Speaking (The Ocean & Hobbies)




Rather than listen to us, he stuck his head in the sand and ignored us.

I cooked you dinner, so you didn’t have to bring food over. You might as well have brought sand to the beach.


Don’t worry, you won’t be alone for long. There are other fish in the sea.


Soon after he joined the basketball team, he realized he wasn’t the only pebble on the beach, and there many of the other players were very good as well.


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

He’s got book smarts, but not much common sense.

Ask me anything; I’m an open book!

If you read between the lines, it’s clear that she doesn’t like you.

Tonight I’m going to crack open a book and go to bed early.

He says he doesn’t like her but I know he really does – I can read him like a book.

Many websites get a lot of views by sharing their content on Facebook.

The Harry Potter books are easy reads. Even little kids can understand them.

People who read a lot tend to have better critical thinking skills.

Many young people these days use their smartphones very often, and therefore have short attention spans.


Idioms & Expressions:

Stick your head in the sand (an expression that means to ignore signs of obvious danger, because dealing with them would be inconvenient), bring sand to the beach (an expression that refers to doing something pointless), there are lots of fish in the sea (an expression that is used to encourage people after they go through a breakup, to give them hope of finding someone new), there are other pebbles on the beach (to realize that there are other people who are as important or as qualified as you are).

bookworm (someone who’s always reading a book), head in a book (a similar expression which refers to the act of constantly reading), book smarts (knowledge or intelligence you acquire through reading and studying), I’m an open book (an expression which means someone is very forthcoming and willing to volunteer information), read between the lines (this expression means to find the subtext in what is being said by not taking something literally), crack open a book/magazine (a casual expression for reading), you can’t just 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 means you are able to understand what someone is thinking just by looking at them), content (noun, this refers to media that is shared or posted on the internet), easy read (noun, this is a book that is written as to be easily understood by anyone reading it), critical thinking skills (noun, this refers to the ability to understand and argue with the book or article that you’re reading), attention span (noun, this refers to how long someone can stay focused on a certain task before getting distracted)


Part I: Spontaneous Speaking

How much time have you spent by the ocean?

I actually have spent a lot of time by the ocean, since I grew up very close to it. My childhood home is actually only two miles from the beach. That being said, I don’t actually like the beach too much. Not unless I’m in a really tropical place, or in a place where there are fun activities to do, such as kitesurfing.

Why do people like being near the ocean?

I think it’s relaxing for most people to stand near the water and listen to the waves. Being near water is a nice change of pace, especially if you live near the city.

What do you like about the ocean?

I think it’s relaxing, and I like to take a drive along the coast if I have access to a car. I think having a drink or a meal near the water is nice, too.

Would you like to live near the ocean?

I would – but I would just enjoy being near it, and the scenery that comes with it. I wouldn’t actually go to the beach that often, because as I said, I don’t like going to the beach too much. It’s too sandy.

Do you prefer to spend your leisure time indoors or outdoors?

Usually, I like to be indoors, working on a project or reading a book. But about 30% of the time, I like to be outside, hiking or running.

Is there anything you don’t like about being indoors (outdoors)?

I don’t like being inside when the sun is setting, I think that’s depressing. I’d rather be outside for that.

What are some activities you do indoors (outdoors)?

When I’m indoors, I read and write. Sometimes I watch TV, but not very often. When I’m outside, I like to either take a walk or hang out on a patio with some cool people.

What do you enjoy about these activities?

I like activities that either relax me, or make me feel like I’m accomplishing something or being creative. I don’t like to be too lazy. I can accomplish these things whether I’m inside or outside, I’ve found.


Part II: Pair Interviews

Describe a book you read recently. You should say:

The title and author of the book

What the book was about

Why you decided to read it and explain why you enjoyed/didn’t enjoy reading it?

The most recent book I read was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by a Japanese author named Haruki Murakami. It was a book set in the genre of magical realism, which made it pretty weird. It was about a young Japanese man whose wife leaves him, and he crosses paths with a World War II veteran and a young girl who dropped out of school. I enjoyed the writing style, but it was such a strange and different book that it was hard for me to commit to. I stopped reading it about halfway in – I just wasn’t interested enough in it to keep going. I like easy reads, and this one was too challenging for me. There was too much symbolism I didn’t get.


Part III: Class Discussion

Why do people read?

People read to be entertained, primarily. They also usually read to get information. Reading is an ancient art, and people have always enjoyed it.

How important do you think reading is?

I think it’s crucial for people to do, because it teaches you patience and how to utilize critical thinking skills. Reading stretches your brain and exercises it.

What kinds of things are popular to read these days?

I think people read a lot of online content – articles shared on Facebook and things like that. Mysteries and thrillers remain popular, too.

How do you think reading will be different in the future?

Actually, I think reading will stay relevant for a long time, despite the fact that so many people don’t read at all, or they get distracted by other things. But there are still enough people buying books these days that it’s an encouraging sign. I think people will just end up reading books on their phones or tablets, instead of buying printed books.