Speaking (Friends & Family)


Idioms & Expressions: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (an expression that means children are very similar to their parents); BFFs (an acronym for “best friends forever”); social butterfly (noun, someone who like to socialize with everyone); crew/squad (a very casual term for your social group); loner/lone wolf (both are terms for people who like to alone (introverts), keep it in the family (an expression that means to keep information confidential); black sheep (a member of the family who is unlike the rest of their family); like family to me (an expression that means that a friend is so close you, you treat them like a member of your family); burning bridges (to burn a bridge means to ruin a friendship or connection); keep at arm’s length (a verb that means to keep your distance from someone and not get to know them very well); know him/her inside and out (to know everything about someone).


He is just like his father! I guess the apple doesn’t far from the tree.

She is a social butterfly and talks to everyone.

I’m fortunate enough to have found a good crew of friends.

He’s sort of a loner. I always see him by himself.

Please don’t tell anyone about this – keep it in the family.

My son is very different from me. He’s the black sheep of the family.

The person I trust the most is my best friend. He’s like family to me.

He burned too many bridges, now he has no more friends.

I tend to be cautious, and keep people I don’t know at arm’s length.

My parents know me inside and out, so it’s hard for me to lie to them.

Part I: Spontaneous Speaking


  1. Do you have a lot of friends?

I used to have many friends, but as I get older I find myself having fewer and fewer. Part of this comes from me being busier. I have less time to go out and meet people now that I work more. Also, I already have a few quality friends, so I don’t see the need to go form a larger crew. As you get older, you tend to cut out most of your acquaintances and spend time with the people who truly matter to you.

  1. When do you prefer to be alone and when do you want to be with friends?

I usually prefer to be alone, because many of the things I like to do are solo activities (like reading, writing, and exercising). So, I prefer to be alone about 70% of the time. The other 30% of the time, like on nights and weekends, are when I like to be with people and enjoy being social.

  1. What do you usually do with your friends?

My friends and I like to just hang out, drink a coffee or beer, and talk about life. Sometimes, if people’s schedules work out, we go on trips together. For instance, last week I went to Thailand with an old college roommate. We had a great time, even though most of the trip was spent just relaxing and talking.

  1. What does friendship mean to you?

Friendship is one of the most important things a person can have in his or her life. It’s crucial for a person to have social interaction for emotional support and to become influenced by new ideas. I get excited when I think about hanging out with my friends, because I have funny friends and I enjoy interacting with them.

  1. Which is more important to young adults: family or friends?

I think that young adults (most of them, anyway) tend to value friends more than family, since they have been with their families for so long, now they want to spend more of their free time with their friends. For me, I spent most of my teens and early twenties with my friends, but now that I’m older I place a higher value on my family, especially as many of them are getting older.

Part II: Pair Interviews

Describe a child you know. You should say:

  • How you know him or her

My sister has a baby boy, and his name is Gabriel. He’s two years old.

  • What he or she likes to do

Gabriel is just now learning how to talk, so he likes saying a lot of nonsense sentences, and it’s really cute! I can’t see him very often, because I live in Vietnam. But I like to Skype with him and listen to him talk. He likes to play with things and throw his toys around, since he is just getting used to using his body.

  • What kind of person he/she is

Right now, he’s just a kid, so it’s hard to tell what kind of personality he’ll end up with. But he already seems like a smart and curious little boy. I think he’ll be similar to me, and I look forward to him getting older so I can take him on some trips.

  • and explain how you feel about this child.

He’s my first niece or nephew, and since I don’t have any kids, I’m excited to have him in my life. Even though he’s very young, he holds a special place in my heart already.

Part III: Class Discussion


  1. What kind of parent do you intend to be?

Right now, I don’t want to have children. I am already busy enough without having a child in my life! But if I had a child, I would want to be a patient, kind, considerate father who could always trust me to be there and do the right thing. I think being a good parent is extremely hard, which is one reason I don’t want to have kids.

  1. What hopes or fears do you have concerning your children?

I think we live in a scary and dangerous world, and it’s hard to raise kids in it. I would worry about my children making it through their adolescence in a healthy manner, and I would worry about them making good choices as they become adults (since I know how difficult life can be once you grow up!)

  1. What type of culture do you want your child to grow up in?

If I had a child, I would raise him/her in a foreign country. I have been living abroad for a long time, and I think it adds a lot of flavor and perspective to my life. I think raising a child in Asia, for at least a few years, would be an invaluable formative experience for him/her. Then I would try to move my family to another place afterwards. I don’t think living in America is a very good idea – Americans can be pretty rude and lazy, and I don’t want my child to be like that.

  1. Are you going to bring your children up differently from the way you were brought up? Why or why not?

Yes, I would raise my child differently. My parents were very religious and they raised me in a very strict household. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV or go to the movies, and I was often frustrated that I couldn’t do certain things that my friends were allowed to do. I think if I had children, I would let them experience many different things, be with their friends more, and make their own decisions, instead of sheltering them and always telling them “no.”