IELTS Speaking Part 2


Describe a historic building that you have visited
You should say:

what it was  
where it was
And explain what features of the building you found interesting.  

Describe an educational trip you went on.
You should say:

where the place was  
what you did at this place    
who you went there with  
And explain what you learned on that trip. 


Today, I am going to share with you one of my favorite historic buildings that I have visited, that is The Temple of Literature or “Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam” in Vietnamese.

Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam – located to the south of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – is now part of Hanoi City. This was the first university in Vietnam, which was built in 1070 in King Ly Thanh Tong’s reign. The Temple was dedicated to Confucius and it was built to educate Vietnam’s bureaucrats, nobles, royalty and other members of the elite.

Like many other temples, The Temple of Literature was built in a vast area with many pavilions, halls, statues, yards…. However, one of the best features that I liked most is the Turtle Steles with the names of those successful at the royal exams. I remembered when I was a senior in high school, I would come here to pray for luck for my university entrance exam. This tradition is very popular among Hanoian students and pupils. In addition, during the Tet holiday, we can come here to ask for a pair of “Hán” wishes from calligraphists to bring home as a lucky charm or gift.


citadel: [noun] a castle on high ground in or near a city, where people could go when the city was attacked.
Example: The enemy attacked the city, but all the people were safe inside the citadel.

reign: [noun] the period during which an emperor, queen or king is the ruler of a country.
Example: The reign of the emperor Ly Thanh Tong lasted for 18 years.

dedicate: [verb] to hold a ceremony to say that a building is special to the memory of a particular person or people.
Example: A statue was dedicated to those who died in the war.

bureaucrats: [noun] officials working in an organization or government department.
Example: Some people think that their lives are regulated too strictly by bureaucrats.

the elite: [noun] a small group of people who are powerful in a society and have a lot of influence.
Example: In some countries, only the elite can afford to send their children to university.

pavilions: [noun] buildings to hold events, designed to be beautiful.
Example: In the park, there is a beautiful pavilion, in which concerts and exhibitions are held.

pray: [verb] to speak to God, especially to give thanks or to ask for help.
Example: We prayed that she would recover from her illness.

calligraphists: [noun] people who are skilled at writing beautifully, using a special pen or brush.
Example: In the past, many calligraphists were monks, who copied texts using beautiful handwriting.

charm: [noun] a small object worn on a chain or as a bracelet, to bring good luck.
Example: In British tradition, a charm of a rabbit’s foot was worn on a chain around the neck of a person to bring good luck.

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