Speaking part 2: Talk about a situation where you had to communicate in a foreign language for the first time

Describe a situation where you had to communicate in a foreign language for the first time. Please say

  • When and where did it happen?
  • What was the situation?
  • How did it make you feel?

Sample response

Two years ago I visited France for the first time as an exchange student. At that time, I didn’t speak French. Actually, English was the only foreign language that I could speak. However, when I received this opportunity to visit France, I decided to learn some French. I didn’t want to encounter any problems after arriving in English. So I visited some French learning websites and forums and learned some common words and phrases. I thought that would be enough. Actually, I was hoping that I would be able to get by with just English. I was right to some extent. I didn’t experience any major problems after arriving in France. I encountered many people who spoke English during my stay in France. But once I fell ill and had to consult a doctor. I had stomach pain because of some food poisoning. Unfortunately, the doctor that I consulted couldn’t speak English. I had a tough time explaining my problems in French. Actually, I had to resort to gesticulation. I don’t know if it was my gestures or words that helped him understand me. Anyway, he prescribed some tablets, but before taking them I checked online to ensure that they were indeed meant for treating stomach ailments. This experience didn’t make me feel any good. I felt embarrassed and confused, but it helped my resolve to learn French. Today, I can understand and speak French reasonably well.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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