Speaking (Your Country / Food / Advertising)



Idioms & Expressions:

flyover states / provinces (noun; parts of a country that are rural, and where not many people live – so everyone just “flies over” them in planes)


the big city (noun; is used to describe the most major city in an area, where many people move in order to pursue jobs)

She moved from a flyover state to the big city in order to work at a law firm.


free time / down time (nouns; they mean leisure time)

How do you spend your free time?


time on my hands / time to kill (nouns; ways to refer to time that you have no idea what to do with)

I have two hours to kill before I have to go to work.


zone out / space out (verbs; mean to relax with some media)

Tonight I’m going to space out with a movie.


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.


culinary (adjective; used when discussing food or cooking)

He spent a few years studying culinary arts at his university.


appetizer (noun; also called  “starter,” this is a small dish, such as a soup or salad, eaten before the main course)


main course / entrée (noun; this is the centerpiece of the entire meal – for example, steak would be the main course of a meal)

For my appetizer, I had a Greek salad. And for my entrée, I had the roasted chicken.


buyer’s remorse (noun; refers to the regret you feel after buying something that you wish you hadn’t)

After I bought the book, I realized I didn’t like it that much, and I had buyer’s remorse.


airtime (noun; this refers to the time or attention a certain person or product gets on the news or on TV)

Donald Trump was given quite a bit of airtime due to his controversial statements.


Part I: Group Discussion

What do people usually do in their free time in your country?

There are endless answers to this question. America has about 320 million people, and there are a lot of different hobbies and interests. But a lot of people like watching TV, playing sports and going to sporting events. Also, video games are huge.

What do you enjoy most about living in your country?

The only thing I really enjoy about America is seeing my family and friends. Other than, it’s a very expensive and kind of boring place. So I don’t staying there.

Would you say that your country is a good place to visit?

It’s a good place for tourists. Because there are many famous places in America that foreigners like to see. I’d say it’s a great place to visit, but not to live.

What is your favorite meal?

Pizza is my favorite food. I also love eating Mexican food and Italian cuisine.

Do you prefer to eat or eat at home?

I only eat out. I never cook at home. Cooking takes way too much time. To go shopping, then cook, then clean up after your meal takes three or four hours. I’d rather spend the time on something else.

Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe a TV show you watch. You should say:

What kind of show it is

What usually happens in it

Why you enjoy watching it, and

Why you would recommend it

I don’t really watch TV these days. I don’t have time. A TV show I used to watch all the time was Breaking Bad. This was about a chemistry teacher in New Mexico who finds out he has terminal cancer and wants to find a way to support his family after he’s gone. He starts to manufacture meth (a dangerous drug) and make money by selling it. Of course, he ends up getting in a lot of trouble. It’s a very intense show and I was completely enthralled with it. It’s been rated as one of the best shows of the past decade, and has a huge following.

Part III: Class Discussion

  1. How do you feel about the amount of advertising on television?

I think there’s probably too much of it, but then again, I don’t watch enough TV to really be bothered by it. But then again, the only reason TV exists is to sell advertising, so having a lot of ads makes sense.

  1. In what ways has the television advertising changed in the last ten years?

I’m not really sure. I don’t think it has changed too much, although ads might encourage more social media engagement by placing a hashtag or a twitter handle on the screen, to try to gauge who’s actually seeing the ad.

  1. To what extent are people influenced by the advertising they see on television?

Probably not very much, but then again brand awareness is a powerful thing. For example, Coca-Cola spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year to maintain a ubiquitous presence, and it pay off, since they’re known as the default soda option.

  1. Why do people still enjoy going to the cinema to watch a film?

People like the communal aspect of seeing a film with a large crowd. It’s fun to be entertained en masse, and to laugh and shout with everyone. Also, attending a movie in person makes it more of an event than simply sitting at home and watching something on your TV.

  1. What sort of influence can films have on people?

In many ways. Movies can communicate stories and messages that people otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance to witness. Movie characters also give people certain attitudes and lifestyles that they might want to emulate.

  1. Should filmmakers be responsible for the impact their films can have on people?

I think it’s dangerous to attribute a movie’s impact to a filmmaker. If we begin limiting what filmmakers can or cannot do or say, or hold them responsible for how someone interpreted their work, then that opens the door for censorship, which is ostensibly an undesirable fixture in society.