Speaking (Books / Jobs)


Idioms & Expressions:

bookworm (noun; someone who’s always reading a book)


book smarts (knowledge or intelligence you acquire through reading and studying)

He’s got book smarts, but not much common sense.


(be) an open book (an expression which means someone is very forthcoming and willing to volunteer information)

Ask me anything; I’m an open book!


read between the lines (this expression means to find the subtext in what is being said by not taking something literally)

If you read between the lines, it’s clear that she doesn’t like you.


you can’t judge a book by its cover (an expression which means you can’t judge something by its outward appearance alone)


read him/her like a book (this means you are able to understand what someone is thinking just by looking at them)

He says he doesn’t like her but I know he really does – I can read him like a book.


hit the books (a casual expression which means to study)


read up on/brush up on _____ (terms which mean to review some material)

I need to brush up on my history, so I’m going to hit the books tonight.


read from cover to cover (to read something completely)

The day I bought it, I read the Harry Potter book from cover to cover.


work/life balance (or school/life balance) (nouns that refer to the parts of your life taken up by work and life)

My job keeps me too busy to maintain a work/life balance.


burn the midnight oil (verb phrase; to stay up late working on something)

I have an exam tomorrow morning so I’m going to be burning the midnight oil tonight.


up to your eyeballs in _____ (an expression that means someone is dealing with a lot of something; generally a negative connotation)

I am up to my eyeballs in homework tonight.


Part I:

  1. Do you like reading books?

I love reading, but I don’t have a chance to do it too often. I grew up reading, though. It was my first choice of entertainment, because my family didn’t have a TV.

  1. What type of books do you read?

I generally read detective mysteries and thrillers. I also like to read nonfiction books on topics that I think are interesting.

  1. Are you reading a book presently?

Right now, I’m not, because I’m too busy. I have a memoir that I want to find time to read soon, though.

  1. Would you like to write a book in the future?

I don’t think so. I have already written a book and it took a long time to complete the project. Additionally, I don’t think very many people buy and read books anymore, so you’re working very hard on something for a very small audience.


Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe a job that you would like to do in the future. Please say

What job is it?
What are the basic requirements for such a job?

 Is it a high paying job?

I’d like to work as a columnist for a magazine. You have to be a good writer and you have to have unique insights that can attract an audience. I’d like to do this job because it’s good to always have a new challenge to work on. To write a column, you have to understand what’s happening in the world currently and be able to understand it clearly. I don’t think writers get paid very well, but writing is still something I love doing enough that I don’t care if the salary is low.


Part III: Class Discussion

  1. Are people in your country paid well in all jobs?

Of course not – every country has jobs that pay well as well as low-paying dead end jobs that only pay enough to survive.

  1. Do people choose their jobs according to salaries?

Many people do. People will take as much money as they can earn if they have the necessary skills to get those jobs.

  1. Do employees need motivation at work? Why?

Some people do, but many people do their jobs well because they need to hold onto the job so they can keep earning the money they need to survive.

  1. Would motivating employees benefit the company eventually?

Of course. Motivated workers help a company immediately. If workers aren’t motived, they won’t perform at a very high level.

  1. What are the highest paid jobs in your country? Why do you think it is so?

I’m not sure exactly what the highest paying jobs are, but I think if you work in finance or investment, you can make hundreds of millions of dollars a year.