Speaking (Work / School / Eating)


Idioms & Expressions:

rat race (noun; that refers to the competitive workplace environment)

For my sanity, I had to leave the rat race and quit my job.


corporate grind (noun; a term used to describe the effect that working very hard has on a person)

The corporate grind was starting to take a toll on his health.


9-5 (noun; refers to a traditional job where one is expected to work from 9 in the morning until 5 in the evening)

I hated my 9-5, so I quit and moved to a new city.


the bane of my existence (noun; something in your life that greatly stresses or challenges you)

Calculus is a very hard subject for me. It’s the bane of my existence.


health nut (noun; a person who doesn’t like junk food and prefers to eat natural food instead)

I used to be overweight, but now I’m a health nut and I haven’t had fast food in months.


home-cooked (adjective; describes food cooked at home)

I miss my mother’s home-cooked meals.


staple (noun; this is a common food in a certain region’s diet)


cuisine (noun; this refers to all the foods that people in a certain country or region enjoy)

Beans are a staple of Mexican cuisine.


sweet tooth (noun; refers to a person’s preference for desserts and other sugary foods)

I have a sweet tooth and often opt for ice cream after dinner.


foodie (noun; a person who loves eating and trying new meals)

Being a foodie, trying new dishes is my favorite part of traveling.


dish (noun; another word for a part of a meal. For example, a chicken dish is served as part of a larger meal)

Last night, I tried a new Turkish dish for dinner.

cultural export / import (nouns; a food item or other cultural trademark that is enjoyed by other countries)

Pizza is one of Italy’s most beloved cultural exports.


eat in / eat out (verbs; different ways to eat your meals)

I usually like to eat in, but for my grandfather’s birthday, we all went out to eat.


Part I: Class Discussion

What job do you do?

I’m an English teacher and I also work for a YouTube Channel.

What skills do you need for your job?

I have to be punctual, focused, and able to express myself clearly in both written and verbal forms.

What do you like / dislike about your job?

Doing the same lesson over and over can get quite boring.

What subject are you studying?

Right now, I’m studying Spanish and also a little Vietnamese.

Why did you want to study that subject?

I think studying foreign languages is good for your brain. As you get older, you need to keep stimulating your brain so you can think clearer when you get older.

How long have you been studying?

Off and on for a few years. I take breaks every now and then.

How often do you want TV?

Never, I don’t have time.

What kinds of TV shows are most popular in your country?

Well, we have everything in America. Right now I think reality shows are extremely popular, including singing shows. Also, scripted dramas, cop shows, and sitcoms are popular. Netflix is huge, too.

Is there anything you want to change about TV in your country?

No, I think TV is fine. It helps people relax.

Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe a restaurant you enjoyed going to. You should say:

Where the restaurant was

Who you went with

What type of food you ate there

And why you thought the restaurant was good

This is about a café I liked going to. When I was in South Korea, there a little café on my street called “The Gallery.” A young Korean man owned the place and he was always really kind to me. He’d give me free refills on my coffee, and every so often he’d bring me out a free plate of cookies or even a slice of pizza. It made for a really nice, pleasant atmosphere, and I went there almost every day. I appreciated it so much that I started leaving a little money on my table as a tip for him each day. In Korea, tipping is not customary, but I decided that it was worth it for me to leave him a little money in exchange for his accommodation.

Part III: Group Discussion

Do you think that people eat healthier food that they did in the past? Why / Why not?

Definitely not. There are more chemicals and preservatives in our food now. Also, a lot more sugar. I think our food is going to make us sick when we’re older.

How important do you think it is for families to eat together?

I think it’s crucial for families to eat together. Human connection is important and we can feel pretty bad without it.

What effects has modern technology had on what we eat?

You can order food very easily, right from your smartphone, and have it delivered.

Why do people go restaurants to celebrate important occasions?

It feels nice to wear formal clothes and go to a fancy venue, and not have to clean up afterward.

Do you think that food prepared at home is always better than in restaurants?

Definitely not. Some people can cook very well, but other people are bad cooks. There are great chefs in restaurants who makes amazing food.

Which are more popular in your country: fast food or traditional restaurants?

I’m not sure. I haven’t lived in America for a long time. I think they’re probably equally as popular.