CONTENTS

Sample answers

Sample questions and answers  from speaking part 1, 2 and  3

Key vocabulary

Words and terms frequently used  when talking about environment

Word formation

Learn how to use  wide variety of parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives

Collocations

Find out groups of words that usually used together by native speakers

Useful resources

References to teaching and authentic materials related to this topic: IELTS blogs, podcasts, videos and articles

Downloads

Download this article in PDF. Download ANKI flashcards and take advantage of spaced repetition method

 

 

ENVIRONMENT vocabulary topic for IELTS SPEAKING
Mindmap: ENVIRONMENT topic for IELTS SPEAKING

 

 

Environment: Sample questions and answers for IELTS speaking exam

 

Part 1

  1. Which country are you from?

 

– I am from the Philippines, an archipelagic country that is comprised by many islands. The country has 7,107 islands and that is why people who live there have a diverse set of culture and languages.

 

  1. Where is this country located?

 

– The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia situated in the Western Pacific Ocean.

 

  1. Which part of the country do most people live in?

 

-I The bulk of the country’s population is in Metro Manila, a region which houses the primary business centers and the seat of government.

 

  1. What are the main industries in your country?

 

-The Philippines is traditionally an agricultural country, but the economy has been transitioning into industries that emphasizes on services and manufacturing.

 

5. What kind of weather do you dislike?

 

-I do not like the extreme heat of summer, but do you know what I disliked more? A humid weather; at least in the summer you could sweat off the heat, but in a humid environment, the effectiveness of sweating in cooling the body is reduced by reducing the rate of evaporation of moisture from the skin.

6. Would you prefer to live in a hot or cold country?

 

-I was born in a tropical country, my body had adapted to it. Well, at least in a hot country, I could enjoy eating ice cream.

 

7. What is the best/worst weather for traveling in?

 

-In my opinion, the best weather to travel is in a slight rainy season. Why? Because it is the off season, less traffic jam, lower prices for tickets and food and you don’t have to compete with other tourists in terms of time by falling in line on order to enjoy a tourist site.

The worst weather to travel in is of course the typhoon season. Because it is safe to stay indoors and to avoid flooded areas, establishments are closed and flights get cancelled.

 

Part 2

Describe an environmental problem that has occurred in your country. You should say:

 

  • The cause of the problem
  • What effect it has had on your country
  • The steps, if any, that have been taken to solve this
  • Explain why you think this problem is so important to solve.

If there is an environmental problem that I would like to talk about, it would be the excessive pollution of waterways, rivers and canals. It was caused by the irresponsible disposal of wastes by the factories, industries and the people who live near the bodies of water.

 

The pollution of the rivers was the effect of prolonged abuse and neglect. The rivers were considered biologically dead, which means no fish left to catch and less food to eat. Boats could not travel because of the density of the debris of floating plastic wastes; the rivers emit a foul stench and the waters are toxic which house a number of bacteria that could cause different diseases.

 

In the 90’s, the government started to create a rehabilitation program for the rivers and waterways, unfortunately they failed to displace the main polluters-the illegal settlers near the river, simply because they have their “human rights”.

 

The problem is important to solve simply because water is life. It is the circulatory system of the world, water enabled life forms to survive and we need other life forms in order to survive.

 

Part 3

  1. Do you think it is the responsibility of governments alone to protect the environment?

 

Of course not! I think it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the environment. Sure, the government has the power to enact laws and craft policies but how good is the law if nobody respects it.

We simply could not go on with our lives throwing our wastes irresponsibly and expect the government to just clean it up. There is nothing left to clean up in the first place if only we dispose things properly, it wastes both time and resources.

 

  1. What measures can individuals take to protect the environment?

 

There are a lot of ways on how individuals can do to protect the environment some of them are:

  • Turn off appliances when you are not using them.
  • Recycle and segregate your biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste or better yet avoid creating trash by avoiding disposable products.
  • Minimize your water and electricity consumption.
  • Use a fuel-efficient car or if you are traveling in short distances, take a walk or ride a bicycle.

These are just small things we can do to change our lifestyles, imagine millions of other people doing the same thing. It can gradually make a difference.



  1. Do you think large companies and business organizations should be more environmentally friendly? Why? How?

 

Development is good; sometimes it is a necessity to survive in today’s world. Businesses need profit, but they should not do so at the expense of the environment. Sustainable development is the key, the needs of the present has to be met without compromising the ability of future generations to sustain life in this planet.

 

Key vocabulary: Definitions and examples

 

 


 

 WORD

 

DEFINITION

 

EXAMPLE


 

 

to recycle

to use objects or matrerials again after processing by converting waste into reusable material

 

It is possible to recycle cardboard into lower grade materials, such as paper


 

to  contaminate

to make something poisonous as a result of adding waste or chemical

 

The incentives strongly encourage oil companies to not contaminate the water supply

 


 

to endanger

put (someone or something) at risk or in danger

 

It is a criminal offence to  endanger the lives of the public by allowing the introduction of a contaminate into the mains supply.


 

air pollution

bad air quality that usually caused be harmful gases

 

According to a recent study, air pollution in Russia causes the death of approximately 4000 citizens per day or 1.6 million people per year.

 


 

soil pollution

the presence of toxic chemicals or man made waste in soil

 

Plastics do contribute to soil pollution.

 


 

water pollution

the presence of harmful materials in water, such as dissolved metals, waste from farms

 

Water pollution causes marine life to die.

 


 

to protect

keep safe from harm or injury

 

For more than 15 years, the nonprofit volunteer-run center has worked to educate the community to protect wildlife and their habitats.

 

 


 

conservation

The protection of a natural resource, usually by planned management, to prevent its depletion or destruction

 

I’ve decided to dedicate the rest of my life to environmental conservation.

 


 

toxic waste

waste products that are hazardous to the environment, people, animals

 

All of the military activity has left it a toxic waste hazard

 


 

greenhouse gas

a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by  trapping heat above the Earth

 

Here is a list of habits each one of us can form to help reduce greenhouse gas missions.

 


 

environmentalist

a person whose lifestyle, political etc choices are designed to minimise human impact on the natural environment

Environmentalists often encourage us to buy our foods from local sources. They say it is good for the environment

 


 

 

Word Formation

 

 


 

WORD

PART OF SPEECH

EXAMPLE


 

depletion

noun 

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.

 

to deplete

verb

The clearance of trees and vegetation depletes the soil , resulting in decreasing agricultural yields .

 


 

contamination

noun

There is no danger of long-term contamination.

 

to contaminate

verb

The incentives strongly encourage oil companies to not contaminate the water supply

 

contaminated

adjective

He is ill as a result of eating contaminated food


 

 

endangered

adjective

There are a few different ways that helping endangered species can be profitable

 

to endanger

verb

There are a few different ways that helping endangered species can be profitable


 

to recycle

verb

It is possible to recycle cardboard into lower grade materials, such as paper

 

recycling

noun

Recycling is not only good for environment but it also creates so many jobs across many levels

 

recyclable

adjective

Most businesses generate more  recyclable waste then residual waste.

 


 

emission

noun

Drastic carbon emission reductions would undoubtedly be better for the atmosphere and climate

 

to emit

verb

The new car emits less than 160g/km CO2

 


 

degradation

noun

More and more farmers move to the city as deforestation and agricultural  degradation become ever more widespread .

 

to degrade

verb

Freshwater ecosystems have already been severely  degraded.

 

biodegradable

adjective

Most plastic is not biodegradable.

 

degradable

adjective

Even the  degradable plastics may break into fragments that litter the soil.


 

pollution

noun

Water pollution causes marine life to die.

 

pollute

verb

Intensive use of pesticides and fertilisers seriously  pollutes water, soil and air0

polluted

adjective 

People are becoming more and more aware of the detrimental effects of living in heavily polluted areas


 

conservation

noun

Energy conservation is important for many reasons

 

conserve

verb

Our aim is  to minimise energy consumption and  conserve natural resources.


 

disposal

noun

The creditors declined the  offer, preferring to realize the estate themselves. 

to dispose

verb

The best way to dispose of the cell phone battery is to recycle it

 

disposable

adjective

Disposable razor blades get dull from water corrosion.


 

hazard

noun

One of the most widespread natural  hazards is flooding.

 

hazardous

adjective

Hazardous waste disposal can be a complicated process.


 

threat

noun

This could save the world from one of its biggest environmental threats.

 

to threaten

adjective

Always look for hazards that threaten the environment.


 

sustainability

noun

Energy conservation is important for many reasons.

 

sustainable

adjective

Cities offer a far more sustainable lifestyle than suburban or rural areas.


 

Collocations

 


 COLLOCATION

EXAMPLE

 


 

ozone layer

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

toxic waste

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

endangered species

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

genetically modified

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

breeding in captivity

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

organic farming

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

fossil fuels

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

solar power

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

natural resources

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

wildlife conservation

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

global warming

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

conservation program

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

to get serious about climate change

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

genetic engineering

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

to get serious about climate change

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

to observe natural behaviour

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

animal rights activists

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

environmentally friendly

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

sustainable energy sources

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

fossil fuels

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 

carbon emissions

The combined effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental degradation will cause great economic losses.


 


 

easily

completely

potentially

 

adverb+

recyclable


 

air

environmental

marine

water

industrial

nuclear

nitrate

noise

vehicle

soil

adjective+

pollution

 


 

cause

avoid

prevent

combat

control

verb+

pollution


 

bring (in)

earn

generate

make

realize

reap

verb+

profit


 

fight

tackle

cut

limit

minimize

reduce

monitor

verb+

pollution


 

level

control

prevention

reduction

standards

pollution+noun

pollution


 

a risk of pollution

a source of pollution

phrase

pollution


 

preserve

protect

safeguard

save

damage

harm

pollute

verb+

environment


 

policy

protection

issues

environment+noun

environment


 

conservation of the environment

protection of the environment

damage to the environment

harmful to the environment

phrase

environment


 

pollution of the environment

have an impact on environment

phrase

environment


 

dangerous

harmful

hazardous

poisonous

toxic

 adjective+

waste


 

non-toxic

recyclable

industrial

domestic

household

nuclear

 adjective+

waste


 

produce

dispose of

dump

get rid of

bury

process

 verb+

waste


 

recycle

reprocess deal with

handle

manage

cut down on

reduce

 adjective+

waste


 

disposal

processing

recycling

reprocessing

treatment

management

minimization

reduction

 waste+noun

waste

 


 

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