Speaking (Routines & Learning)



Idioms & Expressions:

in a rut (prepositional phrase that means you are stuck in a routine)

I’ve been studying for hours but my grades haven’t improved. I’m stuck in a rut.


creature of habit (noun; this is a person who enjoys doing the same things every day)

I always wear the same clothes and eat the same meals. I’m a creature of habit.


in a groove/in a rhythm (prepositional phrases that mean to become comfortable doing something)

After I had been at the job for a few weeks, I got into a rhythm and stopped making mistakes.


pass with flying colors (to get a very high mark or score on a test)

He passed the test with flying colors.


drawing a blank (to be unable to remember a piece of information)

I’m trying to think of the answer, but I’m drawing a blank right now.


dropout (noun; someone who left school before graduation)

Mark Zuckerberg is a college dropout who founded Facebook.


teacher’s pet (a noun that refers to an overly-enthusiastic student who annoys the others in the class)

She’s the teacher’s pet and frequently annoys the other students.


class clown (a noun that refers to a students who is always trying to make everyone in the class laugh)

The class clown might be a little noisy, but we all think he’s funny.


Part I: Group Discussion

  1. What would you like to change in your daily routine?

I think I’d like to get up a little earlier. Also, I’d like to use my phone a little less and use the extra time for playing my guitar more often.

  1. Are all your days the same?

Pretty much. I usually start working in the afternoon, which means that I get out of work late, and then I stay up late. I do several different jobs, but since I work every day, I’m busy all the time, and every day feels essentially the same.


  1. Tell me about your typical weekday and your typical weekend?

My weekdays and weekends are pretty much the same, since I work every day. However, I tend to socialize more on the weekends, which means that I’m more tired on those days.


  1. What is the balance of work/ study and free time in your normal day?

I only have free time in the morning and late at night. During the day, I might have a random break between some classes, but it’s not enough for me to go home and truly relax. Ideally, I’d like to have more time off, but I also think I need to work hard right now and save my money.

Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe a teacher who has influenced you in your education. You should say:

  • where you met him/her
  • what subject he/she taught
  • what was special about him/her
  • and explain why this person influenced you so much


My sophomore year of high school, I had an English teacher named Mr. Ford. He was an older guy who was pretty funny and always had a twinkle in his eye. We liked him because his lectures were pretty much like standup comedy sets. During his lessons, he’d always have us write in our journals for about 12 minutes on a certain topic, and then he’d pick one of us to share what we wrote with the class. He made writing a fun activity for us. I admire him because he seemed like an eternally optimistic person and a good role model. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2010. His funeral was overflowing with former students. I attended, and found it to be pretty emotional. To this day, he’s truly missed in our community.

Part III: Class Discussion

  1. How has education changed in your country in the last 10 years?

Not very much. I think recently teachers have shifted into a more multimedia approach, with more colorful Powerpoint presentations and more videos. But beyond that, education hasn’t really changed too much.


  1. What changes do you foresee in the next 50 years?

It’s hard to fathom how different education (and everything else) will be in the next 50 years. I think we’ll see holographic teachers that can personalize their teaching approaches to each student within the middle of each lesson.


  1. What role do you think extracurricular activities play in education?

I think these activities are necessary, as they give students an opportunity to enrich their skill sets and to not be so bored. For example, at school I learned how to play the saxophone at school, and I also joined the cross-country team, which made me be more active.


  1. What method of learning works best for you?

I have to just sit down and read the material. If you give me enough time, I can figure out what I’m trying to learn. Additionally, I think it’s helpful to discuss what I’m learning with other people who are studying the same thing I am.


  1. How beneficial do you think it is to group students according to their level of ability?

I think this is a big part of education. Obviously, you group students according to age when you divide them into grades. The same goes for grouping students into different skill levels in the classroom.