Speaking (Friends / Reading)


Idioms & Expressions:

fair-weather friend (noun; a friend who only sees you when they want something)

He is a fair-weather friend who only visits me when he wants to borrow money.


like family (a way to describe that someone is so close to you, you treat them like part of your family)

My best friend Joe is like family to me.


loner / homebody (nouns; that refer to someone who wants to stay at home and not socialize very often. Also known as “introverts”)

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


crew (noun; a very casual term for your social group)

I was fortunate enough to have found a good crew of friends when I moved to Chicago.


childhood friend (noun; a friend you have known since you were a kid)


lifelong friend (noun; a friend you know for most of your life)


bookworm (noun; someone who is always reading a book)


head in a book (a similar expression which refers to the act of reading)

She’s a real bookworm. You can always find her with her head in a book.


book smarts (noun; 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 (verb; 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 expression means you know someone so well you are able to understand what someone is thinking just by looking at them)

He says he doesn’t want to go on the trip, but I know he really does – I can read him like a book.


hit the books (verb; a casual expression which means “to study”)


read up on / brush up on _____ (verbs; 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.


Part I: Group Discussion

How often do you hang out with friends?

Not often, unfortunately. I’m too busy these days.

Tell me about your best friends at school.

I’m not a student. But I’m still friends with a few people I met in college.

How friendly are you with your neighbours?

I don’t know my neighbors. But I live with some housemates who I share my house with. I don’t see them often, though.

Which is more important to you, friends or family?

My family lives in America, so I never see them. My friends here are the people I see the most and the people that I can connect with.

Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe a writer you would like to meet. You should say:

Who the writer is

What you know about this person already

What you would like to find out about him/her

And explain why you would like to meet this writer

One of my favorite authors is a guy named Stephen Hunter. He writes thriller novels that follow a former Marine sniper named Bob Lee Swagger. He often gets entangled in conspiracies and must solve mysteries and get into gunfights with other snipers. I’d like to find out about Stephen Hunter’s writing process, and also who his influences are. I think he’s a really interesting guy and I’m interested to see how he in in real life.

Part III: Class Discussion

What kinds of books are most popular with children in your country? Why?

Probably children’s books! I have no idea. I’m not a child.

Why do think some children do not read books often?

Most children don’t read. Because their parents let them watch TV and use iPads. Or, the kids are outside playing.

How do you think children can be encouraged to read more?

By giving them books as gifts, probably. Especially if it’s about a topic they’re interested in.

Are there any occasions when reading at speed is a useful skill to have?

Sure, any time when you need to study, I bet. If you can read and understand what you read, that’s a useful skill.

Are there any jobs where people need to read a lot? What are they?

I’m sure if you’re a scholar or professor, then you spend a lot of time reading. Or a lawyer.

Do you think that reading novels is more interesting than reading factual books? Why?

It depends on the topic. Fiction and non-fiction can both be interesting.