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Interesting Conversation

Describe an interesting conversation you had with someone.
You should say

  • who the person was
  • where the conversation took place
  • what you talked about
  • And explain why you found the conversation interesting.

Model Answer

I have to admit that I’m not much of social person – I mean, I am quite shy and inhibited, so most of the time I tend to avoid talking to strangers. But I do remember a time when I had to talk to a complete stranger, and as I remember it was around 5 years ago, on my very first trip to Ho Chi Minh City. It was just a short conversation but I can still remember it quite well.

I was a 20-year-old freshman back then, and I was unable to navigate my way to the HCMC University of Education where I was about to start studying. Back then Google Map’s wasn’t as popular as it is nowadays, so the only way I could figure out the way was by asking a local. So after hours of wandering around, I finally resorted to asking a lady who was selling noodles at a food cart near where I was standing. I asked the lady if
she would be so kind to tell me the way to the HCMC University of Education and she kindly replied by pointing to the big building across the road and saying ’it’s over there’.

The university was being renovated back then, so I was unable to recognise it, but before I went off to study I decided to sit down and order some noodles from the old lady and have a chat with her. It turns out that she was also from Ninh Thuan, which is my hometown. So we ended up chatting for ages about our lives and about how and why we had come to HCMC.

You know, I think I found this conversation so interesting simply because I found Mrs Kim to be such a nice lady. As the conversation went on and I got to know her better I realized that she had had quite a tough life, yet she had managed to maintain such a sweet and gentle personality that many other women who have been through similar struggles to her would have lost by now.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • admit – to tell the truth
  • not much of – not really
  • social person – someone who likes to talk with and be around other people often
  • inhibited – unable to relax and act natural
  • navigate my way to – find my way
  • wandering around – walking around without a fixed route or destination
  • resorted to – to do something because there is no other option
  • renovated – to repair and improve something eg. a building
  • recognise – to know someone or something because you have seen it before
  • a tough life – a difficult or challenging life
  • gentle – calm, kind or soft
  • struggles – to work hard to do something

Describe an interesting talk or speech you heard.
You should say:

  • Who gave the talk/speech
  • Where and when you heard it
  • What it was about
  • And explain why it was interesting?

Model Answer

Today I am going to talk to you about a speech that I came across two months ago on TV called “the power of vulnerability”.

The speech was delivered by Brene Brown who is an American scholar, an author and a public speaker. She has been involved in research on a range of topics, including vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy.

I accidentally heard her speech when I was watching TV at home after a hard day at work. Her TED talk touched my spiritevoked my sympathy and taught me many lessons. Firstly, I learnt that I cannot ignore all the negative feelings I have. If I try to avoid them, I won’t be able to feel happy, grateful or joyful, and therefore, I need to have the courage to face and solve all the problems I have in order to live happily.

Secondly, thanks to this talk, I was able to understand how powerful it is to show other people my vulnerability, and that I should dare to take risks and do the things that I am not so sure about. For example, I should be the one who says I love you first, even if I know I might be rejected.

Finally, I learnt how to love myself from the bottom of my heart and was able to give up irresponsible behaviour such as skipping meals or getting wasted whenever I was sad. And in addition to this, once I’m able to love myself, I won’t hurt other people who truly love me.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • came across – discovered
  • vulnerability – being open or exposed to being physically or mentally harmed
  • delivered by – spoken or presented by
  • scholar – academic expert or specialist
  • public speaker – someone who gives
  • touched my spirit – had a deep impression or influence on me
  • evoked my sympathy – made me feel emotional towards someone or an idea
  • have the courage to face – to be brave enough to do something
  • take risks – to do things even though you might fail
  • from the bottom of my heart – to feel deeply or strongly about something
  • skipping meals – to not eat a meal to try to lose weight
  • getting wasted – getting very drunk
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