Speaking Practice (Places / Websites / Internet)

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Idioms & Expressions:

stomping grounds (noun; refers to the areas that you frequently socialize at)

I miss living here. These streets are my old stomping grounds.

 

vibe / feel / atmosphere / ambience (these are all nouns that can be combined with an adjective to describe a place, such as “pleasant atmosphere, or “nice vibe,” etc)

The restaurant has a good menu and a pleasant vibe.

I like the relaxed ambience in this coffee shop.

 

fit the bill (verb phrase; if something “fits the bill,” then it fulfills your requirements)

That park fits the bill for the wedding reception.

 

spot (noun; that describes a location you like to eat, drink or hang out at)

This library is my favorite spot – I love to come here and spend a few hours reading a book.

 

drop me a line (verb; this means to get in touch with someone via written means such as text message or email)

Drop me a line if you happen to move to the city.

 

hit me up (casual way of saying “contact me” or “get in touch with me”)

Hit me up if you want to hang out later on.

 

keep me posted (verb; to keep someone updated with new information)

Keep me posted on how the party preparations are going.

 

go dark (verb; this means that no one is able to contact you)

I’m going dark this weekend, so if you have a question, just wait until Monday.

 

with the click / touch of a button (a phrase that describes a process that can be performed very easily)

Many people prefer online shopping because they can order things with the click of a button.

 

Part I: Group Discussion

What place do you most like to visit?

How often do you visit this place?

Why do you like it so much?

Is this popular with many other people?

Has it changed very much since you first went there? In what way?

I like to head over to a café near my apartment called Joma. It’s not too far away – I can get there in less than five minutes. It’s actually not very quiet – there are families and kids and people talking loudly. But I like it because I usually bump into someone I know there and have a quick catch-up chat. And once I throw on headphones, I can drown out the noise and commotion.

I like it because I can get a free refill for my coffee, and they have healthy food options, like a vegetable platter. It hasn’t changed since I’ve been there, because I actually only went there for the first time about two months ago. But I like it because it has a nice vibe and is located in a pleasant, shady spot.

Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe a useful website you have visited. You should say:

  • What the website was
  • How you found the address for this website
  • What the website contained

and explain why it was useful to you.

I like to go by Reddit.com. It’s basically a giant message board where people post things and discuss literally every topic you can possibly think of. Most people post as anonymous users, under a username that they choose themselves. I’m actually not a registered user of the site, but I go to the homepage every day and see what the most popular topics and links are. It can be a good way to get another perspective on current events, and learn some interesting trivia. I can’t post anything, but I can see what other people are saying, and sometimes the things they say are pretty funny.

I heard about it through a few friends, and decided to give it a try myself. Like I said, I’m not a member, but that might change at some point in the future if I decide to start posting.

Part III: Class Discussion

  1. What effect has the Internet had on the way people generally communicate with each other?

It’s changed almost everything about the way we communicate. Since the smartphone revolution, we’ve been able to just pull out the phones in our pockets and message anyone.

  1. Why do you think the Internet is being used more and more for communication?

Now, you can communicate with anyone for a cost of practically nothing. In the past, if you wanted to make a long-distance phone call, you had to pay something like twenty cents a minute. Nowadays, the rules have changed.

  1. How reliable do you think information from the Internet is? Why? What about the news on the internet?

You can find almost any kind of information on the internet. This is because anyone can start a blog or a website, and then type anything they want. Even the mainstream sources, the giant news networks, are subject to what their owners tell them. So the only way to get reliable information is to check many different reputable sources.

  1. Why do you think some people use the internet for shopping? Why doesn’t everyone use it in this way?

It’s convenient and more private to shop online. And the prices are usually better. The only drawback I can think of is that you have to wait a little while for your package to arrive. Personally, I’m impatient, so I like to head over to a store to buy an item in person if I can.

  1. What kinds of things are easy to buy and sell online? Can you give me some examples?

I think you can buy and sell anything. It’s possible to take a picture of anything and then post it on the Internet. I think you can sell anything from clothing to electronics, all the way up to houses. There’s really no limits in the digital domain.

  1. Do you think shopping on the internet will be more or less popular in the future? Why

I think it will only get more and more popular. This is because more and more people will get internet access in the future, and delivery will also grow more efficient. I’ve heard that some corporations are about to start using drones to deliver packages, which will make things much faster.