Speaking (Transport and Teamwork)

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Idioms & Expressions:

gridlock (a noun that refers to traffic congestion)

Traffic today was total gridlock. I was sitting there for an hour.

share the load (verb, means to divide the workload)

We were able to share the load and get the project done before deadline.

 

many hands make light work (expression that means a team can accomplish a task more easily)

 

team up with (verb phrase; means to partner with someone or something)

He teamed up with another company to design the car.

 

team player (noun describing someone good at teamwork)

She’s a team player and easily assumed leadership duties when it was necessary.

 

change for the better/worse (to cause a positive or negative change in something)

His generous gift helped us changed this place for the better.

 

Part I: Group Discussion

  1. Do you use any public transport?

Currently, I don’t. I live in Vietnam and the only options currently are city buses, which I don’t take. I drive my motorcycle everywhere because I like having the independence to leave whenever I want.

  1. What kinds of public transport are there where you live?

Just the buses in Vietnam. In my hometown, in America, there is no public transport at all – you have to drive a car everywhere.

  1. How has the use of public transport changed over the last 10 years?

I would say it hasn’t changed too much. If people live in cities, then they are more likely to take trains and buses. If they don’t, then they need their own transportation.

  1. How would you improve the public transport system in your hometown?

In Hanoi, we need a subway – absolutely. There are too many people and the roads are too small to accommodate them all. I hear that the subway will open soon, though.

Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe a project or a piece of work you did together with someone. You should say:

  • what it was
  • what you have done
  • why you have chosen this person to work with

and explain what you did to finish the project.

I worked on a book recently with an editor. The book was about the culture shock that foreigners experience in Vietnam. I wrote the book and did the research, but the editor was in charge of approving my work. She gave me a lot of valuable suggestions and helped me get the book to the point where it was complete and accurate. I appreciated working with her because she is a professional with a lot of experience in the industry, and she eliminated a lot of confusion for me.

Part III: Class Discussion

  1. Do you think it is important to work on things with other people?

It depends on the project. Some projects are so big that it makes sense to split up the work. But if it’s a smaller project, or a more creative one, than I prefer to work alone.

  1. Is it important for children to have subjects in school that include teamwork?

In Science classes, it’s important to work with groups sometimes so that you can help each other test everything and make sure it’s accurate. But I think there is room more group assignments in all subjects. There should be a mix of individual work and group work, so students become used to all different types of working styles and see what is more efficient for them.

  1. What subjects would those be?
  2. How could businesses work together with schools or universities?

Businesses can offer scholarships or internships to encourage students to work harder or engage in academic competitions. This may help students find jobs when they graduate.

  1. How could wealthy countries help poor countries?

By investing in the construction of infrastructure, and by helping educate the populations of those countries to give the citizens a chance to improve things.