Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Sometimes on IELTS Speaking Part 3 you might get a question about art.

We know that answering questions about art can be one of the dreaded topics for students on the IELTS, especially if you are not used to discussing this topic in your daily life.

Pay attention to these sample answers in today’s episode.

This is what you can do when you have a solid study plan like the one in our 3 Keys IELTS course.


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The sample answer

Q: What is a traditional art form in your country?

A: Okay, this is interesting actually because I just heard a fascinating episode of Radiolab, one of my favorite podcasts, that was talking about traditional dancing and dancing is an art form, of course.

So at one point in my country’s history there was a motion in the government to make a square dancing the traditional American dance and there was a lot of pushback on this proposition because people thought it was only for one part of the population.

It did not represent the diverse population that my country houses. So people basically thought it was too much about the white immigrants, right? Because people thought it was based on Irish folk dancing. Actually there was a researcher and he found out that this dance was not just based on traditional dances that came over from Europe, but it also had elements of the African American culture in it. And not only that, but it could also incorporate different elements of Native American dancing.

So these are all the various traditions that exist in my country. And of course we have a lot of art forms from all the diverse heritage. But yeah, so square dancing was something I learned a lot about recently.

The answer strategy

I answered by recalling a recent episode I listened to of the show Radiolab.

They talked about the history of a traditional dance in my country, square dancing.

The context around this art form is contentious, as many think it does not represent the diverse cultures in the U.S., because it has been mostly for white people.

However, according to a researcher they interviewed on the show, it actually also encompasses very old African American history as well, such as the call and response characteristic of the dance.

I could have talked for a long time about this because I just listened to the episode, but I tried to bring it back to the question by mentioning other traditions in the States as well, such as the Native American elements found in dance.

More practice!

Here’s another IELTS Part 3 Speaking question you can practice on your own:

Q: What makes a good painting?

If I were answering this question, I may first say that it is impossible to tick off standard requirements for a ‘good painting,’ as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say.

This means that art is subjective, and whether or not it is liked is up to the person viewing it, how it resonates with their personal emotions and experiences.

For instance, a very famous painter from Portland, Mark Rothko, is widely said to be one of the most talented modern artists. However, to be candid, his work does not speak to me, and I do not enjoy it!

I prefer the impressionist style of painting, such as those by Edgar Degas.

Before you practice answering more IELTS questions about art, check out my other video, 8+ Vocabulary to Describe a Work of Art, also on this channel.

In our online IELTS course, 3 Keys IELTS, we give you all the strategies and practice you need to score highly on all parts of the IELTS exam with a guaranteed score increase.

What questions do you have about today’s sample answer?

Let us know in the comments below.

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