Speaking (Various Topics)



Idioms & Expressions:

photogenic (adjective, this means that someone usually looks attractive in photos)

My sister is very photogenic. All of her Instagram posts get a lot of likes.


camera shy (adjective, this describes a person who does not like to have their picture taken

I hate it when everyone wants to pose for a photo. I’m very camera shy.


shutterbug (noun used for a person who’s always taking pictures

My brother bought a camera and now he’s turned into a shutterbug.


shooting (verb that can be used for “taking” pictures or video)

My friend is going to be shooting video at the wedding.


sink or swim (an expression that refers a situation where there is very tough competition)

The workplace is a sink or swim kind of place.


black out (a verb that means to go unconscious)

He blacked out after he hit his head.


black and blue (the color of bruised skin after an injury)

After he got beaten up, he was black and blue.


beet red (an adjective describing the color of someone’s face when they’re embarrassed)

My face turned beet red when I realized my parents overheard my phone call.


caught red-handed (a verb that means someone is caught in the act of doing something)

They caught the thief red-handed.


golden opportunity (a noun that refers to the most opportune time to accomplish something)

The team has possession of the ball and a golden opportunity to score.


green light (a noun that refers to the approval to proceed)

We got the green light for our project.


red tape (a noun that refers to time-consuming diplomatic or bureaucratic tasks that must be accomplished)

There’s a lot of red tape to take care of before you can get a visa.


true colors (a noun that refers to someone true nature/who they really are, as opposed to who they pretend to be)

After I knew him for a while, I saw his true colors.


white lie (a noun for a small lie that you don’t think will cause much harm)

I told a little white lie to my parents.


Part I: Group Discussion


Do you like to take photographs?

I do like to take photographs, but I’m not very good at taking them. I believe it takes talent and skill to take a good photo, and I don’t have the requisite talent or skill to take an amazing photo right now. But if I see a beautiful view, I want to take a photo of it.


Do you prefer to take pictures of people or of scenery?

Scenery, mostly. I’m not good at taking portraits of individual people. Scenery is usually more impressive, I think.

Where do you often take photographs?

Wherever I am, especially if I’m in a new place. When I first travel somewhere, I take a lot of photos of it. As time goes on, I take fewer and fewer, because I’m familiar with the place.

Have you ever taken a family photo?

Yes, but it’s been a long time. I haven’t been home for about 3 years, and our last family photo was then. It was at a party to celebrate my sister’s upcoming trip to Africa.

Do you like taking photos of yourself?

Sometimes, but I don’t think I’m very photogenic. I prefer it when other take photos of me.


Do people in Vietnam enjoy swimming?

I don’t know – do they?

Did you learn swimming when you were little?

Yes, my parents had me take swimming lessons. I never became very good or very fast, but because of the lessons, I can at least stay afloat when I’m in the water.

Is it important for children to learn swimming?

Not necessarily. I think the risk of drowning is overrated. But it’s a good skill to have, I think. And swimming is also very good exercise.


What type of clothes do you like to wear?

I like to dress formally. I like wearing suits and ties. However, that’s not practical all the time. Sometimes you have to dress down and wear shorts and a T-shirt in hot weather.

What kind of clothes do people in your country usually wear?

America is huge and has over 300 million people, so there are limitless fashion choices.

What kind of clothes do you dislike?

I can’t think of anything I don’t like wearing. However, I don’t like wearing old or dirty clothes. I like to have newer clothes that fit me.

Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe a place near a lot of water you enjoyed visiting. You should say:

Where this place was

Who you went there with

What you did there

And explain why you enjoyed visiting that place

There is a lake in my home state called the Lamprey River. When I was a kid, I’d go canoeing on the river with my grandfather and my sisters. We used to go there every summer and paddle up the river to a little dock and sit there for a while and have a picnic. Then we’d come back the way we came and go have pizza at a restaurant nearby. It was a fun summertime activity, and I think I’ll always miss doing it. It’s too bad that my grandparents are now too old to go on these trips.

Part III: Class Discussion


Do you have a favourite colour?

I like blue and gray. When they’re combined, I think that’s the prettiest shade. The color of the beach during the winter is the only thing I can think of in real life that is my favorite color.

What are your country’s colours?

America’s flag has red, white and blue. Other countries have those colors, too, but our flag is very recognizable.

Do you think colours affect our moods?

Subconsciously, they do. I read that the interior of McDonald’s restaurants are yellow, because yellow is a color that inspires hunger.

Do you like the same colours now as you did when you were a child?

I don’t remember what I liked when I was a child, so I’m actually not sure. I haven’t been a child for a long time. I think I wore a lot of blue though.


What kind of people do you find annoying?

Loud people. I don’t like it when people make loud noises or shout. I guess I prefer a peaceful atmosphere. That’s why I usually carry around headphones, so that I don’t have to listen to other people.

Who’s a famous person you would like to meet?

I think I’d like to meet Chris Evans. He’s the actor who plays Captain America in the Marvel superhero movies. I’d like to see what he’s like in real life and how he acts when he’s not playing a character. He also seems like a really fun guy to hang out with.