Speaking, Part 1: Maps & Directions 🗺

Do you use maps?

I have a terrible sense of direction and I’m always getting lost! I try to use the map on my smartphone to locate myself and find my way but even then I’m not always able to read it. When I’m driving somewhere that I’ve never been before I rely heavily on the satellite navigation in my car to get me from A to B.

Do you ever ask for directions?

I know my hometown like the back of my hand, but if I was lost in a place I’d never been before I wouldn’t usually ask a stranger in the street. Instead, I’d ask someone in a store how to get there – I think that’s safer than standing out like a sore thumb with a map and looking confused. 

Speaking: Communication

Warmer

I began this class by looking at some pictures.

In pairs, students had to think about what the photos were of (the clue letters helped to focus their answers), and they also needed to discuss when they may have been used.  

We discussed each form of communication, thinking about when they were used, what the advantages may have been, and why they may no longer be used today. 

  • Homing (carrier) pigeon
  • Morse code
  • Yodelling (yodeling) 
  • Semaphore

Brainstorm

We then brainstormed forms of communication the students themselves use – messenger apps on their smartphones, telephone, email and so on.

We thought about other forms that may not be so common these days such as faxes & telegrams. 

Forms of communication

Part 1 

1. How do you usually keep in touch with members of your family? 

Sample answer

I tend to use messenger apps like Whatsapp on my smartphone. I’m not living in the same country as my family – it’s a great way to keep in contact with them because not only can I send text messages instantly but also photos and video. It also allows me to make voice and video calls, however I prefer to use Skype for this because I find the quality is better. The only thing I have to remember is the time difference – I’ve called my mum at 3am a few times by mistake! 

2. Do you prefer to contact people by phone or by writing emails?

Sample answer

It depends on the situation but I usually prefer to write emails. 

If I’m contacting a company to complain, I prefer to email their customer service department as I’m able to express myself more effectively this way. I can clearly state what the issue is and how I’d like it resolved – I’m not as assertive when I do this over the phone.

If I’m at work, I also prefer to fire off an email. I like to have a written record, so I know exactly what has been said or agreed to and it is there for all to see in black and white. 

3. Do you ever write letters by hand?

Sample answer

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a letter – it can be hard for others to decipher my scrawl! If I have to write a letter, I’ll type it up, print it out and sign it. I think the last time I wrote an entire letter by hand must have been when I was at primary school and I wrote a letter to Santa asking him for a Christmas gift. I do still write cards for special occasions, but the greeting is usually short and succinct.   

4. Is there anything you dislike about mobile phones?

Sample answer

They are a great portable form of communication, and while that can be advantageous in some circumstances, it also means workers can be contacted out with office hours by their colleagues and superiors. I personally believe that work-life balance is crucial, and that there is a clear divide between professional and private life. My company actively enforces a policy that supports this and I always keep my work phone turned off once I clock off for the day.   

Cambridge 11, Speaking Test 1

I’m working my way through the Cambridge 11 textbook in class (it’s available to buy online from Amazon, check with your local retailer too.)

The part 1 questions for speaking test 1 tie in well with an earlier food lesson

Tip: Remember, in Part 1 answers shouldn’t be too long, but allow the examiner to assess your speaking ability.  

  • Aim for 2 or 3 sentences (approx. 20 seconds)
  • Use a range of quality language and grammatical structures

Sample answers:

  1. What sorts* of food do you like eating most?

*sorts = types

Hint: This question is quite general – sorts of food can relate to a specific country’s food (Japanese, Mexican) or it could be something more specific – pizza, chicken etc. Maybe you also like all sorts of food?

I’m a bit of a foodie so it’s fair to say I like all sorts of food. I like to try different dishes from all over the world but I’m really not a fan of spicy food.  If I had to choose just one type of food I’d opt for Japanese food – I’ve travelled there quite often and I always enjoy trying the diverse regional dishes – a steaming bowl of ramen on a cold winter’s day is absolutely perfect!

2. Who normally does the cooking in your home?

Hint: Think about who usually does the cooking in your household? Is it one of your family members? Do you live alone and cook for yourself?

That’s an interesting question! Usually, it’s the mother in the house who prepares the meals, but my family doesn’t conform to that stereotype. My father is a chef – he trained in France and makes the most delicious food. He taught me to cook from a young age so when he’s out at work I usually cook for my family – I love it!

3. Do you watch cookery programmes on TV?

Hint:

  • Yes? Talk about the types of show you watch. Is it with a famous chef presenting? Is it a show with regular members of the public?
  • No? Did you used to watch these show? Do you watch something else on the internet instead? 

I like to watch cookery shows – my favourite ones are when the presenters travel to other countries and learn about the food from that country. It’s a fascinating way to learn about the local cuisine.  I particularly like shows with celebrity chefs – Jamie Oliver for example – as his style is very relaxed and he takes real joy in food. I’ve replicated many of his recipes in my own kitchen.

4. In general, do you prefer eating out or eating at home?

Hint: Is there one you like more than the other? Do you eat with friends/family or alone? Eating in a restaurant means you don’t have to cook and you can try many different types of food. Eating at home might be cheaper, and is more relaxed.

As I said before, I love to cook but I also really enjoy trying new restaurants and revisiting my favourites too. For me, eating is very much a social activity and I enjoy catching up with friends over a leisurely meal. Seoul has a wealth of eateries and every week exciting new venues seem to open up so I’m more than spoilt for choice!

Speaking Test 1, Part 2 

Speaking Test 2, Part 3

 

Speaking, Part 1: Music

1. Do you like music?

Sample answer

I have an eclectic taste in music and enjoy may different genres, from K-pop to heavy metal and everything in between!

At the moment I’m listening to a lot of opera. I was in Verona last summer on holiday and I saw some open air concerts – it really piqued my interest. I’m fascinated by the vocal ability of the singers and their incredible range so I’ve been watching performances on YouTube.

2. Do you think music is important?

Sample answer

I think so, yes. I’ve read that it positively affects our mental wellbeing and I think listening to music is a good way to help deal with stress and anxiety. It’s also good to listen to while exercising as it can provide the extra motivation we might need.

I think life would be very boring without music – imagine all the times we hear music throughout the day on TV, on the internet and while we’re out and about. The world would be a much quieter place!

3. How long do you listen to music for every day?

Sample answer

I tend to listen to music at various different points throughout the day, but in terms of hours per day, I’m not sure exactly.

When I wake up, I turn on my local radio station. I like listening to the music they play, and I have it on in the background while I’m getting ready – if it’s a song I know I’ll sing along too!

On my commute to and from work I’ll listen to classical music because I find it helps me to concentrate and stay focused while I’m driving.

In the evening, before I go to bed, I’ll listen to something soothing which will help me to drift off and get a good night’s sleep.