Thursday, 10 October 2013

Speakout Advanced p 10. Challenges and Motivation. Extra Speaking

A. Have a natural conversation with your partner  
1. Talk about the pictures relating them to the topic of challenges and motivations.
2. Do you enjoy a difficult challenge? How do you usually respond to challenges?

3. What things have you picked up informally or taught yourself to do?

4. Do you enjoy setting and achieving realistic goals?

5. Do you enjoy the satisfaction of completing a difficult task?

6. What challenges is the world facing nowadays?

7. Do you know anyone who has a burning ambition to travel somewhere? Do you?

8. In your opinion, what can we do to increase or improve student motivation?

9. What may be the causes for students’ poor motivation?

10. Have you ever done anything that was met with complete failure?

B. Monologue

Student A

1. Are you an ambitious person? What are your ambitions? What ambitions have you already fulfilled?

2. Can you define what “success” is? What qualities do we need to achieve success?

3. Have you ever taken up a difficult challenge?

4. Have you ever undergone anything that resulted in failure? Do you think fear of failure should deter you from trying again?

5. What political / economic / sports projects have recently ended in total failure?

Student B

1. What daunting (intimidating) challenges is the government facing these days?

2. Have you ever secretly harboured a lifelong ambition? Can you tell us about it?

3. What political or economic initiatives can be described as dismal (very bad) failures?

4. What film / book / song / scientific experiment / sporting event / etc. achieved a resounding success?

5.    How useful can advice from parents, teachers, and friends be? Do you follow their advice? Can you think of any occasions where people have followed or ignored advice (particularly regarding studies and work)? What happened?


Pick up: to get information or a skill by chance rather than by making a deliberate effort. E.g. to pick up bad habits. Here's a tip I picked up from my mother. She picked up Spanish when she was living in Mexico. Where did you pick up that idea?
Daunting: to make somebody feel nervous and less confident about doing something. Intimidating. E.g. She has the daunting task of cooking for 20 people every day.

Harbour: to have in mind a thought or feeling, usually over a long period. Sp. albergar.

Dismal: very bad. E.g. Their recent attempt to increase sales has been a dismal failure.

Useful language to describe the pictures 
She is talking to a priest.
She is wearing a polka dot dress
The man is wearing slippers.
He is going bald.

He has a receding hairline
He also has some stubble on his face.
Couch /kaʊtʃ/
Lie (lying) lay lain (intransitive verb). E.g. He is lying on the couch
Lay laid laid (transitive verb). E.g. They are laying the rubber ring on the ground.
They are dragging the rubber ring down the lake.
They are wearing life vests
They are using ropes and wooden sticks for tying or pulling the rubber rings
They are climbing poles
They are wearing helmets
They are wearing a harness /ˈhɑː(r)nɪs/ around their waists

dump: a place where waste or rubbish/garbage is taken and left
rubbish dump
a toxic/nuclear waste dump
tip: a place where you can take rubbish/garbage and leave it
landfill: an area of land where large amounts of waste material are buried under the earth. E.g. The map shows the position of the new landfills. a landfill site
Glass recycling
Bottle labels
Wind farm
Wind turbine

solar panels
solar power
renewable sources of energy
Striped suit and tie
Landline phone
The man sitting at the desk might be his boss.

Useful language to discuss the topic: 

1. Challenges
It posed a challenge (to create a challenge that has to be dealt with)
It was a major challenge
I had to confront a big problem
I was a little apprehensive /ˌæprɪˈhensɪv/(worried or frightened) about the effects of what I had done
I felt a bit tense (nervous or worried)at first
He was always on edge (nervous) before an interview

This year for my New Year’s resolution I decided I had to listen to others better.
In the past few years, I fell into the occasional bad habit of not listening closely enough to family and friends. I was aware of this, and I wanted to do my best to listen better. It became a major challenge at first but now, a couple of months later I must say I don’t have to make an effort anymore and I am actually enjoying it.
Last year I decided to complete my master’s degree. Now, a year later, I believe I rose to the challenge, and it has given me the confidence to embark on the next stage in my career
(If someone rises to the challenge, they act in response to a difficult situation which is new to them and are successful).
It was a challenge and it was daunting but at least I tried

I anticipated myself making some major changes in my life. This would be the year that I would finally attain some of the goals that would be personal achievements.

For the first time in my life, I knew what I wanted to do and I intended to go for it. That was something that I felt was right, with every bone in my body. Everything just fell into place naturally. It is funny how everything becomes brighter and clearer when you have a vision for it.  

2. Ambitions
My main ambition was…
I had always pursued my greatest ambition

To pursue his personal ambition, he decided to leave everything behind and go on an around the world trip.
I wanted to realize my secret ambition as soon as possible.

3. Motivation

I had to strengthen my motivation

A lot has been said about how to increase students’ motivation.
High school students lack motivation in the classroom for various reasons. Sometimes students lack role models. They don’t have relatives who they can look up to. And on top of that they are constantly targeted by non-academic celebrities or negative role models through the media.

4. Failure

It was doomed to failure from the start
It was a dismal failure
I was close to tears.
I was feeling weepy (sad)

I was reluctant to resign to failure.
I started a small business thinking it would be a shining moment in my life but, without proper planning, after a few months it was a dismal failure.

debacle: /deɪˈbɑːkl/ /dɪˈbɑːkl/
an event or a situation that is a complete failure and causes embarrassment. E.g. He should take responsibility for the debacle and resign. Let’s hope this is the end of the debacle over player transfer fees. It's a total debacle 

5. Success
It was an overnight success
It was a resounding success (very great)
It was a roaring success (tremendous)
I was assured of success

It was an outstanding achievement
It was a remarkable achievement at first

To achieve success, a film should…
The book met with success in Great Britain, but at first no one in the United States wanted to publish it.
A book’s popularity doesn’t always guarantee its movie’s success.
The song was a resounding success. It became a Christmas hit that year, which was the beginning of a triumphal march around the world.

I was delighted that he could do it
I was elated /iˈleɪtɪd/(very happy) by the prospect of the new job ahead
She was thrilled to bits (= extremely pleased) that he’d been offered the job
He was overjoyed (extremely happy) at my success
The English Department is astounded, amazed, taken aback, rocked back on its heels, flabbergasted, dumbfounded, stunned, shocked, astonished, bowled over and staggered that we have such wonderful students...

set (or rock) someone back on their heels: astonish or disconcert someone. E.g. she said something that rocked me back on my heels

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