Theme 12: People – Personality and Character

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: How would you describe yourself?
Paula: Everyone tells me I take after my mum as I’m quite laid-back … I think I’m good company but you should ask my friends if they agree …

Examiner: In which ways are you similar to your friends?
Manuel: I seem to be attracted to introverts … not people who are painfully shy but most of my friends are a little reserved … and I think that’s what I’m like …

Examiner: Are you similar or different to your brother(s)/sister(s)?
Mira: I think my brother and I are very similar … I’d say we’re fun-loving and tend to be a bit extroverted … my brother is certainly the life and soul of the party … I’m not sure that applies to me …

Part 2-style task

Describe a teacher you once had who you enjoyed being taught by. You should say

·        who this person was

·        when they were your teacher

·        which subject they taught you

and describe what it was about their character that you liked.

Carolina:  I’d like to describe my English teacher from school … Miss Thomas … this was a few years ago now and she was my teacher at a time when I was getting a little bored with being at school … unlike some of the other teachers Miss Thomas never lost her temper … she was very calm and easy-going … she was also very broad-minded … we were able to ask her questions about lots of subjects that some other teachers would refuse to discuss which made us respect her even more … she had a great sense of humour too … she’d laugh at our jokes as well as making us laugh … and she would also bend over backwards to help us with our work … she always put us first and often stayed around at the end of class to talk with anyone who needed help … apparently she was highly respected within her field but you would never know as she was the type that hid her light under a bushel … she was very modest and self-effacing … so yes … Miss Thomas was a teacher I have fond memories of …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner:  Which personal qualities do you think we most want to pass on to our children?
Martin: I certainly would want my children to be self-confident and self-assured … I really believe that people who feel good about themselves are in a good position to face what life has to offer them … and I’d hope they wouldn’t be self-centred … but remembered to think about others …

Examiner: Which characteristics do you think are the least appealing in a person?
Marianne: Well … people who are very narrow-minded are difficult to get on with … it’s nice when someone is open to other people’s opinion and willing to think about their own views … and people who are two-faced can be a little irritating … relationships are built on trust and without honesty there’s not much left …

Examiner: Which personality types do you think are less likely to suffer from stress or anxiety?
Sol: Probably people who are thick-skinned … who don’t let people or problems affect them too much … and if you are fair-minded you’ ll be less likely to overreact to situations or be quick-tempered


·        to be the life and soul of the party: a fun person, someone who is the centre of activity

·        to bend over backwards: to try very hard to help someone

·        broad-minded: prepared to accept other views or behaviours

·        easy-going: relaxed and not easily worried about anything

·        extrovert: an energetic person who likes the company of others

·        fair-minded: to treat people equally

·        fun-loving: to enjoy having fun

·        to hide one’s light under a bushel: to hide one’s talents and skills

·        good company: enjoyable to socialise with

·        good sense of humour: the ability to understand what is funny

·        introvert: someone who is shy

·        laid-back: see ‘easy-going’

·        to lose one’s temper: to suddenly become angry

·        narrow minded: opposite of ‘broad-minded’ (see above)

·        painfully shy: very shy

·        to put others first: to think of others before yourself

·        quick-tempered: to become angry quickly

·        reserved: shy

·        self-assured: confident

·        self-centred: thinks only of oneself

·        self-confident: believes in one’s own ability or knowledge

·        self-effacing: to not try to get the attention of others (especially in terms of hiding one’s skills or abilities)

·        to take after: to be like (often another member of the family)

·        thick-skinned:  not easily affected by criticism

·        trustworthy: can be trusted

two-faced: not honest or sincere. Will say one thing to someone to their face and another when they are not present.