Let’s talk about parks
Q1: How often do you go to a park?
I try to visit my local park frequently on my way home from work, weather permitting. Fortunately, my local and favorite park is close to home. It is usually quiet and peaceful.
Q2: What activities do you do in a park?
After a long day at work, I usually enjoy a quiet spot on many of the benches beside the pathway. It’s a good place to watch people and observe the activities. I’ll also enjoy a snack and beverage.
Q3: Do you prefer small parks or big parks?
My daily park visits are at a small park near home. On the weekends, however, I like to go to a large park as there are lots of activities and things to do and see.
Q4: Do people in your country like going to parks?
In the village where I come from there are few parks nearby but lots of green spaces for people to enjoy. People in the cities love to get out of the house and frequent parks. I often see small groups enjoying a picnic, chilling out and relaxing.
Now let’s discuss breaks from work or study
Q1: What do you usually do during a break?
At work, I get two coffee breaks and a mid-shift break. The coffee breaks are short and I like to stretch my tight muscles before grabbing a cup of tea and resuming work. Mid shift breaks allow me to have a bite to eat and relax for a while.
Q2: Do you prefer a long break or several short breaks?
I work at my desk and stare at my computer monitor for long periods of time. I therefore, prefer a number of short breaks. I like to get up, stretch, move around to get the blood moving and freshen my coffee before returning to my cubicle.
Q3: How often do you take a break?
At work my employer allows breaks which are scheduled every two hours with morning and afternoon breaks and a longer break mid shift to allow for a rejuvenating meal and a little bit of exercise. Although breaks are design to allow employees to get away from their desks, many of my colleagues prefer to continue working to meet their deadlines.
Q4: Why do you need to take a break?
Breaks are necessary for me to get away from my desk because gives me an opportunity to relax my muscles and sometimes massage my shoulders and neck. Also, they give my eyes a chance to rest from staring at my computer monitor.
Let’s now discuss numbers and maths
Q1: Are you good at maths?
In secondary school I did well in math especially in algebra and trigonometry however when I went to university I found the curriculum more difficult. I had to study intensively as math was more complex. I especially had difficulty with calculus.
Q2: How often do you need to use maths?
I use math and arithmetic every day especially to calculate my daily spending. I rarely use a calculator for simple addition and multiplication, at and away from the office. For difficult calculations, I will use my computer or smartphone.
Q3: What is your favorite number?
Seven is my favorite number as it has been a recurring number in my life. I hit a triple seven on a slot machine once which paid a sizeable jackpot. I away buy a lottery ticket with one or more sevens.
Q4: Are you good at remembering phone numbers?
In the past before cell phones, telephone numbers were only 7 or 8 digits and easy to remember. Today with most people using mobile phones remembering number are not necessary. I also rely on my cell and don’t remember numbers.
Let’s talk about science classes
Q1: Do you like learning about science?
When I was in elementary school I was fascinated with dinosaurs and had many dinosaur figurines. My fascination with science continued as I watched many space and nature shows on TV. As an adult, I still love science and watch documentaries and other science shows.
Q2: Did you study science at school?
In secondary school, I did not do well in the arts such as language nor did I do well in math. The sciences is where my interests lied. I enjoyed studying and science projects in the classrooms.
Q3: What kind of science classes did you take at school?
In high school, I preferred chemistry and physics as there were a lot of hands-on experiments in the classroom. I had teachers that were very good at demonstrating and explaining how science worked. My least favorite science class was biology which was interesting but I didn’t enjoy dissecting animals.
Q4: Do you think science is important?
I believe science is very important we understand our earth’s history, weather and climate. Science, of course, has led to the development of technology which we enjoy today such as transportation and communication. Sciences has also enabled us to explore our solar system and the universe beyond.
Now let’s discuss history
Q1: Do you like learning about history?
I find our history fascinating and I very much enjoy our evolution from prehistoric animals to our modern civilization. Unfortunately, history is riddled war and violence however hopefully we are learning from our errors and will become more peaceful. I watch historic documentaries as often as they are available.
Q2: When was the last time you read about history?
Since I am planning to travel to Europe next year, I thought it would be a good idea to research European history during the 20th century. I recently finished reading about the events leading up to, during and after the 2nd world war. It was interesting and I think it will be beneficial for me when I visit historical sites in Europe.
Q3: Did you like history when you were young?
When I was still attending school I was not interested in history. I was too busy hanging out with my friends and discovering my surroundings. Now I have respect for history as it is fascinating and educational. I also enjoy watching historical dramas and documentaries.
Q4: Have you ever been to any history museums?
When I was in elementary school my parents took me to a historical museum. It was an inexpensive and fascinating trip and I especially enjoyed the old tools and equipment. Nowadays I regularly go to museums and historical sites to relax and be entertained.
Let’s talk about scenery
Q1: Is there good scenery in the area you live in?
I live and commute in the city and the scenery is minimal at best. Therefore on my days off, I like to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and visit the countryside. There I can enjoy the fresh air, quiet places and take in the scenery.
Q2: Do you like to take photos of scenery?
When I escape the pollution and congestion of the city, I have my smart phone to snap pictures of my surroundings. For example last month I went to the beach and watched the sunset. I got some amazing pictures of the ocean and the setting sun.
Q3: What scenic places are there in your country?
There are many places to adventure and enjoy the scenery. Many people in my county travel to the beach, mountains and historical sites. Just last summer, my friends and I climbed up a mountain. The scenery along the way and the view was spectacular.
Q4: When you travel, do you like to stay in hotels with scenic views?
Hotels with views are nice but not a necessity for me as I spend very little time there. I mainly sleep and freshen up in the morning to go to the places or activities I have planned. At home, I live in a high-rise apartment building and do enjoy the scenery and city view from my balcony.
Now let’s discuss cakes and desserts
Q1: Do you like to eat dessert?
For me, when I was growing up, mom would try to make healthy desserts. Sliced fruit with milk or ice cream was a common dessert, which I enjoyed. My mom would also make sweet-breads containing dried fruit which were a favorite of mine.
Q2: Have you ever made any cakes?
When I was young, I would help my mother in the kitchen preparing meals. She believed it was important to teach me to cook so I could look after myself when I left home. I helped her make cakes for special occasions, but I have never made one myself.
Q3: Do you like eating cake?
Myself, I am not a big dessert fan. I try to eat healthy; and cakes and desserts are too sweet for my taste and are full of sugar and calories. I will indulge in cake at birthday parties and wedding celebrations however.
Q4: What desserts do people in your country like?
Where I live dessert is not a regular part of a meal offering. People will at times have a dessert like cakes and pies when they are out at a restaurant. Other sweets that people like are ice-cream, chocolates and candies which are very popular.
Let’s talk about art
Q1: Do you like art?
I am not an artist myself, but as a kid, I painted and drew as part of art classes in elementary school. I do appreciate and admire the creations of artists. When I get more leisure time I may take up painting.
Q2: Have you ever visited an art gallery?
There are many museums and art galleries that tourists and Chinese people like to visit for example The China Art Museum in Shanghai where historical and contemporary art is displayed. I was fortunate to have some time off and me and my friends visited the China Art Museum last summer.
Q3: Is there any artwork on the wall in your home?
I don’t have any original artwork in my apartment. I do however have some photographs that I had enlarged and framed that are hanging in my living room. They were taken during my trip last year to the beach and during the previous year climbing a mountain.
Q4: Have you ever had any art classes?
A few years ago, my girlfriend convinced me that we should do more activities together. Perhaps inspired by the movie “ghost”, she convinced me that pottery classes were the best choice. I still have some vases and bowls from those classes.
Let’s now discuss pens and pencils
Q1: Do you usually use a pen or a pencil?
Today pencils are not commonly available in general stores. If you want one you need to shop at a stationery store. My writing tool of choice is my computer but for quick notes I have a pen handy. I prefer a quality ball-point pen rather than the disposable pens that are available.
Q2: When was the last time you bought a pen or pencil?
I recently went to an art store in my neighborhood to purchase some pens. My much younger cousin enjoys coloring pictures, so I thought colored pencils would be an excellent gift for her. I have them gift wrapped and will give them to her as a birthday present.
Q3: Have you ever received a pen or pencil as a gift?
When I graduated from university, one of the special gifts I received was a ball-point pen with the school colors and engraved with the year of my graduation. I was excited and appreciated the thoughtfulness of the gift. It is a special souvenir that I cherish and keep safe.
Q4: Do people in your country prefer to use pens or pencils?
Where I live, pencils are rarely available. You usually need to go to a specialty store to purchase one. Ink is more durable than lead pencils so pens would be the choice for the vast majority of people.
Now let’s discuss spending time by yourself
Q1: How often do you spend time by yourself?
I am single and don’t have a special person in my life therefore I spend a lot of time by myself. When commuting back and forth to work, I take public transfer transit, so I share the bus with many people and at that time I am not by myself. Most of my time alone is during the evenings.
Q2: What did you do last time you were by yourself?
I live a routine in scheduled life when not at work. Last night after a couple of hours of studying, I watched some television. Last night’s show I watched was a documentary on space and our solar system.
Q3: Do you like spending a lot of time by yourself?
I actually enjoy being single as I can schedule my activities when I want. I like being alone during my studies and have the flexibility with time. I enjoy being able to relax, read a book or watch television.
Q4: When do you usually spend time by yourself?
My time is pretty well scheduled between my commute to and from work and my long working hours. On the way home I usually go shopping and may go to a restaurant for a casual meal alone. Most of my time being by myself would be in the evenings, studying, reading or watching a movie.
Let’s talk about laughing
Q1: How often do you laugh?
I have a laugh or chuckle every day. It might be a funny post on social media or cartoon in the paper that I find humorous. On the weekends I will get together with my friends to relax, chill out and exchange some jokes.
Q2: Do you like to watch funny movies or TV shows?
My preferred television and movie shows are drama and documentaries. To relax, however, I do enjoy watching comedy on television but I rarely go to a theater. I enjoy comedy centered on families and friends rather than slapstick humor.
Q3: Are you the kind of person who makes other people laugh?
I am certainly not a stand-up comedian. I do, however, enjoy meeting up with my friends at a restaurant or bar and exchanging stories and jokes. I am not a person that likes to be the center of attention but I can tell a pretty good joke and make people laugh.
Q4: Do you think it is important to laugh with friends?
I believe that having a good sense of humor and enjoying laughter is good for your health. I love to meet up with my friends and enjoy their company as we always have a few laughs over a meal and drinks. I believe having a good sense of humor that you share, builds friendship and comradeship.
Let’s now discuss water sports
Q1: What water sports do you like doing?
When I was a child I played with my friends at the local lake, swimming, fishing and splashing each other which was a lot of fun. In university, I competed on the swim team. We won a few tournaments and I enjoyed the comradeship and celebrations. I also enjoyed the competitiveness and challenges of swimming when I was a student.
Q2: What kind of water sports do you want to try?
While watching the Summer Olympics hosted in Beijing, I was amazed by the talent and competitiveness of diving. I have always lived near the water and have participated in many water sports with the exception of diving. I would like to participate in this sport in the future.
Q3: Have you ever done any dangerous water sports?
I have great concern for my safety and with the power of the ocean and rivers, I always ensure safety gear is handy should an emergency arise. When on small boats I will always wear a life preserver as I never know if there might be an accident. With these issues in mind, I have never participated in any dangerous sports.
Q4: Are water sports popular in your country?
Chinese people have a very busy lifestyle with work and studying therefore leisure or free time is infrequent. Popular water sports in China would include swimming, diving, dragon boat racing and other rowing activities. On the beaches, you may also see people surfing and wind sailing.
Let’s talk about running
Q1: How often do you run?
I have a busy life with working and studying so the opportunities to go for a run after work are few. I do however put time aside to jog at least three times a week which helps me relax and keep fit. On the weekends I would have a longer running workout.
Q2: Where do you usually go running?
There are some different choices to go running near where I live. My local park offers a green space where joggers get together and run a predetermined course around the park. There is also a track and field facility that allows for more competitive running.
Q3: Did you like running when you were a child?
When I was in elementary school, we had many sports days during the year that would involve running as one of the activities. I loved the running sports and although I wasn’t the best runner, I was competitive and enjoyed the company and interactions with the other kids.
Q4: Do you think running is a good way to stay healthy?
I believe running is an excellent way to stay healthy and improve your fitness. Not only does it help build muscles and endurance, it also is a good cardio exercise. However many people have difficulties when running with their knees and joints and alternate exercises including rowing and swimming may be better suited for them.
To just see a list of the current speaking questions see here:
Questions From 2019.
Most of these questions are still in the test!
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR JOB…
What kind of work do you do?
Well now, I’m an athletic trainer in a small gym, and I also have to help out at the reception desk and also in the retail shop we run. I guess you can say that I have to wear many hats.
Why did you choose that kind of work?
Ok, that’s quite an easy question. It’s because I’ve always been keen on sports, so when I was trying to find a job, I decided to look for something I’m familiar with. Luckily I found a golden opportunity at the gym just down the road from my house.
Is there anything you don’t like about your job?
Well there are some things I don’t like, but it’s not related to the job itself. I mean this job is great, I love to guide people about how to exercise, it’s meaningful. However, the one thing I don’t like is that there is not much team spirit amongst my co-workers. I guess you could say that my gym has low workplace morale. I think this is the only thing bothering me.
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR STUDIES…
Where are you studying?
I’m studying at Sydney University. It’s a very prestigious university, and the lecturers are really demanding and give lots of assignments, so I often have to study until the wee hours. [Underlined words are explained below in the idioms section.]
Why did you choose to study there?
Actually I chose the school for a few reasons. Most importantly, I chose to study there because it has the most up-to-date knowledge in my area. As well as this, the University has a student centered approach, so I feel my learning needs are really taken care of.
What would you like to do after you finish your studies?
Well I think it depends. I think that my course will help me to set the stage for my future career. I’d like to join one of the top five accounting companies, but if my grades aren’t high enough I will go to work at my uncle’s accounting firm.
LET’S TALK ABOUT WHERE YOU LIVE:
Do you live in a house or in an apartment?
I live in a modern high-rise apartment complex. It’s a wonderful place to live because it has lots of amenities such as a gym, sauna, and swimming pool.
Which room of your apartment do you like most?
Oh, it’s definitely the living room. I live on the 25th floor and it has lots of windows that give me a bird’s eye view of the city. I love to sit on the sofa and drink my coffee in the morning and enjoy the fantastic view.
If you could change one thing about your home, what would it be?
There are a couple of things. I guess the main thing is that it has become a bit run down. My dad really needs to renovate our apartment…you know…paint the walls…that sort of thing.
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR HOMETOWN
What’s the name of your hometown?
Perth is my hometown it’s a city located in the west of my country.
Is it a big or a small place?
Actually, it is a small city with slightly over than 1 million people. It has beautiful beaches. In addition, due to the increasing economy, a number of businesses, especially in mining, are investing in my hometown that turns it into a promising area.
What do you like most about your hometown?
I like the hospitality and the goodwill of people there. Everyone is willing to give others a hand when they need help. In addition, There are a lot of parks and recreational areas.
LET DISCUSS SINGING
How often do you sing?
I absolutely love singing. When I’m into a song, I can’t help myself from singing it all day and night. Although my family hate it when I sing and they complain that it’s not sounding great.
When do you like to sing?
I sing whenever I feel like to, you know, when I’m bored or when I’m in a good mood. And since I’m not that type of a so-called performer, most of the time I sing for myself.
Do you like to hear other people sing?
Well, it really depends who it is. My mother has an excellent voice and I love to hear her sing. However, my little sister has an annoying high pitch tone and I can’t stand to hear her sing.
Have you ever wanted to be a singer?
Well, from what I’ve known, being a singer is not easy at all. It’s not just about performing, but it also involves in interaction with fans and other colleagues. Based on what I’ve known about showbiz, and even the music industry in general, I think that I don’t belong to that world.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SUNNY DAYS
Do you like sunny weather?
I definitely love sunny days, on which I can hang out with friends or do some sports. It is even better when the winds blowing. Sunny days are also good days to hang out laundry as well as cleaning both inside and outside the house.
What do you like to do when it’s a sunny day?
I love to participate in some outdoor activities under the sun like meeting up with some friends or do some sports, especially swimming. Or I grab the chance to do some photography. Everything becomes so clear and stunning on sunny days, no matter it’s early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as long as the sun shines, I’m sure I’ll find inspiration almost everywhere.
Do you do anything to protect yourself from the sun?
Absolutely, I know all about skin cancer and when I go out I always like to put on sun screen and wear a hat. As well as this, to protect my eyes from the glare and UV rays of the sun I wear sunglasses.
Are there many sunny days where you live?
It is a modern big city so unless it’s our rainy season, otherwise the sun would shine most of the time, either during one day or the whole year. Sometimes the temperature rises so high that it feels like burning, that’s when people prefer staying indoor enjoying the cool air produced by air conditioners.
NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT WEEKENDS
What do you do at the weekend?
Usually I prefer staying at home, I spend my spare time on my hobbies such as gardening and pottery. Usually, in the evening I like listening to some music and going onto some social networking site such as Facebook or Instagram.
What did you do last weekend?
Like every weekend I had a big sleep in both Saturday and Sunday mornings. I spent most of Saturday chilling out and cooked myself a big yummy meal and watched some TV. Besides, Sunday I spent most of the day online chatting with my friends and at night I went to bed early.
What are you going to do next weekend?
I don’t have any actual plan for this weekend, to be honest. If the weather is nice, I will probably have a barbeque and chit chat with my friends, since we don’t see each other often during weekdays. Otherwise, if it’s wet I’ll just stay home, continue with my homework and watch a bit of TV.
Do you feel that weekends now are more important to you than when you were a child?
Yes, weekends or day offs are becoming more important to me. Since working time accounts for higher proportion of my schedule, I barely have time for family or friends, not to mention taking care of ourselves. Back then I was of course more relaxed. There were no pressure, no deadlines and I have my parents take care of me.
LET’S MOVE ON AND DISCUSS ART
Do you like art?
I have had a lifelong passion for art since I was a child. Beside official art class in school, I also participated in some drawing competitions back then. Until now I still draw in my free time, although not as often as I used to do.
How often do you visit art galleries?
To tell you the truth, I have never visited art galleries before. Unless I had a guide to acknowledge me, art galleries would be quite boring for me. Well, I suppose if I went overseas I might visit some of the famous galleries.
Do you think art should be a compulsory school subject?
Yes I do. Learning arts, especially at a young age, can help stimulate children’s cognitive development and encourage them to think outside the box. So, I think it’s important for every student to take this subject.
What kind of paintings do people like in your country?
In my opinion, people love hanging landscape paintings at home. Bringing in the beauty of Mother Nature somehow ease people’s mind after a long day at work. Another style that most people like is portraits. It could be portraits of someone important to them or even their lovely pets.
LET’S TALK ABOUT HATS
Do you like to wear hats?
Although hats help shield your hair and face from direct sunlight, to be honest I don’t really like wearing hats daily. My hair is always a mess after I take them off. Instead of wearing hats, I think I prefer bringing an umbrella with me.
What kinds of hats do you have?
Well as I’ve mentioned, wearing hats is definitely not my daily style, so generally I don’t have any hats at home. There is the only type of hat I’m particularly fond of, which is baseball caps. This kind of hat can give me a sporty and strong look, you know.
Did you wear hats when you were a child?
Yes. My school uniform had a grey cap in it and we had to wear our cap to and from school, but we did not wear it when we were inside the classroom. My mother also used to make me wear a hat when I went to the beach to prevent sunburn.
Is wearing a hat popular in your country?
Well in my country motorbikes are the most common means of transportation, and we must wear a helmet whenever we ride a motorbike for safety. Other than that it’s not common to wear anything on our head.