Speaking (Computers & Technology)


Idioms & Expressions:

boot up (verb; means to turn on your computer or smartphone. And “reboot” means to restart your computer)

By 9:00 I had booted up my computer and was working.


dependent on (to be “dependent on” something means that you cannot function normally without it)


every waking hour (an expression that means you do something very frequently throughout the day)

Our generation has become thoroughly dependent on technology. Many young people spend nearly every waking hour online.


obsolete (adjective; describes something old or out of date)


cutting edge (an adjective that describes technology that is the newest or the latest)

The iPhone 7 is obsolete now that the cutting-edge iPhone X is out.


state-of-the-art / second-to-none (adjectives; mean something is very advanced and modern)

The hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.


bells and whistles (noun; the extra features of a product that make it so appealing)

The car has all the latest bells and whistles.


right around the corner / in our lifetime (prepositional phrases that mean something is going to happen very soon or in the near future)

Human colonization of Mars is right around the corner.


In our lifetime, we are going to see incredible advances in robotics technology.


play God (verb; an expression that means to experiment with powerful new technology)

Scientists have been playing God by cloning animals.


like a robot (a phrase that refers to a monotonous lifestyle or series of actions)

Every day I wake up, work out, go to work, and then come home. I feel like a robot.


Part I: Group Discussion


Do you have your own computer at home? What do you use it for?

I think everyone has a computer at home. I use it for everything – work, watching videos, listening to music, and charging my iPod. I even use it in class when I help students by giving them feedback for their speaking tasks.

Are you good with technology?

I used to be, because I used to edit videos (back before smartphones and YouTube and powerful laptops) so I had to figure a lot of technological processes out for myself. But I really haven’t kept up with the pace of recent technology, so right now I would say that I’m not good with it.

What is your favorite piece of technology? What do you use it for?

That would probably be my smartphone, simply because I use it all the time for messaging people and listening to podcasts. Between my smartphone and my laptop, I’m “plugged in” pretty much all day.

What would you do if your computer broke / you didn’t have the Internet?

I think that would be pretty inconvenient, since I do nearly everything on the computer and Internet. I would have to quickly buy a new computer. That would be expensive, but I would have no choice but to do it.

Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe a famous place in your country. You should say:

  • Where is it
  • What it’s famous for
  • Who visits the place
  • and explain how/why it became famous.

This is about a café I liked going to. When I was in South Korea, there a little café on my street called “The Gallery.” A young Korean man owned the place and he was always really kind to me. He’d give me free refills on my coffee, and every so often he’d bring me out a free plate of cookies or even a slice of pizza. It made for a really nice, pleasant atmosphere, and I went there almost every day. I appreciated it so much that I started leaving a little money on my table as a tip for him each day. In Korea, tipping is not customary, but I decided that it was worth it for me to leave him a little money in exchange for his accommodation.

Part III: Pair Interviews

  1. Would you like to be driven in a car by a robot? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think you would be a good teacher? Why or why not? If you were a teacher, what subject would you teach?

Additional Questions:

  1. Are you interested in robots? Why?
  2. Would you like robots to work at your home?
  3. Do you have a favourite teacher?
  4. What kinds of teachers do you like?
  5. What are the qualities of a good teacher?
  6. What would you do if you had to teach someone English?