Speaking (Work / Noise / Food)



Idioms & Expressions:

work / life balance (or school / life balance) (nouns; refer to the parts of your life taken up by work and life)

My job keeps me too busy to maintain a good work / life balance.


burn the midnight oil (verb phrase; means to stay up late working on something)

I have an exam tomorrow morning so I’m going to be burning the midnight oil tonight.


pet peeve (noun; refers to something that really annoys you)

Please stop cracking your knuckles! That noise is my pet peeve.

cause a commotion / cause a ruckus (verbs; they mean that a lot of noise is being made by someone or something)

The kids started running around and causing a commotion when they got home from school.


so loud I can’t hear myself think (an expression that refers to a really noisy place where it’s impossible to focus or think)


bring home the bacon (verb; this means to earn the money to live)

My dad worked three jobs in order to bring home the bacon.


a piece of cake (noun; this is something that is very easy)

The test was a piece of cake.


comfort zone (noun; this is a situation where everything is easy and familiar for you and nothing is a challenge)

I like to try new foods so I can get out of my comfort zone.


Part I: Group Discussion

  1. Do you like working with people or on your own? Why?

I prefer to usually work alone, but not all the time. I like to work with other people part of the day because socializing and joking at the workplace are important.

  1. Is it good to let teenagers have part-time jobs? Why?

Absolutely. Jobs help you realize that making money is difficult and that, if they don’t want to have a job they don’t like, then they need to find the motivation to get a better job doing something else.

  1. Do you have problems with noise?

Yes. I wear headphones all the time because the noises people make bother me. I don’t listening to people talk, chew food, or type.

  1. Does noise affect your work? How?

Some people can focus in a really noisy atmosphere, but I can’t unless I have something crucial to work on, and focus is required.

  1. Do you like going to noisy places?

Only if it’s a bar or a club. Otherwise, if it’s a crowded area like a mall or something with a lot of families and children, I don’t enjoy it.

  1. Why some young people like going to some noisy places, such as bars?

Many young people enjoy this, not some. People like to be in noisy places because that’s where the people are at and those places are good for socializing.

Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe an occasion when you ate something completely new. Please say:

What was it?

Where and when was it?

Why did you eat it?

Well, everything you have ever eaten, there was a first time for it. However, once I was in South Korea in the city of Busan and I was with some friends who ordered some live octopus. The restaurant staff brings it out to you and they boil it alive. Then they put it in your plate and cut it up with scissors. You put it in your mouth and you can actually feel it trying to use its suction cups to stick to the inside of your throat as you swallow it (it can move after it’s dead because of involuntary nerve twitches). That made it hard to eat, and it didn’t taste that good anyway. It sort of tasted like rubber bands. So I don’t think I’ll ever eat it again.

Part III: Pair Interviews

  1. What noise do you find the most annoying? (What noise is your pet peeve?)
  2. What is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?
  3. What is something you can do to get out of your comfort zone?
  4. Have you ever tried gardening? What did you think about this?