Speaking (Neighbors & Meetings)

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Idioms & Expressions:

 

next-door neighbor (someone who lived directly next to you)

That man is my next-door neighbor.

 

neighbor on (this means one place is right next to another place)

My house neighbors on the corner store.

if there’s anything you need I’ll be next door (something to say to someone to let them know you’re willing and able to help them)

Nice to meet you. If there’s anything you need, I’ll be next door.

 

binge/binge watch (verb, this means to watch many episodes of a certain TV show in a single day)

I’ve been binge watching The Simpsons all week.

 

call a meeting (an expression that means to order that a meeting must be held)

The boss called a meeting for the following morning at 9:00.

 

in person/ face to face (phrases that refer to being with another person instead of calling or communicating with them online)

I never sign a contract without meeting someone in person first.

 

business breakfast/lunch/dinner (nouns that refer to having a business meeting while eating or drinking)

Sorry I can’t meet you tonight – I have a business dinner with some clients.

 

talk about it over _______ (phrase that refers to discussing a matter while having food or drinks)

Let’s get together and talk about the deal over drinks.

 

on the same page (prepositional phrase that means that you and another person understand each other)

After the meeting, Tom and Dick realized they were on the same page.

 

Part I: Group Discussions

Neighbors

How well do you know the people who live next door to you?

I know my neighbors pretty well. I actually live in a shared house with six other people, and they’re all roughly my age. We all hang out together fairly often and just enjoy having a night off together. Some of them have become pretty good friends of mine.

What kinds of problems do you sometimes have with your neighbors?

I can’t think of any real problems I’ve had recently with my neighbors. The only issue I’ve had with the people I live nearby is that sometimes people can be quite noisy in the morning, which I find annoying. People on the street yell, honk their horns, and kill chickens and all the noise wakes me up.

How do you think neighbors can help each other?

Just be being available and chatting. We actually had a fire in my house in January, and people in the neighborhood rushed to our house to help clean up.

Television

How often do you watch TV? [Why/Why not?]

I almost never watch TV. I don’t really have the time and energy to keep up with all the different shows. There are hundreds of shows out, and I really don’t think I could possible keep up with all of them. Maybe when I get older and have more time, I’ll relax and watch more.

Which television channel do you usually watch? [Why?]

Like I said, I don’t watch TV hardly at all. However, when I do want to watch something, I’ll go to a friend’s house and they’ll put on Netflix, where we can stream all sorts of shows.

Part II: Individual Presentations

 

Describe a meeting you remember going to at work, college or school. You should say:

  • when and where the meeting was held
  • who was at the meeting
  • what the people at the meeting talked about
  • And explain why you remember going to this meeting

 

Recently I had a meeting with a company that I help make videos for. It was at the company office and we met in a conference room. Basically, a team of twenty people were there and I had to be there to share my ideas for how we could make the videos better. It was a valuable time to exchange information, but since I don’t speak Vietnamese I had to sit there quietly for most of the meeting while people discussed things. However, it was a useful meeting for me to attend because it gave me a good idea of what I needed to do better in the future.

 

Part III: Class Discussion

Meetings

Some people say that no one likes to go to meetings – what do you think?

I can see that. Most people think meetings are a waste of time, with a lot of talking that leads nowhere. However, face-to-face contact is a very important part of communicating with a team, and it’s good to be in a room with someone in order to get on the same page with them.

Why can it sometimes be important to go to meetings?

As I said, being in a room with people is conducive to teamwork. Additionally, chatting with other people builds creativity and allows for inspiration to happen. So as much as meetings might be seen as a waste of time, I think that they can be quite useful.

Why do you think world leaders often have meetings together?

Because technology can only take you so far. It’s much easier to build a friendship or relationship if you spend time with someone in person. I think that helps defuse a lot of potentially bad global situations, when leaders get together.

What possible difficulties might be involved in organizing meetings between world leaders?

I can see security being a pretty big problem. For example, every time the US president travels somewhere, it’s a hugely complex operation that involves hundreds of agents doing security checks and it often costs millions of dollars. Also, logistics of getting both leaders’ staff and personnel from point A to point B can be quite daunting.