Science and Technology

Science and Technology


 Now let’s talk about computers
How often do you use a computer?
Do you enjoy using computers?
When did you last play a computer game?
Is there anything you would like to learn to do on a computer? 

Let’s talk about science and technology
How interested are you in learning about science and technology?
Do you prefer to read books or watch videos to learn about science and technology?
Did you learn a lot about science and technology at school?
How important is knowledge of science and technology in your everyday life?

Now let’s discuss search engines on computers
Which computer search engines do you like to use?
Do you think it is easy to use a search engine?
How often do you use search engines?
Do you prefer to search for information on your computer or mobile phone?

PART 2: Model Answer

You should say:
–        what type of website it is
–        how you found out about it
–        when you use it
and why you find it useful.

Alright, I’d like to talk about a website I use almost every day. The website is called YouTube. YouTube is an online video sharing site and is the second most popular website in the world in terms of the number of viewers who visit the site every year.

Unlike TV, the content on YouTube is generated by the users themselves. Users can upload videos, give each video a rating, share videos and even subscribe to other user’s content. The vast majority of videos uploaded to YouTube are free, but there are exceptions, such as premium subscription channels, video rentals and recently YouTube started a service where users can pay a small fee per month to watch live streamed events.

Just like most other people I found out about YouTube in around 2005 by word of mouth. At first, I thought the content was horrible. In the early days much of the content was of users uploading very badly produced amateur home videos and much of it was unwatchable. Content of this nature was common so I only used YouTube once in a blue moon.

I use YouTube almost every day now. I use it whenever I need to but I also have a bad habit of watching YouTube late at night before drifting off to sleep.

I find YouTube a lot more useful than it used to be in the early days. There is a much greater variety of content one can see now compared to when it first started and the content is a lot more professionally presented so that’s probably one reason I like it.

I can also watch a lot of my favourite old TV shows as well as movie trailers, sitcoms, music videos, documentaries, educational videos and big sports events which get uploaded only a day or two at the latest after live games. Because of the enormous number of videos uploaded these days I can also often find content specific to my exact needs such as when I’m trying to learn how to solve a technical problem.

PART 2: Vocabulary

amateur: not professional, layman, layperson
documentary: TV, movie or radio program based on fact. Non fictional
early days: happening in the beginning
event: occurrence, incident, occasion, circumstance
exception: abnormality, oddity, not the norm, unusual case
majority: the most, the greater number of
nature: kind, type
rating classification: ranking or category for viewing by age
rental: payment for use of something not owned
sharing: split, divide, allocate out to others
sitcom: situation comedy, comedy set in a particular situation
trailer: advertisement or promotion for a feature film

educational: academic, instructional, informative
enormous: very large, very big, huge, vast, immense
specific: precise, particular, distinct
technical: relating to technology, complicated, scientific
unwatchable: too poor or tedious to watch
vast: huge, extensive, broad, wide

drift off: start to fall asleep, become drowsy
generate: make, produce, create
present: promote, put forward, put together
streamed: data that is transmitted over the internet such as audio or video content
subscribe: buy to use a service regularly such as a magazine or online content
upload: transfer data from one computer to another, send, transmit

In terms of: with regard to a particular aspect or subject

by word of mouth: verbally passing on information from one person to another. Through the grapevine
I found out about a great new YouTube channel by word of mouth.

 once in a blue moon: rarely, not often, occasionally
Because social media has become so popular these days people only call each other once in a blue moon.

PART 3: Ideas

Let’s discuss learning on the Internet
What are the advantages of learning over the Internet?
One advantage is that you don’t have to travel to another place to learn. As long as you have a wi-fi connection at home you can learn from home.

You can learn over the internet anytime, anywhere and not just during regular office hours or in a classroom.

Learning over the internet is free. You can also download information ahead of time and learn offline if there is no wi-fi.

When you do a search over the internet you usually get a lot of results, so in a sense each result is like having a new teacher.

You can also learn at your own pace over the internet.

Are there any disadvantages of learning over the Internet?
Yes. One disadvantage is you may have a bad wi-fi connection which can interfere with your ability to learn over the internet. There are however quite a few ways around this problem.

Even though there is a lot of information over the internet you can sometimes struggle to find the specific information you need. This is where a personal tutor would be a better option.

Learning over the internet is convenient but it can also be isolating. Learning in a classroom can often be more fun and allows you to meet other students.

You need a lot of self-discipline to learn over the internet because there is nobody to guide you properly. Also, online learning is often done without having to do tests to prove your understanding of a particular topic.

Could all teachers be replaced by the internet in the future?

No, I doubt this will ever happen as humans need the guidance and social support of real humans in the learning process rather than machines.

Yes, I can see a time in the future where this will be a reality once artificial intelligence is at a level where it can mimic humans or where we are taught by robots or personal assistants.

No, as the government will have to enact laws to protect humans from losing their jobs to intelligent machines. This law would apply to any profession, not just in teaching.

Yes, I can see a time where intelligent machines are used as teachers in areas where there is a lack of human teachers or where machines replace bad human teachers.

 Now let’s talk about social media
Why has social media become so popular?
Because it can be used on a mobile device. The convenience of staying connected with people on the go without having to call everyone all the time saw the popularity of social media soar.

It allows you to connect with people all over the world, anywhere, anytime therefore it allows you to greatly broaden your circle of friends.

It’s one of the main ways people keep in touch with each other these days. Everyone’s on social media so if you want to stay in touch with people you need to be on at least one of these apps.

Initially social media became popular during times of emergency such as during natural disasters. In fact, being on social media during these times saved a lot of people’s lives.

 What are some potential drawbacks of social media?
Using social media too much can be incredibly time wasting and people can even become addicted to it.

Oversharing on social apps can leave people vulnerable to crimes such as burglary and identity theft. Only a few vital pieces of information are needed by devious people for this to happen.

One drawback is cyber bullying. Online trolls can target an innocent victim with a barrage of disparaging messages while hiding their identity.

Social media sites invade your privacy constantly then sell your personal information. They can do this by monitoring your key word searches and web browsing habits then they bombard you with ads specific to you.

Do you think people will rely on social media more in the future?
Yes, definitely. Social media has become a one-stop-place for people to keep in contact with friends as well as buy and sell products and services and receive up to the minute news stories.

In the short-term it will become even more popular before reaching a saturation point. In the long-term however, social media may be replaced by technology we can’t even imagine today.

Yes, the market is still growing. Facebook has over two billion active users now. Not being on social media in the future will be like living in the Dark Ages. It may even become compulsory.

No, people are social beings and our brains are hard wired to be social, especially in face to face situations. After a while social media will die as people revert back to face to face communication.

Useful Links:
eBook for speaking
Linking words
Speaking strategies
Questions you can ask the examiner
Part 1 of the test
Part 2 of the test
Part 3 of the test