Arrival of the examiner, a small, heavily sun-tanned middle-aged man with a slightly bald head. He gave me a small smile as he went into the test-room and closed the door.
I was beckoned into the room. On sitting down, I handed him my ID card and watched him check the information. After that, he set a small mp3 recorder on the desk between us and started the interview. First, he stated the place and date of the interview and began asking me questions.
Q: What’s your full name?
A: My name is Zhong Wanting and you can also call me Helen.
Q: OK, Helen, where are you from?
A: My hometown is Chengdu, Sichuan, but I’ve stayed in Guangzhou, for more than 12 years.
Q: Can you tell me what you do? Do you work or do you study?
A: I’m a junior high school student, as you can see, and I’m now studying in Grade 9 in Guangdong Experimental Middle School.
Q: What do you study at school?
A: The middle school curriculum. We study a range of different subjects, for example, the 6 main subjects as we like to call them---- Chinese, maths, English, chemistry, physics and politics. Apart from these, we also have P.E. and history. Now we are in Grade 9, which is the tensest and busiest year in junior high school, as we have to prepare for the senior high school entrance examinations. This means that we have to drop some of the courses we have learnt in Grade 7 and 8, such as biology and geography.
Q: Of these parts that you study, which one do you like best?
A: I like chemistry the most, even though we only started it this term, meaning that we have studied it for only 4 months. I really like the various reactions, and how matter changes. The experiments are so amazing. I just love doing things in the chemistry laboratory.
Q: What kinds of clothes do people like to buy?
A: Well, teenagers like to choose clothes that are in, that are trendy, for teens like fashion, especially when they are with their peers. And the elder generation, the adults, tend to buy clothes that are more comfortable to wear and more economic. So, I think the different ways in which young people and older adults choose apparel reflect their different views about fashion, and value.
Q: Can you tell me something about your grandparents?
A: My mother’s father passed away when I was only 2 years old, which means that I do not have a clear, distinct memory of him, but I have seen his picture, and I have heard stories about him from my mother, about how he worked as a pilot in the Chinese army. Grandmother doesn’t live with us now, but we usually phone her on special occasions. On my father’s side, his mother----my grandma, -----passed away when I was in primary school. She died of cancer of the intestines. I miss her very much because she had always been kind to me. My grandfather lives in Chengdu now with my aunt, uncle and cousins as a retired worker. When I was a little child, I used to live with my grandparents (my father’s parents). They took good care of me and were very fond of me because I’m the only girl in my family in my generation.
Q: What roles do grandparents (old people) play in Chinese families?
A: Grandparents are the elders in a family, and are the most respectable figures. They carry with them history and tradition, the deep marks of past years and the heavy burdens of their times. The grandparents of our generation grew up in the darkest times of war and bloodshed and the hardest times of reconstruction after the birth of a new country, and they have a lot of stories from those times to tell their offspring. Grandparents are also more traditional, and usually, it is them who accompany children and teach them how to behave and tell them about the traditional Chinese virtues.
Part 2 Cue Card
[ Talk about a shopping center you are familiar with
l Where the shopping center is
l What you can buy
l How often you go there