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Describe an unusual building you have visited. v. 1

Describe an unusual building you have visited. You should say: where it is how it looks like why you went there and explain why you think it was unusual. Model Answer 1: Buildings are strange things, they are easy to take for granted if they are the ones you live near to and pass by every day, but some buildings are really remarkable, and not always for outwardly obvious reasons. It would be easy to pick an ‘unusual’ building that has an extraordinary external architecture, and of course, they can be remarkable, impressive and on occasion beautiful. However, the building I want to talk about is certainly unusual, unique even, but you wouldn’t necessarily know this unless you went inside. So I’ll tell you where it is and what it looks like, why I went there, and explain what it is that makes it so rare. The building is in Sheffield where I live. It is a large tower block and as well as being the second tallest building in the city I am told it is the tallest university building in the UK. It is known as 'The Arts Tower', because those are the subjects that were originally taught inside its four walls. Degrees like modern languages, philosophy and other Humanities disciplines. It is a classic 60’s tower, twenty stories high and constructed of concrete and glass. Honestly, it’s not particularly attractive - not in my eyes anyway, though it is typical of that era in architectural terms. Even so, it is something of a local landmark, because it is so high you can see it from almost anywhere in the city. It has so many glass windows that in certain lights the building seems to change colour as they reflect the light of the skies outside. It can look like burnished gold in sunset, or in the dark, when the internal lights are on, it is lit up like a Christmas Tree. I wouldn’t call it beautiful, but it is striking. However, these factors, ‘though ‘interesting’, aren’t what make the building so unusual. The reason I made a special visit to see inside it, is because of what lies within… The building was constructed with a really rare and unusual elevator. It’s called a Paternoster Lift, and before I moved to Sheffield I’d never even heard of one. They are a little tricky to describe, but I’ll have a go! Essentially, a paternoster lift is a passenger elevator which consists of a chain of open compartments (each usually designed for two persons) that move slowly in a loop up and down inside a building without stopping. Passengers can step on or off at any floor they like, but the lift just keeps moving so they have to be quick! There are no sliding doors to shut you in the elevator, you just step in the opening and stand in it until it reaches the floor you want, when you carefully step out as the chain of ‘boxes’ just carries on in slow but continuous motion. The design is pretty ancient, going back to the 1880s, so at the time they were first created they must have seemed extraordinarily innovative, but now the lift is unusual because it is such historic engineering. Very few of the lifts survive because of safety concerns - the continuous motion and open ‘doors’ means people can fall going in and out, and a few years ago someone was actually killed using one getting caught in the mechanism somehow as the compartment they were in transitioned from going up one side to going down in the loop the other at the top of the lift. Sheffield, however, has kept its paternoster lift and kept it in working order too. I think it might be the largest one in the world, at 38 separate compartments (or maybe they should be called carriages), but it is definitely the largest in the UK. I made a special visit to the building to try out the lift with a friend. In such a technological age where we take things like escalators – even flying for granted, it was a strangely unsettling experience. It actually took a little while to pluck up the courage to step into the moving platform as it passes by as you have to time your entrance quite carefully. Similarly, you need to judge it carefully getting off, too slow and there isn’t time to jump before you are taken off to the next floor, too fast and you might bump your head as the opening isn’t quite clear. There is a definite knack to it! It was like travelling back in time, you could imagine people in Victorian times in England being astonished at such extraordinary technology, it is impressive now – it must have been mind-blowing then! So I think this building is unusual because it contains a piece of living history. A working paternoster lift that is possibly unique in size, and certainly extremely rare. The building also has a couple of conventional elevators now, as well as stairs for people to use. However, the paternoster lift is still there, turning slowly, and it is quite fun to have a ride, like travelling back in time on an ancient fairground ride! The building is also a rather literal reminder that you shouldn’t make assumptions only by what is most obvious – you just wouldn’t know from the unpromising exterior of the Arts Tower what lies within! Sometimes if you look beneath the surface a little, very remarkable things emerge. Hence the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover! ’ [ Written by - Lucy Marris: Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]

IELTS speaking Describe an unusual building you have visited. v.1

Describe
an
unusual
building
you have visited. You should say: where it is how it
looks
like why you went there and
explain
why you
think
it was
unusual
. Model Answer
1: Buildings
are strange things, they are easy to take for granted if they are the ones you
live
near to and pass by every day,
but
some
buildings
are
really
remarkable, and not always for
outwardly
obvious reasons. It would be easy to pick an
‘unusual’
building
that has an extraordinary external architecture, and
of course
, they can be remarkable, impressive and on occasion
beautiful
.
However
, the
building
I want to talk about is
certainly
unusual
, unique even,
but
you wouldn’t
necessarily
know this unless you went
inside
.
So
I’ll
tell
you where it is and what it
looks
like, why I went there, and
explain
what it is that
makes
it
so
rare. The
building
is in Sheffield where I
live
. It is a large tower block and
as well
as being the second tallest
building
in the city I am
told
it is the tallest university
building
in the UK. It
is known
as 'The Arts Tower',
because
those are the subjects that were
originally
taught
inside
its four walls. Degrees like modern languages, philosophy and other Humanities disciplines. It is a classic
60’s
tower, twenty stories high and constructed of concrete and glass.
Honestly
, it’s not
particularly
attractive
-
not in my eyes anyway, though it is typical of that era in architectural terms. Even
so
, it is something of a local landmark,
because
it is
so
high you can
see
it from almost anywhere in the city. It has
so
many
glass windows that in certain lights the
building
seems to
change
colour
as they reflect the light of the skies outside. It can
look
like burnished gold in sunset, or in the dark, when the internal lights are on, it is lit up like a Christmas Tree. I wouldn’t call it
beautiful
,
but
it is striking.
However
, these factors, ‘though ‘interesting’, aren’t what
make
the
building
so
unusual
. The reason I made a special visit to
see
inside
it, is
because
of what lies within… The
building
was constructed
with a
really
rare and
unusual
elevator
. It’s called a Paternoster Lift, and
before
I
moved
to Sheffield I’d never even heard of one. They are a
little
tricky to
describe
,
but
I’ll have a go!
Essentially
, a paternoster lift is a passenger
elevator
which consists of a chain of open compartments (each
usually
designed for two persons) that
move
slowly
in a loop up and down
inside
a
building
without stopping. Passengers can
step
on or off at any floor they like,
but
the lift
just
keeps
moving
so
they
have to
be quick! There are no sliding doors to shut you in the
elevator
, you
just
step
in the opening and stand in it until it reaches the floor you want, when you
carefully
step
out as the chain of ‘boxes’
just
carries on in slow
but
continuous motion. The design is pretty ancient, going back to the 1880s,
so
at the
time
they were
first
created they
must
have seemed
extraordinarily
innovative,
but
now
the lift is
unusual
because
it is such historic engineering.
Very
few of the lifts survive
because
of safety concerns
-
the continuous motion and open ‘doors’ means
people
can fall going in and out, and a few years ago someone was actually killed using one getting caught in the mechanism somehow as the compartment they were in transitioned from going up one side to going down in the loop the other at the top of the lift. Sheffield,
however
, has
kept
its paternoster lift and
kept
it in working order too. I
think
it might be the largest one in the world, at 38 separate compartments (or maybe they should
be called
carriages),
but
it is definitely the largest in the UK. I made a special visit to the
building
to try out the lift with a friend. In such a technological age where we take things like escalators
even flying for granted, it was a
strangely
unsettling experience. It actually took a
little
while to pluck up the courage to
step
into the moving platform as it passes by as you
have to
time
your entrance quite
carefully
.
Similarly
, you need to judge it
carefully
getting off, too slow and there isn’t
time
to jump
before
you
are taken
off to the
next
floor, too
fast
and you might bump your head as the opening isn’t quite
clear
. There is a
definite
knack to it! It was like travelling back in
time
, you could imagine
people
in Victorian
times
in England
being astonished
at such extraordinary technology, it is impressive
now
it
must
have been mind-blowing then!
So
I
think
this
building
is
unusual
because
it contains a piece of living history. A working paternoster lift
that is
possibly
unique in size
, and
certainly
extremely
rare. The
building
also
has a couple of conventional
elevators
now
,
as well
as stairs for
people
to
use
.
However
, the paternoster lift is
still
there, turning
slowly
, and it is quite fun to have a ride, like travelling back in
time
on an ancient fairground ride! The
building
is
also
a
rather
literal reminder that you shouldn’t
make
assumptions
only
by what is most obvious
you
just
wouldn’t know from the unpromising exterior of the Arts Tower what lies within!
Sometimes
if you
look
beneath the surface a
little
,
very
remarkable things emerge.
Hence
the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover! ’
[
Written by
-
Lucy
Marris
: Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam)
]
18Linking words, meeting the goal of 7 or more
46Repeated words, meeting the goal of 3 or fewer
14Mistakes
The joy of knowing a foreign language is inexpressible. I find it really difficult to express such joy in my mother tongue.
Munia Khan
Speaking
2 paragraphs
950 words
5.5
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Coherence and Cohesion: 5.5
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  • ?
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  • Use cohesive linking words accurately and appropriately
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    Vary your linking phrases using synonyms
Lexical Resources: 5.0
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Task Achievement: 5.0
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    Present relevant ideas
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