this room could be improved?
As a matter of fact a bigger TV would help - maybe a 70inch flat screen so we can watch
movies at home with surround sound. In addition to that maybe another fridge would be
useful since my mum always has to shove things into the refrigerator – there just isn't
What can you see when you look out the window of your room?
Well I said before that my home is on the 14th floor so the view’s fantastic. I'm able to
see the cityscape and nearly everything that happens around my neighborhood. People
are about the size of ants and I spend a lot of my time looking at them walk around.
How well do you know your neighbors?
To be honest I don't really know my neighbors. Like most people in the city I normally
keep to myself and when I do see my neighbors I just greet them with a "hello".
In the future, what type of place would you like to live in?
Well in my opinion a big house by the beach is probably where I would like live in the
future. The environment in the city isn't very fresh so living by the seaside might be better
Do you like advertisements on TV?
Well I have to admit that sometimes ads could be quite interesting however usually they
are a big waste of time. I really detest the fact that I have to wait up to 15 minutes for my
TV show to come back due to ad breaks.
What kind of advertisement do you like the most?
I guess if I really had to choose it would be ads about food. As you can see I'm a little
chubby so I adore eating. If there is news of a new restaurant I would want to know about
Why do you think there are so many advertisements now?
Well obviously it's cuz they work. People are attracted to ads so more and more
organizations are using them. Personally, if I start a company I would use them too.
What are the various places where we see advertisements?
Well, I guess everywhere. When we are walking on the street we could see ads on
posters and billboards. If we are watching TV we have to sit through ad breaks. Sadly
even when we are in a public toilet we are forced to read ads.
Do advertisements (ever) influence your choice about what to buy?
Sadly, all the time. I'm a huge fan of cosmetics cuz I like to look good when I go out. So
when I see a model who says she wears a particular type of make up I would often go to
that store and buy it with my pocket money. I know it's a bad habit but I just couldn't
3. Boating Do you like boating?
I'm afraid not. When I get on a boat I always get a little bit scared cuz I actually don't
know how to swim - I plan to learn how to swim in the next school holidays. Also if the
boat is traveling too fast I get sea sick so, usually I prefer to stay on land.
What have you ever done by boat?
When I was a child I used to go fishing with my dad on a boat. To be honest it was kinda
boring but the fish didn't taste too bad. I have also crossed a river on a row boat once.
Do Chinese people travel by boat?
Well, in the past many people used to travel around by boat however nowadays people
tend to travel by car and if the distance is longer they may choose to travel by plane.
What kinds of buildings are popular in China nowadays?
Well I guess most people prefer skyscrapers in my country. I suppose the reason is cuz
they are really tall and people nowadays are pretty fond of nice views. Also they are quite
into houses because owning a house can show their social status.
Is it important to preserve old buildings?
Personally, I think preserving old builds is just a waste of space and money. As you know
there is a shortage of land in the city so demolishing old buildings could make a lot of
room. Furthermore the government invests a lot of money every year to preserve those
buildings which, in my opinion is wasting our tax money.
How have buildings changed in the past few years?
There are two main changes that I could think of. Firstly buildings nowadays are much
taller compared with buildings in the past. About 10 years ago the density of the city is
much lower than it is today so there wasn't a need for tall builds and also, maybe we
didn't have the technology or ability to construct buildings that high. Secondly buildings
are equipped with more electronic devices nowadays such as ducted air-conditioning or
What aspect of culture to old buildings represent?
Old buildings are a symbol of my countries history and traditions. They remind us of what
life used to me like and the hardships we have faced in the past. If they disappear China
may lose a part of its identity cuz the style of old buildings are unique compared with
Do you think it's important what clothes you wear? (Why?/Why not?)
Well I guess it kinda depends on the situation. When I stay at home I don't really think it's
necessary to be all dressed up. However if I go to a party, obviously I don't want to be a
seen as a slob so I would dress appropriate for the occasion.
Do you think the clothes a person wears leaves an impression on others?
Definitely, when I see someone dressed in a suit I would feel they are professional and
definitely a white collar worker. Whereas in contrast when I see someone dressed in an
old t-shirt with holes I wouldn't even want to talk with them.
What kinds/styles of clothes do you like (or, prefer) to wear? (Why?)
Actually I prefer comfort over style so I'm more fond of casual clothes. To be more
specific in summer I wear t-shirts and shirts and in the winter I general wear jeans and a
jacket. Actually, I'm also fond of wearing a cowboy hat but that's kinda unusual in China.
Do you wear the same kinds of clothes in winter and summer?
Definitely not. In summer I normally wear t-shirts and shorts if I wore those in winter I
would probably die from the cold. I'm afraid of cold weather so during winter I would
weather many layers of sweaters and a winter coat.
Do your friends have the same tastes in clothes as you?
Yes they do. My friends and I are into the same types of clothes which makes it really
convenient coz we can go shopping together.In fact I have made quite a few friends at
the department store.
Do you think you will still be wearing the same kinds of clothes when you are old?
Well, yeah! Even when I have white hair and my teeth have all fallen out I seriously think
I would still be wearing the clothes that I'm wearing today - t-shirt and shorts.
Is it important to focus on things?
Absolutely! For some cases it may be vital such as concentrating in a test, if you don't
focus you could make silly mistakes. Doing things without paying attention could be
When do people need to focus?
I guess when people are working, for example if a doctor is doing an operation a slight
mistake might be vital to the patient. Also if a person is taking a test obviously they
should concentrate or they might make mistakes.
Is it easy to concentrate on things?
In my opinion it really depends. If a person is doing something which they are fond of
then I guess that it's quite easy to focus. Whereas in contrast if it's a really boring activity
than obviously it may be a little difficult to pay attention on the task.
Can people focus on two different things at the same time?
It depends on the task. If the 2 activities are things such as speaking and walking or
driving and listening to the radio it is definitely possible. However doing things like dong
homework and talking on the phone may be quite difficult for most people.
Do you know how to cook?
Well to be honest I can't even cook the most basic dishes. When I was a child I once cut
my finger chopping vegetables and ever since that day I have avoided kitchens.
Do you like cooking?
I'm afraid not. In my opinion cooking is a skill that is quite difficult to master. The main
reason why I'm not a fan of cooking is cuz not only does it take a lot of time to prepare
the ingredients but every time you cook you also have clean up afterwards.
Have you thought about learning how to cook?
It has never even crossed my mind. The day I learn to cook is the day pigs fly. Personally
speaking cooking is a tedious, time consuming activity so I'm not a fan.
Do you think everyone should learn how to cook? (Why?)
Definitely not, nowadays it's not necessary for everyone to have culinary skills. We could
eat out all the time or just find someone who can cook. For example I can't cook at all but
my boyfriend is able to cook really well so he normally cooks dinner for me.
Do you eat at home or do you usually eat outside?
Well to be honest I guess it really depends. When I am at school I don't have a choice - I
study at a boarding school. So I have to eat at the school canteen every day. However
when it's during the holidays I would eat at home cuz to be honest my mum's cooking is
Have you ever been to the countryside?
Sure, my grandparents live in a country town so I would visit them about once a year
usually around the spring festival.
Do you like living in the countryside?
I'm afraid not, although I'm fond of the fresh air, I really can't stand the bugs there. There
are usually mosquitoes and flies everywhere you go and they are quite big and creepy.
Also I'm not a fan of the lack of leisure activities - there is seriously nothing fun you can
do in the countryside, even the internet is slower
What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in the countryside?
There are plenty of benefits such as the clean air and the people are more helpful and
friendlier to their neighbors. As for the drawbacks I guess there are a ton of insects and
also it's very far from the city so it's quite boring - there's nothing to for fun there.
What is the difference between the relationship of neighbours in the countryside
and that in the city?
From my opinion people from the countryside are nicer to each other. They may often
visit each others homes and even look after each others children. Whereas in contrast
the neighbours in the city probably don't even communicate or know about each others
lives. The most they may do is to greet each other in the hall way.
9. Drawing & Painting
Do you like drawing (or painting)?
I'm a huge fan of drawing. Ever since I was I child I have been taking drawing classes
and in fact I consider myself quite the artist. However I'm not so keen on painting. The
brush is just a little too hard for me to control and I think that it's very messy.
What kind of pictures do you like to draw?
Well when I was a child I was quite fond of drawing people. I used to ask others to model
for me while I drew a portrait of them. Whereas these days I prefer drawing cartoon
characters. In fact I have even illustrated my own superman comic book.
Do you think drawing (or painting) is difficult?
As I mentioned before I have been taking drawing classes as a child and even my
teacher says I'm quite talented so I guess not really. To me drawing is like a second
nature. When I think of something creative in my mind I just have to draw it instantly. That
is why I carry a scrap book around with me all the time.
Do you think it’s important for children to learn to draw?
Although I'm a drawer I actually don't think it's essential for children to draw. Most people
say that drawing is a skill that is not too useful for one's life and I personally agree. Even
if I didn't know how to draw I'm sure I could still live a really happy life.
What’s the difference between an adult and a child learning to draw?
In my opinion a child is like a blank piece of paper. They haven't experienced life for as
long as an adult so they are able to draw things with more creativity cuz they can let their
minds go wild. Vice versa an adult learning to draw would be influenced by things they
know about so the drawing they make would not be as creative.
To draw (or paint) well, what factors do you think are important?
Well, obviously the creativity of the artist would have to be the most important factor that
needs to be taken under consideration. Also the colors used could also be an essential
feature of the drawing - some people are fond of hot colors while others are keen on dark
10. Emails & Letters - Part 1
Do you like to write letters and/or emails?
To be honest I detest writing letters. In my opinion letter writing is an inefficient way of
communication that has been outdated a long time ago. Nowadays people are keener on
texting or just calling someone on their mobile phones.
Do you think emails are useful?
Sure. There are many uses for emails for businesses. They are a very cheap and
efficient way to send formal or informal letters to one another. Personally I write several
emails a day cuz I have many friends abroad and we keep in touch by writing emails.
Do you think it is a good thing that some companies send out spam emails for the
purpose of advertising?
Well I don't really mind junk mail. After all they only take me a few seconds to delete if I
think they are not really useful. Sometimes the spam might be about a product that’s just
what I’m looking for.
What sorts of letters (or emails) do you think are the most difficult to write?
I guess it would have to be letters of apology. It is quite difficult to portray your sincerity in
writing and even if you are sorry deep down the reader may just think you are being
sarcastic. I have only written 2 letters of apologies in my life and both of them didn’t make
the reader forgive me.
Do you prefer to write letters or emails? (Why?)
Definitely emails, I’m keener on writing emails since there is the spell check function so I
could fix my mistakes easily. I’m a rather clumsy person so I often make accidental errors
when I write. Also I am a huge fan of the speed of delivery. It just takes a few seconds. A
letter could take days, or even weeks to arrive.
Do you think email might one day replace handwritten letters?
To some extent letters are already being replaced by emails however I think don’t letters
would be replaces entirely. Emails are easily intercepted by hackers so sometimes really
sensitive information cannot be written on an email. Therefore I personally think that
handwritten letters would remain for a very long time.
11. Friends and Family - Part 1
Do you have many (close) friends?
To be honest I only have one friend I truly trust. I have many friends that I hang out with
however I know most of them are unreliable. Personally I think 1 close friend is enough. If
i share my secrets with too many people it wouldn't be a secret anymore.
Are most of your friends from school (or university) or from outside school (or
Well, like most students in China I don't really get out much so I guess most of my mates
are from uni. I share a room with 5 others and we are quite close - normally we hang out
and even eat together. I have some friends from outside of uni but most of them are
Do you think friendship is important?
Sure. As the saying goes "no man is an island". We all need people to rely on otherwise
the world would be a very dark place. I so think that friendship is essential.
Do you prefer to spend time with friends or spend time alone? (Why?)
Definitely with friends. I already spend too much time alone and really need to get out
more. When I'm with my friends we could socialize and hang out. To he honest without
my friends I'm a little lonely.
Are friends more important than family? (Why?)
Definitely not! Although friends are sometimes more fun to hang out with, they are no
way as important as family members. The main reason is because family members share
your blood and they are irreplaceable where as in contrast people often change friends.
What kind of people do you like to have as friends?
Ah good question! My friends are all people who are good at sports. I believe that playing
basketball is the best way to bond with someone and if they are unhealthy or unfit they
are not suitable to be my buddy.
How do you keep in contact with your friends?
Well usually my friends and I chat online using a program called QQ. It's the most
popular form of communication cuz it's free to use and we are able to send text, pictures
and even voice recordings to each other. We also call each other with our mobile phones
since it's convenient and we don't need to be around a computer or a place with wifi.
Do you think it's possible to become real friends with the people you meet on the
internet, for example, on chat sites or personal introduction sites?
Well I'm sure most people would say no but I met my current girlfriend online and we
have been going out in real life for over a year. Further more we are planning to get
married next year so I think it's definitely possible. Of course people should still be careful
when making friends online. I guess I just got lucky.
12. Gifts - Part 1
Do you often give gifts to people?
Yep, I'm a student and a good way to maintain a good relationship is to give my friends
gifts. I would also give my teachers presents so that they say nicer things about me when
they talk to my parents about me. In my opinion it's good politics to give people gifts.
Do you and your friends or family members give each other gifts?
All the time! My parents always think of me when they go shopping so sometimes when I
return home from school I would find a package on my bed with a surprise waiting inside.
I would also buy some stuff for my parents when I got shopping however, they are
usually cheaper than the gifts they give me - I'm only a student after all.
Do you think it’s easy to choose what to give other people?
In my opinion it depends on who the gift is for. If this person is someone you have known
for a long time and are familiar with their interest then I think it's a rather simple task.
Whereas in contrast if you are choosing a gift for a person you have never met before it
may be quite difficult.
Do you think it’s important to give expensive gifts?
Well, personally speaking I think it does matter. Most people would judge a friendship by
how expensive they think the gift is so of you give them a cheap gift they may think that
they aren't that important to you. Also it may show they you are a very stingy person.
In China, is it necessary to bring a gift when you visit someone?
Indeed it is. When a person goes to another person's home for dinner they would
normally bring with them a plate of food or a bag of fruit. In China it's just a way of being
polite. I know that many foreigners bring wine instead.
Do you think gift-giving is very important?
Absolutely! Gift giving is good politics.Its a great way to make friends and to bond with
others. It's so essential that sometimes gift-giving on certain holidays is like an unwritten
Where do you come from?
Well I guess I could begin by saying I was born and brought up in Ningbo, a city that is
located southeast of Zhejiang province. I would say it's a rather wealthy city since there
are many high-rise buildings with the most modern architectural styles and many people
drive expensive cars such as Audis. Another significant characteristic is that my
hometown is a great place for shopping because there are a plethora of shopping
centers and department stores where people can purchase goods.
What tourist attractions are there in your hometown?
As a famous historical city, Ningbo boasts about having attractive landscapes and rich
cultural relics, there are two places that are especially worth visiting. In my opinion the
most popular tourist attractions is Tianyi Pavilion - the oldest surviving private library in
China, even Asia. I also shouldn't forget to mention Baoguo Temple which is one of the
oldest and best-preserved wooden Buddhist buildings with a unique design and
Would a foreign visitor enjoy them?
I’m have no doubt in my mind that most foreigners would be absolutely amazed by the
beauty of the two landmarks that I have mentioned. Not only are the insides of these
attractions wonderful, there are also many souvenir stores, so they could buy gifts for
their friends and family. Furthermore there are also many food stands so that visitors
would be able to taste the delicious cuisine of my hometown.
Did you learn much about the history of your hometown in school?
Well, I’m in high school now and the teachers don't teach the history of my hometown
because we focus on the content of the College Entrance Examination and my
hometown’s history is not apart of the syllabus. But when I was in middle school my
history teacher did briefly teach us about Ningbo’s history and to be honest I’m not very
interested in it.
What do you think needs to change in your hometown?
As you know China has a population crisis and Ningbo is no exception. There are way
too many people so the roads are usually congested during peak hours and department
stores are generally quite crowded if there is a sale. To overcome this problem, maybe
we could widen the roads and construct more shopping centers.
What place(s) in your hometown do you go to in your spare time?
Well I guess I would have to say that it really depends on the situation. If it is during the
summer or winter vacations it’s quite possible I might go on a trip with my friends to a
neighboring city. You know many young people these days like to travel. Where as in
contrast if it’s just a normal weekend I may just go to the local basketball court and shoot
some hoops with my buddies.
Why did you choose to live here/there?
Like most of my friends I didn't really have a choice in the matter. I was born and raised
in my hometown. My parents work there and therefore I also live there. If I had a choice I
might move to a bigger city because mine is a little boring - there is a real lack of
What do you like about your hometown?
Well the main thing that I’m fond of would have to be the food. I am absolutely crazy
about the local cuisine – Ningbo sweet dumplings are a delicious delicacy that you can
only find in Ningbo. Furthermore I am also a huge fan of the public transport. The buses
in Ningbo are cheap and reliable so they are a very feasible way of transportation.
What do you think needs to be done to make your hometown a better place to live
In my opinion there is a huge problem with the population. There are way too many
people especially during the holidays. Everywhere you go there is a herd of people. A
good solution to this problem may be for the government to advertise other cities in
China that doesn't have so many people so Ningbo citizens would migrate there.
For you, what benefits are there to living in a big city?
Well the first thing that came into my mind would probably be the quality of education.
Schools in big cities are light years ahead of schools in rural areas. An example would be
that some countryside schools don't teach English as a second language, whereas in
cities, English is a compulsory subject. Another thing I would comment on would be the
shopping. The city has a large number shopping centers and department stores while on
the other hand towns may only have a few.
What facilities does your hometown have?
As far as I know Ningbo has many outstanding facilities but I would say that the hospital
would be the most useful. Ningbo is quite a developed city so obviously the medical
equipment in hospitals is technologically advanced. I guess another useful facility would
have to be the libraries which provide people with books of all genres to people of all
What sorts of buildings are there in your hometown?
Like most cities, mine is filled with 2 types of buildings, the first one is of course
apartment buildings where people live; most apartment buildings in my city are normally
over 6 floors. The other type would be commercial buildings such as offices buildings or
retail stores since people need to work and purchase goods.
What's the most attractive part of your hometown?
Well, I guess the theme parks would be quite attractive to most tourists. The theme parks
in my city have a variety of rides for people of all ages from roller coasters to merry-gorounds. Furthermore, I guess the food would also be quite appealing to many people,
Ningbo has a delicacy called sweet dumpling which is quite famous also the seafood is
quite fresh because my city is located near the sea.
What forms of transport do visitors use to come to your hometown?
Of course people would use a mixed variety of transportation when visiting my
hometown. However, I think the most commonly-used would potentially be buses. The
explanation for this could be they are cheap and reliable. As well as buses, I guess the
second most popular transport would be to drive a car which is really convenient if you
plan to drive to tourist attractions rather than join a tour group.
How could your hometown attract more visitors?
In my opinion, if the government invested more money on keeping the streets clean, it
would be a fantastic way to attract more people – people want to see a clean and
beautiful city, but mine is a little dirty in some places. Another possible approach may be
to do some advertising of the city on the television or the internet, making the city better
known to people.
Has the weather in your hometown changed much in recent years?
Absolutely! When I was a child the summers were definitely not as muggy as they are
now and the springs are relatively cooler. Where as in contrast, nowadays the
temperature in summer can get as high as 45 degrees Celsius and even during spring, it
is hot enough to cook an egg on the pavement. I guess this is due to global warming
which is an issue world wide
14. Housework - Part 1
What housework do you like to do? I not really fond of any housework but I guess if I
really had to choose it would have to be washing dishing. Ever since I was a baby I've
been into playing with water and washing dishes is a bit similar.
Do you think children should do housework? Absolutely! It's a wonderful way to get
them to be more independent which is actually a serious problem in china. Also it's a
form of exercise and in my opinion kids need to do more exercise.
If a child helps do some of the family housework, how do you think this affects the
child's development? I'm not too sure but if I would have to guess it may improve their
independence. One problem with kids these days is that they are too reliant on they
parents and it's not a good thing
Have there been any changes in the housework people do since the time when
your parents were your age? I guess the major change is that people tend to use more
electronic devices to help them with housework nowadays such as washing machines
and vacuum cleaners. Where as in contrast people in the past generally did everything
by manual labor.
15. Leisure - Part 1
When do you have free time?
Sadly, only during the holidays. I'm like a studying machine and all I do is either
homework or reading from a textbook. My parents really push me quite hard so I can only
have a few days break during the summer and winter holidays.
How do you like to relax?
Well, usually I read novels. My parents are kinda strict and if I play computer games or
go out with my friends they may complain so the only thing left to do is to read.
Do you have enough time for your hobby?
I wish I did! Most of time I'm either at home or at school and my hobby is playing tennis. I
only have the chance to play tennis with my friends about once a month - my parents are
What can people do to find more time for relaxing?
Well, one way I don't really recommend is to sleep less. When people aren't sleeping
they have more time to do other things. Also I guess people could study or work less so
they they have more time to do things they are fond of.
Do you prefer to do things in a family group or a group of friends?
In fact I prefer to go out with my parents, especially my mother cuz she will buy me things
that I want such as clothes. She also takes me to pricey restaurants. Going out with my
friends is also pretty fun but nothing compares with doing stuff with my mum.
Do you think it's important to spend your leisure time with your family?
Definitely! When you are socializing with your family you're bonding. This kind of
relationship in my opinion is the most important for a person cuz your friends can change
however family is forever so maintaining a good relationship with your family is extremely
16. Mobile Phones - Part 1
Do you have a mobile phone?Sure who doesn't? Actually I have two, I use one for
work and the other for contacting friends and family. I prefer to keep my two lives
Is your cell phone important for you in your daily life? Absolutely! If I forget my
mobile phone at home I would feel uncomfortable for the whole day. These days cell
phones are not just a device for calling a texting but they have many other useful
functions such as playing music and also making schedules.
How often do you use it? I would say I use it frequently, hundreds of times a day - even
before this test I used it to comment on my blog and after this test the first thing I will do
is call my friends to tell them about the test.
When did you get your first mobile phone? If I remember clearly it was on my 14th
birthday. My aunt bought me one for my birthday present and I have had a mobile phone
How did you feel when you got your first mobile phone? I was over the moon. So
happy that I over used it the first few days I had it. My parents had to scold me cuz I kept
calling people for no reason and it was a waste of money.
Have mobile phones developed (or changed) in the past few years? Well, there have
been some obvious changes. I guess the most obvious change is that most popular
phones are now smart phones with a touch screen whereas a couple of years ago most
phones had buttons. Also another major difference is that these days phone have a lot of
storage space - we can store photos and even videos on the phone while on the other
hand many years ago phone only had the storage space for about 200 text messages.
Is there anything you dislike about using cell phones? Well I guess. I'm not really
fond of the fact that they could be quite pricey. An iPhone costs about 5 thousand rmb so
the cost may be a little steep for high schoolers like me.
Do you often listen to music?
Well I guess it depends on the situation. When I'm studying I usually play some music
cuz it helps me to think and focus. However when I'm on my holidays I would probably do
something else, you know like go out with my mates or watch a movie.
How much time do you spend listening to music every day?
Well during the weekdays I have to commute to school by bus and it takes around an
hour to and from school so I usually listen to music during that time. Whereas if it's the
weekends I wouldn't normally listen to music cuz I may play computer games or go out
with my parents instead.
Have you ever been to a musical performance?
Absolutely! You know I'm a student and there is a Chinese band called May Day. I have
been to several of there concerts - at least 8. I'm quite crazy about their songs and the
lively environment there.
What musical instrument is most popular in China?
I'm not too sure about this but I would probably guess that it's the piano. Most of my
classmates have had piano classes and only a few know how to play other forms of
Which instrument would you prefer to study – the piano or the violin?
If I had the chance I would definitely choose to learn how to play the piano. I'm quite fond
of piano music and being a pianist is actually something I would like my child to achieve of course I'm not expecting my child to be Beethoven.
Do you think it's important to learn to play a Music musical instrument?
Definitely! Music is a kind of art that is admired by millions. People who learn how to play
a musical instrument also learn to have patience and better coordination which are 2
really useful things people should have.
Do you think schools should teach children how to play a musical instrument?
I'm afraid I don't. Learning how to play a musical instrument is not something you can
teach to a big class. A school normally couldn't afford to pay for 1 to 1 classes so
therefore I don't think it's reasonable to ask schools to teach students to play a musical
instrument. If students would like to learn a musical instrument they should do it outside
Is music an important subject at school in China?
I wish! But sadly schools tend to favor only the subjects that are tested in the college
entrance exam. Most schools do offer music classes to their students but there is only
one class a fortnight and there's no test so it’s quite meaningless.
How does music affect people?
Well I guess music affects people's mood. When a person is feeling sad listening to
songs about break ups or tragedies might make a person cry. While listening to rock or
hip hop might make a person excited cuz the songs are really upbeat.
Compare the music that young people like and the music that old people like.
In my opinion there are quite a few differences. Young people tend to favor fast and loud
music such as trance or hip hop music where as older people are more fond on slower
and softer music like jazz or classical music. Also youngsters prefer modern music like
rap while the elderly are more fond of classics such as the beetles.
18. Name - Part 1
Does your name have any special meaning?
Actually, I was named after a famous Chinese government official who did wonderful
things for the people so I guess my parents gave me this name hoping I would also do
good things for the people of this country.
Is there any special ceremony when babies are given their names?
Not that I know of. When I was born my parents just found my name from a dictionary nothing special. Of course, I cant speak of everyone in China.
How are Chinese names and Western names different?
There are a few differences. I guess the main one would have to be that the family name
of Chinese names are put at the front of the name however for western names it’s
located after the given name. Also Chinese people don’t put the mother’s maiden name
into the child’s name where as in contrast many westerners have middle names.
Do many people in China have a nickname?
Certainly, I do and in fact so do most of my friends. My nickname is big head. I guess the
reason why is cuz I have a really big head and sometimes my friends make fun of it.
Are there any big differences between people's names today in China and people's
names many years ago?
In the past people used to use a lot of numbers in their names because most people
were uneducated and couldn’t think of new names so the given name might just be a
figure. While on the other hand nowadays more and more people are using English
names as given names in Chinese such as Anna or Mike.
Would you like to change your name?
If I had the chance I would choose to change my name to a cooler one. Personally
speaking I think that my name is a little outdated and people may think I’m from the
countryside if they just hear my name. And I may even change my family name to my
mother's cuz I have a better relationship with my mum.
19. Parks - Part 1
Are there many parks or public gardens where you live (or, in your hometown)?
Actually, there are quite a few parks cuz I live in a rather big community. There are lots of
old people and they often visit the parks do to their morning exercises.
Do you often (or, ever) go to a park or a (public) garden?
To be honest I spend most of my time either at school or at home so I rarely visit the
park. Maybe when I'm older I could go to the park with my future girlfriend. In my opinion
parks are places for couples, children or old people.
What do you (like to) do when you go to a park or public garden?
I'm quite fond of kite flying so when I go to the park and if it's windy I would buy a kite they are quite cheap only about 5 RMB. Also I'm quite into sleeping so I may lie on the
grass and take a short nap.
When do other people go there?
I'm not too sure about this but I guess most people go to the park during the evening about 7pm which is after dinner time. Families would go for a walk and old ladies many
do some dancing at the park.
Do you think every city and town should have parks and public gardens?
Absolutely! Parks are a great place for a walk after dinner or exercise in the morning. The
trees make it a place with relatively fresher air and the it is a great place to hang out with
my friends. Without the park I wouldn't even know where to go to walk my dog.
20. Patience - Part 1
Is it important to be patient? Why?
Absolutely! If a person isn’t patient it usually means he or she is a little rash and that may
lead to trouble. Furthermore, most people tend to be fonder of patient people because
they are generally calmer and have nicer personalities.
Is it easy to be patient? Why?
In my opinion patience is something you’re born with or something that is taught at a
young age so I would have to say that it really depends. If a person is impulsive and or
acts rashly then being patient may be a really difficult task for them whereas in contrast
for a person who is calm and has a polite manner it may be a simple task to be patient.
How can be people be patient?
I believe the best way is take a deep breath and think happy thoughts. This way at least it
won’t get you angry. Another way that I find useful is when you are waiting for someone,
play a game on your phone so that you’re a little distracted and time will seem to fly by.
When do people need to be patient?
I guess the most important time may be when you’re waiting to be interviewed. For
example if an employer was an hour late and I got angry at him or her I’m sure it will
affect whether or not I would get the job. Also when waiting for a public transport –
getting upset really doesn’t change anything, you have to keep waiting anyway.
What do you do when waiting for the bus or something else?
Well, I normally have my headphones on and listen to some music. I often sing karaoke
with my friends so I need to make sure I know the lyrics so that I that I don’t look bad in
front of them. I may also call my girlfriend to pass the time however she’s sometimes
How many hours do you sleep everyday? Why?
To be honest I only sleep about 6 hours a day. I know it's not healthy but for some
reason I can never fall asleep before 12am and I normally have to wake up at about 6am
Is it necessary to sleep enough?
Definitely! If a person doesn't get get enough sleep they may fall a sleep on the job or
even collapse due to fatigue. I heard that a person's judgement and coordination may
also be affected.
Is taking a nap important?
Well I guess it depends. If it's for the elderly and babies then I believe it's quite important
cuz they need that boost of energy from resting in the middle of the day. However for
teenagers or middle aged people it isn't that important even if they don't take a nap they
could function normally.
Do old people sleep a lot?
Personally speaking they sleep about the same as a young person. It appears they sleep
more cuz they take naps but actually for most of them they only sleep about 5 or 6 hours
at night so it works out to be around the same.
Do you think staying up late is a good thing?
Well once or twice a month isn't that bad however if its every day it may strain the body
and cause all kinds of health problems. From my point of view it's not a very good idea to
stay up late too often.
Do you work or are you a student?
I'm currently a first year student at Ningbo university. My mayor is education which I
believe is a very meaningful subject. In the future I hope to give back to society by being
a responsible high school teacher.
Is that a popular subject in your country?
Actually I believe it is quite popular, but only for girls. Since the job most people will apply
for after studying education is teaching - girls in China tend to favor this career cuz it's
What are the most popular subjects in China?
In my opinion business is probably the first choice for most people. Nearly everyone
wants to be rich so they think that majoring in business would help them achieve this
goal. I guess the second most prevalent subject would be computing. You know many
students like to play computer games so there is no doubt that people are into that
Why did you choose that university?
To be honest the main reason is because my score for the college entrance exam was
not high enough to go to a better uni. Another factor I should mention is because Ningbo
is my hometown and the uni is it's quite close to now home - my parents might miss me if
they don't see me for a long period of time.
Do you have any recreational or entertainment activities at your school/university?
Absolutely! We have a wide range of clubs and events for student to spend there leisure
time. Sports clubs would be the most popular. I, myself am in the tennis club - lots of
fierce competition in that club. Apart from sports clubs we also often hold food festivals
where people setup stalls and we get to eat many tasty snacks- they're quite cheap too.
Do you think it's important to choose a subject you like?
This is a complicated question for most people but from my point of view I would have to
say yes. As the saying goes "you only live once". It's much more worthwhile to choose a
major you're interested in rather than choose a subject that you loathe. It could even lead
to a miserable life in the future.
What are your favourite classes/ courses/ subjects at university?
Children psychology is my all time favorite subject. As I have mentioned before, I would
like to be a teacher and this subject teaches us how children think. It's not only
meaningful but also very interesting. I want to be a mother one day so I think its
important to know why children do certain things or what not to say to children.
What are your future work plans?
In fact I would like to be a teacher. I just simply adore kids and I'm also quite good with
them too. I usually babysit my younger cousins and I'm a big fan of doing it.Further more
I would really like the opportunity to contribute to society. As a teacher I can prepare the
next generation of the country to be successful.
How will you get the job you want?
Well obviously I have to finish my masters degree abroad first. After that I'll come back to
China and take the test to be a qualified teacher. Once I get the teacher's qualification i'll
start applying for a job at high schools around my home.
Why are you taking the IELTS test?
Just like other people, I'm here, taking this test because I got a conditional offer from a
University abroad. Without a satisfactory score I cannot go to the university I applied for.
In addition to gaining knowledge, what other ways have you benefited from your
Well the most important thing is probably that I'm now more independent. I don't need my
parents to cook for me or wash my clothes anymore cuz I lived in the university
dormitory. What's more I have also gained many friends - even a girlfriend.
23. Television - Part 1
Do you like watching TV?
Sure who doesn't? I'm a fan of many television shows such as Chinese idol. I'm so keen
on watching TV that if you put me in front of a TV I could stay at home for a month
without going out.
What types of TV programmes do you (most) like to watch?
Well, I guess my favorite kind would have to be comedies. I enjoy a good laugh after a
day of hard work. I'm also a fan of cop dramas. I'm actually pretty good at finding out who
the killer is before the cops solve the crime.
Do you prefer reading a newspaper, (or reading a magazine) or watching TV?
Obviously it would have to be watching television. Reading can only allow a person to
imagine what is happening and to be honest I'm not good at imagination. So for me TV is
the better form of entertainment.
What types of programme do children in China like to watch?
Well, it's gotta be cartoons for sure. Many of my classmates are fond of and still watch
cartoons and it's probably the first thing they do when they get home from school. I guess
kids are also quite keen on cop dramas cuz there is a lot of action.
How do you feel about advertisements on TV?
Well I guess some of them could be interesting and funny however in my opinion they
are normally quite annoying. When a TV program gets to the best part and then an ad
break appears I sometimes feel like throwing a chair at the television.
24. forest Part 1
Do you like going into the forests?
Absolutely! I’m a huge fan of going to going to the forest. The environment there is just
superb. Every now and them I would visit a forest just because there isn’t that much
pollution so I could smell the fresh air. Also the animals there are also quite cute –
especially some colourful birds.
Do you think we should protect the forests?
In my opinion people should do what they can to protect the forest and other kinds of
woodlands. As you know global warming is becoming a huge problem these days and
trees are the only thing that can slow it down or even stop it. Further more without trees
many animals would lose their homes and may even become extinct.
Would you like to live in (near) the forests?
I’m afraid not. To be honest I’m not a big fan of the forest because there may be many
dangerous animals that live there such as poisonous snakes. Also there are many
insects and I’m actually quite afraid of bugs. The worst thing is that it is away from
civilization and if I call the police it may take them I few hours to arrive which is far too
Is it important to plant trees?
Personally speaking I reckon it’s essential to plant trees. First of all they provide animals
with homes and shelter. Secondly we are cutting them down for paper and if we don't
replant the trees one day we may run out. And ultimately Earth has a problem with global
warming and only planting trees can solve this problem.
How can we protect the forests?
Nothing can be done without the help of the government. The only way we can protect
trees or forests is if the government makes a place protected. People who live near the
forest can then also help by calling the cops if they see any suspicious activity around the
What kinds of trees do you like?
Well I'm quite keen on eating cherries so I guess the cherry tree would have to be my
favorite type of tree - I wish I had one in my backyard. I'm also fond of oak trees cuz the
furniture made of oak are quite durable and look quite stylish.