Read my full answer to the ‘proud’ task below. If you have time, note down the good words and phrases that you find.
Describe something you did that made you feel proud of yourself.
You should say
- what you did
- when you did it
- why you felt proud of what you had done
- and explain how you felt when this happened.
One of my proudest achievements was completing my undergraduate degree at the university of …… (name). The key moment that I remember was when I received my final exam results; I was delighted to have passed with better scores than I expected.
I graduated from university in …… (year). As far as I recall, we received our final exam results in May and the graduation ceremony was in July. Our exam scores for individual course modules were posted on the noticeboard in the corridor of the university department, and I remember getting into the lift in the department one morning, knowing that I would soon see my results.
The particular moment when I really felt overjoyed and proud of what I had achieved was when I saw my exam results on the department noticeboard. This was the precise point in time when I realised that I had passed and that my hard work had paid off. I was proud because I had overcome some setbacks earlier in the course, and I had proved to myself that I could achieve my goals.
As I approached the department noticeboard I felt really nervous but also excited; I knew that the moment of truth was just seconds away. And when I saw my final exam results I was surprised, thrilled and relieved all at the same time. I didn’t shout out with joy, but I think I probably clenched my fist and said “yes” to myself. I certainly remember walking back down the corridor with a spring in my step, feeling elated and knowing that four years of study were finally over.
December 09, 2016
If you’re preparing ideas for a question or topic area for part 2 of the speaking test, I recommend starting with one or two key words or ideas. In my video lessons I call these key ideas “themes”.
When you have a theme, you can then search for good vocabulary related to that theme. Here are two resources that will help you:
- A thesaurus will give you synonyms and similar words. I use the thesaurus on my computer, but you’ll easily find one online if your computer doesn’t have a built-in dictionary.
- The Oxford Collocation Dictionary will show you words that are often used together with your chosen word; so you’ll be be able to use your words correctly in longer phrases.
Let’s use the ‘proud’ topic in this lesson as an example.
First, I’ll choose two “theme” words: proud and achievement.
From my thesaurus, here are some other words to describe being ‘proud’:
And from the collocation dictionary, some phrases with the word ‘achievement’:
- a great / major / outstanding / remarkable / tremendous achievement
- my proudest achievement
- a feeling of achievement
- a sense of achievement
This is just the beginning of my ‘theme preparation’, but I’m already starting to gather some nice vocabulary for my description. In next Friday’s lesson, I’ll show you how I include these ideas in a full answer.