Speaking (Famous People)



He’s been in the limelight for a few years now.

The firefighter got fifteen minutes of fame when he saved a child from a burning house.


Her claim to fame is a detective novel that was published last year.

He had a brief brush with fame when he met President Obama last week.

Her rise to fame began in the late 1990s when she starred on a TV show.

The movie is a blockbuster, and the climax brought down the house.

The athlete won a championship in 1986, but now he’s a has-been.

My friend is really funny and always steals the show, no matter what situation he’s in.


The fight scene at the end of the Batman movie is a showstopper.

Kanye West is an idol to many young hip-hop fans.

The Oscars are a star-studded event. Every year, all the industry’s multi-hyphenates appear at the awards show.


Almost everyone’s public persona is an alter ego that is different from their true selves.


Idioms & Expressions: in the limelight (prepositional phrase meaning that you’re in the focus of public attention), 15 minutes of fame (noun that refers to a short period of fame that a person achieves), claim to fame (noun that refers to the reason why someone is famous), brush with fame (noun that refers to a time when you encounter someone famous), rise to fame (noun, refers to the time period in which someone is slowly achieving fame and recognition), blockbuster (noun, refers to a very successful movie), has-been (noun that refers to a person who used to be famous or accomplished, but no longer is today), steal the show (verb that means to upstage someone or take attention from them), bring down the house (verb, this means to give a truly impressive performance that amazes everyone), showstopper (noun, this refers to a movie scene or a performance that impresses the audience), idol (noun, refers to someone who is a role model or a hero to someone else), multi-hyphenate (noun, this is a person who is famous for several reasons), star-studded (adjective that refers to an event at which many famous people are attending), public persona/alter ego (these nouns refer to the different personalities someone uses in different situations).

Part I: Spontaneous Speaking

  1. Do you often read news about famous people?

I do, if there’s a celebrity I’m curious about. For instance, if I see an actor or an actress in a movie, I might Google them. But I don’t really spend too much time following celebrities in the news or on Twitter. I’m too busy for that sort of thing!

  1. Have you ever followed any pages or websites of famous persons?

Not really. Sometimes I go to a celebrity’s Twitter page or blog (if they have one) just to see what kind of photos they post or what kind of thoughts they have. But I don’t really spend too much time with it. I’ve met a few famous people before, and I’ve realized that they’re just like us. I’d rather work on my own projects than worry about theirs.

  1. Do you often talk about famous people with your friends? What do you often talk about?

I do, if someone else brings up the topic. It’s fun to make fun of famous people. We make fun of their choice of projects (like the films they appear in or the songs they make) and who they date. It’s a good way to pass the time because everyone knows what you’re talking about.

  1. Do you want to become famous?

I used to, but I don’t anymore. I actually, in a weird way, was famous for a short time. When I moved to China, I was stared at and followed around a lot because I’m very tall, and people hadn’t seen someone of my height before. People would ask me to take photos with them and sign autographs. At first, I was amused. Then I found it very annoying! I didn’t want to go outside, because people would bother me.

Part II: Pair Interviews

Describe a well-known person. You should say:

  1. Who he/she is?

Trevor Noah is a comedian from South Africa. He’s about 32 years old and has been touring internationally, doing stand-up comedy shows, for a long time. He recently moved to America and has found a lot of success in the comedy scene there.

  1. What makes him/her famous?

Most Americans know him as the host of a comedy show called “The Daily Show.” It’s on the Comedy Central network and is broadcast to tens of millions of people each night. He started hosting the show last year – but I knew about him before, though. I had found his comedy on YouTube, and enjoyed watching his shows.

  1. Why you admire him/her?

I think he’s funny and quick-witted. It’s pretty enjoyable to listen to his take on many issues, since he’s a foreigner and can point out the ridiculous side of many issues in America. I think he’s hardworking and interesting to watch.

  1. How has he/she contributed to his/her community?

He’s managed to help grow the stand-up comedy scene in his native country of South Africa. Stand-up was illegal for a long time, and only became permitted in the last ten of fifteen years. As the most famous South African comedian, he’s inspired a lot of young black comics to tell their own jokes and stories. I think this facilitates a sharing of ideas between races, which is extremely important, especially in a racially-charged nation like South Africa.

Part III: Class Discussion

  1. How can you become a well-known person in Vietnam?

That’s a good question. I don’t really know Vietnamese culture very well, so I have to let the class answer this.

  1. What kinds of people can become famous in Vietnam?

I would imagine you can become famous here in the same ways that you can become famous anywhere else. You can become a singer, movie star, TV personality, or politician. Though it’s also easy these days to become famous by making a viral video on Twitter or Snapchat.

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being famous?

I think fame can be a great way to get your ideas out, and it’s a good barometer of whether or not you’ve achieved success. If you’re famous, you’re more likely to be financially secure and to have a group of people to encourage and support you. But there are some downsides. People demand a lot from you when you’re famous and you probably have a busy schedule. And you can become consumed by fame (perhaps by falling in love with yourself a little too much?) and you can lose the hunger and drive that led you to create in the first place.

  1. What do you think of the privacy of a well-known person?

I think they have to expect that they will need to compromise their privacy a little in order to be famous. They will need to get used to people taking their photos when they’re out on the streets. Also, it’s very hard to get famous without using social media, and when you use social media, you have to share little bits of yourself. Being famous while also protecting your privacy is an impossible thing, I think.

  1. Would you be influenced by the well-known persons in TV advertising?

Not really. Mostly because I have simple tastes and don’t really buy too many things. I might watch the advertisement if there’s a well-known figure I like in it, but I probably wouldn’t buy the product.